Showing posts from July 23, 2006

Bill Napoli to opponent: Bring it

State Senator Bill Napoli takes a moment out of his day to respond to Theresa Spry's comments about his press conference the other day in Friday's Rapid City Journal. Never one to shy from a battle, what's his response? BRING IT ON:
Bring it on

First off, I don't hate anyone! I may dislike some things, and some people, but I don't hate anyone or anything.

Second, how does (Stan) Adelstein intend to rebuild the Republican Party when he continues to alienate Republicans?

Third, how does he plan to rebuild the party? By demanding the so-called extremists get out?

Yes, I'm fed up with the trashing of my Republican Party by these left-wingers like Adelstein, who can't make up his mind what he is. Gee! Am I a Republican or Democrat today?

I've known my opponent Theresa Spry for many years. Before Spry starts screaming about me not addressing the issues of District 35, Spry should have taken the time to attend the three candidate forums this spring. One forum was tw…

GOP State Rep takes over Abortion Advocacy Group

The Associated Press is reporting today that a Republican State Legislator is in charge of an abortion related organization. And it's not Brock Greenfield and Right to Life. Today, they're reporting that State Representative Casey Murschel is now Executive Director for South Dakota NARAL:
Republican state Rep. Casey Murschel of Sioux Falls has been named to take over as executive director of the National Abortion Rights Action League Pro-Choice South Dakota, effective Tuesday.Murschel, who succeeds Thelma Underberg in the role, is serving her third term in the Legislature. She also served on the Sioux Falls City Council.Murschel said her group will be a resource for people and political candidates on issues and will actively oppose an abortion ban that's on South Dakota's Nov. 7 general election ballot."As many have said, the law simply goes too far," she said in a release. "This level of government intrusion in personal and private matters is not…

Cecelia Fire Thunder and the supremes

The Rapid City Journal is reporting today that ousted OST president Cecelia Fire Thunder is taking the issue of her impeachment and removal from office to the OST Tribal Supreme Court:
Battling for her day in tribal court, former Oglala Sioux Tribe president Cecelia Fire Thunder will take her case to the OST Supreme Court, she said Friday. On the day that Fire Thunder, 59, had been scheduled to appear in tribal court to challenge her removal as president, she announced that her lawyers will file suit next week in the tribe’s Supreme Court.

“This is about constitutional violations, procedural violations and strengthening our tribal courts,” said Fire Thunder, who believes that she is being denied due process in the lower court.

When tribal judge Lisa Adams recused herself from Fire Thunder’s case on July 17, proceedings were delayed to allow the OST Council to appoint a new judge. A new judge and court date has yet to be assigned, and Fire Thunder believes the delay has been too…

Senate Bill 156 and Touching Fred Phelps Jr. on the rear.

If any of you remember Senate Bill 156 of this year, it was in response to the Westboro Church's picketing of the funerals of fallen soldiers because of their perception that it in some way deaths through war or mining tragedy are because of gay marriage, etc.

It passed unanimously because, let's face it. These guys are not exhibiting behavior that falls within normal societal standards. In fact, some might even call them clinically insane. Otherwise simply known as 'nuts.'

In fact, they are so loathed, that it started a movement in opposition to them called the Patriot Riders to block their protests at the funerals of fallen soldiers.

As I was perusing over my lunch hour, I came across this gem. (quicktime or other player) It gave me a good laugh.

On an Australian Television comedy show, they sent a "reporter" to the US to interview Fred Phelps Jr. as he protested. And then it went down hill about the time the reporter started getting... a little fri…

"Those other guys" speak out

If the Libertarian and Constitutional candidates made a political statement in the forest and no one was around to hear it, would they make a sound? Well, they're trying to figure that one out. Because right now, the Mitchell Daily Republic isn't planning on letting them make a sound at the State Fair. From the article in the Argus Leader:
The Libertarian Party candidate for governor says it's unfair that he and another third-party candidate have been excluded from a public debate at the South Dakota State Fair.

Tom Gerber of Sturgis said Thursday the decision to have only incumbent Republican Gov. Mike Rounds and Democrat challenger Jack Billion on the Freedom Stage for the hourlong debate Sept. 2 is unjust and not in the public interest.

"Is it in the public interest to prevent the voters from hearing from all candidates? I think not,'' Gerber said. "Is it just? I think not.''


"We're big fans of the State Fair - me, personally, and th…

Politicos to dedicate Stamps at Rally

I saw this item in my email box from a reader - it's not terribly political, but hey, it's close enough:

Sturgis Dedication of American Motorcycle Stamps
USPS Dedication Kicks of Rally
By U.S. Postal Service
American Motorcycles

In early August, 85 million classic antique "American Motorcycles" stamps mirroring bikes owned by members of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America's Long Island Big Sandbar chapter will roll off the showroom floor of the nation's 37,000 Post Offices. Every one will be in mint condition and guaranteed to make it across the country for just 39 cents.

The stamps will be dedicated at 8:45 a.m., Monday, Aug. 7, in Sturgis, SD, just prior to the Mayor's ride to the Crazy Horse Memorial to kick-start the 66th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The ceremony will take place across the street from the Sturgis Post Office on the west side of the Community Center at 1401 Lazelle St.

Penny Nickerson's 1918 Cleveland, Larry Spielfogel's 1940 I…

Upcoming events - R and D

Judy Olson Duhamel, SDDP Chairman is inviting people to a private reception to honor Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean to benefit the SDDP. That's being held on WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 16, 2006 from 6:00 P.M. — 7:30 P.M. at Judy's House at 1106 Hyland Drive in Rapid City. They're also doing a dessert with him at the Raddison that night from 7:30 to 9. You can contact (605) 224-1750 or for more information on attending.

(Which reminds me of a story that I'll have to relate sometime of the Black Hills CR's holding up signs on the road along the way to a Daschle fundraiser many years ago.)

Also, according to KGFX Daily News, they announced today that Governor Mike Rounds will be their studios for August’s “A Conversation with Governor Rounds” a day earlier than normal on Monday, August 14.

If you have a question you would like to ask the Governor, you are welcome to call it in during the show and speak directly with him. If you would like to e-m…

Watchdog group sicced on Leslee Unruh

The Argus Leader is reporting today that a political watchdog group was sicced on Leslee Unruh for alleged lobbying activities which are said to contravene federal IRS Law for non-profits:
The complaint, filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, alleges that the National Abstinence Clearinghouse and the Alpha Center - both headed by well-known abortion opponent Leslee Unruh - failed to report lobbying activities as required under the tax code.

The two "have a clear pattern of flagrantly flouting the laws that govern charitable organizations," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW. "The IRS should immediately investigate these organizations and revoke their tax-exempt status."

CREW, a liberal-leaning group, is calling for the IRS to revoke the two Sioux Falls-based groups' tax-exempt status and impose fines and other penalties.


A spokeswoman for Unruh said she was unavailable for comment Wednesday. But the Alpha Center provided a w…

Seward to leave State's Attorney Office, brings political activist with him to new job

The Rapid City Journal is reporting today that Butte County States Attorney Jim Seward is going to be leaving the State's Attorney office in favor of a law practice he's purchasing. And interestingly enough, his new law partner is a name that's been out of politics for a while, but might soon re-emerge:
Seward said Tuesday that he had wanted to serve as a part-time state's attorney while pursuing other interests in private practice, but Butte County policy requires the state's attorney to be a full-time position.

Seward said he has an opportunity to buy the law firm of Harlan Schmidt in Spearfish. Schmidt is retiring, and Seward and his partner Scott Odenbach plan to open a new law firm at Schmidt's location on North Main Street in Spearfish.

Odenbach, a Lemmon native, will concentrate on business and labor law, and Seward will handle trial work.Read it all here. If you're not familiar with Scott Odenbach, he's a former Executive Director of the Minnehaha…

Since tomorrow is a good day for arguing in the Supreme Court, here's the 3 briefs filed in the matter of Verizon versus the Sec. of State

CHopefully, this won't bring my server to it's knees. Each one of the linked briefs are 3.34 megabyte .pdf files.

What's linked to this post are the briefs outlining why Verizon thinks the cell phone tax repeal should be placed on the ballot by the Secretary of State.

While the other party involved in all of this, the anti-Video Lottery group is much more vocal (and controversial), Verizon smartly knows it's not going to accomplish anything by putting TV commercials on the air bashing the Secretary of State. They're satisfied to simply have their day in court.

So, as you''re reviewing these, the first post is the Petitioner's Brief. The second, is the Respondent's Brief in Opposition of Petition for Writ of Mandamus. And the final one is the Petitioner's Reply Brief.

Again, these are all adobe .pdf's, 3.34 meg in size (around 51 pages each).

I want to take some time to read all of these, so in the interest of timliness, we can read them at the s…

More Candidate Websites: Cradduck, Diedrich, and Gant

Hot off the press, I've had two more candidate websites brought to my attention. The first one belongs to Rebecca Cradduck (disclaimer, yes she is a paid advertiser) who is running for the District 11 Senate Seat against Jason Gant:

What do I think of it? It's graphically very pleasing, and it goes along with the theme of her printed materials. It's a good looking website. It's only a single page at this point, so I'd expect it to be beefed up with position papers, photos, and other miscellaneous information in the near future. The purpose for a candidate to do a website is to act as a resource and repository for information for those who want to find out more - enabling you to cut down on extraneous printed materials.

So, it's hard to comment now, as I expect it has more information that will be added as we approach the campaign. But for now, go visit it at

The other website that just came on-line is for Larry Diedrich, who is r…

The Hill stands by it's Thune Story. And it gives him an "atta boy" for his stance.

One of my favorite chronicles of the goings on in Washington, The Hill, editorialized a bit recently on remarks attributed to Senator Thune on distancing himself from the president. The point they're making is that since taking office, John has been his own man, and made no apologies for it.:
Upset with the Pentagon’s initial decision to shut down Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, Thune threatened to oppose the nomination of John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations.At the time, Thune said, “I’m going to do what is in the best interest of South Dakota — always, first and absolutely. If I disagree with the president, I’m going to let him know that.”Thune did just that last week by saying that Republican candidates should distance themselves from President Bush on the Iraq war. After the Associated Press and The Hill’s Jonathan Allen reported on Thune’s remarks, the senator quickly said his comments had been mischaracterized.On “Meet the Press” this past Sunday, White H…

Billion/Rounds disagree on robbing the State Piggy Bank

The Rounds/Billion Campaign fight continues today, with State Senator Jerry Apa stepping in as referee in the Rapid City Journal:
Billion proposed his plan for a "drought property-tax assistance fund," after attending a town hall meeting on the drought Monday in Highmore. Billion said he would propose legislation to set up the fund with money that exists in state government, the state emergency reserve fund and/or a special one-time appropriation.


But the governor said he has done much more than encourage prayer. Rounds sought a federal disaster declaration for drought-punished counties that allows farmers and ranchers to hay or graze some of their Conservation Reserve Program acres and certain wetland acres.

The state also waived permit fees for hauling baled livestock feed, expanded the hours for over-width loads on highways and the interstate system and opened road ditches for mowing earlier than usual, he said.


"You could be talking as much as hundreds of mi…

Gov: Thumbs down on Lincoln/Douglas style debates

According to the Governor yesterday, he's turning down the debates against Billion... And those other two guys. From the Rapid City Journal:
Speaking to reporters after a ribbon-cutting ceremony at his campaign office at 1331 West Main St., Rounds said it was too late in the campaign to begin scheduling a series of weekly debates between him and Billion, as suggested in a Sunday Journal editorial. Rounds said he is already committed to seven or eight "debates or forums," sponsored or hosted mainly by television stations and public-interest groups.

Balancing his duties as governor against his responsibilities in the campaign wouldn't leave time for other scheduled appearances with Billion, he said. The governor also said it would be wrong to limit the debates to only the major party candidates, as the Journal editorial suggested.

Tom Gerber, 81, of Sturgis, is running for governor as a Libertarian and Steven Willis, 51, of Sioux Falls, is running as a candidate for the C…

Amendment E Puff Piece in the Capitol Journal

I knew when I woke up this morning that I needed to read a poorly researched puff piece on Amendment E. Lo and behold, that's exectly what was waiting for me when I picked up today's Pierre Capitol Journal.

It looks like reporter Chuck Clement spent some time being spoon fed information by Bill Stegmeier. But after he'd been fed, he might have been sleepy, since he didn't bother to check the facts. Or seek comment from those who might have a differing opinion.

Here's just a taste of the sweetness and light he was being fed on Amendment E:
Stegmeier, the owner of a business that manufactures livestock feed processing equipment, said he has never been taken to court for anything beyond a traffic violation.

He became interested in promoting judicial responsibility after attending a trial in Fort Worth, Texas, in which a business owner was prosecuted for refusing to withhold taxes from his employees' pay. Stegmeier said the Fort Worth businessman wanted to have his emp…

That was timely. Newquist, and Kneebone withdraw from race.

The anonymous commenter on my post below (where I pointed out that fellow blogger and state legislative candidate David Newquist was beating myself and SDP about the head and shoulders) wasn't just whistling dixie when they said that Newquist was out of the race.

A call to the Secretary of State's office confirmed it. As of today, both he and Ted Kneebone are out.

It would seem that his rant where he says "South Dakota Politics and South Dakota War College are symptoms of the degradation of American politics" coincided with him putting the letter of withdrawl in the mail.

What's left to be said on this, aside from the points I was making before? Nothing really. My position that he said some things that could be controversial in a political race stands. I just did a little opposition research and discovered several quotes that aren't going to do him any favors in a political race.

Coincidentally, an AP story I read today seemed to only uphold my opinion as correct

Rhoden on the campaign trail for HB 1215

The Rapid City Journal is reporting this morning that instead of campaigning for himself or other legislative candidates, State House Majority Leader Larry Rhoden is on the campaign trail for HB 1215 this year:
A state lawmaker and pastors appeared at the prayer service to explain why they believe voters should approve the measure, which would ban nearly all abortions in South Dakota.

The abortion ban has been referred to the voters on the Nov. 7 ballot.

House Republican Leader Larry Rhoden of Union Center said he believes that the public is getting some misleading information about the abortion measure.


Rhoden said he was speaking as a member of the Legislature who simply wants to state facts and get support for the law — not as a candidate seeking re-election in November.

“If I was abusing a position or trying to take advantage of an issue to further my chances of winning a legislative race, then that would be questionable,” Rhoden said. “I think in this case, clearly, since I don’…

Argus Leader on the Gubernatorial Race: Things aren't looking good for Jack

Today in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Terry Woster takes a look at the chances of Gubernatorial Candidate Jack Billion. And the article isn't going to raise his hopes any:
Republican Gov. Mike Rounds has money, name recognition, high approval marks and the power of incumbency as he seeks a second four-year term.

His main challenger, Democrat Jack Billion of Sioux Falls, has little more than three months in a state that nearly always chooses Republicans for governor to convince a majority of voters he'd be a better leader.

Billion, 67, a retired surgeon and former legislator, says he can meet the challenge because Rounds hasn't made the strides South Dakota needs in such areas as education and health care. He often points to what he calls poorly paid teachers, underfunded rural schools and an overall lack of focus on small business - all areas that he says state government can help bolster.


"Unless something goes really wrong, Rounds gets re-elected," says Kenn…

*sigh* Misunderstood. Again.
David Newquist thinks I suck, again
And David still doesn't get it, again

I see this evening that fellow blogger and state legislative candidate David Newquist is beating me about the head and shoulders again.

I'm not sure why. When I commented on it before, it was from a purely academic point of view with regards to how I didn't think some of his statements were wise for a candidate for office to be making. I specifically noted that:
"For someone who is quite educated, I'd argue that Dave says a lot of things that leaves many people scratching their heads, and asking themselves "He's really running for office in South Dakota?"I also disagreed with his rhetoric, because I thought it showed a lack of respect, but that was secondary to the point.

Tonight, I see he took offense to that assertion, and took a moment to use big words at me:
I can envision the would-be character assassins slobbering over their keyboards at the thought of taking a real, live candidate out with their dishonest little missives. After making some points abou…

The World according to District 28B Representative-Elect Betty Olson

At, they've posted an interview with District 28B Representative Elect Betty Olson who is set to take office in January. It sounds like she's going to be a refreshing breeze of fresh air - and that's unfiltered fresh air.

From Kevin Woster's interview, Betty makes a dramatic point about why she thinks private property rights should be honored:
"I've never been very good at keeping my mouth shut," she said Sunday. "Unfortunately, that means that as soon as things jump into my head, they fly out my mouth."

That's pretty much what happened two years ago during a meeting of a state task force on conflicts between landowners and the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department.

A frequent critic of GF&P policies, Olson spoke at several of those meetings, and in one, she tried to explain why she didn't like the idea of state conservation officers entering her property without permission.

You could summarize her argument i… - Rounds is up by 34.2%

A political website I hadn't run across before is performing their own alchemy with the polling numbers and information that's out there and making a prediction on the South Dakota Gubernatorial race. Today, is predicting a crushing margin of victory for Rounds at 34.2%
For the South Dakota race, the numbers are not trending in a way that challenger Jack Billion is likely to want to see:·Date ProjectionRating July 23, 2006Rounds +34.2Strong GOP Hold July 15, 2006Rounds +33.0Strong GOP Hold Preliminary-----Strong GOP HoldFrom Rounds coming out ahead by 33 a week or so ago, to 34.2 points yesterday? What are they basing all of this on? As you can see...
Projection Data - positive numbers favor the incumbent partyIndex Raw valueWeightFactor Head-to head polls35.080%28.0 Incumbent approval3415%5.1 State partisanship21.55%1.1If you're noticing the weight provided to the head to head polls, and the recent change, I'm sure part of this is coming…

And my marketing push begins

Sorry about the lack of updates over Lunch. Blogger was down, and I was busy working on part of my marketing push to take the SDWC to the next level.

You've noticed the first part, with actual advertisers, and I'm bound to have more on the way. It's going to pay off for them, as I'm on track for another terrific month.

As of this afternoon, I'm working on my second best month ever, with a full week left to go. On some weeknights, I'm reaching over 800+ visitors giving me 1900+ hits. And that's in a single night.

I'm not going to let the cat out of the bag yet, but let's just say I worked on something today that hopefully will increase my visibility. I can probably report on it starting next week.

Governor Rounds on Inside Keloland

I only caught a little bit of this tonight, but Inside KELOland featured the Governor talking at length about the drought situation in SD. Go Here:


If you want to watch the interview for yourself (streaming Windows Media File)

Post #1201 - Thursday sounds like a good day for an argument

(Click on image to enlarge)

For those of you who are interested, on this coming Thursday arguments for the ballot initiatives that the Secretary of State (under the advice of the AG) rejected will be heard by the SD Supreme Court.

My opinion? I've always thought the State Supreme Court has traditionally taken a position in favor of letting the people decide in disputes such as this. If they rule against the ballot measures, I'd be suprised.

Does this mean that Burt Tollefson might jump in the race?

Libertarian Gubernatorial candidate Tom Gerber cites his advanced age as onw of the reasons he's running for the job in an Associated Press article in today's Rapid City Journal:
Most South Dakotans have never heard of Tom Gerber, but the retired management consultant from Sturgis hopes to change that. As the Libertarian Party's candidate for governor, he will travel throughout the state introducing himself and his ideas. Gerber said his backgrounds as a teacher, business manager and consultant give him the experience to change South Dakota's economy, education system, tax structure and health-care system.

"I think in a very practical way, but I also try to tie it in with ethical and humanitarian aspects," Gerber said.

Gerber, 81, said he decided to run because he believes the state needs someone with his outlook. He said he has always admired Ben Franklin, who took an active part in the American Revolution and helped build the nation's government.


Another sign along the road

I had occasion to stop along the road on Highway 14 outside of Pierre after I ran over a claw hammer (who the heck leaves one of those in the middle of the road?).

And as I was checking my tire for what I was sure was going to be a big gash, I pulled my camera out to snap a picture of the only Bryce Healy sign I've noticed between Pierre and Brookings.

It must be a School and Public Lands weekend, as Saturday I also got an invite in the mail to a meet and greet in Brookings for Jarrod Johnson. Unfortunately, I'm in Pierre on August 1, so it's kind of tough to make it back there during the week.