Showing posts from August 6, 2006

How is the Argus trying to twist Economic Development into something more sinister?

In today's Argus Leader, an article by Johnathan Ellis is attempting to twist the development of a distillery by two of the Governor's brothers into something darker. And it couldn't be more obvious:
What was unusual in this case was that Jamie Rounds, the governor's younger brother and a former state official, was at the center of the effort.

Haley said he heard during the session that Jamie Rounds might be trying to open a distillery. That didn't bother him. But the way the legislation was created did.

"It's obvious now that there were plans in place," Haley said. "During the session, it was a rumor. I wasn't too concerned about the rumor. I just didn't like that they used this bill to accomplish that."Bwaaaa ha hah!Read it all here in shock and horror as *heaven forbid* someone changes state law to allow the production of a product legal to consume in South Dakota.

Please. This is a stretch even for the Argus.

We should be more suprise…

"They're not censoring me.... Uh, they're censoring Amendment E. Yes, yes, that's it. That rotten judge is censoring Amendment E"

Got a series of comments under posts on the No-on-E web log that Tim Gebhart and I contribute to that appeared in one of my e-mail boxes. And they were kind of odd:
Is that why a State Judge issued an order censoring a website for amendment E?
The site is all court documents that are damaging to him and his star chamber.
order in part at bottom of pageWell, I knew it was spam, but just in case, I bit on it and gave it a shot. I knew the website from prior South Dakota related web surfing, but in case there was actually something related to Amendment E, I wanted to check it out. Here's what the comment author is referring to:

Oh yeah, "that guy." Interfering with the publicity of Amendment E? No. Interfering with a years long campaign of harassment? Yes.

It's not very difficult to see that the only thing Judge Rusch spanked Michael Wagner on is his single minded pursuit of the continual harassment of his ex-wife. In fact, if you go to the…

Sorry, light posting today.

Sorry, light posting today. I had to go to the grocery store as the family is coming to town today, and my steady diet of PBJ's won't do.

I've also been working on designing a donor database for a candidate with some voter id stuff. I've been noodling on the idea for a master type system that ties donor data into a voter file since the 2002 election, but I go back and forth in questioning the utility of such a combined file versus two separate files.

Speaking of databases, I'm working on a post on sources for targeting data. Hopefully, I can get my stuff in a group to do that one in the coming week or so. If anyone cares to point some of them out that I might not have, drop me a note, and we can collaborate.

Another website peek - Mary Nosbush

What can I say but go check out, the candidate website for Mary Nosbush for the House. With it's high end flash interface, and funky bass line playing in the background, it puts all other state legislative websites to shame.

This is something you'd expect in a congressional or gubernatorial race. I wish I could do something this good, because it sets the bar pretty high for graphics and web interface technology.

Dems could be happier with Herseth

Tim Gebhart (whom contributes to the No-On-E weblog, along with yours truly) over at A Progressive on the Prairie has a funny post from a Democrats point of view how Congresswoman Herseth has been with the GOP on Middle East issues up until... about yesterday. Now she's changing her mind.
Why do I so often have to chortle at things Rep. Stephanie Herseth says? Today's local daily gives another prime example.

Seems Herseth forgets she is among those who did not challenge the Bush policies. In fact, it was just eight weeks ago that she was one of only 42 Democrats voting for a Republican resolution backing the Bush Administration's Iraq policies. This is nothing new. A year earlier she supported another resolution backing the Bush Administration line on Iraq. And, in May 2004, the local daily's editorial board asked, "Knowing what we know now, would you support the Iraq war?" Herseth's response? "Yes, I still would have supported taking this action.&q…

He ain't heavy, but why is he supporting the other guy?

Jack Billion held a press conference yesterday to condemn Governor Rounds' signing of HB1215. And who should show up but Billion's brother. Who made a statement in support of Governor Rounds' signing of HB 1215:
South Dakota's abortion debate took a bizarre twist Wednesday when the younger brother of gubernatorial candidate Jack Billion showed up at a news conference to oppose his sibling's position. Democrat Jack Billion called the stunt an example of how divisive the issue is and how some people have little tolerance for other views.

"He has his right. He has the right to believe the way he wants," the candidate said. "I don't know that he has the right to tell me what I have to believe, and that's the whole gist of this law."

Jack Billion, a retired Sioux Falls physician, said he called the news conference to clarify his position on South Dakota's newly passed abortion ban, which is up for a public vote in November.

Afterward, Ste…

Now that's the understatement of the year.

Posting has been light tonight, as I've been torturing myself listening to Bill Stegmeier podcast interviews to see what I can glean.

Ugh. 2-3 hours of paranoia about judges and bankers and insurance companies walking hand in hand, and Bill talking about his seeing his poor friend (the one who refused to pay taxes and threatened to kill a judge) "railroaded" by the guv'mint.

There was kind of a "no sh*t, Sherlock" moment that struck me as mildy funny. But it quickly goes back into the anti-judge paranoia that is Amendment E. Listen to it here as the host of "The Common Sense Coalition" Derry Brownfield points out the fact that if Stegmeier's measure is challenged, it will go in front of the same judges he's going after:
Derry: It's going to challenged in a court of judges that hate you to start with.

BS: er... yah.Of course, BS thinks everyone will rise up in protest. Somehow, I sincerely doubt it.

Oh, and aside from convicted felon Gene Lo…

Per KELO, Video Lottery and Phone tax ARE on the bllot

The State Supreme Court announced today that vodeo lottery and the cell phone tax are on the ballot. Per KELO, it's game on:
South Dakotans will be allowed to vote on a repeal of video lottery and a cell phone tax.

The state supreme court has ruled 5-0 in favor of the campaigns to put the tax on the ballot.

Attorney General Larry Long had instructed Secretary of State Chris Nelson not to put the measures on the ballot, saying a prior court decision didn't allow for a public vote on initiated measures, especially those that would take away state revenue sources.

But the supreme court has overridden that decision.Read it all here.

Herseth Wikipedia continues; Whalen Says Debate, Herseth says let's wait. Thune says internet rumors are things to hate.

U.S. Senator John Thune commented on the Herseth Wikipedia issue in the Rapid City Journal today, about the same time that the debate issue was taken straight to Stephanie on the podium at a pow wow on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. From the Rapid City Journal:
The battle continued Tuesday between the campaigns of Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth and her Republican challenger Bruce Whalen over unfounded rumors about Herseth's personal life. And as it did, Republican Sen. John Thune said his experience with "all types of sordid, false rumors" about his own personal life made him especially sympathetic toward Herseth.

Phony information on a Web site said Herseth was pregnant and engaged to her "chief of staff," a man identified by a name that belongs to no one on the congresswoman's staff. In an e-mail message sent to political Web logs, Whalen campaign manager Lee Breard highlighted the farce and also mentioned another rumor that implied Herseth was…

Does that mean hotel rates are going to be cheaper in Sturgis next year?

Breaking news tonight from KELO:
Biker Gang Shooting in Custer State Park
Authorities are ivnestigating a shooting in Custer State Park in the Black Hills between two rival motorcycle gangs.

The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation confirms five or six members of the Outlaw Motorcycle Club were gunned down Tuesday evening, possibly by members of the Hells Angels. Read it all here. Jesus! I can't say I've ever heard of that happening at Sturgis Rally before. (Isn't it supposed to be more family oriented nowadays?)

Tim versus the Insurance Agents

Here's one I caught wind of recently that you haven't read in the papers.

Apparently a war of correspondence has been simmering in the last week or so between U.S. Senator Tim Johnson and Larry Ahrendt, Executive Vice President of the South Dakota Association of Insurance Agents.

As I'm told, this started with Senator Johnson's questioning of a witness at a banking committee hearing exploring the possibility of the Federal Government taking over the regulation of the insurance industry from states. Basically, this would continue the trend of eroding states rights over insurance plans that began several years back with ERISA legislation.

What's ERISA you ask? Think self-funded health plans. Because of a section in the federal ERISA legislation, those self funded plans are exempt from state laws that dictate what is covered, what isn't, etc. And if your plan doesn't cover something you (or state law) think it should, you basically have no recourse except to sue …

This is too good. Now we know where Bonnie is lately

I had a report that Bonnie Russell who has her hands around the website, which is in competition with for being the official amendment E website has a finger in a new internet venture.

Apparently Bonnie is involved with at And you have to be asking yourself - What's their schtick?
USAJudges offers custom reports on judges. Our experienced researchers start with public records and news accounts, then add other sources to build informative profiles that can give you early tips of a judge's expectations, and even potential trouble you might face. offers attorneys and citizens the chance to post their own experiences, so you can look for insight into a judge's crucial dynamics from people who have been in his or her courtroom.And that's not all. For a low, low price you can create or retreive a report on a judge:
Create your basic report - FREE

Zip Feed mill is circulating back on the net

The Zip Feed Mill sort-of demolition is back on the internet, as featured as #9 internet item on Yahoo's Daily 9 today, via it's posting at zany video website

Not that anyone gave any credit or identification on it.

Here's an opposing view of a recent topic - Why the mayor of Onida isn't a bad man just because he's been arrested for assault

Got this in my e-mail today regarding a topic I had written about earlier, where the mayor of Onida, Gary Wickersham, had been arrested after allegedly assaulting a man in front of his young daughter, and then allegedly assaulting the man's sister. This person, Rochelle Wylie, seems to think the mayor is unfairly being tried in the public eye:
Individuals concerned about this incident should call other respected business owners and citizens that reside in Sully County before you prosecute the Mayor in the public eye for an incident that happened in an establishment that is owned by the Sully County Sheriff. The accuser (also the step-son of a long time Sully County Sheriff’s Deputy) claims he was assaulted in front of his seven year old daughter at a bar. Why was his seven year old daughter accompanying him to a bar? Does South Dakota, or the Sheriff’s department have any rules or regulations about patrons/children of a certain age in the bar past a certain time?

There were no alcoh…

If that's the case, it sounds to me like we need to hunt them even more...

USA Today is reporting that a survey conducted by the Mountain Lion Foundation, who opposes hunting of mountain lions, says that it doesn't affect the number of fatal mountain lion attacks:
No evidence proves sport hunting reduces fatal encounters between people and mountain lions, says a study out today that adds fuel to a debate over the trophy killings of big-game animals. The study comes as mountain lion attacks on humans, while still rare, are increasing, and reported sightings more common, especially where suburbs and second homes have spread into lion habitat.The study by the Sacramento-based Mountain Lion Foundation compared lion-people incidents in 10 states that permit hunting with data from California, which banned cougar hunting in 1972. Nine states — Idaho, Montana, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and New Mexico — had higher attack rates than California. Wyoming's was lower."Any state that claims sport hunting is anything more than recrea…

Dem's hit Whalen campaign on homewrecker comment, Whalen campaign counter-punches with charge of Herseth ducking debates

After the course of less than a week, the sleepy little race that was the South Dakota Congressional Campaign has gone to an intense flame war between the two political camps.

If you recall, the activity started with the Whalen campaign asking several of the SD Bloggers about information contained in the Herseth Wikipedia profile. Namely about her supposedly being pregnant, having relations with a staffer, etc. As I noted in this post, I indicated that I couldn't identify any truth to it, nor the source, so I considered it all scurrilous B.S.

Mt. Blogmore also picked up on it, and took issue with the Whalen Campaign Manager Lee Breard referring to Herseth as a "Home Wrecker."

Before you say it, no, that would not have been my choice of words. And Kevin Woster of the Rapid City Journal would probably concur with that thought. In fact, Kevin chronicled some of the first of the inter-campaign exchange that was starting on it. In his own defense, Lee's explanation is that r…

Thune passes on NRSC Job

As reported in the Rapid City Journal this morning, U.S. Senator John Thune is done considering whether or not he's going to take the National Republican Senatorial Committee job:
Sen. John Thune said Sunday that he would not seek the job as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, a position seen as a springboard to the upper echelon of GOP Senate leadership. Thune confirmed in an interview with the Journal late Sunday afternoon that he had told Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the second-ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate, on Thursday that he would not run for the committee chairman’s spot. That ended months of speculation that Thune — who rose quickly to prominence for a freshman senator after his upset win two years ago over Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle — might take over fundraising and candidate recruitment efforts for the GOP in the 2008 elections.

Before a tour of the Eastridge Fire area Sunday, Thune said he struggled with the decision about…

Candidate advocates needed?

I heard an interesting complaint from a GOP county activist the other day. This person noted that they're trying to assist candidates with setting up fundraisers, but the problem is that they're having difficulty finding takers.

No, it's not that they don't support the candidates or think they can't win. It couldn't be farther from the truth. The problem is timing and coordination.... and that sometimes it's easier to find someone to host a Governor or Senator than someone lower on the ticket.

For instance, I look at my own example. It's easier for me to do something for a candidate than to lay out a bunch of cash that I don't have, so I'd love to host an event. With six kids and almost as many siblings, I'm well versed in cooking for mass quantities. Piece of cake for me, especially if I'm using my mega-grill or my double oven. But it's the other stuff that would cause me a headache.

First, it would have to be outside, as I don't…