Showing posts from September 10, 2006

Hildebrand goes Obama in '08?

Steve Hildebrand, who I was recently mentioning as part of the DC Dakota group, was recently mentioned in the Washington post weblog as going to Iowa with Illinois Senator Barack Obama:
After yesterday's post on Barack Obama's visit to Iowa this weekend, another tidbit of information came to The Fix's attention that will certainly fuel even more chatter that the Illinois senator is seriously pondering a 2008 presidential bid.Obama will be accompanied on the trip by Steve Hildebrand, considered one of the major "gets" for candidates eyeing the 2008 race due to his expertise as a field organizer and campaign manager. In 2000, Hildebrand managed Vice President Al Gore's Iowa caucus victory over New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley. Four years earlier he ran the Midwest for the Clinton-Gore reelection effort.Hildebrand also has considerable experience in Senate races. In 1986 he was the state finance director for Tom Daschle's first successful run for the Senate. In …

A little liveblogging of the Vietnam War Memorial Dedication of my own

Not to be out done by Bill Harlan who is over at Mt. Blogmore liveblogging the dedication, here's a picture I took during the rememberance at the wall this afternoon. It was a very moving start to the activities of this weekend.

The reading of the names of the South Dakota Veterans at the wall was followed by a private unveiling for the families of South Dakota Veterans lost in the Vietnam War. And as we speak, the Red Willow Band and Beach Boys concert is going.

I'm taking a break from working at the moment. That, and I gave my Beach Boys ticket to a veteran who missed the deadline, so I'm taking some time before I have to get back to the office where I'm "on call" again this evening.

I also note from my e-mail box that Bruce Whalen is going to be in town talking to veterans:
Bruce Whalen, Republican Candidate for U.S. Congress, will attend the Vietnam memorial celebration this weekend in Pierre. “Being a ten year veteran of the Army National Guard, I am proud t…

Ron Volesky promises that he'd be a pain in the ass as Attorney General

In one of the silliest things I think I've read in a while, The Argus Leader is reporting tonight that if elected, Ron Volesky promises he'd be like the annoying know-it-all at social gatherings. He'd provide you advice whether you wanted it or not:
Ron Volesky promises to be an activist attorney general who will freely advise the governor and Legislature on constitutional matters and aggressively advocate for open government.

In that regard, Volesky, who is running as a Democrat against incumbent Republican Larry Long, says he would have told legislators the abortion ban adopted last spring is unconstitutional.

He also would have told Gov. Mike Rounds to find different ways to fund education.Read it all here. Now, compare that to the actual duties of the attorney general as dictated by law:
1-11-1. General duties of attorney general. The duties of the attorney general shall be:
(1) To appear for the state and prosecute and defend all actions and proceedings, civil or …

DC Dakotans group update - turnout reported to be 150 plus

With regards to the DC Dakotans event I noted earlier, an e-mail report I got indicated that over 150 people were in attendance.

Even at the bare minimum $25 a head, the event generated a low of $3700+

Bill Harlan goes to the dedication

On Mt Blogmore tonight, Bill Harlan announced he is starting a travel blog for the Vietnam War Memorial dedication.

I'm pretty jealous, because I'm involved in the dedication, and I can't do it myself. I'm working.

Regardless, make a point to go check out the post and watch for dedication information. This is going to be a phenomenal event. The town in buzzing, and people are already arriving in droves - and it doesn't get started until tomorrow.

As for after the event? I might even be pursuaded to give up a photo or two myself.

His trip to Iowa probably seems fun after this

Rapid City Mayor Jim Shaw is being called on the carpet by a couple of the Rapid City Alderman for several items including an out of control travel budget, and allegedly filling up his personal vehicle at the city gas pumps. From the Rapid City Weekly News:
Aldermen allege fiscal missteps in city government
By Lana Bradstream
September 13, 2006Rapid City aldermen Sam Kooiker and Mike Schumacher are butting heads with Mayor Jim Shaw and other members of the city council over the budget. Schumacher and Kooiker said information regarding the salaries and City Council travel is being withheld from them and the public. Shaw said that is not true.“This is an extremely open government,” Shaw said. “If someone wants to know something, all they have to do is ask.”Schumacher and Kooiker, self-appointed watchdogs for the taxpayers, said they are concerned. According to the aldermen, they asked for the information at the July 5 council meeting and were denied it, after the council approved an extra…

Willis for Governor. He doesn't stand a chance, but it's a nice looking website

The Willis for Governor website is up and running at And you can see his stands on many issues as well. For example:

Income tax denies the people their right to enjoy the "fruit of their labor". Inspite of all the promises to reduce taxes, we are still being taxed heavily. It is estimated that the average person works to pay a years worth of taxes from Jan till mid-April. This is over one-third of a person's income! How long would our Forefathers endured such oppression?
As governor, I would work to bring down government costs and thereby eliminate the need for over-taxing the people.(psst. Steve. South Dakota doesn't have one).

As you can tell from that, aside from it not being an unattractive website, some of the issue stuff leaves you scratching your head, such as questioning whether America is "fulfilling the comunist manifesto."

Nice looking site. goofy content. Check it out here.

Trouble Brewing? Edgemont Mayor forced to resign...

Okay, I'm just kidding with that title. Edgemont Mayor Mark Hollenbeck announced in the Rapid City Journal that he's resigning from his office because he's moving out to the Ranch:
Edgemont Mayor Mark Hollenbeck has resigned, effective Oct. 1, because he is moving out of town. Hollenbeck is moving to the family’s Sunrise Guest Ranch north of town, where he will manage the day-to-day operations of the ranch and lodge, he said in a letter to the Edgemont City Council.

Hollenbeck said that City Council President Jim Turner will become the acting mayor, and he expects the council likely will appoint Turner to fill out the six months remaining on Hollenbeck’s term. The council’s next regular meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 3.

Hollenbeck was first elected Edgemont mayor in 2001, the year after the city had four turnovers in the mayor’s position, he said. He was re-elected in 2003 and 2005.Read it all here.

Mark is truly a good guy, and I wish him and his family the very best. …

DC Dakotans group forms to raise money, and fight Marriage Amendment

(Click on image to enlarge)

A group in Washington DC calling itself "DC Dakotans" has formed and is raising money to defeat Amendment C on the 2006 South Dakota Ballot. Aside from Jon Hoadley of South Dakotans against Discrimination, it also includes notable South Dakota politico Steve Hildebrand, and Ross Buntrock who was in the same fraternity as I was during our time at SDSU.

They're hosting a fundraiser at $35 to $200 a head tomorrow in their quest to defeat Amendment C. I have to recognize that this group has been organizing and doing their work as they prepare to go to war on this issue.

DC Dakotans also has a website under construction at as you can see below.
On the other side of things, I'm told that the South Dakota Family Policy Council is taking the lead on promoting the measure, but since they're just starting, it doesn't seem that they've built up a lot of steam at this point.

I'd attribute it to the fact that South …

South Dakotans for Honest and Open Government launches assault on Governor Rounds

In an e-mail purporting to be from "Mayor Rounds" the political group "South Dakotans for Honest and Open Government" is announcing a fundraising campaign to put one of two ads on the air which appear to be the political season's first attack campaign ads.

The first one, "the airplane" attacks the Governor and asserts that he's sending half of the government contracts to out of state companies.

View it here.

The second "newscaster" type ad as pictured below goes after a theme of "What has Governor Rounds done for you?"
View it here.

This ad picks on three main issues; the purchase of a new state airplane, the construction of a new residence, and supposedly having three positions on abortion.

As a long time political operative, they got my attention. But I'm also not so naive to think that these are going to play well in South Dakota. The tone of them is sarcastic, and is easily recognizable as a negative directed attack on the Go…

Love is in the air at the Pennington County Commission

*Sniff* Love is in the air.

The Pennington County Commission and the South Dakota Association of County Commissioners have apparently resolved their differences in this Rapid City Journal article in today's newspaper by Scott Aust:
The on-again, off-again relationship Pennington County has had with the state county-commissioner organization may be back on again. The Pennington County Commission voted to rejoin the South Dakota Association of County Commissioners on Tuesday, about seven months after leaving the county-advocacy organization for the second time in three years.

Pennington County left the SDACC in 2003, then rejoined in 2004. But the lack of support from the association board for the county's liquor-tax initiative caused local officials to rethink membership for 2006.

The county left the association in February after the association rejected Pennington County's offer to make quarterly dues payments instead of a full $10,500 payment.

Commissioner Delores Coffing said…

Planned Parenthood Potlucks. What's next? Keggers for Cancer?

(Click on the image to enlarge it.
Because you have to read this one to believe it.)
A national campaign from Planned Parenthood to have potluck dinners to raise money for the abortion battle in South Dakota. Wow. They have a national potluck coordinator?

And the quotes they have in this e-mail which is going out across the nation....
Here are some of our favorite quotes from people who have already planned parties:

"Put on your favorite Hawaiian shirt and join us for an End-of-Summer Luau. Eat, drink, be merry — and help us support choice in South Dakota ."
— Jasmine in Washington , DC

"I like food. I like friends. I like choice. Let's keep it that way."
— Allison in Atlanta , GA

"Dress is casual and the atmosphere will be rockin'!"
— KaeLyn in Oswego , NY Yes, the atmosphere will be rockin'... indeed.

I'm not sure if I could consider this a clever idea, because the argument over whether or not a fetus constitutes an unborn child, or a collect…

Tim Johnson doing fundraiser for Giebink

Despite the presence of Tim Johnson at the fundraiser in District 10, and the campaigning that Daschle already did for her, I'm still calling this one for the GOP hands down. That 2-1 GOP over DEM margin doesn't lie.

(But it might get Giebink another photo with a DEM for her website).

Oh, THIS ONE is going to be good. Stegmeier going to address a women's group. Gasoline, meet match.

A new item today on
Plan to Attend: September 29, 2006 1:00p.m. Sioux Falls Holiday Inn.

We encourage South Dakotans to attend the Womens Summit, where Bill Stegmeier will speak in favor of Amendment E, and how it evolved; such as the practice of public officials operating in secret. South Dakota Judges keep their misdeeds secret.

Attendees will also have an opportunity to hear opponents explain their race to the bottom of the barrel.
Bill Stegmeier is going to address a women's conference? Heh.

Ha ha.

HA HA HEE HEE HEE! DANG! NOW THAT'S FUNNY! Why do I find that pronouncement wrought with hilarity? And not just a little funny, but knee slapping funny?

Well, it was just a few months ago where I was posting items from Bill's website, now long hidden from the world, where Bill was explaining to the world how women who go by "Ms." are probably lesbians who need a good spanking:
..Further more, she is obviously in her late 40's and maybe early 50's a…

Did I mention I have space left up top?

As I eat my lunch, I'll take a moment for an advertising break:

If I haven't mentioned it lately, I still have lots of space left in the banner up top. At $50 a month, $100 puts your picture or logo up through the election.

The links are clickable, and open your website in a new window.

As we approach the election, the number of visitors are continuing to climb. Over the past 6 months, I've gone from 11,000 to 17,000 monthly visitors and it shows no signs of slowing down. I get between 30,000 and 40,000 hits monthly. Is your website doing that?

If you're a candidate or a ballot organization with a web presence, you paid money to put a website out there. So why let it languish in obscurity? Let my website help drive traffic to yours.

If you're interested, e-mail me at I can have your link up and running in a matter of minutes after I get your e-mail.

Legislative Interns: Apply now

ALso in the Rapid City Journal, the South Dakota State Legislature has put out it's call for Legislative Interns. I have a young person who worked with me this summer whom I'm recommending, and I can't encourage college students enough to do this if they have any interest whatsoever in government and politics:
The Legislature is looking for 22 college students to serve as interns in the 2007 lawmaking session. Interns work as assistants to legislators and will make $120 a day for the 40-day session. They also receive college credit for their time as legislative employees.

To qualify, applicants must attend an accredited college or university.Read it here. But better yet, go here for the application information and materials. Do not delay on this. I can guarantee you that at the least, it will be an experience you'll never forget.

At the most, it might be life changing.

When I was drifting through college, I did the internship on a lark, and it changed my whole direction. A…

Constitutional Revision Commission meeting today

According to the Rapid City Journal, today is the day to step in and offer your opinion on some of what's going on with the legislature:
The Constitutional Revision Commission will meet at 9 a.m. CDT today in Legislative Conference Rooms 1 and 2 of the state Capitol. The commission will continue its discussion of legislator conflicts of interest, legislator qualifications, term limits for legislators and the petition process for initiatives and referendums.

All interested people are invited to attend the meeting and comment about concerns they have with the legislative article of the Constitution.Read it all here.

This one made my day

I'm slightly redacting this, as I didn't ask permission to reproduce it But it made my day:
Another War College First? Thought you may want to know my son is a Republican Field Director thanks to your blog. A faithful reader his dad, me, emailed your Republican job posting to my son who applied for the job and he started today. Collect your fee from him.

Not sure if this was the best advice. This business is addictive. Thanks PP. See you in Pierre again this session.Congrats! Here's best wishes to the author and his son for starting this life-long addiction we call politics.

It's a slow night. So, it's as good a time as any to pick on Amendment E.

It's been pretty quiet in politics this weekend as the 5th Anniversary of September 11th approached. You know, September 11th. That whole thing that Bill Stegmeier believes is a Government plot.

Which got me wondering; What have the Amendment E proponents been up to lately?

For starters, Bill Stegmeier was preaching to the choir in the Yahoo Newsgroups in this message you can read here (membership may be required):
From: Bill Stegmeier [mailto:rmsroll@...]
Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2006 3:31 PM
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;
Subject: Homework assignment!

Here is what South Dakota Amendment E is up against. Donations anyone?

Thanking you in advance, Bill Stegmeier
Sponsor of Amendment E

NewsGram from the South Dakota Judicial Accountability Committee, August 31, 2006

The mid-year campaign finance reports concerning Amendment E are now posted on the South Dakota Secretary of State's web site. The reports offer a revealing look at the people …

From my e-mail box - Debate on Amendment C

From tonight's e-mail:
Campaign Leaders to Debate Amendment C

Representatives for and against the proposed ban on civil unions, domestic partnerships, and the legally ambiguous “quasi-marital” relationships will debate the measure at Farber Hall on the University of South Dakota Campus on Monday, September 18 at 7:00 p.m. Jon Hoadley, campaign manager of South Dakotans Against Discrimination, and Rob Regier, executive director of the South Dakota Family Policy Council, will discuss Constitutional Amendment C.

The format includes opening statements from both presenters, followed by questions from the audience and closing statements. A recent poll reported that 49% of South Dakota voters are opposed to Amendment C.

The debate will be free and open to the public.

WHAT: Debate on Constitutional Amendment C, the ban on civil unions, domestic partnerships, and “quasi-marital” relationships.

WHO: Jon Hoadley, campaign manager of South Dakotans Against Discrimination
Rob Regier, exec…

A 9/11 Message from the South Dakota War College

I've updated this only slightly from when I posted it last year on this date, but it remains a reminder for me of what 9/11 should mean to all of us:

Five years ago today, I was ambling down the hall in the hospital in Pierre awaiting the impending birth of my fifth child. My wife had been in light labor as of the previous day and since early that morning had been moving towards more serious efforts at childbirth.

My kids were at school or at daycare, and my father, who was out of town was expected home that day from visiting a brother and sister in New Jersey. He was to going to be on a flight in the morning out of the Newark, N.J. airport, into Minneapolis. My mother, who had doted on her granddaughters, had passed away the previous November, and this was to be the first child born into the family that she would not see.

As my wife lay there having contractions, I walked out into the hallway where I noticed some floor nurses paying unusual attention to the television. They seemed …

Mike Buckingham and Eric Abrahamson on School Consolidation

The Rapid City Journal was reporting today on District 33 Republican State Rep Mike Buckingham, and Democratic Lt. Gov Candidate Eric Abrahamson and their comments for the group Democracy in Action regarding school consolidation in South Dakota:
The South Dakota Legislature is doing a good job of funding schools in the state, but per-student funding is being diluted because it is spread across too many small, inefficient school districts that resist consolidation, said State Rep. Mike Buckingham, a former Rapid City school board member. The Republican from District 33 serves on the House Education Committee and spoke Saturday at a forum, sponsored by Democracy in Action, alongside Eric Abrahamson, a member of the Rapid City School Board and the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor.

Buckingham said the inefficient schools operate at the expense of taxpayers and students in other, more cost-efficient districts.

About 75 people gathered in a lunchroom at Dakota Middle School for the…

Am I a rumor monger.... well, maybe... kind of, sort of....

I had an e-mail from one young reader this weekend who seems to think I might have a tendency to be a rumor monger.. or monger-er or something like that:
Most of the things you hear from the Capitol are worst then what goes around in any high school. Are you still in that age group to believe in rumors? If you would walk around the State Capitol during session, you will hear so many rumors. I have always felt like I was back in school. I'm not sure who you are or why you feel the need to say such things about nice people, that you don't know.This e-mail might have held true many months back. But I don't know if I'd entirely agree anymore. If you've watched as this website has evolved, you've probably noticed that a lot less of what I might term as rumor appears in print. And there's a reason for that.

The thing with many rumors, especially those that pop up during the legislative session (which was about 6 months ago), is that you have to try to sift through …

HOT off the press... Stan Adelstein raising money for Katus

I just had a note this evening from a Republican out in Rapid City that soon-to-be-former State Senator Stan Adelstein is cranking up his campaign on the behalf of Tom Katus.

I'm told that Stan sent out a fundraiser letter for Katus using the official state seal, and it hit many RC mailboxes yesterday. Suposedly, while the disclaimer at the bottom of the letter says it was paid for by Tom Katus' campaign committee, the phone number to call for the fundraiser is for Northwest Engineering's front office.

If someone has a copy of the letter they can scan and e-mail to me, please do so at I'd love to see it. I'm happy to redact the recipient's name upon request before I post it.

One thing that should be noted, if it's using the state seal, *I think* that approval for any such use must be obtained through the Secretary of State's office. (and don't think I won't check.)