Showing posts from 2005

IN THE YEAR 2010……

It sounds like the cheesy tag line from a 1960’s futuristic or post-apocalyptic tale. But as the close to my series of articles this week taking a look back at the prior year and a preview of what’s to come, it’s really fitting.

I hadn’t intended to do one on this until this morning. And the credit for prompting me to write it goes to reifelman, one of the SDWC readers. I got up this AM, and in my e-mail box I noticed a comment had been placed under the topic where I note Joel Rosenthal talks about possible Herseth contenders.

(And no, despite just resigning his position with State Government, I don’t believe Jim Hagen is going to take her on.)

Anyway, reifelman made the statement “I would like to see someone give Billie Jo Waara more of a push. She is the GOP's answer to Stephanie. This might not be the right time for her, but she definitely has a future in this state.”

And my reply is “reifelman, right you are.” In fact, there are a great number of Republicans out there whom I think…

This just might be worth a trip to Rapid City.
The Napoli, Haverly and Apa show!

Hey - anybody from Pierre want to go to this? This looks like it could beat the pants off of the Pierre Crackerbarrel any day of the week. NEWS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASESenator Bill Napoli, District 35 is announcing that a special meeting will be held Wednesday January 4th, 6:30 PM at the New Rapid Valley School on Homestead street. This meeting will be held in the library and is open to the public.

Also participating will be District 35 State Representative Jeff Haverly, and special guest, Senator Jerry Apa, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Some of the topics to be discussed will be the South Dakota state budget, the State Fair, the Governor's Lap Top program for high school students, and other budget issues.

Here is your chance to find out where your Tax Dollars are being spent. The South Dakota Legislature begins January 10th, and runs through February 28th. I'll have to ask if they'd allow filming.You know, what's missing from this meeting? Hmmmm.…

What the hell is Smurfing? But don't bother me with it now, I have a cold.

One frustrated South Dakota lawmaker isn't surprised by the “smurfing” incident in Sioux Falls. State senator Stanford Adelstien hopes to make South Dakota's current law on pseudoephedrine tougher.

Adelstein says cracking down on how often and how much pseudoephedrine people can buy could help with South Dakota's meth problem. He says results of a law passed in Oklahoma are proof.


In addition to limiting the amount of drugs with pseudoephedrine a person can buy, Adelstein would also like the law to include tougher regulations, similar to what stores in Oklahoma follow.

Adelstein said, "That requires each person to take anything that has ephedrine in it to register, give their name, identification, and a number and some proof of their ID would be much more effective."Read the entire story here.

Let's just start out by stating for the fact I'm against drugs. Probably more than many people. With that said, let me also state for the record…

The Pre-files are here! The Pre-files are here!

Just shy of two dozen measures have been pre-filed with the Legislative Research Council, and can be viewed here. The lions' share are committee bills, although there is a measure filed by Senator Kloucek "to establish certain air quality standards for hydrogen sulfide and to provide for their application to livestock facilities."

Probably the best part of that, is that it's being primed in the House by Representative Gassman.

(Get it? Cow poop stench, Gassman... Okay, it was bad)

Senate bill 1 is An Act to provide for the mandatory withdrawal of blood or other bodily substances subsequent to arrest for driving while under influence, and it's sponsored by Senators Schoenbeck, Abdallah, Bogue, Koskan, and McCracken and Representatives Hennies, Cutler, Deadrick, Dykstra, Kraus, McCoy, McLaughlin, Michels, Murschel, O'Brien, Rhoden, Roberts, Rounds, Tornow, and Willadsen.

Most of the legislation at this point is either related to the Secretary of State's request…

2006 SDWC predictions - the leaky 8-ball says...

This is the third in a series of posts designed to allow me maximum family time over the holidays, meaning I'm emphasizing quality over quantity of postings. It's meant to generate discussion, comments and general buzz.

Anyway, now that we've visited the ghosts of the year's political past, what is the future year going to hold? We're electing our Congressional seat, our Constututional offices, a Public Utilities Commissioner, the entire legislature, and a whole bunch of county and local offices.

As an election year, it's going to be a big one. Election time is Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years' Eve and my birthday all rolled into one. That's how pumped I get about this stuff. So what does my leaky magic 8 ball predict we'll see in the coming year?
1. A Republican Congressional Candidate will be recruited.

Nothing against Mr. Bixler, but a lack of activity on his part increases the likelihood that another will be recruited. Republicans aren't looki…

SDWC's top 10 political personalities of 2005

Damn, this was a tough list to come up with. I’m not just talking a little tough. I’m talking major league, going back and forth, and questioning if I should bring in outside experts.

How does one decide who the top ten political personalities are for a given year? What is the quality that makes someone the “it person for a moment?” Is it doing your job? Is it not doing your job? Is it garnering media attention? Is it flying under the radar? Is it that intangible quality that the French would refer to as “Je ne sais quoi” which literally translated means “I don’t know what.”

It’s all of that. And in the end, it’s the value judgement of the author where he or she ends up conveying what’s important to them through their selections.

To have it be meaningful, it also involves setting personal preferences aside. There are those who are on the list who do things I don’t care for, but they are on the list because in their own way they stood out more than others. Heck, I might be helping to camp…

SDWC's Top Ten South Dakota Political Stories of 2005

I see the AP listed their top ten stories of 2005. Curiously enough, I had already begun to compile my top ten list of politically related stories for the year, and was much of the way through this when theirs came out.

This had been my Christmas weekend project so I had a big long article to drop on my website, allowing me to slack off this week and enjoy the company of the other seven members of my family who joined me in Pierre over the Christmas break.

Originally, I was thinking it would be neat to drop it to five issues, and do a panel discussion video, but there’s never enough time in the day to get people together to do such a thing. And there’s a distinct lack of politically active Democrats in the area that I’m acquainted with who might be willing to participate in such a discussion.

It’s not that I’m not willing; it’s that if I was to do it, dark-sided me would want at least some representation from the “lite” side of things to counterbalance my conservative Republican point of…

Rosenthal on the Herseth Race

SDWC classes are slowly getting back up to speed after the christmas holidays, as students register for Spring semester classes... okay, the college comparisons are a little lame.

I'm back from the holiday, and I did get a cool Swiss-Tech USB drive/pliers little tool on a keyring from Santa.

Otherwise the only thing politically interesting that caught my eye enough to write about was that Joel Rosenthal over at SD Straight talk is lamenting once again that the SD GOP does not have a candidate to take on Stephanie Herseth.

As a former State GOP Chairman, Joel offers his advice. Although, I don't know if I'd concur with all of his choices. He's pushing Carol Pitts and Dave Knudson whom I'm fairly ambivalent on. I don't know that they've faced really tough races, so I can't say whether or not I had an opinion that they'd be able to campaign at the level that would be required.

As far as I'm concerned, It's not so much about the person, as much as…

And a little lump of coal for your stockings as well..

The J.A.I.L. Amendment has also been certified for the ballot, as per the Rapid City Journal:
Secretary of State Chris Nelson said Thursday that he verified enough signatures to place a proposed constitutional amendment on next year’s ballot that would strip judges of immunity from lawsuits over decisions they make. Nelson said petitions that were brought to his office last month contain the required 33,456 signatures to qualify the measure for to be placed on the 2006 general election ballot.

If voters approve the proposal, South Dakota would likely be the first state to allow judges to be put on trial if people believe that those judges violated their rights. People could press for civil damages or even criminal charges.

A Christmas Message from the South Dakota War College

There has been much debate on the news, and the Internet, and on South Dakota web logs about a perceived assault on Christmas. There’s as much debate as to whether there IS an assault on Christmas as there is about what the assault is made up of.

Let me state for the electronic record; I don’t know if I would consider it an assault. I’d tone the debate down and chalk it up to something a little simpler. I think that more than anything it is simply gravitational pull.

You’re likely saying “Gravitational pull? PP did you fall off your chair?" It might seem kind of a silly concept, but look in it in this light:

We have the commercialization of Christmas where major retailers like Wal-Mart begin placing Christmas items on the shelves a day or so before Halloween in an attempt to push the season. Literally, it’s “to hell” with celebrating Thanksgiving, a holiday where we give thanks for the bounty we enjoy in this country, and let’s move into spending money and giving and getting, and de…

Saturday in the park, not the legislature.

Seth over at CCK has an interesting post on the fact that this year, it's unusual where there will not be any Saturday Legislative days.

He calls on Governor Rounds to alleviate this, but last I knew, it's the LRC's Executive Board comprised of Republicans and Democrats that makes this call, not the Governor.

I'd have to check the e-board's minutes, but having to commute to Brookings every weekend, I can appreciate why they don't want any Saturday session days. Not only do you usually sacrifice seeing your family during the week, being in session a great number of Saturdays also makes it darn tough to have a full schedule of crackerbarrels across rural South Dakota.

Family and keeping your constituents informed is fairly important. So, I'll disagree with the CCK blog on this one. Legislators, when it's Saturday, go home.

Really, just go.

Upcoming GOP Events

The Fall River County Republicans are holding a pre-legislative session social featuring South Dakota Right to Life Director, and State Senator Brock Greenfield on the evening of January 7th in Hot Springs. The Hot Springs Star also reported that State Senator Bill Napoli will be there, in addition to the district's legislators; Senator Jim Lintz, Representative Gordon Pederson (affectionately known as "Gordo" among friends), and Gordon Howie.

Also coming up is the District 24 Lincoln Day Dinner with Governor Mike Rounds as the featured speaker. The Dinner is on February 23, 2006 with a social hour at 5:30pm followed by Dinner at 6:30pm.

(Got a hot tip me me on the elections or upcoming events? Drop me a note.)

Casey at bat in Sioux Falls?

Dave Kranz is reporting this morning in his column that Republican Representative Casey Murschel might be looking at running for Sioux Falls Mayor against former legislator Dave Munson.
"I'm thinking about thinking about it," she said Wednesday. "I don't mean to be coy about it. Some people have visited with me about it, and I said I would give it some thought."Read it all here.

You know, the more I read about this stuff, the more I'm getting concerned about the number of GOP seats that are potentially going to be at risk this next election.

I may have to put pencil to paper, and take a look at who's running, and which seats are at risk. But then again, despite the Christmastime season, I'm not at a lack of things to write about.

Just a few notes on happenings of the day...

Pierre Crackerbarrel coming on January 7th

Yesterday, the Pierre Chamber of Commerce sent out a notice of the first local Crackerbarrel:
Legislative Cracker Barrel
On Saturday, January 7th, 2006, our 3 local legislators (State Senator Bob Gray, State Representative Tim Rounds, and State Representative Ryan Olson) will be offering a Cracker Barrel for the public at the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce Community Room from 9:30am to 10:30am. The format will be one where each legislator will have a brief time for comments, after which a question and answer session will follow. What a wonderful opportunity to speak candidly and openly about issues facing our legislators' right before session begins. The public is welcome. Cookies and coffee will be served. I might have to stick around for that one, and get some video coverage. And Pierre Chamber, if you want better attendance, use the suggestion from South Park's Eric Cartman:
Cartman: "Say there'll be punch and pie!"

A nice little endorsement for S.T.O.P.
(and maybe it's not so little)

There's a press release that went out today from the Black Hills Home Builders Association. And it just happens to be endorsing Senator Bill Napoli's newly christened "Amendment D" (more casually known as the STOP measure.)

Here's the release for your review:

CONTACT: Janette McIntyre, Executive Vice President
Black Hills Home Builders Association

November 7, 2006 is "D" Day!

Amendment D certified to be the people of South Dakota's largest constitutional petition drive in history receives the first fundraising check. Black Hills Home Builders Association's 2006 President, Randy Long of Long Design and Construction presented the check to Senator Napoli yesterday.

"The association has been a supporter of this amendment since petitions were circulated. Many of the issues with economic development and housing developments specifically have much to gain with this amendment,"…

Dems are showing signs of life

I’m starting to get more reports from the field on candidates. Allegedly, Democrats in District 30 not only have a full slate of legislative candidates, but reports in the last two week indicate that they might even have a legislative primary.

This report comes just on the heels of their second statewide contender (Steve Kolbeck for PUC, with the first being Volesky for Governor).

In addition to this report of having a full legislative slate for the district, I’m hearing they are going to drag up an incident from a decade or more ago in hopes that it will prove to be a silver bullet for one of their opponents.

I’m not in a position to disclose it here, because I haven’t researched it myself. It’s the first I had heard of the issue, and I keep my ear pretty close to the ground. It’s nothing you’re going to find in the paper. But suffice it to say it could be terminally damaging to the Republican candidate they are targeting. Or it could possibly blow up in the Democrat’s faces.

That’s the …

Aw Mom, Constitutional Amendments for dinner again?

Coming on the heels of S.T.O.P., J.A.I.L. & Gerry Lange’s failed Corporate Income Tax Constitutional Amendment, according to Bob Mercer, the South Dakota Retailers are going to bring one of their own.

But it’s not on taxes, it’s on State Government competing with private business.

Apparently they are working with State Senator Lee Schoenbeck on a measure to get government out of several businesses and to prevent them from starting new ones that compete with Main Street.

Why do the retailers have a roblem with this? Here's just a glimpse according to the article, appearing in the Mitchell Daily Republic, the Watertown Public Opinion, and other papers carrying the “always excellent Bob Mercer articles”:
There are numerous instances of municipal governments engaging in business activities, from providing electricity and telephone services to operating bars and liquor stores. The retailers have sparred with the Game, Fish and Parks Department during the past few years over GFP's s…

Bill Napoli's Validation, and Chris Nelson is looking mighty pretty nowadays..

A big e-mail went out statewide tonight from State Senator Bill Napoli. In reading the content of the e-mail, I think he's feeling pretty pumped up .




We only had a 7% signature invalidation rate! So all of you who carried petitions! You did a GREAT JOB!



Just think! Grandma and Grandpa can live out their days in the security and comfort of their own homes. That small AG producer no longer will fear Ted Turner and that Small Businessman no …

My Kind of Poll

Scott Hudson over at Rant-a-bit has a hilarious poll on choosing who the hottest TV reporter is. Go over and give him your opinion.

The PUC battle begins with snipers.

I should have known it was inevitable.

I had simply pointed out that Democrat Steve Kolbeck was running for the Public Utilities Commission, why he thought he should be elected, and that he took a little poke at his opponent as a political appointee.

And then the “students” on both sides of the aisle in the SD War College start taking jabs at me for reporting to “the class.” One Democratic leaning commenter was twisting my words to imply that I was characterizing that the whole SDDP report as negative. And then a Republican leaning commenter called everyone idiots and sang the praises of incumbent Bob Sahr.

But, unruly students aside, it was worthwhile for me to make the report because it brought out what I think some of the issues in the next campaign will be.

(With the disclaimer that I know and support the incumbent, and don't know the new guy) Let’s face it. The PUC will probably be the most competitive statewide race this fall. There’s three Republicans on this board which has ha…

Howie Cowie repeats his error for Calvitto

In the Rapid City Journal this AM, Celeste Calvitto's column covers the Gordon Howie "I should have never have said that gaffe" where he refers to women as cows.
"We place value on life in South Dakota, and even with a mother cow, as soon as you can demonstrate she is pregnant, an even higher value is placed just because she is pregnant," Howie said. "I said that, and it was a clumsy way to make a point. I probably deserve to be beat upon the head and shoulders for it."and...
Howie said he "enrages" people who don't share his views "because I just don't mince words. I don't choose them well, either. ... Any person who really knows who I am knows I don't place women and livestock on the same level."Read it all here (And you should have already, since I've told you to get a subscription like I have).

Gordon Howie enrages people who don't share his views? How about "he irritates people with his stupid ignoran…

Welcome to the war, Steve Kolbeck
DEM's announce PUC Candidate

I’d been on this rumor for quite a while, but I didn’t have any independent confirmation until the “semi-official” announcement made this weekend by the SDDP. They just featured their candidate for the Public Utilities Commission against Republican Bob Sahr on their Dakota Blues Podcast. According to the podcast, Bob Sahr's Democratic opponent will be Brandon City Commissioner Steve Kolbeck.

Since they’re letting this out via their Dakota Blues Pod Cast as opposed to a press release, it’s somewhat under the radar at the moment.

Anyway, I gave it a listen, and here’s the 30 second summary so you don’t have to.

Steve Kolbeck describes himself as Salem native who attended Northern State for two years and has an associates degree from Mitchell Vo-tech. He’s married with 4 young kids, and has apparently spent 12 years in the phone/telecommunications business, 7 of those in Brandon.

His goals for the PUC are that he wants to improve customer service, give equal attention to all utilities, a…

Almost as bad as Disneyland...

In today's Argus Leader, Senators Bill Napoli and Bob Gray and Representative Jim Putnam gag over the million dollar "E" Ticket price tag of the State Fair. Although, Secretary of Ag and former Representative Larry Gabriel observes something interesting:
We need to have one big-name concert, and we need to have one, maybe what I call kind of has-beens, people whose names are recognizable but who are much more affordable.We NEED to have a has-been in concert at the state fair? Heavens, no! I kind of thought if they were playing at the fair they WERE has-beens. Several years back, the best ever music video goof on the Beavis and Butthead cartoon was "Uhhh, didn't we see these guys at the State Fair?"

(And to the legislators: Oh, come on guys. Accept that it's never going to make money, bite the bullet, and just give them an ongoing appropriation).

Sunday Political Mentions....

State Representative Shantel Krebs got a nice bump for her business "The Red Shoe" on the front page of the Argus Leader's business section this morning. It was all for an article on the first Christmas for several local Sioux Falls businesses. (She should have had a big "VOTE FOR KREBS" banner in the background. It was a HUGE picture.)

Speaker of the House Matt Michels has a Sunday A.P. article that is on the Aberdeen American News website. Representative Michels is suggesting that a permanent Asian Trade Mission be opened for Japan, CHina and other Pacific Rim nations to promote South Dakota Products.

I'd volunteer for that one. I'm probably better qualified than most South Dakotans. I know what Arigato and Konichiwa mean, I've seen every Godzilla movie ever made, AND I watched Bill Murray navigate Tokyo in Lost in Translation.

In the Rapid City Journal, Sam Hurst notes that tomorrow, OST tribal chair and State Democratic Party Executive board member…

A little humor for post #400

NEWSFLASH - In response to criticism over crackerbarrel comments "that pregnant cows were worth more than the non-pregnant variety," State Representative Gordon Howie holds meeting to discuss women's issues.

Yes, I know he's a fellow Republican, but if we can't poke fun at ourselves, who can we poke fun at?

You know, when I'm on the long drive back from Brookings on Sunday afternoons, I tend to listen to a lot of comedy on my XM radio to pass the time. And by the time I'm back in Pierre, I'm pretty punchy from the three hour drive.

So when I finally slump in my chair to do some sunday evening blogging, what's on my mind is humor first and politics second.

And after the Gordon Howie Blogmore post, (which will be accompanied by the Rapid City Journal Celeste Calvitto story on Tuesday) this was what came to mind....

Wow! this is my 400th post. I also note that this last week I passed 25,000 individual web log visits, and 51,000 page views. Whether you ag…

Is Pennington County crying uncle?

The headline from today's Rapid City Journal said a lot this morning: "Higher alcohol taxes questionable."

Wasn't it announced in the RCJ this past August where the Pennington County Commission put Delores Coffing in charge of the effort?
The county hopes to gather enough signatures to put the measure on the November 2006 statewide ballot. Coffing will act as petition coordinator in Pennington County.
They were pretty fired up about the whole thing this summer, breaking from the South Dakota Association of County Commissioners to lead the charge on their ow. But as of this AM, it looks like they might be having second thoughts that they've bitten off more than they can chew:
Delores Coffing, a county commissioner from Rapid City involved in the campaign, said people like the idea of a 1 percent tax on beer, wine and liquor sold for home consumption or in bars. But finding volunteers to circulate petitions is a chore, she said.

“Everybody that I’ve talked with support…

Candidates are a courtin’

It’s early winter and the candidates are starting to bloom. They announce, and just keep announcing that they’re running for city commission in Sioux Falls. Samantha Stormo just had an article in the DeSmet newspaper that she’s running for the open District 6 House Seat. Sioux Falls Mayor Dave Munson is holding fundraisers.

And as of last week, Jarrod Johnson is sending out letters announcing that he’s in for the School and Public Lands Race.

The letter is pretty “party oriented” so it’s written in a tone for the GOP true believers. Lots of space is given to his desire to raise the profile of the office. But it’s a clear statement that he’s going to make it official later this winter. Which pretty much completes the GOP’s slate of candidates for this next election season.

The copy I got isn’t a very good reproduction, so I’m not going to share the logo with you at the moment. But Jarrod does provide his website address. It’s not active yet, but I anticipate it…