Weekend musings and postings
Stormclouds forming over Pierre.
80% Chance of electrical storm.

Ditty Bops at the top of the SDWC charts

I have to give a big hat tip to Jerry Hinkle over at the Holabird Advocate. The Ditty Bops have taken over residence in my political sign hauling pickup truck as the CD I listen to over and over. This dubious honor had been filled for a while with Liz Phair's last album, but when it came down to a choice between The Ditty Bops and Liz Phair's new album, (sorry, Liz) there was no contest - the Ditty Bops blew it away.

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SDP hijacked by the Argus?

I was doing a little search engine posting for the SDWC, trying to raise my profile just a little, and came across this - South Dakota Politics (SDP) - the name has been hijacked by their arch-nemeses over at the Argus Leader. The link points to the Argus Leader as so:

South Dakota Politics - news and editorials on South Dakota politics and elections. A service of the Argus Leader.
Are you kidding me?

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Capitol Journal watching a storm front develop

Big hat tip to the Pierre Daily Capitol Journal. Check out this snippet quoting the Pierre Mayor from the October 12th Capitol Journal:

“I find it questionable that an electrical cooperative from outside city limits should take upon itself to interfere with our city government,” said Eisnach.

Eisnach said that he was first contacted at the end of January by representatives of the cooperative: manager Brad Scott, also a Hughes County Commissioner; Jody Severson, a political marketing consultant from Rapid City; and James Feller, president of the board of directors.

At the time, the city was negotiating with the cooperative as to which would serve customers in sections 20 and 21, which lie in the extraterritorial area of Pierre. That issue, according to Eisnach, has not yet been settled.

Eisnach said he was surprised when Oahe Cooperative suggested that it might buy out the city’s electrical business. He said that he contacted staff at the Public Utilities Commission who told him that the amount offered by Oahe Cooperative—$18 million to $20 million—was “a ridiculously low offer” and that it was probably worth twice that much. The PUC staff suggested that an independent appraisal be conducted. (That's my emphasis -pp)
NOW, check out the story in today's paper:

Oahe Electric continues to press the issue of taking over Pierre’s municipal electricity business.

The latest volley is a letter signed by the members of the Public Utilities Commission claiming that it has not issued a formal opinion on the way that the utility should be valued were it headed for the auction block. (my emphasis -pp)

The cooperative’s manager, Brad Scott, said that contradicts what Pierre Mayor Dennis Eisnach said last week about whatPUC staff told him—that $18 million to $22 million was a “ridiculously” low amount to offer for the utility.

“We are glad that the PUC has publicly stated that it has not made any effort to determine the value of the city’s electric system and has not issued any opinion on it,” said Scott. “When Mayor Eisnach gave his opinion about the value of the system, it was only his personal opinion and not backed up by the PUC.” (my emphasis -pp)

Not so, said Eisnach.

“There’s no contradiction here,” said Eisnach. “It’s not just my opinion. It’s a fact that much thought and work needs to go into a valuation of an extremely complex utility.”

Eisnach said he agrees that he did not seek a formal opinion from the PUC. Instead, he said he spoke informally with PUC staff members about just how the utility could be evaluated for sale, were it to come to that point.
Read the whole article here, and then go get a subscription to the Capitol Journal. Why? Because I think you're seeing the first salvos being fired in a battle royal.

As this started to develop on October 12, the eyes of the state's media picked up on the grousing about the mayor did about the conducting of a poll. (Other 10/12 article. Again, credit to CJ)

I don't think it's going to go unnoticed that the mayor of Pierre.... well, it looks like the Mayor might not have been accurate about talking to the PUC. The PUC providing valuation services for utilities? I don't think they did that back when Dennis served as one of the Democrat commissioners on the panel.

Or if Mayor Eisnach did talk to someone, they've suddenly developed amnesia. And the spin the mayor is badly attempting to apply doesn't seem to be working. (From a little snooping I did independently, no one can confirm that anyone at the PUC offered anything of a valuation opinion.)

And then there's the little matter that you have the PUC commissioners flat out saying "We didn't offer an opinion." The PUC basically came out and called a mayor - a former member of that panel - untruthful. That's going to get the attention of the mainstream media at some point.

I suspect we haven't seen the end of all this.

(Oh, By way of information and disclosure, I helped Coop manager Brad Scott a little in his election to the Hughes County Commission, and I know him to be a top notch guy. )

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