Showing posts from June 26, 2005

Light posting ahead. (Enjoy your freedom and your holiday).

I just put the "Banzai Falls" - the 7 1/2 foot high Wal-mart water slide - up in my yard and am preparing to enjoy the holiday weekend with the family and friends. I'm going to try to get sunburnt this weekend, as opposed to being burned inside by computer monitor radiation. So, posting will be light to non-existent.

As you're sipping that beer or iced tea this weekend, please don't forget what we're celebrating. Over our nation's history, we've gone from a nation of refugees, rejects, outcasts, and opportunists to standing as arguably the greatest military, financial, technological, and intellectual superpower of all history. And we did it because a group of people believed in freedom.

If you're looking for some inspirational reading this weekend, I'd suggest 1776 or John Adams by David McCullough. I was perusing the latter book and there was a very moving quote I came across.
"That John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had died on the same day…

The Future of SD Political Blogging?

OK, I've made up my mind. I'm going to figure out a way to do a weekly video weblog broadcast as part of the War College. Any fellow South Dakota bloggers attempt this yet? Is this effort destined to go down in flames? I'd appreciate any input.

Next Session's Legislation on Eminent Domain.

The eminent domain issue recently brought to a head by the US Supreme Court is already on the plate for the next South Dakota legislative session, and the first at the table are Representative Larry Rhoden, and Senator Jim Lintz.

Senator Lintz is from the Southwest Hills area, an area known for it's fiercely independent brand of republicanism. Jim can be quite outspoken on GFP issues - especially when it comes to them buying land in his district.

This last election, Jim had a challenger for vacancy left in the State Senate by Drue Vitter, by the name of Don Young. Don was a school board member down in that neck of the woods who felt up to the challenge of taking on a state legislator.

Well, Don did have the money to do it. Check out Don's Campaign Finance report, courtesy of the Secretary of State's website. Under political action committees, please note that little donation of $6,906 from 21st Century SD PAC.

Does that PAC sound familiar? It should. It's one of the person…

Wilbur, this is my Magnum Opus. Now pass the glaze.

If you remember the book or movie "Charlotte's Web", you will remember Charlotte the spider describing her egg sac as her magnum opus. Of course, nowadays when I watch it with my girls, I see Wilbur the pig and he makes me long for a meal of country cured & smoked ham in all it's salty goodness. Mmmmmmm.

Returning to topic... You know, I've done website design before web design was cool, and unfortunately, technology has quickly outpaced me. I've got 6 kids, and in addition to the HTML I taught myself, I'm supposed to learn Flash, Java, and a ridiculous host of programs? Nah. Don't have the time.

I had a website business once, and as time has gone by, I've rid myself of my clients, and shut it down. But I still get tapped to do projects.

I'm finishing up what I would consider the best I've ever done. Not for the technology - it's intentionally low tech. The raw emotion that it elicits astonishes me. I've always considered myself a…

I'm confused. Is the rain the lemon, or is the rain the water?

"WE must make lemonade out of the lemon of excess rain!"

- Senator Frank Kloucek in the 6/29/05 Avon Newspaper

So, okay, lemonade is made out of lemons, water and sugar. Frank says the excess rain (composed of water) is the lemon. So is it excess water or excess lemon? Is the rain the lemon or is is actually water? Either he's making really weak sugar water or really tart lemonade.

Ow, my head hurts. Frank, quit trying to sound smart and go push some Kuchen or something.

Actually Frank is an interesting character. He and I share a similar pedigree. We're both SDSU grads, and both belonged to the same fraternity there. And that's where the differences end. He's against SDSU going D-1. I'm for it. He's a Democrat. I'm a Republican. He's gotten elected to office. I've.... Well, you get the hint.

I'll have to explore that pedigree further one of these days. I just had to find a good reason to include that quote.

"I'm going to law school because I want to be in politics."

"Bwaaahahahaha Heh heh..." At the bar in Vermillion, our grouping of MPA students would roar in peals of laughter whenever we heard this line utter forth from the mouths of law students. Usually first year students, at that. Like it was supposed to impress someone?

There were enough of us who had been legislative interns, or involved in politics otherwise who knew that this was stupidity at it's highest level. That, and the fact that the hot undergrad chicks would gravitate towards law students long before they'd give MPA students a backwards glance didn't temper our disdain. "MPA? Like, what's that?"

All this begs the question, what is the best preparation for a life in politics?

My political science undergraduate degree hasn't harmed me, but it hasn't been a bright and shining beacon for employers in the off season, either. Since 2002, I'm only back working using my major for the first time in, oh, about ten years. If you don't use th…

Oh now, just stop it. (Gate-gate)

OK, SD Watch. Stop it. Just stop it right now.

I'm not looking to be banned like some, er, other Blogs out there. But there comes a time when every good political hack must take a stand. In your recent post, you used the "G" word.

Actually, it's not so much a word as a suffix. Not Golly "G", not even a mention of a "G" spot. But the G Suffix. It's insipid.

For other haters of the dreaded G-suffix, this blogger suggests a tax on its use.

Regardless, if we keep using it, it's going to creep further into the normal lexicon. The recent protests of the television show "The View" because of Barbara Walters' disdain of breastfeeding mothers? Lactate-gate. God forbid it had been used when Pee-Wee Herman had been arrested in the adult theatre. (I'm not even going to put that one to paper). There are several scandalous matchmaking reality television shows you could put the term "Mate-gate" to.

It's time to stop the i…

The definition of Irony (the day in politics, June 30th)

Former State Senator Bob Benson was born in 1943 today. You may also know him from his lawsuit on road hunting originating in Tripp County. Bob's a good guy - you may not agree with him, but he stands for his beliefs.

Another former State Senator was also born today in 1946 - Minnehaha County Treasurer Pam Nelson. Same deal. You REALLY may not agree with her, but she stands for her beliefs.

Kind of funny, and somewhat interesting that they were both born today. You could easily say they both have iron wills, and don't shy away from controversy. I'd also bet that their politics are miles and miles away from one another.


A nice little bit of recognition for Jim Soyer, Senior Staff Member in charge of Special Projects for Governor Rounds. This release from NSU says it all. Congratulations Jim.

Soyer Named Distinguished NSU Alumni

(ABERDEEN, SD) Northern State University is proud to recognize Jim Soyer as this year distinguished alumni. The 1970 graduate of Northern State College continues to play critical roles on leadership teams in political campaigns and state government.

After graduation in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in English education, Soyer began his career as a teacher in Pierre and Watertown. In 1972, his political and government service began when he helped his college roommate, David Volk, become the youngest statewide elected official in the nation.

Throughout the last thirty-three years in the private and public sector, he has been a campaign manager, Congressional field representative, editor, writer, advertising manager, press secretary, chief of staff, projects coordinator and …

Clout, Klaudt, Stan and Randy.

Ooo.. some grumbling in the ranks. Ted Klaudt takes on Stan Adelstein over the moderate coalition in the 6/29 issue of the Mitchell Daily Republic (registration required), one of the better papers inthe state for original political reporting:

To bring religion into this is BS,’ Klaudt said. “Stan Adelstein is way off base there. He’s the only one pushing that agenda.”
to which Stan rebuts:

"While I wouldn’t say that individual free expression has been stifled, I would say that it has been muted,” Adelstein said. “There should not be a state religion. What I'm doing is helping to establish a forum for multiple religious views which does not now exist. In my opinion the whole evangelic emphasis is the only voice that’s being heard.”
This is also the first report that I saw noting that Stan ponied up 25k for the group himself. And Randy Frederick, State GOP Chairman weighed in with his own opinion as well:
GOP State Chairman Randy Frederick said that if the party has room for the pe…

The Readers Digest Guide to fixing the SDDP

I had originally intended to include some of this with the post on the party platforms, but then I deleted it. Telling someone else how to fix their house is a bit presumptuous. If someone else looked at me, they'd tell me I was overweight, I was starting to lose my hair, and I should be good and play better with others. And I'd probably intimate a carnal relationship with their mother, and it would go downhill from there.

But, it was Aristotle who said "The unexamined life is not worth living." So, ok. I'm examining myself. I carry extra weight. I have lost far less hair than any of my younger male siblings, but yes, I'm starting to thin. And sometimes I speak my mind a little too freely, and people might think I'm an jerk.

OK, that being said, since it's inception, I've read the Revitalizing the Democratic Party Website with interest. Yes, posting is really, really spotty, but your own self-examination and introspection it's a good read on ene…

Aargh! Petitions being filed too fast to keep track!

My prior post was meant to be a quick little wink at the petitions being filed lately. Just an off the top of my head topic. I should have known better. First, my wife starts in with the Labor Day school starting date. Then Charlie House was kind enough to point out that the tobacco people have filed language as well to enable a petition drive.

Enough. I promise to prepare my lesson plans a little better from now on. As such, straight from from the Secretary of State's somewhat plain, but supremely utilitarian website,

The 2006 Ballot Measures:
Questions that will appear on the 2006 election ballotConstitutional Amendment C - Relating to the definition of marriage. View full text of HJR 1001.Measures Circulating for 2006:
Initiated Constitutional Amendment to establish a procedure for each class of property detailing the methods that shall be used to value property. View full text of petition. Initiated Constitutional Amendment to impose a corporate income tax and create in the sta…

Some of what you learned in the War College is valid.

Unlike my own undergraduate experience at South Dakota State, one of my earliest topics of discussion has real world application here and now. Check out the news article that appeared on the 23rd, in a story by Aisha Taylor. That day, the Madison Daily Leader announced the following:
After trying unsuccessfully for 13 years to get a corporate income tax passed in the state Legislature a Madison lawmaker is taking the issue to voters. District 8 Rep. Gerald Lange is circulating petitions to get a six percent corporate income tax on the November 2006 ballot. The tax, which would apply to “any corporation that pays a federal income tax, wouldn’t be imposed on Insurance Companies subject to the premium and annuity tax, and banks andfinancial institutions subject to the net income tax.
This is despite the fact that stuff like this has been killed by the voters for years. Another ballot issue that may face us in 2006 has been proposed by Senator Bill Napoli to freeze property valuations to th…

IOWA! Return the Bones of my Crawford!

One of the characters in South Dakota political history that I've always been the most curious about is Coe Crawford. Mainly because of his connection to my hometown of Pierre. I used to have one of his political pins for Senate - one of the earliest political pins for a South Dakota race.

He's of particular interest because not a lot of Pierre residents - or South Dakotans - climb up the ladder of South Dakota Politics like he did.

Just a snippet from his Congressional Biography:
Prosecuting attorney of Hughes County in 1887 and 1888; member, Territorial council 1889; upon the admission of South Dakota as a State was elected as a member of the first State senate; attorney general of South Dakota 1892-1896; unsuccessful Republican candidate in 1896 for Representative at Large to the Fifty-fifth Congress; Governor of South Dakota 1907-1908; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1909, to March 3, 1915; unsuccessful candidate for renomination i…

Additions and labeling

Dakota Voice Weblog is being added to the navigation bar on the right, although you might find their website more interesting.

Yes, they know how to drop R-Bomb's, but I'm not excluding someone because I don't like what they say or that they label people RINO's. I didn't agree with my brother-in-law and just spent a late evening arguing with him on politics. He rejects both Republicans and Democrats, because he dislikes the labeling.

Although, when my sister came to town to visit her father DP, her nieces, and nephew last year, Jmac's honda civic hatchback was mysteriously labeled with a "Dump Daschle" sticker for several days until it was noticed. heh.

ANYWAY, don't automatically dismiss Dakota Voice Weblog because of some of it's religious overtones. They appear to be hooked in with people in the know. I noted that Mary Truckenmiller writes an article on the website. This appears to the the same Mary Truckenmiller who heads up the Minnehaha Rep…

The most influential Republican Women in South Dakota politics

Sorry for the ultra-light posting today. I just got back from Brookings on my house hunt, and made an offer that was actually accepted. Now, I just have to sell a kidney to pay for it.

I was originally going to do a discussion topic on the hottest women in SD politics, kind of a" girls gone wild" thing. Unfortunately, that was going to be way over the top in terms of offensiveness. I'm probably just a big chicken, since 5 of my 6 children are girls, and I really don't want to hear about that one from my wife. I can hear her saying "You're photoshopping who's head on a bikini model...?" I'd like to avoid her casting me out of the house to sleep in the yard, in an attempt to expose me to West Nile.

Probably the better topic is which ladies among the Grand Old Party's membership exert the most influence over the party today, and who are the serious up and comers? Now, please don't think I'm coming on this from a misogynistic point of view…

A South Dakota Original

Today, Former state Senator James "Jim" Dunn was born in 1927. Jim was in the House from 1971-1972, and was State Senator for Lawrence county from 1973-2000. That's something you'll never see again - a 30 year veteran of the legislature.

Jim's political accomplishments include LRC Executive Board member 1977-1982 and 1985-1990, LRC Executive Board Vice Chairman 1979-1980, LRC Executive Board Chairman 1981-1982, Assistant Majority Leader 1989-1992 and 1995-1998, Assistant Minority Leader 1993-1994, Senior Assistant Majority Leader 1999-2000.

Jim who worked in the 'off season' at Homestake is one of those personalities you never forget. He's West River to the core, and just a good guy.

Happy Birthday to a South Dakota original, the likes of which we will never see again.

RINO's and wing-nuts and bears, oh my!

I was catching up on my blog reading the other day, when I came across this one by the Radioactive Chief. You know, it's things like this that piss me off.

The "R" bomb. I hate the term RINO (Republican In Name Only). In South Dakota, I've only seen it dropped by people who have never participated in the process. I've attended as a delegate or had a role in nearly every state GOP convention since 1988, as well as the last National GOP convention. My point is, I have a good idea of who actively participates in Republican politics in this state. And the people who use that term are non-participants standing on the sidelines.

I might personally have a problem with some of the politics of more liberal Republicans, but I would never call them a "Republican In Name Only." It smacks of an addiction to cheap talk radio, as well as being arrogant. I know plenty of people who would have this label placed upon them because of some of their moderate to liberal socia…

Man and Superman

I'm going to go off on a little bit of a rant here. Some of it's directed at myself. Some of it's directed at those I compete against. And the rest against the public.

The other day, I had asked a close friend of mine to go out and have a beer. This friend happens to be an elected official. The day was hot, my stress was high, and the deck at the legion cabin directly adjacent to the Missouri river, with the cool breeze blowing off it looked so inviting. (Take me away Michelob light, take me away...)

His response? "Why don't you come over here and we can sit on my deck?" Which you can translate to "I'm an elected official, and I'm absolutely terrified of having an alcoholic beverage in public." Dammit! I want to sit in the cool river breeze and relax! Not sit in a hot folding chair overlooking the trailer adjacent to his yard. And yes, elected officials live next door to mobile homes.

His discomfort with being seen in public with an alcoholic …


On June 26th 1975, Special Agents Jack R. Coler and Ronald A. Williams of the FBI were killed in the line of duty while attempting to serve arrest warrants for robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon on the Oglala Sioux Indian Reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

For all the commemeration of the event, you are hearing a lot more about the person convicted for killing them, then the men themselves. I think that truly dishonors their memory. They were husbands and fathers who left loved ones behind. And it was because they were doing their job.

I feel pretty strongly about this, because as I may have mentioned in a previous post, my dad is a retired agent who just as easily could have been in their place.

It's not a glamorous job. In fact, I think it's kind of thankless, crappy work. There were many weekends where my dad would get home at 2 in the afternoon and go to bed after spending all evening and morning on the reservation attending to the corpse of a victim of violenc…