Showing posts from December 18, 2005

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…