Showing posts from January 29, 2006

Senator Adelstein should try to keep his views straight if he doesn't want to be called out by the SDWC.

From the Rapid City Journal:
Rep. Stan Adelstein, R-Rapid City, said he thinks it's wrong for a doctor to be able to refuse services a patient requests. "I recognize the problem of how you exercise conscience, but if you don't want to do those things, you shouldn't be in the practice, or you need to be willing to go to jail to stand up for what you believe," Adelstein said.I'm not buying this argument from Senator Adelstein (which you can read in it's entirety here) one bit. In fact, I'm going to go so far as to call him out on the absolute hypocrisy of this statement. Because it's readily apparent that what he believes is that it's ok to exercise your beliefs as long as you agree with him.

But if you disagree, "it's wrong." I'm seeing a classic case of "do what I say, not what I do."

Why is my bullsh*t meter registering quite high here? Because he's the first one to refute a practice on the basis of his beliefs.


More on Amendment D from Bill Napoli

In today's Rapid City Journal, State Senator Bill Napoli provides more information on Amendment D, and explains why former State Senator Alan Aker was wrong to bash it. (for 3 weekly columns worth):
Amendment D is a result of two years of extensive research by some of the best tax minds in our state. Amendment D will roll assessments back to 2003, then move forward 3 percent per year until 2006. After Jan. 1, 2007, the purchase price of a piece of property becomes the new assessment.

Amendment D will not lower your taxes - it will just stop them from going through the roof. Amendment D will stabilize both assessments and taxes, causing them to grow slowly and predictably.

Aker tried to give you the impression that no property in South Dakota will ever sell again. Nothing could be further from the truth.Read it all here at the Rapid City Journal.

Pointers - A few things I'd be remiss for not pointing out

This is as good of an excuse to add a new feature for. Just a few things that don't fall into any one category. They aren't news, per se, but they bear noting for the good of the College.

I had it mentioned today to me that Slumberland in Pierre seems to be drawing politicos like flies lately. Both former SDACO Executive Director Dwight Neuharth and the son of Deputy State Treasurer Mike Mehlhaff Sr, Mike Mehlhaff Jr., are working out there nowadays.

In addition to working on the South Dakota Victory efforts of 2002 and 2004, Mike Jr. has been a long, long-time Republican activist who has been putting down roots in Pierre since a stint in the military a few years back. Watch for Mike Jr. to be involved in somebody's campaign this year.

And a note to Sandra - I'm not singling out Democrats for the campaign finance reports. I said I'll be looking at the GOP reports. (I do have to eat and sleep sometimes.)

It did not escape my notice that Angie Nielsen of the South Dakota…

Badges? We don't need no stinking badges. Except the white ones. The white badges are ok, but not the blue ones. And to blazes with you goofballs.

You can tell Senator Garry Moore isn't going to be in the Senate anymore, since he's term limited out. Because anything that he might have considered just biting his tongue on in prior years is filtering through.

Last week, he was unhappy about someone pointing at his chest. If you read his legislative column this week in the Yankton County Observer, he laments the number of Blue Badge lobbyists (meaning they lobby for government). In part of it, he says,
" my opinion, Blue Badges should be prohibited from being on the third floor of the capitol building. Blue Badges should be allowed to speak with legislators, but not to actively lobby on third floor.."But the part that made me chuckle was the last paragraph:
"As we move into the final month of the legislative process, I am interested in hearing from all South Dakotans, not from those outside the state who are interested in pursuing their own agenda with misinformation, distortion of the facts and half-truths.…

Ummm.. Err.... Underwear that rides up, and Screenprinters with too much time on their hands.

Do you think Randall Beck secretly has one of these on as he writes his editorials demanding records and complaining about the Governor?Yes, that's one of the most messed up things I've seen in a while. (Hat tip to Threon McChesney over at SD Progressive). Click here for the full range of I (heart) Mike Rounds screenprinted stuff from Cafepress.

This one might be a little less creepy.

If you go back through the website, there are a few that will just plain give you the willies.
See what I mean.

If you didn't notice, year end reports are in.

I'm spending some time this evening perusing the year end candidate and committee reports attempting to divine information, and to just plain go fishin'. Seriously, unless you look, you'll never know what information you can come up with.

For instance, one of Stan Adelstein's PAC's, 21st Century South Dakota made a couple of local donations in Rapid City during 2005. One for $200 to Jean French, and one for $1000 to Bob Hurlbutt. But then you have to look a little closer - check out what was spent on consultants; a whopping $5000.

And at the same time, there is no corresponding indication of an in-kind donation to anyone. Why does a PAC need $5000 worth of consultation? (polling maybe?)

Action for the Environment seems to be building up a big warchest - $23,452.06 to be exact. It must take several pairs of carharts when you go out tree hugging. (yes, I'm just kidding).

Speaking of Stan Adelstein PAC's, as mentioned earlier, in addition to the others he has it …

Wow. I didn't see that one coming.
Mayor Munson calls it quits.

Per the Argus Leader, and all the other media outlets tonight, Mayor Munson has decided to give up running for second term as Sioux Falls Mayor. Read it all here when you have a minute, but here's a snippet to whet your appetite:
Mayor Dave Munson said late today that he will not run for re-election.

He said he didn't want other candidates to be bogged down in controversy.

"I love the city so much. I want this to be a positive campaign," he said.

Munson said he reached his decision last night after talking with his wife, Linda.

"It was hard on her," he said.

Munson then called friends this afternoon to tell them he would not seek re-election.

The dramatic turn of events ahead of the April 11 election comes after several weeks of scrutiny over Munson's campaign finances.

In his conversation with Ray Trankel, a member of his inner-circle, he told him not to try and talk him out of it.

"I think he's just tired. It's a no-win situation. He told me, &…

You knew it was too good to be true.
Vampire Candidate Staked out.

From KARE 11-TV in Minneapolis:
A candidate for governor of Minnesota whose platform includes public impalement of terrorists found himself behind bars Tuesday on a pair of outstanding arrest warrants.

Jonathon Sharkey, 41, of Princeton, Minnesota was arrested Monday night on two felony counts from Indiana, said Mike Smith, the Mille Lacs County jail administrator. One warrant was for escape, another for stalking.Of course he has a warrant for stalking! Do you think Vampires just walk up to their prey? And I've never seen a vampire movie where the vampire didn't escape at some point.

Some people just don't understand.

Hey man, Bob was framed! He didn't do nothing wrong. But every time he gets the blame.

Another battle in the Rapid City crusade against petitioners was waged yesterday. And Bob Newland's freedom was a temporary casualty. Check out this story in the Rapid City Journal from Kevin Woster:
Well-known Libertarian political activist Bob Newland of Hermosa found a generally receptive crowd at the Black Hills Stock Show this week for his campaign to legalize marijuana for medical purposes.

He also found himself under arrest for violating restrictions on gathering petition signatures inside Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

Newland was arrested Tuesday by Rapid City police officers and booked for failure to vacate. He is scheduled to appear in 7th Circuit Court at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

"I'll plead not guilty and ask for a trial as quickly as possible," Newland said Tuesday evening after being released on bond. "My view is that this is just wrong. Anybody can go into those public hallways and talk about anything at anytime. It's owned by the public."It's pr…

For Republicans, there should be only one question on our minds right now.
Who is running against Herseth?

In one of the posts one or two down the blog page right now, I have to hand it to Ron Volesky. I agree with him strongly on a point he made. He hit the nail dead on it's head. Specifically as he was quoted in today's Argus Leader:
I don't think any statewide candidate, really - should go uncontested for re-election.I agree completely. And that brings up a tough, painful question that Republicans need to ask. Who is running against Stephanie Herseth? And they need to keep asking it, increasing the volume every time.

Because it's not like people haven't been asking it. The media has been asking for quite some time.

Barring the latest speculation from Dave Kranz who says Tim Amdahl might jump into the race, (which has yet to be confirmed) we've only been hearing one thing. One phrase that's been only slightly modified and then repeated. And again stated and repeated. Just like a shampoo label it is "use, rinse, repeat."
Republican challengers might surf…

Playing South Dakota Hold 'em
The Bar in Tea might still strike out, and Greenfield's Law

I had a buddy drop me a note as part of a larger group asking if there were some people who might be interested in getting together on the weekend to play poker. It would be a $5 or $10 buy in to cover snacks, etc, and that would be about it.

Having come in second in a family tournament of Texas Hold 'em this weekend, and remembering when I'd play penny ante' poker (5 card draw) on occasion as a youth with my mom and one of her friends - I said I'd love to, but it would have to be during the week. (that Brookings commute again).

Did someone mention poker and money? Immediately, I got a note from another friend who knows a thing or two about law who pointed out a fact that most people were ignoring.
22-25-1. Gambling defined--Keeping gambling establishment--Letting building for gambling -Misdemeanor. Any person who engages in gambling in any form with cards, dice, or other implements or devices of any kind wherein anything valuable is wagered upon the outcome, or who keeps…

My Name is Michael. And I've got a hell of a lot more than a nickel.

Some initial campaign finance reports are in for our two candidates running for Governor. One of the two candidates is doing well. As for the other, ahh, he's not so good.

Terry Woster reports in today's Argus Leader that Governor Rounds has about 1.44 million in the bank.

His anticipated opponent Ron Volesky wasn't doing quite so well. Ron reportedly had $2715 in total contributions for 2005. Ron did recognize he's going to need quite a bit more, as indicated in this quote:
"The numbers are what they are," Volesky said Tuesday. "I think South Dakota Democrats probably know that I'm going to need $500,000 by March to run a competitive race. I don't think the governor - I don't think any statewide candidate, really - should go uncontested for re-election."This is really kind of interesting, because a while back there had been a rumor floating around that he would bail on the race in March if he hadn't raised or was helped to reach a cer…

There comes a time when the piper must be paid. And did he make out like a bandit on that one! More on Consultant Pay.

I find it highly interesting that the whole post-election fundraising controversy (Argus Leader Link) in the Sioux Falls mayoral office seems to be revolving around payment to his consultants for the race. I even see that the media has asked the Secretary of State for his input on paying consultants a "Win Bonus."

What Jonathan Ellis at the Argus Leader should have asked is not whether "win bonuses" were commonplace in South Dakota, but "is paying a consultant common in South Dakota political races?" Secretary of State Chris Nelson had the answer to that one when he commented in the Argus Article:
In the campaigns that I've run, we didn't have enough money to hire consultants, let alone pay win bonuses, he saidTruer words have never been said about South Dakota political races. But it's also reflective of an attitude that I discussed in my very very first post for the SDWC. From my inaugural message:
Circumstance has made me into an unofficial me…

Citizens for Open Government in the Sioux Empire point some questions towards Mayor Munson

Click here for the latest release from the Citizens for Open Government in the Sioux Empire. A release just went out from them posing the following questions.
... COGSe also believes Munson's announcement and campaign manager Georgia Hanson's comments also raise a number of new concerns that the local media should investigate.

These concerns include: When did consultants Kip Scott, Ron Williamson, and Ms Hanson receive their "win bonuses"? Were the consultants issued 1099s? When did the Munson campaign decide to give the "win bonuses"? Why were they given so long after the end of the campaign?Why were the "win bonuses" not reported in the campaign finance reports filed immediately after the election?How did the Munson campaign accrue a $1,300 phone bill after the end of the 2002 campaign?I have some observations on this whole thing that I'll post tonight after I'm home from work. Because the biggest question of all has yet to be answered. …

Not the kind of news I like hearing come out of my Alma Mater

From Sports, via the associated press:
Two South Dakota State University basketball players have been suspended during a sexual assault investigation, officials said Wednesday. University police are investigating allegations against Mohamed Berte, 22, and Andre Gilbert, 20, school officials said in a statement Wednesday. The players have been served with temporary protection orders that ban them from having contact with a female student, the school said.That's one reason I pay more attention to politics over sports. With all these million dollar prima-donnas in professional sports, they are tainted with scandal when they have everthing in the world, or they're noted by the media as doing something utterly ridiculous.. Unlike politicians.
Meet the latest children's author, Sen. Ted Kennedy, and his Portuguese Water Dog, Splash, his co-protagonist in "My Senator and Me: A Dogs-Eye View of Washington, D.C." Scholastic Inc. will release the book in…

SDWC Noir.
The tale of the pointing finger

Read the SDDP Blue note lately? Apparently a crime is possibly going to be committed. A harsh crime that tells a story of revenge and betrayal . A story we'll term "The Tale of the Pointing Finger."


They call me the professor, but anyone who knows me calls me PP. That's just P for short.

I'm an investigative blogger covering the state capitol. It's a place filled with liars and scoundrels, and bums down on their luck who'd sell their soul for a bottle of bathtub gin. And then there are the legislators.

Why was I haunting the halls? I was there to do a little digging into a report about a poking finger. I was reading the tip sheets recently when this little ditty came over the wire:
"Their idea of cooperation is to come upstairs, on the third floor, put their finger in your chest and say your bill needs to be done. No tact. No charisma. Probably some of the rudest people I've seen. The governor needs to look at his staff, get rid of some of the peop…

You know J.A.I.L. is bad when it makes this happen
Judy Olson and Randy Frederick join forces

From a press advisory sent out this evening by the South Dakota Republican Party:
Republican and Democratic Party Chairs
to Hold Joint J.A.I.L Press Conference

PIERRE, SD - South Dakota Republican Party Chairman Randy Frederick and South Dakota Democratic Party Chairwoman Judy Olson Duhamel announce a joint press conference discussing the J.A.I.L. ballot initiative. The press conference is scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, February 1, to be 'tentatively' held in the State Capitol in room 412 at noon CST.

Contact SDDP Press Secretary Donald Carr at 224-1750 and/or SDRP Executive Director Max Wetz at 224-7347 for more information.Afterwards, Randy and Judy will cast smouldering looks at each other.

The Judicial Accountability Act, which I've said was scary legislation all along, is really picking up steam as the measure to pound into the dirt. With the State Bar coming out against it, and now I'm guessing the GOP and DEM's are jointly agreeing to call it bad legisla…

Hey you dang Republicans. Git outta my yard.

Got my hair cut this morning at Angel's Salon, enabling me to go out on weekends without the need for a hat to hold down my poofy hair. Unruly curly hair as I have can be a lifelong curse.

There's only been three people who have consistently been allowed to cut my hair over the course of my life. My mother, who did so until I got married, and would sometimes pinch-hit until she passed away. My wife, who took over from my mom. And Angel, who my wife sent me to after she said "maintaining the peninsula is too difficult for an amateur."

When you go into Angel's Salon, you know a political discussion of some nature is going to come up. Today, right on the front door is a copy of the Judicial Accountability Petition with VOTE NO written in large letters, courtesy of Angel, who is happy to provide accompanying editorial comment.

I think it was the Supreme Court itself who expressed in a legal opinion on political signs that there is nothing more uniquely American than pos…

A Tremor on the Richter Scale

According to the Argus Leader, Former Republican Legislator Mitch Richter has made his official announcement for the office of Mayor of Sioux Falls joining two other candidates with legislative experience, Casey Murschel and Mayor Dave Munson.

According to the release Mitch has recruited other former state legislative talent to assist with his efforts:
Bill Peterson, a former state lawmaker and an author of the city's charter, signed up to serve as Richter's campaign co-chairperson because he said Richter mastered a complex state budget and worked across party lines during his time in Pierre.

"Those qualities are what's needed in city hall in 2006," Peterson said.Bill has quite a bit of respect among Republicans, and will help Mitch garner party related support. (Read it all here) But then he announces some other campaign help that might cause Republican supporters some consternation..
Minnehaha County Treasurer Pam Nelson also is serving as a co-chairperson of Richt…

Come back Lee, come back...
With Schoenbeck gone, an old challenger deicdes to give it another go

According to local sources and confirmed by a reader in the area, former State Representative Claire Konold is going to give it another shot for the State Senate Seat now that Lee Schoenbeck has decided to step down from. I'm told he announced it this last week.

What make this a bit funny is that Claire challenged Lee for the very same seat in the primary last election once he was termed out of the House. And Lee mopped the floor with him 2 to 1.

Lee Schoenbeck2394239466.65%Claire B. Konold1198119833.35%


67 to 33 percent is not a toss up. It was a crushing victory.

With Lee stepping down, it remains to be seen if there's going to be another challenger for the seat besides Konold. But having come off such a decisive loss last election, there may be another dog who decides to challenge him for dominance on the porch.

Okay commentors, you got my attention. Now might be a good time to lay out a ground rule

Oooookay, Yakity Yak. You certainly woke me up this morning.

I was still half-asleep bumbling around after my shower, the result of too much caffiene the prior evening giving me a bad night's sleep. As I was getting dressed I pulled up my e-mail in preparation to start the day as I always do.

And there, as plain as day, was an atomic bomb of a comment under a post waiting for me in my e-mail box from a reader known as Yakity Yak (heavily edited for your review):
Let's get this party started. I'll be blunt. I have heard from a "good source" that name omitted is still married, yet he has a female "front" that many people seem to call his "girlfriend". I have also heard that he has a male friend that some people seem to call his "boyfriend". This person is usually referred to as the "gardener". Is Name Omitted actually gay or bi-sexual? I really don't care what he is.. I just want to know if he is telling those of us in his D…

Don't forget the Wiki list.

Don't forget I have the 2006 Election WIKI out there. I've updated it with the latest intelligence from the field, so you don't have to hunt through my posts.

If you know of any hot tips yourself, post them to the wiki by hitting the edit button at the top of the page, and leave credit for yourself and your website at the bottom of the WIKI page. (Then hit save at the bottom).

Click here for the WIKI.

Also, I do have advertising on this site for sale. Appetizing young advertising for sale. A picture link up at the top of the page will run $20/month, a hard coded link at the bottom of the masthead is $30 a month, and a side banner link wil be $50 a month. I'm not getting rich by any means, it's only to help me offset some expenses.

One of the two side banners is already gone for most of the election season, so if you might be interested in that prime real estate, better e-mail me quickly.

God, I love living in South Dakota
Giving cowboys a free pass on Saturday nights

From KELOland news:
The House Transportation Committee voted 10-to-1 for the bill last week, which would cancel out the long-standing state law. It would exempt horses and bikes from the definition of vehicles. But a sergeant with Minnehaha County says the bill won't change things in the Sioux Falls area.

"I don't think we'll see much of a change around here. We don't have a lot of incidents where people are riding a horse drunk or riding a bicycle drunk," he says.Read all of this not-so-tall-cowboy-tale here. Since the whole horse thing originated around the Pierre/Ft. Pierre area where a man was arrested for riding a horse drunk, I frankly think it's hilarious.

Even more so when his defense was that the horse knew it's way home, despite the rider's state. AND HE GOT OFF. He was found not guilty because of his horse's sense. It is said that God looks over drunks and children. Better add "the legislature looks over old cowboys" to that…

A little remiss in not noting this until now
Former Belle Fourche Mayor Todd Keller Pleads Guilty

Since I'd written a bit on this story a while back, I should follow up on the whole sad mess.

As reported in the Black Hills Pioneer, former Belle Fourche Mayor Todd Keller pled guilty to assaulting his wife - a charge which prematurely ended his second term of office as mayor of that city. Just a snippet from the article:
Kellor then stipulated to a paragraph in the probable cause affidavit filed with the 4th Circuit Court describing the incident relating to the aggravated assault charge.

In that paragraph, Kellers wife Jill describes an incident in which Keller squeezed her throat to the point she had difficulty breathing, he lit matches and put them out on her tongue and when Keller sprayed her whole body and face with Lysol and threw lit matches at her telling her he was going to light her on fire.Read it all here.

Speaking of the Congressional Race - Did we just get a hint from Herseth?

From an article in Saturday's Mitchell Daily Republic by Seth Tupper:
The next question came from eighth-grader Sarah Magnuson, who wanted to know if Herseth aspires to the nation's highest political office. Herseth turned the question around, asking Magnuson if she herself would ever consider running for president. Magnuson said she would, and Herseth said "Great! Then I would, too."

Actually, Herseth said, she does not foresee herself running for anything except "the Congress" until "2010, 2014 or 2020." Interestingly, those last two dates are separated by the same number of years as a term in the U.S. Senate.Read it all here. "Those last two dates are separated by the same number of years as a term in the U.S. Senate." Is that response from the Congresswoman telling us something?

She might be predicting that she might run for Governor, take on Thune, or to run for Johnson's open seat when he vacates, 2014 or 2020.

It's all idle sp…

SDDP Legislative update - Pointing fingers, extra volume and more

The South Dakota Democratic Party put thier spin on this last week's action in the state legislature in this last week's edition of the South Dakota Blue Note dated 12/27/06.

A quick excerpt previews what we're supposed to get this coming week:
Next week, look for positive action from House and Senate Democrats as they execute plans to keep the elderly in their homes and unveil quite frankly, the best plan not only for adequately investing in education, but a plan that also addresses the challenges facing South Dakota taxpayers.Read it all here for things spun the other way, compared to how you might catch it here.

Note to SDGOP: better keep looking for that Herseth challenger.

I was continuing my investigation into how some of these Republican Congressional hopefuls are shaping up, and it's looking like Butte County State's Attorney Jim Seward is going to be a no go for the South Dakota Congressional race, despite some encouraging reports I had gotten recently.

It certainly looks like Jim is committed - but it's to his wife and family after spending a tour in Afghanistan. Best of luck to him, and he certainly exhibits the qualities that got him recognized as a GOP contender in that race. (He would have had my vote).

I have not dug up an e-mail for Tim Amdahl yet to find out if he' s serious on the congressional race, so there will likely be more to come on that one. In looking at how he performed in 2002, he came in third in that race with Janklow and Pressler leading him:

Bert Tollefson, Jr.Larry PresslerTim AmdahlRoger HuntWilliam J. Janklow131129992105937799605751.19%27.20%9.61%7.07%54.93%
It's entirely possible that the party may be …