Showing posts from February 19, 2006

Rep. Hennies in Hospital. And thanks computer guys. Kind of.

As mentioned in today's Rapid City Journal, Representative Tom Hennies apparently spent part of the week in St. Mary's Hospital in Pierre:
Rep. Tom Hennies, R-Rapid City, spent the past couple of days in the Pierre hospital, but that didn’t stop him from keeping up with the work of the Legislature. Hennies was admitted to St. Mary’s Health Care Center on Tuesday night after experiencing bouts of “sweats and chills” while on the way to a meeting. He said that other legislators, among them Rep. Kathy Miles, D-Sioux Falls, who is a nurse, told him he should go to the hospital.

“I had double pneumonia,” Hennies said Friday by telephone as he prepared to catch a ride to Rapid City with Rep. Ed McLaughlin, R-Rapid City. “But I’m doing good.”

Because of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease last year in Rapid City, Hennies also asked to be tested for that and is awaiting the results.We certainly hope Representative Hennies, who is term limited out this year is feeling on the mend thi…

Such a nice day, it's time for a Political Outing - 2/24/06

In addition to walking away from the State Senate this year due to term limits, Senate Majority Leader Eric Bogue walked away from the Faith Stock Show with $500 in his pocket from the $100 Club Prime Rib Dinner on February 11th. (As reported in Faith Independent 2/22)

Ashley Vanneman, daughter of Tripp County GOP Chair Kim Vanneman did a stint as a Legislative page this session for Representative Barry Jensen. Kim is a long-time “hauler of water for the elephant” (Winner Advocate 2/22)

Not a lot of legislative petitions turned in yet. To date, who has filed paperwork?

20HouseRepublicanCarson, Lance A.21HouseRepublicanJuhnke, Kent 25HouseRepublicanRave, Tim 26BHouseDemocraticGlover, Thomas J.28BHouseRepublicanDrown, Bob 28BHouseRepublicanOlson, Betty 30HouseRepublicanPederson, Gordon 32SenateRepublicanAdelstein, Stanford M.34SenateRepublicanMcCracken, Royal "Mac" 35HouseRepublicanKirkeby, Mark

As Predicted - I broke 6k visitors for the Month

As Predicted - Tonight I broke 6000 website visitors for the Month (well over 11,000 hits!!)

Thanks readers!

District 24 Lincoln Day Dinner. With blurry photos.

Tonight was the District 24 Lincoln Day Dinner which I attended to give you readers the tidbits, the controversies, and to monitor the runway so you could know the fashions.. Well, maybe not, but I went to support the elephant in my own little way.

I got there a little early (mainly so I could get a good parking spot) and came in while candidates were putting their literature on the tables. Jarrod Johnson was busy spreading the message of his campaign as you can see pictured here:

(Jarrod works while on the rubber chicken circuitcampaign trail)

and others such as Bob Sahr, Chris Nelson and Governor Rounds were also "tenting the tables" with literature.

Inside the hall at the Ramkota Inn in Pierre, they had a really, really nice display of political buttons that normally reside at the GOP State Headquarters in Pierre. They were donated to the party by Don Carlson's family upon his death. I'm happy to report that the GOP has them beautifully displayed in more than a dozen …

What my party means to me. From a Libertarian point of view

Bob Newland couldn't resist speaking out on why he is a member of the Libertarian party. So, Bob Newland on "What my party means to me":
My political party provides a principle that defines all who join: “No one has the right to initiate force or commit fraud in the pursuit of personal or political goals.”

Oh, there are other things, such as belief in limited government power and limited government budgets and that people own themselves, but those are outgrowths of the non-initiation of force statement.

My political party rarely sees anyone flying its banner get elected to office. Other political parties often place roadblocks to prevent its members from achieving ballot status. Other political parties, those holding power, are able to promise voters largesse from the public coffers in return for their votes. My party’s principles prevent its candidates from doing that.

There was a time, a generation or so ago, when Republicans said they believed in the principles of my part…

Time to call out the election referees; At least go vote for the SDWC

Todd Epp's unscientific web poll on "Your favorite South Dakota Blog" just had me drop out of the lead this morning, after consistently maintaining it since it's inception. CCK has overtaken me, and a massive rush by SDP put them ahead of me as well.

I believe we need international election observers to take the helm of this balloting process. It's winter, so Jimmy Carter can't be building too many houses at the moment.

(And I'm kidding, ok?)

Readers, I might get a cookie if I win. Or at least bragging rights. So if you haven't voted yet, please do so, and patronize Todd's Site.

More on the Volesky Pullout from Seth Tupper in Mitchell

The Mitchell Daily Republic has some more to add to the Volesky Gubernatorial Pullout in a pair of articles from Seth Tupper:
Volesky said he has no idea who might run for the Democratic nomination. Some former Democratic candidates said they are sure somebody will step forward, but they don’t know who.

Bernie Hunhoff, a Yankton magazine publisher who lost to Republican Bill Janklow in 1998, joked that the Democrats are in need of a professional wrestler like former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura.

“The party’s in a corner and it needs to find somebody already well known,” Hunhoff said. “And I don’t think our bench is very well stocked with those kinds of people.”

Jim Hutmacher, an Oacoma businessman who ran unsuccessfully in the 2002 Democratic primary, said money could help a Democrat overcome the odds.

“You never know

they might be independently wealthy, and they would be in good shape to help themselves then,” Hutmacher said. “There’s not many Democrats who are independently wealthy, thoug…

The Argus weighs in on the Volesky withdrawl

From an Article by Jon Walker, the Argus weighs in with the most extensive review yet on the Volesky withdrawl, and goes further into who might run in his place:
Who will run?

The decision surprised several Democrats, but they said others have plenty of time to enter the race with or without Volesky as a factor.

"Somebody will step forward," said Gil Koetzle, a state senator from Sioux Falls, who's not interested in the job. "Other people were considering running for governor as well. This just gives them the opportunity to come forward."

The question now is: Who?

U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson plans to run for re-election to Congress in 2008, press secretary Josh Rosenblum said.

Jim Abbott, president of the University of South Dakota and the Democrats' candidate for governor in 2002, has indicated no interest in another race. He could not be reached Wednesday.

State Sen. Dan Sutton of Flandreau said a run for governor is not out of the question.

"I'm happy represe…

The First "What my party means to me" response

Got my first "What my party means to me" piece from a Republican. "IK" makes no bones about where her loyalties lie and is pretty firm about where the line is drawn for her:
Belonging to my party means having the courage to do what's right. aka - the janitorial staff. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Cliché, I know, but for all their good intentions, the Democrats don't seem to know what they are doing. Their populist attitudes and their feel-good economics creates the situations where Republicans thrive. Republicans clean up the mess that the Democrats leave behind. That's how the party started; it is our legacy. We now have taken to cleaning up messes that other countries are creating and spreading to this nation - but which Democrats seem to embrace. Don't let this get out - but the Republicans need Democrats in office, every once in awhile. It reminds the populace of what a sorry mess the Democrat g…

More on Volesky bowing out of the race

The Aberdeen American News has the more extensive story on their website from the Associated Press, where Dirk Lammers had the big scoop from Ron himself:
The lawyer and former state lawmaker said Wednesday that it's all about money, and it doesn't look like he'll be able to raise enough of it to make a fair fight. A campaign finance report released earlier this month showed Gov. Mike Rounds had $1.4 million at the end of last year. Volesky, the only announced Democratic challenger so far, said he's raised about $3,000 in total contributions."I'm all for a fight, but I want it to be fair," Volesky said. "And it doesn't look like it's going to be a fair fight at this point in time."Rounds is expected to run for re-election this year but has not yet made a formal announcement.Volesky announced his candidacy in November, taking on the issues of education, minimum wage and tax reform during a fiery campaign speech in Sioux Falls.He said at …

On track for another record month. And a request for reader submissions.

As I'm reading my page counter for the month, it looks like as of tomorrow I'm going to break my record of 6000 page visitors in a single month (11,000 page views). And with another few days in the month to go after that, I might just break 7,000 visitors to my little website in a month. Wow.

As I think I mentioned recently, all of this success is due to the people who read the SDWC. People who are interested and concerned about politics - especially Republican politics. For the most part, it's a place for open dialogue (sometimes a little TOO open) about the state of politics in our state.

Because I owe all of this to the readers, I'm wondering if any of you would be willing to pen a guest column. It will be a top level post that will be made available for the world to see. The topic I'd like to hear about from you, the reader, is: "What my political party means to me."

The Rules -

1. This should be about what your party means to you. It's not an excus…

Intra-party Ire in South Dakota

As I think it's gotten the most comments ever at the SDWC, most of you are probably familiar with my recent disagreement with the SDGOP chair Randy Frederick over issues of discretion and manners.

But that's nothing compared to what could be brewing within the SDDP since Ron Volesky bowed out of the race for Governor. Within literally minutes after his post, Chad at CCK had this doozy of an anonymous comment left on his blog under the Volesky post:
It’s official…Judy Olson Duhamel’s grand experiment to move the State Democratic Party’s headquarters to Pierre is a huge failure. Even Judy, who lives in la-la-land when it comes to smart political decisions, can’t deny it any longer.

It is a safe bet that for the first time in state history that the Democrats will fail to fill all of the constitutional seats on the ballot. With three months before the Democratic Primary, Judy cannot even get someone to run for Governor – not even Ron Volesky!

What does it say about the leadership of o…

Just missed BREAKING NEWS by that much
Volesky Drops out of Race. And it is the Governor's Race this time.

I got a call literally minutes after he did it, but Ron Volesky announced an hour or so ago that he's out of the race for Governor. Word is just starting to filter through the State Capitol. Some think it's a ploy. Some think it's real, and you can add me to that camp.

The Argus picked up on it right away and had this to report:
Huron lawyer Ron Volesky, a Democratic candidate for governor of South Dakota, announced this morning that he is quitting the race.

In a one-sentence statement, Volesky said he "will discontinue his campaign for governor in 2006 due to a lack of financial support."Read it all here. KELO also has a similar report.

So who does that leave the SDDP with. Well, nobody right now. Chad at CCK is saying that "it's time for someone like Dennis Wiese to step up and run." Althougth, if he could be talked into it, he'd be starting several days late and 1.4 million short.

The positives for the Democrats in leaving it unfilled? Well, all…

Don't forget to vote early and often.

Believe it or not, Todd Epp's poll on "Your favorite South Dakota Blog" has me continuing in the lead.

I think if I win, I get a cookie or something. So if you haven't voted yet, please do so, and patronize Todd's Site.

And in the RCJ Fall River Co States Atty tells the Sierra Club to behave

My buddy Lance takes on the Sierra Club in the letters to the editor section in today's Rapid City Journal:
No bullying

I have now read two letters on your Opinion page mischaracterizing the actions of Commissioner Ken Davis during the Pennington County Commission's consideration of the Sierra Club's request to create wilderness areas on the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands.

I was at the meeting and Davis' actions were not bullying or badgering. He did, however, ask legitimate questions of the representative of the Sierra Club about the inconsistency between her testimony that day and the written goals of her organization.

The local Sierra Club representatives testified that grazing will continue in their proposed wilderness areas. To that statement, Commissioner Davis read the Sierra Club's written policy and asked a question. Unfortunately for the Sierra Club's representative, she could not explain the inconsistency.

At, the Sierra Club states: &…

Pennington County Commission Chair might have consulted Ms. Manners.

The Rapid City Journal is reporting about a bit of a tiff within the Pennington County Commission. Apparently the Chair sent out a letter instead of asking about it. (Where have I heard about something like that before? It's escaping me at the moment.)
Though they manage a $50 million budget each year, Pennington County commissioners on Monday argued over a $200 petty cash fund. The commission established the petty cash fund in October to be used for small, emergency expenses or for buying food for special functions where the majority of participants are not county employees, such as an annual meeting with local legislators before the state legislative session begins.

The fund is not to be used to buy flowers or sympathy cards or to reimburse the costs of individual meals, registration fees or travel expenses.

Commissioner Gale Holbrook has been using the fund to buy pizza for twice-a-month, noon-hour meetings of the sexual-predator committee he leads. That group was formed last …

Flava Flav knows It Takes Two... So should State House Candidates

I was going to get away from my computer for a while and watch TV, but it was just too bizarre. Flava Flav was kissing "Sweetie" and "New York" was getting upset... And what about "Hoops" and "Goldie"? How will Flavor of Love end up? Which one will he pick as his betrothed? Stay tuned to VH1 and find out.

Ugh. Now I remember why I don't watch much TV. I'm going back to politics....

I had something pointed out to me today on a House political race where a Republican is considering running as a single Republican candidate in a House district against two Democrats. My friend thinks this is wise because of the vote totals for the prior race.

The vote totals for the 2004 race came out about:

The rationale' that the new candidate is using in running alone is that GOP2 sucked enough votes from GOP1 to ensure that neither one of them would win. He's thinking that without GOP2, GOP1 would have had 30-40% and won t…

Campaign Lit 101: Chris Nelson for Secretary of State

I've got my hands on a piece or two of campaign literature for 2006, so this is a great time to start a new feature on the SDWC - Campaign Literature 101, where I feature and talk about the literature for various candidates for public office.

In all of this, it's simply my own opinion and nothing more. It's not meant to pick on anyone. I might just point out what I'd do differently. Don't agree? That's your right. Last election I disliked Dusty Johnson's choice of orange as a campaign color. He ignored me, and rode the orange wave to victory, since it stood out from the pack. What can I say? I'm a traditionalist, so I tend to look at things in those terms.

Anyway, the first piece of campaign literature up for 2006 up for review? Secretary of State Chris Nelson.

This is an exceptionally good looking piece of campaign literature. I like the colors. Plus full color 2 sided slick paper - this was not cheap, nor is it "insty-print" quality. The design…

Intelligence was good. Kent Juhnke has his petitions in

The Secretary of State's website is noting that Republican Kent Juhnke has his petitions in for the new District 21 House seat.

I've always thought that Kent was always one of the most personable and 'regular guys' up in the legislature. So it's good to see him back.

Congrats and welcome back to the ball game from the SDWC!

Okay readers, It happened again. Please behave.

Okay, I think I've covered this topic before, but apparently someone missed it.

I had another "anonymous" post outing someone as "having a gay lover." Don't. Please, just don't. And there have been other recent instances of anonymous posters getting a little too personal.

When I write about stuff, I couch it in careful terminology, and it's ME writing it. I'm responsible for my own writings and if I can't prove it, I generally don't write it, or I say that "it's been rumored, but not substantiated."

An anonymous poster saying that a political figure is homosexual is not the kind of grief I need. Even if you had photographic proof, #1, I wouldn't want to see it, and #2, unless it affected how they conducted themselves in the political area, it's meaningless.

I caught enough hell from the readers when I noted that Kate Looby is dating a lobbyist. I was writing as ME, it wasn't negative , AND I had a good source on it.…

CCK Reports: Roger Hunt is Democratic Public Enemy #1

By this point, the information is third hand, but Clean Cut Kid is reporting that Steve Hildebrand is sending an email around to friends and activists this morning about his outrage, and the fact that Roger Hunt is now #1 on their "hit list." From Clean Cut Kid:
I remember fondly twelve years ago when Democrats controlled the South Dakota Senate. A group of progressive Democrats worked hard to do right for South Dakota. And because there was two-party government in Pierre, with Republicans holding a slight majority in the House, the extremists were marginalized and good policies were put forth.


After watching this legislature and their shenanigans for the last two months, I decided I would take my own action and start a new state PAC to fund good progressive candidates who will take on people like Roger Hunt and his followers. The PAC is named Common Sense South Dakota and already progressive Democrats from across the state are sending generous contributions.

I would enco…

Don't forget to vote

Todd Epp is running a web poll on the topic of "What are your favorite SD weblogs." I'd encourage you to go on over to his website and vote. (For me, preferably.)

From the other side of the Judicial Accountability Act

Despite the fact that I couldn't agree with the JAIL measure less, I'm going to link to this pro-JAIL article in the interest of a little fairness. I'll even refrain from smart alecky comments. From the Yankton County Press and Dakotan, David Estes discusses why "Judges Must Be Accountable To People" -
Sen. Moore tries to spin the issue by claiming a giant California conspiracy is behind the issue. South Dakotans, such as Bill Stegmeier of Tea, wrote the initiative and collected the vast majority of the signatures. A professional signature-gathering company was hired. The people who were employed by that company were South Dakotans. I had an opportunity to meet the owner in Aberdeen while I was out collecting signatures. This woman has found a niche market and is making money at it. Good for her, that is the American way. Such absurd claims only mask the real issues in this campaign.

The judicial system has evolved into a closed society where no one is permitted u…

Senator John Thune in Pierre, SD this week

From KGFX news and the Pierre Chamber:
Senator John Thune In Pierre Wednesday
PIERRE – Those wanting an opportunity to visit with Senator John Thune can do so tomorrow, as he will be in Pierre as part of the Chamber’s informational luncheon. Today will be the final day to pre-register for the event. The cost is $15, which will pay for the lunch part of the gathering. Thune will open the event with comments on issues he is facing in Washington, D.C. and then anyone wanting to ask questions of Thune can do so. The luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce. More information is available at 224-7361

A little negative campaigning from the past

Here's a little item for you people who don't believe in so-called "negative campaigning." From 1940, a campaign card for Hughes County Sheriff. Winfred Ewert, Republican candidate (in what I think we can assume was the primary) is calling county government an organized ring in his hand-typed postcard.

State Auditor Rich Sattgast had this shown to him, and was nice enough to get me a copy. Thanks Rich, and thanks Winfred, for promoting issue oriented campaigns over 65 years ago.

Harsh! I hadn't heard this one yet on JAIL

In his column today, Dave Kranz notes the harshest criticism of the J.A.I.L. backers to date:
State Sen. Lee Schoenbeck, R-Watertown, called the proponents a "posse comitatus nut group" during a speech in the Senate State Affairs Committee.
Although, I think Planters recently took the posse comitatus nuts out of the recipe for the mixed nut tin.

Found what I'd been looking for. Left brain, right brain and middle brain..

Just a few days ago, I ran across two things I'd been looking for over the course of a year. Ever since I founded the SDWC, I'd been looking for two things - my book of old election statistics, and my old polling information.

I put the book of statistics together when I first started working as the Legislative Coordinator for the South Dakota GOP in 1988. I couldn't find how many votes there were in a county back a few years, so I went up and talked with Darleen Gage at the Secretary of State's office. And she let me have a copy of all the election returns back as far as she had paper copies - all the way back to 1962.

Since the Secretary of State started their website, their records only go-back on-line through 1972, so the extra ten years helps me put a little bit more of a historical perspective on things.

For instance, 2002 wasn't the only time the Republican Senate candidate was beaten out by a few hundred votes. 1962 saw George McGovern beating Joe Bottum by 597…

SDDP Blogs about Shall. Although, the thoughts are a little Shall-low

Don Carr (who thinks I don't like him despite never having met him) blogged over at the SDDP on how the Republican plan for additional education funding was supposedly weak, because it didn't use the word shall:
Republican sponsored legislation is littered with intent with nary a shred of shall. Their intent when writing legislation is to pay lip service to their constituents while hoping to protect the status quo. Democrat bills are designed to forge creative solutions to ever evolving challenges.

A glaring example of this practice can be found by comparing the two major education bills of the 2006 session.

SB 170, the Republican’s attempt to fund education..... Look at Section 3 - It is the intent of the Legislature to appropriate additional funds to the twenty-first century education fund in future years as follows. Check out SB 170’s amendment - Section 3. It is the intent of the Legislature to appropriate additional funds to the twenty-first century education fund in future …

Political Blogging. Getting it in general, and understanding the SDWC.

I spent some time reading through the RNC's website and the section they have on blogging, as I try to find my way and justification my existence as a blogger within the GOP. Not that I feel a burning need to justify myself.

I blog because I know what way this stuff is going. Most of the readers - in either party - know how taking news and media and placing it in personalized context, as a blog does, not only makes it more real to the reader, but it allows the blogger to put their own spin on things. But as opposed to big media, this spin is accepted - and interactively debated.

I came across an article they were quoting on conservative blogging and bloggers in general:
Liberals lag conservatives in political blog presence

By Donald Lambro
August 12, 2005

Liberal activist Web loggers have made major advances on the Internet, but they remain far behind their conservative adversaries among the top 250 political blogs, according to a study by a Democratic think tank.

In …

Press Release from the Hughes Co GOP - Governor Rounds to Speak at Lincoln Day Dinner Thursday Night

Just got this in my in-box. I'm planning on being there, and if you can tear away, you all ahould be too. Because of the legislature being in session at this time, this is typically one of the top three Lincoln Day Dinners in the State. If you're running statewide or thinking about it, consider it a must attend.
Governor Rounds to Speak at Lincoln Day Dinner Thursday Night

PIERRE--Governor Mike Rounds will offer the keynote address Thursday night at the legislative District 24 Republican Lincoln Day Dinner to be held at the Ramkota RiverCentre at 5:30pm. Bob Sutton will lead the event as the Master of Ceremonies.

Hughes County Party Chairman, Chad Heinrich announced that volunteers Scott & Angela Olson, Sam Tidball, and Lola Schrieber will each be honored in recognition for their outstanding volunteer work for the Republican Party.

"We look forward to celebrating the work of our volunteers while our party continues to grow.", said Heinrich. "Our success depends…

It's hard to argue with that. Except for the part where they never get elected in SD.

Libertarians are making their push for candidates this year. And one of the big attractions for the party? You can be a candidate for the legislature with two signatures. Or be on a statewide ballot with 20. From the South Dakota Libertarian Blog.....
Will you run and make a difference or will you do nothing?

In 2006, we have some of the EASIEST requirements for getting on the ballot in South Dakota for legislative, county, State and Federal offices: often just 1 or 2 signatures, and for Governor or US Congress, just 20 valid Libertarian signatures?

It's EASY!

Decide to run! You will make a difference IMMEDIATELY--you'll give people the gift of CHOICE.

Thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of people will have a LIBERTARIAN to vote for! (Instead of the one or two parties that usually run things).I'll try not to get trampled from all the people running to Pierre to get their ballots. And I prefer the gift of chocolate. Or the gift of Cheeseburgers.

BREAKING NEWS: Now that's unexpected. Is Haley bailing out on district 22?

Got a reader report this AM on news from the Huron Daily Plainsman:
There is a story in the Huron Plainsman today (2-19-06). Pat Haley is going to run for the City Commission seat being vacated by Ron Volesky. He says he will not be a candidate for the state legislature this year.Tim, thanks for this breaking news!