Showing posts from February 26, 2006

May the Schwartz be with you. (but moderately)

(hat tip to SD Watch), has now joined the SD Blogosphere with a weblog. According to Network Solutions, the website is registered to Robert Schwartz of Canistota who has now joined the other Republican bloggers out there including myself.

A self described moderate, TBOSD had this to say about his philosophy:
My definition of a moderate is someone that believes that what is best for our country is somewhere in between the hard liners of both parties, hence the term moderate. I have no problems calling out Republican views that go too far just as easily as I would a Democratic view but I also will have no problem praising a Democratic policy or politician if it is what I believe to be best for our country.
While philospohically I'm probably to the to the right of TBOSD, I'd like to welcome him to the blogosphere. I'll even get his RSS feed added in the next day or so.

The Argus Leader gets the magnifying glass turned on them by KSFY

That was unexpected. I had just rolled into Brookings last night and caught the 10pm KSFY news. The lead story? "How the Argus Leader was standing in the way of the freedom of the press." Check this information from Part 1 of a two part investigation series by the KSFY news team:
The Argus Leader newspaper says it's good business for everyone in print, but some independent publications think they're getting squeezed out. A division of the Argus Leader says they have contracts for distributing free magazines in those racks you've probably seen around town. But the independents say they'll have to pay to use those racks at certain businesses, and they say that's not fair. Under a number of recent agreements there would be only one rack at several stores with the Argus Leader basically acting as a landlord by collecting fees.

The magazines are all over town, and they're free. Publications like Prime, Renter's Guide, the Shopping News and others. 16 ind…

The claws are out at the Pennington County Commission

I'm taking a day off to be in Brookings and get some chores done. But before I get the paintbrush out, I had to blog on the big hissy fit occurring at the Pennington County Commission.

A while back, I had mentioned that Commissioner Gale Holbrook, whom I worked with back when I was Pennington Co. GOP ED, was getting a hard time from the rest of the Commission because he used petty cash to buy pizza for a few noon meetings of a group studying ways to prevent sexual predatory violence.

But in reading the Rapid City Journal on-line this morning, the gloves came off and the claws were bared when this whole battle reared it's ugly head once again:
Commission chairman Ken Davis recently sent a letter to the commission expressing concern about spending down the petty-cash fund to buy lunch every time that committee meets.

Commissioner Delores Coffing recommended discontinuing the petty-cash fund. Holbrook said that move was a "clever way of avoiding the issue of the petty cash fund…

Beeep Beeep. My BS Alarm is ringing. Loudly.

And the abortion rhetoric starts. That’s the downside of any legislation on the issue, whether it’s from a pro-choice or pro-life standpoint. It brings out the passions on both sides. And it brings out the slingers of BS.

It appears there is a brand new BS slinger throwing the muck in today’s Rapid City Journal. In the paper, there was a letter to the editor from a Marsha Mittman of Spearfish. As you will see, she’s saying with the passage of the SD Abortion ban, an effort to employ hundreds of people in a “think tank” operation in the Black Hills just went down the tubes.

A tourism ban isn't the only repercussion to South Dakota's punitive abortion measures. For the past eight months I have been working "behind the scenes" to locate a major "think tank" organization here in the Black Hills.

We were one of three U.S. sites being considered and actually had an edge due to the available employment pool graduating from the School of Mines. This organ…

Sioux Falls PAC Attack

The Argus Leader is reporting that the City of Sioux Falls is a little grumbly about Political Action Committees not filing the proper paperwork for contributions made to city Candidates. From the article:
Candidates who received money from PACs and the people who run the committees say they were unaware of the city's reporting requirement.

Council member Darrin Smith, who is running for mayor, received contributions from two Sioux Falls PACs, the Northern Plains Leadership Committee and the Dakota Leadership Committee.

The contributions totalled $8,000.

Smith read the city's ordinance Wednesday and concluded "there is no question" that PACs are required to report their activities with the city.

"I don't know how it's been missed," Smith said. "It's pretty clear."

Bret Healy, the former director of the South Dakota Democratic Party, organized both of the PACs that contributed to Smith's campaign.

They were organized earlier this year.


Deer in the River Photo

I'm just posting this because it looks cool. Senator Brock Greenfield was over hanging out tonight after dinner and I noticed him looking at this on his e-mail, so I asked him to send it to me. It was taken by a friend of his.

Apparently, this deer decided to go swimming in the Big Sioux River over by Watertown and discovered the water temperature was a little brisk.

Pheasants? I can take it or leave it. Geese? It would be better if the disintigrated into a puff of blue smoke when they hit the ground. Because they're otherwise inedible.

But for me, as far as deer are concerned? Mmmmmm. Maybe someone will help this poor woodland creature into a meat locker for me to rescue.

SDWC Political Outing for March 1, 2006; D24 GOP House Candidate Emerges

I didn't think I had much for a post tonight until I got home and checking my e-mail. Just when I think it's quiet, I find there's some interesting stuff is occurring out there

Not much activity on the petition filing front as of yet. As far as the legislative candidates go, here’s the list as of this afternoon:
1SenateDemocraticHanson, Gary D.8HouseDemocraticLange, Gerald F.14HouseRepublicanTornow, R. Shawn 20HouseRepublicanCarson, Lance A.20HouseRepublicanVehle, Mike 21HouseRepublicanJuhnke, Kent 25HouseRepublicanAmmon, Greg 25HouseRepublicanRave, Tim 26AHouseDemocraticLucas, Larry J.26B

PBS takes a hit

The big news coming out of the last day is how PBS took a $500,000 hit in the budgetary process. Terry Woster of the Argus Leader filed this early report on the whole thing including a mention of it:
The budget includes a $500,000 cut in funding for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Democrats in each house tried unsuccessfully to have that money restored. A Republican on the budget committee said even with the cut, the SDPB budget will have a balance at the end of next year of $475,000.PBS has been a bone of contention for years among many politicans. Why? Well for one, their kids programming is a merchandising bonanza. Check out how many familiar faces are here at

Arthur, Barney, the Bernstain Bears, Clifford, Dragon Tales, Buster, Sesame Street, Teletubbies. For most adults, it's hard to figure out why Government needs to subsidize THEM. When faced with the merchandising machines pushing these characters, sometimes we parents feel that we'd like a subsidy when fac…

National Taxpayers Union Gives Herseth, Johnson an "F"

I had a friend call me today and note that he was listening to an interview on the radio about the spending habits of our congressional delegation. This interview was with a representative of the National Tax Payers Union. If you're not familiar with them, here's a snippet from their website:
NTU was established in 1969 to educate taxpayers, the media, and elected officials on a non-partisan basis on the merits of limited government and low taxes. NTU uses a variety of means to accomplish our work including direct mail, research papers, public speaking, email, advertising, the Internet, and lobbying.The point of the whole interview was to talk about their rating system for congressmen and women. Their thesis? Spending is bad.
Here's how our Senators rank out:

Johnson, T............. F ............ 9%
Thune, J................ B–........... 63%
State Average........................36%

And here's how our Congresswoman does:

Herseth, S............. F ......... 19%As a state that …

I hope they scrub the House Chamber. Really well.

As reported in the Rapid City Journal, when Tom Hennies was recently hospitalized here in Pierre, he didn't just have the flu. He joined the ranks of the Legionnaires.
Rep. Tom Hennies, R-Rapid City, said Tuesday he might have Legionnaires’ disease but that he is “feeling good.” Hennies made the comment during a speech on the floor of the state House of Representatives. He was reflecting on his eight years in office, which end with this session because of term limits.

Hennies, who was hospitalized last week with pneumonia, asked for a test for Legionnaires’, which is a type of pneumonia. It came back positive, and he is being treated with antibiotics while awaiting results of further tests from the state Department of Health.

If he does have Legionnaires’, Hennies believes it stems from a humidifier he has in his Pierre motel room and not from Rapid City, where an outbreak of the disease occurred last year. Nineteen people became sick, and one person died.

“The humidifier was full of …

Big Hat Tip to Chris - I think we have a new SDWC t-shirt

A Big hat tip to my buddy and former college roommate Chris. He just got back from vacation and saw my post on how I had a mental block over a theme for the next t-shirt. Apparently he spent too much time on vacation watching cartoons, because he saw the elephant rearing back, and thought of the mouse theme.
I love it. It captures the essence of why I'm involved in politics. And a lot of why I'm blogging about politics.

Because I believe one person can make a difference. And maybe, just maybe, if the stars are aligned correctly, and God smiles on you for a moment - one person can change the world.

Or at the very least, make the elephant think about where it's going to step next.

Now I just have to go into production. (I'm thinking white on a biker black t-shirt.)

State GOP takes a poke at Tom Daschle

Hot off the Press - this release was issued late this morning by the South Dakota GOP:

PIERRE - As South Dakota comes under attack from an out-of-state politician aiming to derail a project that could generate a massive economic boom in the region and create thousands of jobs, Tom Daschle finds himself caught at the crossing.

Senator Mark Dayton of Minnesota has attacked a railroad expansion project benefiting South Dakota, the biggest building project in South Dakota history, on behalf of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Not only is Dayton standing in the way of a project that could have a massive economic impact in the region and create thousands of jobs, Dayton also insulted the
people, heritage and pride of the entire state of South Dakota. Dayton told Fortune magazine that "The railroad will enter Rochester over my dead body" and that "The Mayo Clinic is worth a hell of a lot more than the whole state of South Dakota."

This beg…

Capitol Journal to Dems: Bad Democrats. Bad, Bad Democrats.

Dana Hess, Editor of the Pierre Capitol Journal, blames South Dakota Democrats for Ron Volesky pulling out of the Gubernatorial Race:

I especially like the line that in the same "amount of time, the Geddes Fine Arts Boosters could have raised three grand with a couple of car washes and a pancake feed. It's painfully obvious that Democrats didn't rally around their only announced and credible candidate for the Governor's office."

(And we Republicans think we have it hard with the Argus. Ouch!)

Click on the article to see it in full size from the Pierre Capitol Journal.

Passed 7000 visits

I had good intentions of going up to the YMCA tonight to climb back on the horse of exercising.

That is, until my brand new .MP3 player decided it didn't want to work. I should have known there was a reason Lewis Drug marked these things down to $39.95 from $100. Ugh. After fighting with it unsuccessfully for 2 hours, I decided to give it all up for the evening and do computer work.

I'm not in much of a mood to post this evening, so I'm going to phone it in. But, it's a milestone for me worth noting. I managed to hit 7000 page visitors this month. (That's over 13,500 hits). I've managed to hit an all time high for my blog. Last June, I was at fewer than 500, so this is a pretty good jump for me. And the best part is that it shows no sign of slowing down.

To commemerate, I'm in the process of designing a new SDWC t-Shirt.

I've got it mostly done. It's a GOP elephant rearing back and trumpeting. The top says South Dakota War College. And you can see what …

Add Greg Ammon to your list of candidates.

The Secretary of State is reporting that Greg Ammon of Dell Rapids has filed petitions to run as a Republican in District 25, giving Republicans their second candidate for the House seats currently held by Republican Tim Rave (who has also filed) and Democrat Mike Kroeger.

I'm not familiar with him myself, but from a quick lookup on Yahoo, it looks like Greg is a Real Estate Agent. But I also notice that Greg is a blogger himself, with the page located at: From his webpage:
I'd like to announce.... my candidacy for the SD House of Representatives, District 25. I took out my nominating petition from the Secretary of State in Pierre last Thursday. This is something I've thought about for years, but always talked myself out of. Now, with the encouragement of Lt. Governor Daugaard and others, I'm commited. We all promised Wyatt we would push the boundries of our safe little worlds, and I'…

Moore thought he was out... But J.A.I.L. went and pulled him back in.

State Senate Minority Leader Garry Moore announced that he's going to switch houses this session, instead of bowing out as he had originally planned. From Nathan Johnson in the Yankton Daily Press and Dakotan:
South Dakota Senate Minority Leader Garry Moore of Yankton has announced he will be a 2006 state House candidate.

The District 18 Democratic legislator is term-limited out of the state's Senate.

During a phone interview from Pierre Wednesday, Moore said an amendment issue on this year's ballot is the driving force behind his decision.

"Up until two weeks ago, I was absolutely certain I was not going to run again," Moore said. "But these J.A.I.L.-birds have got me lathered up. I want Amendment E killed."

Amendment E, or the Judicial Accountability Law, would allow citizens to sue the state's judges.

"The only way I can speak to that issue, I feel, is if I'm running for the Legislature," Moore said. "I'll have the ability to spe…

A thought from J-Ro on the current state of the SDGOP

Joel Rosenthal over at SD Straight Talk happens to have been a long time South Dakota GOP chair, so I was interested to see what he had to say about the whole Volesky thing. But as I was reading it, what caught my eye was a little comment he had in reference to the State GOP:
Perhaps the deeper question is are the Democrats preparing to engage the Republicans this year at all. Will they be filling Legislative and Constitutional Officer positions on the ballot? Despite the fact that Howard Dean has added staff to their State Party Office and they have established a publicity machine in the past few months (Their website, podcasts, the existence of a somewhat coordinated legislative strategy have been better that the Republicans) (- my emphasis pp) the question is whether their public protestations will provide any results. We will have the first answers when we see the Democrat success in filings on April 4th.
Read it all here.

Dems are starting to show a little blast from the past

Former Democratic State Representative Larry Lucas of Mission apparently filed petitions for the District 26A House Seat on Friday. Previously, Larry had 10 years in the House from 1991 through 2000 and from 1997-2000 had served as the assistant Minority Leader.

Now, that's a weak excuse.

In today's Argus Leader, Dave Kranz relates the weakest justification I think I've heard yet from the D's on leaving the Gubernatorial race uncontested:
Post-Volesky strategy

It didn’t take some Democrats in the state Capitol long to come up with a strategy for their party after Ron Volesky withdrew from the governor’s race.

Even though it is virtually unprecedented to leave a candidate uncontested, they say it would be Rounds’ worst nightmare to have no one run against him. They offer that he would not be able to get people to contribute to his war chest. He would not be able to point to another huge victory as evidence of his popularity. There would be no victory speeches. The governor simply would declare victory early and go back to governing for another four years.Read all of this lame strategy here.

Okay, the only problem with this argument is that someone was using recreational drugs when they came up with it. #1, Governors have never, ever, had difficulty in finding …

New SD Blogger on the scene

Add Robbinsdale Radical to your Democratic blog rolls. Located at it looks like he started his blog shortly after the ban on abortion vote passed.

While he's from the other side of the aisle, we welcome him to the blogosphere.

And it does illustrate a point I've made before. Conservative bloggers continue to fall behind in South Dakota after SDP and Sibby (among others) put the pressure on in 2004 for the media to tell both sides of the story in the Daschle/Thune race. As the Dem's were 'served' then, so are Republicans being 'served' now.