Showing posts from June 25, 2006

It's a good thing when study commissions keep in mind what the voters want.

The Rapid City Journal is reporting tonight that the Constitutional Revision Commission is smartly saying NO to putting forth a proposal to monkey around with the number of signatures required to place a measure on the ballot.
A proposal that would have required sponsors of proposed state laws to get more signatures in order to put their measures on the ballot was rejected Thursday by a special commission. The proposal, which could have increased by about 50 percent the number of signatures needed to put an initiated measure on the ballot, was defeated on a 5-7 vote by the Constitutional Revision Commission, which is studying legal provisions that deal with the legislative process.

Commission member Bob Roe of Brookings, a former state lawmaker, said voters would never accept any proposal that boosted the number of signatures needed to put something on the ballot for a statewide public vote. South Dakotans are determined to protect their right to place measures on the ballot, and th…

9 to 5 isn't just a movie. It was the vote to throw Cecelia Fire Thunder out of office.

She survived a huge monetary loan from another tribe. But that abortion clinic thing was just a little too much according to the Rapid City Journal:
Cecelia Fire Thunder survived two earlier attempts to remove her from office since she was elected in November 2004 as the tribe's first female president. This time, the issue was over South Dakota's new abortion ban that does not include exceptions for rape or incest.

After Gov. Mike Rounds signed the bill, Fire Thunder vowed to work to open a Planned Parenthood clinic on the reservation, beyond the reach of state law.

Will Peters, a tribal council member who filed the impeachment complaint, said Fire Thunder didn't have the tribal council's approval to pursue the project.

"The bottom line is the Lakota people were adamantly opposed to abortion on our homelands. The president was involved in unauthorized political actions," he said after the vote, which came after two hours of private deliberation.
Read it all …

Prelude to the 4th

As we're approaching America's birthday, I'll be posting various essays and information on the topic with the hope that it will inform and inspire the readers on the occasion of celebrating the creation of one of the single greatest civilizations in human history.

This first one is just a simple account of the birth announcement (the cradle roll, if you please):

The Declaration of Independence: First Public Readings
Researched by James R. Heintze. American University, Washington, D.C.

The Declaration of Independence was printed during the late afternoon on Thursday, July 4, by John Dunlap, a local Philadelphia printer. Congress ordered that copies be sent "to the several Assemblies, Conventions, and Committees or Councils of Safety, and to the several Commanding officers of the Continental Troops, that it be proclaimed in each of the United States, and at the head of the Army." By the next morning copies were on their way to all thirteen states by horseback and on Ju…

Dems are now trying to say that they are the big tent party. (If that's so, why can't they get any of the clowns out in the ring?)

SDDP issued their response to the GOP's press release on the South Dakota Convention. And here's a snippet of what the ringmaster, Judy Olson, had to say:
The South Dakota Democratic Party truly is the big tent party, a fact reaffirmed at our successful state convention. I encourage all South Dakotans uneasy with the status quo that puts a narrow focus on personal social issues and ignores the meat and potato concerns of education, health care, and good paying jobs, to give us a chance to lead by voting for Democrats in November.Both the South Dakota Democratic Party and the South Dakota Republican Party held their state conventions last weekend. While the Democratic Party passed a ‘Unity Resolution’ (see below) the Republican Party adopted a resolution supporting the controversial anti-abortion bill, HB 1215. The aftermath of such a move has been considerable.

Of course, there was the inevitable continued crowing about Clarence Kooistra not having to pretend anymore just for th…

District 3 House candidate and Blogger David Newquist gives a lesson: What to say in SD when you don't want to be elected.

Hat tip to CCK and SDP:

Northern Valley Beacon blog author Dave Newquist is no stranger to saying controversial things on his blog. But as SDP points out, this comment from him on CCK's blog is particularly worthy of notice since he's a candidate for the legislature:
David Newquist, Democratic candidate for the state legislature, questions whether the American flag is even worth saluting anymore: A flag is a symbol. It symbolizes our history, our aspirations, our values. Of course it is upsetting to see someone desecrate our national symbol. But the Bush administration would like to get the nation in a raging furor, while it quietly erodes, undermines, and desecrates our Constitutional rights and protections. When the New York Times published a story on tapping into international financial transactions, the Bushites railed that the newspaper was endangering the nation and that the 3,000 people killed during 9/11 were being violated. Of course, they never mention the 2,500 of…

In district 32, Constitutional Candidate Dan Lautenschlager has bailed on the race

Elli Schwiesow is one step closer to being the new Senator for District 32 with Constitutional Party candidate Dan Lautenschlager bailing out of the race. From the Rapid City Journal:
Lautenschlager said in a prepared statement that he entered the race to make sure voters had a conservative option in the general election. He said that was guaranteed when Elli Schwiesow defeated incumbent Republican state Sen. Stan Adelstein in their District 32 Senate primary.

Lautenschlager said he would now support Schwiesow, and he asked his supporters to do the same.

“Elli is the clear choice for anyone who cares about our God-given rights to life, liberty and property as guaranteed by the Constitution,” Lautenschlager said.Read it all here. One down, one more to go. GO ELLI!

SDGOP on DEM's failure to field candidates

From a release dated today from the South Dakota GOP:

Thursday, June 29, 2006 605-224-7347

Dems agree Republicans providing good government

PIERRE – South Dakota Democrats apparently agree that three Republican elected officials are the best people for the job.

Democrats failed last weekend at their state convention to nominate candidates to take on Secretary of State Chris Nelson, State Treasurer Vern Larson and State Auditor Rich Sattgast.

“These three gentlemen are good stewards for the people of South Dakota and the Democrats evidently agree that Republicans provide good government,” said South Dakota Republican Party Chairman Randy Frederick. “All our Republican elected officials and candidates have been and will continue to provide solid leadership. I’m glad to see that the Democrats think so too.”

Frederick said he expects…

Sam Kephart in RC Weekly news on his amendment and it's disposition at last week's GOP Convention

Sam Kephart who offered up a resolution at the GOP convention to moderate the party's stance on HB 1215, which was defeated, has a column in this week's Rapid City Weekly news regarding the process. Sam asked me to print it for your edification. So, here's a good portion of it, and I'd encourage you to go to the Rapid City Weekly news to read it in full:
Although I’m descended from three generations of successful and well-liked Republican politicians in Pennsylvania, and despite the fact that I excitedly interned for two summers in the late ’60s with the late Minnesota Gov. Harold Stassen, I’ve never really been very political.I’m a dedicated conservative and have always voted since I was old enough to register. However, I’ve never really felt comfortable with the party thing ... that is, until I moved to the Black Hills of South Dakota and met some of the people who both run and support the Lawrence County Republican Party. They’re solid folks and devoutly patriotic Am…

2 days left in the month, and I broke 15,000 monthly visitors

That's nearly 40,000 hits this month from those 15,000 visitors as well.

CCK and why is Chad grumbling about Catholics tonight?

Chad over at Clean Cut Kid is having issues with Catholic voters tonight. Apparently, we're part of a coalition with evangelical christians who want to take over SD. I had started to post this as a reply to his comments, but it got way too wordy, so I'm doing it here.

So what does Chad have to say about all of this?:
Despite what you will be reading on South Dakota right-wing weblogs, the fact of the matter is that people are leaving the Republican Party because it has been increasingly radicalized.Thirty years ago, the Republican Party in this country and yes, even in South Dakota, was in a sad state of affairs. And they found a way out of it: the fundamentalist Christian movement. The party has become increasingly reliant on the activism and turnout of this group to keep their party vibrant. As this group has steadily gained power in the party, those with moderate views have been marginalized.and...It all goes back to the growth of power from the Taliban wing of the Republic…

So you heard about Clarence Kooistra's comments as the tent flap hit him in the rear on the way out of the GOP?

I had lunch with a couple of legislators in town for Interim Appropriations, and wished I had heard this ahead of time so I could have allotted some of my time to blog on it. But, better late than never. From in an article entitled Kooistra becomes a Democrat:
Republican Sen. Clarence Kooistra of Garretson has switched party alliances and is now a registered Democrat.

Kooistra said in a statement today that the move to the Democratic party was “an effort to more closely align my political beliefs with my personal agenda.”

Kooistra — an incumbent who recently lost in the June primary to Arnie Hauge by 230 votes — cited the passing of a resolution supporting the state’s abortion ban at last weekend’s state Republican convention as a reason for the switch.


Kooistra said he has no current political aspirations as a Democrat, but he may run for Robert Kolbe’s seat on the Minnehaha County Commission in 2008.Go read it all here. "Kooistra beomes a Democrat." Th…

Like, gag me with an order. Aberdeen School District says access to board attorney is limited to only those with permission from Board President

In Aberdeen, there's at least one school board member who is feeling a little shut out after the board took the unusual step of blocking access to the School Board's attorney without permission. From the Aberdeen American News:
Members of the Aberdeen school board must now get an OK from the board president or the superintendent before contacting the district's attorney.The board approved the policy revision on a 4-1 vote this week. Bob Nikolas voted no. Duane Alm, Linda Burdette, Mike Miller and Brian Sharp voted yes. Brad Olson and Scott Wirth were absent.The revision will create more accountability among board members and possibly save money, Alm said."It is not a free service," Alm said of the attorney's work, which the district pays for on a per-hour basis.However, if a board member and a board president happen to disagree on an issue, the president could prevent that board member from contacting the attorney for information, Nikolas said. The same goes f…

Sounds like several SD Republican Bloggers went to Superman tonight

Sounds like Schaff and Blanchard over at SDP went to Superman tonight as well.

I enjoyed it. Kevin Spacey was MUCH better than I thought he'd be as Lex Luthor. In fact, he may have played it better than Gene Hackman, who had a tendency to be campy. And Parker Posey was also a better henchman for him than Valerie Perrine. And the new Superman was pretty decent as well.

I thought Kate Bosworth stunk. As Lois Lane, she definitely couldn't hold a candle to Margot Kidder, which surprised me because she was good in "Beyond the Sea."

Alternately, it got a little "relationshippy" and melancholy at times, but all in all, I don't consider it a waste of money.

Although, there's no way my 4 year old is going to sit through 2 1/2 hours of it. He was bouncing off the seats during the last 1/2 hour of Cars (which I also enjoyed).

Thumbs up - and now we return you back to your regularly scheduled politics.

Gotta love flash animation

While I don't agree with the message, the flash animation by NARAL juxtaposes images of elected officials and politicians including Governor Mike Rounds on top of Godzilla and King Kong bodies. It's kind of funny.

Go watch it here. (ht to coat hangers at dawn.)

I've contemplated doing some Flash animation on political stuff myself. But I'm afraid it would be way, way over the top. This at least made me laugh.

Taking the evening off to go to the movies. (Ever think of advertising there yourself?)

I'm taking the evening off to go to a sneak preview at 10pm of Superman Returns, so I was ecstatic that DianeM posted. Now I can get away with phoning it in tonight. I'm going to go down to the State 123 in Pierre about a half an hour early so I can get my seat, my jumbo buttered popcorn, my giant drink, and sit in anticipation.

While I sit there, I'm going to be subjected to slide after slide of trivia and advertising. My question? Why am I not seeing any political candidates up on the screen so far this year?

It's extremely cheap on a per-impression basis, and this is the summer movie blockbuster season. Superman is going to be playing, the Pirates of the Carribean sequel is next, plus a plethora of other films that people are going to watch. In ten minutes of waiting (an average) people would see your political ad three times.

I've used them before in a statewide race, and I've used them in a county race. They're big and bold and they demand attention. Rem…

Restart at Blogging

DianeM, contributor

My name is DianeM and I am a Republican Political Consultant. I began by political career at the age of five handing out campaign buttons for Dwight D. Eisenhower. I absolutely love the art and science of politics and I have meet and work with incredibility wonderful brilliant people. Lee Atwater was the first real campaign consultant that I had the opportunity to work for. I learned about political campaigns from the master, some information so great I can honestly tell you I will never tell the really great secrets. In the last days of Atwater’s life I learned the importance of treating your opponent with respect. This was the most important lesson of all.

I am usually the senior strategist (probably because of my age and years in politics). Other areas of expertise are political ethics and policy/issues, I write lots of position papers. Study existing legislation, statutory interpretation and legislative intent. Teach others the legislative process. I generally wo…

There's changes in the air.

I've got to get back to work, but I wanted to mention that there will be a few changes in store for the SDWC.

I'm contemplating a re-design, along with a few other amenities. The rotating banner and everything else will remain, I'm just thinking a few stylistic changes are in order.

If there are any web designers who read the SDWC, and might be interested in a minor project for this blog, (and willing to trade out some advertising), drop me a note at, and we can talk.

And Democrats wonder why they can't win a majority. Hargens jabs a sharp stick at a man bearing gifts

The only thing that came to mind as I read this was "What an @$$****"

If you're not familiar, noted philantropist and very rich guy T. Denny Sanford made the news for a recent donation of money. He just committed $70 Million Dollars to help make the Homestake Underground Research facility a reality. As written in today's Argus Leader:
Late Monday afternoon, Lead Mayor Tom Nelson still was reeling from T. Denny Sanford's announcement of a $70 million gift to help convert the Homestake Mine into an underground laboratory for scientific research.

Gov. Mike Rounds had told Nelson a few months ago he was working on something that would create a huge benefit to the underground lab, Nelson said.

"I'm still a little overwhelmed," he said. "This gift will mean tremendous infrastructure improvements to the underground lab, a visitors center and educational outreach that, in my mind, makes the selection of Homestake a no-brainer to NSF (National Science Found…

Grumble. Grumble. Why can't everyone be in the electronic age.

I quick came back to my computer tonight to help my wife schedule some meetings with our congressional delegation when she's in Washington DC within the next two weeks. She wants to try to get a few moments to introduce herself, as she's going there representing a statewide education association (no, not THAT one). She's there for a national conference, and she's representing SD as they go do their congressional visits. And it went ok, to a point.

Senator Thune, I filled out a handy on-line form and got it sent off.

Congresswoman Herseth, I sent an e-mail describing why she's going and what she wants to discuss.

Senator Johnson... Well, it looks like I have to do everything but provide a security clearance. Here's what I got when I went to try to find an e-mail address to get a note off explaining that she'd like to meet for a moment if possible:
If you would like to schedule a meeting with me in the Washington, DC office, please send a fax to Sonja Dean's…

When the going gets tough, the losers PAC their bags.

Dennis Wiese decided he wanted to do something with all his spare time. Now that he doesn't have the burden of running for Governor, he's decided to form a PAC. From the Rapid City Journal:
Three weeks after he lost his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor to Jack Billion, Dennis Wiese wants to set up his own political action committee to help low-budget candidates in the future. The agricultural consultant from Flandreau spent about $50,000 on his campaign, compared to more than $150,000 by Billion, a retired orthopedic surgeon from Sioux Falls. Wiese said the experience showed him that a PAC paid for by small donations from people with "mainstream" South Dakota political values could help candidates of limited financial means.

"I'd like to convert what I started into the campaign into a political action committee," Wiese said. "I'd like to be able to raise some funds, so that whoever might want to run for governor in 2010 has …

Herseth has another candidate gunning for her now.

Coming off of the weekend's conventions where Libertarians are fielding more top of the ticket candidates than the dems, they continue their drive pushing for the congressional seat. From the Brookings Register:
Rural Bruce resident Larry Rudebusch, 45, said today that he is campaigning as the Libertarian Party's candidate for South Dakota's at-large seat in the U. S. House of Representatives.

In a news release this morning, the family farm operator announced his campaign theme: "It's Time to Work the Problem." Explaining further, Rudebusch said his campaign "will focus on the single factor which has been identified from history to be the root cause of the serious problems facing South Dakota and this nation. That single factor is this nation's monetary system."

Putting the nation's public and private debt at more than $26 trillion total, Rudebusch cited the need for "monetary reform to restore public control over the nation's money su…

Go send Bruce Whalen some money

As reported in the Rapid City Journal, Coming off of the Republican convention, Bruce Whalen is more than 2/3rds of the way towards meeting a fundraising goal set by the National Republican Congressional Committee:
Fresh from a feel-good weekend at the South Dakota Republican state convention in Watertown, U.S. House candidate Bruce Whalen of Pine Ridge is hunting for more than a pat on the back from party faithful this week. He needs money, too.

The GOP challenger to incumbent Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth is trying to reach a $75,000 fund-raising target set a month ago by U.S. Rep. Tom Reynolds of New York, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Reynolds told Whalen and his campaign manager Lee Breard to raise $75,000 by June 30 and to expect some matching money from the NRCC if they did. As of Sunday, the campaign had reached $55,000, Breard said.Read it here, and then Click to go to his website and send him some money to help him reach his goal.

WOW. 5 more days left in the month, and I'm already past my monthly visit record

No complaints here. With all the political happenings, my visitors and hits have gone through the roof.

Quick reflections on the GOP convention

5 things I enjoyed about convention

1. Outstanding internet access on the part of the Watertown Ramkota.
DANG! You guys knew what your conventioneers wanted and you gave it to us, especially the blogger(s). The internet access on the floor and in the rooms was great. I'd take a convention back there anyday.

2. 'Someone' running the halls at 4am yelling "Dana Randall for State Party Chairman."
Of course, that left Dana explaining that he wasn't seeking the office. But it was a exuberant show of support for one of the GOP's most influential and top county leaders.

3. Ron Volesky being applauded.
When Larry Long gave his acceptance speech and mentioned he had the same opponent as four years ago, Ron Volesky, the croud erupted in spontaneous applause.

4. Dialogue
Always the best part of convention. I really enjoy speaking with county chairmen and elected officials to get thier opinion on the direction of the party, and the issues we face. Hearing from young gunner…

First Contribution by "DianeM"

In case you didn't notice on the last post, there's a new contributor to the SDWC. DianeM spends some time talking about a campaign code of election ethics that provides some good food for thought.

Sabotage is not an acceptable nor is it an ethical campaign tool.

In the Sunday, June 25, 2006 Argus Leader article, “Many at GOP convention ask where did Sahr rumors start?” Senator John Koskan was quoted -- “The rumors about Sahr’s conduct didn’t surface overnight … I don’t know where they came from … That’s the beauty of a rumor.” Waited a minute, did he say “beauty of rumor”, didn’t he mean to say that is the tragedy of a rumor?

Call it a rumor, don’t think so. I personally call it political sabotage. Sabotage is not an acceptable nor is it an ethical campaign tool. This is low rent campaigning on the part of the instigators. To win at any cost is totally and completely unethical in every sense of the word. It is just plain wrong. It is totally dishonest to employ such tactics.

I have no idea who Mr. Sahr is, but I do know that he has a wife and children. What right did these people have in creating mayhem in the personal lives of the Sahr family? Did the saboteurs give any considerations to them? I find this whole situation of attacking a fellow …

Convention 2010 tentatively set for Huron

As I was getting out the door yesterday because my kids had had their fill of convention - God knows why an 18 month old wouldn't enjoy a couple hours of speeches - Dana Randall of Aberdeen was announcing that contingent upon approval by the central committee, the site selection committee had selected Huron as the location for the 2010 State Republican Convention (despite Brookings nice new Swiftel center).

And a personal big thanks to Dana from me. While I had only my head stuck inside the door in the rear of the room as the kids loaded up in the car, from up on the podium he gave props to the SDWC and myself. Not that I was looking for it, but that's a nice turnaround from several months ago when I got called out at the central committee meeting.

I still have many more reflections on this years' conventions to come, so stay tuned.

Stephanie expresses her frustrations at the Democratic Convention

In an associated press article this morning in the Rapid City Journal, Congresswoman Herseth expresses her frustrations at being D:
Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth told delegates at the party's state convention Saturday that Republican officeholders have run roughshod for too long in Washington and Pierre, predicting a public backlash at the polls in November. Herseth, who is seeking re-election to a second full term and faces Republican Bruce Whalen of Pine Ridge in the general election, said House GOP leaders have stifled debate on Democratic ideas while moving the country backward on money matters and many other issues.

It is frustrating to be a Democrat in the Republican-controlled Congress, she said.

"Not a week goes by where I don't wonder what it would be like to be in the majority party," Herseth told Democratic delegates at a picnic luncheon.


"It's important that we look a little bit at some of those who've given it their best shot …