Showing posts from October 8, 2006

Black and Kneebone are all aquiver - because the Novstrups are coming to town

Legislative candidates Tom Black and Ted Kneebone were on Keloland last night sputtering. Probably because they have to spend twice as much on name ID as their opponents, Legislative Father and Son candidates Al and David Novstrup:
The Democratic candidates for the two house seats in District 3 are doing what they can to make sure voters remember what they represent on election day.

Democratic House candidate Tom Black says, "It's trying to meet people one on one, listen to individuals, listen to what they want done in Pierre."

Democratic House candidate Ted Kneebone says, "My name is more memorable, I mean how can you forget Kneebone."

But Tom Black and Ted Kneebone are in a rare situation. They are running against two Republican candidates with the same last name. Al and David Novstrup are a father and son team hoping to win both seats.

District 3 Republican candidate David Novstrup says, "It's been a neat experience being able to run with my dad or campa…

RC Weekly News: Schwiesow, Katus have Different views on 6
If that isn't the "duh" statement of the year, I don't know what is.

The Rapid City Weekly news is doing a series of articles on candidates. And in this one, reporter Lana Bradstream reports that Elli Schwiesow and Tom Katus might have have a few differences:
The race between Democrat Tom Katus and Republican Elli Schwiesow for the District 32 Senate seat is being closely watched across the state as a clue to the direction state politics is headed.Schwiesow, 58, a politician, pro-life advocate and volunteer counselor at the Black Hills Crisis Pregnancy Center, is a wife, mother, grandmother and activist. This is Schwiesow’s second time running. She lost the a primary two years ago to state Sen. Stan Adelstein but beat him a rematch this June..and..Schwiesow and Katus have a big difference other than their political affiliation. Schwiesow is an advocate for Referred Law 6 and Katus is opposed to it. “How can we draw businesses and scientists in with that law?” Katus asked.and...Katus was in the state spotlight this summer when he offered to step aside i…

Light posting as we begin our weekend...

Ahhh... the weekend arrives and so does my travel time to Brookings after the work day is done.

Not too much on the horizon, although there are a few stories I'm working on. I think I've got some more information pinned down on the candidate information that's disappearing from the Rapid City Journal website.

Plus I've got a copy of Scott Heidepreim's fundraising letter which I'll review for your edification. (at least he didn't address it to "Fellow Female Voter." Talk about the most impersonal greeting line ever designed.)

I'm hearing rumblings out there about a hilarious story of campaign mischief, but the story is only at chapter one, so I have to let it percolate. This one will go statewide.

I've even heard rumblings of a story that could go even bigger, but I've been hearing the same stuff on the same story for months. Hasn't happened yet.

Oh - and I got a sneak preview of Isaac Latterell's new website last night. Tres' co…

Mayors Behaving Badly redux: At least this one wasn't a DUI

The Rapid City Journal is reporting this morning that Hot Springs Mayor Carl Oberlitner admits he made mistakes on a land exchange for the local golf course. And on the sale of the library.

But heck, at least he's not out there beating up his wife, fighting with locals, or getting a DUI:
Hot Springs Mayor Carl Oberlitner said Thursday that he made mistakes on the controversial Hot Springs golf course land exchange and on the sale of the former city library, but he said he made the mistakes honestly in efforts to do what was best for the city.A state audit, requested by the city council, found that the city did not follow proper procedures in a land exchange that resulted in a nine-hole addition to the city golf course. It also found that city officials at the last minute added requirements for bids on the former Carnegie Library without council approval, a violation of state law. State auditors presented their report to the city council Sept. 20.

On Oct. 2, the council voted …

Billion August 2004 Letter to the Editor

Came across this tidbit recently from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader (8/11/04):So, society's problems are from divorce, self-indulgence, violence, inappropriate movies, filthy TV programming, and naughty clothing. And church leadership. And the Christian right.

This letter seems to contain quite a bit of church bashing from this future candidate. And a bit of Bush bashing from this candidate who needs a lot of Republican votes if he wants to lead a red state.

Breaking News: Brand New Yes on 6 Television Commercial

HOT OFF OF THE VIDEO PRESS! This is the brand new television commercial for the Vote Yes for Life campaign. For it or against it, you have to admit a group of Doctors talking about the issue is a pretty powerful salvo in the abortion campaign in South Dakota.

Tallywhackers need not respond.

Dear Male Voter:

I'm writing to ask for your vote. I'm concerned that we don't have enough men in the legislature.......
I think if I wrote a letter like that, I'd risk being run out of town on a rail, because it's horribly sexist. So, tell me, why is it o.k. for legialtive candidate Nancy Turbak to address a letter to "Fellow female voter?"

(Click to enlarge)

Now, don't get me wrong, I written several times that Republicans need to have more women in office. But this letter comes across borderline crass, and more than a little condescending.

Aside from the female argument, the letter is strictly devoted to healthcare and abortion.

Uh, I think those of the female-type gender care about much more than that. Women care about owning homes, salary policy, economic development, gas prices, and a plethora of issues outside of their reproductive status.

If you think about it, this letter is little better than something you'd expect from a political letter in …

Liar, Liar... Initiated Measure 7's pants are on fire?

I had this note this AM from a supporter of the Dennis Arnold campaign in response to my post on Initiated Measure 7, the Video Lottery Repeal. And they're rather adamant that Dennis does NOT support Initiated Measure 7, and he frankly doesn't know where they got that:
This came up last week from (Name Redacted) and this was my response. I told him he could forward my response on to whoever he wished. I don't know who this secretive group is but wish they would be open and honest with their statements


-----Original Message-----

From: Dennis Arnold []
Sent: Tuesday, October 03, 2006 11:48 PM
Subject: RE: [Fwd: FW:]

Dear (Name Redacted) :

I don't know who "They" are, but I have clarified personally to (Name Redacted), when I met with him prior to the primary, at my reception publicly and also when I was on KWAT "What's Up" on Monday. My position on Video lottery never comes in any settings except when it c…

A few newspaper ads from a few of the big races

I started chuckling when I saw this one.

Tom, they do have surgery to help remove unwanted growths. You might get it checked before it turns cancerous on your party.
(click on any of the images to enlarge)

This ad from Brian Johnson is issue oriented and in a bulleted form points out a few things that his opponent isn't - pro-life, and standing for family values. Along with that, it takes a shot at Hundstad's record on tax measures (which I can assume means the intangible income tax and Amendment D).

Hundstad moved away from the utter "dorkiness" of riding a sedgeway into this ad which has his name and refers to his office (and not much more). Less dorky, but it still doesn't "pop" on the page.

I like this ad from Isaac Latterell with it's bulleted points and repetition of his name. The only thing I would change is the background in the photo - that's the downside of doing your setup in color. It's hard to see how it will turn out when it's …

Vote Yes on 6 TV Commercial

From the You Tube website for Yes on 6

Jack Billion Gubernatorial Commercial on HB1215

You Tube is a great resource for campaign information. Here's Jack Billion's campaign ad about the abortion ban:

From the Billion For Governor You Tube Space.

Who are you? Who, who, who, who? (the Who)

There are a couple of committees out there this year who are somewhat secretive about their electoral efforts, to say the least.

It's kind of unusual, as most of the measures and committees have a dedicated team behind them promoting the effort. Even goofy Amendment E has a readily identifiable cast of characters.

Except for these two measures - Forward South Dakota, promoting a repeal of Video Lottery, and Citizens For Honest and Open Government who have two attack ads that they are running (want to run) against Governor Rounds.

Ironically, the "Citizens For Honest and Open Government" come off as anything but, as they're less than honest and rather secretive. I heard that the only person publicly listed on the measure, Dwight Hale of Huron, told one reporter who inquired that he had no idea who the other people involved were, and that he was just the treasurer.

Give me a break. You have SERIOUSLY got to be kidding me.

In their zeal to engage in attack politics, they'…

District 32 Online debate. Why?
Instead of trying to make a ripple, it’s better to catch a wave.

District 32 House Candidate Susan Nolan had a bite of earned press today in the Rapid City Journal from her proposal that the Republican and Democratic candidates in that District have an on-line “blog-like” debate forum in which candidates could answer questions.

You know, just like in a real forum:
"I think it's an exciting way to get us all involved, get us talking about issues. It's not just a sound bite. People can check in any time," Nolan said.

She her idea for the virtual debate involves a Web site where moderators and other people could pose questions that each of the candidates would answer.

Nolan said she will have a Web site,, set up Friday for the debate, if any of the other candidates accept her offer.

Hemmingsen said she would probably would.

"I will likely participate in it. I think it's a really unique idea and the only forum that I know of where we could have a sustained dialogue with all four candidates," she said. …

A gift for Brian Johnson from the Aberdeen School District?

The Aberdeen American News is reporting today that the Abderdeen School District is set to re-evaluate a 3.8 Million Dollar outlay for the Simmons School Project if Amendment D passes, because they believe it will reduce their available funding by about $400,000:
The Aberdeen school district's capital outlay budget is expected to lose almost $400,000 annually if South Dakota voters approve Amendment D on Nov. 7.If that happens, the construction/renovation project at Simmons Middle School could be scaled back - but not necessarily.The school board indicated Tuesday night it would examine the entire $3.8 million capital outlay budget for the 2006-07 school year to look for ways to trim $400,000 if Amendment D passes.The amendment would roll most property values back to their 2003 values, until the property changes hands after Jan. 1, 2007. Then, the taxable value would be based on acquisition value. Taxable value is based on actual value now.Tom Janish, the district's finance di…

Heidepreim ad: Ok, but Holy God, a lot of airbrushing

I read the Argus Leader daily, or at least attempt to do so considering the mish-mash they've made of it. And I've been seeing the continuing series of Scott Heidepreim ads without paying too much attention to them. I think I've commented that they're good, but I'll be the first to note that some have been pretty schmaltzy.

And then a few days ago, I got this e-mail which made me pay a little more attention:
Every day I look at the "Scott Hydro-Perm" Argus ad. He's airbrushed THREE DECADES off that photo. Lots of us knew the guy in college, he was student body president. This photo looks like Scott when he was at USD.

I've seen the guy in recent times, his face is a road map of his 52 years. Its ok to be 52, But it seems phony to do that much alteration. Maybe its just me, but that's the photo of a twenty year old. And you know, now that I look at the ad..

You can notice two distinctly different Heidepreim's just within the ad. One…

"Vote No on Seven" ads

(Click on any of the ads to enlarge)

These ads have been appearing in the newspapers since this past weekend, and I'm sure we'll keep seeing them from here on out. I like the first two, but the third one, eh....

"Why refuse revenue from people who want to pay it?" Well, in my family's case an employee paid over $150,000 of revenue into the system without permission. So, I'll guarantee you this ad leaves me more than a little cold (and I already voted no).

Bad scan, but cool political item

I found this the other day in an antique shop in Brookings. At $3.50, I think I got a steal. Even though it's a North Dakota political item it's still nearly 100 years old. And for those of you not familiar with the term, W.C.T.U. stands for Women's Christian Temperance Union, one of the groups which campaigned for the 18th Amendment, which most may know as "Prohibition" which passed the U.S. Senate in 1917.

This ribbon is from their ND convention during a time period that would have been the organization's heyday.

3 TV Commercials from the No on Amendment E People

There are three new television commercials for the "No on Amendment E" campaign and you're seeing them here for the first time!

"Parole Board #2"

"Parole Board"

and "Empty Meetings" - This one is my favorite!

A contrast in styles Heidepreim versus Kelly on the radio

Poliglut, one of the readers of the website was kind enough to send me copies of two of the dueling commercials in the Heidepreim/Kelly race. Or in this case the Heidepreim/Kelly-Heineman race.

I'm not one for group campaigning, as I think it muddies the water.

But, listen, and decide for yourself who pulls it off better.

Heidepreim Commercial

Dick Kelly/Phyllis Heineman Commercial

GOP Candidate injured, but the local troops are rallying on his behalf

I just received word that District 5 Republican Senate candidate, Dennis Arnold, fell off a roof of a house he was working on last night, broke both wrists and received a concussion.

Apparently, he spent last night in the hospital, is expected to be out today, but later in the week will get casts on both his arms.

Local Republicans are organizing as many people as possible to go door to door for Dennis on Sunday evening from 4 to 7. If you know of anyone who can help, contact the Watertown GOP Campaign office at (605) 753-0423.

Billion in the news about his death penalty stance again. Despite the fact it continues to change.

Today's Rapid City Journal goes back to Spearfish and talks about Jack Billion complaining about the Governor's stance on the Death Penalty and how his are clearer and better thought out. Despite the fact they've changed over the course of the campaign:
Capital punishment has become an issue in the 2006 race for governor. On Aug. 29, Rounds stopped the execution of Elijah Page, who had asked to die for his role in a torture slaying near Spearfish in 2000. “I believe in the death penalty,” the Republican governor said at an event in Spearfish late last week.

Morally, the death penalty is the right punishment in many situations, Gov. Mike Rounds said.

His Democratic opponent, Jack Billion, said his own views are clearer and better thought out than Rounds’ are, even though Billion said he has conflicting feelings about the death penalty.
Billion said if he were governor, he would be willing to allow executions despite his personal feelings about the death penalty’s ef…

Selective editing by the Associated Press leads to Rep. Rhoden issuing a statement

In today's Rapid City Journal, Representative Larry Rhoden says yes, he made that statement. Except the first half of it was a separate statement from the second. So, why did the AP put them together:
State Rep. Larry Rhoden, R-Union Center, said an Associated Press story in Monday’s Journal inaccurately interpreted comments he made in an interview about Referred Law 6, the state abortion ban he helped pass during the 2006 South Dakota Legislature. The ban contains no exceptions for rape or incest. Rhoden said the AP story did not accurately reflect his views.

The story quoted Rhoden, the House majority leader, as saying: “I’ve spent a great deal of time and thought wondering if it would have been wiser to write in the exceptions. We have a long row to hoe based on the numbers I’ve seen.”

Rhoden didn’t dispute the accuracy of the quotes, but he said the story put together the two statements that he made at separate points in an interview granted three weeks ago to suggest that he had…

Projects ahead....

As I contemplate the direction my website is moving in, where I am, and where I want to be; I find myself strongly wanting to press forward with projects that I have a strong interest in. I don't envision anything being a full time gig for quite some time to come (if ever), but on the other hand, you start every journey with a single step forward.

At this point, instead of doing 5 or 6 articles in the evening, I'm going to reduce the number of articles in the interest of budgeting my time. In it's place, I hope to spend some of that time compiling the nuggets of campaign information I've posted on this website since February of 2005, so I've got everything in one handy place.

Heck, if my idea comes to fruition, I may even happily post it here and make it available for everyone.

But first, I've got to slog through a lot of articles, organize them, and probably rewrite everything as I incorporate them into "my idea." There's no way I'll have my &qu…

MIssed this Billion Story: Billion campaign optimistic, despite being down by 18 points

Tom Lawrence at the Rapid City Weekly News filed this story on the 6th of October talking about how Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Jack Billion thinks he can capture 80% of the undecideds in the race:
Jack Billion readily admits he’s behind in both the polls and in campaign dollars raised.

Billion, the Democratic candidate for governor, said Thursday he trailed Gov. Mike Rounds by 18 points in a poll conducted for his campaign in mid-September. He said the poll showed Rounds with 46.8% support while he was below 30%.

Despite that gap this late in the campaign, Billion said he remained optimistic. “We were pleased with them,” he said of the poll numbers.

Billion said as a sitting governor, the fact that Rounds was below 50% was good news for his campaign. It showed that Rounds hadn’t gained the support of many South Dakotans, he said.

For him to win, Billion said, he would need to capture 80% of the undecided vote. Can he do that, he was asked? “You bet,” Billion replied.Jack says he ca…

Lawyers for Billion Event.

A campaign organized group "Lawyers for Billion" are having a fundraiser for their man, Jack Billion.

You'd think that list would be longer, wouldn't you?

Kebhart Article in RC Weekly News

State GOP Convention Delegate Sam Kephart had written this editorial in the Rapid City Weekly News, and had sent it to me the other day asking for me to print it. So, without further ado, here's the article:
What’s not working in South Dakota power politics Samuel R. Kephart The 2006 fall election cycle is on. Press conferences are being held, signs are getting planted, political ads have begun to run and words are beginning to fly. Serious faces acting out the same partisan war dance of years past.

What’s missing?

Next time you watch your favorite candidate or listen to their message, ask yourself, am I touched, moved and inspired by this person? It’s a pretty simple and effective litmus test for real leadership ... and I’ll bet your answer is no.

South Dakota has big dreams. It wants to assume its rightful place in the global economy, it wants a living wage and affordable health care access for its residents, and it wants to stop exporting its best future — its young people. What’…

First, it was a plan. Now it's a website.
So really, what's it going to cost?

I don't think I had noted it earlier, but South Dakota Democrats have posted their Common Ground Plan on a common ground website with pictures at (what else)

So, really guys... How much is it going to cost?

SD Abortion ban battle hits national press in AP Article

Check out this article just filed in the past two hours by the Associated press about the South Dakota Abortion ban:
"We're David, they're Goliath," contended Leslee Unruh, head of the campaign group supporting the ban. Parked outside her office in Sioux Falls were cars with a blunt bumper sticker: "The Killing Stops Here."The most recent independent poll, in July, found 47 percent of voters opposed the ban, 39 percent favored it, 14 percent were undecided. When asked if they would approve a ban with exceptions for rape and incest, support rose to 59 percent.Unruh, who had an abortion years ago that she now regrets, says momentum is turning as more voters hear her side's core message: Abortion hurts women. In the event of defeat, she vows to keep fighting."Sometimes it's not about votes — it's about the truth," she said.Jan Nicolay, a former school principal and Republican state legislator, is co-chair of the campaign…

South Dakota Gun Owners hates Dale Hargens.
But then again, if you have no credibility, does it really matter?

The South Dakota Gun Owners seem to have singled out Democratic Representative Dale Hargens as the subject of it's ire in an article on it's website titled: The Double-Cross - State Rep. Dale Hargens betrays gun owners.

But then again, if you have no credibility, does your criticism matter?
Democrat Dale Hargens will tell you he’s pro-gun.

In fact, he has made multiple campaign promises to support your gun rights.

But his voting record tells a very different story.

In 2002, state Rep. Hargens (D-Beadle, Hand and Jerauld Counties) responded to South Dakota Gun Owners’ candidate survey. SDGO sends out a no-nonsense questionnaire before the elections. Each candidate is asked to give yes-or-no answers to specific gun rights questions and then to sign the questionnaire.

In his survey, Rep. Hargens promised gun owners that he would oppose new concealed pistol permit restrictions, the Lautenberg gun ban and several other anti-gun measures. He also pledged his support for the Right to Se…

Sorry for the light posting this weekend. I've been down with a miserable cold.

I note my readership has dipped a little this weekend, most certainly because the lack of new content. Sorry about that.

I'm just getting out of bed, as I've been miserably sick with a chest cold. I had to skip a wedding I wanted to go to, and I kept falling asleep last night because I felt so miserable.

I've got a few things I'm working on, so I should have some more content over the next day or so before I drive back to Pierre, not the least of which is the Argus Leader reaching the summit of it's two year campaign of against the Governor with it's endorsement of Billion.

Stay tuned.

Amendment E Billboard

Here's a photo sent in by a reader of an Amendment E billboard at about 12th street. Good one!

Grumpier Old Man: Former GOP Chair Dwight Adams trashes John Thune because he's on the opposite end of an issue

You could have picked my jaw up off of the floor when I read this story by Kate Turnbow of the Pierre Capitol Journal this past Friday. In this story, former State Republican Party Chairman Dwight Adams did a total hatchet job on Republican U.S. Senator John Thune because Thune supports the DM&E Rail expansion and Dwight opposes it because the rail line runs near his house.

In the article titled "outrage over forum abounds" Dwight went out of his way to take a partisan swipe at John Thune who had served as Executive Director for the South Dakota Republican Party during his time as chairman.

I would point out that "Executive Director" is a much different connotation than "Executive Assistant." And Dwight is taking credit for Thune having sought public office? I'd have to wait for John to weigh in on that.

But, regardless of the personal relationship they once shared, now they're on the opposite side of an issue, Dwight's opinion of John "…