Showing posts from October 15, 2006

Zucker Anti-Dem ad. Pretty funny stuff

I think this is pretty funny, although it's also pretty far fetched. At this point, it's hit viral video status.

Stan Adelstein: Still can't get the hint.

Sibby had a nice little story this AM that's usually the type of thing I'm right on top of. I think Sibby was focusing more on the abortion angle, but what caught my attention was the headline: Adelstein organizing four Democratic campaigns which he picked up in a story as written by Judy Peres of the Chicago Tribune:

"This is all the candidates are talking about, instead of worrying about education and other pressing problems," said state Sen. Stan Adelstein, a long-time legislator who — like three other moderate Republicans who voted against the ban — was beaten in the June primaries by a conservative Christian.

Adelstein, who co-chairs the Campaign for Healthy Families, is organizing four Democratic Senate campaigns. "My party needs to get back to focusing on true Republican issues — keeping
government out of people's lives, economic growth, education of gifted children and diversity of lifestyle and faith," said Adelstein, who is Jewish. "The only…

Billion says that like it's a good thing,

In an AP article by Chet Brokaw, Jack Billion recently pronounced where he stands philosopically within the spectrum of the Democratic Party. And, while I'm sure some of the commenters will form their own opinions, I'm pegging them a good way towards the left:
But long before he entered politics himself, Billion was inspired by George McGovern, a fellow Democrat who served three terms as a U.S. senator from South
Dakota and lost the 1972 presidential race to President Nixon.

"I'm an old McGovernite," Billion said.

"I think probably I became inspired with George McGovern when he spoke out against the Vietnam War," Billion said.

"Although I'm a veteran, I saw the war perhaps from the side of a physician. It was a tremendous loss of young people," Billion said. "You have an undying admiration for the young men and women who went over there and fought and suffered. They were a remarkable generation."

Billion also said he admired former Pre…

Here's a campaign approach I never want to see again. The Chain E-Mail

Lord, please forgive the judicial candidates for they don't know any better.

Here's a new campaign approach from Kathleen Trandahl for Circuit Judge:

----Original Message-----
From: Kathleen Trandahl []
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2006 10:05 PM
To:(an unfortunate soul who got this in his in-box - pp)
Subject: Play It Forward...Kathleen Trandahl for Circuit Judge

October 19, 2006 Play It Forward... Dear Friends:
After being greeted by barking dogs, driving thousands of miles to go door to door and signing hundreds of letters, I have to admit my campaign for re-election as Circuit Court Judge has turned out to be a terrific experience.ISSUES:
I’ve learned from the typical voter they do not want Judges who legislate from the bench and are concerned we keep our rural courthouses open.I …

Stephanie Herseth: Spice Girl in training?

If any of you remember the disturbing period during the 1990's when the Spice Girls ran rampant, you too will cringe when you read this blurb about Stephanie Herseth using the same slogan that they did as they pranced across Europe talking about Girl Power:
U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth will address high school girls about the importance of “girl power” in careers Saturday at South Dakota State University.Herseth will give opening remarks at the “Ready SET (Science Engineering & Technology) - You Go Girl!” workshop given by the College of Engineering and Women in Technology. Read it here.

Let's just hope she doesn't start asking us to "tell her what we want. What we really, really want"

Say it ain't so, Dan. Argus LEader goes for community reaction in the Sutton/Page affair

The Argus Leader, following suit with some of the other media in the state, went to District 9 for reaction over the allegations that Senator Dan Sutton sexually groped the son of 2006 Democratic gubernatorial primary candidate Dennis Wiese when the two shared a hotel room during the 2006 legislative session:
Most didn't want to talk about it.Chad Weber, a chiropractor, embodied the spirit of many.

"I've got my opinions, but I'm going to keep them to myself," he said.Still, several people spoke up in defense of Sutton.

Val Smith chalked up the accusation against Sutton to a political hatchet job. Smith, who called Sutton "Danny," said she's been a friend for years.

"I think most people support Danny," she said."He's done so much for the school. He's done so much for the town. He volunteered hours and hours at the school. He would never do anything like that. He's not that type of person."
Verna Keiser, in town from Co…

Just a quick roundup on the Sutton affair from the blogosphere.

Here's what some of the blogosphere has been saying about Dan Sutton.

(BTW, No relation to the Community Foundation' s Pierre's Bob Sutton. I hear his phone has been ringing off the hook asking about his brother. No. It's not Duane Sutton. It's Dan)
SDP SaysIf Dan Sutton is innocent, there will be hell to pay.

SoDa Politics says the Argus got it wrong.

Tod Epp comments that if he were in charge of KSFY as he was back in the day, there'd be no release of names.

Mt. Blogmore starts a discussion thread on Sutton fighting back

Radioactive Chief is saying he wants to wait and see.

Chad at CCK wants to know who knew what when, but with that being said, why in the hell did Sutton run again knowing he was under investigation.

Joel Rosenthal is saying "It's all political. It's all political." I don't agree, I don't agree

The James Lipton of the SD Blogosphere, David Newquist is noting that "Bloggers in South Dakota are having a suckfest telling eac…

You know, there are signs you can get a good college education in SD. South Dakota Student Federation comes out against Amendment E

Ryan Brunner, executive Director of the South Dakota Student Federation just dropped me a note. And it's a great example of how you can comptete with anyone in the world with an SDSU Education. (And the other schools are pretty good too).

The South Dakota Student Federation, representing nearly 31,000 South Dakota students unanimously passed a resolution urging South Dakota voters to reject Amendment E. AND it's on the SD Regent's agenda tomorrow as well.

Here's the resolution introduced at SDSU, and carried forth to the federation where it was passed by all:
Title of Resolution: Opposition to Amendment E; the Judicial Accountability Initiated Law.

Text of Resolution:

WHEREAS, a constitutional amendment (Judicial Accountability Initiated Law) will be submitted to South Dakota voters in November 2006, designated Amendment E; and

WHEREAS, if approved by the voters, Amendment E would allow lawsuits against all South Dakota judges, jurors, prosecutors, citizen boards, including …

JRo says Volesky " popped out a screw somewhere on the Campaign Trail"

Joel Rosenthal over at SD Straight Talk has a post asserting that Ron Volesky may have had a screw loose, which fell out on the campaign trail. It's kind of funny, but I don't know if it was meant that way:
Consider this unreal statement:

“If 9-11 hadn’t happened, I would have been elected attorney general in 2002”

Larry Long was elected in 2002 because of his legal and prosecutorial ability not political ability. While 9-11 was an issue nationally, it never came up in 2002 AGs race. Ron is being revisionist on this one.

The other report that makes question if Ron should be checking his meds follows:

"Volesky made a notable slip-up when asked about his position on Amendment E, a proposal that would make judges and other public officials vulnerable to private lawsuits over their official actions. Volesky apparently thought that Amendment E was the title of the proposed abortion ban, and he launched into a speech about his opposition to that ballot issue, which is actually known…

Gerber and Rounds on Senior Citizens from tonight's debate

They'll have it on line soon enough, but I wanted to test out my new toy. So here's Rounds and Gerber (not in that order) talking about "elders."

PP has a new toy, but Dan Brendtro still won't tell anyone where he's getting his.

I got a new toy tonight. My computer card for watching and recording TV on my computer got here. How did installation and everything go? Let me sum it up in one word.

Sweet. It works slicker than snot.

The best $20 I can remember spending in a long time. As I experiment with it, hopefully you'll be seeing more clips and commericals on the website. Oh, it's the Leadtek "Wintek TV2000XP Deluxe with remote" from in case you want one for yourself.

Speaking of spending money on toys, there's someone else out there spending money on neat things like commericals and mailers. Except despite being required to do so, he's not telling people where he got the money to buy them.

Daniel Brendtro of Forward South Dakota just filed his mid-year report with the Secretary of State's office. And to answer the question that's been on the tip of politicos tongues - Who was the big contributor who provided all of their cash?

$56,200 all donated by "The South …

Dick Kelly has a couple of new radio ads

Check out the new radio advertising from State Senator Dick Kelly in his re-election efforts.

The first one talks about how it would be goofy to have a change in the state senate.

The second? An endorsement by Governor Rounds for returning Kelly to Pierre.

Site traffic is through the roof. Sure you don't want some?

You thought you needed a campaign website, but no one is looking at it?

My website traffic is through the roof with the election quickly approaching. So why not drive some of my traffic to your campaign website?

I've got ad space left up at the top ($50 mo) and in the banners at the side ($100/week). I had 18,000 visitors clicking though pages to total 40,000+ hits last month. And this month is on track to be much higher.

Interested? E-mail me here, and I can get your campaign or other ad up right away!

Recent No on 6 Commercial

If you haven't seen it yet, here's a no on 6 commercial that's been running.

Behind the curve about a day or so, the Associated Press weighs in on the Sutton allegations

The Associated Press is reporting this morning on the allegations against Democratic State Senator Dan Sutton. And while they might be behind the curve, it's the AP. So, that means the story will soon go national:
The attorney general and state Senate leaders are investigating allegations of possible sexual misconduct involving a state lawmaker and an 18-year-old legislative page. The father of the former page, believed to be a male, has accused Sen. Dan Sutton, D-Flandreau, of misconduct during the last legislative session, said Senate Democratic Leader Garry Moore of Yankton.Moore and other officials would not discuss specifics of the allegation.Sutton, who served one term in the state House and is finishing a third term in the Senate, did not return messages left Wednesday at his work and home.His attorney, Mike Butler of Sioux Falls, said at a news conference that the accusations are an attempt to publicly destroy Sutton.Butler said an investigator for the state Division of Cri…

I don't think the people supporting Amendment E appreciated the NPR interview this morning.

Poor Bonnie Russell. She can't catch a break, as it would appear that the NPR interview didn't go as well as she might have hoped:
By and large the rest of media in search of better ratings, decided to favor "shriek journalism" favored by FOX. NPR and Nina Totenberg abandoned all journalistic standards when featuring Amendment E. Instead of interviewing the South Dakota sponsor, NPR interviewed an opponent, who runs a blog he describes as "a bunch of rambling nonsense from a smart aleck Republican" (Believe him, it is). Then NPR interviewed an attorney opposed to Amendment E. But the actual sponsor of Amendment E was not interviewed. Instead, NPR did an out-of-context, cut and paste cuts from earlier interviews and lumped that with a California man (also cut and pasted) not affiliated with Amendent E. At no time were questions posed to Stegmeier himself. Thus, NPR is the latest convert to ethics-free "Journalism."

It turns out the "watch dog&qu…

Sex Offenders
And Jim Hundstad's explanation as to why he voted against making them report information to the police.

I heard about this one a couple of days ago, and I was fortunate enough to snag some video.

In an Aberdeen League of Women Voters forum, a question was posed to the candidates about how they would protect people from sex offenders. Hundstad's opponent, Brian Johnson got in a zinger about how in 2003 (the same year he tried to impose a new type of property tax) Hundstad voted against HB 1033, an act which required sex offenders to report information to police.

What intrusive information did Hundstad not want child molesters to provide to officials charged with making sure they don't try to have sex with kids again? Oh, intrusive stuff like where they work and/or go to school. So, if a child moilester committed another act like that, he didn't want police to know where to find them.

Catch Brian zinging him for it, and Hundstad's explanation for yourself:

Might that explanation seem plausible? Maybe. But he's leaving out one fact.

Hundstad's horse-poop excuse for an e…

Bombshell - KSFY Names the Victim in the Sutton Page Investigation

KSFY TV is reporting on their website the identity of the family involved:
On Thursday afternoon Mike Butler, the lawyer for state Senator Dan Sutton, said his client has done nothing wrong. He says it all started during this year's lesgisaltive session when rumors circulated about Sutton. But nothing came from the rumors until this month when former Democratic candidate for governor Dennis Wiese sent a letter to Senate leadership."Now Mr. Wiese has decided that he would apparently contact Senator Schoenbeck," Butler says, "and attempt to accomplish by public accusation what he couldn't get accomplished by a criminal investigation."In that letter Wiese says his son, who was a page at the time, was groped by Senator Sutton. Butler says he doesn't know who made that those letters public, but the timing is political according to the attorney, as Washington, D.C. Reacts to the Congressman Mark Foley page scandal.Read it all here. Holy crap. I'm surprise…

The reporter's rolodexes must be stuck on "S." Argus comes out with it's third story of the day

The Argus Leader comes out with it's version of the latest on Dan Sutton where he says he's staying in a story similar to the one that KELO just ran. And it's just about as lurid:
State Sen. Dan Sutton, who is the subject of an investigation involving a teenage legislative page, did nothing inappropriate and has no intention of stepping down, his attorney said today.

Sioux Falls attorney Michael J. Butler came out swinging in defense of Sutton.

He ripped Senate President Lee Schoenbeck and Senate Minority Leader Garry Moore for letters they sent Sutton last week.

Schoenbeck’s letter suggested that Sutton should resign, and both letters called for a legislative investigation into the accusation.

“This is very heavy-handed, and, in my opinion, an abuse of power,” Butler said.

And Butler said that Sutton would continue his bid to seek a fourth term in the state Senate.

“Mr. Sutton is a candidate, and will remain a candidate, for the state Senate,” Butler said.


Schoenbeck’s lette…

KELO Details getting even more lurid

Good gosh. Kelo-land might have to become a "for-pay" adult service with the amount of detail that they're providing on the Sutton page accusations. In their latest, they use the term "sexually groped." Which is probably not going to help the furor over this thing die down.

In the same story where we finally get to hear Sutton's denials, KELO uses terms with a sexual connotation three or four times :
Sutton Denies Page's Accusation

He is on the ballot for re-election in three weeks, but a South Dakota state senator's career is in jeopardy because of an accusation that's been brewing for eight months.

The father of an 18-year-old male page says democrat Dan Sutton sexually groped the young man while the two roomed together during the legislative session.


Sutton was the youngest man in the legislature when we interviewed him in 2000. Now alleged sexual contact with a page could end his young political career.

"Dan Sutton now is all but destroy…

Dems are saying that Sutton should hang tough through the investigation

The Argus Leader is reporting this afternoon that Democratic State Senator Dan Sutton, who has been accused of sexual misconduct with a legislative page, is being advised by the South Dakota Democratic Party to not resign, and to hang in there and face the charges:
State Sen. Dan Sutton, who is the subject of an investigation involving a legislative page, should not step down until a criminal investigation is completed, the spokesman for the South Dakota Democratic Party said today.

“We think the investigation should play itself out,” Donald Carr said.

Senate Minority Leader Garry Moore, D-Yankton, has called for the legislative Executive Committee to investigate the accusation.

At the same time, Attorney General Larry Long has confirmed that a criminal investigation is under way, although he declined to talk about the matter.

The father of the former page has accused Sutton, a Flandreau Democrat, of misconduct during the last legislative session, according to state Sen. Garry Moore.


No-on-E campaign links up my NPR interview

The No on E campaign was nice enough to put a big link on their website to the interview Tim Gebhart and I did with Nina Totenberg:
NPR Covers Amendment EWed, Oct 18th 2006Award-winning legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg delivered an in-depth report on Amendment E for National Public Radio. The nine minute segment ran on Morning Edition today and is an excellent synopsis of the election thus far. Listen here and then click here to see how you can help the campaign to stop Amendment E.

KELO: Senator Accused of Sexual Misconduct

KELO weighs in with the most lurid headline yet to date with the story:
SD Legislator Accused Of Sexual Misconduct

The attorney general and state Senate leaders in South Dakota are investigating possible misconduct involving state Senator Dan Sutton of Flandreau and an 18-year-old legislative page.


State Senate presiding officer Lee Schoenbeck says parents of a former page have made allegations of "a senator's conduct towards that page of a sexual nature".Read it all here.

Argus Leader: Senator identified - Dan Sutton

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader has an article this morning on the brewing controversy in the state senate. And it's naming names:
The South Dakota Attorney General's Office and Senate leaders are investigating allegations of wrongdoing involving a state lawmaker and an 18-year-old legislative page, officials confirmed Tuesday.

The father of a former page has accused Sen. Dan Sutton, D-Flandreau, of misconduct during the last legislative session, according to state Sen. Garry Moore.

Schoenbeck, who wouldn't talk about his letter, did say the parent of a page complained to him last week about the inappropriate behavior of a state senator.

"Under Senate rules, it's my job to be the first one to deal with that," he said."I would not express an opinion about the truthfulness of the allegation," he added. "That's why we have a hearing process in the Senate."

In his letter addressed to Sutton, Moore indicated that Sutton may have violated legis…

Mercer: State Senator told to resign

In this morning's Pierre Capitol Journal, (as well as probably several other daily newspapers around the state which I haven't seen yet, such as the Aberdeen American, Watertown and Black Hills Pioneer) the print copies are dropping a bomb which I've been talking about.

The Pierre Headline? "State Senator told to resign."

A few sentences from the article:
The South Dakota Legislature has it's own page scandal brewing.

The state Senate's highest-ranking member confirmed Tuesday that he had received a complaint from the father of a high school student involving allegations about another senator's behavior.

The alleged incidents took place over the course of several nights during the 2006 legislative session last winter, when the 18-year-old male student served as a Senate page.

The sutdent allegedly was in the company of the senator, without anyone else present, at the senator's motel room.

The senator in question has been sent a letter giving him the choi…

Hot Springs decides to remove Mayor. But not quite so fast.

According to the Rapid City Journal this morning, Mayor Carl Oberlightner might be resigning. Maybe:
Five members of the Hot Springs City Council have asked Mayor Carl Oberlitner to resign in the wake of an audit that found two city property deals violated state law. Three other members of the council refused to sign the letter.

One council member said he plans to circulate petitions to recall Oberlitner, who is serving his sixth term.

At a tumultuous council meeting Monday night, Oberlitner said he would consider resigning but in his own time, according to two council members.

The Journal was unable to reach Oberlitner for comment Tuesday.

A state audit, requested by the council, found that the city violated state law by not following proper procedures in a land exchange that resulted in a nine-hole addition to the city golf course. It also found that city officials, including Oberlitner, at the last minute added requirements for bids on the former city-owned Carnegie Library witho…

Anti - DM&E Advertising

It's not on the ballot anywhere else but Brookings this election. But here's a commerical, courtesy of YouTube where the anti-DM&E forces are trying to scare the bejeezus out of Brookings residents:

SDPB Debates

Shame on me.

I missed the debates tonight, because I had to go out and do something as mundane as buying groceries. I'm also shopping for parts for my computer. After 4 years, I'm finally upgrading.

Anyway, I keep hearing that the Libertarian made quite a show, so I'll have to catch the replay on Sunday when I'm over in Brookings.

Speaking of debates, here's the rundown from the SDPB website:

Replay the Public Utilities Commission Debate

Replay the Attorneys General Debate

U.S. House
Candidates are Stephanie Herseth (D), Sioux Falls; Larry Rudebusch (Libertarian), Bruce; and Bruce Whalen (R), Pine Ridge.

TV: Tuesday, Oct. 17, 8 p.m. CT/ 7 MT
TV: Sunday, Oct. 22, 1 p.m. CT/ noon MT
Radio: Wednesday, Nov. 1, noon CT/ 11 a.m. MT

Candidates are Steven J. Willis (Constitution), Sioux Falls; Jack Billion (D), Sioux Falls; Tom Gerber (Libertarian), Sturgis; and Mike…

PBS Congressional Debate. So, how do you think it went?

I had a reader request this post, so I'm going to leave it wide open with little comment from me.

So, who do you think kicked tail? Bruce or Stephanie. Or did the libertarian show them both up?

The floor is yours.

Thanks for your massive number of hits yesterday and today. But stop and breathe for a moment.
Update - And a clarification of procedure

Well, I've got a couple of extra website visitors since yesterday. Say, about 1500-2000 extra.

I do appreciate the traffic, and the other websites pointing here talking about this story, but let's stop and take a breath for a moment.

The facts at this point are simply that Senate rules are alleged to have been broken, and a letter has been sent out from the Senate President Pro Tempore. And a follow up letter was sent from the Senate Minority Leader to his fellow Senate caucus member that he was also asking for action to clear it up. And that's alleged, as in not proven.

For those of you who are looking for more, until the deadline to respond to the allegations has passed (10/18), I don't think there's more to say about it, and there's nothing to be gained from sensationalizing it.

Either there could be a withdrawl from a State Senate Race, or we could hear a call for a special session. Or there might be a third or even a fourth option that I'm not aware of.


I'm on NPR Tomorrow. Maybe.

Tim Gebhart of A Progressive on the Priarie and I are supposedly going to be on National Public Radio tomorrow morning on the topic of Amendment E:
In South Dakota, anyone who objects to how his court case was handled may soon be able to complain to a grand jury. Voters will decide if the legal protections for judges and juries should be eliminated. The "Jail four Judges" amendment, Wednesday on Morning Edition.We appeared on it as two people from divergent political views who came together to fight the amendment. If anyone happens to catch it - I'd owe you big if you could tape it for me. (I bet there'd even be a SDWC t-shirt in it for you)

Grassroot SD Democrats. Restoring civility to South Dakota politics.

(Big Hat tip to Poliglut)

I see that the Grassroots South Dakota Democrats are doing their part to restore civility to South Dakota politics with this billboard at about 41st and Louise in Sioux Falls.

2 new No on 7 television commercials

No on 7 - the people who are working against the ban on video lottery have two new commercials on their plate, and of course, on the air.

The first is titled: Enough

The second: Not Time

I've got all my uploaded commericals on my youtube space which you can view here.

Bruce Whalen TV Ad - Taking Herseth to Task

Check out the new Bruce Whalen TV AD which takes after Herseth on her comments on the pro-choice teleconference.

It's going to be a fight for the last few weeks.

District 32 Debate: Abortion, Adelstein, and a Superman cape

The Rapid City Journal is reporting this morning that the District 32 Legislative candidate forum sounded as if it might have been a little less bland than some of them have a tendency to be:
"I believe we need to promote a culture of life and respect for life at all levels of government," Republican Elli Schwiesow, who supports the abortion ban, said.

Democrat Tom Katus, who opposes the ban, held up a Christian Science Monitor with the headline "South Dakota's stark abortion choice" and said, "I don't think that's the headline that ought to be there."


"I firmly believe that the hand that rocks the cradle directs the nation," Schwiesow said. "I'm dedicated to strengthening families. I've been a teacher, a homeroom mom, a soccer mom and a paper-route mom. I love children."


Katus, who is a consultant to small businesses, colleges and foundations, is a long-time Democratic Party activist.

Adelstein is crossing pa…

If you haven't read A Progressive on the Prairie today - check out Bill Stegmeier's next ballot initiative "the SD Anti-Communist Act"

Oh wow. I just got around to reading Tim Gebhart's post tonight on Bill Stegmeier's next ballot intitiative effort. You think Amendment E is crazy? Wait until you read about the "South Dakota Anti-Communist Act/Amendment" that Bill may bring to SD:
Even before voters have expressed their views on Amendment E (J.A.I.L.), South Dakota Bill Stegmeier is working to put another extremist idea before the voters.

Gene Chapman is running for president in 2008. Who is Gene Chapman? He is an individual behind such concepts as the "Slave Freedom/Mark of The Beast Class Action Law Suit." Chapman comes from one of Stegmeier's favorite group of people -- tax protestors. In fact, Stegmeier's former blog site is at the top of the list of "Friendly Links" at Chapman's "Slave Freedom Movement" website and, before he pulled it down, Stegmeier's blog contained many of the ideas Chapman supports. I'll talk about Chapm…

South Dakotans for Medical Marijuana TV Ad
(Initiated Measure 4)

This ad is ok. But just ok. If I was to do it, I think I'd insert some graphics all throughout the message with regards to the points she was making, and noting a "vote yes on 4" message on it.

But see it for yourselves.

On a completely different subject, Democratic Candidate Catherine Ratliff has a web page for her dog on her campaign site

As I wait for my latest "YouTube acquisition" to process after the upload, here's something from one of the candidate's websites:

District 30 Democratic Senate Candidate Catherine Ratliff sent me a note the other day. She pointed out that apparently the page on her website with her dog, Blue, is getting more traffic than her own information.

Check it out here. And ask yourself... What does a dog have to do with getting elected? Well... for starters, at least it's not a cat. And what better opportunity for fans of the movie Old School to go "You're my boy, Blue!"

Wow. This has been an interesting evening.


This has been an interesting evening. My phone has been ringing off of the hook after that last story on the accusation of a Senator committing a violation of Senate rules.

And even worse than that, I had an reader honor my request and (very anonymously) send me the Garry Moore letter. And frankly, now that I see the allegation alluded to in writing, I kind of wish I could "unsee" it. Why? Because this story is going to blow wide open.

You can tell from the letter that the Senator is UNhappy with his fellow caucus member. Aside from the seriousness of the allegation, it seems like he's doubly mad from finding out about it from someone other than the legislator himself.

Okay. Without disclosing the Legislator and the allegations, I will provide this much:

I'm going to sit on the rest for a while. I need to run that by a couple of respected opinions before I lay it all out there.

I will open up comments here. Only so long as you A.) keep it civil., and B.) don&…

There are storm clouds on the political horizon. Withdrawal from the race, or special session to follow?

I've been piecing this puzzle together over the past few days. As I turned over one rock to look for a nugget of information, I'd find two in my quest to get the story.

I've been thinking how to do the set-up to preface this article, and most of my ideas have fallen flat, or they go into more detail than I care to give. There is rumor and innuendo surrounding this story without many of the facts being in the public domain at the moment. Given the magnitude of the tale, I'd prefer to keep it to the facts I have had verified.

So, what do I know?

The rumbling in the sky started last week. GOP campaigns were busy with the usual and frequent responses to press releases issued by the Democratic Party. And then the Democratic releases supposedly stopped, or at least took a significant dip in frequency. This coincided with a letter which went out from Senate President Pro Tempore Lee Schoebeck to a Democratic State Senator, which was copied to Senate Democratic Leadership.

The le…

Let's get this party started. As long as it doesn't involve nominations or endorsements of a political candidate.

The Rapid City Journal recently had an article in the paper talking about the judicial candidates with an innocuous headline "Judicial candidates tout their experience." From the article:
Two campaigns in western South Dakota in the Nov. 7 general election will match a state'’s attorney against an incumbent judge. John Fitzgerald, Lawrence County state'’s attorney, will challenge incumbent judge Jerome Eckrich to be a 4th Circuit judge, serving Meade, Lawrence, Butte, Harding, Perkins, Corson, Dewey and Ziebach counties.

Lance Russell, state'’s attorney for Fall River and Shannon Counties, will challenge incumbent judge A.P. "“Pete" Fuller to be a 7th Circuit judge, serving Pennington, Fall River, Custer and Shannon counties.

In the June primary election, Russell and Fuller defeated Lara Roetzel, chief deputy state'’s attorney for Pennington County, to move on to the general election.


Fuller said voters should look at the experience of each …

Herseth for Congress Ad

Wow. Somebody has money to spend on advertising. This looks like it's shot on film with post production effects. And if you look, the effects appear behind her with her able to move in front of them.

Go check it out here if you want a larger version

Got Commercials?

Lest anyone think I'm playing favorites in any way, if you have - or know where I can find the campaign commercials for this election season, please let me know. I want to post them.

Radio or TV, ballot measure, state, legislative or local candidates, I want them all. If you have the video file, e-mail it to me at and I'll upload it to my webspace, or my Youtube space if I need to.

No on Amendment D TV Commercial

This is brand spanking new, so I even haven't see it yet. Reader "Poliglut" was nice enough to send it to me.

(I have got to get a tv capture card for my computer)

The Office of School and Lands: Just a sleepy little contest

Kate Turnbow in the Pierre Capitol Journal reported this past Friday on a race that's been running somewhat under the radar - the campaign for the Office of School and Public Lands.

One of this year's little known political races is for commissioner of school and public lands, and with no upcoming debates in the works, the candidates said the campaign has mainly consisted of forums and parades.

"We've kind of been forgotten about, but in this day of (school district) opting-out, we need to make sure this office is run as efficiently as possible, like a business," said Jarrod Johnson, the Republican candidate for commissioner of school and public lands.

Bryce Healy is the incumbent and is the only elected Democrat in South Dakota state administration.


"We've grown the permanent trust by $20 million," said Healy. "We've increased revenues by 11 to 18 percent in the last three to four years, and we've created more opportunities for sports…

Rapid City Journal examines both sides of Amendment D

This morning the Rapid City Journal discusses the two sides of Amendment D - Solution or more problems?
Amendment D will protect homeowners from being taxed out of their homes amid rising property values, supporters say.

Amendment D is a dangerous fix that could do serious harm to school districts and shift the tax burden to first-time homebuyers and anybody who wants to buy farms or other real property in South Dakota, opponents say.


In a nutshell, this constitutional amendment would roll back everyone’s property-tax assessments — the county’s estimate of real-estate value — to 2003 levels and
then allow them to rise only 3 percent per year. The only time the assessed value would change is when a person constructs a new building, remodels an existing one or sells the real estate to someone else.

When a person sells, the actual sale price would become the new valuation.

Sen. Bill Napoli, the Rapid City Republican who has been spearheading the statewide
Amendment D campaign, said the am…

Eddie at South Dakotans for Medical Marijuana complains that no one will pay attention to them. Well, you need a campaign first.

If you haven't noticed in the left hand column from time to time, the South Dakotans for Medical Marijuana have been doing a lot of grousing that no one will pay attention to them.

Yes, the Yankton newspaper did come out in their favor. That's about as many newspapers who came out in favor of JAIL's Amendment E. One newspaper isn't a groundswell.

The thing is, if they want people to pay attention to them, they need an effective campaign.

Now, don't take that as a criticism as much as an observation. How many ads have we seen on Medical Marijuana (MM)? How many tv appearances have we seen from spokespeople? Maybe 1? Possibly two? There's certainly no paid media, so if you want a real campaign, you need an energized earned media campaign that I would argue hasn't caught fire.

How many politicians have they gotten to help promote their cause? I recall seeing a letter of support from Tim Johnson on their website at one time early on, but it's like it's disa…

District 2 Senate race quickly becoming a referendum on Amendment D

According to the Aberdeen American News this morning, Amendment D was in the crosshairs of the discussions between State Senator Jim Hundstad and Republican challenger Brian Johnson:
Saturday's questions were posed by audience members, which were few in
number. Of the 25 or so audience members, many were candidates.

Hundstad was the only candidate who said he supports Amendment D on the
November ballot. The measure would alter the assessment process in the state.
Right now, through a process called equalization, like properties are similarly
priced. The change would set property values at sale prices. Hundstad said he
favors that because the current system is broken and allows somebody's property
to increase in value based on what neighbors do.

Johnson said the amendment will cost Central High School in Aberdeen
$400,000 because it rolls property values back to 2003 levels. Other candidates
said the amendment brings too many unanswered questions, but granted that the
Legislature has to ac…