Showing posts from November 5, 2006

The slate is wiped clean... Ready to be written on again

If you haven't noticed, just about all of the election advertising banners are gone from the website, which means that the slate is blank, and ready for new advertisers.

And I might add, traffic has been holding well. For some odd reason, once people start visiting, they keep coming back.

Anecdotally, I get a little uncomfortable hearing from people I know in high elected office noting that they read this website, or even worse, that they're addicted to it. Because all I can think of in my own hypercritical fashion is "Great. And I noticed I misspelled "X" today in my haste to hammer out a couple of posts while I ate lunch.

And even people who start out after the first time reading me tell me to my face "I read what you said and I thought you were way off base" I always hear from them later noting either "good story" or "hey, did you hear about this...."

So, they must enjoy what happens here in spite of me.

Regardless, if you are seekin…

Giving us a break,....or not? What to do on abortion.

After the defeat of Referred law 6, I was recently discussing with a friend that it would probably be a good thing for the legislature to move on other issues aside from abortion.

He agreed, but then paused and noted "yes, but if it's brought right back with rape and incest exceptions spelled out, that takes the wind out of the sails of those who campaigned on the assertion that it had none."

The Associated Press in the Rapid City Journal also takes on the topic this morning as well:
A bill providing exceptions for rape, incest and a pregnant woman’s health is a possibility, said state Sen. Garry Moore of Yankton, who won a seat in the state House in Tuesday’s election.

Approval of such a measure might not end in another statewide vote because opponents might not be able to get enough signatures to refer it to the ballot, Moore said.

It’s premature to speculate on new legislation, said state Rep. Kathy Miles, D-Sioux Falls, an abortion-ban supporter.

“I don’t think the i…

A recount? Maybe. But a request for a new election is more likely.

The Argus has a story this morning about the possibility of a recount this AM with regards to the Jerstad/Earley race. With electronic tallying, it's doubtful that it would make a difference.

But what does need to be looked at is the fact that for a while on election day, in a massive botching of the election process, a precinct in that legislative District had ballots for the wrong Legislative District:
Democrat Sandy Jerstad said she spoke with Roust about the unlikeliness of results changing more than one or two votes.
"From what I have been told, I believe I have a comfortable lead," she said.Randy Frederick, South Dakota Republican Party chairman, said Wednesday that District 12 was one of two Senate races for which he would seek a recount.

and...Frederick noted the mishap at Sunnycrest United Methodist Church in Sioux Falls, where voters initially received District 11 ballots, and some voters left. Whether there is legal recourse to seek a new election because those wh…

House cleaning this weekend...

Yes, I know I still have election advertising on the website.

I've got to do some housekeeping duties this weekend, and part of that will be taking down some ads and pictures that have expired, and putting up new ads.

I also need to update my advertising prospectus, as I hit better than 25,000 visitors last month (60k+ hits) and I'm on track for an equally good November. I anticipate it will be very lively once we get past Thanksgiving and move into special session.

And it will continue to be wild and wooly as we move into the end of the year. We have leadership positions that will be filled, issues that will flesh out, and there's a United States Senate Seat that's up for election in 2 years which means recruitment efforts will start rumbling behind the scenes.

Stay tuned.

We've got Spirit, yes we do. And I'll enforce the spirit for you.

The Rapid City Journal is reporting this morning that there's new law enforcement in Pennington. In the wake of shutting down a polling place because she didn't care for it's politics in the days leading up to the election, the Republican County Auditor, Julie Pearson has apparently now been verbally deputized by the State's Attorney Glenn Brenner to "enforce the spirit" of laws.
Sen. Bill Napoli, R-Rapid City, challenged Pearson’s authority to change polling places, saying state law gives the county commission sole authority to determine polling places.

“You have the final word. There is no mention of the auditor, in state law, changing the polling place,” he said.

Sen. Jerry Apa, R-Lead, said Pearson overstepped her bounds and “tried to usurp your power as county commissioners.” He added, “If I was a county commissioner and it happened on my watch, I would be putting forth a resolution of condemnation and would move forward with an active investigation.”


I'm stunned speechless at this.

From Reuters at
Student leaders at a California college have touched off a furor by banning the Pledge of Allegiance at their meetings, saying they see no reason to publicly swear loyalty to God and the U.S. government.

The move by Orange Coast College student trustees, the latest clash over patriotism and religion in American schools, has infuriated some of their classmates -- prompting one young woman to loudly recite the pledge in front of the board on Wednesday night in defiance of the rule.

"America is the one thing I'm passionate about and I can't let them take that away from me," 18-year-old political science major told Reuters.

"The fact that they have enough power to ban one of the most valued traditions in America is just horrible," Zoldos said, adding she would attend every board meeting to salute the flag.

The move was lead by three recently elected student trustees, who ran for office wearing revolutionary-style berets and said they do no…

One error leads to another. And it's the difference between Midwest and Midstates

I had a call tonight from someone who was following up on a story I did recently on campaign finance. Remember the post I did on the group of interests who funded attack ads including the group "Vision South Dakota?" Among the people funding Vision South Dakota was a group called the Midwest Coalition for Progress:

And as I looked at it, part of my research pointed to a citation in a Rapid City Journal article with an organization of the same name:
In googling the name, the result quickly comes up. It should draw the attention of statewide reporters, because they're covering this group on another issue. The DM&E rail fight. That's right. As you can see as identified in this article from the Rapid City Journal, the Midwest Coalition for Progress is an anti-DM&E Railroad expansion group:
In one letter to land owners, DM&E’s agent tells them that DM&E has “enough certainty” to start the land acquisition process. A landowner advisory group formed several …

He's kidding, right?

According to Kate Turnbow over at the Capitol Journal today, there's at least someone left over from election night who can't take a hint:
Bill Stegmeier is not giving up.

Stegmeier, the orginator of Amendment E, said despite a resounding defeat at the polls Tuesday, that this is only the beginning for judicial accountability.

Amendment E, the ballot initiative aimed at bringing more accountability to judges, was voted down by 89 percent of South Dakotans.

But before bringing any more ballot proposals to the people of South Dakota in two years, Stegmeier, a businessman from Tea, said his next step is to commission a statewide poll to test the legitimacy of the amendment's overwhelming loss at the polls.


"It will be the type of polling used when there's a possibility or suspicion of voter fraud, and evidently this type of polling is going on all over the country," Stegmeier said.Read all of the craziness here.

So, not only is he saying he's bringing his s…

More on the Katus race from today's RCJ

The Rapid City Journal has an article today on what dropping 5 seats in the legislature means to the balance of power in that house, as well as what is going to have to be done to get legislation through:
But Katus also had plenty to ponder politically as he pattered off into the gathering dusk. His win against Schwiesow, a formidable campaigner who had aligned herself with the abortion ban rejected by voters Tuesday, disrupted a familiar Republican sweep of Black Hills legislative races. It also helped Democrats gain five seats in the Senate.

Going from a paltry 10 seats to a more-competitive 15 in the 35-member Senate will still leave Democrats three short of a majority, something they haven’t accomplished in more than a decade.

But the new Democratic presence could be magnified by coalitions on certain issues with moderate Republicans. Former District 32 House member Mike Wilson, a moderate Democrat known for his conciliatory approach, said the Legislature offers the potential for bip…

For those of you who didn't vote for her - this is the kind of stuff Elli is made of

Bill Harlan had a nice article over at Mt. Blogmore about Elli Schwiesow showing up at the Democratic Victory Party in Rapid City and just simply being the Elli I've known for many years:

(Picture from Mt. Blogmore)
This was a loud, tough, hardball campaign. You can imagine the scene around midnight at the Democratic party at the Radisson, where Katus and his supporters celebrated along with opponents of the newly defeated abortion ban, Referred Law 6.Then, in walks Elli Schwiesow. She’s smiling, gracious, soft-spoken and there to congratulate her opponent.Democrats and Republican abortion-ban opponents seemed taken aback at first. Then they approached Elli, one by one, to shake her hand and tell her how much they appreciated her showing up. Leah Johnson, the young organizer for South Dakota Healthy Families, was among them. Elli tells her, You looked so attractive on television.Elli waits patiently for Tom to break free, which takes awhile. They shake hands. She tells him she think…

Light posting tonight (The fam's in town)

I've started a couple of posts on the nature of the next session for the State Senate that I'm working on, and frankly after putting in a late night.... I'm beat.

On top of that, the family is here for a conference my wife has tomorrow. They're meeting in the House Chambers, so I might have to go snap a picture of that.

So, there's likely nothing else tonight. Family and sleep.

You should probably get to bed early after burning the late oil last night as well.

A chance to ponder....

Now that the election is over and we have a chance to sweep up and assess the mess, it's a good time to reflect whether or not we're happy with the results. And if not, what each and every one of us is going to do about doing our best to make sure it doesn't happen again.

I can't point to any one specific factor which can explain the results of last night, because it affected different factions within the GOP.

For fiscal conservatives - you lost two of your biggest proponents in the legislature, Earley and Klaudt. Some might not care for their miserly ways, but they were first and foremost concerned with how taxpayer dollars were spent. But you also picked up Arnie Hauge.

For those who are conservative on moral issues - You lost Elli Schwiesow who has been a long time backer of the pro-life movement. But you also picked up Dennis Schmidt who knocked out Duniphan in the primary on that basis.

There's really no single ideological factor that you can point to to explain… website has disappeared....

The Amendment E website run by "11% Russell" (Bonnie Russell for those of you who haven't read down at all) at has now mysteriously disappeared.

It now serves as a bounce to, the website that "ol' 11%" uses to market her anti-judicial paranoia for money.

Dang it. They picked up a percentage point.

( ) NO 294747 89 818 818
( ) YES 35640 11 818 818

Darn it. I was hoping for the 90-10 to stand. I guess I'll just have to be satisfied with a 78% spread against the JAIL for Judges goofs.

And for all future discourse on this website about the JAIL movement (which I hope is really, really limited if non-existent), JAIL publicist Bonnie Russell will forevermore be known as "11% Russell."

A seismic shift on the statewide scene as well.

(L) AGER JADE 7716 2 818 818
(D) HEALY BRYCE 147763 48 818 818
(R) JOHNSON JARROD 153485 50 818 818

(D) KOLBECK STEVE 148035 49 818 818
(R) KOSKAN JOHN 141873 47 818 818
(L) SUTTER BEN 9963 3 818 818

Dems give up one constitutional seat in favor of a non-constitutional one. Bryce Healy is out, and Jarrod Johnson is in. But in the PUC, John Koskan fell short about 6200 votes, putting Dems back in the PUC for the first time in 2 years.

Dems Pick up 5 seats. The scales are rebalanced at 20-15

Jerstad knocked off Earley in a squeaker of a race.

(R) EARLEY WILLIAM 5155 50 13 13
(D) JERSTAD SANDY 5173 50 13 13
(R) KLAUDT TED 3262 46 66 66
(D) MAHER RYAN 3827 54 66 66
(R) HANRAHAN CRAIG 2520 46 32 32
(D) TWO BULLS THERESA 2923 54 32 32
District 28 is a major upset. Most (including myself) didn't believe a Democrat could win in that district.


I've actually had over 2000 visitors to the website tonight (over 6000 hits).

Thanks very much for reading.

It's 1:30, and I do have to work in the AM, so I'm going to change my laundry and hit the hay. The rest of the results will have to wait until morning.

3 Senate Seats left out there too close to call.

Klaudt, Hanrahan, and Earley are still too early to call.

Add to that, PUC (Kolbeck lead) and School and Lands (Johnson lead).

Napoli - he's back.

you may vote for up to 1
William "Bill" Napoli (REP) . . . . 3,648 52.70
Theresa Spry (DEM) . . . . . . . 3,274 47.30

Napoli is returning for another legislative session. And BTW, this is a picture he sent to me a week or so ago of one of his best supporters. Go Bill!

Finch shot out of the sky

you may vote for up to 1
Dennis Schmidt (REP). . . . . . . 3,374 53.78
Dennis Finch (DEM) . . . . . . . 2,900 46.22

Schmidt just walked all over Finch.

Stan Adelstein has bought himself a Senate Seat once again.

you may vote for up to 1
Elli Schwiesow (REP). . . . . . . 4,515 47.48
Tom Katus (DEM) . . . . . . . . 4,994 52.52

Read it and weep. I know I am.

Tom Katus' Adelstein fueled Democratic legislative campaign just cost Republicans another seat.

What's with some of these results tonight?

This year, the only constant is that things are happening that one might not expect. And it's not just "not expecting them" the results are downright wild.

In a county where Amendment D lost 84-16%, Jim Hundstad, one of it's prime backers beat challenger Brian Johnson by 1400 votes.

Isaac Latterell, who the GOP donated $250 to his campaign (in effect writing it off after polling) lost against a handpicked democrat by only 32 votes. Which meant that race was very winnable.

Contrast that with Arlen Hague, a newcomer with no legislative experience who ended up facing a handpicked legislative vet who had been on the ballot several times before. And he beats him.

With 13 precincts still left to report, Ted Klaudt who has never lost a race including a couple of primaries, is running behind a Democrat.

Dennis Schmidt who after handily winning a primary, was very publicly exposed as screwing up his party and his petitions. But he goes on to dominate the general election (2 precin…

What's this I'm hearing?

Why am I hearing that Herseth wouldn't take Whalen's congratulatory call?

The JAIL looneys are starting up on the results.

Check out this comment from a JAIL message board:
Does South Dakota 's government expect the people to believe that 90% of them approve of the ongoing fraudulent, destructive, unlawful, and unconstitutional judicial opinions? Nonsense!

South Dakota government has a much more effective and sinister way to steal the peoples election than that which they have already used, (by defrauding the people of the true meaning and intent of Amendment E, all done with the illegal use of public funds), and that is to change the tally at public expense, after the individual votes have been cast--either by adding ballots en masse (ballot box "stuffing"), or by reporting a false count.Are they kidding me?

A new conspiracy. Brought to you by the people who think 9/11 and the flouridation of water are government plots.

Welcome to the State House of Representatives Kim Vanneman

(D) GLOVER THOMAS 2389 49 16 16
(R) VANNEMAN KIM 2479 51 16 16


(D) HOERTH ALAN 4837 50 13 13
(R) LATTERELL ISAAC 4805 50 13 13

I have nothing but positives to say about Isaac. From pure moxie he took out an incumbent legislator and he just about had the brass ring in his hand. It's within recount margins, and I hope he proceeds forward.

I've heard that in 2 years Sutton will be making a return challenge. I hope Latterell is in the mix again as well. Isaac has proven he can run with the best.

This one is going down to the wire.

(L) AGER JADE 4981 2 597 818
(D) HEALY BRYCE 104324 49 597 818
(R) JOHNSON JARROD 104252 49 597 818

We're still waiting for lots of Pennington numbers (benefitting Jarrod) and Shannon (benefitting Healy)

I think we can call Hauge/Kroger over with a Hauge win

(R) HAUGE ARLEN (ARNI 4649 52 20 21
(D) KROGER MIKE 4298 48 20 21

Boomgarden (R) and Nygaard (D) in House - 17

(R) BOOMGARDEN JAMIE 3908 28 19 19
(D) NORIN PATRICIA 2929 21 19 19
(D) NYGAARD ELDON 3832 27 19 19
(R) SCHAFER DONNA 3343 24 19 19

Is District 19 getting sick of Frank?

(R) HAUCK JOHN 2431 49 11 18
(D) KLOUCEK FRANK 2526 51 11 18

From earlier tonight. Yes, I'm here.

Here I'm in a photo taken by Katie Duenwald (Senator Duenwald's daughter), as I sit with Scott Olson of the Hughes Co. GOP. waiting for things to begin tonight.

Rounds giving his thank you speech right now.

I'm posting this as the Governor is giving his acceptance/thank you speech - great stuff.

He thanked Billion and noted that he spoke with him tonight, and the two agree that they started the campaign as friends, and they've ended it as friends.

Got to get back to listening.

I think we can about consider Heidepreim/Kelly done

(D) HEIDEPRIEM SCOTT 2430 57 8 12
(R) KELLY DICK 1842 43 8 12
With 4 precincts left to report in, 57-43 is going to be a tough margin to make up. Unfortunately, Republicans are likely to have to contend with Scott as he prepares his run for higher office by serving in the legislature.

(D) HOERTH ALAN 2282 50 7 13
(R) LATTERELL ISAAC 2311 50 7 13
District 3 is looking like it might be a win in the GOP column. There's still lots of votes left to come in, so we'll keep watching this nailbiter.

(R) HAUGE ARLEN (ARNI 843 51 4 21
(D) KROGER MIKE 811 49 4 21

Another nailbiter - lots of things hanging on the edge tonight.

Amendment E - You're going to set a new record.

( ) NO 55467 90 171 818
( ) YES 6181 10 171 818

I think we're going to set a new South Dakota record tonight. A new record for a ballot measure getting utterly destroyed.

Somehow, I don't think an 80% deficit is going to be easy to make up.

Associated Press Calls Congressional Race for Herseth

This one is on a sad note for me, as Bruce is here in the room. But the Associated Press is also calling the Congressional Race at this point in favor of Congresswoman Herseth:
South Dakota voters on Tuesday sent Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth back to Congress to serve a second full term.

With 39 of the state's 818 precincts reporting, Herseth had 73 percent of the votes compared to 26 percent for Republican candidate Bruce Whalen. Larry Rudebusch of Bruce, representing the Libertarian Party, had 1 percent of the votes.

Herseth, a granddaughter of a former governor, said she thinks South Dakotans appreciate a common sense, bipartisan, forward-looking approach. She said she has voted with the GOP majority on decisions that provide the best outcome for South Dakota.

Ron Kjellson, a retired field service manager, said he appreciates that Herseth does not follow the Democratic Party line all the time. The 70-year-old Watertown man said he tries to vote for the person, not a party.


AP calls the election for Rounds.

The Associated Press says that the foil around the potato we all call Billion helped it to cook faster. Stick a fork in him, the AP says he's done:
AP calls governor’s election for Rounds
By Joe Kafka, Associated Press Writer

PIERRE -- Popular Republican Gov. Mike Rounds won re-election Tuesday to a second four-year term, pulling far ahead of Democratic challenger Jack Billion in unofficial early election returns.

Rounds had 64 percent of the early vote, and Billion had 34 percent with 2 percent of all precincts tallied.

Billion, a retired surgeon, had hoped to become the state's first Democratic governor since 1979.

Inez Grenz, 62, a retired nursing home dietitian from Eureka, said she voted to re-elect Republican Gov. Mike Rounds. "There was no doubt in my mind. He's a very good governor."

"Billion didn't impress me," Grenz said.

Read it all here at the Rapid City Journal

It Figures...

I had a picture of myself I was going to post as taken by Katie Duenwald (Senator Duenwald's daughter), but Blogger's photo function is out of whack tonight. Imagine that.

If it decides to work, I'll post it.

Nail biter of the night?

(L) AGER JADE 103 2 19 818
(D) HEALY BRYCE 3165 50 19 818
(R) JOHNSON JARROD 3034 48 19 818

With 19 precincts in, it's running 50 and 48%.

Looks like the libertarian might prove to be a spoiler tonight.

Harbinger of things to come?

( ) NO 574 93 3 818
( ) YES 41 7 3 818With three precincts in, Amendment E is getting it's butt kicked pretty handily.

93% - 7%

Nothing like a little parting shot as Volesky leaves the room

OUCH. The SDDP took a big swing at Volesky as he figuratively left the room of this year's elections as recounted by the Argus Leader:
Don Carr, press secretary for the state Democratic Party said the party supported Ron Volesky in his run for attorney general, but financial priorities were with other races this year.


The Democratic Party didn’t provide any financial support but did provide Volesky with staffing for debate preparations and fund raising, Carr said.

“The Republican Party has more resources than we do, and we have to target our limited resources on the races we think we have the best chance of winning,” Carr said.Read it all here.

MEGA GOP Turnout in Hughes County, elsewhere

I had a report that in Hughes County, the GOP targeted GOTV list has had a turnout of at least 95%. What does that mean? Hard Republican voters have turned out in massive droves.

This is phenomenal!!

I also just got off of the phone with a reader up in Brown County who is reporting similar phenomena. Huge turnout with little or no prompting.

This bodes well for this evening's races.

Except for AG. As Ron Volesky noted, he's already done.

Okay. The polling place was moved. Where's the beef. (or at least the statutory authority?)

Here's something I'm hearing rumblings about in the opening hours of the election evening. Can someone point out the statutory authority for Pennington County Auditor Julie Pearson to do this?
A dispute over a sign supporting Referred Law 6 -- the abortion ban -- has ended in the closing of a polling place at a Rapid City church. Hundreds of people who vote at the Open Bible Christian Center on East St. Patrick Street are being directed to three other polling places for Tuesday's election.

The move will affect some voters in legislative District 35.

County and church officials disagree over details of the dispute.

Pennington County Auditor Julie Pearson said she decided to shut down the Open Bible polling place late Thursday after the Rev. Les Potts refused to promise an election official that a campaign sign would be removed on Election Day.

Potts, however, said he learned of the dispute Friday from news media. “We’ve always complied with the law, and we’ve been a voti…

The earliest concession speech in SD History. Volesky concedes.

With a report coming in at 5:42PM at the Argus Leader, Ron Volesky took a cold, hard look in the mirror of reality and announced "I'm out."
Before the polls are even closed, Ron Volesky, Democrat candidate for attorney general, has conceded the race to incumbent Larry Long.

“I want to congratulate Larry on his victory,” Volesky’s statement read. “He ran a brilliant campaign, and I was told Mr. Long had some really nice TV ads.”

Volesky, who couldn’t immediately be reached for further comment, said he would never again run for public office.

Republican incumbent Larry Long had not seen Volesky's concession statement early Tuesday evening, but did speak with him earlier in the day.Read it all here.

What are these guys looking at.

What are Doug Loen (with the SD GOP), Tony Venhuizen (with the Rounds campaign) and Secretary of State Chris Nelson looking at?

It's actually a cool Microsoft Excel module written by Tony and PUC Commissioner Dusty Johnson about two years ago. Called "Zeitgeist" this program will graphically display election results for any race on a big South Dakota map.

Based on historical data, Tony also claims that once returns come in, this program can project the winner with as few as five counties, and do so rather accurately.

(Where do they get those wonderful toys? I've got to get a copy). Dusty, I'll trade you a SDWC picture up top. (call me)

I'm looking forward to seeing it in action tonight.

On location for the election party at the Pierre Ramkota Inn.

Woo Woo! I'm here and I'm on location for the election night party.

Of course, I'm about the only one here because I came early to set up my stuff and write. Me and the media. I chatted briefly with the South Dakota Public Radio crew, and I've been watching the KDLT people set up.

KARL's TV was nice enough to donate the use of a few of their big screen TV's to monitor statewide coverage (so, keep that in mind when you need to go buy a TV). I actually think it's the same kind I bought from them.

So, the room is empty as people complete their balloting and get ready for the festivities of the evening. If you're in town, come on down and join the celebration.

Schoenbeck involved in latest scandal to hit South Dakota

Senator Lee Schoenbeck was recently quoted on the latest scandalous controversy to hit South Dakota:
"Lee Schoenbeck, a Watertown lawyer and outgoing State Senator says he has hunted only once with poodles. As his group worked a deep slough, the poodles stayed on the edges while the labs charged into the snow," he said.

"That cemented his opinion: If you're hunting in heavy cover, as hunting dogs, they're pretty good house pets."However the Argus reported that when asked about the poodle controversy, State Senator Ed Olson noted that the dog choices of Senators should be held confidential to protect their breed, and if Schoenbeck had shown up for Olson's obedience training meetings, he'd know that.

Okay - the Olson part was a joke. Smile. Election day is here. It's almost over.

Remember to get out and vote and enjoy your freedoms.

A last shot at Heidepreim

I believe this one was in the Sunday paper against Heidepreim:

Whalen Availability

I guess Bruce is hanging out at the same party I'm at tonight:

Press Advisory Contact Communications
11-7-2006­­­­­­­­ Lee Breard 605-430-7629

RAPID CITY – Bruce Whalen will be at the following locations today waving to the voters!

Bruce Whalen, Republican Candidate for U.S. Congress, will be waving to voters at St. Michaels Church from 7:30-8:15 this morning.

Bruce will then wave at Memorial Middle School from 8:30-9:15

Bruce will wave at the Our Saviors Lutheran Church 9:30-10:15

Bruce will be at Campaign Headquarters rallying the volunteers from 10:30-11:00 this morning. 2127 S. Minnesota Ave.

Bruce moves to the Center for Active generations to wave at voters from 11:15-12:00

The next stop in town will be at Sioux Voca…

Vote early. But not as often as you'd like.
How do you think it's going to go tonight?

I had heard several weeks ago that early voting was heavy. Not just a little heavy, but very heavy. And one person in the know informed me that Republicans were coming in over Democrats 80%-20%. (In the Black Hills about 60%-40%).

On this ballot, I think this bodes very well for Republican candidates.

Granted, much of the traffic is being driven by Yes on 6 and Campaign for Healthy Families, but they're still likely to vote for the Republican as they work down the ballot.

Check out what the Rapid City Journal has to say about all of this in today's paper:
Secretary of State Chris Nelson said Monday that by the time the polls opened across the state this morning, about one in four South Dakota voters would have cast their votes.

“Two years ago, it was 24 percent, and we should end up at or above that this year,” Nelson said. “This year, it started out fairly slowly, about half the pace it was two years ago. Then over the last three weeks, it picked up dramatically.”

Nelson thinks the…

Election Night. Where the War College will be stationed..

I'll be down at the election party in Pierre supposedly running the big screen (or so I'm told). I'll be doing some live blogging, photos, you name it.

I also have an interview with SD Public Radio at some point during the night.

If any media outlets are looking for election night commentary, you can e-mail me at and I'll get you my cell number. I'm happy to do it, as long as you give the blog props.

Otherwise, come on down and enjoy the fun.

Janklow to represent accuser in Sutton page scandal

The Argus Leader is reporting tonight that former Congressman and Governor Bill Janklow will be representing the young man accusing State Senator Dan Sutton of sexually groping him.
Bill Janklow will be involved in a special session to address allegations of inappropriate behavior between Sen. Dan Sutton and a former legislative page.

The former U.S. Congressman and South Dakota governor will represent the page, Senate leaders confirmed tonight.

“Bill Janklow, as I understand it, is representing the young man with respect to the Senate proceeding,” Senate President Lee Schoenbeck said.

Janklow’s aim is “to be sure the young man is being treated appropriately,” Schoenbeck said.

Schoenbeck said he had one conversation with Janklow, who “called us to let us know what he was doing.”Read it all here.

*update* - I added this comment to the comment section under this post because for some reason, it was turning into a Janklow bash-fest. And for the life of me, it borders on offensive.
You know, I t…

Sizzle.... Crackle..... Is that Senator Jim Hundstad who is feeling the heat?

I just got a report from up in Aberdeen way that the Dems went into full panic mode after a barrage of postcards for his opponent in the area.

One is a nice one with Brian Johnson and his family. Another, a postcard of endorsement from Governor Rounds for Brian. The third... Let's just say it's going to be tough for Hundstad to ride away from his record on his little sedgway scooter.

In response, the Dems pulled out a Stephanie Herseth autodialer machine (Which I generally hate, regardless of party) as well as Ben Nesselhuff working the area.

I think Hundstad has finally worn out his welcome.

No-on-8 Co-chair Greg Dean says my charges are 'baseless'
But I'm not so sure

Greg Dean, whom I've been acquainted with through work and politics for many years fired off a few comments under the recent post I did on the Association of County Commissioners dropping better than $45,000 into the No on 8 committee.

I questioned whether or not it was allowable in light of an Attorney General's opinion that said no to the question - "Can a municipality, county, or school district expend public funds to advocate a position on an election measure."

Suffice it to say, he didn't agree:
The answer is to question is simple: The contribution comes from NON-DUES revenue. It is not public money.

The County Commissioners Association checked with their attorney before deciding to use this NON-DUES money. The attorney's opinion was that according to SDCL 12-25-2, the use of these funds was above reproach.

PP, maybe next time you might think about getting both sides of the story before making accusing good people of breaking the law.

NO on…

On a sad note..

On a sad note, former State Representative Elmer Flatt passed away last Monday at Rapid City Regional Hospital at the age of 78.

Argus Polls stink? SDSU professor says issues exist with Mason Dixon Polling

In an article in the Capital Journal this morning by Kate Turnbow, SDSU professor Gary Aguiar (remember him?) notes that this SDSU professor has labeled Mason-Doxon polling as "not the most expensive or sophisticated polling method."

Why? Aguiar notes that because of the use of cell phones and unlisted numbers, accuracy is being sacrificed. He also notes that while expensive polls (such as Zogby) will run a probability analysis on whether a respondent will vote or not, cheaper polls like Mason-Dixon will ask only if a respondent is voting.

As soon as the article is available this morning (about 9 or 10AM) I'll post some snippets of it.

I would note that Aguiar's boss, Professor Bob Burns disagreed.

I have an idea..... Maybe for later.

I had an anonymous commenter ask me the other day if I might take of the cause of campaign finance, a topic I talk about a lot:
PP - hows about you and I start a initiative process to pass meaningful campaign finance reform. The Rs won't get it done as long as its a D idea, so the only option left is for us to make revisions.

Wanna take me up?Tempting. But I have faith in our legislature to take another run at it this next session after some of the egregious stuff that's taken place this cycle, such as Vision South Dakota and the Midwest Coalition for Progress, an unreported PAC which shares an address with the equally mysterious South Dakota Association.

So, nah. I'll take a pass for the moment.

But as I toss in my bed, I do find my thoughts returning to something I had considered at one time, which has nothing to do with campaign finance. But it would alter the election process on a statewide basis.

In other words, some would label me as a trouble maker. And others would say,…

She hates us. She really really hates us.

Tim Gebhart and I must be getting to Bonnie Russell over at

Aside from calling us blieggers (a creative play on bloggers and liars) she crafts another clever play on my name that I hadn't heard since grade school.

Challenged by wit and intelligence like that, I'll have to steel myself for next being called a "booger" or a "poopyhead."

After they lose Amendment E on Tuesday, if the Californians come back to inflict another ballot measure on us, I may have to set up my nine year old on the Anti-Amendment E blog to challenge Bonnie's witticisms.

But that might be unfair. Because I think Bonnie would quickly find herself outmatched.

I think I have a champ for the season's worst brochure.

Admittedly, I haven't been exactly kind to much that Democratic Senator Jim Hundstad has done in this election to date.

So, why on earth should I start now?!? Straight from parts unknown somewhere around Bath, South Dakota is my pick for the worst election brochure of the season (so far)!

(Click on pictures to enlarge)
Well, I said color was the way everyone has been going this season. And that's with the bad as well as the good.

I hope he didn't pay someone to do this. As you'll look on the inside, we're got a background that looks like someone picked a random color effect and stuck a state seal in the middle.

One stong thing that people look for in political candidates is a factor I call termed as "Visionary Leadership." They're looking for someone to help make the future brighter and better. Having said that, the most policy driven notation on the inside of this brochure? "As a farmer from a century farm in the middle of District 2, I have been …

Nice ad. Too bad he doesn't have any money to run it.

I'd argue this is the best ad that Billion has done to date. It's the kind of thing he should have been running 6 months ago.

But without any significant funds to run it in the kind of rotation it needs, eh. I suspect this is going to be a case of too little, too late.

O.K. You got us on that one.

Over at the Blue Note, the blog for the SDDP, they took a poke at the GOP. It's probably deserved.

November 5th? Jeez.

Thune plays too close to the middle of the road for James Dobson?

Umm.. Err.... Hmmm...

How do you write about Dr. James Dobson saying that he thinks "Senator John Thune sometimes likes to play the middle of the road?"

Well, first off, as a fiscal conservative voter, I could care less what a televangelist thinks.

It's possible that people - even friends as Dr. Dobson calls Thune - might actually disagree on certain issues. In the past Thune has expressed that he supports the ban, but on the most controversial and divisive issue of our time it is possible that he might not be in absolute lock step.

And that's not surprising. There are many within the movement who question whether this was the right approach at this time. There are many within the pro-life movement who subscribe to a philosophy of incrementalism - to chip away at abortion law a little at a time. With parental notification laws as well as other measures they've actually demonstrated success.

Using a football analogy about what happened yesterday, it's at least t…