Showing posts from February 4, 2007

Put up or shut up? Are campaign staff just wannabe's?

I had a comment I was starting to reply to, and as I type it, I think it rises to the level of a top level post instead. Here's what was said after I had written on the Presidential Primary:
Anonymous said... When are you actually going to run for something, PP? Or is standing next to politicians good enough for you? Read that anonymous fellow here. And as I thought about it, I think Anon makes a couple of basic errors if I'm getting his or her point as intended. I think Anon makes the mistake of assuming that those interested and doing the job of campaign mechanic are somewhat less important than the person out front doing the job of the candidate.

Because that is as false and fatal a political error as you can make.

First off, someday when I'm in a position to do so jobwise, I'd love to run for the legislature. Actually being in the same place as my family is my current priority, but when it comes down to it, someday of the opportunity affords itself, that's what I&…

That must have been a rough guesstimate. I think they were a little off.

The Rapid City Journal is reporting tonight that people and dinosaurs once co-existed. Or at least you'd think so by some of the testimony regarding the bill that was introduced to violate private property rights at Bear Butte:
So many witnesses, pro and con, turned out for a hearing Thursday, the House Local Government Committee didn’t have time to vote on HB1227.

“Any liquor licenses next to Bear Butte are way too close,” Anne White Hat told lawmakers in a crowded committee room.


White Hat said Indian tribes owned land near Bear Butte, too, and their property rights should be protected. “Millions of dollars versus millions of years of use of this sacred site. That is what’s at issue here today, people,” she said.Read it here. Millions of years? I think it might have been a few hundred tops that it was used by the Sioux, more if you count those who were in the area before them. But millions? Please. That's just sillyness.

Emotional appeals aside, it all gets down to wheth…

Early Presidential Primary stays dead in South Dakota

The Argus is reporting tonight that the State House of Representatives is not going to take up the early presidential primary in South Dakota after they voted to kill it once:
A Sioux Falls lawmaker’s bid to bring the early presidential primary back to South Dakota ended this afternoon when the House voted 40-29 not to reconsider the issue.

Republican Rep. Shantel Krebs tried to give her bill new life after it failed by a single vote on Wednesday. The bill received a 35-35 vote, but it requires 36 votes for any measure to pass the House.

She told House members this afternoon her proposal was worth a second look. They disagreed.Read it all here.

I like Shantel, and think she's a fine legislator.... But I had to disagree with her on this one. We really only had one good experience with the early primary (back when I was a legislative intern in 1988). We did get the candidates and it was a good show. But then we got the complaints about turnout, cost, etcetera. And in the end, we're…

Quotes of the week II

"The Democratic Plan will increase funding beyond these percentages, bringing State Funding into compliance with the Adequacy Study, but we are working with the Republicans to ensure that, above all other considerations, the funding increase chosen will be consistent so that school administrators can plug these funds into funding teacher salaries and critical need education programs."
- Dave Gassman State Capitol Update, Madison Newspaper 2/6/07

"The Democratic Plan will increase funding beyond these percentages, bringing State Funding into compliance with the Adequacy Study, but we are working with the Republicans to ensure that, above all other considerations, the funding increase chosen will be consistent so that school administrators can plug these funds into funding teacher salaries and critical need education programs."
- Legislative Update by Representative Jim Bradford, Philip Newspaper 2/8/07

"The Democratic Plan will increase funding beyond th…

Focus SD (the 527) is into Stan for another 20k?

I had reported the other day that Focus South Dakota, was into Stan Adelstein for about $25,000, after he gave them a yet another donation in the amount of $15,000:

Well, today as I'm waiting for my car to warm up, I went and looked at the PAC reports, and for Focus South Dakota's 527 corp, apparently they're into for Republican Senator Stan Adelstein's business, NW Engineering, for yet another $20,000.

(Click to enlarge)

In addition to the thousands he's donated to them, he's loaned them just short of $50,000 total for the purposes of promoting Democratic Candidates, and to attack Republicans.

Again. Just remember that in 2008 when he tries to run as a Republican Candidate.

Leaving Laurent. Or Laurent leaving. One of those two.

The Little town of Laurent which was planned around Salem, is apparently never to be. is reporting this AM that the town planners are picking up roots and moving to Indianapolis:
The Laurent Institute now says key members of the organization are leaving the area and relocating to Indianapolis.

The group says it will move because of a failed funding package. The Institute also blamed the move on declining enrollment at the South Dakota School for the Deaf in Sioux Falls.

It also cited a rapidly declining deaf and signing population in Sioux Falls due to changes at Communication Services for the Deaf. Read it all here. They were done in by cochlear implants? Apparently so, because the State providing for them has been the biggest change that I'm aware of.

Editorial Cartoonist Don Stroot weighs in on the Sutton matter.

Oooo. I'm not sure what's worse. The sarcasm, or the snake/reptile reference. (from the Black Hills Pioneer)

SB214, a bill raising Constitutional officer salaries up Friday in the Senate

I see that SB 214 an act to increase the compensation of the secretary of state, the state treasurer, the state auditor, and the commissioner of school and public lands is in appropriations on Friday.

Sponsored by Senators Greenfield, Bartling, and Maher and Representatives Dennert, Burg, Carson, Davis, Rausch, and Tidemann, the measure might correct the disparity these officials have with the salaries of the members of the Public Utilities Commission - also elected, but not a constitutional office.

Coming after a bill to increase legislative salaries went down, I'll be curious to see how they handle the debate.

Frankly, I think they all deserve an increase, or at least the potential for it placed into law.

What's happening on legislation I've commented on recently?

I see that House State Affairs took the anti-blue badge bill (HB 1237) that I wrote on last night out behind the woodshed and drowned that bag of unwanted kittens on a 12-0 vote to defer the bill to the 41st day.

In speaking with people involved with the measure, I don't think this was unexpected. However, it doesn't sound like they're ready to cry uncle yet. Watch for it to come back either later this session, or to show up in a rewritten form in 2008.


And as I'm writing this, HB 1234, the bill to mandate that disability related language in state law is to be of a people-first format (which I slammed for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is that nationally, the disabled community is NOT in agreement on it) has been deferred to the 41st day on a 8-4 vote.

What I did hear the legislators expressing is that they would support a resolution encouraging that state agencies use the terminology. I'd agree and disagree with that to a point.

What it should NOT be is…

When hunting licenses become like liquor licenses - a commodity transferrable for profit.

Bill Harlan over at the Rapid City Journal has a story this morning on the approval of a measure in the legislature which would provide big game licenses to landowners which they could transfer on a for-profit basis:
Landowners in South Dakota with at least 640 acres could “sponsor” their own big-game hunting licenses under a bill approved Tuesday in Pierre by a legislative committee. “It is long overdue that we acknowledge that landowners are an integral part of” the wildlife management system, Rep. Gordon Howie, R-Rapid City, told fellow members of the House Agriculture Committee. “This is just a small, small gesture that we need to extend to those landowners.”

The committee voted 9-4 to send the bill to the House floor with a “do pass” recommendation.

But Rep. Dale Hargens, D-Miller, who voted against the measure, said, “I see a problem with this.”

Hargens estimated that 26 landowners in his township in Hand County would qualify for the license. “We have 48 townships in my count…

Hot Springs Mayor facing election a little earlier than expected

If you've forgotten, Carl Oberlitner, the mayor of Hot Springs was mentioned on this website several months ago as a mayor some might argue was behaving badly:
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 L…

(Almost a year ago today, it's kind of Deja Vu.) Badges? We don't need no stinking badges, Part II

I knew I'd written on this before.

I got an e-mail action alert today from Duane Sand at the Americans for Prosperity on a measure to be heard in the legislature banning Blue Badges from lobbying outside of committees. Since that seemed familiar, I pulled my old posts, and on February 3rd, 2006 I had written on a legislator unhappy about the very same topic:
You can tell Senator Garry Moore isn't going to be in the Senate anymore, since he's term limited out. Because anything that he might have considered just biting his tongue on in prior years is filtering through.

Last week, he was unhappy about someone pointing at his chest. If you read his legislative column this week in the Yankton County Observer, he laments the number of Blue Badge lobbyists (meaning they lobby for government). In part of it, he says,
" my opinion, Blue Badges should be prohibited from being on the third floor of the capitol building. Blue Badges should be allowed to speak with legislators, bu…

Speaking of abortion...

I notice that the House State Affairs committee is holding off on the abortion bill, HB 1293 at the same time later measures are already scheduled for a hearing.

(See the status here:

I suspect it's because they know they're going to have to set aside a large block of time for the measure. In fact, I'd expect it to go into evening testimony. This got me thinking about the other abortion related measures up this session:
SB 172, An Act to require that a certain statement of law be read by the attending physician to any pregnant woman prior to performing an abortion, and

SB 171An Act to require the posting of certain legal notices in abortion facilities and to provide for enforcement through civil suit and the imposition of liquidated damages, still await their own hearings as well.

HB 1296, the "sonogram" bill, made it through the House of Representatives yesterday on a 43-24 vote as follows:
The question being “Shall HB …

I'll tumble 4 ya

I see the Rapid City Journal story on Gordo, and I can't get the 1980's song "I'll tumble 4 ya" out of my head.

Is it an issue of fairness?

I see the Argus is reporting that the special district liquor license bill passed out of committee 6-2.
The Senate State Affairs Committee 6-2 for the bill. Republican Sen. Mac McCracken of Rapid City is prime sponsor. When he explained the bill to the panel on Friday, he said it would let cities attract new developments “that will not come to a municipality without the ability to acquire an on-sale (liquor) license.’’

He also said it would promote development “of areas on the edge of municipalities where growth is most likely to occur.’’Read that here.

I spoke with a local businessman (and holder of a liquor license) in Pierre the other day, and he gave me his perspective on the expanded offerings. He considered it an issue of fairness.

His license cost him over $100,000, marking a significant investment and expense for his
business. With expanded licenses, a person could come in with literally a minimal investment or commitment, and set up shop in competition where he'd automatically…

At least in Pierre, the Abortion bill faces a "No", a "No", and a "maybe."

KCCR News is reporting today that of the District 24 legislators, the abortion bill sponsors can count on two "no" votes, and one maybe:
None of the three local legislators are supporting House Bill 1293, this year’s abortion bill. Senator Bob Gray of Pierre says lawmakers and South Dakotans don’t want to deal with the abortion issue again after last year. He says people are tired of the issue for now.

Bill supporters say this year’s version is different because it provides for more exceptions, such as rape or incest, of when an abortion might be necessary. Representative Ryan Olson of Onida says there is no clear process as to when those exceptions might be acceptable. Representative Tim Rounds of Pierre says he hasn’t not decided yet whether he will support or oppose the bill, but he has questions about those exceptions.
Read it all here.

Working for a Senator on his re-election campaign, what a great time to open a consulting firm?

If you're working for a Senator on his staff because he's going to be seeking re-election, it just comes off as an odd move to open up a consulting firm at the same time. Because it would give most people the impression that one was hedging their bets... From the Associated Press
Sen. Tim Johnson's new deputy chief of staff, Steve Jarding, is opening a
political consulting business in Virginia.

Jarding started his job in Johnson's Rapid City, S.D., office on Thursday,
and he says he will not be paid by the new firm, called Maverick Strategies
and Mail. He has also decided to take an extended leave from the new
political consulting business as it gets started, to avoid any appearance of
a conflict.

The South Dakota senator is recovering from a December brain hemorrhage, but
offered Jarding the job before he fell ill, according to Johnson's office.

The hire set off speculation that Jarding was brought in to eventually run
the South Dakota Democrat's 2008 re-election campaig…

Is that a new committee?

Either the legislature has created a new committee, or the Parker New Era needs to fix their spellcheck (Hat tip to reader MJB).

Words for Democrats to live by?

I had a reader send me a quote today:
"Our problem is not too much morality in politics, but too much politics
without morality.

"Recently, someone sent me a radio sermon delivered by tge Reverend Joel Nederhood of "The Back to God Hour" broadcast from Chicago. The sermon was about the faith of our presidents. Dr. Nederhood contended that American have adopted the dangerous custom of separating religion from their evaluation of national leaders.

"I believe this is wrong for a nation whose founders were so deeply motivated by religious conviction."Which prominent Republican said this? Well, actually, none of them. It was a quote from George McGovern in a presidential campaign speech that he gave on October 11, 1972.

That's not at all to suggest that Democrats are godless or anything like that. It's just that it's the kind of phraseology you'd expect to come from my side of the political aisle.

And it begs the question for the followers and hono…


If you're noticing the bar at the top, it's because I've upgraded to the new blogger software. I'll be trying to work the bugs out, so please bear with me. The initial transfer went well, so I've got my fingers crossed.

They just don't know when to give up, do they?

This morning in Dave Kranz's Argus Leader column, the Judicial Accountability crew showed why I'm glad I haven't shut down and gotten rid of my "anti-jail on judges blog." Because they're making noise that they're coming back this next election:

They are accusing the South Dakota Legislature of corruption, the State Bar Association of deception and Attorney General Larry Long of misrepresentation.

And they suggest that their issue was a victim of election fraud. But Long says his critics need not blame, but instead credit South Dakota voters for studying the issue and making up their own mind.


"As Arnold would say, 'We'll be back!"And next time, thanks to the lessons we have learned, our new Judicial Accountability Amendment will be bulletproof. And for good measure, we will also put on the ballot an amendment to outlaw computerized vote counting. And just because they have peeved us off, how about an amendment to require judges to …

Well, what do we know tonight?

While the rest of you are watching the Superbowl, I'm illustrating perfectly that when I'm in Pierre, I have no life. I'm looking at PAC reports this evening.

What do we know from the end of year reports being filed? Here's what I came up with (and you can click on any of the images to enlarge).

For Focus South Dakota, they're into Stan Adelstein for about $25,000. And that's after he gave them a yet another donation in the amount of $15,000:

(Republicans, let's just remember that when he tries to run as a Republican for State Senate in 2008. OK?)

And the Cities of Newell, Gary, and Big Stone City like their video lottery. How do I know this?

Because the "No on 7" people had to give these municipalities their donations back. Speaking of donations given back, I see where the Ballot Question Committee "" had to give a little check back:

On the 11/2/2006 report, there is indeed a donation of that amount from Dwight correspondin…

RCJ: Congress pushing for National Drivers License.

The Associated Press is writing at the Rapid City Journal's website this AM about the Real ID act of 2005 and the Federal Government's push for a national driver's license:
A revolt against a national driver's license, begun in Maine last month, is quickly spreading to other states.


The Maine Legislature on Jan. 26 overwhelmingly passed a resolution objecting to the Real ID Act of 2005. The federal law sets a national standard for driver's licenses and requires states to link their record-keeping systems to national databases.

Within a week of Maine's action, lawmakers in Georgia, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington state also balked at Real ID. They are expected soon to pass laws or adopt resolutions declining to participate in the federal identification network.

"It's the whole privacy thing," said Matt Sundeen, a transportation analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures. "A lot of legislators are concerned…

Was there much doubt as to who the unnamed donor was?

I see the Argus is noting this AM that the mysterious donor who is providing nearly 1/2 a billion - and that's with a "B" - to Sioux Valley in order to create a network of clinics and medical research centers is Denny Sanford.

I don't think it's a huge shock to anyone. It's a pretty short list in SD when names come to mind for that extreme form of philanthropy. And T. Denny Sanford is at the top of it.

Sure, they're going to change their name to Sanford Health, and that might attract some criticism as it did when an aspect of his major donation to Homestake caused Representative Dale Hargens to grouse about it.

In response, I'd offer, "so what."

I said it back at the end of June, and I'd say the same type of thing now, if I was giving that much money, I'd want a mention of it somewhere too in the hopes it might inspire future generosity and philantropy in an increasingly self-centered world.

In anyone's book, we should all recognize t…