Showing posts from March 18, 2007

Happy Birthday large building in Pierre.

KCCR, KELO and a host of others are reporting on the State Capitol's impending 100th birthday. 2008 would mark the 100th Anniversary of the laying of the Capitol's cornerstone.

And 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of the Capitol's opening for business.

Part of the announced centennial celebration next year will be to encourage people to visit this vital part of South Dakota's heritage.

There are so many stories surrounding the building that people don't know, and that may be lost to history if we aren't careful.

The age of the building is one factor - I know in my grade school youth, a school mate's dad provided the key for us, and I actually went up in the dome to look around. Anymore, it's much too treacherous, and that part of the Capitol has been sealed off for more than a decade as too dangerous. And there's also that Blashfield painting, which will likely remain sealed behind a wall until the next full building restoration.

In looking at the histo…

Is it 9/10ths of a vote yet?

Recently, Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth voted to dilute her vote in congress by voting to allow representatives of Guam and the Virgin Islands a vote in congress.

Now, the Democrats are trying to give the DC delegates a vote? H.R. 1433 is "To provide for the treatment of the District of Columbia as a Congressional district for purposes of representation in the House of Representatives, and for other purposes."

Apparently, you don't have to be a state to be represented anymore. You just have to have a lot of Democratic voters.

Monitor it here, and see if our congresswoman is going to dilute South Dakota's voice even further.

While schools are complaining, they're also increasing reserves.

After a spate of superintendents writing in their local newspapers that education got screwed this session, the Governor is on the road in Aberdeen telling his story to the American News on why education fared pretty well, despite reports to the contrary:
South Dakota schools are not underfunded now and they won't be in 2008 either, South Dakota Gov. Michael Rounds said on Thursday.Rounds said he has taken exception with lobbyists and some school officials who say next year's education funding increase awarded by the state Legislature is inadequate. To date, 69 school districts have joined a lawsuit charging the state of South Dakota with failing to adequately fund K-12 public education. The Aberdeen School District will decide whether or not to join the effort at a meeting on Monday.and..."This whole mess is strictly about money," Rounds said. "How can you come back next year and ask for more when you got a bunch this year? The lobbyists having a problem with th…

A parent's plea to Congresswoman Herseth

I'm redacting the names in this as was requested of me, but this is a pretty powerful statement to our Congresswoman from the parent of someone who might be "over there" as was sent to her office.
Dear Congresswoman Herseth,

I would like to encourage you to vote against the supplemental funding bill scheduled for this afternoon or tomorrow. On February 16th I asked you not to support the resolution against the troop surge as proposed by President Bush for the following reasons. South Dakota has lost over 20 of our sons in this war against terrorism and to back down now is an admission of failure. Abraham Lincoln stated in his second Gettysburg Address "...that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." I still believe this quote applies to the new government of Iraq, a governme…

John Edwards' wife has cancer relapse and remains on the campaign trail. Good for her.

It has been all over the news this afternoon and tonight that Democratic presidential contender John Edwards' wife has been diagnosed with a relapse of breast cancer which has migrated to her bones. I'd just join in with everyone else in the blogosphere and wish them the best for a recovery.

This type of situation is pretty personal to me, as my mom went through the same thing. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and after it went into remission for about 4 years or so, came back with a vengeance.

Mom fought it for about a year until it overtook her. We brought her back from the cancer treatment center in Oklahoma about a week before Thanksgiving in 2000, where she passed away surrounded by her family.

John Edwards has announced he is not suspending his campaign for president. In the best interests of his wife, I'd say "good for him."

Yes, there will be some out there who will say "he should stop and help her get well, and not to subject her to the rigor…

Is it time to refer a law? Who's with me?

Not that I'm worried about legislators overturning the Governor's veto, but just on the off chance, I think that it might be a good thing to get ready to go on referring HB 1189, the bill to force 5, 6, & 7 year olds into car seats because their parents supposedly don't know any better and need advice criminalized. And that's refer as in "put it to a public vote."

If there is anyone out there who might be interested in helping? If so e-mail me directly at

I think it's important to draw a line in the sand with nanny state legislation such as this. Because it isn't something that's important public policy - it's a legislator's pet peeve. And the prime sponsor Willadsen (apparently a nanny-state liberal in Republican clothing) even noted that in his justification fpr bringing the bill that he did so because he didn't like how some mom was bucking her kids in.

Well, boo hoo.

Just because a person is elected to …

The Politico provides confirmation of the Herseth Wedding, as well as details

The Politico website, a politically oriented tome (obviously), is noting details as well as claiming staff confirmation of Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth's impending wedding vows:
Herseth's camp -- no doubt busy with last-minute alterations and such -- tells us it's true: "Yes, she's getting married next weekend to former Congressman Max Sandlin. They are getting married in Brookings, South Dakota, among a small group of family and friends."

In case you're wondering, since she's Lutheran and he's Baptist, the wedding's at the Lutheran church.

As you may recall, Herseth met Sandlin, a former representative from Texas, when he became her campaign mentor in 2002. They started dating a year later. She's 36. He's 58.

The reception, we hear, will take place downtown on Main Street at Fellowship Hall.Read it all here.

Ed McLaughlin and Don Van Etten sign up for the Nanny State

Two Rapid City Legislators who currently pretend to be Republican are advocating for more government intrusion into people's lives today at the Rapid City Journal.

Representatives Ed McLaughlin and Don Van Etten held a press conference to try to gain momentum for an overturn of the Governor's Veto on the Booster Seat Bill requiring 7 year olds to be strapped in cars (even though they could ride to baseball practice on their bicycles without a helmet.):
“The bottom line comes down to either we’re for safety or we’re not,” Rep. Ed McLaughlin, R-Rapid City, said Wednesday at a press conference at the Rapid City office of the South Dakota AAA.

House Bill 1189 would have required children ages 5 through 7 to sit in booster seats.

“Adult lap belts and shoulder belts do not fit the anatomy of these kids,” Rep. Don Van Etten, R-Rapid City, said.Read the whole sorry nanny-state tale here.

Here's a question - if it's so darn proven that the seat belts don't fitcorrectly, why aren…

Postscripts to recent stories....

I don't want to write about the same things ad nauseum, but there are several points to follow up on that readers might be interested in.

First, The Rapid City Weekly news has a story on the Kooiker mayoral race, where Sam talks about Hamilton offering him $10k, but he turned him down. He also mentiones his (former) friend Mike Schumacher originally turning down the Hamilton offer of cash, but then taking it when the amount was upped.

Read that story here.

Although I'm told that we may see State Representative Alan Hanks jump into the race after all, backed by former Republican Stan Adelstein, setting up a "Hamilton-Adelstein-Average guy" proxy race.

Stay tuned on that one.

On the Herseth/Argus Leader photo story....

Today we're left wondering.... "Herseth wedding photos? What Herseth wedding photos?" The link is now gone off of the Argus Leader's website. That one is sure to get the conspiracy theorist tongues a waggin'.

What happened to the missing …

Is it feeling a little warm in here? No silly. It's just global warming hysteria.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about global warming. It's all over the news, it's in the Oscars, and apparently, it's being taught in our schools.

My oldest daughter was telling me what they were talking about in class, and mentioned that one of the topics her instructor was teaching was how humans were contributing to global warming....

WHOA! I stopped her right there, and clarified that the viewpoint being expressed by her teacher was only one theory. I presented her with an alternative theory (which I find much more plausible) that the changes in the earth's climate are driven by solar activity, and tend to be cyclical in nature, where there are natural periods of heating and cooling.

Ever since, I keep coming across articles and information that bear out my point of view. Since Time Magazine has come out with a cover story on the threat of global warming this week, I thought I'd get an opposing view... from the same source.
However widely the weather varies…

I'm not kidding. The wedding is impending....

Even the Argus has a section in their "life gallery" being populated with photos as we speak. I'm assuming these are rehersal or bachelorette party photos....

Press Release: Sam Kooiker announces for Rapid City mayor

From a release issued today:
Rapid City Alderman Sam Kooiker today announced his candidacy for Mayor in the June 5 city elections. In a prepared statement Kooiker said as mayor he would focus on managing city affairs. “It is time for a Mayor who minds the store."

During his three terms on the City Council, Kooiker has been a tireless fighter for Rapid City taxpayers. He believes public officials should be held accountable for their actions. Since he was elected to the council, Kooiker stood against all five city budgets because he believes "the taxpayers deserve more respect than to have city hall automatically include property tax increases in the budget without a separate vote or discussion." Sam also led the effort to implement a water and sewer master plan so the City would have a better idea of the city’s infrastructure needs.

Kooiker says “Being a Mayor involves more than just performing ceremonial duties.” Sam believes storm water drainage issues and the Jackson S…

Remember..... when we were battling over smoking?

It must be old school night - because I'm talking about the first smoking battles in the legislature. Over whether or not legislators could smoke in common areas of the Capitol.

And this pin emerged from Democratic Senator Len Andera of Chamberlain.

Since the Iraq protesters are much like the Vietnam Protesters....

A Vietnam Veteran friend of mine was mentioning to me today that the war protesting he's seeing today are exectly like the Vietnam protests were for him way back then. In some occasions, such as Jane Fonda, they are the exact same people protesting.

So, for this friend, I'm going old school tonight and dipping in my button collection to bring a blast from the Vietnam Era past - McGovern Pins (as well as a Kit Bond pin)

Did I hear that wedding bells are ringing in Brookings on the 30th

A reader "in the know" tells me that the big wedding date for Congresswoman Herseth is the weekend of March 30th in Brookings. Darn. My invitation must have gotten lost in the mail.

I'm not sure where the wedding would be, since on-line sources note that Sandlin is a Baptist, and Herseth is Lutheran. Our neighborhood is full of churches. And who's to say that she might not do a civil ceremony, say, up at the University? Otherwise, there are several nice locations in town.

So, what do you get a Democratic Congresswoman for her wedding?

Well, the old saying goes that a bride should get "something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue...."

For starters, I won't touch the "something old" line, because that joke is too easy. Way too easy. Something new could be the fact that she's now part of the majority, and has "a new majority leader."

Something borrowed might be the congressional seat she holds. Which she has tempo…

South Dakota Animator/Film Maker with a political edge

I was doing a little surfing on YouTube for South Dakotans, and I came across a gentleman's website who goes by the moniker of Madikwe.

Watch out politicians, both Republican and Democrat alike. You might find yourself skewered. Madikwe is taking on everyone in a combination of computer and "real old school" stop motion animation that I have to admit, really works well.

One of his recent works (as above) takes a big swing in the direction of Tim Johnson. But, Dems, he's also takes aim at the Republican member of the delegation, neutrinos, Legislators in general, and a host of other topics.

If we see any viral videos on the South Dakota Races this next year, you might see him as the film maker in question.

Go check him out at

This might be a tough one for Hillary to overcome

Hat tip to SD Watch.

The only bad part? I think if it had been a Republican doing this ad, it would have been much more hard hitting.

Speaking of You Tube Videos, I see that South Dakota syndicated columnist Rick Kahler has a You Tube Channel at

My advice? Stick to newspaper columns, or go buy a better webcam. At least do something about the incredibly blurry videography.

Where will congresswoman Herseth fall on Thursday's vote to support the troops?

Where will congresswoman Herseth fall on Thursday's vote to support the troops? The Hill has a story today on the Democrat's version of funding for the Iraq War effort. In other words, they're trying to use the power of the pocketbook to take over running the war effort:
Facing their first tight vote of the 110th Congress, House Democratic leaders yesterday were scrambling to convince rank-and-file members to back their carefully crafted war-funding legislation.

At least eight Democrats are planning to vote “no” on the Iraq supplemental, scheduled for a Thursday vote. Two more are “leaning no.” Meanwhile, there are over three dozen Democrats who are undecided, according to a survey conducted by The Hill.


“The best way to keep [the troops] safe is to bring them home,” Stark said. “It’s difficult to oppose [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). She’s a great leader and working wonders to get this passed, but some things I can’t vote for.”Read the whole article here at th…

Former State Legislator named Rural Development Director

From a release by Senator Thune's office:
Thune: Jaspers Named South Dakota Rural Development Director

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Senator John Thune has announced that Mike Jaspers of Sioux Falls has been nominated by the President to serve as South Dakota State Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Rural Development. Jaspers was recommended for the position by Senator Thune.

“Mike will do a great job in this new position,” said Thune. “He has a very strong background in agriculture, and his service in state government will serve him well as Rural Development Director. South Dakota is lucky to have an individual of Mike’s caliber and experience serving in this important position.”

Jaspers runs a 2000-acre corn, soybeans, and cattle operation outside Sioux Falls . He served three terms in the South Dakota House of Representatives where he was elected as House Majority Whip for four years. He also served one term in the State Senate. He is a graduate of South Dakota…

We'll probably have to agree to disagree. Poster over at CCK forgets the genesis of the US Atty mess

I see that Dawne over at the CCK blog sees the whole US Attorney mess as a big Republican right- wing plot to act above the law, (insert your other favorite liberal anti-republican buzz words in), etcetera, and so on.

Unfortunately, as much as Dawne would care to ignore, this all started when a Democratically appointed Judge tried to step in and insert his own appointee. In other words - if he hadn't tried to usurp the authority of the executive branch, there would have been no need to change the law for "the mess in South Dakota."

On February 6, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the independence of U.S. Attorneys and focused on a change to the PATRIOT Act caused by the actions of a judge in South Dakota. Senator Arlen Specter said the change to the PATRIOT Act “had been requested by the Department of Justice because there had been difficulty with the replacement of a U.S. attorney in South Dakota, where the court made a replacement which was not in accord…

I got a mention.

I note that one of my last posts got a mention over at a NY blog called The Union-Free employer. Go check it out.

Anti DM&E people, don't hold back. Tell us what you really think.

This is in this morning's Pierre Newspaper.

"Our representatives, the Governor, the Mayor, and congressional delegations have been less than truthful......"
Nothing like calling the state's top elected officials a bunch of liars to start off the day.

And I didn't notice it until I was folding the paper back up, but I see the ad right above it is an advertisement for a local firm doing public relations.

Maybe the two should hook up? It sounds like one needs the other.

That's kind of odd coming from someone who represents a "right to work" state.

Americans for Prosperity recently shook their finger at Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth for her vote on a bill to allow union representatives to collect signatures to form a union without a secret ballot.

In other words, they're going to know exactly who might have voted yes and no - leaving hard feelings for the worker from either the employer for saying yes, or the union for saying no.
Representative Stephanie Herseth (D-SD) votes to support H.R. 800 card-check procedure which would force workers to accept unions they don’t want.Under current law an employer can request a federally supervised secret ballot for workers to decide if they want to unionize. The current system allows both unions and workers to present both sides of the debate and allows workers to weigh the merits of each argument while protecting workers' privacy with secret ballots.H.R. 800 would allow unions to organize via so-called “card check” campaigns, in which union representatives can collect …

Republicans supporting presidential candidates in the Argus Leader

Dave Kranz has a story in today's Argus regarding who former Republican convention goers might be supporting in the latest go around for president. How does it break down from those attending the conventions?
Jerry Rubendall - (2004 convention) - McCain, but might switch
Sue Peterson - (2000 convention) - Huckabee, but "believes McCain is a conservative too."
Randy Frederick (2004 Convention) - Romney. "The two front-runners may be Rudy Giuliani and Romney. Not sure McCain is a player anymore."
Allan Unruh - (I believe he's been to a couple) - An anti-abortion conservative candidate.Read it here.

This really shows that no one person is emerging as a favorite here in SD. And I think that's reflected nationally. Some conservatives want Newt to jump in, but others (including myself) think he might have too much baggage at this point. No one is solidifying the base.

That's why I'd like to see hoping Fred Thompson jump in at this point. And I'm not the…

Rhoden/Maher interviewed on KBHB Radio

KBHB Radio has an on-line program with Senator Ryan Maher and Representative Larry Rhoden on how they thought session went.

Like to listen? Go check it out here at:

Talk on lots of issues, especially focusing on SB 173.

I knew it was too good to last....

Uh oh. The Argus is reporting that the federal gravy train that subsidizes my flight back and forth between Pierre and Brookings might be going away.

It probably didn't help that when I last flew (on the early bird flight on the 13th) that I was the only passenger from Brookings to Pierre:
Looking for a $60 flight to Pierre or a $200 flight to Denver from Brookings? Better book before September, when the flights are likely to go away.

A $1.2 million taxpayer subsidy that has kept 19-seat turboprop jets flying from Brookings’ airport since October is due to expire in September, which could leave the city with no commercial air service.


The U.S. Department of Transportation -- in granting the most recent service last fall -- said Brookings wouldn’t get future grants if flights this year cost more than $200 in subsidies per passenger per flight. The average amount it’s paying currently is more than twice that, despite passenger numbers increasing year-over-year.Read it all here at …

Is the Councilman trying to knock Stan off of his pedastal?

Is it just me, or between the reaction to the articles on this website, in the Rapid City Weekly, the Rapid City Journal, and on Mt. Blogmore, and again today in the Rapid City Journal, is City Councilman Mike Schumacher going to overtake former Senator Stan Adelstein as the most vilified politician in Rapid City?

Check out what was in today's edition of the Rapid City Journal's "The good, the Bad, and the Ugly."

Something stinks. Does this mean that Schumacher requires partisan funding to come to the “correct” decision on an issue, or does this mean his position is for sale? Has he ever heard of the concepts of ethics or integrity; how about conflict of interest? Answer: It doesn’t matter. This is outrageous; the man has no business being an elected representative.Read it all here.


But if you think about it, the reason they've both drawn so much fire is quite similar. At the end of the day, a lot of it is about PACs and money and how it's moved fr…

The J.A.I.L.ers are still harping on their South Dakota loss. The latest? It's the fault of foreign powers.

I should put a disclaimer on this stuff that "I read it, so you don't have to."

The Ron Branson Judicial Accountability crew are still being big crybabies over their loss to normal South Dakota citizens who didn't like the bill of goods that the "B.S. and the Californians" were trying to sell us. And now they seem to have a good reason why they lost in South Dakota.

Tonight, I'm happy to inform you that we are under the control of a foreign power:
In a continuing quest to inform the People about J.A.I.L., we discuss more on the Foreign Power that has usurped government and controls the People under absolute despotism. The importance of becoming aware of this Foreign Power (a power foreign to our Constitution) came to light after J.A.I.L. was effectively ousted from the South Dakota 2006 election by keeping the voters ignorant of the truth about the J.A.I.L. Amendment, allowing them to read only the fraudulent misrepresentation of the Amendment propagated o…