Showing posts from May 6, 2007

Democrats, a word to the wise.
Stop talking about tornadoes.

During his visit to the town on June 3, Vice President Al Gore promised millions of dollars in federal funds which was used to help the storm victims’ immediate needs as well as the actual rebuilding of Spencer’s streets, schools, library and ball field.
- SDPB (recall of 1988 spencer tornado)
Footnote - The only problem was that Spencer didn't have a library. And I'm not so sure it had a school. Or a ball field. I know there was at least one paved road, but don't ask me about more than that.

"In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died — an entire town destroyed"
- Senator Barack Obama, May 8, 2007
Footnote - 12. It was 12 people that died.

Kudos to the AG for investigating what Schools have been doing with taxpayer money

Yesterday, it came out in the media that the Attorney General Larry Long asked Legislative Audit to look into the fact that taxpayer money was being used to sue the state..... to get more taxpayer money.

Good for him. I think it's past time that this portion of the campaign be reviewed in depth.

Here's what the article in the Argus Leader had to say about it:
Long says schools lack legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of state laws and are barred from paying any legal fees except their own. He released on Thursday copies of a letter to Auditor General Martin Guindon that requested the audit.

"The attorney general's office believes that any expenditure of public tax dollars by a South Dakota school district to challenge the constitutionality of a statute is illegal," Long wrote. He cited a 1999 Supreme Court decision involving the Edgemont School District to support his contention."Therefore, this office believes that it is improper and illegal for s…

Chad from CCK serves up a double dose of the problems with Catholics today

Chad over at the Clean Cut Kid must be on an anti-Catholicism tear today. Because he's serving up two posts in which he takes a couple of swings at the church and its dogma:

In Easy Questions, Easy Answers, he intimates that the church's position on celibacy for priests is "nuts."

and in No communion for you!, he assumes certain things on the priority of the church; "obviously nothing more important to the Catholic Church than the position that American politicians take on abortion rights."

It is troubling to me that while bloggers on the left advocate for special protections for groups because they believe they are targets for hate speech, they engage in the very types of behaviors they advocate stopping for the groups they favor.

If Chad hasn't noticed, despite the things he might have to say about the Catholic Church, of those voters who describe themselves as being a member of a Christian denomination (86%), Catholics comprise a staggering 25%. (A close…

unscientific Poll - GOP for Gov in 2010?

I've been saving this one, as I think it's bound to get tongues wagging. Who's your man (or woman) in 2010 for Governor?:

Who is the GOP going to nominate for Governor in 2010?Lee SchoenbeckDennis DaugaardMatt MichelsDave KnudsonBill PetersonGary HansonEric BogueNone of the Above (Explain under comments) free polls

Say it loud and proud - and tell us why.

Argus Leader: Thune and Herseth to the Rescue

The Argus has a nice story today on Lisa Richardson (Who I think worked for Pressler at one time) who had gotten stuck in China with a child she was adopting. When it looked like she, and many other couples adopting children were going to be stranded, Congresswoman Herseth's staff lent a hand, and Senator Thune brought out the big guns to get the families home:
They were supposed to return to the United States with their new additions on April 14 and 15, but a problem with the State Department computer used to issue visas to the adopted children caused a several-day backup for nearly 100 families.


So Richardson started calling people.

She started with Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin’s staff member in charge of immigration, Mark Gerhardt, who had helped the Richardsons expedite their Orphan Child/Immediate Relative petition in February so they could travel to China.

Gerhardt made the State Department’s China desk aware of the visa problem.

Thune, meanwhile, went right to the boss.


I want to be in pictures. But Jae managed 4 scenes.

I'd love to be in film, mainly because I'm such an unabashed fan boy. But unlike me, Jae Csongradi up at the Office of School and Public Lands managed to be in 4 scenes shot for the National Treasure sequel out at Mt. Rushmore.

According to KCCR News:
A Pierre woman made the most of her time as a movie extra. Jae Csongradi last week spent about eight hours one day last week on the set of the sequel of the "National Treasures" being filmed in Rapid City. While some others have only been in one or two scenes, Csongradi got the chance to be in four scenes shot at Mount Rushmore.Read it all here.

And Congrats Jae. We're all looking forward to seeing you on the big screen.

New group forms, and they launch by taking Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin to task

No sooner than did I get into the afternoon yesterday, and I had to come to Brookings on an emergency basis. I finally have a few moments to check my e-mail, and I noted this new website. And they aren't being terribly nice to our Congresswoman.

Some might say they're giving her hell. Others, that they're telling the truth, and it feels like hell. I'll leave it up to you to decide. has two radio ads posted that are going to run starting today in South Dakota. And they aren't pulling many punches. Check out what the website has to say:

Federal Hate Crimes legislation – which was aimed squarely at punishing people of faith – passed in the House of Representatives last week. Stephanie Herseth? She voted yes.


And this hate crimes law now elevates homosexuals into a separate legal class – above other citizens – reversing our Constitutional guarantee of "equal justice under law."

We’re so disappointed Stephanie Herseth voted yes for…

It's Awfully Quiet. Too Quiet.
Maybe, we're holding out for a hero.

I had a conversation recently with a politico who was commenting that (politically), things are pretty quiet within the GOP. Sure, we're just coming to the end of Lincoln Day Dinner season. But it seems as if a lot of people are chomping at the bit for something.

Things are deathly quiet, and if it's true what was noted - that "blogs are the only action out there," then were either in really big trouble, or Republicans are at a crossroads there they feel they need a cause to champion. Maybe, we're looking for a new hero (if you will allow the metaphor) to get behind

I think it's evidenced by the unabashed frothing that everyone did at the prospect of a congressional candidate as we did when Dusty Johnson noted he was thinking about it. After the beating the GOP took nationally and in the legislature this past election, people are itching for a cause they can sink their teeth into. They're looking for hope.

With Dusty being a young energetic candidate who ha…

Thanks guys. (meaning the collective, and not a perjorative on gender)

As I was filling out my exit questionnaire at work this AM, it gave me pause to reflect back on my time in Pierre. And as evident from the literally dozens of well wishers in person, via telephone, and e-mail, I need to say "thanks." I'm pleasantly surprised at how they've even come from people I might not have agreed with. (Maybe even one or two I've savaged). If anything, it gives myself permission to reassess my biases.

Then again, there have been a couple of people who have used the occasion to take a parting shot. That's great too. They've shown the quality of their character on more than one occasion, so I'm not surprised. I've spun gold out of straw before, and it just gives me more material to spin with.

Leaving was a really, really difficult decision, but every hour I get away from the gut-wrenching anxiety of making it, it was the right one.

I've have many conflicting feelings at the moment, so I hesitate to put them to paper (or scree…

Johnson not running.
Dusty, that is.

From KCCR News:
One week after saying he was considering running for the U-S House in 2008, state Public Utilities Commission Chairman Dusty Johnson now says he will not be a candidate next year.

Johnson, a former Riggs High School graduate, says he wanted to make an early decision on whether to run. He says family issues, especially with son Max recently turning 2 years old, convinced him that this was not the time to run.Read it all here. Dusty was nice enough to provide a few comments to add to this as well:
Statement of Dusty Johnson on the 2008 Congressional Race
May 7, 2007

In recent weeks, there has been some speculation as to whether or not I would be a candidate for federal office in 2008.

I have decided not to run for the U.S. House. In many ways, I am drawn to such an opportunity. I think that, in a few important respects, our country needs to change direction, and I would love to be a part of getting us refocused on real problems and real solutions.

Despite that attraction, my de…

Rapid City Mayoral Candidate Videos on line at RCJ

The Rapid City Journal has posted videos of the candidates running for the office of mayor in this years' election, where they lay out their background, and what they want to do for the city. Go check it out here.

That's not good. State Employee indicted for bribery, while the rest of them do their jobs.

Someone was joking to me yesterday that after I exit from my employment at the end of next week, I might do a blogpost on state employees I hate the most. Cute, but no thanks.

Almost without exception, I've known state employees to be exceptionally hard working, often under less than optimal conditions. I believe Seth who blogs (or alt least used to) over at CCK had worked for Social Services down in Pine Ridge. Would you choose that to be your dream job? Exactly. There are tons of others in custodial services, building trades, corrections, and law enforcement who are working evenings and holidays while the rest of us are enjoying our ham dinner.

Most don't do it for the pay. It's to feed their families and because they want to make a difference.

As these things start to get the notice they rightfully deserve, someone has to come along and screw it up for the rest of them. Someone has to make a mistake that tarnishes the image of dedicated and hardworking employees for everyo…

Senator's House torn apart by a tornado

Hat tip to Sibby for noticing this in the Mitchell paper on Senator Ed Olson's house having the roof torn off by a twister this weekend:
The home of Ed and Diane Olson, just northeast of Mitchell, was damaged severely by an apparent tornado Saturday. The roof was torn off of the kitchen and living room areas, and one of the living room walls was leaning. Some turkey hunters crouched in a nearby ditch while the storm passed and then rushed up to the house to check on Mrs. Olson, who was home alone. Mrs. Olson said she and her husband, who was in Wisconsin during the weekend, plan to live temporarily in a friend’s rental house in Mitchell.“I’m still in shock,” she said.Read about it here.

Jeez. I feel terrible about this. While I certainly have disagreed with Ed on some things such as the Mainstream coalition, Ed is a pretty decent guy. Our thoughts are with him and the others who are going through this.

Some of the results are ...curious

Results from the two polls I posted are coming in, and are interesting to say the least.

In the congressional wish-list contest, it looks like the readers are after a certain ideal. Because Larry Russell and Dusty Johnson are neck in neck. Seriously guys, I'm not fiddling with the numbers or anything. This is what's coming in.

(BTW - The results are recorded on an IP address basis, and not a computer cookie basis, so it's tougher to fudge. I know, I tried to vote twice with 2 computers on the same network. It wouldn't work.)

Even laying relatively low in the GOP political world for the past couple of years, Larry still has a remarkably loyal following among the grassroots.

The Dems for Governor results were also interesting. Yes, Heidepreim is running away with it. But it's the also-rans who are getting my attention. BJ and Frank are being picked more often (ar at least about the same) as Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin.

Interesting. Very interesting.

And how was your day? Mine was sort of interesting.

I think I got a few tongues wagging at work today. "Why?" you might ask.

Because I resigned from my job.

It's something I've been thinking about for a while. You know, you have a pregnant wife, and six kids to boot, and there tends to be something nagging in your head that says "Hey, it might be a good thing to be around more."

Or that could be the television. I'm not sure.

It's not that I didn't enjoy the things I've worked on. The Vietnam War Memorial dedication was arguably the single greatest event that ever took place in Pierre. It's not like I could ever top that. Honestly, the coordination and human effort of it dwarfed any political thing I've ever had my hands in. If anything, it provides a new frame of reference to what dedicated people can accomplish if they put their minds to a task.

All I know is that there's a PPjr and several daughters who need a father in their lives more than 2 1/2 days a week. Not to mention a Mrs…

Got some intellectually light reading today

I got a copy of "Under the Dome: trying to do good in the People's Cathedral" today. Written by Former Representative and Senator Gerry Lange, it's a self-published book - 97 pages which are so self-indulgent it would make Onan uncomfortable.

In the introduction, Former Rep. Lange notes that "this book might be viewed as a "catharsis" pulling together all of the frustrations the "misery on the Missouri," the disillusionment inevitable when a liberal-minded optimist (with true conservative exceptions) runs into the buzz saw of political reality in an entrenched, "red," one-party state."Really? That sounds to me more like he's being a big crybaby because he's one of the few seats Republicans managed to capture in an election where we took it in the shorts in a lot of other places. Of course it had noting to do with comments like this (Listen for yourselves) where he illustrated how ridiculously he's out of touch with…

Argus Leader: Thune key player in the energy debate

The Argus Leader is all abuzz this AM at how Senator John Thune is a key player in the debate taking shape in Washington over energy:
Sen. John Thune proposed a major tax break for wind energy, and this week will hear arguments for increasing vehicle fuel-economy standards.Those and other measures could become part of a larger energy bill focused on renewables. But cooperation could fizzle without technological improvements, such as the ability to make ethanol from cellulose or to meet the nation's electricity needs without nuclear power.

"There is a real convergence right now of a lot of things. One is the growing concern that we have about foreign energy," Thune said. "Two, the growing concern about global warming.and...

There also is growing support for wind power, he said.

Thune's new bill proposes extending the production tax credit, the most important government support for wind turbines. It would extend the credit for five years, a step up from previous exten…

I'm phoning it in tonight. Here's another poll to chew on.

I'm back in Pierre early this weekend for an on-site "audition" for a job that would let me spend much more time in Brookings. After working all day, I'm tired, and I'm thinking of going to see Spider Man 3, so I'm not going to do much for blogging tonight.

So, to fill space, I'm going to throw up another poll for the readers to generate some chatter about the ghost of elections to come. Earlier today, I asked who the GOP is going to put up for congress in 2008 (based on report, rumors and gossip circulating). For those of you grumbling "why I didn't include and west river people," when the chatter starts that they might be interested, I'll include them. Until then, I'll include what I hear.

For this poll, I note there's lots of chatter who the GOP is going to run for Gov in 2010, but very few Democratic names are popping up. So let me have it - what do you think the Dems are going to put up in 2010?

Who are the Dems going to put up…

Here's something to chew on....

Here's a little something to chew on this Sunday morning - From this list of oft mentioned candidates, which Republican do you like in the 2008 Congressional contest?

Which Republican do you like in the 2008 Congressional Contest?Joel DykstraDusty JohnsonLarry RussellShantel KrebsDeb free polls