Showing posts from May 27, 2007

Poll Results, and a new one.
Who's the SD Favorite Republican in the Presidential contest?
(...not that it matters terribly)

Just some unscientific poll results from the two I conducted about a week ago.

And a new one for you to cut your teeth on.

Who do you like in the Republican Presidential Contest?Rudy GiulianiMitt RomneyJohn McCainFred ThompsonMike HuckabeeNone of the free polls

KELO Land: E-Board Page Discussions moving forward

According to a KELO-land news report, the legislature's executive board is moving forward with discussions of how to change the legislature's page program after recent incidents involving Democratic Senator Dan Sutton, and Republican Representative Ted Klaudt:
First it was accusations that state Senator Dan Sutton of Flandreau shared a bed with a legislative page and groped him. Now former lawmaker, Ted Klaudt, has been arrested for raping his foster children who also served as pages.

Executive Board Chairman Republican Representative Larry Tidemann of Brookings says, "I don't think it's a page problem, it's a human problem."

But Representative Larry Tidemann's executive board is going to take a look at the page program Monday to make sure there aren't any more problems in the future.

Tidemann says, "I think it's good to visit and see what needs to be done and to have that discussion." Read it all here at

Herseth: Melted Ice is dramatic

Our congresswoman is back in the good old U.S. of A. after taking a European Tour with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. And she has a few things to say about global warming as reported by the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.
Just back from a weeklong, four-nation tour to learn what other countries are doing about climate change, Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D, said that in Greenland, she saw melted ice flowing from glaciers caused by global warming.

"That's pretty powerful," she said Friday. "To see the ice that had broken off from the main glaciers is dramatic."

and...Pelosi, D-Calif., praised the European Union's aggressive new energy policy, which calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.and...Herseth Sandlin was more diplomatic. She said Bush's proposal was a first step, but "we have to fill in with the details." She agreed with Pelosi that more must be done to slow the long-term effects of global warming.Read it …

Republican Senator Jason Gant getting an award today

The Madison Daily Leader has an article noting that State Senator Jason Gant is being feted today in Pierre for his work on openness in State Government:
Jason Gant, a state senator from Sioux Falls, and the South Dakota State University Collegian staff will each be given the Eagle Award Saturday in Pierre. Each year the award recognizes an individual or group demonstrating outstanding efforts to protect the public's right to know.

Gant is being recognized for his work in the legislature to promote open government issues. In 2006 he sponsored legislation that directed the attorney general to conduct a study of what records held by state and local governments are open and accessible to the public or confidential.Read it all here, as the SDSU Collegian is also being honored as well.

Back up at an all time high

After a few months where traffic has dropped off, as session waned, and the political news slowed down, my hits went back up to levels nearly meeting my all time high between 31,000 and 32,000.

Dang. And thanks for your continued readership. Don't forget to patronize the sponsors websites (DeMersseman, Jensen, Christianson, Stanton and Huffman as well as Sam Kooiker for Mayor).

And don't forget that your donations through the pay pal "beg button" on the right hand side of this website helps to keep it going. So, donate today if you enjoy the SDWC.

I hear this was Nancy Turbak's case...

Someone tells me that this case was being helmed by Senator Nancy Turbak on Eugene Kent's behalf:
A man awarded $27.4 million by a jury after a federal court trial in Aberdeen now stands to get nothing.

In 2005, Eugene Kent of Sioux Falls won a civil lawsuit against United of Omaha, an insurance company with which he once worked on a health insurance policy. But the St. Louis-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has overturned the decision.


Earlier this month, the Court of Appeals overturned Kent's loss of income claim, leaving him with nothing. Among other things, the appeals court noted in its decision that “the South Dakota Supreme Court concluded that Kent had violated 'seven provisions of the Insurance Code,' and that the decision to revoke his license was not 'too harsh a penalty' based on Kent's misrepresentations, fraudulent conduct and general dishonesty.”Read it all here in the Aberdeen American News. A review of the prior heari…

Brown County Lincoln Day Dinner - The contenders...

I promised to make note of the people who were at the Lincoln Day Dinner who might be running for statewide office in the coming years, and there were several of them at the dinner last night

State Representative Joel Dykstra, who is anticipated to be a challenger for the US Senate seat this next fall, was at the dinner meeting and greeting the party faithful in attendance. Sam Kephart (who has already announced officially) and Jim Seward, who got a lot of attention at the Spearfish Dinner didn't make it, but they were there in spirit.

Former Thune Congressional Aide Larry Russell made a bit of a splash at the event. As I had related earlier, Larry had a tough time getting in the door because most everyone who walked in the place was either bending his ear, or pledging their support for him if he chooses to make a "Russell Congressional race" a reality. I personally heard a couple of sitting Republican legislators give him the thumbs up for support.

If Sioux Falls Councilma…

The Book that Thune Donated

I had written a bit on the incredible gift that Senator Thune sent for the Brown County Lincoln Day Dinner fpr the Brown Co GOP to raise money with.

I was told you could see him on C-span running around and getting it signed while some Senators were milling around after a vote. So here it is in more detail.

Mitch McConnell, Trent Lott, Thune himself, Mel Martinex, Johnny Isakson, Richard Burr, Jim DeMint, Pat Roberts, Jeff Sessions, and Saxby Chambliss all signed this beautiful book about our Nations' Capitol Building.

What a neat item - and now it includes the signatures of 11 Senators - any of whom could rise to be president someday.

SDWC: Trying to get to the bottom of things....

There's been a bit of fussing on the blog in the past few days over the fact I noted that I "heard" that Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin might have taken her chief of staff with her on the Peolsi European Global warming tour.

Some demanded that I confirm it, some said the whole staff went, some acknowledged that I actually said "I heard it" and that's the only confirmation I had, and to take it with a grain of salt.

So, in order to remove the confusion, I dropped congresswoman Herseth's chief of staff a note to get to the bottom of it:
Tessa -

I'm trying to clear up some information that was passed along to me with regards to whether you, as Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin's Chief of Staff, accompanied her on her recent trip to Europe.

I keep hearing yes and no, and yet others ridiculously inflate the numbers into including many members of the Congresswoman's staff. I'm hoping you can provide me some accurate information.

Would this actually be c…

Capital Journal SMASHES incumbent in their endorsement of the new guy

I heard about this, and had a friend send it to me from Pierre, and I couldn't help laughing as I read how badly the paper smashed incumbent city commissioner Stan Schwellenbach as it endorsed the challenging newcomer Jesse Naze:


Go pick up a copy of the Pierre Capital Journal and go read.

Not enough time in the day...

Hey -

I got quite a few pictures from the event last night, which Senator Thune unfortunately had to miss, but he sent an incredible gift for the group to raise money with. Check out this book signed by 11 US Senators. In fact, during a vote I'm told you could see him on C-span running around and getting it signed.

I'll go more into depth about this as well as talk about the surprising numbers of potential candidates there including Joel Dykstra, Matt Michels, and this guy on the left....

I think it took Larry Russell at least a half an hour to get into the banquet hall because there were so many people who wanted to bend his ear after they heard he could be a challenger for the US Congressional seat.

I'll leave you these teaser photos, and get back to it this afternoon. I've got to run in the meantime.

OMG. I can't stop laughing.....

Go check this out....
Also, it's been suggested that Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Jon Bon Jovi have the same hair.

Read it all here at the politico blog..

I'm off to see the wizard.....

Maybe not the wizard, but I'm at least off to see the Senator.

I'm tagging along in a carload from the Sioux Falls area heading towards Aberdeen for the Brown County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner. U.S. Senator John Thune, Lt. Governor Dennis Daugaard, former President Pro Tempore Lee Schoenbeck, and others will be speaking tonight.

Photos to follow - I'm even bringing a camera.

If there are any candidate or potential candidate sightings, you'll be the first to know.

THey're out protesting in front of Herseth's office shorty

The Argus is reporting that the protesters will be assembling out in front of Herseth's office shortly:
At 10 this morning, the Code Pink anti-Iraq War group is scheduled to protest in front of the office of Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., at 326 E. 8th St. in Sioux Falls.
Read it here.

Gov Staffer leaves to go to TSD

I missed this one until now. Kim Olson, wife of Representative Ryan Olson, is moving out of her space in the Governor's office and taking up residence at the Department of Tourism and State Development:
Kim (Juffer) Olson has been named the state’s Economic Development Director and the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Tourism and State Development, Richard Benda, Secretary of Tourism and State Development announced today, May 29, 2007. Olson currently serves as a Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Mike Rounds. “Kim has been working as the Department’s liaison with the Governor’s Office for the past several years so this is a natural transition for her,” Benda said. “Kim is already up to speed on the majority of our economic development projects so she will literally be able to hit the ground running,” he said. and... Olson, her husband Ryan, and their daughter Olivia live on a farm outside of Onida. Read it all here.

Kim was always a pleasure to work with in the Governor's offi…

It looks like flip/flops might be the proper attire for one person up for election in Pierre next week.

I must have moved from Pierre a little too early, as I missed this wild ride of a city commission meeting.

As part of the setup, the city recently proposed raising fees on electrical late fees and reconnections. In some cases, they'd be raised nearly 1000%! Democratic Mayor Dennis Eisnach has wavered back and forth on the issue, while Commissioner Stan Schwellenbach had come out strongly in favor of them, and made no bones about it. 1000% increase? "That might be a good thing." Good. Let them eat cake.

But wait a minute..... Stan's also up for re-election next week.

From the Capital Journal (May 16th):
Schwellenbach said fees need to be raised because it's been almost 25 years since they've gone up, and they city is not making enough money on some of the services it provides.


However, Naze said the proposed increases are too high and should be adjusted for inflation - which in many cases would mean smaller increases - rather than the needs of the city to re…

KCCR NEWS: Klaudt hires attorney familiar with the Pierre courthouse.

After initially using House Speaker Tom Deadrick to represent him at initial hearings in his trial for multiple instances of misconduct against foster children residing in his house, KCCR news in Pierre is reporting today that former Representative Ted Klaudt has hired a familiar face to the Hughes County Courthouse to represent him:
A preliminary hearing for former state legislator Ted Klaudt, which was scheduled for Thursday in Pierre, has been moved to June 27th.

Klaudt is facing four counts of second-degree rape in Hughes County. He faces 10 other counts in Corson County.

According to court documents Klaudt has hired Rapid City attorney Timothy Rensch. Rensch represented Pierre resident Brad Reay in his murder trial earlier this year. Reay was ultimately convicted of first degree murder in the death of his wife, Tami.

Rensch has already filed his first motion for discovery asking for physical evidence as well as statements of Klaudt and potential witnesses given to investigators.
Read …

We need it, but it wouldn't have done any good?

Senator Gene Abdallah is on today making note that we need a code of ethics. Because it wouldn't have done a darn thing?
Republican Senator Gene Abdallah of Sioux Falls says, "We have to have a code of ethics like everybody else has a code of ethics, every other department or agency or business."

Senator Gene Abdallah is a member of the executive board. Monday the group is meeting to discuss the page program and other lawmaking issues. But just weeks after a former lawmaker was arrested, two legislative leaders have sent a letter to the board asking them to also appoint a committee to study a code of ethics.

Abdallah says, "But there's bi-partisan support for a code of ethics and we'll certainly look into it along with the entire page program."

And while Abdallah believes lawmakers need a code of ethics, he doesn't think a code would have stopped the allegations facing former House member Ted Klaudt.

Abdallah says, "What good would the …

Never-to-be-Senator-again Adelstein decides to go toe to toe with Moi

The person who spent so much time and effort trying to pull the Republican Party apart like a child fighting over a prized doll over the past couple of elections just made a fatal mistake. Under a prior post, Stan Adelstein actually is trying to intimate that I might be spreading falsehoods about him.

He's actually accusing me of being "full of beans." The man termed by reporter Bob Mercer as the Republican Frank Kloucek is actually challenging my documentation of his activities? Heh.

Heh heh.

Here we go. First, what Stan challenged me with:
PP - you are full of beans.

First of all Schoenbeck - not known for his honest recall lies.

The only conversation that I had with him about appointments was held with Majority Leader Bogue present - to avoid just this kind of thing.

I do not remember exactly what I said, but the gist was "how can you so deliberately insult someone old enough to be your father by my appointments." He replied that he resented my primary support of …

Now THAT's what I'm talking about.

Fox News:

Fred Thompson Expected to Announce White House Candidacy in July

I think I might finally be able to get interested in presidential politics.

More PAC wars out in Rapid City.
And I must have missed that note.

The Rapid City Journal is reporting this morning that there's a PAC war afoot in the mayor's race between Doug Hamilton and Stan Adelstein as the hours tick away before the election:
Shaw reported $70,499 in two payments from the Elect Better Government PAC, which is linked to businessman Doug Hamilton. Another $250 was received from the South Dakota Realtors PAC.


Alan Hanks has raised about $22,000 including about $10,000 of his own money, $8,754 in individual contributions and $3,250 in PAC contributions, primarily $3,000 from the All South Dakota PAC funded by Stan Adelstein.


Sam Kooiker raised about $20,800, including $14,128 from individuals, and $6,700 from PACs including $5,650 from the Committee for Open Government, $800 from the homebuilders PAC and $250 from the Realtors PAC. Kooiker reported $18,265 in campaign-related expenses, and he has about $2,800 remaining.


All South Dakota PAC, whose only contribution was Stan Adelstein's $7,000, gave $1,000…

Photo from the glacier....

(Click to enlarge)

UPDATE: Go check out Jason Folkerts Cartoon on the subject. No Mammoth, but still funny...

Boy, those SDSU logo choices must have really stunk

I see from tonight that my alma mater, SDSU, has opened up the logo contest to everyone in the world after three choices offered by a design firm flopped miserably:
The SDSU web site has several designs posted by Phoenix Design Works of New York City. Now the university is opening the design process to anyone interested in submitting a logo. The winner gets $1,000.

Deadline: June 30, through the SDSU Web site,, and click on the button “Jackrabbit Design Challenge.”Read it all here. And actually go here for the direct link to the challenge.

Gee, what a shock. Someone get the CPR paddles.
(yes, that was sarcasm)

Denise Ross is writing over at the Hog House Blog that *gasp* Stan Adelstein will try to run for his old seat against Tom Katus. Please. Someone pick me up off of the floor. I can't believe it. (sorry, that was sarcasm if you didn't get the inference over the keyboard).
Katus said Stan’s made it clear that he, too, is interested in that Senate seat, but he just shrugs. He repeats that he and Stan had never been close friends or even political allies, despite the public perception of a sort of Wonder Twins partnership. After Stan lost his primary to Elli Schwiesow in ‘06, he provided some help to Katus’ campaign against her, say in the form of some polling, but it was no cabal. They haven’t been close, nor unfriendly, since Katus took office, he said.Stan and I had an interesting meeting about a month ago. He said, “I’m not inclined to run against you. You’re doing such a good job.”And in vintage Stan rationale: “Of course, I wouldn’t run against you. I would run for the seat.…

From the sound of these commercials, maybe Herseth should have stayed home.

If you think I'm tough on her, 2 commercials began running today in South Dakota markets regarding Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin's trip to the ice caps:
60 Second Glacier Commerical

30 Second "Come Home" commercialOuch.

Tim Johnson releases more photos of the Senator working at home

Senator Tim Johnson's office has released a couple more photos of him working out of his house with his Chief of Staff.

That was great. Did the climate change for you too?

Congresswoman Herseth and her comrades in Washington just returned from their Junket to Greenland where Speaker Pelosi declared that they saw the climate change:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record) said Monday she led a congressional delegation to Greenland, where lawmakers saw "firsthand evidence that climate change is a reality," and she hoped the Bush administration would consider a new path on the issue.Read it all here at Yahoo News.

War Protesters, and tree-hugging hippies? What? Is it the 60's all over again? Or is it just that some of the old hippies have never changed their stripes, they're just getting elected to office now?

Like I said, if Congresswoman Herseth wants to impress me on this issue, let's get some action from her on the Conata basin. Maybe if she asks nicely, Senator Thune can bring her up to speed on the issue of farmers being invaded by the land poorly kept by their Federal neighbors.

And if the Senator has time, maybe she…

My "Vision South Dakota" is still a little fuzzy this morning.

Remember Vision South Dakota? They were one of the central entities at the center of the maelstrom of campaign finance shenanigans this past election. This was the group that had to return a $7000 contribution check from the Sisseton Whapeton Oyate tribe, and listed a $30,000 PAC check from an entity called the Midwest Coalition for Progress. Except that dark and mysterious organization (Midwest) has never filed a thing. Anywhere.

(You can always click on images to enlarge them)

So about a week or two ago, Vision SD filed their year-end PAC report. (You know, the report that was due several months ago.)

If you'll allow me to rehash some of what I've groaned about before, Vision South Dakota's biggest benefactor was the Midwest Coalition PAC, and as I brought up, no one ever really found out where this Midwest Coalition PAC came from, or who they were, much less why they thought it was worth $30,000 to defeat the Governor and elect Democrats.

But as you'll notice on this la…

Herseth and her chief of staff out scouting the ice caps?

While South Dakota scratches it's head, Congresswoman Herseth is out patrolling the ice caps of Greenland with Nancy Pelosi.

And in an e-mail I got yesterday, I heard that (supposedly) she took her chief of staff with her as well?

Here's a question - in light of her junket to one of the planet's desolate locations, what about South Dakota's? When was the last time she took a trip to the Conata basin?

If she wants to show us how influential she is, why not get Nancy Pelosi here to show her how prairie dogs have turned that area into something akin to the surface of the moon? Then, I might be impressed.

Until then, the junket with her buddy from California makes little sense for South Dakota.

10 questions with.... Sam Kephart

I'd been looking for a good opportunity to resurrect one of my favorite features on the SDWC, and with the official announcement of Republican Sam Kephart as he takes on the challenge of running against incumbent US Senator Tim Johnson, the opportunity presented itself.

Normally, I'd give some biographical information here, but as Sam has provided it as part of the questions I asked him, I'll forgo that part, and leap right into it. Without further ado, here's 10 questions with US Senate Candidate Sam Kephart:

1. You made your "official announcement" this week in Spearfish, but it didn't seem to get much press, especially on the eastern half of the state. As a candidate coming out of West River, are you planning on opening up an office in Sioux Falls?

Yes. Obviously, there are a lot of logistics involved, however, I'm taking recommendations now for an East River staffer. I had a referral conversation Friday morning about it.

2. Now that you've made th…