Showing posts from June 10, 2007

One vote on deck for South Dakotans' view on immigration, Herseth Sandlin votes NO.

The Tancredo amendment yesterday to ban Homeland Security funding from cities that are sanctuaries for illegals was one of the first recent tests on where our congresspeople stand on immigration.

And guess where South Dakota's very own was on the measure after her previous statements to protect the needs of dairy farmers to hire illegals (!?!).

Get out of Sioux Falls way.

A reader who got their paper earlier than I did pointed out the The Argus editorial this AM. Apparently, one of the community leaders, Dan Scott, had a warning for those legislators who aren't excited about Sioux Falls' agenda:
At a Friday breakfast attended by lawmakers, chamber officials and a broad spectrum of city and school leaders, Mayor Dave Munson and others detailed the city's growth and spoke of the important role Sioux Falls plays in the state's economic fortunes.Near the end, it was Scott's turn. He briefly extolled the city's virtues, then issued what seemed to be a warning to out-state lawmakers who might be tempted to meddle in Sioux Falls' legislative agenda.

"If you can't be excited, I've got one request," Scott said."Stay out of the way, will you? We've got a city to build!"Read it all here.

Now, this reader also pointed out that while this SF local may have made an unfunny joke which came off as Sioux Falls ar…

Who? Dems might have another possible gubernatorial hopeful

In today's Argus, Dave Kranz is reviewing the list of 2010 Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates. The very short list.

Of course, we have the expected candidate, Scott Heidepreim. And we have the outside chance (because her current gig isn't so bad) Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin. And then we have Mike Huether.

It also seems another possibility may be arriving on the scene. Mike Huether, a Sioux Falls banker, has been contemplating the idea of running for some time now, and friends have been talking him up. So far no action - until now.

When you host a function at a political event, something is up. Huether and his family will host a gathering at the Mitchell Holiday Inn following the McGovern Day program Saturday.Read it all here. Where is this coming from?

Could it be that he saw the success of Eric Abrahamson being recruited from the State Library Board Lt. Governor, so he decided to make the leap from his position on the Department of Education's State Aid Task Force?


What's the talk in DC today? I hear it's this article...

Apparently an article in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader is getting some buzz in the beltway today. Which one? Not the Gorilla article, but the article on Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin's indebtedness:
In 2006, Herseth Sandlin owed between $15,001 and $50,000 on her Citibank credit card, her report shows. Her report a year ago showed the same. Citibank operates a credit card center in Sioux Falls and, with about 3,000 employees, is among the city's largest employers.

The congresswoman's spokesman noted that just over one year ago, Herseth Sandlin bought and furnished a home in Brookings. This spring, she was married, and she invested in the wedding."These kinds of events often cause South Dakotans to put a little extra on their credit card," Russ Levsen, deputy chief of staff, said.Read it all here. Apparently the part about "investing" in her wedding to a DC Lobbyist is the part that's getting a few chuckles according to those in the US Capitol. Apparen…

Sorry for the light posting today... In the meantime, more on the immigration issue.

Sorry for the light posting today. Aside from there not being much going on, I was watching as two of my daughters tested from their yellow to green belts in Tae Kwon Do.

In the meantime, since it's a hot topic at least on this website, one of the readers pointed out to me the other day that Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin has faced votes on immigration bills before. How did those votes go when it was a GOP controlled House?

H R 4437 RECORDED VOTE 16-Dec-2005 10:33 PM
QUESTION: On Passage
BILL TITLE: Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act

Herseth voted in favor of the 2005 Bill. And on the Hunter Amendment which was to put a 700 mile border along the US Mexican Border.....

H R 4437 RECORDED VOTE 15-Dec-2005 9:30 PM
AUTHOR(S): Hunter of California Amendment
QUESTION: On Agreeing to the Amendment

She voted in favor of that as well.

And to those votes, I'd say good show Congresswoman. That's what we like to see. So that…

TAR Camp is almost here.... Are you signed up?

If you are (or have) a teenager who appreciates the finer points of politics, and wants a few days of rest, relaxation and political chatter in the Black Hills of South Dakota - the Teenage Republicans want you!

They want you to send your kid to TAR camp out in the Hills July 22-27th. I believe it's $200 and there are a ton of fun activities for them (Hikes, tubing, waterslides, etc) in addition to hearing from most of our state's leaders including John Thune, the Governor, constitutional officers, etcetera, as have all been out there speaking in past years.

For more information (including the bus schedule of the bus going from Eastern SD to camp) contact PUC Commissioner Dusty Johnson.

I'm proud to be sending my #2 daughter out there this year - my first TAR camper!! So send someone who she can pal around with for my sake.

UPDATE - oops. G0 to for more information

Are dirty deeds really done dirt cheap? And how did they let out the bid for that one?

I read with interest the AP story in the Rapid City Journal website on the changes in rules to take care of problems which arose in the last minute stoppage of last year's death penalty, as I'm catching portions in what's being said that I question whether or not they can really do that.
The new policy makes it clear that physicians will not be required to attend an execution. The Legislature put those provisions in law after doctors said taking part in executions would violate the oath that requires them to preserve life or save life whenever possible.

State law and prison policy require that executions be conducted by people trained to do intravenous injections. Officials told lawmakers earlier this year that the state planned to hire people who have conducted executions in other states. Reisch said he cannot reveal where those people are from because the state must protect the privacy of those involved in executions.

"The people who are going to perform these function…

Argus Leader: Gorilla Revealed

The Argus Leader reveals tonight that the Gorilla Project is an oil refinery, as some people had suspected. Now, can we pull off getting it?
A Texas energy company is behind Project Gorilla, which is planning the nation’s first new oil refinery in the past three decades, the company confirmed today.

Hyperion Resources of Dallas, Texas, is considering Union County but also other sites in the U.S. as well, officials say.

Plans call for "the most environmentally sound energy center in the United States," the company said in a statement released to the Argus Leader.

"The central component of the energy center will be an oil refinery, which will refine approximately 400,000 barrels of oil per day into clean, green transportation fuels, including ultra-low sulfur gasoline and ultra-low sulfur diesel," according to the statement.

“Gas prices are the highest in U.S. history, and the U.S. refining infrastructure hasn’t seen a significant change since 1976," Hyperion Projec…

What if the internet and blogs had been around earlier?

I was picking up my daughter and was pondering the recent posts I've done on Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin - going to Greenland with Nancy Pelosi, Flip Flopping on Kyoto, and backing an immigration measure that I can't imagine many South Dakotans are going to agree with.

And it gave me pause because accusations of doing one thing in Washington, yet saying another at home in South Dakota was a familiar accusation against Senator Daschle. Yet, he rarely had his feet held to the fire on votes until election time - and by then, it was long in the past, and nobody cared.

Until the Internet came around and South Dakota Politics held everyone's feet to the fire on those issues, day after day.

So it gave me a reason to post this topic for discussion - If the Internet and political blogs had been around 20 or 30 years ago, would Senator Daschle have had such a long tenure in Washington?

And as for today's politicians, do they have to mind their P's & Q's a little more c…

I was inspired by the "Pelosification" word that I coined. Or maybe I should have termed it "Washington Transformers"

Go check out for the software I found to do this.

(And before some of you start going off, can't we poke a little fun? Some of you take this website WAY too seriously.)

Congress Daily: Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin "less stalwart" on Immigration

According to the inside the beltway magazine Congress Daily, Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin seems to be breaking from her fellow Blue Dog Democrats who oppose legalization for illegal immigrants because.. she says South Dakotans are "practical" on the issue?
Among Blue Dogs, "there's no real consensus" on immigration policy, according to Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss. Taylor, along with Reps. Jim Marshall, D-Ga., John Tanner, D-Tenn., Mike Ross, D-Ark., and Heath Shuler, D-N.C., are among the Blue Dogs who will oppose any comprehensive immigration bill because they believe legalization opportunities for illegal immigrants constitutes "amnesty."

But other Blue Dogs are less stalwart about their opposition. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., said her constituents are "practical" about immigration policy. " They can be realistic about the people already here," understanding that it is unlikely they will all be deported.

Herseth Sand…

It looks like Fred Thompson is a go...

Fred Thompson was on the tonight show last night talking about reluctantly wanting to get into the Presidential race:
Asked by Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show" if he'd like the nation's top job, the former Tennessee senator said, "I've never craved the job of president, but I want to do some things that only a president can do."

"So," Thompson added, "the answer is yes."


Referring to his time in the U.S. Senate, he said, "I often say after eight years in Washington, I longed for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood." Read it all here at the Rapid City Journal. That was a pretty good one.

If you're interested in supporting the candidate who will be our next Republican Presidential Nominee, go to the Official Website at:

Sorry for the mixup.

It seems I continue to have a troll on the website.

If you've noticed lately, there have been random comments from one section of the website, made in posts past that are reposted under another part of the website under newer comments. I had originally attributed it to a glitch in the blogger software, but as I dig deeper into it, there is just too much coincidence. It looks like someone is trying to muck up the message boards.

So, it's not a glitch. Someone is just being an ass, and is attempting to derail conversation. That's fine. I'll continue to press the issue with their Internet Service Provider, as I did when they were doing it before with drug and sexually based material.

The thing is, if they'd engage in civil discourse and actually add something to the conversation, or at least be entertaining, that would be great. Have at it. But instead, they're doing things that border on creepy obsession. By last count, They've been playing with my website for…

Dang! That was a lot of money

(Click to enlarge)

Dang, was that a lot of money for the Shaw for Mayor campaign.

A note from Stan Adelstein

Here's one that hit the e-mail boxes late last week
From: stanford adelstein []
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2007 7:51 PM
To: (list redacted)
Subject: Another campaign that we cannot let go by default

Dear Friends of Women, Progress and a future of equality,

While DIA is enjoying a well earned rest, our opposition is not. Sam Kooiker has a solid backing of the Extreme right that is planning another election assult. They are going to turn out their vote for Rapid City Mayor in less than three weeks. Those of us supporting Alan Hanks do not have a comparable number of volunteers to match them. Their zealots will do what it takes. Fortunately we enjoy a small majority, from our polling and information.

Why do they care about the Mayor? We beat them in November, and they know that they must rebuild - step by step - at every level of political office. How helpful do you think that a Mayor would be for an Elizabeth Kraus as she runs to replace our friend Mac? What ki…

At the halfway mark. What should be at the top?

As we hit the halfway mark in 2007, I've been thinking about the news stories that I'd consider the top political news stories of 2007 to this point. I often get to this list at the end of the year, and find myself ignoring important or very noticeable stories from the first half of the year.

So I thought I'd do this for an exercise to see if I still think this way when I hit December. What do I see as the top political stories for the first half of 2007? In no particular order:
1. The Dan Sutton Hearings. How can we forget hiding notes behind furniture, the "hand on wiener" statement, and the hundreds of time they referenced a male sexual organ in the hearings? This was political theater at it's most bizarre, and at it's most anticlimactic. In the end, the punishment was simply a legislative statement of how dumb it was for Senator Sutton to share a bed with an 18 year old employee.

2. Gorilla. What a code name, and it's imagery has eastern South Dako…

Thune votes against the goofy "no confidence vote"

The Associated Press is reporting that Senator Thune voted against the Democrats' goofy "no confidence vote" on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales:
Thune and other Republicans successfully blocked the measure; a 53-38 vote to move the resolution to full debate fell seven short of the 60 required.


"In the next couple of months the Senate needs to pass an energy bill, a farm bill, a defense spending bill, a border security and immigration bill, and instead of working on these and other important issues, the Democrats instead have chosen to use limited Senate floor time to play politics with this vote simply to embarrass the president," Thune said in a statement.Read it all here. They take these types of votes in European parliamentary systems of government all the time.

But the last time I checked, we're not Europe.

Meaningless legislation from a bunch of yahoos who are only interested in symbolism, not substance.

Here's a nice story - SD Bar steps up to the plate for flood victims

The Aberdeen American News has a nice editorial today on members of the SD State Bar who stepped up to the plate to help the victims of the Aberdeen Flood:
Kudos to the South Dakota Bar Association and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for providing free legal counseling and referrals to area flood victims.


The people affected by the flood need all the support they can get. Free legal assistance will enable many people - who are currently overwhelmed by flood-related loss of homes and possessions, government information, medical and insurance claims - to sort things out without having to worry about one more bill to pay.Read it all here.

In another life, now many years ago, I worked at the SD Division of Insurance and helped people try to settle insurance claims and problems through research and semi-informal arbitration. 9 times out of ten, it was a matter of correctly interpreting the terms of the insurance policy. You wouldn't believe how many people don't t know w…

Huron GOP Picnic

I missed the event, but the Beadle County GOP Picnic was just held a couple of days ago in Huron. The picnic was held on the patio of Dakota Provision's Corporate Headquarters. Dakota Provisions is the Turkey processing plant that has been a major economic boon to the Huron area in the last year. Dakota Provisions employs around 400 people.

A few people I know were there, and they did send me this photo of Larry Russell and his family chatting with some of the members of the local GOP.

The GOP hosted the picnic under the leadership of Beadle County GOP Chairman Bush Fullerton. Bush runs a great county organization from an organizational and financial standpoint - he's a big part of why we have Republican representation in that county.

The "friendly" Rapid City Mayoral runoff turns negative

I've had a few calls and e-mails tonight on how the Rapid City Mayoral race is starting to heat up and shifting negative.

That didn't look to be the case from the start when the #2 from the contest to winnow down the number of the candidates gave this quote in the Rapid City Weekly news:
Hanks agreed.

“Sam and I have been friends. We served together on the City Council,” he said. “We continue to be friends. This will be a friendly runoff race.”Or maybe not. Word on the street tonight is that there's a negative push-poll going on tonight to test negative imagery and messages against Sam Kooiker. And given that there's two candidates in the race, and only one isn't Sam, it narrows down the list of who is behind it.

"What?" You might be saying - "Alan Hanks might actually have said one thing, and done another? Heavens no. " Why would we think there's that sort of track record out there?

Promise made. Promise broken. Promise made. Promise broken.


I'd just like to clairfy that last position.......

Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin made the unusual step of going so far as to clarify her statement as written in the Pierre Capitol Journal last week on thinking the US needs to join the Kyoto treaty. Despite the fact it could damage farm income:
U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin is clarifying comments made last week about her recent four-nation trip where she toured with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to see the effects of global warming.

The Democratic congresswoman from South Dakota said last week that she does recognize the need for the U.S. to be involved in international climate negotiations in a post-Kyoto world. However, she still thinks it was the right decision for the U.S. to not join the Kyoto Treaty when it was signed. Read it all here, along with her specific statement.

AH! A clarification.

I think one of the commenters on the blog was noting that the congresswoman's Greenland trip to watch the glaciers melt and her new "awareness" of global warming was much ado abo…

Update on the fundraiser Harry Reid is having for Senator Johnson

(Click to enlarge)
I had posted about this event earlier, but a new "revised" fax has gone out in the beltway with a list of who is going to be there to raise money for Senator Johnson's re-election.

There's a meeting for Ron Paul supporters (and conspiracy theorists). And what happened to the picture?

I was doing a little follow up on one of my previous posts, and I noticed a few things about the South Dakota Ron Paul for president supporters.

First, they're apparently having a meeting for South Dakotans who are supporting Ron Paul. Unfortunately, South Dakota's JAILer in chief is hosting it:
Saturday, June 30, 2007, 12:00 PM
Where: Bill Stegmeier's home
47010 Airport Place, Tea, SD
Tea , SD 57064
Description:At the request of many South Dakota for Ron Paul members, I am re-scheduling our first Meetup for Saturday, June 30! As well as getting to meet and know each other, we will be discussing each others ideas on how to most effectively spread the word about just who this Ron Paul guy is and why he's the only real choice if we want to save this country. We will also want to discuss ideas on how to recruit new South Dakota for Ron Paul members, or even the idea of starting other Ron Paul Meetup groups in your various counties. So, lets meetup a…

Dave Kranz: For Daugaard, the race is on

Dave Kranz has an article in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader this morning on what Lt. Governor Daugaard is doing to step up his efforts in running for Governor in 2010:
He makes it clear that this is not a "testing the waters" situation.

"I'm definitely planning to run. I was not planning to really get organized or do much this year until I heard other folks are starting to be active, organize and plan," Daugaard said. "So we had a family meeting. Everyone was supportive. It would mean some sacrifice for family, and I would be sensitive to the Board of Directors of Children's Home Society and the Children's Home Foundation," he said.


He is now on the political rubber chicken circuit, attending the Lincoln Day dinners. And who do Republicans often get to hear from at these events? Not Gov. Rounds. If not Sen. John Thune, it's generally Daugaard who speaks.

Mel Olson, past state senator and representative from Mitchell, might not support Daug…

What? No Arnold?
Western Governor's Association meeting in Deadwood

You haven't seen much about it in the press yet, but 10 of 19 Governors in the Western Governor's Association are meeting in Deadwood as we speak. The Rapid City Journal talks a bit about what's going on at the three day political soiree:
With ten governors in attendance, discussion about enabling clean and efficient energy sources marked the beginning of the 2007 Western Governors Associations' annual meeting in Deadwood on Sunday.

Although the association represents 19 states, only 10 governors are in attendance for the three-day event. Also present are elected officials from Canada.

The meeting's agenda includes topics about maintaining a strong economy and environment, but the most widely discussed topic of the day was integrating clean energy sources such as carbon capturing and sequestration into the state's energy programs.


The governors present included: Dave Freudenthal of Wyoming, Jim Gibbons of Nevada, Dave Heineman of Nebraska, John Hoeven of Nort…

Campaign Memorabilia - 1964 Nils Boe Campaign postcard

I sometimes forget the wide variety of people who read this website. I had a very, very nice note from "Joyce" who wanted to send me a postcard she got at a sale. She thought of the SDWC when she saw this one.

Yes, this is our "bachelor" Governor, Nils Boe.

Take a look at the postmark date. This was from the Republican Gubernatorial Primary in 1964, where he came off of serving as Lt. Governor for the immediately preceding term.

This type of color postcard was not uncommon for these types of races, and you can find several examples by McGovern, Foss, and other politicians of the era. But I can guarantee you this is the first "Boe" card I've seen.

Joyce - thank you very much for sharing this fun political item.

If anyone else has a unique political item they'd like to share - drop me a note. I'd love to devote a post to it. Buttons, ribbons, you name it. I might tell candidates not to order buttons, but that doesn't mean I don't love them m…

What should I bring for dinner?

I had a note a week or so back from the first lady asking me what to make for dinner.

Okay, maybe not quite like that. What's going on is that as a former member of the Governor's staff (back in 2003-2004) I'm included in a group of people they're asking to contribute to a "South Dakota Governor's Residence Cookbook."

The letter noted that proceeds from book sales are to be used (in conjunction with the community foundation) to help fund future furniture and furnishing acquisitions for the residence. What do they want out of me? They're looking for recipes from cabinet and staff - and with each recipe, the contributor's name and relationship with the Gov will be listed.

It's certainly a good idea, but as I try to think what unique recipes I'd contribute.... Well, I'm kind of tight with them.

I think Deb Barnett is the only one who ever got my infamous Hot Wing recipe out of me, and that was through my wife's persuasion. I've perfe…

Just another thought on Tom Johnson's 1am TRAN-scendental experience

Just a passing thought on Rapid City Councilman Tom Johnson's travels with an 18 year old girl who he had no idea was a boy as he/she was arrested for DUI:

Tell me if they have cameras in Rapid City Police vehicles? Because this sounds like it could be a good one.

At the least, it's would be an interesting study to watch on camera as an aspiring politician's career ends.

Who decides?

There's an article in the Rapid City Journal that describes what could take place if one of the candidates for Mayor, Representative Alan Hanks, is chosen in the runoff election. But it leaves out the other side of the equation:
One question directed to Rep. Alan Hanks, R-Rapid City, during Thursday’s downtown association meeting asked who Gov. Mike Rounds would appoint to the state legislature Hanks is elected Rapid City mayor and resigns his District 32 seat.

Hanks said he can’t speak for Rounds but said the governor would probably not appoint Elli Schwiesow or Stan Adelstein, who squared off in the District 32 Republican state senate primary a year ago.


Technically, if Hanks wins the runoff, he is not required to resign from the legislature. But Hanks reiterated Thursday that he will leave the legislature if elected mayor. Read that all here. Aside from the fact that I wouldn't depend too strongly on any campaign promise made by Representative Hanks, it should be noted t…

Argus Leader on Senator Johnson's Return

There's kind of an interesting story in the Argus today on Senator Johnson's anticipated return to the US Senate where the Senator's own press person is disputing the predictions of Senator Harry Reid who was generally positive about a return date:
Hupke said many people pray for Johnson, following a biblical mandate to pray for government leaders, but they need to hear from the senator himself if positive reports on his health are to be trusted.
A gap in understanding rises from the optimism of Majority Leader Harry Reid, who said Thursday that Johnson has regained 90 percent of his speech and probably will return to the Senate by September. Neither detail is necessarily true, said Johnson's communications director, Julianne Fisher.

"Harry Reid is incredibly enthusiastic, very supportive, and we certainly appreciate that, but doctors have to come first, and doctors are saying 'no timeline,' " Fisher said.Reid, who's from Nevada, gave a promising rep…