So Christine pulled herself from hiding (not really) today and was featured on the podcast of the Dakota Scout.* She talked about a run for mayor at the very end of the podcast.

Christine has been a pretty effective politician, organizing the FREE youth bus rides, changing the school start date (though the fascists on the school board overturned it the next year, because that is the cool thing to do 🙁 and saving a packing plant that apparently didn’t need saving.)

She has moxie. And I don’t say that about a lot of people. While Erickson and Stehly could be worlds apart, they share this passion. Women who understand leadership know they must work twice as hard, be twice as loud and fight right up until the end to be effective.

Christine checks those boxes. She also doesn’t let criticism deter her.

While she wouldn’t be my first choice in the 2026 mayoral election (there are some interesting names dropping lately) if it was a runoff between her and another candidate, she would probably crush it.

A fellow city government nerd who leans left like me said to me today, ‘I think Christine would be a good mayor, because she wouldn’t tolerate the BS and she knows how to organize.’ That pretty much summed it up for me.

In the brief time I got to know Christine, one thing stands out, she takes no prisoners, and she will always fight for you. I may not agree with her on numerous policy points, but I can guarantee Christine would never show up to a presser and say, ‘I didn’t sign up for this.’ or ‘I got a million other things to do.’ Likely she would say, “Well this f’ckn sucks! Let’s fix it!”

I think we might see our first female Sioux Falls mayor. But can she do jumping jacks?

*Towards the end of the podcast, Christine decided to spread a bunch of BS about EVs, and of course Joe and Jon jumped on the rightwinger bandwagon. Christine claimed that EVs cost $60,000 grand. Sure, depending on the model. But you can get a used one in the teens and a newer, more modest model for around $30K. The technology with EVs is moving so fast, batteries for these vehicles will hold enough charge that will compete with combustion within a few years (there are already EV’s out there that have long distance charges). And once the car companies figure out battery exchange stations, you won’t have to wait for a charge. The right winger tropes about EVs always cracks me up. They are making anti-EV arguments from 1995.

With all the ramblings about the autoworkers strike and converting to EV manufacturing I just laugh at the CEO’s of these companies. You could of had a very successful and profitable EV transition years ago, but you decided to kill that? Didn’t you?

Okay, that was a little over the top, but you have to applaud a group of neighbors who have organized to save greenspace in the heart of our city. If anyone has visited this gem on the corner of 9th and Grange, it is a wonderful, uninterrupted space in a very historical and yet modest neighborhood.

Totally worth saving.

Besides the organizing skills of the group, I really appreciated this video of the groups member, Bob. How is it that a community advocacy group can do a video in the middle of a park in which you can hear every word he says but the city with millions invested in ‘media’ can’t hold a presser in a room specifically designed for the media without audio issues?

Maybe the Lincoln Park folks need to start a campaign to save the city’s media department to? Maybe they can borrow Bob’s bluetooth.

When I first read about the meeting this afternoon, I did not believe it, oh but it happened (FF: 45:30);

What would have been a routine invoice approval turned into a regular old Tea Party in which our county auditor presumably invited her other bagger friends to tell the commission and public that using machines to count votes is very corrupt, even though much evidence has shown that automated tabulators are WAY more accurate then human counting (and probably the reason we had a Soviet style school bond election that was hand counted).

There is MUCH more room for fraud and corruption when you have humans counting the votes.

In podunk elections like funding pools with garbage, hand counting makes sense. Who wants to fire up the 1942 Massey Ferguson to plow a 1 acre lot? But in a county of this size, it would take many days and audits to make hand counting work.

Even if the counters are not unethical or corrupt, human error happens. When the machine is unclear of the vote, it spits it out and the review board considers the ballot. That is a GOOD thing.

This comment pretty much sums it up;

But Commissioner Joe Kippley had the harshest criticism for Anderson and her supporters, saying he didn’t appreciate “the smuggling in” of other issues to a routine service agreement.

“I just don’t get this Pontius Pilate, washing my hands, I’m just a tribune to the people, and I will let the public commentors come up and smuggle in all of these issues that have frankly been litigated in court,” Kippley said.

Kippley alluded to the litigation that electronic voting machine companies filed against supporters of former President Trump following the 2020 election in which they alleged the machines had been hacked. Fox News settled a lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems earlier this year for $787 million.

“I really don’t have a lot of patience for the nonsense around the election fraud stuff,” he said, noting that elections since 2000 have been disputed by the losing sides.

His entire testimony is actually very informative and entertaining. He pretty much threw a wet blanket on the MAGAts.

People win. People lose. It is NOT a broken system, that is how elections work. Can someone please explain it to our county auditor because I am pretty sure her hand is somewhere besides using it to count votes. And while it is up there, why don’t you pull out your head.

In the early days of SculptureWalk it was kind of a free for all with how the program was rolled out, the jurying process, etc., it has come to full fruition and is a wonderful addition to our community, but it took a lot of massaging to get to that place. I went back and forth with board members on how artists were selected and the jurying process, and guess what, many of the changes I suggested were made (a few years after I made them 🙂 but ultimately they got it right.

But who can forget the famous council meeting where the councilors couldn’t decide if the plaque of Munson at the entrance to Falls Park was ‘art’. I literally thought that Quen Be was going to have a nervous breakdown.

Or who can forget if a rendition of a famous Jean Dubuffet painting on the side of Black Sheep Coffee was advertising or not (it is actually a painting of jazz musicians in New Orleans). Local artist at the time Eyob Mergia, who created the mural, was perplexed that people would think it was an ad for coffee. The real clincher was the owner of Black Sheep didn’t get a permit, and we know how that goes . . . and like the AI controversy, some artists in the community berated Mergia for copying the painting and not creating his own piece.

Eyob was no stranger to controversy when it came to public art. Besides the coffee shop, there was the $100,000 mural that then Minnehaha County Commissioner Carol Twedt tried to secure funding for (that went over like a lead balloon) and who can forget the ‘large painting’ he donated to the Horse Barn Arts Center. Then Parks Director, Mike Cooper said it was NOT a mural because it was not directly painted on the building and called it a ‘large painting’ to get out of the mural review process (the city is famous for breaking it’s own rules).

And who would deny the Statue of David as our leading controversial art project. First rejected when he arrived, then thrown in a storage lot a few years later and when he returned his marble mount had mysteriously disappeared (and his underwear are still missing).

Some have wondered for years why we struggle with public art in Sioux Falls. I’m sure a massive study could be done (and has been done several times). The recommendations are usually thrown in a wood chipper like a dead mount at the zoo.

Besides the lack of transparency and a real cultural understanding of public art the main reason we struggle with public art in Sioux Falls is because of Conservatism. No new boards, full-time coordinators or public/private partnerships will solve this problem.

UPDATE: It is pretty obvious to me that the Bunker Ramp mural artist has a bigger objective. I have a good professional artist friend who used to live in Sioux Falls and still does gobs of work here. He figured out long ago to get your foot in the door is to donate a couple pieces here and couple of pieces there, and the floodgates will open for you. He told me recently he has so much work here now he has considered moving back.

The mural artist who created the Bunker Ramp mural, Walter Portz, first donated his time to create a mural at the Levitt (Sioux Steel District) and has still been working on smaller pieces for the place. He moved onto doing the Bunker Ramp mural for pennies on the dollar. After expenses I would assume Walter took in about $20K of the $30K for the mural. For a mural this size, it is bargain basement prices (normally an original piece like that would go far north of $100K).

Fast forward to the recent BID tax district the Sioux Steel project received for public amentaties including public art and I would assume Portz is angling to do some of that art.

Good for him!

This is how you get your projects funded. Do I agree with the process? Hell NO! But that is how it works in Sioux Falls. If you are a talented artist that can follow thru, you just need to play a few reindeer games.

Personally I will just keep selling my crappy $25 dollar paintings and dream that one day I will get to paint over another city f’up.