Sioux Falls City Councilors Rolfing & Erpenbach may be proposing election changes

Yeah, worked for me, but I still want to ruin it for everyone else.

The rumors I am hearing from my Carnegie Hall moles is that this set of councilors want to change the 34% threshold to be elected to a council seat in a general election to a 51% threshold like the mayor. Not sure where this is even coming from, considering myself, or even other councilors, or the media have never thought there was a problem with the current threshold. In fact, maybe the better thing to change is to have the mayoral percentage match the council’s.

Before I get into the multiple arguments against this, let’s face it, this was cooked up by the mayor to make it harder for grassroots candidates like Stehly, Starr and Nietzert to run for office. Let’s say you win in the general but only get 40% of the vote and 2nd place has deeper pockets than you, guess who will probably win? This is clearly an elitist move, the public is certainly not that naive to think otherwise.

But let’s throw a little common sense behind this;

• A runoff election in NON-mayoral election years could cost taxpayers an extra $80K.

• It is already difficult enough to get people out to vote during a general muni election, think about getting them to come back 2-3 weeks later for a run-off.

• The state legislature, school board and the county commission all go by top vote getters.

• Ironically the two that are proposing this change are out the door this Spring and benefitted from the current set of rules. Rolfing won his first term in 2010 with 45.34% of the vote and Erpenbach won her first term in 2010 with 48.96% of the vote. If you look at other races since the 2000 municipal election, you will see that 7 other councilors won by receiving less than 51% of the vote. (DOC: runoffs)

Like I said, this is a ploy to keep the working class grass roots candidates down and the elitists with deep pockets or donors with deep pockets on the rubberstamp council.

Hopefully Rolfing and Erpenbach will have a change of heart and pull this ridiculous measure from future agendas, or they can face the music.



5 comments ↓

#1 Emoluments Clause on 08.31.17 at 6:57 pm

Absolutely! It is just an elitist move. Our sophisticated democracy will never be taken from us by guns or tanks, rather it will slowly be taken from us by relentless manipulative electoral creep if we don’t act to prevent it, whenever it shows its ugly face.

That is why I am so adamant about the School Board’s “Voting Centers,” which are merely a form of voter suppression disguised as some kind of “voter convenience”….

#2 l3wis on 09.01.17 at 8:32 am

I see Rolfing is calling it a ‘house cleaning’ item and is only offering it as an amendment instead of an ordinance, a slick way to put it under the radar.

http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/city/2017/08/31/sioux-falls-city-councilors-want-raise-bar-winning-elections/620739001/

Sneaky move. This is ‘hardly’ a ‘house cleaning’ item. This will have a major impact on the money candidates spend and what taxpayers spend on elections. To put this forward as an amendment without proper vetting to the public like a 1st and second reading of an ordinance, is awful, and Rolfing should be ashamed of himself, of course that would require a conscious, integrity, a pulse and a few brain cells.

#3 The D@ily Spin on 09.01.17 at 9:05 am

We only have to tolerate Rolfing and Erpenbach a few more months. Of course they have to get in some final jabs. What’s more important is giving councilors more power over Strong Mayor veto. Does it matter if they’re elected with a majority? The mayor has his arm in their back and throws his voice into their wooden bodies. A better resolution would be to designate council meetings ‘Puppet Shows’.

#4 The D@ily Spin on 09.01.17 at 9:09 am

Will Rolfing and Erpenbach get royalties when they become Jeff Dunham characterizations?

#5 l3wis on 09.01.17 at 4:04 pm

Lalley shot down the proposal today on his show saying it didn’t make any sense, even going as far as saying he didn’t understand Rolfing’s comment in the Argus. We often don’t understand Rolfing’s comments.

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