Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, she was a communist, but after watching the documentary about her, I was inspired. Truly a remarkable woman!
14 x 18″ on Canvas (wrapped) FOR SALE
Editorial Cartoonist from South Dakota
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, she was a communist, but after watching the documentary about her, I was inspired. Truly a remarkable woman!
14 x 18″ on Canvas (wrapped) FOR SALE
There was been something strange in the lead-up and trial of Willard. It just does not seem plausible someone could be so stupid or inept. I will still hold judgment because it is SD GOP politics of self-destruction in play. There are some questions to ask which seemed to have been missed, we ask them now.
Consider if you were an attorney or part of the defense team involved in this case and this was something you could pounce on. The use of the Internet. The Internet may sound complicated but it is actually very simple. The Intertubes has a very simple design and Tornow and Willard just may have allowed Mike Marion Rounds’ campaign to roll them.
If we are reading the reports correctly, Rounds’ aide Rob Skjonsberg ‘leased’ an IP address from Midco. This ‘lease’ is important. It may sound complicated but it is actually very simple and foolproof.
Here is a basic Internet 101 lesson, get ready for a geek overload:
If I were presenting the question to the Midco exec, I would have asked what are the addresses used by Rounds’ aide Rob Skjonsberg during the period in question and now. What was the address used by Willard’s modem during the period and currently being used. IP addresses do not just change back and forth.
This reminds me of the rumors floating around during the first Rounds’ governor race. So the story goes, in 2002 Rounds and friends ran a subtle / quiet disinformation campaign to destroy his two opponents. Is Rounds’ aide Rob Skjonsberg pulling strings for his boss? It would be interesting to see if SouthDacola.com has any posting from the same Skjonsberg IP addresses. Internet – Intertubes ignorance shows again just to confuse?
Now consider the phone’s anonymous email@example.com being so similar to firstname.lastname@example.org email address. The address is coming from the IP address leased to RoundsforSenate.com aide, Rob Skjonsberg? Who is Jeff Stanley in Rob Skjonsberg’s life? In Willard’s life?
Now consider Lederman, Denny DoGood, Russ Olson, Jason Gant, Pat Powers, Marty Jackley, Click Rain, Joel Arends (of Texas Swift Boat veterans fame) and the “let’s have fun with the Internet” crew games they were doing in 2012. What was their involvement or lack of? A Hollywood movie in the works to help us make sense of it all?
Could Willard have been setup by a Rounds’ protégé? What is the felony criminal offense of setting up a naïve politico like Willard to take the fall? If these questions get brought up during the appeal process, what happens? Once again our ethically challenged state government (remember we are rated #2 behind Alabama) opens up the criminal conspiracy questions. The power players of state GOP politics are getting sloppy. Do we have any appropriate state or federal Grand Jury to look into these games?
Once again, we learn more from Argus reporters writing their blogs than we could ever get from their columns.
(BTW, there is a Jeff Stanley in Vermillion, a graphic artist who has connection with Dakota Dunes…. Don’t know anything else yet.)
Detroit’s 2-Cents; I find it interesting that the IP is connected to Rounds’ campaign manager. Was this a setup? It reminds of when AG Jackboots had a DCI agent interview Stan Adelstein about Pat Powers, only to come back and investigate Powers and Gant of things they already knew they were innocent of. Oh the games they play in Pierre, and so sloppy.
August 29th, 2013 — 1st Amendment
While the jury is deliberating, I will give my two-cents. First off I had the opportunity to listen to a bulk of the trial.
Daniel Willard, 31, is accused of violating a law requiring political communications to disclose the person or organization paying for them. He’s also accused of violating another law requiring political communications to contain an address or website address for the person or organization paying for them.
The four charges are all Class 1 misdemeanors, punishable by a maximum of one year in jail or a $2,000 fine.
While I detest both attorneys involved, I felt Willard’s attorney, Shawn Tornow had a better showing. He based his whole defense on Willard being more part of a ‘advocacy’ group instead of a PAC, comparing it to MADD (Mothers against drunk driving). I thought Tornow’s defense was legitimate, and I feel the jury will find Willard not guilty.
I felt the prosecution (Joel Arends) was sloppy at times, and Gant’s testimony was filled full of ‘I don’t knows’ and ‘I don’t have the document in front of me.’ At times it felt like Gant was mocking Tornow and Willard from the stand and had this attitude that he was going to do anything in his power to not answer any questions, and he did a pretty good job of it, which I only think helped the defense.
I feel Willard is innocent because he is simply a private citizen voicing his opinion about certain legislators, perfectly within his free speech rights or as a head of an advocacy group. I do take offense though with the legislators who may have been involved, like Stace Nelson. He should have stayed out of it.
I guess we will see what happens when the gavel drops.
When I first heard petition circulators were being ‘harassed’ and followed around by Parks workers, the SFPD and a Canaries baseball manager it didn’t surprise me. Even HyVee gave them the boot (Yes, this is a private business, and YES they asked permission and were not granted it.)
Of course certain people don’t like democracy and constitutional rights impeding on their family fun, oh the shame, as ‘Bill’ commented in a different thread;
Petitioners get pushy with people just trying to take in a game in a family environment. They complain to management and mgt calls Police. Police tell them to not be pushy or harass people and keep their space. That ain’t a conspiracy folks; that’s common sense. Stop taking yourselves so seriously! If SON wants a vote then they should get one. They probably won’t like the result though. Not many people in SF feeling sorry for them.
Asking someone to sign a petition if they are a registered voter IS NOT HARASSMENT. And asking someone to sign a petition at a baseball game? I could not think of anything more AMERICAN! The only thing that would make the situation better would be if it was raining apple pie and hot dogs.
Besides the obvious 1st Amendment rights issues, this is a bigger problem, that doesn’t just stem from the SON group, they have just uncovered the ongoing transparency and freedom of speech intolerance of the city and most importantly our mayor.
This statement and quote should say it all,
Mayor Mike Huether said by email that he didn’t know about the issue, and that “I can assure you we have better things to focus on in city government.”
Right . . . . Mike. What the mayor should have said is,
“This is appalling that the SFPD is interfering with citizen advocacy that is fully legal and within their 1st Amendment rights. We will have a conversation with these officers so it doesn’t happen in the future.”
Of course, that statement would have come from a mayor that is concerned about transparency. Mike is more concerned about ‘controlling the message’ and squashing free speech. If you don’t think the directives to the Parks department employees and SFPD wasn’t coming from high atop the totem pole, you are pretty foolish and naive. There has even been rumors circulating that city employees were directed to NOT SIGN the petition.
The mayor had a similar response to me when I sent out an email to the council and him after our blatant censorship during the snow gates election discussion at a city council meeting;
However, in fairness to Councilor Erpenbach and the process, ALL OF THE COUNCILORS were notified about the managing the debate time or “20 minute conversation” at 1:47pm on Monday. Your comment about “making up the rule before the meeting started without informing your fellow councilors” is not accurate. Whether or not the Councilors made the time to review it or whether or not they wanted to be open and transparent or not to you and to the public, I can’t verify.
I asked councilors about this, both Jamison and Staggers said it was sent in an EMAIL on Monday. Staggers said he doesn’t review his emails everyday and wasn’t aware of this RULE change until Erpenbach brought it up in the meeting. Either way, it should not have been sent in an email, and further more, the public should have been informed about this change 24 hours in advance of the meeting. We were not. But like the comment in yesterday’s paper, once again the mayor tries to wash his hands of having anything to do with it. I call Beautiful Sunshine on his butt once again.
Since Mayor Transparency has taken over these very non-transparent events have taken place;
1) The discussion to fire a city clerk in private, breaking open meetings laws
2) The denial that head librarian Sally Felix was fired
3) The repeated ‘surprise’ press conferences about city news without including or informing the council
4) Using tax dollars to promote the EC without telling the cons of the project before the vote
5) Misinformation about the true cost of the EC, which is still occurring. By using a construction management company, they can cover up what is being paid out.
6) Keeping the EC naming rights deal in secret
7) Claiming we have an ‘above average’ city surplus or cash on hand without telling us much of the money in our piggy bank is ‘borrowed money’ being held until contractors need to be paid for the EC work.
8) The continued failures of SIRE (the online video and document viewing software the city uses on their website, which costs taxpayers around a $1000 a month)
9) Agenda documents not appearing on SIRE until the meetings start, even though the the agenda is posted 24 hours in advance (The city council received a copy of the city budget 7 minutes before the mayor presented it to them publicly.)
Now the mayor can claim all he wants that he is transparent, but saying something doesn’t make it so, actions speak louder then words, but when you are a salesman (mind you that he sold the worst most subprime credit card in the industry) all you really have is words. But I wouldn’t expect anything less out of man who accused me of being godless in a public meeting and a guy who can’t laugh at himself. But none of this is very funny, in fact, it is really F’ing serious.
Is the ACLU and NCAC watching and listening? I hope so.
Make no mistake, Item #29 on the city council agenda tonight will be contentious and there will be public input, I suspect quite a bit. I won’t speculate how city councilors will vote on the issue, and many of them are still saying they are undecided (ahem).
I will say this, after being CENSORSED by then council chair, Erpenbach and mayor Huether during the snowgate vote debate and discussion at the council meeting, I will put a word of warning to the council and mayor; city ordinance is clear when it comes to public input, 5 minutes, per person, per agenda item. You MUST allow BOTH sides of the Walmart zoning issue to speak tonight and express their feelings, opinions and arguements. This is much too important of an issue to limit (CENSOR) to 20 minutes. The testimony tonight MUST be on the public record, this is much more important then swaying councilors’ votes (most of them have probably already made up their minds) this is more about educating the public about both sides of the issue.
Even if the council approves the zoning tonight, the most important thing we should take from tonight’s meeting is freedom of speech, 1st Amendment rights and the public’s right to input. I hope and even pray that the council and mayor have learned something from the snowgate censorship fest.
People are watching. Follow your own laws and allow public testimony to last until each and every person has had the chance to speak their peace. This is a democracy, and the democratic process, not a Kangaroo court.
EMAIL from SON;
Tonight at Carnegie Hall the Sioux Falls City Council will be voting on the request to rezone just under 40 acres of farm-land from AG to C-4 commercial. We need to pack the room this evening and have a large showing of support for our position. We have folks ready to speak on our behalf concerning various topics and we remain hopeful that the city council will rule in favor of protecting the rights of its citizens over the economic desires of the world’s largest big-box retailer. Please pass this message along to anyone you know who supports our efforts. We hope to see you there and thank you for all you are doing, have done, and will continue to do to make Sioux Falls such a great city to call home. Remember, common sense is on our side!
After several months of holding it in, I finally let Council Chair Erpenbach and the rest of the council know how I felt about public input and censorship at the council working session yesterday.
I told them that 1st Amendment rights organizations like the National Coalition Against Censorship defend council rules when it comes to public input WITHIN THE LAW. I reminded them what city ordinance was, ’5 Minutes Per Person’ and by not following that ordinance they are in a sense violating city charter and breaking the law. I recommended that in the future it would be unwise to violate this ordinance again because next time there ‘would be consequences.’ I also reminded them that they take a oath of office to uphold the US Constitution, the State Constitution and the City Charter. They are bound by that oath to NOT violate city ordinances. I also told them that they are well within their rights to limit discussion ONCE the discussion has started if someone is being disruptive or even repetative.
I told Michelle she was not being totally truthful when she said Munson limited discussion. While I agreed that he did, he only did it AFTER the discussion had started and if people were being insulting or disruptive. I said,
“He never ONCE sent out an email 24 hours in advance to the council about limiting a discussion that hadn’t even started.”
Michelle mumbled something about MMM giving her latitude on how to run the meetings. I didn’t want to get into a long rant with her about how the MAYOR is the administer of the meetings and it is actually his duty to decide where the public discussion is going-NOT HERS. They seem to be pointing the finger back and forth on this, and it is getting tiresome.
Councilor Dean Karsky asked, “Shouldn’t the council have a set policy on public input?” DEAN! YOU ALREADY DO! It is set in city charter, 5 MINUTES PER PERSON! Follow the ordinance. That is all we are asking of you.
There was some good things that came from the discussion though. There will no longer be a sign up sheet to speak to the council (I never signed that stupid thing anyway). And councilor Jamison suggested that they don’t split the PROs and CONs into two separate groups. He said just let people come up and speak when it is their turn in line.
I hope I was clear enough with the council and especially with Erpenbach. Limiting public discussion will NOT be tolerated in the future.
Council chair Erpenbach just doesn’t seem to get it. She continues to want to discuss changing public input at the working sessions. Another round on the topic is planned for 4 PM today.
2. Public Input Discussion
Here’s the deal, if you have a problem the 5 minute rule, go before the charter revision commission and ask them to change it, otherwise there is NOTHING to discuss. It is time to DROP it, and follow city ordinance.
The Minnehaha County Commission is meeting today to discuss the presence of petition gatherers outside the doorway at the County Admin building & Courthouse. Today’s meeting is just for discussion at 1pm, but a formal policy to restrict or ban petitioning could be voted on at the Commission’s weekly meeting tomorrow morning, 9AM in the Commission chambers (courthouse), and that meeting will be open to public input.
The County admin building is frequented by thousands of citizens on a weekly basis, to renew drivers’ licenses, car registration, voter registration, pay fines, file civil claims, and many, many more functions of the government that citizens are entitled. The County Admin building and courthouse are by far the best place to gather petition signatures from registered voters.
The First Amendment guarantees the right to all American citizens to petition the government for redress of grievances. This right is under serious attack at the national and state level, and now today, at our local County level. If we cannot petition the government in a taxpayer-funded town square to refer policies/legislation or propose our own ideas that affect everyone in the community, then our rights to petition the government and peacefully assemble are seriously infringed upon. Our founding fathers decided these rights were so important they put them in the First Amendment of the Constitution along with freedom of speech and religion, and there’s no excuse why these rights should be “restricted” or banned in a public place.
When I collected petition signatures for the South Dakota Coalition for Compassion in 2010, I got about 1-200 signatures each day outside the courthouse. This grassroots effort was successful after 6 months of collecting 33,000 signatures from around the state, and the vast majority of those signatures came from outside the County Admin building in Sioux Falls. The County Admin building in Rapid City was the second most productive location! With out these locations for collecting signatures I seriously doubt there is any real ability to collect enough signatures for statewide initiatives – SD is a rural and spread-out state without a lot of high foot traffic areas, we’re a driving community. I explored every idea, went to so many events, door-to-door, and tried the DMV, the library, the post office and any imaginable public place – and no other place was/is as productive (or appropriate) as the County Admin building. Mind you, it’s also very convenient for citizens to register to vote at the County building to be eligible to sign petitions.
IF YOU CAN HELP SAVE THE VALUABLE RIGHT TO PETITION IN OUR COMMUNITY – PLEASE COME TO THE COUNTY ADMIN BUILDING (WEST DOORS FACING SZECHWANZ) FROM 9:30AM – 12:30PM AND SIGN MY IMPROMPTU PETITION! This petition is a simple statement:
******* I support the right of citizens to gather petition signatures on the County Admin and Courthouse property! *******
My goal is to collect 100 signatures before today’s meeting, and 200 signatures before tomorrows meeting. The impromptu petition has no formal effect but will send a clear message to the County Commissioners.
Here’s a flashback to my 19-year-old self getting started in activism, by collecting petition signatures to put medical marijuana on the ballot! Enjoy!
You would think Mike would be used to the hassling by now, but it is all about controlling the message I guess. He has told me several times he doesn’t believe in censorship. Well Mike, what would you call dragging a private citizen into a meeting with you after he posted parody photos of you on his Facebook page? Grow a thicker skin.
JT Nelson talks about his meeting on Facebook;
JT Nelson I’m not going to say much… but let’s just say he didn’t offer me a job, NOR does he find this funny. [walking away with tail between legs].
• So much for being Grand Poo-Ba of the St. Patty’s Day parade. Did he take away your birthday?
JT Nelson Pretty much. I think I’m grounded.
• You’ve stained the family name. I’m thinking JT Jelinkovic will be your new name.
• Hope you charged him for your time.
JT Nelson I thinking about the last name “Timberlake”…. JTT. I like the sound of that. Maybe I’ll run for mayor.
• Well to put it this way in my opinion, he needs to realize he is a public figure and his actions on national tv reflect our community. In other words, when your a public official, don’t be dancing around pointing at people like a teenager on crack. Too bad I can’t find a video of it online.
• I am kind of surprised he didn’t find the humor in it. It was all in fun, and he is probably embarassed because he realized how ridiculous he looked. I noticed it while watching the game too. I hope he wasn’t too tough on you. You are not banished from SF for life, I hope!
Here are a few of my faves
The city council plans to discuss ‘public testimony’ at there next work session on Wednesday at 4 PM.