Entries Tagged 'Mark Mickelson' ↓

Does Mickelson have a conflict? (Guest Post – Frank Kloucek)

Is what Rep. Mark Mickelson doing with new swine CAFO construction unethical and a direct conflict of interest? Mark and his partner Paul Kostboth formed a company called A1 Development Solutions. Rep. Mickelson is directly benefiting from CAFO construction which Mickelson is orchestrating through weakening of zoning regulations from the state down to the local level.

Rep. Mickelson has already listed his partnership with Kostboth as a conflict in his legislative financial interest form filed with the Secretary of State. Should the next step for Mickelson be to decide which job he wants to do? To do both raises a lot of questions.

Is it clear that Rep. Mark Mickelson has a direct conflict of interest which would force him to resign as a legislator or withdraw as business partner in A1 Development Solutions? Is there middle ground on this issue? Maybe Rep. Mickelson could put his money in a solar power company instead, as long as he is not the prime sponsor of legislation to help that solar power company in South Dakota?

Guest Toons; Sioux Empire Podcast

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Pierre’s House of Lords Chief Knothead, Mark Mickelson

By now, you have probably heard of Mark’s brilliant idea to either get rid of constitutional amendments through the initiative process, or to give the House of Lords (State Legislature) veto power over citizen’s initiatives on constitutional amendments. Here are some thoughts on it, from Drinking Liberally;

In South Dakota: Last week while researching G. Mark Mickelson, the current Republican Speaker of the South Dakota House of Representatives, I discovered Mr. Mickelson’s interview with Rapid City Journal reporter Seth Tupper in which Mr. Mickelson expresses his impatience with democracy and disdain for those who disagree with him. He was especially disdainful toward those of us who are not “lawyers”.

Now, ignoring our proud 120-year history as the first state in the Country to adopt the initiative and referendum process and allow ordinary citizens to participate directly in the legislative process, Mr. Mickelson has launched a two-prong attack on South Dakota’s Initiative and Referendum process. First, he has led a drive to raise the threshold for initiated Amendments to our Constitution and to restrict the funding of Initiative and Referendum efforts. Cynically, he is using the very Initiative process he wants to undermine to propose these changes. Second, and perhaps more ominously, just this week he filed two bills that would further eliminate or restrict our tradition of Direct Democracy. One, HJR 1007, would eliminate the initiative process for constitutional amendments. Another, HJR 1008, would, in effect, give the Legislature a veto on any Constitutional Amendment which the voters of South Dakota may enact.

Mark seems to have an autocratic bent. He certainly reflects the current Republican leaderships intolerance with those whose views on policy differ from their own. Heaven forbid, if once in awhile, the people successfully enact their own ideas of good government and circumvent the cozy, smoke-filled rooms in Pierre where the current leadership cuts deals with their donors.

Here are some thoughts from Dakotafreepress;

This Republican Legislature is out to kill voter initiatives. Voters, you should initiate some conversations with your legislators this weekend (the calendar says they are home Friday through Monday). Rep. Mickelson doesn’t have a crackerbarrel until February 10, but there are crackerbarrels this weekend in Aberdeen, Brandon, Rapid City, Vermillion, Watertown, and Webster where you could catch your local Republicans (because Democrats don’t do mean, elitist things like these proposed amendments) and tell them to stop calling you stupid and to leave your right to vote and amend your (your!) constitution alone.

What I don’t understand is why is Mark so bitter towards the citizens (voters) of South Dakota? Like the governor he thinks we are too dumb to pass these initiatives and amendments on our own.

But really? How has this hurt Mark in any way? His party has controlled Pierre for over 40 years, him and his family have been elected to serve in many positions. His wife, with the help of many prominent donors was able to win (buy) the SF school board seat. Mark has done very well in his business and politically. So Mark, what are you so pissed off about? The voters of this state have been very kind to you and your family over the years, and this is the way you treat us? It’s despicable. If you are mad at Noem and Jackboots for pushing you out of the governor’s race, take it up with them. It seems Mark wants all the power in this state not only to be in one party but one institution, Pierre’s House of Lords. Paul Getty was asked by his assistant once how much money would make him happy, and Getty said, “All of it.” It seems having ALL of the power in our state would make Mark happy . . . maybe.

Mark Mickelson, a troubling fellar

I guess according to Mark, bloggers are ‘Knotheads’. I got this interesting tidbit today;

I wish someone would explain to me why Mark Mickelson, who is Speaker of the South Dakota House of Representatives, one of the three or four most powerful political offices in our state, has apparently given up on the legislative process and turned to ballot measures to change the laws of our State? In my attempt to answer this myself, I discovered a Rapid City interview between Mr. Mickelson’s and Seth Tupper of the Rapid City Journal in which Mark says he is an impatient guy who likes “to move pretty quick on stuff” to explain his sudden attraction to our Initiative process.

After listening to the interview, I am not sure if I would characterize Mark as impatient, but his high regard for his own opinions certainly shines through. I would encourage him to relax a little and enjoy the political process like his grandfather and his father before him seemed to. He is still young and there is plenty of time to accomplish his goals while giving the rest of us the time we need to catch on to his vision of the way things should be.

Funny how Mark has an issue with out-of-state money for ballot measures but doesn’t wink a bit when his wife spends $6 a vote to get a seat that pays $75 per meeting.

Former legislator Frank Kloucek also points out Mark’s conflict of interest with CAFOs;

Is what Rep. Mark Mickelson doing with new swine Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation construction unethical and a direct conflict of interest?

Mickelson and his partner, Paul Kostboth, formed a company called A1 Development Solutions. Mickelson is directly benefiting from CAFO construction, which he is orchestrating through weakening of zoning regulations from the state down to the local level. Mickelson has already listed his partnership with Kostboth as a conflict in his legislative financial interest form filed with the Secretary of State. Should the next step for Mickelson be to decide which job he wants to do? To do both jobs, raises a lot of questions.

Is it clear that Representative Mickelson has a direct conflict of interest, which would force him to resign as a legislator or withdraw as business partner in A1 Development Solutions? Is there middle ground on this issue? Maybe, Mickelson could put his money in a solar power company instead, as long as he is not the prime sponsor of legislation to help that solar power company in South Dakota.

I think out-of-state money is the least of our problems. State lawmakers creating regs that fatten their wallets is a real problem.

Maybe the Governor should take the lead with the sexism problem in Pierre

One of my lobbyist friends has an appropriate moniker for Pierre, he calls it a ‘toilet’. I couldn’t agree more. Trust me, I wasn’t shocked to hear all the stories coming out of Pierre. As another lobbyist said to me last year, “Everyone is screwing everyone in Pierre. It’s like some big disgusting orgy.”

Maybe the Governor and Mark Mickelson need to take the lead on this ‘sexual revolution’ going on in Pierre and own up to their own skeletons in the closet. Mark is fortunate he lives in Sioux Falls and has a buffer from the day to day operations, but Dennis should know these things are going on, in fact he does know.

He fired a high ranking cabinet director this past year and has yet to tell us why. Let’s just say it had little to do with his job performance and more to do with his extracurricular activities. All the governor told us of the termination after a brief suspension was it had to do with personnel reasons. Hardly. Ironically Janklow fired this person for some of the same reasons during his administration, and he got hired back by (I think) Rounds. Don’t they keep a file on these things?

Maybe if Dennis would have came clean on why this person was fired it would help the process of eliminating the gigantic ‘sex fest’ the legislative session has become and that continues throughout the year with state employees.

His cheesy dumb farm kid persona won’t cut it on this issue. And while Mickelson is worried about outside money on petition drives he should be more concerned about inside pocket pool going on in our capital city. Address the real issues going on in Pierre for once.

Mark Mickelson concerned about big money influence, maybe he needs to have that discussion with his wife

Many people across the state are having a good chuckle (or good cry) about the hypocrisy of Mickelson’s proposal to limit big money influence in initiatives. Besides the fact that the Koch brothers have funneled millions into our state from out-of-state donors from ALEC supporters to Republican State legislative races, let’s look at the influence LOCALLY in his wife’s race for school board. While the money may be local, you have to question the BIG money influence in her race. This is from her last financial report (I think the next one is due on July 18);

SE Friends of Affordable Housing $500

SD RPAC $250 (Association of Realtors)

Two Minnehaha county commissioners $600

Dan, Steve & Joe Kirby $750

Dennis Breske (Developer) $100

Dr. Vance Thompson $250

Tom Walsh (Formerly Burger King, now Great Life) $100

Sweetman’s $350

Valerie Fox (Former Principal of Lincoln HS) $500

Dr. Alvine $100

Doug Hajek (Bond Attorney for largest bond provider in the state) $100

Chris Houwman (Developer, Washington Square) $250

Scott Abdallah (Attorney) $100

Erickson’s (City Council) $200

Dana Dykhouse (First Premier Bank) $250

Dave & De Knudson (Sanford Health) $250

Russ Janklow (Attorney) $250

Arch Beal (Beer Distributor) $200

Scott Lawrence (Ad agency) $100

Michael Crane (Developer) $100

Dave Owens (SD Chamber of Commerce) $200

And that is just a sampling. I know what you are thinking, none of the donations are HUGE but they speak volumes, especially when you consider she raised 10x more than her closest competitor.

Mark doesn’t sweat big money when it helps him, his wife or his fellow Republican legislators, but when it comes to ethics reform he wants to crack down on it. Go figure.

The obvious is staring them in the eyes