ArtMaze, one of the better parts of Sioux Falls life in 2016
2016 has been a rough year for citizen activism. While it has been up and down here in Sioux Falls with many successes and failures to boot, it seems Washington DC has gone into full collapse as we allowed racist, sexist, hillbillies to elect our president.
But locally there were three things that stood out;
• Governor Daugaard claiming that voters were ‘hoodwinked’ into voting for IM 22, then getting the Pierre (in)justice system to go along with it. Funny how for over 40 years voters have been voting his party into power, and no word about ‘hoodwinking’ but once that corrupt power will be challenged, all the voters are idiots. As one official told me that used to work for Dennis, it’s not the public that are idiots, it’s Dennis. And his idiocy has been shining through.
• The South Dakota Democratic Party’s bottom completely fell out, and the people in charge patted themselves on the back. Insanity I tell you! Insanity!
• But one of the greatest achievements of the year is the Sioux Falls City Council’s change of power. The four new councilors have been flexing their muscles with a little help from Councilor Erickson, and while they have had a few missteps to start out, they have been learning from the battle scars. While ‘leadership’ of the council (Rolfing and Kiley) seem to be on a two man mission to rubberstamp all things Huether, shut down public input, and concoct false ethics charges against a fellow councilor (until they got caught lying like the snakes they are) they are becoming more and more in check. The city council has many big plans for 2017, and I have a feeling their agenda will push through easily as our lame duck mayor melts.
Let’s take a look at some the finer high and low points of 2016;
• The Huether Tennis center continues to block parking from other event attendees at the Sanford Sports complex though they basically stole $500K from taxpayers for the facility. Throughout the year there was several reports on cones and signs blocking the lot with not cars in it. But hey Mike’s Bride won an award this year and seemed surprised she did, without commenting that her check to the organization that gave the award wasn’t returned.
• The Sioux Falls City Council leadership and mayor’s HR department pulled a military retiree out of their asses for city clerk, a person who will be in charge of our city elections and hasn’t been registered to vote for years. He also proved his knowledge of official stamps when he stamped a petition without even bothering to read it. While Mr. Greco has gotten better over the year, the city clerk position should not be a $80K+ a year job as an apprentice, sadly being trained by one of his assistant clerks who has ten times the qualifications and applied for the position but was turned down. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the council chair’s view of women in the work place.
• Speaking of letting the mayor’s HR department and Leadership’s Mutt and Jeff pick the next internal auditor, the council barked loud enough that they did not want another ‘Greco’ pick. Not sure if the barking worked, but the person who was set to take the job saw the writing on the wall and turned it down. Hopefully the person who ultimately gets the position won’t be turned down because they shave their legs.
• The city continues to blow money on the Winter Wonderland Display, but the way the mayor has been cutting budgets these days, I expect next year’s display to be a couple of homeless barrel fire pits, sponsored by the Dudley House of course.
• After posting about the ridiculous corporate like raises the mayor has been giving to his management team, he turns around and still screws the minions with dismal raises again this year. I think in a special note to the city employees on their Christmas paystub he wrote, “I don’t care.”
• The city continues the FREE condom distribution program at area bars, and for some reason Monk’s is always emptied the quickest. Coincidence that is also a favorite watering hole of city managers . . .
• The Tuthill shooting case becomes ‘inactive’ and a tree branch shadow gets off scott free.
• The Erp wrongfully calls out local massage therapists as prejudice because they pointed out the ‘shower massages’ that were taking place around town. Apparently someone got a bad fortune cookie that day.
• The car rental tax and BID tax grabby-grabby fails in Sioux Falls, but the state legislature passes one of the most idiotic tax increases ever so our teachers are now just tied for last instead of dead last in pay. Out hoodwinking governor already has plans to rob the pot only one year after its passage.
• Hartford’s city government was in a state of collapse. Who really cares?
• The Levitt Pavilion is moving forward in Sioux Falls. It will be nice watching outdoor concerts sitting in the grass while battery acid is boiling beneath our asses.
• The Boulevard ordinance changes went into effect. Now stop worrying about rocks and plant a garden.
• The Washington Pavilion got a change of leadership after Darrin Smith takes over as President. So far he has only eliminated one director, but I hear the blood-letting has just begun. Now let’s throw another couple of million at the place to fix the poor construction to begin with. That will never happen with the Events Center . . .
• The Events Center cracks down on outside snacks and guns at events. We are all now safe from cheap fat people shooting us, but not in the parking lot.
• The Pottie Room war starts in Pierre and is guaranteed to return in 2017.
• A city council candidate throws a hissy fit over a post I wrote about his wife’s involvement with the Jesus plows and after threats to my employer I pull the post. He ends up taking last place in the at-large race. How’s Jesus working out for you now?
• Due to health reasons, Kermit Staggers decides not to run for a 4th term on the city council. His endorsement of Stehly puts her over the top.
• One of the youngest candidates in city history runs for city council. I apologize to Briggs for all the shitty things I said about him during the campaign.
• The Argus Leader sues the city for the details in the secret events center siding settlement. The Argus loses the first round but it is headed to the SD Supreme Court.
• On a similar note, the SON neighborhood is also awaiting a judgement in their Walmart suit with the SD Supreme Court.
• The Mayor and Q-Tip Smith screwup the DT parking ramp development by flapping their traps to soon, and the council later on in the year returns the favor and defunds the ramp all together for 2017. I still think the fiasco is what got Smith to seek refuge at the Pavilion.
• City officials throw a hissy-fit over Bruce’s camera at a city meeting we were invited to by then city councilor Kenny Anderson. Looking back on it now, I just chuckle.
• Bruce and I do a presentation on voter turnout in Sioux Falls at Democratic Forum and one of the mayor’s buddy developers in Sioux Falls tries to shut us down. When he fails, he walks out. Another casualty to transparency.
I was in attendance today, and stayed for the entire 2 1/2 hour meeting, but not before Cameraman Bruce and I were asked to leave, in which we did not after being defended by Michael Saba and Frank Kloucek for helping out some of the campaigns. It still didn’t sit well with the executive office, because at one point while I was taking notes, the communications manager told me that the meeting was ‘off of the record’ and I told him I would not blog about what was discussed in the meeting.
But I do think I can comment on some stuff. After the crying and wound licking got done, I do think it was a productive meeting, and I do think they learned some important things from it, but they must implement.
I will be honest with you, I WANT to help the Democratic party be relative again in SD. A system of one party rule in this state is eating us up from within like a cancer. I heard it in the voices of those who spoke today.
Bruce and I offered advice, and I hope they were listening. There are strategic things the party can do to come out fighting again, and a lot of it can be done with very little capital but a whole heckuva a lot of elbow grease and team work (another thing they need to work on).
I will share one thing I said at the meeting in reference to a certain strategy they were discussing, “The Republicans are kicking your ass on . . . “
Well here we go again. Another election season has passed and we are now already into the next. The election consultants and media pundits are eagerly awaiting another election season happening in less than two years. God help us, everyone….
On Monday, we in South Dakota received the news we have been expecting, Kristi Noem is running for governor of our fair state and we don’t know why. Will we ever know why she is running? Probably not the real reason(s).
Last week we learned Mark Mickelson was not going to be a candidate for the office held by his dad and grandpa. We join him in being thankful he bowed out. He is young enough to try someday to form a successful message for his political future to rest on. We don’t need people to run just because they are next. The 2018 Democratic presidential candidate proved it is a bad reason.
This election season was a surprise to many who thought forgone conclusions ruled the day. As we learned last Tuesday, November 8, 2016, forgone conclusions were wrong. Those of us who really talked with voters this year were warning of a wave election. A tidal force not likely to be understood by candidates and their supporters if they were not in the field really listening to the voters.
In Sioux Falls we had a change election in April and a record-breaking petition drive to try to reign in arrogant officeholders from their abusive practices. We voters tried to signal to the candidates of our intentions, but tried and true routines are hard to break. We witnessed more ineffectual Facebook games and other social media stuff to make it look like something was happening but again most of our candidates wasted time and money trying to look busy. What a waste. Even Paula Hawks is calling these clowns out;
Hawks said she was committed to working with the party to rebuild and didn’t feel that current party leadership gave her the support she needed in running her campaign against Rep. Kristi Noem.
“We need to put out the press releases and be ready to throw the punches,” Hawks said.
Both South Dakota “major” parties are in the process of imploding. Each for different reasons.
Let’s get the Democratic Party reasons out of the way. Our Democratic Party refuses to let people in. They claim inclusive, big tent ideas but it is just lip service. If you are part of the special group of insider players you are asked to pay so they can play. If you have any experience to go with your gray hair, stay away. The Democratic Party knows how tap into Dakota progressive nature for ballot measures but destroy any good from it by not letting any one else play in their party.
The Republican Party of South Dakota runs a winner takes all mentality. It is a Super Bowl played every two years. The party is controlled by entrenched players who control everything but the underlying goodness of the people who are really progressive in their souls. This inborn goodness is born out of the 1880’s progressive movement heritage of our region. We can see it in the backstories seldom written about but always exploited by those in power. The GOP has always been a group with a label but not a clear direction other than power. We have legislative winners who are not part of the inner circle and never will be. Their election wins only matter in the backrooms of Pierre.
Those of us who have been politically active for decades are tired of the usual exclusionary practices of both parties. There will always be the people who vote for the same brand of candidates because they are running under “the” label.
The Democratic Party does nothing to make candidates, oh sure there is the couple of weeks where promises of help are made in attempts to get candidates but where are the off year training / teaching forums to build potential candidates? Where is the effort to build a financial network to support party building efforts? Is there ever going to be an effort to do outreach to the rest of the state? When will we have others allowed in the decision making process?
Have you noticed how little the GOP is doing in the same areas just laid out? The Super Bowl mentality is showing in their efforts. The GOP is now becoming a control fight between the haves and have not groups under their crowded umbrella. The umbrella is getting so crowded only those in the center control and those on the fringes are getting tired of being wet on. We will soon see interparty control fights escalate causing severe unmendable fractures. Will the swept under the carpet scandals finally break open more space under the umbrella, we are watching. One of the state’s top budget analysts just leaves the Daugaard administration in the middle of the night with no explanation. Hmmm.
In the meantime, we need to get ready for 2018 in Sioux Falls and South Dakota. Our mayor is going to run for something. He will find his message somewhere. He will set in place his chosen candidate for mayor to support for his legacy and possible return to the office in the future. There are City Council candidates leaving their seats and many of us are glad to say good riddance. We helped change how the Council works for now and we are keeping close track of those we helped bring to the party. We are trying to set the stage for the future of responsive city government.
Some of us decided to put out efforts toward city government because our state parties did not want us interfering in their games. As movement politics goes, this shall pass and those controlling will be gone when they do not accept what is happening in the real world.
Larry Tidemann gets the South DaCola most chickenshit state senator of the week award after he finds no reason to subpoena Joop-Loops Bollen in the EB-5 investigation;
One of the main points of contention during Tuesday’s hearing came when the only Democrat who was present at the meeting, Representative Susan Wismer (D) Britton, made a motion to subpoena Benda’s former boss Joop Bollen.
The motion failed when Wismer failed to garner one lawmaker to second the move.
“We have deliberately avoided talking to the highest officials in the Rounds, Daugaard administration who oversaw this project. We’re like sheriffs who don’t want to bring in the witness,” Wismer told the committee when the motion failed.
Though the state has severed ties with Bollen, Wismer says the committee isn’t doing its job if it doesn’t call him to testify.
“I believe this committee still hasn’t visited with the one person who is still alive who dealt with this program,” Wismer said.
Larry Tidemann, the chairman of the Republican-dominated committee, says state agents have already interviewed Bollen during their criminal investigation.
“I think we have to look at what they have provided us and what would we garner if we were to bring him in?” Tidemann said after the meeting.
Yeah, gee, why would we want to actually interview the guy WHO IS STILL ALIVE! That’s because he just might indict a whole host of other people, like Daugaard, Rounds, Jackley and Pat Costello? Well we can’t have that? Can we? Shutup woman running for governor! Besides, Larry contests there isn’t anything that can be done now (snort);
“We can’t correct mistakes of the past but we can correct things for the future,” Tidemann said.
Ah, yes we can, by cuffing and stuffing the people that are still alive that were involved with this fiasco, but that would of course require our state legislators like Larry to not be BALD FACE COWARDS, so they can protect Rounds and Daugaards reputations. I think the entire GOP state legislature should be subpoenaed and questioned. First question; Why are you all a bunch of spineless chickenshits? If you are sure that Benda is the only one at fault here, let’s prove it.
I found their cute little video they made comical. Instead of just asking people on the street if they know Rick Weiland, this is how I would have gone about this unscientific poll.
1) Are you a registered voter in South Dakota? If so,
2) Do you plan on voting in the November election? If so,
3) Do you know who this person is?
I can tell you that these questions were probably not asked first, in fact one particular person they interviewed (a regular DT) probably wouldn’t know what a picture of themselves looked like, let alone Rick Weiland, that person isn’t real keen on soap and water either.
As South DaCola has reported in the past, Lawrence and Schiller has had their fair share of handouts from SD Republicans in the form of our taxdollars;
No bid contracts for campaign buddies, including the exclusive no-bid contract for $11 million to Lawrence & Schiller; (We also learned that Daugaard’s daughter worked for L&S while the public learned of the under-the-table wheeling and dealing in the Governor’s office.)
Gov. Dennis Daugaard has asked a former advertising executive in Sioux Falls to lead the state Republican Party through the 2014 election cycle.
Craig Lawrence is a co-founder of the advertising firm, Lawrence & Schiller.
I guess after years of sucking off the taxpayer’s tit in the form of no-bid contracts, it is time to reward Craig with a job where he can really go out and turn the spin up a notch. Denny Doogard is going to get the ball rolling;
“Right now, our party needs to reinforce the rightness and relevancy of its principles and the record of its performance to new generations of voters,” Daugaard said in a release.
You mean the 35 year iron grip you have had on South Dakotans due to closed government and lack of transparency you have been so good at maintaining? But it doesn’t stop Lawrence from claiming something else;
Lawrence said he hopes comunicate Republican principles of smaller government in a “compelling and alluring” way to both Republicans and independents.
. . . trying . . . to . . . catch my breath.
Lawrence was receiving some of the largest no-bid advertising contracts in the history of our state from governor Rounds during his administration. Rounds actually expanded government and paid back the people who helped get him elected (Lawrence) with numerous lucrative no-bid contracts. I’m not sure what ‘smaller government’ Lawrence is talking about, but it certainly isn’t the one ran by our state Republicans.
I can’t believe we let this CLOWN work in the Secretary of State’s office. What a ‘TRUE’ waste of taxpayer dollars. His lastest post about Dems being the root of out of control spending in Pierre is not only far-fetched, it is hypocritical. SD Republicans seem to have amnesia when it comes to corporate bail-outs, no-bid contracts to campaign supporters, increases in FTE’s, state airplanes, prisons and blatant nepotism. All under THEIR watch. Because there is one area I do agree with them on, Democrats are powerless in Pierre. But it doesn’t stop them from denying WORKING people healthcare;
These aren’t the elderly. These aren’t children. They’re able-bodied people who have the use of both hands and feet, who are actively in the workforce. And Democrats want 48,000 of them to be on “Health care welfare.” At taxpayer expense.
It just staggers my imagination.
Governor Daugaard’s address today pointed out that “because of the uncertainties we need to be conservative to committing to future ongoing expenses.” And, hence, the optional expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare was not recommended.
Ironically, they point out the very reason why these people deserve healthcare, they are working, which means they pay payroll taxes to the Federal government. Governor Doo-bad calls it welfare. Last I checked, people receiving welfare are not working.
What amazes me is how hard these same jackasses fought single-payer (using our taxdollars and resources to fight it), but if it would have been implemented it would have saved states billions of dollars in Medicaid costs, because it would have been funded through payroll taxes. But the insurance companies (who profit from sick and dying people) cried they would go out of business. Good. Now if we can just put Republicans out of business in Pierre.
Some SD Legislators get it
UPDATE: from my email box;
I wrote this a couple weeks ago when this was a headline in the Argus. I didn’t send it, but it p’d me off just the same and it still does. And today you wrote about it. SD has the largest number of women who work 2 and 3 jobs to support their family. They all can’t afford healthcare.
The headline for this story in the Argus is totally wrong. SD did not opt out, it was the governor who chose to opt out of the health exchange even though there are so many people in the state who need these health benefits and the gov’t. is paying for him. All these stupid republican states opting out is disgusting, they are only doing it because they don’t like President Obama. Plus the gov’t. pays for the healthcare for the first 2 years.
And then once again the people on Dailykos are coming to the aid of people on the reservation in South Dakota so they will have Thanksgiving dinner and heat. They did the same thing a year ago. And where is/are the governor and past governors……no where to be seen. But you can bet your bottom dollar they are stealing money that is suppose to go to the people on the reservations. I know the funds to make it easier for them to vote has been used else where. And they could certainly use a clinic and healthcare along with a lot of people who are barely making it in wonderful South Dakota.
DEADLINE : Under the Affordable Care Act, states had until today to tell the federal government whether they plan to operate a health care exchange themselves. The deadline was extended to Dec. 14 after several states requested more time.
S.D.: Gov. Dennis Daugaard is carrying through with his decision not to run an exchange for South Dakota, according to spokesman Tony Venhuizen.
WHAT IT MEANS: The federal government will build and operate South Dakota’s health care exchange, which is a marketplace on which individuals can buy health insurance and, if eligible, receive subsidies.
WHY: Daugaard says he thinks the cost of operating an exchange would be too high — up to $7 million per year.
WHEN: On Jan. 1, 2014, exchanges will be operational.
EXCHANGES: Insurance plans on the exchange are required to sell to anyone and can vary the cost of premiums based only on age and whether individuals smoke. People will be eligible for government subsidies depending on family income, with subsidies for families up to 400 percent of the federal poverty line.
Add Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Maine Gov. Paul LePage, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to the list of Republican governors who are continuing to protest Obamacare by refusing to establish health insurance exchanges, in the process forcing the federal government to step in and create the exchanges itself.Starting in Oct. 2013, the exchanges will be the marketplace for individuals to obtain insurance if they do not have coverage through their employer, Medicare, or Medicaid. Beginning Jan. 2014, the new insurance plans will take effect, giving nearly every American citizen health care coverage.
Under Obamacare, if a state does not establish a health insurance exchange, the federal government must do it for them. Therefore, while ostensibly a protest against the expansion of federal power, these governors are actually forcing the federal government to expand the scope of its operations.
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HILL CITY, S.D. (AP) – A woman wanted for abducting her two children from their home in Wisconsin has been arrested in South Dakota. The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office says in a social media post that Cathy Jo Brown was wanted for interfering with a custody order, a felony. KOTA-TV reports that deputies received a […]
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A Senate panel has approved a bill that says teachers can’t be prohibited from discussing the strengths and weaknesses of scientific information on issues such as climate change and evolution during classes. The Senate Education Committee on Tuesday voted 4-3 to send the measure to the chamber’s floor. Republican Sen. Jeff […]