Entries Tagged 'South Dakotans' ↓

South DaCola, change is in the air

In the wee hours of Tuesday night, I will be starting a long overdue blog break. South DaCola will remain up, but commenting will be turned off to prepare for changes. Not sure what the new format of DaCola will be, but a (small) team of South DaCola foot soldiers and associates have been weighing our options. I can tell you this, it will no longer be a bitch session but a proactive community activism website and news source (what many don’t realize is the activism my site inspires that doesn’t grace the pages of the interwebs, they are numerous, and often). Not sure how long this transition will take, but I am guessing about a month. Some of the things we will be doing will be definitely ground breaking and ‘different’ to the Sioux Falls market (yes, I will be selling advertising), and different then any traditional media source that currently exists in the Greatest Little City in the country. I am looking forward to it, but I am also looking forward to the break from my tireless obsession with city government.

While I volunteer my activism on this site, it hasn’t always been ‘fun’. I have lost sleep and good friends over it, and the friends that still talk to me, don’t do it as often. It’s been rough emotionally for me, because my personal (recreational) life is almost nonexistent, and if that is going to change, for the better, I need to make this transition. It’s time I get back to things I enjoy, like BBQ’in with my friends, bike riding, firepits and camping, playing yard games, painting and going to live music shows and dancing with the ladies (love dancing with the ladies). Stuff that has almost dwindled to nothing, especially over the past four years.

There has been some positives though, and I am grateful for them every day. I have met some pretty amazing people in our community on this journey, who have made me laugh, made me cry, and pulled the inner fight out of me. Candidates, citizen advocates, city & county employees, elected city and county officials, attorneys, campaign consultants and a whole host of other citizens disenfranchised by city government that have a legitimate beef and axe to grind. They are fantastic, intelligent, thoughtful, fascinating people that are not apathetic or ignorant and have hearts the size of the T Denny Sanford Premier Center. I love the NEW friendships I have attained. Some of these people will probably be my friends for a very, very long time, and I love it (a lot of them like to dance also :)

This is the most important city election this city has ever had since I moved here in 1991. Ballot issues on quality of life, public services, home owner property rights, etc. I have been diligent and obsessive for a reason, maybe it’s the bleeding heart Liberal in me that just wants to see fairness for EVERYONE from government, especially on a local level. Transparency and anti-censorship are my two biggest issues. I have often had the belief that democracies can only be fair to the citizenry if that citizenry is informed. Ethical and open government is tantamount to a vibrant and strong local government, unfortunately, that has not happened over the last 8-10 years in Sioux Falls (Huether and Erpenbach have been public enemy #1 in this arena). I’ve seen good people chopped down, I’ve watched public employees terminated and publicly disgraced unfairly, I have seen citizens put through the wringer and watched the very people we elect allow it to happen, with no remorse. As the chair to ‘Citizens for Integrity’ said the other night about the ballot language at the city council meeting, “It’s bad!”

We can however make a change on Tuesday, remember to VOTE at any vote center and VOTE for a change and progress;





Ballot Measures: YES on the first Five, No on the last Two!

In closing; I have become familiar with defeat and victory in municipal elections, but the voters are the ultimate deciders, and while I will not be able to personally accept some of their decisions on Tuesday, I can deal with it, move on, and work with the positive results of that night. I hate to sound like a candidate, but I Love Sioux Falls, it took me a long time to get to that point, but I think we have so many things we can improve on. I think we can do that no matter the results Tuesday night, and I hope the NEW DaCola will be a part of that.

Stop the Server Tip-Out in SD!

Someone sent me this the other day. They want to propose legislation next year in SD to end ‘involuntary’ tip-outs to support staff. Many people don’t realize that servers only get paid $2.13 an hour in SD, they depend on their tips. Many restaurants require (especially national franchises) that the servers tip out support staff (so the restaurants can avoid paying them). It can be upwards of 20% of your tips. When I worked full-time as a server a couple of years ago I figured I tipped out (my tips) about $4,500 a year. This is money I earned. The fact of it is, when you tell customers about it, it infuriates them that not only that we are paid a low wage, but we have to give our tips away. Support the movement END tip share in SD!

If a bill comes forward next year in Pierre, I plan to testify.

SD Dems finally have a good candidate and they have to muck it up


Just another martyr for the Democratic Party?

The South Dakota Democratic Party often baffles me in the decisions they make. They finally have a great candidate running for governor, Joe Lowe, (IMO  – they’re leading candidate on the Dem ticket) and they have to muddy the waters by digging up a primary challenger, WTH?

Democrats, it appears we are receiving our marching orders from Party Central: Vote for Susan Wismer.

Rep. Susan Wismer (D-1/Britton) announced yesterday that she is challenging Joe Lowe for the Democratic nomination for Governor. Democratic House Minority Leader Rep. Bernie Hunhoff (D-18/Yankton) introduced her at her Capitol press conference. Most of the Democrats in the Legislature stood beside her to show their support.

Don’t get me wrong, Wismer is a viable candidate, but I have never understood why the Dems like to waste talent in one race? Why not ask Wismer or Lowe to run for SOS instead (you know, the race you are kind of ignoring, the one where a scandalous current SOS is not seeking re-election, a race that will probably spit out the GOP’s Klueless Krebs as their candidate who is really just the female version of ALEC loving Gant.

I’m wondering when the Dems are going to get their poop in group, get off the Facebooks and Twitters and pick up the phone from time to time and DISCUSS STRATEGY!

What a concept!

The corruption & secrecy of the SD GOP continues

Not sure when this article was written (somewhere between 2002-2009?) because there is no published date or author, but it is an intriguing interview with the last Democratic Treasurer, his take on secrecy and corruption in Pierre, and how the media contributed (ignored) the secrecy;

Since serving as Treasurer of South Dakota, Dick Butler has overhauled banking practices, overhauled primary banking contracts of colleges and universities, overhauled collateralization of public deposits and in six years returned unclaimed properties accounts that totaled more than 500% of what had been returned to citizens during the previous 20 years combined. Millions of dollars have been returned to South Dakota citizens through his efforts.

During the time Butler has been Treasurer his actions have been the impetus for the creation of a gag law intended to silence his efforts. The Commissioner of Banking in South Dakota, Richard Duncan, wrote a memo to all state banks in South Dakota advising them not to give information to Butler regarding executive accounts, and a bill was proposed that was intended to strip the State Treasurer of his banking authority for colleges and universities.

The controversial gag law, spurred by Janklow, was passed in 1996. It closed some corporate records and prohibited state officials from discussing information on investigations into the actions of corporations.

Isn’t it ironic that Butler rightfully performed his job, and what does the GOP do? Pass a law preventing him from doing so. Fast forward to 2013, where are current governor is bragging about all this money the state is receiving in unclaimed property. Why does the governor have this money? Because the state treasurers since Butler have made ZERO effort to return it.

I also find it ironic that Butler calls out Mercer for not reporting any of this while it was happening, fast forward again to 2013 where Mercer is crying to AG Jackboots for not giving him information on Benda’s death. Geez, Bob, are you surprised? Oh that’s right, when Janklow’s administration did these things, you turned the other way . . .

And here is another classic from 2009, about the secrecy of ‘The Governor’s Club’. Same cast of characters protecting the past while securing the secrecy and money of the future;

The Governor’s Club has been a discrete part of political fundraising in South Dakota for more than 30 years. For a $1,000 donation, contributors buy a place at the table – and a position of potential influence – with South Dakota’s governor at club events that are not open to the general public.

Lucas Lentsch, executive director for the South Dakota Republican Party in Pierre, said it would be wrong to presume that $1,000 club members get “perks or additional access” to the governor.

Oh Lucas Losemylunch, you are a funny one;

And there are state contract holders on the Governor’s Club list. They include former state Attorney General Roger Tellinghuisen, a Spearfish lawyer with $75,000 legal services contract; Dr. Michael Rost of Sioux Falls, whose company has about $400,000 in contracts; Tom Adam of Pierre, a partner in a Pierre law firm with a $350,000 in contract; and Sioux Falls lawyer Doug Hajek, a member of the Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith firm, which holds a $700,000 state contract.

Knudson is with Davenport, Evans, too. But he says the corporate structure is designed so that he doesn’t benefit financially from the state contracts.

Maybe so, Hauffe said, but the whole mix of money, personal connections and no-bid contracts is more proof that the public needs more details on how where the money starts, how it flows, and where it ends up.

Now we are here, 4 years later, the same corruption, secrecy, back door deals and same old characters involved. Here’s the deal folks, Janklow is dead, we don’t need to be scared of the man anymore (like we should have when he was alive), one of his appointees is dead (Benda), it’s time to blow the lid off of the SD GOP and their destruction of this state for their financial gain.

SD’s corruption report card

Once again we nailed 49th! Woot! Woot!

So Carrie Underwood is a supporter of PETA, what do SD ranchers think of that?

Panties in a bunch.

A trade group for ranchers in South Dakota complained about Joan Jett’s placement on the state’s float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.


  • Other celebs who support PETA have been on parade floats without controversy
  • Jett says she wants to be on another float because of “people’s political agendas”
  • “We were rightly concerned about her representing South Dakota,” ranchers’ rep says
  • Jett supports PETA, which says “the meat trade can’t stand any scrutiny of its cruelty”

(CNN) – Rock star Joan Jett was removed from a parade float representing South Dakota in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade after ranchers protested her appearance, saying she’s a vegetarian and a critic of their livestock production.

Jett is a supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the world’s largest animal rights group that promotes a vegetarian diet and condemns factory farms and ranches.

“I’ve decided to switch from South Dakota to another float because people’s political agendas were getting in the way of what should be a purely entertainment driven event,” Jett said in a statement Saturday. “I will remain focused on entertaining the millions of people watching, who will be celebrating a great American tradition.”

The trade group for ranchers in South Dakota complained about Jett’s placement on the state’s float for the New York parade, CNN affiliate KEVN reported.

“So, of course, when we learned that about Miss Jett, we were rightly concerned about her representing South Dakota and a state that is so heavily reliant on agriculture and livestock production to drive our economy,” Jodie Anderson of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association told the station.

A Macy’s spokesman said Jett and her Blackhearts band will be moved to another float, and another undetermined performer will take Jett’s place on the South Dakota float, the affiliate said.

A PETA leader said the controversy reflected what the group deems as problems in the cattle industry.

“Thanks to South Dakota’s reactionary ranchers, people across the country have learned why Joan Jett supports PETA. The meat trade can’t stand any scrutiny of its cruelty,” PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews said in a statement.

Many celebrities who support PETA have appeared on previous Macy’s parade floats or performed without controversy, PETA spokeswoman Moira Colley said. They include “Glee” actress Lea Michele, Jay McGuiness of “The Wanted”, singer Jay Sean, Alan Cumming and Carrie Underwood, Colley said.

You would think after getting their asses handed to them in an ice storm, and their buddy ol’ pals Thune and Noem not helping them in disaster aid they would want anything BUT controversy. Nope. Keep crying and keep voting for conservatives.

The Economic Development Investigations; Lots of questions-Lots of connections

Connecting the dots on this investigation is going to be interesting, while the parties involved are trying to separate themselves from each other. Many media outlets and blogs (except Dakota War College) have covered many details on the case, but until the Federal investigators release their findings, these quagmires exist;

1) Benda is dead. Did he commit suicide, was he accidentally shot or murdered? Who did it?

2) Governor Rounds led a very secretive, tight-knit, state government, he is now running for Senate with challengers in his in own party, how will this affect is bid for senate if he is found guilty of wrong doing? And why did the State GOP chair give such a large donation to his opponent Larry Rhoden? Remember, Craig Lawrence was co-founder of L & S, one of the state’s most prestigious ad agencies who basked in the state tourism contracts to the tune of millions each year during the Rounds years. Why the sudden change of heart, Craig?

3) What was the current governors involvement in all this? He seems to be distancing himself from Rounds, as his spokesman last night on KELO said that ‘Dennis is more transparent then Rounds was when it comes to economic development (sic)’ This is also strange that Dennis is quickly distancing himself from Rounds, remember Rounds bailed Dennis’ ass out on a couple of occasions (Millions in state contracts when he ran Children’s Home Society, and the Mette Indian case cover up.)

4) Which brings us to AG Jackley, what was his involvement? He obviously worked closely with Dennis and Rounds. He’s the state’s lead attorney with many tentacles and connections.

5) Then there is the SOS of state debacle, Gant throwing in the towel and Shantel Krebs stepping in. Who is Rounds communications director? None other then Mitch Krebs, Shantel’s husband.

6) And lastly, why so much infusion of money from the Chinese and Koreans?

Lots of dots, lots of tentacles, lots of secrets, lots of deception. I have a feeling this is going to get very messy, very soon.

SD Ranchers Pro-Socialism when it affects them.

Cattle killed by freak South Dakota blizzard, courtesy of CBS video.

I have been meaning to post about this, but I really couldn’t put the right words together, I think this blog post pretty much sums it up;

South Dakota ranchers, who were in favor of the government shutdown, are now bemoaning the fact that the shutdown means no federal assistance following a devastating early blizzard that wiped out much of their livestock.


What’s worse is that the ranchers don’t sound like they’ve changed their minds about the shutdown.

Rather, they think that their welfare checks from the government are the only good the government actually does.  So while the rest of the government should still be shut down for you and me, we should make an exception for them.

The LA Times reported on the freakish early blizzard, which followed 80 degree weather, a few days ago.  80,000 head of cattle were killed by the blizzard. It’s being called the states’ “worst economic disaster in decades.”  Some ranchers lost all the cattle they had.  Clearly a devastating disaster.

“We’re just a bunch of ranchers from South Dakota — it’s hard for our voices to be heard,” he said, sitting at the kitchen table at dawn Friday, drinking coffee, fielding calls from fellow cattlemen. “You see crises across the country, the hurricanes and tornadoes, and officials are right on top of it. But something of this magnitude, that has just about leveled this part of the country, and there’s nothing.”

Many residents in this conservative region had supported the government shutdown as a way to make Washington more fiscally responsible. “But one appropriate role for these guys is to lend a hand after disasters like this,” Christen said, “and they’re not here.”

No sh*t, Sherlock. What part of “you shut the government down” are you not understanding?

Always shake my head at SD conservatives who bitch about Obamacare, Medicare, SNAP, Social Security and taxes, but all of sudden when they are not getting a bailout from our SOCIALIST democracy, they cry like the little hypocritical babies they are. Suck it up Clem, it’s gonna be a long winter. Next time be careful what you ask for.

Should the minimum wage in SD be raised through initiated measure?

I say yes, but it often makes me chuckle that South Dakotans consistently support Democrats ideas in the form of initiated measures at the ballot box, but vote for Republicans to represent them. Here’s a clue, SD Voter, if you like and support Democrats ideas, maybe you should vote them in office, just a hint;

The minimum wage hike will come before South Dakota voters next year if its proponents, the South Dakota Democratic Party and two labor unions, manage to get almost 16,000 signatures by November of this year.

Of course the SD Chamber of Commerce is against it, because you know, it’s ‘complicated’

Owen, the president and CEO of the state chamber, predicted his group would oppose the minimum wage increase.

“The higher you drive this up, the more you’re going to complicate people entering the workforce,” Owen said.

What complication? Forcing employers to pay a wage (which ironically) isn’t even close to a living wage.

I am of the opinion that higher wages only boost the economy, the more money (lower income) peeps make, the more they will spend, this of course only adds more profit for businesses, which means they can pay their workers more (or at least they should). It is unfortunate you have legislate greedy business owners.

But Zach Crago, the interim executive director of the South Dakota Democratic Party, predicted a minimum wage increase would help the economy.

“It’s common knowledge that people with more money in their pockets will spend that at businesses across South Dakota,” Crago said. “That’s money that will ripple through our economy and create opportunities for all people.”

I also like the idea of tipped servers getting paid more ($4.25 per/hr) though I still think they should at least get $5 per/hr. Restaurant owners in SD and across the country have been very successful at making a lot of dough off of the backs of their poorly paid employees. The restaurant owners will of course argue that prices will have to go up if they have to pay servers more. Boloney. The fact is, what most restaurants will do is cut their service staff, which isn’t a bad thing. Servers will make more money, not just from their wages but in tips, but it also has it’s consequences, less service, but that is for the restaurant owners to decide.

I think it is wonderful if this gets on the ballot, and I think it will pass. Like I said at the beginning, Democratic ideas once again will be approved by the SD voters, while they continue to send loser Republicans to Pierre and DC.

SD #4 in the Nation for Beer Swillin’ (H/T – GP)

Just think how much of this beer drinking is Old Mil Light since they can’t afford Budweiser on their minimum wage jobs?

This week also marks the release of a new analysis of state-by-state beer consumption data from the Beer Institute, the national trade association representing America’s brewers, beer importers and industry suppliers. The annual ranking can be found in its entirety below. The analysis found that the five states that consumed the most beer per capita in 2012 were:

North Dakota – 45.8 gallons of beer consumed per person in 2012

New Hampshire  – 43.9 gallons of beer consumed per person in 2012

Montana – 41.0 gallons of beer consumed per person in 2012

South Dakota – 38.9 gallons of beer consumed per person in 2012

Wisconsin – 36.2 gallons of beer consumed per person in 2012

For the full per capita consumption ranking, please click here.