Corruption is illegal in America? When did this happen? Who knows this? If this is true, who snuck this into the rule book? Does South Dakota use this rule book? Does Sioux Falls count? Anybody let the Sioux Falls City Attorney and pseudo Ethics Board know anything about this?
So many questions and no answers even though the voters of South Dakota tried to do something about it last November when they voted overwhelmingly to begin the effort to open up the books for all to see. The Sioux Falls Democratic Forum put the Open Government efforts on the wall for all to see when they invited Represent South Dakota to address the crowd on January 13, 2017.
Doug Kronaizl and Mark Winegar of Represent SD brings a message of ethics and responsibility to reality for all to see.
We are in a time when those who are in power are struggling to shut out everyone else. We voters are stupid, gullible, uninformed and hoodwinked for demanding our “leaders” be open in all ways if they are chosen to be help us. Being an officeholders does not mean we give you the keys to the treasury to do as you please. It does not mean you are to take everything so the next officeholder has to start from scratch.
In the November vote, the voters said we do not fully trust our officeholders or as Saint Ronnie liked to say, “Trust but verify”.
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.
The only person who made the decision to register as an independent was Mike. But he may not have had a choice. Over the past year there has been many prominent Democrats considering asking him to leave the party, ironically for the reasons he told us why he was leaving; he’s not a Democrat. This has been obvious for a while and came to its climax yesterday.
Even if Mike would have chosen to remain in the party, I don’t think he would be helping them much, and vice versa. I think Mike’s chances of winning in Congress have increased by registering Independent. But I don’t think he has a shot at becoming Governor as an Independent.
I think the Dems should look at this as a blessing in disguise. Instead dealing with this sociopath, they will have a chance to put up a solid (Democratic) candidate, and let Mike steal votes from the Republican (because that is what he will do). The Dems might actually have a shot at the congressional seat in 2018, thanks to Mike Huether after all.
Oh look, let’s see what’s behind the curtain, nothing but excuses, promises and bluster in Vermillion, SD. Try they might, the “established” SD Democratic Party continues to hold listening sessions. These sessions are comprised of mostly listening the same crap from the same people. It’s as if the Listening Tour of the party brass is being done to convince those in attendance to give them one more chance. Why?
Notice how Cameraman Bruce captured the party chairwoman blathering on about how great the leadership did. What? Where? The people who won and the winning ballot issues happened in spite of the things they did. The audience did not show up to hear central office excuses or rationalizations for continuing the crappy job being done.
Several candidates stood and talked but it appears they got little or no help in coordinating anything. Local efforts received no storefronts, no legwork, no leaving Sioux Falls office and no use of offered services they could not control. The only thing they were able to do is lose seats in the legislature in and election and cause the loss of the Democratic stronghold District 15 senate seat. Nice work and they all got raises.
The party could not even get together to build a bowel movement much less flush any corruption down a toilet. There are words for the show they are putting on and we don’t think this is the place for them.
Playing Facebook games and ignoring sage advice from people who have actually won elections is not going to bring the SD Democratic Party back to life. The only consolation to this dog and pony show is knowing the SD Republican Party is heading down the same path and they do not seem to recognize it.
Another, South Dakota, Alt-Right, Neo-Con makes us proud. What makes me laugh, is all the labels and prejudice aside, she is really ignorant. Even if she is trying to make a point about being a phobe, she doesn’t understand being a phobe.
Most may tell you that they don’t take loans out from pay day lenders for gambling but for rent. Which is probably true, because what usually happens is they spend their paycheck on gambling then don’t have money over for rent.
It will be interesting to see if Video Lottery revenue goes down due to the fact people won’t be able to get quick cash. I suspect in the first year it will probably be around 15% percent, but I think within the 2nd year, you are going to see revenue way down due to the closure of pay day lenders.
Maybe it is time to eliminate VL once and for all?
Full Report: I attended the SDDP’s E-Board and Central Committee meeting in Mitchell on Saturday (12/10/2016). I was not in the room for any Quorum count but I am sure they had a Quorum for both meetings. I counted 13 counties toward the Quorum for the Central Committee plus a number of people I didn’t recognize. Electronic attendance was allowed too, though no notice was given.
Ann Tornberg acknowledged things went badly in November but she has no intention of stepping down. She never misses an opportunity to remind listeners that she was elected to a four-year term two years ago.
The Budget was presented to the E-Board without much discussion. Niblink congratulated the Party for having a $100,000.00 cash surplus at year-end without any material liabilities against it. The meeting then adjourned to executive session to discuss salaries. This lasted at least an hour. ( Not being an E-Board member, I toured the Discovery Museum. (Interesting Museum. I recommend it.)
Meeting reconvened. The Budget was approved without much discussion. (I learned two days later that they approved $10,000.00 in staff salary increases in executive session). (I guess this was a reward for the poor results in November Ann alluded to.) (The SDDP has 4 staff people, three subsidized by DNC at $2500.00 per month.)
The Black Hills area was promised their own office by Ann when she was elected Chair in December 2014. A motion was made to honor this commitment but it was tabled for further study. Ann reported on the listening sessions the Party has held. She said the take away was that we need a coherent message. She plans to hold more. She also announced she would not be working for the Democratic Caucus this session but instead planned to attend County Party meetings wherever they are.
Central Committee Meeting:
Was carbon copy of E-board meeting except that 1) no mention during Budget approval of staff salary increases.. 2) I pointed out that it shouldn’t be considered an accomplishment to have a $100,000.00 cash surplus at the end of an election cycle; that the SDDP was not a profit making operation but was supposed to elect Democrats to office and I suggested that such a balance is evidence of poor planning. Staff responded that Republicans have a $300,000.00 surplus and that the SDDP didn’t spend the money because it wasn’t budgeted for. Someone then suggested perhaps they should have a process to approve spending when the SDDP has more cash than they budgeted for.
3) New Budget has projected a surplus of $56,000.00. So I asked if I was correct in understanding that the $100,000.00 surplus and the $56,000.00 surplus projected for 2017 meant the SDDP would end up with a $156,000.00 surplus at the end of next year. I was told this was correct. A discussion then followed about setting aside money for Statewide Candidates. It was discouraged by Ann and nothing happened. 4) Then followed a discussion of the Black Hills office again with Leonard, Pennington County chair on the phone obviously pushing hard for a commitment. Tom Katus had a written proposal from Joe Lowe which was handed out. Finally, a motion was adopted “To commit to a study of the proposal and report back at the next meeting” (probably in February).
Oh! And Tom Cool never missed an opportunity to remind the group that the squares on the Party’s organizational chart have been assigned responsibilities which they need to perform. Or else.
Props to Kelli Volk at KELO-TV for doing research on our open records rules in our state and others. It seems Law Enforcement is reacting to our local laws when it comes to Marsy’s Law, more then the actual rules of Marsy’s Law.
In both California and Illinois, when the law took effect it was business as usual. But both of those states have much different open records laws than in South Dakota.
California’s law says public information is a “fundamental and necessary right for every person in the State.” The law in Illinois says “all persons are entitled to full and complete information.”
South Dakota’s open records law says records are public, “unless any other statute, ordinance or rule expressly provides that information or records may not be made public.”
And Marsy’s Law has one line that may do just that. It gives victims the right to prevent some information from being made public if it could be used to locate or harass the victim or the victim’s family.
It seems the way to fix the transparency issue with reporting crimes comes down to changing our state’s open records laws not changing Marsy’s Law.
The pure unbridled arrogance of our ONE-party morons in Pierre is disgusting, and further proof that the one-party rule system is NOT working for our state, in fact it is putting us DEAD last for ethics and corruption;
Never mind that South Dakota was the only state in the union without such restrictions and one of only eight without an ethics commission, leading the Pulitzer Prize-winning Center for Public Integrity to give the Mount Rushmore State a national rank of 47th in deterring government corruption.
The SD GOP seems to take pride in being last. Whether that is pay for teachers, or quite frankly many professions, like nursing, or for rating as the most corrupt, or the defiance of green energy, they are more worried about protecting their free meals and benefits to their businesses then doing the work of the people, because it seems the people are an annoyance to them;
Even more intriguing is the reaction of the state’s Republican establishment to this development.
When citizens express concern about government transparency and the response is to question their intelligence for passing a law that addresses it, what does that make the people in charge of running our state?
Misinformed, to put it mildly.
Well, when your head is up your ass 99% of the time, it’s hard to be informed about most things.
SIOUX FALLS – A six-game winning streak came to a heartbreaking end when the University of Sioux Falls Men’s Basketball Team (12-9, 8-5 NSIC) dropped a 68-67 decision to Minnesota State (13-6, 8-5 NSIC) on Friday night before 1,109 in attendance at the Stewart Center. USF, playing shorthanded without senior captain Mack Johnson, led by […]
South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard has ordered flags at the State Capitol be flown at half-staff on Saturday, Jan. 21, to honor the life of former legislator Kenneth George “Kenny” McNenny of Sturgis, who died on Jan. 17.