Entries Tagged 'South Dakotans' ↓

Its time to allow micro-breweries in SD to distribute their own beer, and, time to raise the alcohol tax

I know what you are thinking, a few contradictions there, but not really. I have often believed a tax hike in alcohol would actually help the bar business and give property tax payers a little relief from paying for criminals.

First the distribution issue. Distributors are clearly fighting this because of greed. But they have their excuses;

Distributors, meanwhile, said allowing craft breweries to work as producer, distributor and retailer in some capacity could create problems for the state in collecting tax revenue and for consumers in ensuring their beer meets quality standards.

Breweries would still be paying taxes and as for the quality issue, that is silly. Distributors ARE NOT testing the quality of the product, if they were Coors Light would no longer be available 🙂 This is clearly a way for distributors to reap a commission for basically doing nothing but acting like a keg taxi. Distributors would still be in the picture anyway for mass distribution. All brewers are asking is to brew more beer and sell it from their locations.

As for increasing the alcohol tax, I agree 100% with Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth that it is silly that property tax payers are footing the bill for crimes related to alcohol. I think if alcohol taxes increase, liquor stores and bars will charge more, which in turn could mean bigger profits and less consumption, which means less crime. MPR has a great story about this.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the cost of excessive alcohol use is $2.05 per drink — costs that create financial burdens for federal, state and local governments.

“Currently, federal and state taxes do not even come close to covering those costs,” said Dr. Timothy Naimi, author of a recent article study on state alcohol excise taxes. “Public health is a strong rationale for alcohol taxation. … If we don’t recover the costs related to alcohol sales, then it amounts to a subsidy for people who drink, and who drink excessively.”

I don’t think the habits of casual drinkers would change with a tax increase, but I do think it would help to curb reckless drinking.

STATE of Denial . . . Literally

I like to keep things professional in Pierre. I never tell my male counterparts when I am going to the bathroom.

Grandpa Cheapskate Denny still stands by his assertion that South Dakota voters are too stupid to pass laws but somehow seem to be smart enough to continue to elect ignorant Republicans that pass stupid laws we must amend and appeal through the initiated process. Someone is certainly stupid here, we just don’t know who it is;

22 was repealed by the legislature with the governor’s blessing. I asked him, over a year later, if he still believes repealing a vote that was the will of the people was the right thing to do and he says…..yes. “It’s really hard for a voter to look at a 30 page bill….30 page initiated measure and draw a conclusion about whether it’s good or bad.”

The governor says changes for transparency should be the result of the legislative process working….not the result of an initiated measure which the governor says doesn’t allow much room for change or modification. “That doesn’t exist in an initiated measure. All you’ve got is a yes or a no. You can’t amend it. You can’t shorten it. You can’t add to it. It’s yes or no.”

First off, when it comes to anti-corruption rules in Pierre, we certainly can’t wait around for the Republican controlled legislature in both houses to act, that is why the voters came up with IM 22. And secondly, the legislature didn’t amend IM22, they annihilated it. It’s easy for Denny to talk so openly about how stupid South Dakota voters are, he doesn’t have to worry about re-election. Oh, and speaking of transparency Denny, are you going to ever tell the public why you terminated Jason Dilges? Better not, it might smear the clean and wholesome view you and Michaels have of your fine city.

Speaking of being clean and wholesome, Deb Peters backs up Lt. Gov. Michaels assertion that Pierre is Mayberry on steroids;

The woman credited with facilitating an upcoming sexual-harassment training session for legislators, state Sen. Deb Peters, told the Journal that recent sexual misconduct scandals in state government are isolated incidents and are not indicative of a cultural problem.

“It’s not acceptable behavior and never should be acceptable behavior,” said Peters, a Republican from Hartford. “But do I think it’s systematic of the system? No, absolutely not. It’s an anomaly.”

Then this married woman with children admits she doesn’t hang out at the bars or hear stories about the incidents. First off, if you are not present when these incidents are taking place, how can you call it an anomaly? Secondly, how many male lawmakers are going to tell you about all the sexual harassing they were doing the night ? Peters really lives in some kind of bubble.

This line made me laugh the most;

Peters said Wollmann was “sent out to the wolves.”

I wonder if the wolves took him in?

South DaCola Podcast 11: Year in Review

We give a go at what has happened in the past year in the city, state and country. Listen HERE.

Here is the official list;

SD Supreme Court rules against the city of Sioux Falls in Events Center siding settlement. City moves forward with an independent siding review.

SD State legislature repeals IM22

EB-5 and Gear Up scandals get buried

A majority of the Lincoln County Commission and Lincoln County voters vote down wind power

Badlands Pawn and Speedway close, blame Rate Cap vote

OSHA levies $200K in fines as the Feds conduct a criminal investigation. City approves a $50 million dollar partnership with the very people involved with investigation

Mayor helps to kill districting the parks board AND recording the meetings

City gifts (some) land to the Glory House

SD Legislator Wollman resigns over sex allegations, Gene Abdallah tells accuser to ‘Go to Hell’ – Pierre becomes the sexual harassment capital of South Dakota

REMSA uses secret ambulance codes – says public and elected officials are too dumb to understand

Sioux Falls School District/Board uses slanted survey as excuse to change school start date

Long time city planner Steve Metli passes – local media treats his legacy like he built the Great Wall of China

Judge Pekas orders a McKennan Park house be torn down, moved or fixed – SD Supreme Court has reviewed ruling, we are awaiting a verdict

Mayor Huether uses taxpayer money to figure out who is behind the fake mayoral twitter account, he is unsuccessful

Cynthia Mickelson spends over $6 a vote to be elected to SF school board setting a record for money raised ($20K). School district limits voting and has NO northern precincts

Mayor and council deny SFPD back pay

Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin becomes president of Augustana University

Uptown II Project (Cascades) gets approved by city council with a TIF, 12 years after first proposed

SF Thrive Report states the obvious – low wages and lack of higher learning are contributing to the need for affordable housing

Annexation Task Force switches gears on annexing islands, islands ironically created by over annexation of land and urban sprawl over the past 7 years

Sales Tax revenue continues to be down in SF

SFFD Chief retires, gets charged with possessing child porn, gets to keep city pension. Court date pending.

Rental registry inspections FAILS, city council votes down proposal

Flopdation Park finally gets first tenant, Ice Cream warehouse

Pavilion appoints a Youth pastor cartoonist as director of Visual Arts and Science Center. Longtime Operations manager resigns.

Patrick Lalley replaces Knobe on KSOO

SF School district approves $50 million opt-out with little public input. Petition drive for repeal fails

KELO TV reporter Perry Groton grows new hair

Hats still banned during public input at Carnegie Town Hall, bandanas are allowed

Annette Bosworth’s perjury charges are dropped – medical board still pursues taking her license away

Snubbed landowner in SF puts up FUSF sign

Garth Brooks takes $7 million out of local economy

ARC of Dreams changes design, cost goes up to $1.6 million and the mayor approved temporary easement without telling the city council or public

Longtime city politician, Bob Jamison passes away

Former School Board President Doug Morrison gets 6-figure job with district, he’s charged with eliminating wasteful spending

Eight Candidates are running for Mayor of SF in 2018

Sioux Falls Little League makes it to the World Series, loses all of their games

SF School district admits open enrollment has caused segregation of classes, still waiting for a solution

South DaCola announces sister website search engine, sfmeetings.org

SF city councilors Rolfing and Erpenbach convince council and mayor to change council races from a plurality to a majority

Right on Red signs are removed – bike community freaks

Sister City Potsdam Mayor visits SF – breaks city ordinance and smokes a cigarette in a park at German Fest

SF Parks Director Don Kearney lies about NO mowing lists – never apologizes to public or media

Midco Aquatic Center celebrates 1st anniversary, has a $400k operating deficit, attendance down

SF City attorney leaves before the Huether ship sinks

City golf course RFP secrecy causes issues with equipment transfer

LYFT comes to Sioux Falls, deal struck in secrecy

Pavilion contract renewed without a city audit in 12 years

 

Do South Dakota Legislators deserve a raise?

If you were asking me that question as their direct employer, I would answer ‘NO’ and probably fire about 90% of them based on job performance.

But let’s play along and pretend they actually get things done.

I would be OK with a 3-5% raise, but not 70%.

It really is our legislators fault they haven’t implemented some kind of system to give themselves automatic raise/decline each year, not the voters. To blatantly ask for a 70% raise at one time is ridiculous.

I have even argued that $6,000 a year is pretty good (they also receive per diem, mileage) and if they are smart they would receive 3 FREE squares a day from the different lobbyist groups.

You have to realize, for the average representative this is only about 40 days. $150 a day is probably around the average individual salary in SD ($39K).

Also, part of the problem is the location of the Capital. A lot of people who have regular day jobs struggle to participate because you have to venture to bum-f’ck Pierre in the middle of winter. Embracing a little technology would go a long way. It reminds me of when Rounds had a fleet of airplanes at his disposal and people wondered why he had to be at meetings in person and didn’t do more teleconferencing. I think the legislature should extend the session to 60 days. I also don’t think they should start business until 3 PM Mountain time and work until 9 or 10 PM. This would only work if legislators with no leadership or committee duties could vote and follow along with the session VIA the internet on a closed circuit channel and could also debate the issues VIA their cell phones. It would get more working class legislators involved, save the state buckets of money and most importantly working class voters could watch and follow the sessions at night if they wanted to. This 40 days in the dead of winter in the middle of nowhere is why our legislature gets away with practically murder each year. Nobody is watching the ruling class of businessmen that make up our legislature, that’s the real issue, not pay. Ironically the ‘night’ sessions would solve another problem Pierre has, the nightly drinking and sniffing around.

The legislature should get a raise, but they need to be logical about it, something that is lacking in Pierre.

Recreational Marijuana Petition, What Happened?

The only POT that is legal in SD.

Only a few months ago, I was told that things with the REC petition were doing very good, even better than the medical petition.

Apparently that is NOT the case today.

Do I think I was lied to? Not at all. It seems what is evident today is that the circulators who promised to circulate didn’t follow through. Trust me it happens, I have seen it with local petition drives. That is why when I take a sheet, I don’t make any promises.

But what worries me more is that there seemed to be a bigger effort to get signatures for medical marijuana first (they did submit enough initially, but may not have enough to be certified). Let’s say that the medical petition is certified and does make the ballot, I still don’t give it much chance of passing.

Why is that?

As I have told the past two campaigns on this topic, people don’t want to fiddle around looking for a doctor to prescribe them medical marijuana, or hold a card, etc, etc. And recreational smokers don’t consider it fair either. People just want to go to the corner Jane store, pick up their weed and use it. Is it really anyone’s business if that is for pain, meditation and self-reflection or to simply just get high and check out for awhile?

Theirre efforts should have been full boar into getting rec on the ballot, it would have passed. Medical, I guess we will see.

Want to reduce opiod use? Marijuana.

A recent news report says that Sanford Health is researching alternatives to opiod pain relief and reducing there usage.

One word; Marijuana.

And I am not talking about the medical stuff they have to make syrup out of, I’m talking about good old natural THC. Either vape it or get it in an edible. It has been a natural pain reliever for thousands of years. And here’s why the medical community and big pharma doesn’t like it.

Unlike prescription drugs that are often made from dangerous highly addictive chemicals, Marijuana can be grown at home without a prescription from a doctor.

Obviously, it cannot be used for extreme pain but it can help with minor aches and pains, relieves spasms, increases appetite and can relieve minor stress and depression.

Like any drug overuse can cause problems, uh like, laziness and laughing a little too much. There is NO record of anyone dying from an overdose of Marijuana, but can cause anxiety in some people.

Why the medical community doesn’t study this natural drug more is beyond me.

There is a good chance that on Monday valid petitions will be turned in for Recreational Marijuana to be put on the ballot in 2018. I think it will pass with over 55% of the vote if it makes the ballot.

We not only need to embrace this like other states have for pain relief but the sale of recreational marijuana could change state funding like nothing before and has shown to reduce crime and criminal justice spending.

Enough goofing around with dangerous chemicals and skyrocketing crime, South Dakota needs to embrace the legalization of Marijuana.

 

South DaCola Podcast 8: Legislator & Mayoral Candidate Greg Jamison

We touched on the upcoming legislative session, Greg’s run for mayor, and a few ghost stories.

A new wind (smell) may be blowing over South Dakota in 2018

There are many stories circulating about the initiatives and referendums ‘circulating’ the state, but one seems to be standing out. I am hearing that ‘recreational’ marijuana is doing very well.

I have also personally opined that if rec gets on the ballot, it will pass. I wouldn’t even be surprised if it gets as high as 56% of the vote.

Besides the fact that people who smoke or have no problem with people who smoke voting for the initiative, there are many who don’t want to go through a prescription process to get the pain relief they need from a natural occurring drug. So who else would vote for rec use? Educators would get a dedicated 40% in revenue from the sale of the product. That could easily infuse over $20 million in the first year. There is also all the savings in law enforcement and incarceration, which should make police and state’s attorneys across our state very happy.

The only argument recently gaining steam against legal rec is ‘drug’ driving. Guess what, drinking and driving will still kill more people each year than any other kind of drug use. That and whether or not you are legally smoking and purchasing marijuana or not, just like drinking and driving, making it a legal product doesn’t change whether people will drive while using it.

Of course our last hurdle will be if our state legislature and AG will let this legally be put on the ballot, and if it passes, let it become state law. Like IM 22, if they override this, it would quite possibly be one of the stupidest things they have ever done (I know, where do we begin on that list).

Unlike Marsy’s Law and IM 22, the legislature, the citizens, the business community, and law enforcement best get ready, legal rec marijuana could be a stark reality next Fall in SD, instead of meddling with it or f’ing up this opportunity, let’s embrace it.

South Dakota Middle Class left behind, working more

What we have known for awhile, the gap between rich and poor in SD getting wider;

6. South Dakota
> Middle class income growth 2011-2015: 5.0% (23rd lowest)
> Fifth quintile income growth: 9.8% (13th highest)
> Fifth quintile share of income: 48.2% (8th lowest)
> Middle class household income: $53,266 (23rd lowest)

South Dakota has one of the healthiest economies in the country. Only 2.8% of the state’s labor force is out of a job, the second lowest state unemployment rate in the country. In addition to a healthy job market, incomes are more evenly distributed in South Dakota than in most other states.

This may not remain the case for much longer, however. In the last five years, incomes among the middle 20% of earners have increased by only 5.0%, slightly slower than the 5.3% income growth among comparable households nationwide. Meanwhile, incomes among the wealthiest 20% of households in the state have gone up by 9.8%, higher than the comparable 8.4% average national income growth in the top quintile.

Cameraman Bruce weighs in

An open Note to Mayor Mike Huether

Nice try trying to snow us on a hot July day as the roads are blowing apart from your poor planning. The heat buckles caused by doing superficial street repair in an effort to save money for your precious play palaces. Many have warned you for years to reconsider wasting the second penny sales tax on bond payments.

The 6,500 who signed our petitions in 2016 were trying to warn you about wasting money on the Romantix Annex Administration Building because sales tax revenue was already faltering.

The arrogance of taking the refunded levee bond money and saying it was free cash to spend on a swimming pool so you could do a cannonball on our dreams of smoother roads.

You started out by deceitfully planning to be open about contracts and plans for Sioux Falls’ future. The Events Center is a case in point. We have been witness to your backroom deals and special arrangements to suck money out of Sioux Falls, never to be seen again. I can’t even imagine the millions that will be flying out the door with 6 sold out Garth shows.

What could Sioux Falls do with the $20 – $30 million per year now being spent on bond payments for your vanity projects?

Your vanity projects have cost many areas of Sioux Falls their future. As Rex Rolfing said at the recent Informational, projects have been moved to the 41st legislative day, effectively killing them.

What a legacy. Only you cast the deciding votes to create your vision of a boom town and as all boom towns go, there is a bust to follow. A new mayoral style coming not soon enough will be saddled with your poor decisions.

Billie Sutton’s Campaign

I’ve got friends in LOW PLACES called the Dem Party and their EX FACES in the executive office . . .

After all the Democratic party policy rejections by Billie Sutton over the years why would he run as a Democrat? The meetings I have been in where he has spoken he comes across as a west river hick who uses the FOX news Rush Limbaugh terminology at every stop. If you are claiming to be something, be it.

His decision to bring in Susie as his campaign pro is a sure sign of defeat.