Entries Tagged 'State Legislature' ↓

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.

#HOWDUMBCANYOUBE

Legislator Youngberg is either playing dumb, or maybe he is just this stupid

Just another clown in the Pierre circus

I can’t believe nobody showed up to this obscure meeting, at a obscure time in an obscure location;

Sen. Jordan Youngberg, chair of the task force, chalked the scant testimony up to a dwindling desire to explore the subject.

“You had a lot of people that were angry and upset to the point that I got a threat they were going to burn my house down over the repeal of this,” the Madison Republican said of the responses to legislative efforts to strike IM-22 in January. “Where is that passion now to come and talk this through and move forward as a state?”

So you give little notice for a meeting, on a Tuesday afternoon, at 5 PM in some obscure room on the far NW part of town and wonder why no one is there? You are kidding right? First off, 5 PM is a horrible time for a meeting. It should have been at least after 6 PM or on a Saturday. Secondly, Tuesday night is a busy government city meeting night with informationals, committee meetings and a council meeting. With school just starting, this is also another reason why busy parents could not attend. And the location? Some room in the center of the University Center campus? It should have been held at the DT library or Carnegie (on a different night). Of course Mr. Youngberg still seems to be baffled by the attendance;

South Dakotans and others also criticized Youngberg for holding the meeting at 5 p.m. and for not doing more to advertise the event.

A press release advertising the meeting was released to local media on September 5 and was shared on the state Legislature’s website. Youngberg after the meeting said he wasn’t sure what more he could’ve done to promote the meeting.

For starters, remove your head from your ass. How do these clowns get elected? They have no clue about citizen customer service OR transparency. I have a suspicion this was done on purpose, just like most things organized by the SD GOP, CONFUSE, LIE & DENY.

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.

I guess anyone is better than Don Haggar

The governor appoints ANOTHER legislator. I don’t know how many that is in his two terms as governor, but It has to be in the high teens. Democracy at work folks.

The governor appointed Doug Barthel, former SF police chief to District 10 seat left empty by another Republican quitter Don Haggar.

I get pretty leary of former law enforcement in the state legislature. Remember the stellar term of Gene Abdallah? Yeah, that was wonderful, NOT.

I was pretty surprised to hear he was a Republican since most public servants that are not elected are independents, unless he changed his registration after he retired.

Doug had a pretty good term as Police Chief until his final years where he peddled the Mayor’s denial of a rising crime wave before the last mayoral election. He also wasn’t very honest about what happened at Tuthill Park and the ‘supposed’ shooting. A case that was dropped when he walked out the door. He also was pretty lax with the policy of police officers eating at the hospitals for free.

Doug is a nice guy and all, I just wish he would have stayed in retirement from public service.

Sioux Falls City Councilors Rolfing & Erpenbach may be proposing election changes

Yeah, worked for me, but I still want to ruin it for everyone else.

The rumors I am hearing from my Carnegie Hall moles is that this set of councilors want to change the 34% threshold to be elected to a council seat in a general election to a 51% threshold like the mayor. Not sure where this is even coming from, considering myself, or even other councilors, or the media have never thought there was a problem with the current threshold. In fact, maybe the better thing to change is to have the mayoral percentage match the council’s.

Before I get into the multiple arguments against this, let’s face it, this was cooked up by the mayor to make it harder for grassroots candidates like Stehly, Starr and Nietzert to run for office. Let’s say you win in the general but only get 40% of the vote and 2nd place has deeper pockets than you, guess who will probably win? This is clearly an elitist move, the public is certainly not that naive to think otherwise.

But let’s throw a little common sense behind this;

• A runoff election in NON-mayoral election years could cost taxpayers an extra $80K.

• It is already difficult enough to get people out to vote during a general muni election, think about getting them to come back 2-3 weeks later for a run-off.

• The state legislature, school board and the county commission all go by top vote getters.

• Ironically the two that are proposing this change are out the door this Spring and benefitted from the current set of rules. Rolfing won his first term in 2010 with 45.34% of the vote and Erpenbach won her first term in 2010 with 48.96% of the vote. If you look at other races since the 2000 municipal election, you will see that 7 other councilors won by receiving less than 51% of the vote. (DOC: runoffs)

Like I said, this is a ploy to keep the working class grass roots candidates down and the elitists with deep pockets or donors with deep pockets on the rubberstamp council.

Hopefully Rolfing and Erpenbach will have a change of heart and pull this ridiculous measure from future agendas, or they can face the music.

It’s gearing up to be an interesting week

Should South Dakota State Law change to help with wage increases

Wage collusion has been going on in Sioux Falls and the State for quite awhile. Would a change in State Law or even city ordinance that requires all employers (big and small) to show either the hourly wage or salary in an employment ad that is posted within the state or city help matters? Would it hurt?

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.

Online Petition to push for Gear UP hearings

On September 17th, 2015, South Dakotans awoke to horrific news stories of the entire 6-member Westerhuis family discovered dead in their burnt out home in Platte, brutally killed by shotgun blasts.

SIGN THE PETITION

News reports have confirmed these deaths are at the center of acknowledged corruption in the mismanagement and misuse of taxpayer monies given out in grants by the SD Department of Education. Reports are that Department of Education administrators have known for years that these taxpayer monies were not being handled properly by its contracted agent MidCentral Education Cooperative. News reports identified former and current public education officials as having received large amounts of taxpayer monies via these programs administered by MidCentral Education Cooperative; however, these programs cannot identify any Native American children who benefited from these monies specifically designated for these needy youth.

South Dakota statutory law, 2-6-2. Empowers the Government Operations and Audit Committee (GOAC) to inquire and review “any phase of the operations and the fiscal affairs of any department, institution, board, or agency of the state..” With the ability under 2-6-4. to “examine all records and vouchers, summon witnesses, and thoroughly examine all expenditures and the general management of each department.

The MidCentral Education Cooperative was contracted and answerable to the South Dakota Department of Education to administer these taxpayer monies. They were agents of the Department of Education and a contractual entity of the Department of Education. Accordingly, the Joint Legislative GOAC has authority to conduct hearings and demand answers of the Department of Education and its agents in this admitted corruption surrounding taxpayer monies, in order to seek corrective legislative actions to address this infamous corruption of SD government.

We, the signatories of this petition, hereby call for Senate President Pro Tem Brock Greenfield (R-Clark), Senate Majority Leader Blake Curd (R-Sioux Falls), Senate Minority Leader Billie Sutton (D-Burke) House Speaker Mark Mickelson (R-Sioux Falls), House Majority Leader Lee Qualm (R-Platte), and House Minority Leader Spencer Hawley (D-Brookings) to require immediate public hearings be held by the GOAC into this notorious corruption responsible for the murders of Kailey (9), Jaeci (10), Connor (14), and Michael (16) Westerhuis.