Sioux Falls City Council is being sued over how they handled Neitzert’s Ethics Hearing

It looks like the paperwork was filed on October 15th.

ENTIRE DOCUMENT

Basically Mr. Cunningham is filing a writ of certiorari because he was NOT allowed to present evidence during the hearing is asking for a new one. If you read the linked PDF above you will see that John cites city ordinance that says he should have been allowed to present evidence with his legal counsel, he was not. He is saying the council performed an illegal hearing, and in my humble opinion, I agree;

It gets better though, because in the city’s consent agenda on Tuesday night they are hiring private counsel for this;

UPDATE: Mayor TenHaken and the Sioux Falls City Council continue their ‘HATEFEST’ on Transparency and Open Government

UPDATE: As you can see the council and mayor are moving forward with their plans (Items #40-41) on a night when most people will be paying attention to the election. The items are also misleading because in the titles it says NOTHING about moving public input or meeting time moving. Only if you read the red notes you will see the changes.

This change could also be construed as unconstitutional in the public input ordinance;

Notice that currently public input at the beginning of the meetings doesn’t allow you to comment on pending business coming up in the rest of the meeting, which is also unconstitutional, but they are saying with this NEW ordinance that you can’t comment on what happened during the meeting though the items have already been voted on and the business of those items is closed. The SCOTUS has ruled very recently that you can discuss ANY city business at public input whether it is on an agenda or not. I think they said as long as a citizen is commenting on business that is ‘germane’ to that government body, it is allowable. I guess now the Mayor thinks he knows better than the Supreme Court. Not only do they suck at transparency, they are getting very sloppy legal advice.

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I just found out this afternoon that the mask mandate isn’t the only controversy coming on Tuesday. There are two items that will probably get first readings on Tuesday night also that have not been presented to the public in an informational, which is no surprise. I knew that both of these were coming after Stehly’s seat was bought by the banksters and developer welfare queens, and they have to do with shackling citizens;

• The first is a move rumored to be brought forward by Councilors Erickson and Jensen that would move the regular council meetings to 6 PM. This of course would give citizens very little time from when they get off of work to attend the meetings on time in person and an obvious assault on open government.

• The second is rumored to be proposed by Mayor TenHaken himself to move public input to the end of the meetings.

I have no doubt both will get the 5 votes they need to pass. These actions come after just a few weeks ago the Mayor ended the traditional mayor/director meetings with council leadership on Friday mornings and also the move to remove red notes from ordinances that are being changed.

This of course is NO surprise since this mayor and council has had a full on assault on transparency and their hatred of open government and more importantly citizen input and advocacy. They despise more than anything else and won’t be happy until they lop off the citizens rights to dissent their government, or at least make it more challenging to do so.

Messing with public input and citizens rights to advocate for themselves is a whole new level of disgusting behavior by this administration and city council. I would ask if they have any shame, but you know the answer.

So why are they so Hellbent on silencing the public? Because they have several plans to hand over MORE of your tax dollars to the elite who fund their campaigns and they are tired of the public making that process messy and in the open.

And if you think the steamrolling won’t happen, wait until Starr leaves the council (hopefully) and they replace him with another rubberstamper.

Prepare for your taxes and fees to rise exponentially while your voice and services get stifled. This is what happens when you let a non-partisan government get controlled by political hacks of the Republican Fascist Party with no governing experience and deep, deep, deep hatred of citizen activism and transparency.

We have a virus destroying our city alright, and the only way to stop it is with lots of Sunshine.

2020 Election Predictions

I’m not going to do endorsements since most of you have already made up your minds, but I will go over a few predictions;

In the presidential election, I have no doubt that Trump will win South Dakota and get our 3 electoral votes (even if one of the electors is hiding under a rock while there is an ongoing(?) investigation). But I do believe Biden will take Minnehaha County with at least 52% of the vote. It’s unfortunate that all the hayseeds in our state don’t wise up.

I also think Biden will take the popular vote nationwide, I actually think he will get at least 10-20 million more votes then Trump. The sticky part is the swing states and the electoral college. It looks as though Biden still has a route to electoral victory even if he loses Florida and Texas. I agree with Biden on this one, he needs to fight to the end and hope it rings true. No matter who wins the Presidential election it is time for us to rid ourselves of the electoral college. This will be a hard fight, because the red rural states, like ourselves, will fight it.

I also think the Dems will keep the House and flip the Senate, with at least 2 extra seats.

Locally, I think Kelly Sullivan (D13) and Michael Sabe (D9) will be re-elected to serve in the state legislature.

While the SD GOP has been like attack dogs on Pat Starr with false allegations and flat out ridiculous lies, I think most people support him for Minnehaha County Treasurer. It will be close, and the only reason is because of straight ticket Republican voters. But I think he will pull it off with at least 52% of the vote or higher. I also wonder why his opponent has gotten virtually ZERO endorsements from the party she belongs to? The unfortunate part is we will miss him on the Sioux Falls City Council, and I can’t even fathom what person will be recruited to be appointed to serve out his remaining 3 years. I wouldn’t doubt that the RS6 already have some people lined up in case Pat leaves. It’s going to be a very lonely place for Councilor Brekke. But on the bright side, I think Pat will continue the same level of ‘personal’ customer service Nelson has provided, but make it even better with more advances in technology. I think if there is ever a perfect replacement for Pam it is Pat.

I have no doubt that Medical Mary will pass with at least 65% of the vote or higher, I also have NO doubt the State Legislature will gut the initiative just like they did with IM22 and make it almost impossible for you to get a prescription for MJ and even if you do, good luck finding a provider for your script. So why would the Legislature do this, well, because they are a bunch little whiny bi*chs that only are for things if it makes them money, it has little to do with them being a bunch of right wing radical wing nuts. Just look at the crying game they played when their personal businesses couldn’t get their hands on the Rona money. Do you really think a beer distributor was suffering during this pandemic? Puhhhhlleeese. That money should have been distributed to individuals across the state instead of low wage employers who may or may not trickle it down to the rest of us. But you know the line from these peeps, they used it frequently in 2008 when raises were not forthcoming, “You should just consider yourself lucky you have a job.” While they take massive tax write-offs for a temporary loss in profit. Sorry, kind of went down a rabbit hole on that one, but like I said, our Republican controlled legislature won’t do anything unless they can line their pockets, and there is NO money in Medical Mary.

As for Recreational Mary, I think it will squeak out a victory, but it will be tight and we may not know the results for several days. My only confidence that this will pass is from what I am seeing in polling. The polling has stayed consistent at that 51% since this summer. I also find some confidence in the fact that only 44% are against with 5% undecided. I think this campaign was well-organized and well-funded compared to the past, and I also think the green wave across the country is changing people’s minds about legalization. Also, if you are 21 or older, you may not have to worry about IM26 getting gutted, because you can go and buy the good stuff without a script. Yes folks, believe it or not, pot makes you feel good, whether you are suffering from pain, terminal cancer, seizures or you just want to relax, and believe it or not, while addiction can be an issue with it, the side affects of casual use are far, far, far less than legal drugs like alcohol and opiates.

I do think the legislature will do everything in their power to regulate the sh*t out of the legalization since they can’t kill it because it is a Constitutional Amendment, but I think the biggest uphill battle will be cities having the ability to regulate zoning, and your only choice may be growing your own plants. I think this is foolish for a number of reasons, first the obvious, WHY IN THE HELL DID BRENDAN JOHNSON GIVE CITIES SO MUCH POWER?!! When I read this in the Amendment, I just shook my head, this is what happens when you have moderate to right Democrats write laws, a milky, watery substance is produced, secondly, cities would be wise to embrace this revenue, because I can guarantee if NO dispensaries exist in our state people will continue to purchase on the black market or simply buy in Colorado. In other words we would lose out on the tax revenue. Even if that all occurs, fortunately we will benefit from the justice costs involved with it, I think counties across the state will save millions by not arresting, prosecuting and jailing MJ users. As for the myth that traffic fatalities will go up, this has been proved in other states that is only a myth. And why? Because legalization is NOT going to automatically create a bunch of new users who will be driving. I actually find this argument the most egregious, South Dakota has some of the most lax DUI laws in the nation. If we are soooooo concerned about intoxicated drivers in our state, maybe we need to make those laws tougher? I know people who have gotten between 3-7 DUI’s and never spent a day in state prison. Why is that? Because of the alcohol lobby in our state, which controls our state legislature. If the Chamber, and the State Medical Association is so concerned about this, maybe they should focus on making those laws stricter . . . oh, that’s right, they haven’t done a damn thing! Kettle, meet black.

By the end of next week, I think our country and state will be turned upside down by this election and I think it will be weeks before we learn who will win in a lot of these races. Remember, the Electoral College doesn’t need to ratify the votes until December 8th, so put your big kid pants on, cuz it’s going to get hairy over the next month.

Will the Sioux Falls City Council Proposed Mask Mandate put Mayor Stoneless in a Pickle?

As you may or may not know, Mayor TenHaken has to break ties on the council, and he may have to exercise one of his toughest next Tuesday or the following Tuesday. Next week is the first reading of the Sioux Falls mask mandate proposed by Councilors Mutt and Jeff, uh, I mean, Soehl and Kiley. If you count the votes on the council, it looks like they have a solid four votes that approve of the mandate in Starr, Brekke, Kiley and Soehl and probably a definitive NO in Councilor Erractickson and probably her ethically challenged lap dog Nutzert. Jensen and Selberg will be your swing votes on this. I could think either would cave to save the mayor from having to vote on this, if not both, but as of right now, it looks like he will have to break the tie. My prediction is he will vote against it, because he is so scared of the business community in town and Noem. What is ironic about this is, I actually agree with Soehl, if you want to see your businesses continue to stay open, especially during the busy holiday season, a mask mandate will help with this. You never know, the business community may finally give their blessing to this mandate after all.

Where I am on the fence is, is it is going to be very, very, very difficult to enforce this. Police officers will literally have to catch you in the act of NOT wearing a mask, I compare it to our useless fireworks within city limits ordinances. While I think putting the mandate on the books is good, I think the enforcement needs to be handled different. I actually think businesses should have the right to hire security and BAN people who won’t wear a mask. This of course brings us to the Constitutionality of mask mandates.

I believe it is well within the Constitutional rights of any private business or non-profit to mandate masks. It’s called FREE enterprise. I have often believed that private retailers and restaurants can limit who they do business with (as long as they are not discriminating because of protected class-obviously non-mask wearers doesn’t fall into those classes), and I think this is how the ordinance should be written, allowing them to require masks and if anyone refuses the violators can charged with trespassing instead of a mask violation. Where I think it violates constitutional rights is requiring masks in public, like in parks, on the sidewalk, etc. I think the city can limit mask use in Public buildings with a health exemption, but outside in public spaces, that’s a little tricky and doesn’t pass the civil rights smell test.

I also think with the way the Home Rule Charter is written, it will be hard to get someone to pay a citation, I think a trespassing violation would be a lot easier to collect on. I think if they do issue citations, they should be warnings only. This pandemic will soon pass, and chasing people down for mask fines or even trespassing after the virus is managed seems a bit of overkill and not worth the taxpayer expense, you know, kind of like destroying people’s records for smoking a joint.

There is going to be a lot of ‘bull’ thrown around over the next couple of weeks about this, and to be quite honest, I think we are too late on this, but I guess anything can help at this point. But we need to craft this carefully not to trample civil rights.

Is Amendment ‘A’ a ‘Secret Plot’ to ban gun ownership in South Dakota?

If you thought the lies the radical right wingnuts were spreading about Pat Starr were outrageous, it gets even better. While they may not be lying about what the ATF says about marijuana drug use, I have to say this is a pretty big steeretcccch;

In the current version of form 4473, on the BATF website, Question 21e, it asks firearm purchasers “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance? Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.”

First off folks, whether recreational Mary Jane becomes legal in our state or not, I’m sure it will have ZERO affect on gun owners who currently use or will use in the future. It would be like telling out-of-state hunters we won’t issue them licenses anymore if they are drinking while hunting or enjoying some ‘ladies of the night’ after the hunt. I can just hear Bob the Banker from West Virginia, “Do you think I come to South Dakota every year to hunt a dumb Chinese bird that tastes like crap!? I come to hunt alright, but it’s a different kind of tail.”

So while the law may be factual and true, I doubt many gun owners will be calling the ATF to let them know that they are now buying pot legally instead of off the black market.

This is the kind of ridiculous crap the extreme radical right opposition cooks up, and what makes it even more funny is they think it will deter people. The people who already think like you are already voting against Amendment A, guns or not.

But hey, as I told someone today, one more reason to vote for Amendment A; Gun Control. And I would rather see more pot plants and less guns in our state any day of the week.

Is a Mask Mandate coming to Sioux Falls?

I got word today that a pair of City Councilors may be preparing a First Reading of a mask mandate for the November 3rd meeting. Of course, we would have to wait a full week before a 2nd Reading would occur.

A recent survey (I think by one of the public colleges) said that 58% of respondents approve of a mask mandate. I actually think it is a lot higher, because when I go out shopping I see well over 80% of people wearing masks.

The two councilors working on the mandate ordinance are NOT the dynamic duo of Starr and Brekke.

I am assuming the mandate will be very weak, in other words it will be a mandate, but the police will NOT enforce and no penalties will be handed out. It will be a mandate with no punishment.

I guess I will have to wait an see what it looks like. But I think even a strongly suggestive mandate is way past due. Like I said above, I think most people support a mandate, and it is just a small very loud group of libertarian wing nuts who think people are taking away their civil liberties. These people obviously have NO idea what civil rights are about. This is about slowing the spread and saving lives and has nothing to do with what party you are in.

SD GOP’s Iowan Leader continues to spread Outrageous Lies about Pat Starr

Their latest attempt at trying to smear Starr was trotting out PUC ‘lifer’ Gary Hanson, who has NO authority over Federal Rules that apply to cell phones, and has NO legal experience saying what he did was illegal. It would be like Mayor TenHaken saying he is assisting CDC scientists to come up with a safe Corona Virus Vaccine.

It’s laughable at best.

But Danny has been busy writing more press releases that are basically flat out lies about Starr, including basically calling him stupid;

Lederman noted, “it appears that Starr didn’t know or care about federal laws against robocalling and doesn’t understand laws that clearly state if you spend money as part of a campaign you need to attach a disclaimer to your expenditure. I get the impression that he’s just too dumb to be trusted with the responsibility of the Minnehaha County Treasurer’s office.

What Iowa Dan doesn’t understand is this WAS NOT a campaign expense, and since it was NOT he does not have to disclose diddly. The rules the real dummy cites have to do with political messaging and political campaigns.

. . . ‘but he’s the one responsible to not harass & bother people on their cell phones.

As I have said already, informing voters that they can vote safely and early during a pandemic emergency is hardly ‘harassment’. It would be like me calling the FCC to complain about a tornado warning I got on my cell phone at 2 AM because I was trying to sleep. How dare they wake me up before my roof blows away! The shame!

“Failing to take responsibility for one’s actions is not a quality that voters appreciate,” 

Hmm, that’s rich. Then why do people in your party continue to get reelected with things like EB5, Gear-Up and more scandals than I can count? Maybe the ‘dummies’ are your supporters? Oh that’s right, because people like you continue to LIE about the other party and blame them for YOUR failures. Your party has been in charge for nearly 50 years in South Dakota yet when something goes wrong you blame Democrats. Huh?

If I were to just take Starr’s record on the Council (Remember he had NO challengers for his 2nd term) he has consistently stood with residents when it comes to zoning and fiscal responsibility. That $26 million dollar debacle in DTSF comes to mind, voted in by a majority of REPUBLICANS on the city council. Oh, that’s right, Pat voted against it. Why? Because it was one of the DUMBEST (and fraudulent) projects ever concocted by this city government.

Iowa Dan continues by citing a FCC law that refers to telemarketers. Dan, let’s go over this again, and read this slowly. Pat wasn’t trying to sell voters a darn thing, he was only making them aware of their rights and responsibilities during a pandemic, that is called a Public Service Announcement. Usually, those announcements come from Public officials because it is one of their elected duties. Now, I know in your strange little twisted world a PSA is when the governor pays FOX News (with taxdollars) to air a tourism ad about South Dakota. There’s a difference, I hope you understand? Should we go over it again? I know from living in Iowa for a brief time, you corn fed folks tend to be a bit slower.

Let’s face it folks, the GOP doesn’t make any calls to voters unless they are trying to sell them their version of Horsepuckey, and the real idiots here are the ones accusing someone of illegal activity while the accused was giving voting advice during an emergency. Something these clowns would never do. Let’s talk about being stuck on stupid.

Both Marijuana Measures likely to pass in South Dakota

The polls seem to be where they were this summer. I heard about internal polling this summer that put Rec at about 51% and Medical in the 70% approval range. It seems much has NOT changed. Why? I think most people in this country and even in South Dakota have long standing views on legalization. Whether it happens in November or sometime Nationally in the near future, it is inevitable. While Medical has a high approval rating and likely will pass, I think the legislature will chop this initiative to pieces and basically make it nearly impossible for people to get it for medical reasons. And if Rec passes, it is a constitutional amendment so the legislature can only have the power to regulate that legalization. What I think most cities across the state will do is not allow dispensaries. I have a feeling if there is even any dispensaries in South Dakota, you will probably be limited to a shack on a county gravel road. I think this is foolish, because not only could major cities benefit from the business, small towns could also.

Let’s face it, Marijuana will be legalized Nationwide in less than 10 years. If South Dakota has an opportunity to do it early, I think they should;

Recreational (Amendment A)

51% Approve, 44% Disapprove and 5% are undecided. I think this will pass, but it will be close and there are NO guarantees cities will allow dispensaries, but you will be allowed to have your own plants.

Medical (IM26)

74% Approve, 23% Disapprove and 3% are undecided. This will pass, but I think the legislature will tinker with it.

Noem is crying because someone told her NO

I guess not many people tell her NO. I have heard from legislators who have been in committee meetings with her that she doesn’t take the word lightly. While I am not one to defend the Argus editorial board that often (because most of the time they are day late and dollar short with their grievances) I do agree with them that you can’t just pull some mysterious anonymous doctor from your rear end and quote them in an op ed about a pandemic. If you want people to take your covid data and information seriously, it helps to actually quote REAL doctors and scientists, not ones that apparently your communications cry baby made up.

It’s called credibility and transparency.

If the doctors truly exist, and they may, it just further proves how professionals in this state never want to take a stand publicly, they always want to ‘hide’ which is no surprise because that is how SD GOP funds it’s PACS through secretive donors that have their LLC addresses at UPS Stores.

They truly are the party of Chickensh . . . .

As Maggie Seidel said, Noem’s (Mis)Communications peeps and supposed Senior Advisor & Policy Director, “Democracy dies in Darkness.” It certainly does Maggie, and from you stand, it is very, very dark.

Will a major merger be announced on Monday in Sioux Falls?

Just when we thought the big announcement was Amazon there is another one brewing in Sioux Falls. I wasn’t going to say anything because I figured it was going to be headlines on Stormland TV last night. I guess not, but enough peeps have been blowing it in my ear, and it sounds like the announcement could be as soon as Monday, so I will give you a teaser.

So here is what I will give you, and you can draw your own conclusions (please, feel free to comment, but I will delete any comments that mention either party). A major healthcare provider in Sioux Falls is planning a ‘Merger’ (not an all out sale) with another major provider. The kicker is that the other provider is NOT local, they are not even regional. They are from a western mountain state.

But this is where the news gets juicy, while I have heard the name of the system that wants to merge with the Sioux Falls system, I was a little taken back. They are owned by a large religious organization, and let’s just put it this way, it’s not Catholics or Protestants (or even Jews).

If the merger happens, and all the parties I have been told that are involved are truly involved, healthcare in Sioux Falls is going to look very different a year from now.

Oh, and probably expect more people knocking at your front door 🙂