A lot at stake for both parties in the Sioux Falls mayoral race

Now that Huether has turned the race into a partisan affair, one wonders what is at stake for both parties.

On the Democratic side, they view Mike as a rising star in the party and the mayoral seat as a stepping stone. If he gets elected, and is successful as mayor, he could run for governor or even US Senate. Trust me, Mike may be telling you to your face that this is non-partisan, but it is pretty clear he wants this to be a win for Democrats. As Argus Leader political reporter Jonathan Ellis said the other day on his and Patrick Lalley’s web program, “(Republicans) May be looking to choke the baby in the cradle.”

And that brings us to Staggers. It is no secret that Kermit isn’t your typical Republican, and it shows in who votes for him. He has wide support amongst all parties, but how does his party feel about him? Do Republicans want a true fiscal conservative with Libertarian beliefs, such as civil liberties, representing their party as mayor of Sioux Falls? Who knows? It was clear that Pat Costello was their dog in the race. Are they willing to look past Kermit’s big ‘L’ behind his name just to pull off a win for their party, or more importantly stopping Huether?

I truly wish Mike would not have brought partisanship in this race. I support Kermit for his values, his intelligence, his transparency and his willingness to work with ALL citizens, not just the special interests. I could care less if he was a Republican or a Democrat.

I want to give a little ‘Liberal’ advice to my Republican friends, let Mike be the partisan candidate, leave Kermit out of it. That means, let’s stop talking about gay rights and the Freemasons. While these are huge political debates, they play no part in a mayoral race.

Harry Browne wrote: “We should never define Libertarian positions in terms coined by liberals or conservatives – nor as some variant of their positions.”



23 comments ↓

#1 Fred on 04.21.10 at 6:22 am

An interesting post. I find myself wondering in what way(s) Staggers is a libertarian. His minimalist view of government does mesh a bit with that, but so does that of most Republicans. Does he support medical marijuana and gay marriage as do many libertarians? I think not.

I can understand people supporting any candidate for their values. Staggers fiscal views have been pretty consistent and resonate with some.

I can understand people liking Staggers for his intelligence as demonstrated by his being a tenured professor at USF. However, there are many types of intelligence and IQ as measured traditionally may give him the verbal and quantitative, but he surely lacks in emotional measures of intelligence as witnessed by his patronizing and mean-spirited attacks of city employees (not department heads) when they speak in front of the Council.

I understand how people value transparency. What you see is what you get with Staggers.

As for working with ALL citizens, I find that an admirable trait. The challenge is that while Staggers spends an inordinate amount of time listening (my neighbor praised him for spending an hour listening to him), he does little in terms of working WITH people. His time in Legislature and on the Council has him flailing at windmills and not striving to work with any of his colleagues. Good governance, whoever is in charge, calls for working WITH people–not saying ‘my way or the highway’. Staggers does NOT work with people he does not agree with. Oh, he may try, but he just lacks in that skill.

#2 Angry Guy on 04.21.10 at 7:28 am

I love that both DL and Doohickey are backing Kermit, but for very different reasons.
Maybe you could help each other out. Organize a tax rally… do some gay bashing… you know… the really imporant political stuff…

#3 hosenpheffer on 04.21.10 at 7:43 am

I wonder if DL and Doohickey do Staggers more harm than good?

Your take?

#4 Sioux Falls, SD Mayor’s race: Libertarian-Republican goes after Democrat’s party affiliation « Read NEWS on 04.21.10 at 7:48 am

[…] South Dacola, which bills itself as South Dakota’s “Snarkiest Political Blog,” commented: It is no secret that Kermit isn’t your typical Republican, and it shows in who votes for him. He has wide support amongst all parties, but how does his party feel about him? Do Republicans want a true fiscal conservative with Libertarian beliefs, such as civil liberties, representing their party as mayor of Sioux Falls? Who knows? It was clear that Pat Costello was their dog in the race. Are they willing to look past Kermit’s big ‘L’ behind his name just to pull off a win for their party, or more importantly stopping Huether? […]

#5 sidestreets on 04.21.10 at 9:59 am

He (My Man Mike) apparently snapped at some folks presenting questions. It would be worth a night in jail to bullhorn his house all night so he don’t get any sleep. Gosh that would be so funny. He’s starting to self distruct as he goes on the defensive.

#6 sidestreets on 04.21.10 at 10:03 am

Fred – Actually Libertarians DONT support gay marrage or any marrage when it has to be licenced by the state. Libertarians support all marrage outside of the state.
Why should I need government approval to be married? You do! A license is permission to do something which is normally against the law. Libertarians support people marrying who they want but w/o the court house keeping record of it.

#7 l3wis on 04.21.10 at 11:10 am

“I wonder if DL and Doohickey do Staggers more harm than good?”

I wish Doohickey would just shut up until after the 27th, that would be the best support he could give Kermit. He must be really naive if he doesn’t think Sioux Falls already has a pretty big gay community, get over it Steve, they are not going anywhere.

As for me hurting Kermit’s campaign, doubtful. I try to stick with the strengths of Kermit and the weaknesses of Mike. In fact, ever since I posted the Daschle postcard, many people have been commenting that they are now going to vote for Kermit.

It still will be a close race to the end.

#8 John on 04.21.10 at 11:32 am

Too bad you have to do Kermit’s dirty work. I would be more willing to Support Kermit if he really exposed Mike’s weaknesses. Doesn’t take much backbone to say I am an R and he is a D. I still say Kermit doesn’t have the testicularfortitude to be mayor. WEAK!

#9 John on 04.21.10 at 11:33 am

Also interesting that Kermit isn’t R enough for party and Mike isn’t dem enough for D’s.

#10 l3wis on 04.21.10 at 11:37 am

“I still say Kermit doesn’t have the testicularfortitude to be mayor.”

Actually, I think the only candidate that can take the punches is Kermit. Trust me, if you have taken as much shit for being a short guy, like I have and I am sure Kermit has, you can withstand about anything. Kermit usually laughs off his critics while Mike calls them up and blows a gasket (I have heard this from several sources).

#11 G1adiator on 04.21.10 at 11:54 am

When you say will Republicans support Staggers with the statement “Are they willing to look past Kermit’s big ‘L’ behind his name just to pull off a win for their party, or more importantly stopping Huether?”
I pulled up his voters registration on the South Dakota Sec of State website and this is what it pulled up…
Voter Registration Information for KERMIT STAGGERS
Political Party: REP
The Republican movement is being driven by the Libertarian fiscal conservatism beliefs on a national level. The tax and spend beliefs of Huethers party has resulted in a sweeping conservative movement across the country. I would consider this similar to the dominance of Florida’s Rubio (Conservative) vs Crist (Moderate)election.

#12 sidestreets on 04.21.10 at 12:19 pm

I would be willing to bet that Mike has dozens of times in his head asked himself “Why did I get myself into this mess”. Because based on what people who have worked with him have said, he really doesn’t give a hoot about anyone but himself. I can tell he lacks an ounce of personality and creativity. Someone is currently working on a youtube video with a co-worker who has just that to say.

#13 scott on 04.21.10 at 1:02 pm

where are all the workers that heuther has supposedly led, and why aren’t they telling us what a great boss he was?

#14 l3wis on 04.21.10 at 1:04 pm

“Someone is currently working on a youtube video with a co-worker who has just that to say.”

Send me a link when that get’s finished and I will post it.

I mentioned to someone the other day that I thought it was silly that Mike ‘seemed’ to be crying on TV when he found out he made into the runoff. That person said that he cries a lot when he is happy. It’s bad enough that the current council gives standing ovations at informational meetings to department heads for simply doing their jobs, now we might have a crybaby. Gawd help us.

#15 John on 04.21.10 at 1:36 pm

“if you have taken as much shit for being a short guy, like I have and I am sure Kermit has,…”

Great reason to vote for him!

#16 Anthony on 04.21.10 at 3:02 pm

G1adiator: The Republican movement is being driven by the Libertarian fiscal conservatism beliefs on a national level.

With all due respect – Since when?

Now I’m not trying to say that the Democrats behave any better, but it seems to be the difference between the two parties are Tax and Spend vs Don’t Tax and Spend Just As Much (if not more). The new-found Fiscal Conservatism of the Republican party is just so much lip service. They ran congress for half of the 90’s and over half of the last decade. They set the budgets. They pushed pork just like their Democratic comrades. The only reason they are paying lip service to fiscal responsibility now is that they are out of power in both houses and the presidency need a viable defendable excuse to vote against things like extending unemployment benefits. When they are back in power, they’ll start spending like drunken sailors again.

#17 hilarious on 04.21.10 at 6:08 pm

The gay community is puny compared to the number of values voters in town. Did you know Hickey is the president of the ministerial association? Obviously you are unaware that gobs of people are switching from Huether to Staggers right now because of the questions Hickey is raising. You should thank him for stirring them up by sending up this Giant Fireball warning. Giving gays the key to the city is economic suicide and Huether needs comment on any promises he has made to Hildebrand on gay issues.

#18 l3wis on 04.21.10 at 7:02 pm

I still think it is a non-issue, and doesn’t belong in the debate. I support gay rights BTW, so you are barking up the wrong tree with me.

#19 G1adiator on 04.21.10 at 7:07 pm

Anthony – With all due respect – Since when?

I was simply talking about the current movement that Rep. are taking advantage of with the large overtones of fiscal conservativism. Obviously, I was making the point that Crist (republican – moderate) is falling to Rubio (republican / fiscally conservative). The entire spending addiction that has happened under Bush and even more so under Obama has shot the country to the very far right position. (Republicans with fiscal Libertarian beliefs). This is currently being shown in a Rasmussen Poll that has Obama and Ron Paul in a statistical dead heat for the 2012 elections. People are responding to the Republican / fiscally Libertarian message right now which I believe will benefit Staggers locally.

#20 Ghost of Dude on 04.21.10 at 8:49 pm

was simply talking about the current movement that Rep. are taking advantage of with the large overtones of fiscal conservativism.

The teabaggers? Hah!
They’re only discovering their fiscal conservatism because it isn’t cool to use the N-word anymore in public. If McCain would have won the election, the only thing different would be that the teabaggers would be back home in their barcaloungers. Spending wouldn’t have changed one iota.

The GOP has never been a “fiscally conservative” party except when it was good pandering material.

#21 G1adiator on 04.21.10 at 9:08 pm

Ghost of Dude –

What is your point? Are you defending the level of liberal spending then? What do you think a solution would be? Maybe we can go back to the Carter era with high inflation, high taxes, and high unemployment. That really worked well then.

#22 Anthony on 04.22.10 at 8:51 am

G1adiator –

I didn’t see anything GoD said defending the Democrats. You are the one espousing the Republican Parties new conversion to fiscal conservatism. And while there are some (ok…Ron Paul) actual fiscal conservatives in the Republican Party, your indication that they are leading the party is naive. They are pandering. In primaries if they are running against an incumbent, they can easily say they are oh so fiscally conservative, but let’s see how long they last without bringing home the bacon. Even Arch-Conservative golden boy John Thune has brought half a billion dollars in earmarks to South Dakota. I don’t see the Tea Party folks or the Financial Conservative Leadership of the party dressing him down for it.

As I said, we have two parties – Tax and Spend and Don’t Tax but Spend Just as Much If Not More. I guess at least the Democrats want to actually pay for their programs as opposed to getting a loan from China. The only reason the Republican Party is pandering to real fiscal conservatives is they know that they can try to drum up some votes and because they aren’t in power, so they can shift the blame for all the spending over to the Democrats. You’ll note, they are still more than happy to go home and take credit in their home districts for the pork they are bringing home. They are pandering…the same way they pander to “Values Voters” and the Democrats pander to the teachers’ unions.

#23 G1adiator on 04.23.10 at 1:27 pm

Anthony,

Pandering is politics. Just like you pointed out with the unions, but there is also the pandering of “hope and change”, and just tax the rich and no one will have their taxes raised if they make below $200k (Now VAT Tax or National sales tax is being mentioned which will raise cost of goods and choke consumerism). How are consumers going to feel when their goods increase overnight because of a VAT tax imposed to pay for inefficient govt spending? History has shown that Dems do not get that low tax environments spur economic growth. Even JFK and Reagan understood this econonomic 101 solution. Nobody says “I am starting a business because my taxes are increasing and I will profit less”. I think they may say they are not going to consume as much. This will lead to more unemployment and the same old Jimmy Carter story.

Also, current business owners are asking themselves if they will have to fire some of their staff so they can continue to profit and pay the excess tax burden. Are those individuals going to continue to stimulate the economy being unemployed. They can with unemployment benefits on tax-payers backs. But those pulling the cart will soon become unmotivated from being one of 50% paying taxes. Maybe we can all go on unemployment extended benefits. Then how will the govt collect tax?

This is the big picture view. I am sure there will be some other pinpoint example that will be pointed out, but neither party is perfect.