So what’s the connection between Sioux Falls Democratic Mayor Huether and a voting rights lawsuit in Jackson County?

We will get to that in a moment, but a little background;

Jackson County is spending one and a half million of your tax dollars (not their local dollars, but yours, South Dakotans!) to keep Lakota people in Wanblee and other Indian communities from enjoying similar access to early voting as white folks near Kadoka enjoy. Dennis Olson, chairman of the South Dakota Public Assurance Alliance that is footing the bill for Jackson County’s racist resistance, calls the Lakota lawsuit for a satellite early voting center “frivolous” and “just one of those things you have to put up with.”

Don’t tell O.J. Semans that fighting for Indian voting rights is frivolous. Semans, the executive director of Indian voting rights advocacy group Four Directions, takes issue with Olson’s seeming disdain for Indian voting rights

See, they are taking this lawsuit money from the Assurance Alliance (Sioux Falls taxpayers are the biggest contributors to their funds) to fight giving voters in Jackson County around $20K in HAVA funds that already are sitting in an account at the SOS office. Sounds pretty idiotic? Right? Unless of course you are someone who doesn’t like Native Americans and don’t think they should vote, you know like a lot of those West River Teabagging Republicans. So you ask ‘where does a good Democrat like Mayor Huether fit in to this picture?’ You would think as an upstanding member of his party he would put his foot down and tell the SD Public Assurance Alliance to drop the suit because Democrats across the state believe in voter equality. But I’m sure you are asking, why would the SDPAA listen to him? Gee, I don’t know, because he appointed two of the Board Members to the Alliance; Mike Hall, Director of Risk Management for the City of Sioux Falls and Secretary of the Alliance and Tracy Turbak, Director of Finance for the City of Sioux Falls. The mayor has a little (a lot) pull in these matters.

Some may say, “Well maybe the mayor has tried to intervene, or at least try to get his appointments to intervene.” I don’t know. Maybe he has, but it doesn’t seem he has been to successful if that was the case. Then there was a certain ‘incident’.

See, when this all started, O.J. Semans asked to have a meeting with the mayor to discuss the case and to see if the mayor would speak with the Alliance about dropping this silliness. After not being able to get an appointment, O.J. did what every good determined person does when dealing with government officials, he showed up in person to the mayor’s office asking to have a few minutes with the mayor, assuming of course he knew why O.J. was there. Seems like a pretty big deal? Right? Why wouldn’t the mayor just hear him out for at least 5 minutes? After a back and forth with the Mayor’s secretary, O.J. was still refused the meeting. So back to square one.

So apparently our good (Democratic) mayor thinks it is more ‘prudent’ to blow $1.5 million of tax dollars on a frivolous lawsuit they will lose then to give already set aside Federal dollars to a couple of satellite voting sites in Indian Country.

The West River Teabaggers are either elated or really confused.



6 comments ↓

#1 The D@ily Spin on 08.18.15 at 10:49 am

Interesting story. It’s amazing how a million here or a million there is pocket change for the mayor. Whatever happened to the mayor’s office open door policy? Even the listen and learn sessions are without notice.

#2 THC on 08.18.15 at 1:34 pm

You’re stupid. The lawsuit is AGAINST the county. Therefore, it can’t “drop” the lawsuit against which it is defending itself.

#3 l3wis on 08.18.15 at 1:43 pm

You are right judicial genius. But the lawsuit would most likely be dropped if the county agrees to putting in the satellite office. The Assurance Alliance could pressure the county to do this.

#4 Detroit Lewis on 08.18.15 at 2:16 pm

Watch the public testimony during the MCC meeting, O.J.’s partner Brett Healy explains the case.

http://www.minnehahacounty.org/commission/meetingInfo/videos/2015/081815.php

#5 scott on 08.18.15 at 10:09 pm

mmm wants the support of the west river tea baggers and reagan worshipers in his next run for office, so he does nothing about this. what better way to do that than to in effect say, “hey i don’t want indians to vote either”.

#6 anominous on 08.19.15 at 12:13 pm

Remember that My Man McCheese told the germans there were no indians in Sioux Falls, just farmers and bankers.