Did Sioux Falls City Councilor Dean Karsky violate state election & city executive orders?

I’m not sure how many times we have to remind these people about spending tax dollars on campaigning is clearly against the law. Apparently, councilor Karsky not only doesn’t understand this, he has the host of Inside Townhall script his announcement for running for County Commission.

Didn’t anyone at CityLink scratch their heads a little about this . . . oh wait.

Universal Citation: SD Codified L § 12-27-20 (through 2012)

12-27-20. Expenditure of public funds to influence election outcome prohibited. The state, an agency of the state, and the governing body of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state may not expend or permit the expenditure of public funds for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of any candidate, or for the petitioning of a ballot question on the ballot or the adoption or defeat of any ballot question. This section may not be construed to limit the freedom of speech of any officer or employee of the state or such political subdivisions in his or her personal capacity. This section does not prohibit the state, its agencies, or the governing body of any political subdivision of the state from presenting factual information solely for the purpose of educating the voters on a ballot question.

Source: SL 2007, ch 80, § 20.


Our ever eager to please anyone but citizens councilman Dean “Karksy” Karsky used the publicly owned and controlled studios of city of Sioux Falls CityLink to make his announcement he is running for a seat on Minnehaha County Commission.

Doesn’t he understand anything about state and federal laws governing the use of taxpayer resources to further his political future? Can you imagine him on the County Commission being able to find loopholes in to further self interests?

In 2014, didn’t Bruce Danielson of Citizens for Integrity file ethics violations against Mayor Huether for violating city of Sioux falls rules concerning his use of city resources and meeting to further his reelection as mayor? We are shaking our collective heads and deciding what’s good for the mayor Huether is good enough to violate as council members?

As a side note, no candidate for office can appear on city media until after the election per Mayor Munson’s Executive order still in effect.


#1 Eyes Wide Open on 02.07.16 at 6:19 pm

I believe this is the same law the city of Sioux Falls ignored with their “educational” videos, architectural drawings, and proposals which cost taxpayers $50,000 for the elite’s desired Aquatic center. Then after deceiving the public and spending their money to sway the vote the city threw out all those drawings and started over with new drawings and plans spending a second time for brand new architectural drawings.

What a lawless administration and city council we have. Arrogant Karsky is a good example.

#2 My Mistake Mike on 02.07.16 at 10:02 pm

Karsky = Omdahl Lite

#3 blasphemo on 02.08.16 at 9:50 am

Good catch. However, the show host/interviewer and any producer of the show share responsibility for this gaffe. A credible host ought to be aware of (or be made aware of by a producer) subjects that can & can’t be discussed by a given guest on Inside Town Hall. And, since they’re all on the same City Hall team, the host and/or producer would have done Karsky a good service by reminding him before the show what he could/couldn’t discuss. The host posed a very leading, open-ended question to Karsky. While Karsky could have ducked the question with a reference to continuing his insurance business and perhaps a benign reference to “the possibility of another public service campaign”, etc, in his defense he did keep direct references to the details of his County Commission run to a minimum. Technically, his confirmation of his candidacy amounted to his “Right” (affirmative) response to the host’s follow up question. Ultimately, the host or producer had the opportunity to interrupt the production when the misstep occurred, re-ask the final question and edit into the show a different response from Karsky. Hopefully this amounts to a teachable moment for the CityLink staffers.

#4 l3wis on 02.08.16 at 1:38 pm

blasphemo – I do get your point, and I can almost guarantee that Shields probably won’t let it happen again, but with the scripted nature of the announcement, you could tell this wasn’t something that just ‘sprung up’ in conversation, Karsky planned it out well, and should hold some responsibility, but as usual, like being on the Chamber Board (and proclaiming early in the show that he was ‘elected’ to two terms as councilor – once by the council and once by the voters) Karsky will sweep this one under the rug to.

#5 The D@ily Spin on 02.08.16 at 1:58 pm

Getting him off the council is priority. This ethics and criminal violation could be enough to keep him off the county commission. Perhaps the media pick up on this. Otherwise, his county opponent has some good dirt.

#6 Disgusted on 02.08.16 at 10:24 pm

It’s time for law enforcement and consequences. This should be made public and he should be prevented from seeking a seat on the county commission.

#7 l3wis on 02.09.16 at 8:24 am

Not sure if he should be arrested, but I do think a nice little $1,000 fine for violating campaign rules would send a message.

#8 Lanny Stricherz on 05.20.16 at 5:16 pm

When is that election? I have searched and cannot find it. I saw a Karsky for County Commission sign today.