Mickelson spends almost $10 per vote to beat Dobberpuhl for Sioux Falls School Board

This, of course is according to her last financial report. It could be closer to $15 when the last financial report comes out, that is if Bev Chase decides to post it online. Big GOP money wins again, and I am sure they are not one bit to ashamed of it.

Mickelson would have been better off sending out $10 gift cards (probably shouldn’t give them any ideas).

Dobberpuhl spent about $2,400 or $1.32 per vote (2000 votes).

There was a 3.7% voter turnout.

As I have said before, I felt all candidates are qualified, but I do worry Mickelson and her donors want to turn our high schools into Vo-Techs to train carpenters and plumbers instead of preparing them for secondary education.

The CHOKEHOLD the Republican Party has on our state will now continue on the School Board. Now if more than 4% of the 90K registered voters in SF would have decided to show up.


There was also some ‘questionable’ things that went on during the campaign;

• One day before the election the Argus posted a ‘quiz’ online to determine the best candidate instead of just posting the bios/info of each candidate, many of the questions were geared towards Mickelson’s agenda. Then today, their website was plastered with Mickelson advertising.

• May 30 financial report was never posted online by the school district.

• There were NO voting centers in most of the northern part of the city, yet several in the more affluent Southside.

• KELO-TV had a cut video of Inside Keloland of the candidates that cut off Dobberpuhl’s interview.

Obviously, the planets would have had to align, but some of this stuff is a head-scratcher.

I would like to actually congratulate (Independent) Dobberpuhl for doing as well as he did against the DARK MONEY machine of the SD GOP, SD Chamber of Commerce, and SF Homebuilders Association. He held his own. I have a feeling if spending in the race would have been capped, he would have walked away with the honor tonight. Keep fighting Randy.

I would also like to congratulate Mickelson, she had a well-oiled machine behind her, and she threw everything but the kitchen sink at it. Huge donations, yard signs, direct mail, radio ads, bumper stickers and robo calls. If she were running for governor, her chances would be very good . . . oh that’s right . . .


#1 Emoluments Clause on 06.06.17 at 11:12 pm

Take away the Faith Baptist Fellowship Hall and the IPC voting centers’ vote, and the absentee vote, then its a 50/50 race between Mickelson and Dobberpuhl.

Mickelson won this race thanks to the votes from the elite neighborhoods; neighborhoods, which would naturally be less bothered by a phrase like “work force development.”

One can also only wonder what would happen if all of the precincts had had their own voting places too. My guess is, if so, the vote would have been much closer or Dobberpuhl would have won.

However, two of the major issues going forward with public education in this town, in my opinion, are still voter suppression with District elections and creating well rounded students. They are issues which the District has created themselves and issues which can be undone if we return to precinct level voting and start promoting once again a well rounded student agenda over a “work force development” mentality; a mentality which only goes to serve the few, or the elite of our town should I say….

And when these two unfortunate issues are disbanded, then as a community we will be able to return to the real or necessary issues like teacher pay, school parity, equal opportunity, and preparing all of our students for the real world with a sound educational foundation that could conceivably prepare all of them for college even if they don’t plan to attend.

Because its the duty of an educational system to prepare citizens to create a well informed democratic society. And it is not, however, the duty of an educational system to merely produce workers for some sectors of the business community. And this hijacking of our educational system for the interests of a few, or the elite, with this “work force development” mentality truly will only end when the voting in District elections is no longer suppressed and instead encouraged by precinct level participation and voting….

#2 Openness and transperency on 06.06.17 at 11:59 pm

Randy has run two other times so he did not have to purchase yard signs, etc so that is not a fair comparison. I actually had a robocall from Randy’s campaign and a live person (Cynthia’s son) for Cynthia’s campaign. Volunteers are free. Finally, Cynthia did raise $20,000 but she spent less than half so it was not $10 a vote, even using common core math it would be under $5.

#3 l3wis on 06.07.17 at 8:23 am

Even if we use your dubious math and add Randy’s signs, Mickelson still would have spent 4x more. But if you look at her last financial, I’m not buying it. The only thing that is really on there is the expense of yard signs. The radio ads, direct mail, postage and Argus web ads are NOT on the expense list, unless they were all in kind, which I highly doubt. The USPS does give stuff away, especially postage. Besides, if someone raises $20K, they spend $20K. As I said above, I expect it to be closer to $30K, but we will have to wait until July. Then once again I can prove to you, big money from the establishment, ruined another non-partisan race in town.

#4 The D@ily Spin on 06.07.17 at 9:12 am

So what’s wrong with children wearing uniforms and marching arm forward toward Mickelson?

#5 The D@ily Spin on 06.07.17 at 9:55 am

It’s not a matter of who’s the better candidate, it’s who the Russians want elected.

#6 Anon on 06.07.17 at 10:00 am

Where can a person see the campaign finance reports?

#7 l3wis on 06.07.17 at 10:22 am

Anon, that’s a great question. I have searched the county, school district and SOS websites with no avail. You have to actually do what I did and go to the IPC and either pay 25 cents a copy for them, or photograph them for free. Here is my copy of Cynthia’s


As for the others, there wasn’t much to report, Randy raised around $2k, Dimatris raised $0 and spent $0 and Carol spent around $350.

#8 l3wis on 06.07.17 at 10:26 am

Anon, that is a fantastic question. I can’t find them anywhere online, you have to do as I did and go to the IPC and photograph them with your phone, otherwise it is 25 cents per copy.

Here is Cynthia’s I uploaded to my site from my phone; https://www.southdacola.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/cyn-a11.pdf

The other 3 weren’t even worth uploading. Randy raised and spent $2k, Dimitris raised and spent $0 and Robinson spent $350.

#9 Michael Wyland on 06.07.17 at 12:34 pm

Didn’t the school district unions also endorse Mickelson? They’re hardly part of the so-called GOP machine.

#10 Blasphemo on 06.07.17 at 2:13 pm

Mickelson’s donor list amounts to the membership rosters of Minnehaha Country Club & The Country Club of Sioux Falls. And, I think Republican City Councilor Christine Erickson’s Argus Letter To The Editor endorsement of Mickelson was short sighted. With all the big money donations behind Mickelson. . . all her oversized campaign signs on commercial properties saturating Minnesota Ave. & 41st St. . . overall a massive, pile-on overwhelming force campaign marketing assault that none of her opponents could match . . . . did an At-Large City Councilor really need to add a published endorsement? It’s a good reaffirmation of where Councilor Erickson’s true partisan and elitist socio-economic sentiments fall on the societal continuum.

#11 Reliable Voter on 06.07.17 at 2:20 pm

Imagine the outrage if the county or the city conducted an election with the same disregard the school district showed for providing an equal opportunity to vote through their selection of polling place sites, their failure to post campaign finance reports, and the lack of staffing at the IPC for absentee voting.

#12 l3wis on 06.07.17 at 2:35 pm

Wyland, this is what I thought at first to, but not really the case, it was the executive KEY board members of the union that endorsed Mickelson, not the members themselves. That was made very clear to me by a couple of teachers.

#13 Michael Wyland on 06.07.17 at 3:01 pm

Thanks! That’s not the first time the leaders of a union have split from their membership over a political issue. I still remember my interview with the KEY Alliance representatives of the various SF School District bargaining units – the SFEA, the EAs, the custodians, etc. I think the KEY Alliance refers to the reps of all the bargaining units except the administrators.

#14 Randy Dobberpuhl on 06.07.17 at 3:01 pm

Hey Scott,
Thank you for all the support this year! This year was different than the others by far. We have learned from each of the last elections and we will continue to help out our community where we are needed.
I ask that everyone please give Cynthia a chance to prove she is her own person and that she will look out for ALL our students.
Please get out and get involved in our community where your skills will serve us best!
Thank you,
Randy Dobberpuhl

#15 l3wis on 06.07.17 at 3:30 pm

That was sure nice of the AL to do this story A DAY AFTER THE ELECTION. Unbelievable.


Mickelson claims she didn’t spend over the $7800. I am still having trouble swallowing that, and we will wait to see her final financial in July.

So where is my proof. Just look at her line on Postage, she said she spent only $268. That would mean if she spent virtually $0 on postage for her fundraising letter she would only be able to mail out about 1,000 postcards with that amount. I know this because I work in Direct Mail. So something isn’t adding up.

#16 LJL on 06.07.17 at 9:33 pm

It is pathetic how much is spent on these elections. Clearly the money won the votes but I see little that can be done to change our election laws without burdening our first amendment rights.

As far as this being a GOP machine win, your laying it on awfully thick.