Sioux Falls Chamber caves to Republican Pouting – Punishes Dems


Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce won’t allow Minnehaha County Democrats to sponsor annual legislative coffees

January 15, 2018

On Thursday, January tenth the Minnehaha County Democratic Party (MCDP) was notified they won’t be allowed to sponsor the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce (SFACC) Legislative Coffees as they have for years.

The Minnehaha County Republican Party (MCRP), the Minnehaha-Lincoln Republican Women, and Americans for Prosperity all pulled their sponsorship from the SFACC Legislative Coffees for 2018. Speculation is the conservative organizations didn’t like a recent article (Argus Leader, Sept. 20, 2017) in which SFACC President and CEO, Jason Ball expressed concern over events that are “antagonistic to immigrants and new demographic groups in Sioux Falls,” and “legislation and policies that negatively target specific populations …”

“We believe the Republicans are trying to punish the Chamber for a stance that they don’t agree with. Unfortunately, that resulted in the Chamber trying to smooth things over by removing us, the opposition party, from the event,” said Heather Halverson, Minnehaha County Democratic Party Chairwoman “We see this as an effort to appease the Republicans, while removing our voice. From our perspective, this is undemocratic.”

This year’s events will be held at the Holiday Inn City Centre from 10:00 am to 11:45 am on February 3rd, 10th, and 24th. The SFACC Legislative Coffees include legislators from area districts and allow the public to ask timely questions related to the 2018 legislative session. The Republican legislators that attend the coffees outnumber the Democrats twenty-six to four.

“We have been a longtime sponsor of the Legislative Coffees. As the minority party in the state, it is very important for us to have a table at the event, and allow local residents to stop by and ask us questions about our platform, legislative matters and our upcoming events,” said Halverson. “We aren’t the party that picked up our ball and went home because we didn’t like the way the game was going.”

Heather Halverson, Chair

Minnehaha County Democratic Party
SouthDaCola Notes; While I could care less what either party is up to in our state, I think this is pretty crappy to treat the MCDP this way because the Republicans are a bunch of whiny crybabies that want to continue to push their racist and homophobic views on the rest of us. The sad part is that the Chamber should NOT have to apologize for Jason’s comments, he is right, being a racist is bad for business.


#1 Fluff Mc Fluffin on 01.17.18 at 10:39 am

Racist and homophobic? Really? I don’t always agree with you and you usually keep your commentary local, but it would seem you are adopting the national and ludicrous narrative painting an entire party in that light. Very disappointing…

#2 l3wis on 01.17.18 at 10:42 am

Fluff, SD Republican legislators continually push for hateful laws every year, you would have to be blind not to see it.

#3 "Very Stable Genius" on 01.17.18 at 12:36 pm

“and ludicrous narrative painting an entire party in that light….”

Oh really, so Trump is not a racist in your world. And in your world, the national GOP was not implicit in electing that racist, huh?…. Interesting…..

If the GOP, nationally and locally, wants their Lincoln hat back, then they need to work with the Democrats to constitutionally remove the narcissistic and racist President from the White House…. Then, and only then, can the GOP begin to put their stovepipe back on with any sense of credibility when it comes to the issue of race…..



#4 "Very Stable Genius" on 01.17.18 at 3:03 pm

I might also add, that having the Chamber fold to the GOP, on this one, is to be a willing and able partner in Putin Republicanism. No transparency, no give and take, drag your feet on issues where the our government is petitioned, and just hope that the public will go away. No wonder our local state legislators were “Crickets” at last year’s legislative coffees. My only question is, was their silence due to an unfamiliarity with the issues, or merely an attempt to slow down the process to make it boring, and thus appear to not be relevant?

And the AFP involvement in this ploy is just an other example of the Koch brothers attempting to hi-jack our democratic institutions for the 1%, although, disguised as “liberty in action.”

What are the Republicans afraid of? Will they even show up at the legislative coffees? We know that they do not like to speak at them… What’s their game? Well, we know what their game is, don’t we? They only want to play whiffle ball according to their rules and only in their backyard…. We all knew that kid when we were growing up, didn’t we?…. And that kid was often the child of a 1 per-center…..-

The Republican Party use to be like that elder stable relative you turn to, when in need. But over time, the GOP has become that playboy uncle, who suffers from subconscious guilt, yet, thinks he is better than everyone else, and is not one you can depend on or count on anymore.

When our two party system works, one of the parties is the designated driver for the other party and our country, making sure we get home safely, after the other party has had too much fun; but the GOP cannot be trusted to ever preform that duty anymore as they are merely a tool of the one percent masked as the disciples of liberty…. (Ya, right…”Disciples of Liberty”….Hahahaha)

#5 Fluff Mc Fluffin on 01.17.18 at 4:58 pm

@l3weis – What hateful laws? Which laws are they pushing that are racist?

@Very Unstable Moron – I don’t know if Trump is racist or not, but the policies he is pushing are not. You need to stop listening to the narrative you see on TV, radio and the paper and actually look at the policy he is trying to implement. And last I checked, the majority of the GOP didn’t want him, he was elected by the people. I do agree with you that the two party system is broken and both parties should be tossed aside. But the party label is just that, a label for the conflicting points of view within this nation. But the claims you make about the ENTIRE GOP PARTY and President Trump are ludicrous.

#6 LJL on 01.17.18 at 7:34 pm

A lot of typing for a nothing burger story.
Sponsored by Who Gives a F>>>k.

#7 LJL on 01.17.18 at 7:39 pm

“No, you’re the doddy head” replied the republican to the democrat.

#8 "Very Stable Genius" on 01.17.18 at 9:06 pm

Fluff Mc Fluffin,

HUD has been calling him a racist since 1973. If you are an enabler to racism, then you are a racist. Trump keeps telling us how smart he is, well, if he is so smart, then he knows what he is doing or promoting.

As far as the” TV, radio, and the paper” comment, how does one learn of Trumps policies without them? Because your comment suggests that we shouldn’t listen to Fox or read the WSJ, either….. And the people did not elect Trump, rather the electoral college did….. Now, who’s the ‘Moron.”

And also, I don’t think the two party system is broken, rather one of the parties has been hi-jacked and the real GOP needs its own “Take It Back” movement to get back into sync….

#9 "Very Stable Genius" on 01.18.18 at 11:56 am

I guess if you enjoy watching your state legislators turn a legislative coffee into an open book test – as there is silence after a question is asked – then maybe you would see this as a “nothing burger,” and no wonder you wouldn’t give a “firetruck”…..

#10 "Very Stable Genius" on 01.18.18 at 2:59 pm

I was glad to see that someone from the “mainstream media” finally decided to cover this story some three days after the press release. (Its further proof that they read the blogs for story ideas, huh?)

But let us critique the Republican response in the Argus, shall we? Let us look at Rep. Haugaard’s first comment, shall we?

“Rep. Steven Haugaard, R-Sioux Falls, said the forums aren’t the most effective way to communicate with constituents due to time constraints and attendees that frequently seek to discuss ‘hot button’ issues.”

Well, time constraints wouldn’t really be a problem if the legislators came to these forums well informed. Instead, they take time-outs to read the bills. Plus, there is no “discuss,” because constituents are told to stay silent and are not allowed to make follow up questions, and they even have guards at these get-togethers.

“(Haugaard) Too many times they were focused on negative issues and not looking for a free-flowing conversation,” he said. “It’s really an opportunity for people who weren’t satisfied to voice their concerns in a public forum.”

“….free-flowing conversation…?” Where is that happening at legislative coffees, where the constituents are told to sit there like pilgrim Puritans in a church setting? And the ‘negative issues’ were created by the legislature and not the constituents, so how can you not expect concerned citizens to ask or try to ask questions? I might also add, that “voicing their concerns” is quite water-downed by the time its filtered through a convenient moderator, too.

“Haugaard said the legislative coffees could be improved by splitting up lawmakers into their districts and hosting smaller groups of legislators for the forums.”

Ya, that’s a good idea. Let us divide and conquer them to then quell the protest and thus control the political narratives…

The bottom line is this, many legislators (many Republican legislators) no longer do their job (It’s probably because many of them are appointed to the Lords rather than initially being elected to the Lords, I mean Commons.); and the forum concept is an embarrassment for them, because it shows off their vulnerabilities and/or ignorance, so any way they can over time lessen its impact or existence the better….. Shame on the GOP!

#11 Fluff Mc Fluffin on 01.18.18 at 7:48 pm

@ Moron, “Nuh uh, only one party’s broken, mine is fine!” What ever. Nice support of facts. HUD said it, so it must be true. Pfft. Good day to you sir!

#12 "Very Stable Genius" on 01.19.18 at 12:26 pm


Your party has been hi-jacked. From an other observation, the hi-jacking actually began before Trump and in the last decade when Cheney reporting said, “that Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter” – but now it has only gotten worse……

The other day Bob Dole received the Congressional Metal of Honor, but I am afraid they don’t make Bob Dole Republicans anymore – a Republican who could work across the aisle while still maintaining his party’s principles….. It’s you lost, not mine…

As far as HUD, well, they didn’t just say it, they fined him and his father over the matter with “facts.” I know that Republicans like you are not into “facts” anymore, but you are probably also a direct descendant of those who once said the Earth was flat and the Universe circles around the Sun.