UPDATE: This is why our local paper’s editorial board shouldn’t endorse candidates

Before the general election I thought it was strange the Argus endorsed two candidates. Both younger candidates with similar business experience. But one was a conservative and the other a progressive. It seems the two candidate endorsement wasn’t a mistake.

Earlier today TenHaken posted this on his FB page;

Because she is a recent member of the Argus Leader Editorial Board, Michelle’s letter to the editor was not able to be printed. But we have no issues posting it! Michelle Lavallee, you are an inspiration to many!

I don’t have an issue with an editorial board member endorsing a candidate on their FB page, or even endorsing them in the paper with an individual letter. But with this clear conflict, the editorial board, no matter who they support personally, or who they are, shouldn’t be endorsing candidates as a body if the members have a personal business relationship with one of the candidates. Also, besides the business relationship, Michelle is also serving as Paul’s Co-Chair for his campaign.

I think the newspaper has done a fantastic job covering the campaign and the platforms of all the candidates, and they should be doing this. But they should stay out of the endorsement game. Notice the TV stations DO NOT endorse candidates. To be truly an un-bias 4th Estate news organization you should stay away from swaying voters one way or the other. Provide the information and let the public decide.

As a blogger with an editorial slant, and as an individual I don’t think it is wrong for me to endorse a candidate. But I also don’t have a personal relationship with either candidate except that I have had a few conversations with both. I also have not directly received advertising revenue from either candidate (I have no control over my google ad circulation). Yet both have advertised on my site thru that service.

I have often felt for awhile that people who don’t research the candidates will pick up the newspaper a couple of days before the election and just blindly vote for the endorsement. This is a problem.

UPDATE: It also seems obvious that the Ed board is setting us up for an endorsement of TenHaken after reading this column. The entire content of the VM isn’t the point, the point is leaving the VM to begin with, because it was in poor judgment for Paul to call and say anything about the incident. When things get rough, the best thing to do as a political candidate is to turn the other cheek and ignore your detractors. Obviously Loetscher struck a nerve with TenHaken. If the ‘doxing’ incident wasn’t a big deal, then don’t make a ‘deal’ out of it.


#1 Josh H on 04.25.18 at 3:22 pm

So much for Jolene’s transparency. I think her true colors are finally showing. What reason do you think she has for only wanting to release a portion or a transcript of the message? I think it is pretty clear that she has twisted this in a desperate attempt to try to help her failing campaign, and now she is being called out on it. Good job by the AL.

#2 "Very Stable Genius" on 04.25.18 at 3:29 pm

What? A member of the AL Editorial Board is working on a campaign? Next you are going to tell me that Legacy got the contract, or that Sanford is opening a sports bar…. In some ways, this town is “fundamentally” crooked and the establishment swampers truly need to be shown the way out of town with a short stay maybe at Seney Island before their final fate.

#3 Matthew Paulson on 04.25.18 at 3:32 pm

It’s easy to be transparent when the facts favor you. It’s much more difficult to be transparent when the facts are not in your favor.

#4 l3wis on 04.25.18 at 3:33 pm

Josh, and if the tables were turned you would be saying the AL was bad.

The truth is I have watched Paul’s so called ‘Transparency’ over the years. Like when he was trolling his employees FB pages to see what they were doing in their personal lives (none of his business) or when he was playing musical servers with Pat Powers campaign business when he had a major conflict of interest working for the state. Should be no surprise Pat is trying to dig his pal out of a deep dark hole now. Those guys wouldn’t know transparency if it hit them with a 10 Ton Truck. Sneaking around to protect one’s ass is what Paul is best at, that is why he never responded to a direct question from the Loetscher campaign on FB, but instead tried to smooth it over behind the scenes, and now it has blown up in his face.

#5 "Very Stable Genius" on 04.25.18 at 3:34 pm


Why didn’t he respond on Facebook? He made the call for a reason.

Plus, if the Rounds thing is a “nothing burger,” then why does he now legitimatize it by grouping it in with “dirt on other candidates.” If the dirt itself is something, which Paul has never denied, then wouldn’t its association with “nothing” – through Paul’s logic – make the “nothing” something too?

#6 le langhe carabine on 04.25.18 at 3:38 pm

It was poor judgment and a perfect example of what they call toxic masculinity. Plus, a threat is a threat, even if you say it super nicely.

#7 Josh H on 04.25.18 at 3:50 pm

You did not respond to my comment regarding Jolene, who has bragged that she will be so transparent that she will literally take the door off of her office. Transparency is probably the biggest topic I’ve read about on this blog and is an issue I’ve agreed with you on. I am a fan of the AL and the efforts to promote transparency for all in government. I was undecided until I’ve watched what has played out this past week between the candidates. We don’t want negative politics in our city elections but thanks to Jolene, that is now what we have. She has made my decision now a simple one. It is pretty clear that you only favor transparency when it suits your candidate.

#8 Scott D Hudson on 04.25.18 at 3:57 pm

Hmmm, this is interesting after I was lectured yesterday that there’s a media bias FOR Jolene since she was once a “reporter”.

#9 l3wis on 04.25.18 at 4:00 pm

Loetscher said from the beginning she could not release the entire VM because of the ongoing investigation.

She has now gotten permission from them to release it;


Now who has egg on there face? The Argus. Like I said, Loetscher said from the beginning it was part of the investigation, that is why she couldn’t release it all. Now that it is not, she has done the TRANSPARENT thing and released it.

#10 Josh H on 04.25.18 at 4:05 pm

Convenient that she just now got permission. I think she realized she was in trouble, and thanks to pressure from the AL she was forced to be transparent. The only one who has egg on their face is the person behind this blog who championed the AL for their work forcing MMM to release information. Once again, good job Argus Leader.

#11 Matthew Paulson on 04.25.18 at 4:06 pm

Scott – If you think today’s developments are in Jolene’s favor, you crazy. She got called out for not releasing the voicemail by the Argus and released it under pressure. The DCI says they found no evidence that a successful hack even occurred and they have no leads/suspects in the matter. Honestly, it looks like this whole thing was just made up as an 11th hour attempt to discredit Paul.

#12 Josh H on 04.25.18 at 4:07 pm

I’m sure the investigators told her to only release a portion of the voicemail. Because that’s how investigations work? Nice try.

#13 Warren Phear on 04.25.18 at 4:10 pm

Pat Powers. Nuthin burger
Rounds. Nuthin burger
Doxing. Nuthin burger
Family Heritage Alliance. Nuthin burger
6 year old campaign contributors. Nuthin burger
Tools in the toolbox. Nuthin burger.
That’s a lot a burger.

#14 anonymous on 04.25.18 at 4:15 pm

I don’t like either of these candidates.

The local TV coverage of the Rotary Forum showed just how thin-skinned TenHaken is.

We have had a thin-skinned mayor for the past 8 years, now we are at risk of having to endure someone who appears to be even more thin-skinned than Mike Huether.

I can not wait until next Tuesday when all this will be over.

The only saving grace to this situation is the addition of a very well-qualified councilor (Brekke) and the departure of councilors, Rolfing and Erpenbach.

#15 Special Victims Unit on 04.25.18 at 4:22 pm

Has anyone else noticed that Jolene seems to be a professional victim?

#16 "Very Stable Genius" on 04.25.18 at 4:22 pm

So no evidence of a “successful hack” means no intent, huh? So only when “successful” one has intent? I have never heard of that one before. And how can it be “just made up,” when no one denies an unsuccessful attempt?

#17 jon on 04.25.18 at 4:30 pm

That noise you hear? That’s Jolene’s chance at winning going down the drain.

#18 l3wis on 04.25.18 at 5:11 pm

VSG- Right? That press release was from the GOP Hate Machine’s main propaganda manager, keeper of secrets, and head scandal burier, Jackboots himself. If you don’t have all of the evidence yet, how can you say a hack occurred or not? Convenient timing to. Please Noem, beat Jackboots in the primary. PLEASE!!!!!

#19 "Very Stable Genius" on 04.25.18 at 5:44 pm

Exactly, the investigation is still on going. These preliminary finings are merely an attempt to give the impression that “nothing” has happen. It is obviously politically motivated. Remember this is the same crowd that claimed the EB5 scandal was only a $ 2000 felony and that the GEAR-UP scandal was only a Platte problem and not a Pierre one too….

We have a “fundamentally” corrupt state and city and it is truly time to “drain the swamp.” Vote for Jo, unless you like the way things are run, but I hope you are an established Republican if you don’t like Jo, because if you aren’t, then you are really not getting a piece of the pie even though you think you are…..

#20 Canadian on 04.25.18 at 8:27 pm

VSG – Remember that the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Department is investigating this along with the DCI. Are you saying that both law enforcement organizations are corrupt? That is a very serious charge. Can you back that up or are you just running your mouth? Not a very smart play for a “genius”.

#21 Rachel on 04.25.18 at 8:31 pm

Ok..Let’s pretend Paul is a great guy. Ethical, tolerant and open to different perspectives..what kind of d-bag calls another candidate and says “ alludes to having more tools in their toolbox” or whatever malicious junk he said? Seriously..for those who have made this “dirty and negative”, what is one honest reason for voting for him.

#22 Warren Phear on 04.25.18 at 8:59 pm

One honest reason for voting for tenhaken? Uhhhh, he gave trump a B as Prez?

#23 "Very Stable Genius" on 04.25.18 at 11:03 pm


To answer your question, the fact that the AG has a double standard when it comes to elections and investigations when you evaluate how his office has handle this recent controversy versus Rounds’ race in 2014 and EB5, or how about the arrest of Bosworth, which was held back until the primary election returns came in, then there are questions to legitimately be asked about the partisanization of the AGs office, in my opinion….. And such actions are definitely corrupting to our political system, our criminal system, and our faith as citizens that the system really does work for us and our best interests.

And furthermore, if you think that the EB5 scandal was merely a $ 2000 felony fine or that GEARUP was just a Platte problem, then I want to live in your world, because they say that there is bliss where there is ignorance….. And sometimes bliss sounds rather peaceful…. without a crime to worry about….

#24 Rachel on 04.25.18 at 11:27 pm

Giving Trump a B doesn’t do much to raise ones credibility

#25 The Guy from Guernsey on 04.27.18 at 7:46 am

LO f’n L anybody who believes that a local sheriff’s department and South Dakota DCI are going to run parallel, independent investigations on this, or any other case.
South Dakota DCI is the lead agency.
And, if you believe that an investigator on the staff of a county sheriff’s department is going to risk their career by ruffling feathers in a case led by the AG, I would encourage you to look closely at the havoc brought to the livelihoods and careers of a child advocate and a prosecutor in the Brown County State’s Attorney office when they dared to get crossway with the interests of Jackley and DCI. (Google Mette rape scandal – it is enlightened reading in advance of the gubernatorial primary).