SouthDaCola Odds & Ends

What a great attendance Downtown for First Friday. I think it’s time DTSF considers closing off Phillips from 10th to 12th on the weekends like they do with their DT in Austin, TX.

From the patio of Icon on Friday night, and my new favorite park Today

The Downtown Parking Ramp groundbreaking is on Monday;

What: Groundbreaking ceremony for the mixed-use parking ramp project

When: Monday, May 7, 2018 • 4:30 p.m.

Where: 110 South Mall Avenue, Downtown Sioux Falls near Tenth Street and River Road

Former Minnehaha State’s Attorney Dave Nelson did a robo call for Curt Soehl. I wondered if there was some other secret weapon up Soehl’s sleeve. I heard a robocall from Nelson today left on someone’s VM. I believe the message was left on election day. We had heard rumors that Soehl was recruited by Huether and Erpenbach, and this kind of confirms it. Nelson chaired Huether’s run for mayor.

Greg Belfrage used to play softball. On Friday’s show Belfrage was talking about how he used to play softball. I almost called in (I usually have trouble getting past the producer) and said, “You know Greg, I didn’t know you used to play softball, but I always kind of wondered considering the questions you asked Mayor Huether over the past 8 years.

The city recently fell victim to a phishing scam in the finance department. The city isn’t saying the amount they were scammed out of (go figure) but claim it will reimbursed by an enhanced crime insurance coverage. Whatever that is. But it surprised me considering all the gloating about the new financial software and the over 20 people that work in the finance office. Makes you wonder what kind of policies the city has when checking each other’s work. It’s a good thing we spiked Turbak’s salary by $16K before he retired 🙁

Drinking Liberally gives us an update on the Dems;

The South Dakota Democratic Party (SDDP) held its annual McGovern Day celebration on April 28th. The top ticket Democratic candidates, Gubernatorial candidate Billie Sutton and Congressional candidate Tim Bjorkman gave strong performances and both should do well this fall. It is an uphill battle for both but they give Democrats a real chance of winning both contests.

SDDP Chair, Ann Tornberg, touted her success recruiting Democratic candidates in a record number of South Dakota’s legislative races, 103 of the 105 if I remember correctly. While this is an accomplishment of sorts, it papers over the decline in Democratic voter registration the SDDP continues to experience. As I noted in a previous invitation, for the first time in living memory Democratic voter registration fell below 30% of all South Dakota registered voters in March (29.9%). In April, the Republican registration advantage over Democrats increased by another 1657 voters, reducing the SDDP’s share of the electorate by another 0.2% to 29.7%. When asked about the continued decline in Democratic voter registration, Ann and her staff pointed to a $50,000.00 grant the SDDP had just received from the Democratic National Party to conduct voter registration and Get Out The Vote among our Native American citizens. Native Americans have proven to be a solid Democratic constituency and they make up approximately 15% of South Dakota’s total population. The $50,000.00 will prove helpful I am sure but I doubt it will stop the overall decline in Democratic voter registration. The grant is an expansion of a similar $10,000.00 grant the SDDP received last summer (2017) during which statewide Democratic voter registration declined 3.31%. (This decline was due in part to annual voter purges of inactive voters conducted by County Auditors.) By way of comparison, last summer Democratic voter registration declined by 4.8% and 3.7% respectively in Oglala Lakota and Todd counties, two counties with large Native Americans populations. During this same 2017 period, statewide Republican and Independent registration declined by 1.93% and 0.95%. Ann can spin all she wants but in the end the numbers and the voters tell the story.

In Sioux Falls: The hotly contested nonpartisan Mayoral election on May 1st wasn’t so hot as the Republican candidate, Paul Ten Haken, defeated the Democratic candidate, Jolene Loetscher, by 24%, 62.7% to 37.3%.

In my humble opinion, Democratic candidates are on their own for the most part and the SDDP needs to do some serious soul searching. To quote myself, “It is time to make the Democratic Party, democratic.”


#1 "Very Stable Genius" on 05.05.18 at 7:27 pm

Curt won because Mike and Michelle changed it to a 50+% threshold…. Their game plan is already in action and working…. Its a Koch Brothers’ mentality…. If you can’t win, then manipulate the system, in order to win…..

#2 l3wis on 05.05.18 at 11:59 pm

VSG, there still would have been a runoff under the old rules because Zach didn’t even get a plurality in the General (34%). Either way, the 50%+1 idea is still stupid.

#3 D@ily Spin on 05.06.18 at 1:07 am

Hey, I like where we live again. For me, I am happy Huether and his minions (Rolfing and Erpenbach) are gone. There will be more mischief but city bond rating prevents spending 100 million or more on affluent sports or ritual themes. TenHaken has his work cut out just keeping up with present bond payments.

#4 D@ily Spin on 05.06.18 at 1:12 am

A few evenings downtown this summer really makes me feel a part of here. There’s peace in river city. Huether gone makes it so I’ll not be arrested or assaulted because of my views.

#5 scott on 05.06.18 at 8:35 am

is the 50% +1 something the new mayor and council might consider repealing?

#6 NotaFan on 05.06.18 at 9:32 am

The departments used to have their own people who took care of billing.

Huether took those people away and replaced them with higher paid “business analysts” who the departments have to go through to buy everything.

When there were department people who only dealt with vendors for their area, they had a better idea who the people were that worked for those companies.

While this scam still could have happened, it would have been less likely to happen under the department-based, not financed based system.

All the finance department does is buy the cheapest possible items possible without any consideration if it will last as long or not, so as long as they can brag about “saving money now” when in reality they are wasting money long-term.

That’s not even business acumen let alone a good way to be responsible with tax payer money.

I want to hear how much they got scammed for.

#7 Rufusx on 05.06.18 at 1:05 pm

I know of a few Dems that are registering as Repubs specifically to be able to vote in their primaries. Maybe the voter registration mean as much as they APPEAR to.

#8 "Very Stable Genius" on 05.06.18 at 3:50 pm

#9 T on 05.06.18 at 5:38 pm

How can the city fall victim to a phishing scam?!! If the “vendor” had new transfer instructions, those should have been verified with a call to the vendor. Policy change?! How much were the transfers? I suppose we won’t ever find out. Bogus!

#10 jerrbear on 05.06.18 at 6:56 pm

@NotaFan – 500k

#11 l3wis on 05.06.18 at 7:12 pm

JB – How do you know this amount.

#12 "Very Stable Genius" on 05.06.18 at 8:03 pm

“$500,000?” Maybe the scammers are building a fund for new siding and they’re going to surprise us?

And since it was a “successful” phishing scam, that probably means that the AG’s office would see it as a crime, huh?

#13 jerrbear on 05.06.18 at 9:55 pm

@l3wis – second-hand info given to me. Can’t confirm. Heard it was two installments of 250k before fraud was realized. If true this is a pretty big boner by Mr Business Acumen.

#14 Matthew Paulson on 05.06.18 at 10:05 pm

Not surprising the city fell victim to this scam. My company gets fake invoices all of the time from scammers hoping I won’t notice it’s a B.S. invoice and will simply pay the bill. I could see how this would happen if someone else in my company were paying the bills if they didn’t know all of the vendors and good checks and balances weren’t put in place.

#15 Bruce on 05.07.18 at 7:40 am

There were supposed to be so many roadblocks to this type of activity ever happening to Sioux Falls city government. Our top notch business models were supposed to catch anything like this before it could take place. Now the taxpayers of South Dakota get to share more pain left by the incompetence of this form of Sioux Falls government.

We are told money is missing but because they can’t find it, there was no crime?

#16 l3wis on 05.07.18 at 8:46 am

I want to know where I can get an ‘enhanced crime insurance’ policy. Sounds like some Bullsh*t Fiddle-Faddle made up to basically say the PAA will just repay the city for their incompetence. Also, did the employees who did this get to keep their jobs? Seems like a fireable offense?

#17 "Very Stable Genius" on 05.07.18 at 10:54 am

“We are told money is missing but because they can’t find it, there was no crime?”

What? “Missing” is now a disqualifier like “unsuccessful?”
I don’t think we should allow our AG such an other pass, do you?

#18 l3wis on 05.07.18 at 1:36 pm

Notice Legacy is NOT listed on the press release for the DT parking ramp ribbon cutting today.

#19 "Very Stable Genius" on 05.07.18 at 1:42 pm

Some say Legacy and some say Lamont. Legacy, Lamont, what’s the difference?…. They’re both “L” words like lying, larceny, lame, leniency, looting, loose, lousy, and laughable…..

#20 matt johnson on 05.07.18 at 2:12 pm

did not realize you had any “humble” opinions-

#21 anonymous on 05.07.18 at 3:50 pm

How can Legacy NOT be listed on the press release for the parking ramp?

#22 "Very Stable Genius" on 05.07.18 at 10:48 pm

It was Legacy and Hultgren, then it was Boomerang, then Legacy and Hultgren were back, but soon to be changed to Legacy and Lamont, but now it’s the Village River Group?
………..But “isn’t a thorn a thorn by any other name?”

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