Belfrage misses the point of releasing the TenHaken voicemail

You can hear the discussion. She did have a defender during his segment.

I will say this first. I don’t like how this has been going. In fact I think everyone involved is acting horribly, I do agree with Belfrage that it is a little out of control. I wish people on both sides of this issue would just respect each other’s comments and opinions. They are all elected by the constituents, you are NOT going to agree with each other all of the time. That’s okay. That is how good government gets done. Having disagreements is healthy, also having open, transparent meetings to discuss these disagreements is healthy. Do people’s feelings get hurt? Sure. That’s what they call ‘making the sausage’. So I hope they all can just apologize to each other and move on. Including Theresa, the mayor and several other councilors.

But let’s look at the FACTS, just for clarification;

Belfrage first talks about how Stehly posted on his FB page about the issue over the weekend and he was upset about it. A couple of things I would like to fill Greg in on;

• Facebook and the internet is 24/7, 365 days. It doesn’t shut off when you are not blabbing on the radio.

• His FB page is his show’s FB page. He claims he is part of the media. While that is a stretch, it is true.

If someone is posting a comment on your FB page that is part of your show, there is NOTHING irregular about it. In fact, if a local politician wanted to post an issue there, that would be the appropriate place to do it. If this would have been a personal page, he would have a right to be upset, but it wasn’t.

The second issue is the whole point of posting the voicemail by Paul wasn’t to show he was ‘mean’. He wasn’t mean, he was actually calm and respectful. The point is that the mayor LIED. He made this comment on FB after Stehly said she had the VM;

‘There are no mean emails, voicemails, or the like here.’

Yeah, once again it wasn’t ‘mean’ but a voicemail does exist. That was her point. Instead of calling Theresa, or emailing her to ask to hear the VM, he just automatically denied it existed. That was the entire point folks.

Did Theresa probably go about it the wrong way? Yeah, probably, but as I have told people, I don’t control how Theresa operates. I can ‘try’ to give advice (I have told her several times to get the f’ck off of FB and start a blog instead so she can moderate the commentary a little better, or HAVE no comments at all, just make it informational in nature).

So what is the ‘bigger’ lesson here? Some people in city government don’t get along, we see it every week in the smirks and commentary at the city council meetings. Not sure that will ever change. Some of them simply don’t like each other. The mayor himself vowed to make sure certain people get elected to the council next time around. Theresa isn’t on that list. Sorry, I don’t have a secret VM confirming that, but unless you have been under a rock the past two years you can see that is pretty obvious.

I’m begging all elected officials in city government and local and state government to get off of Facebook and talk to our actual faces. That would solve a lot of problems. Transparency in government will always win the day.



16 comments ↓

#1 Matthew Paulson on 12.10.19 at 9:56 pm

This week’s council drama aside, I don’t think the “get politics off Facebook and on to private blogs” position is going to do well over the long term (even though you make some decent points about FB’s short-comings).

I learned from both Startup Sioux Falls and MarketBeat is that if you want to make an online community, you have to do it using the platform(s) people are already using. People are too inundated with apps/websites to check already and adding one new platform for people to check is too high of a bar for many.

I had previously tried to build Startup Sioux Falls on LinkedIn, but it didn’t work because people just don’t use it regularly. I moved it to Facebook and it took off.

I think we’re seeing this with politics now. While I like the commentary that you and some other local political blogs provide, on your most popular articles you may get 15-30 comments. Some of the more exciting topics on SF Politics have drawn 100+ comments.

You are definitely spot on about having political conversations in-person. People are way nicer in person than they are online. I wonder how a group like SF politics could encourage voters to interact with city officials in-person. I’d be curious if you might have any thoughts about that.

#2 Andy on 12.10.19 at 10:01 pm

This City desperately needs mature leadership. We don’t have it in the Mayor’s office OR on the Council. Everything is personal, none of it is helpful. And the mayor should stop leaving threatening voicemails with women he disagrees with.

#3 "Very Stable Genius" on 12.10.19 at 10:17 pm

The fact that this articulate and attractive politician has to be so protective of his Facebook account speaks volumes to the fact that he is totally dependent upon his social media image and persona to politically exist.

His willingness to continue a Trumpian approach to Stehly – like Trump versus Rosie O’Donnell back in ’06 – proves that increasingly our leaders are not leading, but rather just entertaining us like our favorite WWE wrestler. No wonder crime keeps rising, a Bunker Ramp gets built, affordable housing doesn’t exist, and wages are stagnant in a town, where TIFS are handed out like it’s Halloween. #HowSad…#GrowUp…#DingDing…#Time4AnOtherRound

#4 D@ily Spin on 12.11.19 at 7:42 am

Facebook is a dangerous forum. It’s a place for slander more than praise. It’s a place for gloating and artificial fame. Just a few words pose defamation. Kids kill or commit suicide when there’s mean social comments. Publically, especially politically, it’s dangerous. Aren’t we better than Trump tweets?

#5 LJL on 12.11.19 at 12:08 pm

Fairly usual for spineless Belfrage to blend personal and political into his defense. I could make a comment about fathering via Facebook but what good would that do. It’s either for your show or your personal life if you want to play those cards wormy Gregg!

You never miss an opportunity to blather on about yourself do you Paulson? SHEESH I don’t have a need for aluminum siding again today but thanks for another sales pitch!

#6 Ljl on 12.11.19 at 12:11 pm

That one might have been my top of snarkiest post!

#7 Warren Phear on 12.11.19 at 12:11 pm

Has anybody looked at the greg belfrage facebook page lately? Take a stroll down his page for awhile. With the exception of a scattered few local topics, nearly all are hate filled rants he gets from kelo’s national flame-throwers like limpbaugh, hannity, and levin. Read some responses. Nearly all are from the type of people I would expect to see at a trump hatefest rally. greg is wrong to infuse family into his hatefest facebook page. He needs two seperate accounts. One for his maga following, one for his personal family stuff.

Would love to see his block list. I’m sure it is long.

#8 Ljl on 12.11.19 at 12:11 pm

That one might have been my top of snarkiest post!

#9 Ljl on 12.11.19 at 12:14 pm

Well said Andy. But isn’t it refreshing when our elected officials out themselves as petty fools. Kinda takes the guess work out of it!

#10 Scott D Hudson on 12.11.19 at 1:29 pm

Wait, he “demands” an apology because his daughter read the comment before he did? Stop it. Talk about pandering. It’s not like this kid has never heard any criticism of him.

#11 l3wis on 12.11.19 at 3:06 pm

Yeah, this the same guy that finds nothing wrong with our president insulting people everyday, then when people say bad things about Trump he calls them horrible. To think about, Barf is like a mini Trump

#12 "Woodstock" on 12.11.19 at 7:45 pm

“Is this the same child, who, ‘…. know(s) what to do?'”

#13 Conservative Here on 12.12.19 at 10:30 am

Ugggh – Social Media, one the worst inventions of the 21st century and I believe history will judge that to be correct. With that being said, Social Media is here to stay so the question is, how do we adapt to it.

– The mayor is wrong about banning people from his page as its his public page as Mayor. He should have 2 pages one for himself and he can invite/ban who he likes and one for his Public Persona. This is easy peasy and should not be that hard. He also appears to not give 2 sh!ts about what one of his most influential City Counselors has to say. He had an opportunity to unite but, he has further divided. I am big enough to own my mistakes and my mistake was voting for him. I will look for a suitable replacement to support. This is really too bad as I thought he might be a good leader.

– Theresa got this wrong (AGAIN) in her approach and his Voice Mail was not threatening but, it was uncalled for. I was disappointed that this Voice Mail appears to be 11 months old, if so why you dragging it out now. I think she has made everything so personal and its really showing. I would like her to run again but, I think she might be better served to walk away at this point. She has made too many mountains out of molehills or a hill to die on. While this one is not right, I would not go to the mat on this one and she is EVERYWHERE screaming about how bad this is. This is just not a good look and it leads me to believe she is having a difficult time seeing the forest through the trees.

– Our officials are immature and petty and Theresa is included in that. I am a supporter of her as I believe her intent is to look out for us but, she keeps screaming the loudest on so many issues that folks are paying more attention to how she says something vs the substance You have to pick your battles and sometimes she is not self aware.

Scott – I am perplexed by your comment about using a Blog so you can moderate better. Moderate is another form of removing dissenting voices or people you just don’t like. I could be misunderstanding you but, that does not sound like a way to be open and transparent and you are always critical of those who are not.

I would also echo that statement about getting off Facebook and talk to us but, and I have seen it first hand, most of the people that would be in their ear are the nut-bags that show up at council meetings to pontificate on topics that are not relevant to the City or even on topic. The list is long of needed improvements but, suffice to say, this council is ineffective, they dont care, and they are acting like Middle Schoolers. I would be happy to replace all 8 and the Mayor and yes that seems unfair of me to say but, this group should just be swept away and replaced with 9 fresh faces. I think we need a “recall” option on counselors and Mayors, thoughts?

#14 Theresa Stehly on 12.12.19 at 11:13 am

Sorry to belabor this..but I didn’t bring this up last week in the media or anywhere else. The headline was “Stehly accused of blocking”. I’m entitled to show documentation that it has been a tool used by other elected officials. I’m grateful we are all moving on. Watch the next meeting.

#15 Trump2020 on 12.16.19 at 2:03 pm

I don’t visit here much, but when I do, it seems everything I read goes right back to blaming Trump! Please respect our great and glorious leader.

#16 "Woodstock" on 12.17.19 at 1:39 am

“‘great and glorious leader?'”….”Your cable provider must offer North Korean TV, huh?”

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