Former Sioux Falls Mayor Knobe writes another FB post on money in local politics

Rick gets into the thick of it again;

A word on Sioux Falls City Election Campaign funds.

You learn a lot about a person by the way they handle other people’s money. Both tax dollars and those monies raised to run an election.

When a person runs for office obviously they need money to run a campaign so they can get their ideas out to the public.

When the campaign is over and the bills are paid, what should be done with leftover cash?

To me it’s simple.

It’s not your money.

Whether you win or lose, you don’t keep it. You don’t save it for your next election. You don’t give it to others running for office.

I agree, as I said a few days ago, the responsible thing to do to your contributors is spend every last penny up until the day of the election. Your campaign chest should really be empty or in debt on election day. That is called running a responsible and fiscally wise campaign which reflects on how you will run government when elected.

If you can figure out how to return it on a per donor or pro rata (an equal percentage goes back to each donor) that would make sense. Remember, It’s not your money. It belongs to your donors.

If that is too cumbersome, then donate it. Maybe the Community Foundation, the United Way, or the local government you love.

I think it would be difficult to give it back, but I do agree with the charitable idea.

Also I think it is dishonest to raise money to run for a city election and use the leftovers to run for another office later on. “I gave you money to run for mayor. I didn’t give you money to use it to run for Governor, Senator, Congress, or any other position.” I’m not targeting the current mayor. Just using that position as an example.

You kind of are, especially a politician who has money left over by skirting campaign finance rules and receiving donations from toddlers. Yes, toddlers.

I like level playing fields. People who have accumulated big war chests while holding office have both the name identification advantage AND the money advantage.

That makes it nearly impossible for smart motivated unknowns to make a dent.

If you run for office to be a true public servant that’s where your energy and time should go. Not to endless fund raising.

This is local government. It’s supposed to be non partisan and with few exceptions be part time.

Let’s not allow lucre (money) to interfere with good local government.

There have been several local races that have won spending a lot less than their opponents. Staggers (versus Knudson), Stehly, Brekke and Starr all spent less than their opponents and even though DeBoer lost to Soehl (by a handful of votes) he spent a lot less. It is possible to beat big money, you just have to find creative ways to get your message out there.


#1 Warren Phear on 01.27.20 at 8:56 pm

About the DeBoer Soehl race. soell got a lot of union support from the bs lies he told them. He would get smothered in a similar race today based on his total collapse of union support. But then again, for every union vote he will surely lose, he is likely to gain from developers and their cronies.

#2 John on 01.27.20 at 10:18 pm

This should be told to Sen Tim Johnson and Gov Daugaard…they both have 500k left to send back

#3 "Very Stable Genius" on 01.27.20 at 10:34 pm

“But then again, for every union vote he will surely lose, he is likely to gain from developers and their cronies.”

Yes, in the academic world, this is known as the Neitzert Curve, or the Greg Manifestation.

Scientists debate whether this phenomenon is spurred by a predisposition of ambition and greed, or if it is merely a by-product of natural selection, which over time exposes one’s limits and classifies it for what it truly is.

But regardless, this phenomenon excuses itself as quantum in nature. Although, it is most likely nothing, but a classic example of opportunism.

#4 D@ily Spin on 01.28.20 at 5:08 pm

Knobe was a good mayor. He was before Home Rule Charter. The big difference is that now city leaders use their office to get rich from kickbacks, corruption, and sport palace bribes (arena, aquatics center, indoor tennis). Then was a time for infrastructure and working class attention. When it costs 500k to run for mayor that is a salary of 100k, something is very wrong. Al Capone didn’t have enough income to file tax returns yet he lived better than multimillionaires. The same con is happening in Sioux Falls city government. It’s not a Ponzi Scheme, it’s the Neitzert RICO.

#5 scott on 01.28.20 at 7:55 pm

knobe either wants back on the air, or to run for office. either would be ok.

#6 LJL on 01.29.20 at 7:20 pm

I am friends with a close relative to Rick. He’s restless but not looking to have a job again. As always, he finds our local politics hard to swallow and is really worried the council is going to screw the city.

#7 Pundit on 01.30.20 at 12:26 pm

Knobe is making some credible points about current issues. He’s always been as entitled to his opinion as anyone else, and he does have the added insight of being a past mayor. Just for the record, however, he did state he regarded citizen efforts against the Midco Aquatic Center as attempts to “micro manage” city government. So, I’m not so sure it’s accurate to say “As always, he finds our local politics hard to swallow. . . .”. Just sayin’.

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