UPDATE: Just How does the Sioux Falls Development Foundation use our money?

Just for clarification on the video below, it may have been Rick Kiley who actually said ‘More Fabrication’ and NOT Neitzert, but we are uncertain.

UPDATE: Stehly questioned the head of the Development Foundation today at the informational meeting about this. It was a good discussion. I think Brekke and Danielson explained the reason why this isn’t protected speech;

Councilor Janet Brekke as well as civic watchdog Bruce Danielson countered, though, saying because the Sioux Falls Development Foundation receives public funds, it is held to a higher standard when it comes to political speech.

State Law on this is also very clear;

Universal Citation: SD Codified L § 12-27-20

12-27-20. Expenditure of public funds to influence election outcome prohibited. The state, an agency of the state, and the governing body of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state may not expend or permit the expenditure of public funds for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of any candidate, or for the petitioning of a ballot question on the ballot or the adoption or defeat of any ballot question. This section may not be construed to limit the freedom of speech of any officer or employee of the state or such political subdivisions in his or her personal capacity. This section does not prohibit the state, its agencies, or the governing body of any political subdivision of the state from presenting factual information solely for the purpose of educating the voters on a ballot question.

Source: SL 2007, ch 80, § 20.

I was happy to hear the head of the Development Foundation say that the board will look into this.

The taxpayers of Sioux Falls have donated millions of tax dollars to the SFDF for supposed workforce development. So how do they spend their money? They buy an article on Siouxfalls.business about the treasurer of Alex Jensen’s council campaign, Matt Paulson. Can you say possible conflict of interest?

This paid piece is sponsored by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

While I don’t take issue with them paying for an article about Paulson, he has many achievements, I take issue with an organization who receives tax dollars from us (even if it is coming out of a different ‘pool’) on a person who is currently engaged with at least one city council race (maybe two).

The SFDF should have steered clear of this possible conflict. I do think they are a decent organization that does some good in our community, but when you are receiving tax dollars and other special incentives from the city and citizens, this just looks bad.


#1 "Very Stable Genius" on 01.06.20 at 8:57 pm

I.T. knowledge is the new money of politics. It’s a currency in its own right, that can capitalize, or should we say, multiply with assured guarantees….. #JustAskPutin

#2 Plausible Deniability on 01.06.20 at 10:52 pm

Thanks for illustrating this. I don’t follow Schwan’s web site regularly – I only look at it when something of interest is brought to my attention. Frankly, I had no idea any of her “story” content was paid for – each page of content has the same appearance. Only by closer examination of the byline do you learn it’s “sponsored” content. How many average readers do that? This is the problem with a lot of electronic media vs print. In print, paid content is often displayed on separate page sections with unique layouts/graphics/coloring/headers. It’s apparent the content is different from objective reporting. That being said, in contrast to L3WIS I DO have a problem with the SFDF using taxpayer money to buy media coverage of individuals like Paulson who own/operate for-profit businesses. The SFDF can give space on their web site for a glowing piece like this one for Paulson. Paying for further circulation/distribution with taxpayer dollars is BS.

#3 Sharon on 01.07.20 at 8:54 am

Having this particular column specifically labeled “a paid piece” is funny when all of Jodi’s content is pay-for-play.

#4 l3wis on 01.07.20 at 9:51 am

I was going to mention that. The difference is that this article specifically has the tag line and they get tax dollars.

#5 Warren Phear on 01.07.20 at 6:10 pm

Scott, I am interested in your first sentence that leads off this story. Taxpayers have donated millions of dollars? How? Why?

#6 l3wis on 01.07.20 at 8:07 pm

I guess during the informational councilor Erickson was on FB reading in real time the comments being made about Theresa.

#7 l3wis on 01.07.20 at 8:07 pm

Warren, the city has given millions over the years to the SFDF for supposed ‘workforce development’.

#8 Erica on 01.07.20 at 11:12 pm

Why are taxpayers giving money to SFDF anyway? Sounds like something that should rely solely on donations by choice rather than forced donations.

#9 Jean Claude on 01.08.20 at 3:00 am

Why does the private sector need public funds for workforce development? Whatever happen to the private funds, which were once used for on-the-job-training?

#10 Ljl on 01.08.20 at 11:29 am

I’ve long known this a slush fund for SF elite. BUT after reading the actual article I can’t find the connection. It’s about Paulson not the candidate. It doesn’t even mention Paulson’s puppet candidate. No one reading this article will have there vote swayed

Again Theresa has waded into your stupidity pool.

#11 l3wis on 01.08.20 at 12:40 pm

It’s towards the end where he mentions running his campaign

#12 Jean Claude on 01.08.20 at 12:56 pm

When is the city going to give funds for a pro-labor movement in town? #ItsonlyFair

#13 "Woodstock" on 01.08.20 at 1:05 pm

“Say, where can a guy get some of this ‘workforce development’ money?”…..”I’ve got a cousin who is kind of lazy”….

#14 Jean Claude on 01.08.20 at 1:54 pm

“Workforce development” is a Republican phrase and any Democrat who uses it in a positive manner should be held in high suspicion.

If employers in this state would only pay a living wage, then there would be no need for “workforce development.”

Democrats in this state should be calling for higher wages and not be weak enablers to a Republican talking point.

Why should we subsidize the business community to train, when they used to do it themselves?

Our educational system should not be hi-jacked by this “workforce development” nonsense, either. It’s the duty of our educational system to create well arounded students. It’s not the duty of our educational system to merely create robots for the greater economy. And, it’s the duty of Democratic leaders in this state to work for the worker and not be mere sheep for the ownership class of this state as well.

Increasingly, I am hearing Democratic candidates in this state promote “workforce development,” but in so doing, they are not working for the worker, but rather for the ownership class, and in so doing, only further eroding what is left of the Democratic Party in this state and what it stands for.

In recent times, we have allowed Democratic standard bears to proclaim to be anti-choice, pro-gun, and sounding boards for his “workforce development” nonsense. This needs to stop. Democrats in this state need to “Come Home,” as McGovern once called upon Americans to do, and be the Democratic Party in this state that McGovern created, and which current party leaders unfortunately are allowing to be sold to the highest bidder or coded Republican talking point.

#15 LJL on 01.08.20 at 5:57 pm

You’ve got your own flavor of cool-aid there Jean. I’ll scroll past from now on!

#16 D@ily Spin on 01.09.20 at 12:44 pm

Has the SFDF become a slush fund method for steering public money into the private sector?

#17 The Guy from Guernsey on 01.09.20 at 7:19 pm

Ding! Ding! Ding!
D@ily Spin with the winner.
‘Steering’ would be a generous euphemism that might apply when you consider the flows of money across blurred lines which define the boundaries of all of the joint ventures, ‘community partnerships’ and the amorphous relationships between the coffers of taxpayers, the SF Community Dev Foundation, Forward Sioux Falls, the Chamber of Commerce, University Discovery zones and various investment / [ahem, cough cough] angel funds which are laddled money for placement to private businesses around town.

#18 The Guy from Guernsey on 01.09.20 at 7:30 pm

In before “Woodstock” with this musing:
But, when money flows from tax coffers through circuitous corridors to eventual placement as equity investment in a business, is it considered ‘laundered’?
Or just dirty money?

#19 "Woodstock" on 01.10.20 at 11:28 am

“I think it’s called plain old and simple ‘corporate welfare,’ that’s what I think”…..”But on an other note, maybe the SFDF is to the city what Air America once was and many claim the U.S. Agency for International Development is now to the CIA”…. “Oh, and didn’t you hate it, when you were a kid and you opened up the frig in the summer, and all you could find was day old Kool-Aid in it?”….. #WonderYears…. #SchwinnStingRays …. #AirAmerica…. #YouNeverKnowWhenItsTheCIA