UPDATE: Rick Knobe calls out the ethics of Sioux Falls City Councilor Erickson and Mayor TenHaken

UPDATE: So it gets even better, Erickson actually went out and got nominating petition signatures for Neitzert, who is the sitting city councilor incumbent running against a Democrat. Ethics be damned!

Rick actually did two articles. ONE & TWO. He makes a great point;

City Council member Christine Vinatieri Erickson used her title on an invite raising money to a candidate opposing a sitting City Council member. Did she break the law? Probably not. But using her official title on an invitation to the event to me crossed an ethical line. Sure she can give money to any candidate, and she can use her first amendment right to speak in favor of or against any candidate, but sponsoring a political fundraiser to unseat a fellow council member to me is over the top. It crosses that ethical line.

Like I said a few days ago, completely legal, but it looks a little ‘sketchy’. I had a discussion the other day with a foot soldier about this topic, and he said something that made sense. “It’s because these people (Erickson & TenHaken) are partisans.” It started to make sense. In legislative races, this kind of activity goes on all the time, because they are partisan races. But in a non-partisan government like the Sioux Falls City Council, playing partisan games just doesn’t fly. It is even more curious, because the Mayor and at least 6 city councilors are Republican. Ethics aside, it just looks ‘odd’. Why bring these kind of games into a non-partisan race? At a recent council meeting, TenHaken compared himself to John Thune (I know, eyeroll). What is obvious to me is that he doesn’t understand the role of a non-partisan city government when he makes ridiculous and ignorant statements like this. If Stehly or anybody else decides to run against Jensen, it’s only going to get more partisan. I have a feeling this will become one of the messiest municipal election campaign seasons we have seen in a long time. Pull up your boots.



6 comments ↓

#1 D@ily Spin on 02.16.20 at 10:35 pm

TenHaken is the preppy boy that makes a criminal enterprise look legal. Line up some questionable credentials and install a Yes Man. The council are puppets that seem to look like democracy. He’s the statue everyone wonders about. ‘David’ is more notable. Anybody who stands outside nude in subzero weather, I respect him.

#2 "Very Stable Genius" on 02.16.20 at 11:17 pm

I can appreciate the distinction between partisan and non partisan races, but when the players in this instance from both sides reside in the same political party, then how is it unethical?

Plus, Jensen will not be beat by us claiming he is the Republican candidate, rather he will be beat by proving he is the candidate of the establishment.

So the real issue is not that Republicans are raising money for Jensen, rather the real issue, or how it should be presented, is that Jensen is the product of the developers, the town’s money interests, and thus, the architects of the Bunker Ramp.

#3 Pundit on 02.17.20 at 12:42 pm

Knobe penned a carefully considered and diplomatically stated opinion. It apparently struck a nerve for Councilor Neitzert, who showed his true colors with an emotional, reactive retort labeling the legitimate discourse a “smear”. Knobe, in contrast, articulated a rational response: “What I find interesting is the interpretation that criticizing the choice of a sitting City Council member is somehow smearing them.” SF resident Jim Kellar also added a wise conclusion on FB: “I find it interesting that asking for clarification on ethics is somehow not ok. If asked, these people have no trouble sounding off on just about anything else…but ethics is too controversial to ask about? No one is entitled to elective office, and when someone starts to delve into this sort of resistance, I vote against them 100% of the time. If you’re bothered by questions, should you be running for office?” Neitzert is an intelligent guy, but is ill-equipped emotionally for elective office beyond the municipal district level. Basically, he should stick to his pocket protractor & scientific calculator.

#4 anonymous on 02.17.20 at 9:21 pm

Aren’t candidates for City Council required to circulate their own petitions, meaning they cannot be circulated by anyone but the candidate?

#5 D@ily Spin on 02.18.20 at 9:21 pm

The city is anarchy. There’s rule of law and Roberts Rules but they’re generally ignored. Strong Mayor Charter cannot be contested. Per the judicial ordinance, the city is a sovereign nation exempt from courts and constitutions. It’s time to change back to of, by, and for the people.

Ethically, Erickson is out of line. Worse, her being a fiduciary with AirBNB violates her oath of office.

#6 WTF on 02.19.20 at 12:16 am

As with any SD petition, if you are over 18 you can circulate.

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