Councilor Starr is responding in a press release below about the rabid right’s attempt to smear him for calling voters in a public service announcement about absentee voting during the middle of a pandemic emergency in our state, county and city. FCC law allows public officials to call citizens in emergencies and what Pat did was far from being against the law.
In fact this smear job isn’t about the law to the SD GOP it is about blatant voter suppression, something they strive at every day.
I have listened to the call several times, and Pat never mentions once that he is running for Minnehaha Treasurer, he also paid for the call himself and not a campaign expense.
In the call Pat asks voters to vote ASAP to protect themselves from a deadly virus that both Mayor TenHaken and Governor Noem have warned us about in Emergency Declarations.
In fact since the call has gone out Pat has received mostly praise from people for alerting them on how to vote safely. Some didn’t even know he was running for treasurer. I have heard some of the voicemails he received and they are absolutely glowing. Of course the right wing dingbats and their minions think that telling people how to vote safely is some violation of a law that is meant to protect consumers from SALESMEN, ironically one of the biggest complainers was using his position as a state official to SELL more from his private business, but AG Jackboots let him off because he didn’t ‘STEAL’ anything. LOL.
As for some of the calls going to voters out of Minnehaha County, as Pat explained it is because voter lists are not current and up to date. But does it really matter? Especially since the message is important to ALL voters across the state.
Once again, the SD GOP ran by an Iowa Bail Bondsmen cries wolf because they really don’t want you to vote. I’m sure the Whaaaaabulance will be showing up shortly in Dakota Dunes.
PRESS RELEASE from Councilor Pat Starr (605) 321-9680
LEGAL USE OF AUTOMATED CALLING
â€œI am not going to apologize for doing the right thingâ€ Pat Starr said today, â€œMaking it easier and safer for people to vote, is my number one priority.â€
â€œIn the face of a declared emergency, a public official is duty bound to use all means to give proper instructions to the public for their safety.â€ Starr added saying â€œI saw the public’s confusion being created by misstatements in the media by many officials.â€
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has issued regulations governing the use by duly elected and appointed officials to issue statements in the public good.
Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz informed the county commission and public recently when saying the anticipated problems with mail deliveries and duplicate ballot issues, â€œIf you are within ten days of the election, and you have something you’ve got to get to us, you better use the Pony Express, or come on down here, or do something besides the mail.â€
Many elected officials including Governor Noem, Minnehaha County Commissioners and Mayor Paul TenHaken have been declaring various â€œStates of Emergencyâ€ this year causing great confusion and health fears. The issued Executive Orders are in effect until at least December 31st, 2020 or until rescinded.
Gov. Kristi Noem didn’t take any chances and declared on April 11th and then again on May 26th, 2020 when she extended South Dakota’s “State of Emergency” declaration regarding COVID-19 through Dec. 30, 2020.
“I do hereby declare that a state of emergency continues to exist in all counties in the state of South Dakota, and I direct the plans and procedures of the State of Emergency Operations Plan continue to be implemented,”
Federal Communication Commission Regulation:
â€œPrerecorded Voice Messages and Autodialed Calls to Cell Phones and Other Mobile Services. Prerecorded voice messages and autodialed calls (including autodialed live calls, prerecorded or artificial voice messages, and text messages) to cell phones and other mobile services such as paging systems are prohibited, subject to only two exceptions: 1) calls made for emergency purposes, and 2) calls made with the prior express consent of the called party.â€
Governor Kristi Noem Emergency Declaration: https://www.capjournal.com/news/coronavirus/state-of-emergency-noem-declares-south-dakota-will-maintain-designation-for-rest-of-year/article_bcb2166a-9f98-11ea-bf41-1feea4e7c37f.html
Sioux Falls Executive Order 218: Subject: Declaration of Emergency to Address the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Given that time is of the essence, pursuant to Section 33.025 of the Code of Ordinances of Sioux Falls, SD, I hereby declare there exists a threat to the public’s health, safety and welfare necessitating immediate measures to prevent the spread and potential effects of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Upon the declaration of an emergency, the Mayor shall have all powers as set forth in Sections 33.026-33.028 of the Code of Ordinances of Sioux Falls, SD.