UPDATE: Mayor TenHaken’s PAC dumps $17,500 into Dr. Sarah Cole’s Campaign

Bought and paid for.

That was my argument all along with Cole’s candidacy. A person who hasn’t bothered to vote in a local election the entire time she has lived here (another story our incredibly inept local media never touched). It’s one thing for the mayor to endorse a candidate running against an incumbent, it’s whole other ball of wax to dump this amount of money (after the final financial disclosure before the election) towards the challenger.

You have to be one major bitter, vengeful, vindictive person to go above and beyond to eliminate an incumbent, who ironically voted for almost 99% of the mayor’s policies.

Notice how the listing of the PAC is also improper (it should be Next Generation Leadership PAC). It is also concerning that the PAC itself has yet to file their July financial report. Yesterday at 5 PM was the deadline.

You will also notice that Cole spent almost $23K on advertising and over $5k on consulting. Ironically, Rich Merkouris almost spent the exact same amount on advertising. Cole never voted in a municipal election before. She never raised her own campaign funds and it appears she had little to do with running the campaign.

UPDATE: I did find the PAC’s filings on the SOS website. The original filing was in May and an amended one in June. It is pretty clear that the entities and individuals who gave to the PAC knew exactly where the money was going;



15 comments ↓

#1 Very Stable Genius on 07.07.22 at 1:29 pm

Say, when is her run-off? Because the night of the April 12th election, both she and the local media claimed she was in a run-off.

( and Woodstock adds: “I know they don’t teach civics anymore, but don’t they teach math anymore either?”… )

#2 VSG on 07.07.22 at 1:36 pm

“…. Cole never voted in a municipal election before. She never raised her own campaign funds and it appears she had little to do with running the campaign….”

That sounds like how the powers to be plan to run BradyHaken’s senate campaign in ’26.

#3 Piggies on 07.07.22 at 2:16 pm

Slimy is what slimy does.

#4 Mike Lee Zitterich on 07.07.22 at 5:51 pm

There is no law that requires a person to actually vote in any such state or local election to run for public office. There are a number of ways to be involved in the public forum, you can attend public meetings, be part of the legislative process, city council process of making your voice heard, attempting to influence the public votes on our governing boards, let alone meeting with public officials directly to influence their job. Public Elections really do not solve much other than the fact, you change the mindset of those governing bodies.

#5 l3wis on 07.07.22 at 5:53 pm

Mike, you forgot to mention Sarah was also involved with a book club 🙁

#6 scott on 07.07.22 at 8:22 pm

is there nothing that ten haken does that mike z won’t make excuses for?

#7 Steve on 07.07.22 at 8:33 pm

Just more proof that Mayor no-tie is corrupt, doesn’t try to hide it and his puppets cover for him. Also quite funny how Mike Z usually defends this Mayor and most of his cronies.

#8 Piggies on 07.08.22 at 9:11 am

Some of those making excuses for the corrupt practices and the ones who practice the corruption are wishing they could join it.

#9 D@ily Spin on 07.08.22 at 9:17 am

Politicians bribing each other. What’s new?

#10 Mike Lee Zitterich on 07.08.22 at 12:35 pm

Interesting, Scott, I am part of a book club also. Not sure what a book club has to do with politics, other than one meets with other people to discuss topics at hand. That should tell you shes every bit involved in the community.

As for the ‘accusations’ I always support the mayor on every issue, that is not totally true. While I do support the current mayor, I do see him as open, transparent, and up front in his agenda, I have at times also spoken out against his policies in the past, but I do so in a respectful dialogue, not to attack him nor anyone else.

Part of a “mayors” duties is to engage publically and to bring people together under a common set of goals, agenda, and principles.

As for how he wishes to manage his PAC, the law allows him to utilize the PAC to donate like minded individuals who support his agenda, his political ideals, his plan. It is no different from any other Mayor that we have had in Sioux Falls. The only issue here is that he is a Republican, and this mostly a Democrat Blog criticizing the current mayor.

If you do NOT like how PAC’s are managed, then you can only do one thing, “Change State Law”

Take it First Hand – “WHEN” you are respectful in dialogue, and you openly discuss policy with the likes of the Mayor or any member of the City Council, “THEY” do listen to you, and they conform to making slight changes to their policy. The current Mayor does “Listen” to you where you are respectful.

#11 l3wis on 07.08.22 at 4:31 pm

Mike, Mike, Mike. This is a question of ethics NOT law. Can you imagine if the media did a major story about this before the election?

You also quickly forget city government is non-partisan. That is why this independent progressive had no problem helping 3 Republicans get elected to the city council. Cole was a Republican and so was Brekke.

This is about bringing big money and partisan politics into non-partisan city government. Not only is it unethical, disgraceful, and vindictive, it is gutter politics at it’s finest.

Paul is the same partisan hack he was when he ran Click Rain. Little has changed except he has gotten worse.

#12 Mike Lee Zitterich on 07.09.22 at 1:23 pm

Even if the City Council is partisan, free from political parties, has no bearing on the fact an individual can donate to anyones campaign of their choice. I still do not u nderstand the argument here,

#13 Piggies back door delivery on 07.10.22 at 2:05 pm

MZ it looks like you don’t understand ethics

#14 Mike Lee Zitterich on 07.11.22 at 5:30 pm

Again, there is no ethical issue here, the LAW allows for Candidates to establish a PAC, to be used to fund their own campaigns, let alone fund other campaigns. Most of you are just upset that the Mayor used his PAC to fund campaigns of those you do not support. If it was the other way around, you all would NOT have any issues. Period.

#15 l3wis on 07.11.22 at 6:30 pm

Mike, you seem to struggle with the difference between Ethics and Law, but most partisan hacks think if something is legal it makes it ethical;

https://keydifferences.com/difference-between-law-and-ethics.html#:~:text=Key%20Differences%20Between%20Law%20and%20Ethics&text=Ethics%20means%20the%20science%20of,behave%20in%20a%20particular%20situation.

Here is an example. Let’s say you attended Sunday service, and during that service your pastor gave an amazing uplifting positive sermon. After the service you ran into him in the parking lot and you hear him blurt out ‘God Dammit’ because he dropped his keys in a mud puddle. While there are NO church bylaws to oust him because he swore, his words were disturbing since we was the same person who just gave a beautiful sermon. An ethical person would immediately apologize to you for the uncomfortable moment and you would move on, an unethical person would ignore you and move on knowing there is nothing in the church bylaws that could remove him from his pastorship. PTH knows it is legal which he equates with ethical. Would an ethical person wait until after the last reporting date before the election to make the contribution? That alone, even if it was only $1 makes it unethical because it is sneaky and misleading. Would an ethical person take campaign contributions from toddlers? PTH did. This is a question of ethics not law.