There have been some people questioning if Mayor TenHaken’s presser on IM 27 violated state law;

When Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken attended a news conference and shared his concern about recreational marijuana on Oct. 26, it caught Melissa Mentele’s attention. She was sponsor of the successful 2020 ballot measure which legalized medical marijuana in the state. Mentele herself held a news conference on Tuesday in Sioux Falls; she wants to know if TenHaken broke state codified law, which says that the state or a state agency can’t spend public money to influence the success or failure of a ballot question.

Technically you could say he violated state law; he used a public facility funded by the taxpayers of Sioux Falls and Minnehaha County and he did it while he was on the clock. He also did not share FACTUAL information.

As for any 1st Amendment violations, I agree with TenHaken;

TenHaken sent KELOLAND News via text message: “Fortunately as an elected leader I don’t have to forfeit my First Amendment rights to say IM27 is terrible public policy and people should vote no.”

He is very much correct that elected officials don’t give up their 1st Amendment rights after taking office, but, this is NOT about constitutional or state law, this is about ethics.

As an elected official who may have to rule/vote on proposed law in the future, it is very unethical and conflicting to take a position on a ballot measure before it has been voted on. What makes it even more complicated is using money from a personal PAC to fund an opposition campaign, BTW, a campaign littered with lies and false information.

This should be questioned, but not on the basis of law, but on ethics.

“Laws without morals are in vain.” – Benjamin Franklin

8 Thoughts on “It’s about ETHICS not LAW

  1. D@ily Spin on November 2, 2022 at 9:51 am said:

    The people want legal marijuana. Not necessarily for use but because there’s to much legal consequence and expense. The courts and jails are clogged with minor possession. It’s become necessary to parole violent criminals to make room. Pot is no worse than alcohol and tobacco. A politician taking a foolish stance is one who should lose elections.

  2. D@ily Spin on November 2, 2022 at 10:03 am said:

    Coming out against pot gets Stoners to vote. Such a stance is not good for political careers.

  3. Mike Zitterich on November 2, 2022 at 1:30 pm said:

    Have any of you done a public record request on the total population of our Prison, Jail, and Sanctioning System? How do you know our prisons and jails are full of marijuana/drug offenders. Can this be backed with facts?

    The Sheriff, Police Chief, the Mayor all say otherwise.

    The MAYOR is the public voice of ALL RESIDENTS of the City, not only does he speak for the common residents, he also must fully represent the Land Owners, Real Property Holders, Business Owners as well – that is what it means to be a At-Large Representative. He represents ALL.

    When the Landowners, Business Owners, Property Holders all ask the Mayor and the other At-Large Reps to protect their properties from drug offenders, the Mayor must also represent their wishes as well, not just the common residents who reside on that land.

    The Mayor is 100% within his right to promote, donate, and help make people aware of the effects of Drugs on the community, as well as promoting the Public Health, Safety, and Policing of the community. In fact, that is his #1 Job –

    Keep in mind, the origins of the Police Dept’s was established during the mid 1850’s in order to protect the “Commercial Interests” of the Community. By protecting that commercial Interests from Crime, you inadvertly protect the entire community itself.

    I also make the argument that the public matter of Marijuana shows that more than 50% of this State does NOT support full legalization of Marijuana as in 38 counties, the overwhelming population said NO by more than 60%. You only have support in 13 Counties. Again – the job of an AT-LARGE REP is be a voice for ALL Counties, Legislative Districts, Precincts, Communities.

    Lets be honest shall we, how many truly support full legalization?

    I ask the question sincerely….

  4. rufusx on November 2, 2022 at 2:17 pm said:

    Zitterich – when pot is made legal – crime will go down, because it isn’t the pot that makes possessing it a crime – it’s the law that makes possessing it a crime. Get rid of the law – you’ve gotten rid of a whole lot of crime. It’s very very simple logic that evidently completely escapes you – AND the rest of the anti-pot = pro-crime crowd.

  5. rufusx on November 2, 2022 at 2:20 pm said:

    Zitterich – “the origins of the Police Dept’s was established during the mid 1850’s in order to protect the “Commercial Interests” of the Community.” Sure – IF you agree that the primary “commercial interest” of those communities was their “property” in the form slaves. THEN and only then can your statement about the origins of policing in the US be interpreted to be true.

  6. Vote NO on IM-27 on November 2, 2022 at 2:46 pm said:

    Quite a bit of false info pushed by those who are looking to profit from legalization and commercialization for recreational use. Drug users are not exactly known to be truth tellers either.

  7. Very Stable Genius on November 2, 2022 at 7:56 pm said:

    I have written many times that we are all a part of one big entity, where the Republicans are the sales department, who will say anything to make a sale, while the Democrats are like the retention/customer service department, who work to make it all right:

  8. rufusx on November 3, 2022 at 9:12 am said:

    Vote No – “commercialization” is not included in IM 27. It addresses possession and ONLY possession.

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