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Michelle Lavallee – Dem Forum 8/3/2018

Lavallee helps TenHaken get elected, than he helps host a Noem fundraiser

Funny how these things go? When mayoral candidates are running for office they claim to be ‘bi-partisan’ than they go and do things like this after elected. If I was Paul I would have just quietly sent Noem a check.

Michelle Lavallee; Money & Connections

It’s no secret by now, if you want someone with a lot of money/contribution connections, you call Michelle. TenHaken did it when he ran for mayor and now Billie Sutton has summoned her.

While it’s great to bring someone on your campaign team who can help raise money, do you pick them as your running mate? How does a well-connected former Republican with ties to the healthcare and investment banking industry in South Dakota relate with working class Democrats, Independents and Republicans?

I don’t know.

I have often argued that the Democrats have a platform that stands up for these people. Worker rights, higher wages, education, health care, quality of life, etc. They don’t need to be ‘Republican Light’ to win over these kind of voters, they just need to get the message out. I guess we will see how this plays out in November.

Sioux Falls, South Dacola, Year in the Review (Part II)


• Sioux Falls hosts Pheasant Fest for the first time, yet no one stays at our hotels for the event.

• Trains running through DTSF have two derailments this year, but nobody seems to be worried. Maybe that’s why Billion pulled out?

• Sioux Steel announces big redevelopment project Downtown. Maybe we will finally get our secret hidden park back?

• Nobody in the city knows if an actual safety study of Falls Park has been done after a little girl drowns. First it WAS done, than it was mis-information, than it was a training exercise, than lastly it was just an ‘Oral’ report. We finally got a real study done last month (that didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already knew).

• Mayoral Candidate Loetscher proposes Police Precincts, the TenHaken campaign beats her up over it, than after becoming mayor proposes precincts but calls them by a different name.

• Council Candidate Brekke holds news conference about the mayor’s Executive Orders and gag order on city employees.

• Legacy Developments ‘tries’ to blame the media and blogs for their negative image. I guess that building collapse and illegal asbestos removal had nothing to do with it.

Argus Leader endorses TWO mayoral candidates before runoff. WTF?

• Several city election candidates violate sign ordinances by posting signs in the city owned boulevard (parking strip).

• Mayoral Candidate Jim Entenman spends a record $41.40 per vote and gets his ass handed to him.

• Liquor license parking seems to be the new trend for the rich and well connected, first Sanford then the Lamont companies.

• TenHaken campaign donor has his children donate thousands to campaign to skirt donation limit rules. Slimy.

• The GOP hate machine, once again gets involved in a non-partisan mayoral race. They know no limits. Slimeballs.

• TenHaken’s 100 day plan goes to Sh*t!

• Former Republican Lavallee co-chairs TenHaken’s mayoral campaign, than runs as Lt. Governor for Sutton’s campaign. Only in South Dakota.

• Highlight of the year, interviewing Mayor Pete Beuttigieg;

• Mayor Huether gets nominated for a Golden Padlock award for the Secret Siding Settlement. He doesn’t win.

• Rex Rolfing exits the city council than runs for District 13 and gets beat by a newbie. Thank Gaia.

• Transparency is promised by the new council and mayor, we are still waiting.

• Mr. Bendo moves, but told his pipe holding is a violation of sign code. The ridiculous notion gets sorted out.

• Newly Elected Mayor TenHaken appoints former Developer Executive his COS. Didn’t see that one coming. Yeah right. He also appoints a partisan hack as deputy COS who in his free time enjoys bashing liberals on FB.

Is Billie Sutton’s pick for Lt. Governor is (was?) a Republican?

We checked on Michelle Lavallee’s voter registration to see if she recently changed it, but in past tense she is showing up as a Republican and has a very poor voting record.

I also found it interesting that Billie would pick a person who co-chaired Paul TenHaken’s mayoral campaign. While tapping a Sioux Falls Woman with savvy in running a campaign within Sioux Falls is a good idea, Billie really needed to tap a Democrat (you know, the party you are running in). I saw Heidepriem make this mistake when he did the same thing.

Why is it when Democrats run for statewide offices in South Dakota they think they can win as ‘Republican Light’? Either just run as a Republican/Democrat or not at all. This STRATEGY has NEVER worked, and I have no idea why the SD Democratic Party keeps playing this card time and time again.

Is it too early to congratulate Governor Noem on her win?

UPDATE: This is why our local paper’s editorial board shouldn’t endorse candidates

Before the general election I thought it was strange the Argus endorsed two candidates. Both younger candidates with similar business experience. But one was a conservative and the other a progressive. It seems the two candidate endorsement wasn’t a mistake.

Earlier today TenHaken posted this on his FB page;

Because she is a recent member of the Argus Leader Editorial Board, Michelle’s letter to the editor was not able to be printed. But we have no issues posting it! Michelle Lavallee, you are an inspiration to many!

I don’t have an issue with an editorial board member endorsing a candidate on their FB page, or even endorsing them in the paper with an individual letter. But with this clear conflict, the editorial board, no matter who they support personally, or who they are, shouldn’t be endorsing candidates as a body if the members have a personal business relationship with one of the candidates. Also, besides the business relationship, Michelle is also serving as Paul’s Co-Chair for his campaign.

I think the newspaper has done a fantastic job covering the campaign and the platforms of all the candidates, and they should be doing this. But they should stay out of the endorsement game. Notice the TV stations DO NOT endorse candidates. To be truly an un-bias 4th Estate news organization you should stay away from swaying voters one way or the other. Provide the information and let the public decide.

As a blogger with an editorial slant, and as an individual I don’t think it is wrong for me to endorse a candidate. But I also don’t have a personal relationship with either candidate except that I have had a few conversations with both. I also have not directly received advertising revenue from either candidate (I have no control over my google ad circulation). Yet both have advertised on my site thru that service.

I have often felt for awhile that people who don’t research the candidates will pick up the newspaper a couple of days before the election and just blindly vote for the endorsement. This is a problem.

UPDATE: It also seems obvious that the Ed board is setting us up for an endorsement of TenHaken after reading this column. The entire content of the VM isn’t the point, the point is leaving the VM to begin with, because it was in poor judgment for Paul to call and say anything about the incident. When things get rough, the best thing to do as a political candidate is to turn the other cheek and ignore your detractors. Obviously Loetscher struck a nerve with TenHaken. If the ‘doxing’ incident wasn’t a big deal, then don’t make a ‘deal’ out of it.

Who is behind Sioux Falls municipal candidates?

So I went to the city’s campaign finance page to see who is ‘helping’ candidates with their campaigns. Obviously, some candidates that have announced have not officially filed yet. As I understand it, they cannot raise money until they do that.

Here is what we have so far;

Kenny Anderson Jr. (Mayor)

Curt Rust (Former elected official) – Chair

Kristeen Andersen (Independent Accountant) – Treasurer

Thor Bardon (City Council, Central District) Self-Chair and Treasurer

Jim Entenman (Mayor)

Michael Bender (Bender Commercial-Major Developer) & Rob Oliver (Former Augustana President) – Co-Chairs

Melissa Ellefson (Salesperson) – Treasurer

Clara Hart (At-Large Council) – Chair

Kyle Boese (Elbo Computers, former candidate for state legislature) – Treasurer

Jolene Loetscher (Mayor)

Emily Sievers (Marketing Director for Augustana) & Julian Beaudion (Works for State in Public Safety) – Co-Chairs

Sadie Bell (VP or Retail Banking, First Bank & Trust) – Treasurer

John Paulson (At-Large) – Treasurer

Dick Bohy (Retired Hospital Administrator) – Chair

Paul Ten Haken (Mayor)

Michelle Lavallee (Marketing Executive) & Dave Rozenboom (President of First Premier Bank) – Co-Chairs

Joel Dykstra (CEO RMB Associates/Developers) – Treasurer

David Zokaites (Mayor) – Chair

Mack Gammeter (?) – Treasurer

Friends of Sioux Falls (PAC)

Doug Wagner (?) – Chair and Treasurer

I’m not sure what the PAC is all about. I can’t find much information on it or it’s chair. Like most PAC’s they are a way to funnel money to certain candidates. So I guess we will have to watch and see who this PAC gives to.

As for the other candidates, their Co-Chairs can tell you a lot about them. As of right now, it looks like Jim Entenman will have a lot of connections, while big money in town seems to behind Paul Ten Haken.

On the Good Ship Lalley Pop show yesterday Pat and guest Matt Staab discussed who would make it to the runoff. If the election was today, I kind of agree with them. If Jolene doesn’t have any female challengers I would put her and Entenman in the runoff with Entenman winning.

But a lot of things can change between now and April. Jamison still hasn’t officially entered the race and we still are also waiting to hear more from candidates like Nick Weiland and Mike Gunn. I also expect at least 2-3 more candidates jumping in before the end of the year. It’s not too late for a game changer. So pull up your jeans and finish your cupcakes, it’s gonna be a long haul.