Entries Tagged 'Curt Soehl' ↓

John Michael’s Forum • Jan 2019

Former Mayor Munson


• Dave gives all the credit to Jeff ‘Cherapa Place’ S. for making the River Greenway successful. He failed to mention the behind closed door negotiations, the threats of lawsuits and the millions taxpayers have spent subsidizing the bulk head for Cherapa. Yeah, I will give credit to, credit for being successful of bilking the taxpayers of Sioux Falls.

• When John brings up the extremely polluted Sioux River, Dave changes the subject and says the scenery is beautiful though if you take a canoe ride.

• Dave thinks having problems from fast growth is a good thing.

• And in his last laughable comments, he thinks Sioux Falls city government elected officials have good ethics. Yeah, since you and Bowlcut & Bucktooth have left. This was hilarious coming from a guy who SHOULD HAVE been charged with violating city ordinance with Phillips to the Falls.

Sioux Falls Central District Councilor Curt Soehl


• Curt seems to be under the impression that Sioux Falls has few problems. I guess low wages, very little affordable housing and our drug crime epidemic are not real PROBLEMS.

• Curt makes an interesting point that while Sioux Falls attracts a lot of Doctors and White Collar jobs, he says, “Nobody comes here for a $15 per hour jobs.” John points out you can’t make a house payment in SF for those kind of wages.

• John also makes an interesting comment that the buses in Sioux Falls should be on a 24 hour route to all the Walmarts. Yeah, John, just what Walmart needs, more subsidies from government. We already subsidize their employees in welfare, medicade and SNAP. And subsidize them again with all the SNAP recipients. So now you want the public to subsidize transporting people to their store. HELL NO! Walmart should be paying for our public transit system through a local transportation tax.

Former Mayor Rick Knobe


• When John asks Knobe what he thinks of TenHaken’s job performance so far, Rick says he doesn’t feel like Paul was prepared for it after running a small internet marketing firm. He thinks he struggles with working with Directors, Councilors and the Public and Public input. I would agree 100%.

• Rick feels the city needs to implement strategic planning.

• In one of the more stranger ideas, Rick felt people should only be able to use E-Bikes on the bike trail if they have a special disabled sticker they got from their doctor. Yeah, besides feeling depressed because they don’t have the physical ability to ride a regular bike on the trail, why not shame them with a sticker. Whatever. I guess even old people rip on old people.

When we let a former mayor and councilor ‘plant’ candidates, this is what happens

Kinda like Michelle, but less frowning.

Curt Soehl is turning into Michelle Erpenbach, but worse. At tonight’s council meeting he tried to play Michelle’s old trick of ‘I need to remind the council’ that she/he knows better. He got his butt schooled by a former city attorney (Brekke) about motions.

This is what happens when we continue to hit the ‘recycle’ button on elected officials. I warned voters that Curt was recruited by Huether, Erpenbach and their ilk. I warned the Unions they were making a huge mistake. Now we have another councilor who thinks they know everything about procedure while ignoring citizens by not answering phone calls.

You should have voted for DeBoer.

Congrats to TenHaken and Soehl

Before I go into my congratulatory mode, I want to talk about what went wrong for the two candidates that lost yesterday.

First, Mr. DeBoer. I have to be truly honest with you, I don’t think there was much more that Zach could have done to beat Soehl. I know that he attempted to get Tom Hurlbert’s endorsement, but that was sticky situation for Tom, and probably the reason why he declined. Tom has a successful architecture business and I think it would have been difficult for him to throw his weight behind either Curt or Zach because of those business connections. Hurlbert did the right thing by staying out of the endorsement game. I think where Curt succeeded was garnering the Union support. While he did raise a lot more money than Zach, I didn’t really see where he spent that money in a productive manner.

While Paul claimed he ran a ‘clean campaign’ from all appearances he did. Nothing came negative directly from him or his inner circle. Where the ‘dirty’ campaigning came from was NOT from his ‘tool box’. It came from the Sioux Falls GOP. They sent out nasty emails painting Jolene as a crazy liberal. Also, the endorsement from the Family Heritage Alliance should have been declined by TenHaken, as well as taking money from toddlers. While Paul may claim he personally kept it clean, that is really a fine line considering he could have informed the GOP to stay out of the race. By allowing them to throw the ‘dirt’ and letting the AG put out a misleading press release (the investigation is NOT done yet folks) Paul really did participate in ‘dirty campaigning’ even if he tries to distance himself from it.

Loetscher’s campaign certainly had it’s flaws. From the beginning of the runoff campaign I felt like Jo’s work was cut out for her. After the Argus put out a map showing where the TenHaken support was coming from it was clear to me she needed to put an army of volunteers together knocking on doors in ‘the red hook’ talking about bread and butter issues like infrastructure, property taxes and business experience. She also needed to reassure the people who voted for her to stay the course, and she needed to massage Anderson’s supporters a little bit.

She also reacted poorly to accusations. She should have just ignored them and never brought up the hacking or voicemail. I still think she was ‘framed’. I don’t think the tone of the VM was the issue, it was the fact that Paul left it to begin with. She also should have called the AG’s office and politely ripped them a new one about the premature press release and demanded a retraction. I think it would have just been best if Jo didn’t respond at all to the tricks, but she walked right into the GOP’s trap, hook, line and sinker. This comes from the inexperience of running for such a big position. She should have also hired an independent campaign advisor with NO ties to either political party or just ran the campaign herself with her husband. If she would have I think a lot of the rhetoric coming from the Right would have fallen on deaf ears. I have often encouraged friends who run for city, county or school board positions to register independent before doing so. If you are running for a non-partisan position, you should do it as a non-partisan.

Tenhaken and Soehl ran strong campaigns and deflected criticism well

 I will have to hand it to both of them, the dirt didn’t stick.

Besides the fact that the only dirt on Soehl was his business huckster donor list, which most people don’t pay attention to. He really didn’t have any barbs thrown his way. Besides, what would they have been anyway? As a retired firefighter he had a good resume and image. I do think Soehl can do the job, and it will be interesting to see if he will join the rubberstamp club or be his own voice. I do know that Soehl was NOT afraid to share his opinion during campaigning, and I hope he stays an independent voice moving forward though I still do worry about his donor list. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and see how he votes on the big things concerning our city. I think he is an intelligent person and will give a different perspective, or least I hope he does.

TenHaken has a knack of just brushing things off. That is NOT a bad quality, strong leaders need this appeal. I can also say in my 45 minute conversation with Paul, he intently listened, rarely interrupting, I also hope he continues to listen to the public not just bloggers or the media. This is an area where Huether failed, big time. He had no time for the public’s opinion. Huether is the reason Public input is such a mess, his resistance to the public’s opinion is deplorable and disrespectful. I also think Paul can build a good team, I’m hoping it is not to partisan or religious. He must be the mayor to all people, not just the ones that voted for him or didn’t vote at all. I hope he understands that.

Paul has also made a lot of promises about transparency and embracing diversity, he needs to stick to those promises. I believe that transparency was the #1 issue in this municipal election cycle and if Paul fails on that level I think the council and the public with push back on him hard, and it won’t be a pretty site.

There are many things in Paul’s past that concern me, and like I have said before, people don’t automatically change after they take the oath, we saw that with 8 years of Mr. Nightmare himself. They might even get worse once the power goes to their head. I also hope that Paul works side by side with the council and the media to let the sunshine in, and if he does uncover misdeeds in the previous administration he shares that with the public. You can’t fix mistakes of the past by covering them up, that will just blow up in your face. We only have to look to the siding settlement fiasco as proof. I hope Paul and the council take a good hard look at the city’s finances before moving forward with any major budget decisions.

I will also say this in closing about Paul, I think he is prepared for the job, I think he enjoys challenges and I also genuinely think he cares about people, not sure what the scope of those people are though.

I wish him and Curt well moving forward, 2018 is going to be an exciting time to watch the new administration and council take shape, and as I understand it, lines in the sand are already being drawn on the council before the two new members are even sworn in. Detroit Lewis is going to be a very busy guy over the next couple of months, I’m going to try to embrace the journey and bitch a little less. I know, good luck with that.

Update: Unions got scammed again by the Huether Clan

I’m starting to wonder if our local unions will ever learn?

I suppose I could talk about all the missteps the Loetscher campaign made and all the dirty tricks the TenHaken camp played (nice press release about nothing Jackley, some media in town are still saying it said something) but I really don’t want to waste my time or yours.

I could also talk about the missteps in the campaign between Soehl and DeBoer, but I don’t think either camp made any. In fact, DeBoer could have easily won, if it wasn’t for Soehl’s enormous war chest from all the banksters and developers in town (I wonder if he had money left over to buy his rubber stamp) and the UNION support.

I thought Zach was sitting pretty good until I heard the Unions were doing phone banks for Soehl. While I don’t have an issue with the Unions supporting a candidate or doing phone calls, they were supporting the WRONG candidate. Besides Zach’s youth, he supports local business, innovation and didn’t take special interest money, all the things Unions should support. Instead they backed an insurance salesman (who is a former union firefighter) who took every lick of special interest money he could. Money from businesses that don’t pay good wages and certainly don’t support unions. It was also obvious from the beginning that Soehl was a Huether recruit. In his first press conference announcing his candidacy he praised Huether and wanted to continue his legacy. Huether abused and used the Unions in his first term campaign, and screwed over city employees and police in union contracts and they never learned from that experience.

We will just see how much Mr. Soehl supports the unions after he takes his oath.

UPDATE: From Kooper Caraway the SF Union president;

So, Curt was a union fire fighter so you got that correct. But he has a more involved involvement in the labor movement than that. He grew up working the concession stand in the labor temple. He actually used to be in my position, President of the SIoux Falls AFL-CIO, and prior to recieving our endorsement he signed the Union Pledge, which reads: ” I do hereby pledge my most sacred word and honor, that I will represent the working people of Sioux Falls with Integrity, I pledge that working families will be a priority in my administration, and I further pledge that I will defend the right and freedoms of working people, including the rights of workers to organize in thier workplace and the right of all workers to collectively bargain.”

We love Zach, and we will support him on any future endeavors, but Curt has a longer history of involvement with the issues of Working People and I believe that is why the delegates voted to endorse him.

Council Candidate Soehl sends out misleading postcard

I wasn’t going to post this card, but everybody I know who has received it has said the same thing to me;

“Isn’t this a little misleading? Curt makes it look like both mayoral candidates endorsed him (even though they didn’t).”

I also wonder if he got permission from the campaigns to use their photos? I guess if you can’t win on your record, make one up.


Council Candidate Soehl bows to the Sanford Altar

While watching the online interview today between Sioux Falls Central District Council Candidates DeBoer and Soehl, Argus Leader Metro Guru Joe Sneve asked them what they thought about developer impact fees and specifically Sanford tearing out affordable housing in the core of our city.

Sanford has mentioned in the past that they would like to expand the 18th and Grange campus all the way towards Minnesota avenue. In that process they have bought several properties in that swath, which includes some of the most affordable housing in our city.

Soehl answered the question first and pretty much towed the tired old line that Sanford has done so many things for our city including employment opportunities (South Dakota has some of the lowest healthcare salaries in the nation) that we should be careful about stopping such expansion.

DeBoer had a different twist on the topic. Besides pointing out that Avera has decided to expand in an area that doesn’t require tearing down affordable housing, he says the Sanford expansion has been detrimental to affordable housing in the core of our city. He reminded listeners that these are some of the most affordable housing options in the city that help first time homebuyer pull themselves out of poverty and rental living. He also pointed out all the blacktop Sanford is putting down in these neighborhoods in the form of parking lots. While he admitted to the economic impact of Sanford, he also said they could expand elsewhere in our city without tearing down these houses.

Zach is right. Instead of Sanford giving several acres to the school district, they could use that land for expansion.

But Zach brings up a bigger point, why does the city, and particular the council and city hall always bow to the altar of Sanford. The Planning Department, the Planning Commission and the City Council could easily say NO to Sanford when they want to tear up more affordable housing in the core of our city, or impose heavy impact fee penalties to dissuade them from doing so.

We need more councilors like Zach, who are looking out for the best interest of the citizenry and not the bottom line of Sanford.

Sioux Falls Central District Council Candidate Curt Soehl says nobody reads the Argus or Facebook

This wasn’t the first time Curt pulled a funny at a Forum (even though I think he was serious). At the Multi-Housing Forum he said he got rid of his rental property because renters are a ‘pain in the butt’.

Tonight at the Chamber forum (2nd Half of Forum) he decided to bag on the Argus and Facebook (several times) about how no one reads them anymore. Hey, who can blame him, we all know an Argus endorsement is a kiss of death, ask Daschle.

While I will defend Soehl that home deliveries of the dead tree version are way down, I’m guessing online readership is higher (especially when stories online show up almost 24-72 hours before they print).

As for Facebook, they can defend themselves, something they are busy at these days.

I got the feeling that in some weird way Curt was trying to defend the current council and mayor by killing the messenger.

I know that Curt wants to believe what his donors are telling him is the truth, but the corruption runs deep and it is real. As one other council candidate in the central district said tonight, Thor Bardon, unlike others running in this race he can’t be bought by donors.

I guess that would explain Curt’s Kool-Aid mustache. But you didn’t read it in the Argus.

Sioux Falls City Council Central District Candidate Curt Soehl seems to be the ‘chosen one’

You know what they say, follow the money.

While I have said we have good choices in central district candidates Bardon, DeBoer and Hurlbert I’m a bit wary of candidate Soehl after reading his financial report (FULL DOC:  Soehl-Finance )

It seems Mr. Soehl has a lot of big wheels behind him hoping they will get their corporate welfare rubber stamper on the city council to do their bidding.

Here’s a list of a few of his donors;

Cindy Huether (Mayor Huether’s wife)

Nathan Peterson (Sanford Health)

Lowell Hyland (Retired MD, Angel Investor)

Mark Wahlstrom (VP Business Development, First Dakota Title)

Dana Dykhouse (President of First Premier)

Scott Gullickson (VP at First Premier Bank)

Dave Sweet (Chairman of the Board, Ramkota Companies)

Nick Gustafson (Bender Commercial)

David Knutson (First Premier Bankcard)

Mike Crane (Developer)

Steve Erpenbach (Current Central District city councilor Michelle Erpenbach’s husband)

Michael Bender (Developer, Bender Commercial, chair of Jim Entenman’s mayoral campaign)

Dennis Breske (Commercial Realtor, NAI)

Craig Lloyd (Developer, Lloyd Companies)

The next financial report is due on April 5th (the Thursday before the Tuesday election). Hopefully all the candidate reports will be filed online by the end of the day Friday so voters have a chance to ‘follow the money’ before the election on Tuesday.

Sioux Falls City Council Race mash-up

The city council races are starting to come together, but there are still some unknowns and variables.

Currently the Central District has three running in the race. I won’t rule out that more could get in that race, but probably unlikely.

Retired Firefighter and Insurance Salesman, Curt Soehl. I don’t know a whole lot about Curt, but what I have read on his FB page is that he was very pro-Huether and approved of his accomplishments and leadership style, which is unfortunate.

Thor Bardon. I believe Thor works in banking. Thor’s platform is workforce development and other social issues in our community.

Local art promoter and business owner, Zach DeBoer. Zach is heavily involved with the downtown culture and development.

At-Large has 3 candidates, but that could change.

John Paulson, former Sanford Executive and Planning Commission member who lost to Theresa Stehly in the last election will probably run the same ‘everything is wonderful and great in Sioux Falls’ campaign.

Janet Brekke, who is a former city attorney and currently a private attorney is challenging Paulson. I don’t know a lot about Janet, but I think we will learn more in the coming weeks since she has formerly announced.

Clara Hart has said she will run in the At-Large, but she could just as easily challenge Rick Kiley to get out of a crowded At-Large race (which may get more crowded). Clara lives in his SE district and may have a better chance in a two person race, and avoid a run-off.

As I said, Kiley has announced he will run for a 2nd term and has no challengers currently, I hope that changes.

Erickson hasn’t announced whether she is running for a 2nd term or not, she has said she will probably NOT run for mayor. But currently if Erickson did announce, she doesn’t have a challenger. I’m wondering if someone is waiting in the wings until Erickson announces. One of the bigger questions I have been asked over the past couple of weeks has been, “Will Erickson run for a 2nd term to begin with or is she busy trying to recruit someone to run for the seat?”

As you can see, we have about 5-1/2 months until the city election and the council races are still shaping up. Anything could change at this point.