Entries Tagged 'Elections' ↓

Sioux Falls City CounTcilor Jensen’s final campaign finance report is revealing, but expected

What do you get when a hospital lawyer, an ad agency exec, a banker, a developer, an angel fund investor and a guy who does business out of a UPS Store PO Box join forces? One heck of a political action committee. (PAC)

We all knew that there would be more money funneled into Jensen’s campaign chest after the last finance report before the election. He received an additional $13K coming from the Buffalo PAC. Curiously he didn’t spend it all, in fact he only spent about $3K on the campaign in it’s waning days (Full report). Curiously he spent around $8,500 on legal fees ($1,000 donated). I’m assuming that was for the recount. What I find ironic is that with all the money and power swirling around the SD GOP who helped get Alex elected that not one single lawyer took him on pro-bono for the recount. Stehly’s (a Republican) attorney, the Chair of the SD Democratic Party, Randy Seiler offered his services for free to Theresa. So basically the donors to the Buffalo PAC and ultimately Jensen funneled money to a Republican Law Firm (Redstone). I know, mind boggling.

Curiously the PAC is registered to a Sioux Falls residential address, a home owned by a SF hospital attorney (not the green one) and an ad agency executive (the big one in town). Both of them also have a connection (still trying to figure out) to a Sioux Falls city director that TenHaken appointed. Strangely they were only used as conduit because none of them donated to the PAC.

So who did? Well the usual suspects, with two of them pouring thousands of dollars towards Alex through various PACs, family members and individual donations. I’m surprised they didn’t find a way to get dead relatives to give since it is against the law now to use your toddler children.


Matthew Paulson – $5,000.00 (Jensen’s campaign treasurer and suspected manager)

Dana Dykhouse – $5,000.00

Crescent Venture Capital (Kevin Tupy ) – $2,000.00

Daniel Costello – $1,000.00

Yes, I know, not surprising since most of these characters already had been throwing money at Jensen’s campaign. I wonder if they knew he gave half of their donation to a law firm?

Fascist Fun Haters once again are thumbing their noses at South Dakota Voters

As I suspected, when the Fascist Fun Hating Right Wingers don’t get their way in an election they go for the jugular;

Before I tear into the core legal arguments, I want to note the weird plaintiffery going on with the election contest Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and South Dakota Highway Patrol Colonel Rick Miller have filed to block enactment of Amendment A, the marijuana legalization South Dakota voters approved on November 3.

Of course, this is NO surprise. I predicted before they even gathered one signature if this got passed the Fun Hating elite in South Dakota would go after it in the courts.

If you read Cory’s finely written posts about it, on it’s face, I would agree with him, the case is very weak. Heck even the SD Chamber agrees. But what makes this so arrogant and a rat fink move is simple;

• Public officials are using public money to overturn a public vote.

This should even piss off the biggest of Anti-Pot folks. It seems the SD Fascist Republican Party and it’s stooges are just fine with your public vote when you are expanding gambling or electing a super majority to the legislature and constitutional offices, but when someone wants to smoke a left-handed cigarette, that’s a no no.

I have never understood why they have been okay with holding this super majority for over 4 decades (from a vote of the people) but when these actual voters want something for themselves like a minimum wage increase, corruption reform or to get rid of pay day lenders, the vote seems out of whack and misguided.

It’s something we call hypocrisy folks.

And as for legal pot, I’m afraid the only place you will probably even see a glimpse of it in our state by July 1st will be on the reservations where the tribes have been preparing for this for years.

Even if you don’t want to partake, I get it, but I still maintain these truths to be self-evident;

• People are currently using pot in our state, the arrest records show this. They will continue no matter how these challenges turn out. They mostly get it from Colorado. So why do we continue to fill the coffers of the state of Colorado when we can fill the coffers here, while freeing up millions in justice related costs? It’s fricking baffling. Just like the rats that are constantly trying to kill our fun in South Dakota. Now go to Deadwood and bet on your favorite sports team, that’ll get you high.

Survey: Nielson Brothers Polling (NBP) Statewide Survey, October 24-28, 2020

For immediate release:

Date: 11/1/2020

Subject: South Dakota General Election Races and Ballot Measures

Contact information:  nbpolling@gmail.com



In the recent Nielson Brothers Survey (October 24-28), Republicans hold leads in the major political races surveyed by NBP among likely South Dakota voters.

In the race for president, Republican Donald Trump leads Democrat Joe Biden, 55 percent* to 40 percent, with Libertarian Jo Jorgensen at 3 percent, with 2 percent undecided.

In the South Dakota US Senate race, incumbent Republican Mike Rounds leads Democratic challenger Dan Ahlers, 56 percent to 39 percent, with the remainder undecided..

The Republican incumbent is also ahead in the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission race. Gary Hanson leads Democrat Remi Bald Eagle and Libertarian Devin Saxon, with 50 percent for Hanson, 30 percent for Bald Eagle and 10 percent for Saxon, with 10 percent undecided.

Respondents were also asked whether the United States is going in the right or wrong direction. 36 percent said “right direction,” 46 percent “wrong direction” and 18 percent undecided. 


Initiated Measure 26 (legalizes medical marijuana for qualifying patients including minors) has support from 57 percent of respondents and is opposed by 33 percent, with 9 percent undecided. 

Amendment A (legalizes possession, use, transport and distribution of marijuana by twenty one year olds and older) has support from 48 percent of respondents and is opposed by 45 percent with 8 percent undecided. 

Amendment B (authorizes the Legislature to allow sports wagering in Deadwood) has 43 percent of respondents supporting it and 38 percent opposing it, with 19 percent undecided.


NBP asked: “If the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act also known as Obama Care comes before the Supreme Court do you want it upheld or repealed?” 47 percent want it repealed, with 39 percent want it upheld, and 14 percent undecided.

Finally, NBP asked:  “Of the last four US presidents which would you rate as the best?” Donald Trump leads with 45 percent calling him the best of the last four presidents. Barack Obama comes in second with 33 percent. George W. Bush is third with 14 percent, and William Clinton is fourth with 9 percent. 


Is South Dakota going in the right or wrong direction?

Right direction 36%

Wrong direction 46

Undecided 18

484 responses,  4.45 percent margin of error

For US President would you vote for Republican Donald Trump, Libertarian Jo Jorgensen, or Democrat Joe Biden?

Trump 55%

Jorgensen   3

Biden 40

Undecided   2

484 responses,  4.45 percent margin of error

For US Senate would you vote for Republican Mike Rounds or Democrat Dan Ahlers?

Rounds 56%

Ahlers 39

Undecided   5

479 responses,  4.48 percent margin of error

For Public Utilities Commissioner would you vote for Republican Gary Hanson, Libertarian Devin Saxon, or Democrat Remi Bald Eagle?

Hanson 50%

Saxon 10

Bald Eagle 30

Undecided 10

469 responses, 4.52  percent margin of error

Initiated Measure 26 would legalize medical marijuana for qualifying patients including minors. It legalizes marijuana testing manufacturing and cultivation facilities, and dispensaries. How do you plan to vote? 

For 57%

Against 33

Undecided   9

462 responses, 4.61 percent margin of error

Constitutional Amendment A legalizes possession, use, transport, and distribution of marijuana by twenty one year olds and older.  It imposes a 15 percent tax on marijuana to cover regulatory costs with the remainder going to public schools and the State’s general fund. How do you plan to vote?

For 48%

Against 45

Undecided   8

455 responses, 4.59.  percent margin of error

Constitutional Amendment B authorizes the Legislature to allow sports wagering in Deadwood. How do you plan to vote?

For 43%

Against 38

Undecided 19

447 responses, 4.63  percent margin of error

If the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act also known as Obama Care comes before the Supreme Court do you want it upheld or repealed?

Upheld 39%

Repealed 47

Undecided 14

440 responses, 4.67  percent margin of error

Of the last four US presidents which would you rate as the best?” 

Donald Trump 45%

Barack Obama 33

George W. Bush 14

William Clinton   9

367 responses, 5.11  percent margin of error

NBP surveyed a random selection of South Dakota registered voters October 24-28, 2020. 

For more information contact NBP at nbpolling@gmail.com.

*Numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number.

This should never happen in the World’s greatest democracy

This was the scene about 4:30 yesterday at the election center in Downtown Sioux Falls (photos by Theresa Stehly) the line was several blocks long.

This of course could have been avoided a couple of different ways;

• Do what I have done for almost a decade, vote as soon as early voting starts. I believe I voted about a week after it started and there was about 3 people voting when I walked in. I have done this for a long time because I got tired of the musical precincts in every local election (something else that should end, another form of vote suppression).

• We should mail every registered voter a ballot, NOT an application, in at least state and national elections.

• We should have dozens of drop boxes available throughout the county at city and county properties (this of course would be possible if we didn’t have a political hack as the mayor of Sioux Falls who belongs to a party that promotes voter suppression).

What is crazy is that while we hand out $20 million dollar TIF’s and build $26 million dollar mural substrates, we can surely afford to make voting easier.

We live in a great country that allows us to choose our officials, but we make it really f’ing hard, even right here in South Dakota. I never thought I would see the day that people had to stand in this long of a line in Sioux Falls to vote. These pictures made me very sad.

****Note; if you have not mailed your ballot in yet DO NOT! I won’t make it to the election center by Tuesday. Drop it off in person or have a friend do it for you!

2020 Election Predictions

I’m not going to do endorsements since most of you have already made up your minds, but I will go over a few predictions;

In the presidential election, I have no doubt that Trump will win South Dakota and get our 3 electoral votes (even if one of the electors is hiding under a rock while there is an ongoing(?) investigation). But I do believe Biden will take Minnehaha County with at least 52% of the vote. It’s unfortunate that all the hayseeds in our state don’t wise up.

I also think Biden will take the popular vote nationwide, I actually think he will get at least 10-20 million more votes then Trump. The sticky part is the swing states and the electoral college. It looks as though Biden still has a route to electoral victory even if he loses Florida and Texas. I agree with Biden on this one, he needs to fight to the end and hope it rings true. No matter who wins the Presidential election it is time for us to rid ourselves of the electoral college. This will be a hard fight, because the red rural states, like ourselves, will fight it.

I also think the Dems will keep the House and flip the Senate, with at least 2 extra seats.

Locally, I think Kelly Sullivan (D13) and Michael Sabe (D9) will be re-elected to serve in the state legislature.

While the SD GOP has been like attack dogs on Pat Starr with false allegations and flat out ridiculous lies, I think most people support him for Minnehaha County Treasurer. It will be close, and the only reason is because of straight ticket Republican voters. But I think he will pull it off with at least 52% of the vote or higher. I also wonder why his opponent has gotten virtually ZERO endorsements from the party she belongs to? The unfortunate part is we will miss him on the Sioux Falls City Council, and I can’t even fathom what person will be recruited to be appointed to serve out his remaining 3 years. I wouldn’t doubt that the RS6 already have some people lined up in case Pat leaves. It’s going to be a very lonely place for Councilor Brekke. But on the bright side, I think Pat will continue the same level of ‘personal’ customer service Nelson has provided, but make it even better with more advances in technology. I think if there is ever a perfect replacement for Pam it is Pat.

I have no doubt that Medical Mary will pass with at least 65% of the vote or higher, I also have NO doubt the State Legislature will gut the initiative just like they did with IM22 and make it almost impossible for you to get a prescription for MJ and even if you do, good luck finding a provider for your script. So why would the Legislature do this, well, because they are a bunch little whiny bi*chs that only are for things if it makes them money, it has little to do with them being a bunch of right wing radical wing nuts. Just look at the crying game they played when their personal businesses couldn’t get their hands on the Rona money. Do you really think a beer distributor was suffering during this pandemic? Puhhhhlleeese. That money should have been distributed to individuals across the state instead of low wage employers who may or may not trickle it down to the rest of us. But you know the line from these peeps, they used it frequently in 2008 when raises were not forthcoming, “You should just consider yourself lucky you have a job.” While they take massive tax write-offs for a temporary loss in profit. Sorry, kind of went down a rabbit hole on that one, but like I said, our Republican controlled legislature won’t do anything unless they can line their pockets, and there is NO money in Medical Mary.

As for Recreational Mary, I think it will squeak out a victory, but it will be tight and we may not know the results for several days. My only confidence that this will pass is from what I am seeing in polling. The polling has stayed consistent at that 51% since this summer. I also find some confidence in the fact that only 44% are against with 5% undecided. I think this campaign was well-organized and well-funded compared to the past, and I also think the green wave across the country is changing people’s minds about legalization. Also, if you are 21 or older, you may not have to worry about IM26 getting gutted, because you can go and buy the good stuff without a script. Yes folks, believe it or not, pot makes you feel good, whether you are suffering from pain, terminal cancer, seizures or you just want to relax, and believe it or not, while addiction can be an issue with it, the side affects of casual use are far, far, far less than legal drugs like alcohol and opiates.

I do think the legislature will do everything in their power to regulate the sh*t out of the legalization since they can’t kill it because it is a Constitutional Amendment, but I think the biggest uphill battle will be cities having the ability to regulate zoning, and your only choice may be growing your own plants. I think this is foolish for a number of reasons, first the obvious, WHY IN THE HELL DID BRENDAN JOHNSON GIVE CITIES SO MUCH POWER?!! When I read this in the Amendment, I just shook my head, this is what happens when you have moderate to right Democrats write laws, a milky, watery substance is produced, secondly, cities would be wise to embrace this revenue, because I can guarantee if NO dispensaries exist in our state people will continue to purchase on the black market or simply buy in Colorado. In other words we would lose out on the tax revenue. Even if that all occurs, fortunately we will benefit from the justice costs involved with it, I think counties across the state will save millions by not arresting, prosecuting and jailing MJ users. As for the myth that traffic fatalities will go up, this has been proved in other states that is only a myth. And why? Because legalization is NOT going to automatically create a bunch of new users who will be driving. I actually find this argument the most egregious, South Dakota has some of the most lax DUI laws in the nation. If we are soooooo concerned about intoxicated drivers in our state, maybe we need to make those laws tougher? I know people who have gotten between 3-7 DUI’s and never spent a day in state prison. Why is that? Because of the alcohol lobby in our state, which controls our state legislature. If the Chamber, and the State Medical Association is so concerned about this, maybe they should focus on making those laws stricter . . . oh, that’s right, they haven’t done a damn thing! Kettle, meet black.

By the end of next week, I think our country and state will be turned upside down by this election and I think it will be weeks before we learn who will win in a lot of these races. Remember, the Electoral College doesn’t need to ratify the votes until December 8th, so put your big kid pants on, cuz it’s going to get hairy over the next month.

SD GOP’s Iowan Leader continues to spread Outrageous Lies about Pat Starr

Their latest attempt at trying to smear Starr was trotting out PUC ‘lifer’ Gary Hanson, who has NO authority over Federal Rules that apply to cell phones, and has NO legal experience saying what he did was illegal. It would be like Mayor TenHaken saying he is assisting CDC scientists to come up with a safe Corona Virus Vaccine.

It’s laughable at best.

But Danny has been busy writing more press releases that are basically flat out lies about Starr, including basically calling him stupid;

Lederman noted, “it appears that Starr didn’t know or care about federal laws against robocalling and doesn’t understand laws that clearly state if you spend money as part of a campaign you need to attach a disclaimer to your expenditure. I get the impression that he’s just too dumb to be trusted with the responsibility of the Minnehaha County Treasurer’s office.

What Iowa Dan doesn’t understand is this WAS NOT a campaign expense, and since it was NOT he does not have to disclose diddly. The rules the real dummy cites have to do with political messaging and political campaigns.

. . . ‘but he’s the one responsible to not harass & bother people on their cell phones.

As I have said already, informing voters that they can vote safely and early during a pandemic emergency is hardly ‘harassment’. It would be like me calling the FCC to complain about a tornado warning I got on my cell phone at 2 AM because I was trying to sleep. How dare they wake me up before my roof blows away! The shame!

“Failing to take responsibility for one’s actions is not a quality that voters appreciate,” 

Hmm, that’s rich. Then why do people in your party continue to get reelected with things like EB5, Gear-Up and more scandals than I can count? Maybe the ‘dummies’ are your supporters? Oh that’s right, because people like you continue to LIE about the other party and blame them for YOUR failures. Your party has been in charge for nearly 50 years in South Dakota yet when something goes wrong you blame Democrats. Huh?

If I were to just take Starr’s record on the Council (Remember he had NO challengers for his 2nd term) he has consistently stood with residents when it comes to zoning and fiscal responsibility. That $26 million dollar debacle in DTSF comes to mind, voted in by a majority of REPUBLICANS on the city council. Oh, that’s right, Pat voted against it. Why? Because it was one of the DUMBEST (and fraudulent) projects ever concocted by this city government.

Iowa Dan continues by citing a FCC law that refers to telemarketers. Dan, let’s go over this again, and read this slowly. Pat wasn’t trying to sell voters a darn thing, he was only making them aware of their rights and responsibilities during a pandemic, that is called a Public Service Announcement. Usually, those announcements come from Public officials because it is one of their elected duties. Now, I know in your strange little twisted world a PSA is when the governor pays FOX News (with taxdollars) to air a tourism ad about South Dakota. There’s a difference, I hope you understand? Should we go over it again? I know from living in Iowa for a brief time, you corn fed folks tend to be a bit slower.

Let’s face it folks, the GOP doesn’t make any calls to voters unless they are trying to sell them their version of Horsepuckey, and the real idiots here are the ones accusing someone of illegal activity while the accused was giving voting advice during an emergency. Something these clowns would never do. Let’s talk about being stuck on stupid.

SD GOP lies about Sioux Falls City Councilor Starr are not about the law, they are about Voter Suppression

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


“I am not going to apologize for doing the right thing” Pat Starr said today, “Making it easier and safer for people to vote, is my number one priority.”

“In 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.” Starr added saying “I saw the public’s confusion being created by misstatements in the media by many officials.”

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, “If 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.”

Many elected officials including Governor Noem, Minnehaha County Commissioners and Mayor Paul TenHaken have been declaring various “States of Emergency” 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:

“Prerecorded 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.”

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.

County Treasurer Candidate calls Residents Erections

This is why I often tell people running for local office to have someone proofread their campaign materials before releasing them. Besides the fact that the first two sentences were incoherent, I’m sure she meant to say we are ‘Hardy’ in Minnehaha County, but I’m not sure what that has to do with the treasurer’s office? Maybe it means we can tolerate standing in long lines for hours?

TenHaken’s Mayoral Poll reveals Biden leads in Sioux Falls

One of the more revealing parts of TenHaken’s poll is the presidential race. Even if Trump got all 6% of the undecided it would be a tie.

As of October 1, 2020 there is 121K total active voters in Minnehaha County (I believe in the City of Sioux Falls there is about 80-90K registered voters). In the county about 50K are Rep, 36K are Dem and 34K are Indy. About 17K are inactive. This tells me that not only are indies leaning Biden I’m guessing there is a ton of Republicans leaning Biden.

None of this is surprising. Even if you are a hardcore Republican who usually leans always Republican, there are some disturbing things about Trump that would scare off a lot of Republicans. His lack of morality sticks out the most for me. I think Biden will take Sioux Falls with well over 50% and probably even win Minnehaha County. Of course the rest of the state will lean Trump and ultimately he will get our 3 electoral votes from AG Speedracer and the gang.

District 9 Candidate, Bethany Soye is violating campaign rules

A foot soldier sent me these pictures today of a fundraising letter they received from Soye. She failed to put a ‘paid for’ disclaimer on her materials which is a violation of campaign rules. Maybe we can find our AG or SOS to sort this out? They will probably rule that Bethany thought she hit a deer.