Entries Tagged 'Mayor TenHaken' ↓

State Legislature looks to strengthen stalking laws in reference to politicians

Could have seen this coming a mile away;

Stalking penalties could be getting stiffer for newcomers to South Dakota who have similar convictions in other states.

This winter, state lawmakers will consider whether or not South Dakota courts should be able to enhance the severity of stalking charges if the person accused has previously been convicted of stalking in a different state. 

In other areas of South Dakota criminal law, like driving while intoxicated or assault charges, state law provides language that allows out-of-state convictions to be used to justify enhanced charges.

“Like in these other areas of the law, if people are breaking that same law multiple times, then it shows that you’ve got a career criminal on our hands and society needs to be protected from those individuals,” Rep. Jon Hansen (R-Dell Rapids) told the Argus Leader. “This bill provides harsher punishment so hopefully it’ll keep that person from doing that again.”

More: Felony stalking charge reduced against Sioux Falls man accused of harassing mayor

Hansen said the measure stems from a recent case involving Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken and his convicted stalker, Christopher Bruce, who was found guilty on misdemeanor stalking charges after a three-day trial in 2019.

While I disagreed with The Living Man’s use of hyperbole in his written threats against the mayor, the council and his family, I still think it was just a bunch of bark with little bite, and protected by his free speech rights. I don’t think that elected officials, especially elected officials, should get special laws written for them so they can restrict free speech if they ‘think’ they are being threatened. Notice that The Living Man was not arrested until after he took on 5G in a Federal suit. I felt the arrest had to do more with repercussions for that suit. The Living Man was not able to prove that in court. But he did have this great quote;

Bruce told the Argus Leader Monday that he isn’t surprised to see his case earning attention from the State Legislature because “every time someone beats the state,” the state changes the rules. 

“This is how they get these kind of laws into place,” he said. “It’s not about our safety anymore, it’s all about protecting government officials and public servants.”

In 2014 when rabble rousers in Illinois felt their free speech rights were being violated, they got the Sheriff to arrest the politicians;

In what was one of their most epic displays of political crime-fighting, which was captured on video, Allen and Kraft held the entire Clark County Park District Board under citizen’s arrest on May 13, 2014, for violating the Illinois Open Meetings Act, a Class C misdemeanor.

When asked if there would be public comment, one of the board members said, “I vote no.” Followed by five other board members.

Deputies were dispatched to the scene, but instead, Clark County Sheriff, Jerry Parsley, personally responded that night. Parsley said he knew it was a heated situation and felt it would be best if he handled it. He said that Kraft handled the citizen’s arrest responsibly, and the board was definitely in violation of the Open Meetings Act by not allowing the public to speak.

“It’s not that they should have. They’re mandated to,” Parsley said. “The people need to have their voice. It’s not a dictatorship. It’s a democracy.”

The sheriff arrested six of the board members. The seventh board member was not arrested because he voted against the other members. As they were escorted out of the building, the crowd cheered.

This is what should happen when politicians limit our free speech rights. They seem to assert their power of arrest when they feel they are being threatened, shouldn’t we as citizens have that same right when our rights are being violated?

Worried about having money left over from a campaign? Raise only what you need.

It was no surprise to hear our esteemed mayor complain about campaign finance rules and how he had money left over;

“It created a lot of unnecessary paperwork for me. It’s a huge pain in the you know what,” he said recently of why he opted to create a PAC instead of giving it away. “And I don’t want to give it away because I may run again.”

Remember, this is coming from the guy who skirted fundraising rules by taking money from toddlers, was doxxing people who were critical of Marion Mike Rounds’ campaign, and played musical servers for Pitty Patt when he was trying to hide from unethical behavior. If you are so concerned about all this left over money, maybe you should spend it, or raise less.

I have helped with many successful local campaigns that have literally ran on fumes and were in debt at the end. If you have money in your campaign chest, you spend every last penny up until the day of the election. That’s good planning, strategy and the responsible thing to do towards your donors. They give you the money to SPEND, not to sit on it for 4 years. I would think a communications guy who helped with marketing for many campaigns would know this.

There is a great quote by car culture artist, Von Dutch that I actually framed and hangs on a wall in my house;

I make a point of staying right at the edge of poverty. I don’t have a pair of pants without a hole in them, and the only pair of boots I have are on my feet. I don’t mess around with unnecessary stuff, so I don’t need much money.  I believe it’s meant to be that way.  There’s a ‘struggle’ you have to go through, and if you make a lot of money it doesn’t make the ‘struggle’ go away.  It just makes it more complicated. If you keep poor, the struggle is simple“. 

I love this quote, because Dutch is essentially saying, Money is bad and stay modest. I find it frustrating and comical that the mayor who just got back from a mission trip is complaining he has too much campaign money left over. Oh, the irony, Selfie Paul.

I also think that when this comes to a 2nd reading there will be some amendments thrown in to help certain people running for city council this time around. I recommend to avoid the appearance of benefitting certain candidates in this city election cycle, they defer the implementation of this ordinance until July 1st. The fireworks and debate on this item is going to be fun to watch.

I’m excited about the new Sioux Falls Arts Task Force

Once again, the mayor is interjecting himself on ‘POLICY’ instead of solving the bread and butter issues of Sioux Falls through his staff and public employees, but I like where his heart is;

“The performing and visual arts scenes in Sioux Falls has matured greatly over the past few decades. Multiple organizations and individuals have made incredible contributions and there is an appetite for more,” said TenHaken. “For our arts programming to move forward in a collaborative, unified, and focused direction, I believe now is the time to investigate how the City can more effectively and efficiently interface with community needs as it pertains to arts and culture.” 

As a person who has participated in the Sioux Falls ‘Arts Scene’ for a zillion years, I have always had a simple answer to how you make the arts strive in Sioux Falls; FEED LOCAL ARTISTS!

I made this simple argument for years to the groans of our business elite in Sioux Falls with no avail. A great example was the Arc of Dreams, while a nice shiny thing to stare at when the Vikings lose another playoff game, it really doesn’t have much impact. My vision was to spend that $2 million+ on hundreds of mini art projects throughout the city employing local artists, artisans, contractors and landscape professionals. Let’s face it, you don’t have cupcakes without a baker and you don’t have art without artists. I’m hoping the task force (in which I know and respect many of them) comes out with a vision and plan that employees our local artists in shaping a vibrant art scene. My experience in the past is that members of these special groups often recommend an investment in local arts means an investment in local artists, and than the business elite step in and piss on the parade because they won’t be receiving accolades or profits from such a vision. There are several members on this task force that have the guts to tell it like it is, hopefully this time they won’t back down when the elites tell them no dice.

Mayor TenHaken still unaware of his duties under the city charter

I am often amused that when this mayor or even past home rule charter mayors think their role under the charter is to create initiatives, ordinances and legislation. In the charter, it clearly shows that job is the job of the city council, and the mayor’s job is to run the city, it’s departments and it’s employees as the day to day operations manager.

In this interview the mayor chastises residents for calling and emailing councilors about snow removal issues, talks about his missionary work in a 3rd world country and his initiative for mentorship. While valid things, I’m wondering when PTH is going to plant his ass in his office chair in city hall and get the city running up to snuff? Besides poor street maintenance and snow removal, poor communications about disaster and flood cleanup, low morale in our police force due to understaffing with drug and violent crime on the rise, homelessness out of control and a bunker ramp deal falling through the cracks, maybe our mayor needs to concentrate on running the city, you know, the job outlined in the city charter. I sometimes wonder if he even knows his job description? Someone said to me the other day, “Why does Mayor Paul act like the youth pastor of Sioux Falls?” Good question.

I had to chuckle a bit when the mayor sent out an email yesterday telling councilors to stop bugging city directors in emails. Funny how he chastises councilors for trying to do his job (because he isn’t) yet doesn’t sweat it when he tries to do their job. Implementing policy.

Paul, take off the trucker hat, put on your big boy pants and start solving the problems we have going on in the city, and let the policy making and citizen representation lie with those charged with it in the charter; the city council.

AARP features a story on Mayor TenHaken

I was actually surprised they were able to track him down for an interview, wait, the article came with a photo shoot, so of course he showed up;

After the summit, TenHaken created a Department of Innovation and Technology, hiring as its leader Jason Reisdorfer, who had previously worked in sales. Reisdorfer got to work on redeveloping the city’s transit system. Among the city workers he and TenHaken picked for the Core Team, only one had previous transit expertise. The diverse team included a firefighter, a police officer, a librarian and a health care worker.

“We didn’t want to have a bunch of people in the same room who said, ‘This is how we’ve always done it,’ “ Reisdorfer says.

So he headed this team up with a former tool salesman (who BTW just quit) that came up with a plan that has failed in other communities across the continent. Seems like a good thing for the AARP to write about.

TenHaken allowed the team freedom to work on its own. “When a mayor gets involved in any sort of meeting, his or her voice trumps any other discussion in the room,” he says. But his presence was felt. The team communicated using a messaging app, and TenHaken frequently chimed in with uplifting emojis.

That’s because one of the first things PTH did as a Mayor was give his COS executive authority so he could jet set all over the country and world. As of right now I guess he is in Haiti trying to set up more missionaries over there with a team of local bankers and businessmen. While I am all for charitable work, all the mayor has to do is drive about a mile east from his city hall office to Whittier neighborhood and see people right here in our community that need charity and help.

If the pilot works, part of the bus fleet would be replaced with vans and cars.

TenHaken embraced the idea, but also the possibility that it might not work. “We’re experimenting and we’re innovating on a very public stage,” he says. “The alternative is to do nothing at all.”

And it won’t work, or it will work but help very few people. There is an alternative, fix paratransit and the fixed route system first, get ridership up and make it more affordable, than screw around with taxi apps.

Where is Mayor Paul?

To tell you the truth, I really don’t care. I think all mayors have a right to take a night off, whether that is for a ‘date night’ with the wife, or to look in the mirror and take selfies with his latest trucker hat. I really don’t think the mayor should be running the council meetings anyway, so good riddance.

Before I get to his absence, I have to tell you watching the discussion about a city ordinance about political signs in your yard with the city council meeting tonight is extremely laughable and a waste of time. The 1st Amendment protects political speech, and if you want a political sign in your yard for 100 years, the city can’t do a damn thing about it. Get over yourselves.

As for PTH, I really didn’t pay much mind, but the ‘rumors’ have been flowing in, here they are and take them with a grain of DaCola;

• He is on his yearly trip to Haiti for missionary work. Good for him. I also hear a local bank is funding the trip. Also, good for them (if true).

• He is at home avoiding an uncomfortable conversation about refugees and discrimination. Can’t blame him. Having public conversations about these things takes courage . . . that’s why my chickensh*t ass is at home watching this online. But I was very proud of this city tonight, and the testimony given. Embracing others is something we should all strive for.

Both resolutions passed as I suspected. And some people understood what I meant about having more ‘teeth’. It means budgeting for education programs that combat hate and discrimination. Councilor Brekke brought this up, and I am glad she did. I actually was very impressed by the conversation, but what most should understand is the freedom you were allowed tonight to speak on this issue is truly what it means to be American, freedom of speech. It gives you the right to denounce these things, it also gives those who hate us to do the same, unfortunately. I stand by what I have been saying about this over the last week. Use your rights to change minds and to educate others, but don’t limit your dissenters. Because the louder you are, they will soon be drowned out, and they will realize they have only abused their rights to send a message of self destruction. I know it is corny, but only Love conquers Hate, not speeches or resolutions.

TenHaken says, ‘No Haters’!

I first want to say that I think this resolution is a good idea;

Mayor Paul TenHaken next week will introduce a resolution to the city council condemning hate, a move endorsed by the city’s Human Relations Commission.

“Hate has no place in Sioux Falls,” TenHaken said in a news release Thursday afternoon. “I’m proud to stand with the Human Relations Commission and condemn bias, discrimination and hate in Sioux Falls.

“With this resolution we reaffirm our belief that hate has no place in Sioux Falls and remind the public of ways to report discrimination to the City,” he added.

We should all disavow hate. I am actually embarrassed that in 2020 we have to pass resolutions to tell people to stop being racist jerks.

But this resolution has many procedural and intent problems. It’s nothing but some feel good reach around more than anything else. I also find it ironic that this resolution is being proposed right after the human relations attorney with the city announced he is running for State’s Attorney.

Kawinky-Dink? I think not.

So what are the issues;

1) It has no teeth. It just basically says that the city doesn’t like people being racist. Well Lah-De-Dah. I guess I am unaware of ANY city official, whether elected or employed who thinks it is a good idea to be racist. And in my personal life I ‘try’ to stay away from these people. So basically this is just a ‘memo’ or ‘sticky note’ from the mayor’s office.

2) The mayor should not be legislating. As I have told you fine folks in the past, according to charter, the city council is responsible for legislating and the mayor should run the city. As I mentioned above, this is just a campaign hat trick for the city’s human relations attorney, Daniel Haggar.

3) The mayor avoids gay pride events. I can’t tell you if PTH thinks gay peeps are ‘Icky’. Many have suspected that he does, but I have never seen him say anything publicly about it except at Dem Forum when he was running for office in which he stated that he was not ‘homophobic’. But what I find interesting about this resolution is that it did not include the LGBTQ community, or many other minority groups, like people of Muslim or Jewish faith that are discriminated against consistently. If we are going to pass a resolution disavowing hate, shouldn’t it cover all the bases?

This isn’t a Paul TenHaken issue, it is a bigger issue with politics in general starting with the top down, it’s all about ‘image’ instead of ‘substance’. If we really want to take a stand we need to pass ordinances that has teeth, otherwise this isn’t worth the paper it is written on. On top of that, hate speech is protected by the 1st Amendment, so is this a violation of our constitution?

We make change through education, and teaching people how not to hate. A more fitting resolution would be for the city to set up a grant program that funds seminars on teaching people about different cultures, creeds and sexual preferences. I have often told people that moving to a suburb of Seattle from a farm in South Dakota when I was 16 to live with my dad was the best cultural education of my life. I will sum it up really quickly, everybody has the same hopes and dreams as you do, no matter their color or creed. The city needs to educate people about cultures instead of handing out back rubs, sticky notes, lapel pins and pens.

The Worst Politicos of 2019

We are all screaming for ice cream. Made with hemp of course.

I guess I could go on and on about Trump. But I won’t. Let’s focus on Sioux Falls and South Dakota.

Aaron McGowan takes the prize locally. The fiasco he has left Minnehaha County is embarrassing. What is even more embarrassing is the lack of intervention by the commission until it was too late. I’m not sure if I am so disappointed in him as I am with the commission and lack of general oversight.

In second is Paula Hawks who fought tooth and nail to become the chair of the SD Democratic Party only to resign a few months later because she didn’t cash a couple of checks laying in some desk drawers. I have a feeling we will be hearing from Paula in 2020. Pray for her, but more importantly, pray for the Democratic Party.

The number one prize goes to Kristi Noem, who has embarrassed female politicians across the state as the first female governor. She has confused industrial ag products with drugs. She has made a mockery of drug policy in the state. She has zero comprehension of the 1st amendment and 2nd amendment. She has taken nepotism to a new level. She has taken a dump on public education. And she has done it all with a wink and a smile. She is truly disgusting on soooooo many levels. She has shown to be one of the hugest failures in local government in 2019, and the Snow Queen rodeo star’s reign is not over. Screw impeaching Trump, we should be impeaching our governor. 

And you thought Janklow sucked!

Honorable Mentions;

• Minnehaha County Commission (Beating up on the treasurer over monthly reports while the State’s Attorney was absent).

• Paul TenHaken. For a guy who used to run a communications company, he struggles with communicating.

• Dan Lederman, the GOP Party chair. Besides the fact that he does his business in Iowa, he is paid to be a lobbyist for the Islamic Saudi government. He also had very little to do with Representative Saba (a Democrat) bringing in a trade deal with the Egyptians, and had zero to say about it.

• Greg Neitzert. His rage and anger for Stehly is overwhelming. He makes Rick Kiley look like a pussy cat and Curt Soehl look like Rhodes Scholar. I don’t think dunking him in a 55 gallon drum of hand sanitizer could help.

Mayor TenHaken apparently rode the elevator to the top

That was nice of him to send it back down to the rest of us. Will a boulevard tree fit in there?

Sioux Falls City Employees did assist with storm cleanup

I was glad to see the city released this graphic . . . 3 months later. What is frustrating is that when the storm hit, the city was begging for volunteers (which I agreed with) but was not bothering to tell citizens that the city was chipping in also. As you can see from the graphic, city employees helped, quite a bit (this is also good). So why did the administration think this had to be a big secret at the time? To prove we have amazing volunteerism in this community? I think a lot of us knew that already. I really believe the city did not decide to move forward with city assistance until pressure was put on the administration by certain city councilors. While I think spreading praise to volunteers is a good, why did it take 3 months to talk about the contribution of city workers we pay for with our taxes and Federal disaster relief? When the next natural disaster occurs (which I understand could be this spring with even worse flooding) I highly suggest the city department in charge of communicating assistance (mayor’s office) to the citizens does it promptly, and doesn’t wait 3 months to put up a graphic on Facebook.