Entries Tagged 'Media' ↓

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader and MSM Media got what it wanted (Guest Post, Theresa Stehly)

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader got what it wanted: A City Council of Paul Tenhaken’s hand picked supporters.

Never mind that they never, ever have mentioned the $120,000+ that people like Alex Jensen are spending on Council campaigns now to win.

They wanted less debate and scrutiny from Council members. They got it!

Council members voting for projects that benefit their employers? The Argus doesn’t mind.

Councilor Janet Brekke brought an ordinance, supported by the board of ethics, to mandate ethics training for employees, Council members and ethics board members. It was voted down on second reading last night, without discussion. Does the Argus care? NO!

God knows what the Argus Leader’s motivation has been, personal relationships, concern for business advertising, or just plain lazy reporting. But their bias and lack of balanced reporting has worked to rip away the representation, transparency and accountability for the average citizen and their concerns. Since things will run so smoothly now for City Hall and Chamber / Developer interests, perhaps the Argus does not even need a City reporter?

We can trust that City Hall will take care of everything without public oversight. AMEN.

EDITOR’S NOTE: While I am just as much upset as Stehly, I saw the writing on the wall with how the local media was treating Poops and his Endorsed Candidates. Not one single source asked Sarah Cole why she has never voted in a city election (her first vote was for herself ironically). Or the ethics of a mayor and council endorsing the opponent of an incumbent. But the worst was the zero coverage of what Paul has actually accomplished over the past four years even when he admitted he hasn’t done anything by saying his first four years were for setting up the chess board. Also no mention in the debates why he said, “I didn’t sign up for this.”

I will tell you the real reason why Poops won by such a wide margin, people don’t like change, and they know from his first term, he won’t change a damn thing except more closed government, more handouts to rich friends and higher taxes and fees.

As you can see from Megan’s story that years of voter suppression is what lead up to this. The sad part is in the poorer neighborhoods;

Voters in Sioux Falls’ southeast district had the highest turnout (about 32 percent), and voters in the northeast district had the lowest turnout (about 20 percent).

Turnout data showed some correlation to income (note: correlation does not equal causation). The two precincts with the fewest voters casting a ballot were also in neighborhoods with high rates of poverty.

There are many factors. One is the lack of media coverage and lack of the city providing information (sample ballots). This has been going on for awhile. Like when the school district holds an election, they don’t put any polls in the Northern part of the city. Then we wonder why the poorer neighborhoods don’t vote?

“What we have to do is figure out as a society that it’s OK for everyone to vote,” Erpenbach said, “and then make it as easy as possible.”

Weird, because if you look at Megan’s chart, Michelle was serving on the council during this flatline and spearheaded firing a City Clerk who was trying to make city elections better who was later replaced by our current clerk who wasn’t even registered to vote when he got hired for the position.

And we sit around and wonder why voter turnout is so low? It’s not an accident, it’s by invention.

Sioux Falls Mayoral Candidate Zokaites gets cut off by Council Dictator Kiley


Besides the fact that the city council folded like a wet paper bag when it came to poorly researched and negotiated employee retention bonuses (or was it about inflation? Proving the absurdity of city employee vote bribes? Or trying to humiliate Brekke, you know, the councilor they are unethically hosting fundraisers for her opponent) there was some other fireworks at last night’s meeting.

During public input Mr. Science and All around Know-it-All Councilor Ricky Lee Kiley cut off David Zokaites because of his presentation about allowing Mayor Poops a Freebie 2-hour interview on KELO AM. Ironically, I saw the presentation before the meeting (posted below), and all David was going to say is that KELO and Poops did nothing wrong and it was permissible by the FCC. Yup, he was going to defend the Mayor, at least on the law, but NOT the ethics.

Kiley was within his rights to ask David to stop the presentation and David did the right thing by ending it. As a candidate for office you are NOT allowed to talk about that candidacy at the podium during public input, and that is where David crossed a line . . .  kind of. I’m just curious why the council’s COS and City Clerk did not catch the violation when they pre-approved David’s PPT before the meeting?

Ironically, Poops violates ethical standards of running for office almost daily. From using insider information on concerts at the Denty, to tweeting candidate commercials while running a meeting, posting endorsements (that are missing a PAID FOR STAMP) on his supposed personal FB page and using most media interviews to promote his candidacy while telling everyone he is not a politician (but plays one on TV).

While Kiley was right that David was in the wrong, I’m just wondering when Poops will start following the same campaign ethical standards? Not in our lifetime.

CITY OF SIOUX FALLS HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT HIRES A COUNSELING AGENCY THAT EMPLOYEES A CONVICTED FEDERAL CRIMINAL

The real fun stuff was at the beginning of the meeting when councilor Starr asked why the city is hiring Key Solutions whose director/counselor recently got charged with Federal crimes;

Tami Haug-Davis, 64, of Sioux Falls, was ordered to pay $15,000 restitution, serve one year of probation and serve 40 hours of community service for making a materially false statement regarding minutes of board meetings during a federal investigation of the Missouri Valley Crisis Center.

Our director of HR, Bill Dah’Toole said to the council last night, they got reassurance that she wouldn’t do bad things anymore. You know, like when we picked Lamont to complete the bunker ramp. Starr had made them aware in advance of her record, and instead trying to find another counseling agency, they chose to double-down on their very stupid decision, and 6 of the 8 councilors agreed . . . of course they would, because that is the true definition of absurdity. Starr and Brekke voted NO. Erickson of course phoned in her VOTE since she is in Pierre lobbying at her other job. Must be nice to double-dip and have a council gig as a side hustle. I can’t even remember the last time I have seen her in person at a council meeting?

LIGHTS OUT!

But my favorite part at the meeting last night was when someone leaned against the light switches and turned off the lights in the Chamber. I’m sure they were all thinking cyber attack.

Dakotanews has a peculiar view on Investigative Journalism


I was a little puzzled by this story they posted yesterday;



The I-Team has learned that the city of Sioux Falls has hired an outside attorney to represent the city in a lawsuit against the Village River Group.



I am assuming the I-Team means investigative team. Besides the fact that I posted about this on January 18, it wasn’t some secret since it was on the public agenda at the January 18 meeting in the consent agenda in which Councilor Starr pulled and asked the city finance director and city attorney where the money was coming from.

They both kind of fibbed a bit (the real story here).

Still wondering why it took supposed investigative journalists 6 weeks to figure something out that was posted on a public agenda?

Did anybody even know there was a Sioux Falls School Board election?



If you do a search on google with key words ‘sioux falls school board election 2022’ you will notice the only independent media that comes up is that the election was cancelled because of no candidates except the incumbents.

The SF School District, the City of Sioux Falls and the SD SOS sites ALL mention the election in advance of the February filing deadline. But NO local mainstream media even told the public there was 2 seats up for grabs. I’m even guilty, because I can’t even find if I mentioned it on my blog.

Maybe NO ONE is running because NO ONE knew about it?

While our local media continues to give FREE campaign advertising to the incumbent mayor, they have remained silent about the school board election.

Local news funnies

I love it when these slip by on live news, luckily they replay online so Detroit can screenshot. As Jerry Seinfeld would say, ‘And you want to be my latex salesman!’

South Dakota Legislative Reporter explains why they are quitting (Pierre)

While there are many fine points in Dana’s editorial, none of it surprises me one bit. When I started doing editorial cartoons in 2006 the legislature was a very easy target. And while some may argue that target has gotten easier over the years, I just think in Pierre it depends on which way the wind is blowing. Take the transgender bathroom issue;

I just couldn’t take the crazy any longer. I couldn’t take the effort wasted on legislation that’s designed to bully and hurt.

I have always looked at this issue in two ways, 1) Someone’s sexual identity is not your G—— F—— Business and 2) who does it affect? Is this an issue in South Dakota? Are biological boys identifying as girls storming bathrooms and high school gyms across the state? In fact when some journalists and other legislators have asked this question nobody can actually identify more than a handful of transgender youth in our state and only 1 or 2 have made an issue about sports.

It goes along with this argument;

Each year the largely Republican Legislature seems to have its priorities in the wrong place. Bills that pick on the transgendered pass easily while last year members of the GOP said, “There’s nothing to see here” as they killed bills that would have shed light on state airplane usage and the governor’s security costs.

They really don’t want to take on the ‘REAL ISSUES’ this has not changed in the 16 years I have been watching the circus called the legislative session. All and any real reform has come thru the initiative/referendum process which now they are trying to kill in the courts and their own ballot measures. And they are becoming successful.

Often, when lawmakers want to make it safe for the rest of us to go to the bathroom or make abortions impossible to get or guns easier to get, they are getting their marching orders from outside the state.

Which also baffles me. If you do google searches on these three issues, while the poll numbers fluctuate, none drop below 50% (These are nationwide averages based on several polls);

• Support keeping Abortion Legal and Safe: 60% Support

• Federal legalization of Adult use recreational cannabis: 60% Support

• Stricter gun laws and other gun control measures: 53% Support

I kind of scratch my head when the peeps in Pierre act like South Dakota is some island when it comes to how the rest of the country thinks (even though over HALF of our funding comes from Federal taxpayers), I would remind you that when it comes to legal abortion and Rec MJ, voters have supported it in this state.

In journalism circles in South Dakota, we often bemoan the fact that there are fewer and fewer reporters writing about the Legislature. Now there’s one less and I feel bad about that. But not bad enough to force myself back into the press box and try to write objectively about legislation and resolutions that I know are by turns silly, symbolic, wrong-headed and cruel.

. . . and don’t forget destructively moronic.

I also see these same wingnuts taking over our city government (they already have) and the next election probably will only exacerbate the problem since many of the candidates running have NO challengers and were hand picked by the Mayor and his minions.

What can we do? I often tell people to spread the truth about the lies and corruption. Tell anyone you know (especially the 10% who vote in city elections about it).

I know it seems I have been kind of quiet about the upcoming city elections, trust me the silence will be broken soon and my spreadsheet of misdeeds on some of the candidates is filling up fast. I encourage others to run, especially in my Central District which has been given a total overhaul and leans pretty left to center. As of right now the incumbent (who has done nothing for the district) has no challengers or anybody on the horizon. This needs to change.

Is the lazy local Sioux Falls Media blowing off the City’s open meetings violations?

Of course they are. They don’t understand it (we will get to that in a moment) and they don’t want to ruffle feathers. It reminds of what Greg Belfrage said this morning on his show, about talking about politics at family events, he says he doesn’t. I believe him, because he doesn’t know a damn thing about politics and he is probably afraid he would embarrass himself, and he couldn’t hide from his liberal uncle by hanging up the phone on him while passing the gravy.

Many in the media have chosen to not talk about the open meetings violation because they have told the complainant that it is ‘too complicated’. A city official said that it is NOT a big deal and just an ‘ordinance violation’.

First it is NOT complicated and secondly, an open meetings violation is a big deal.

The city is required to have public input on items that are pulled from the consent agenda. Now mind you, if it is about spending $33 on a squirrel feeder at a park, probably NOT pressing, but still required, but this was about a liquor license for a bar with several questionable police calls and underage violations (the real story here), and the fact that the complainant had told many city officials she was going to speak about the item when pulled days in advance. I think the Chair of the meeting, Mayor Paul TenHaken did not call public input on purpose, because he didn’t want to hear what she had to say.

This is why this is IMPORTANT and should be shared in the media. You may not always agree with freedom of speech, but it is equal for all of us whether you want to talk about a gun stuck up your butt all day, a fertilized egg that has a heartbeat, that AR-15s are standard for EMTs, defunding the police or bars that are allowing teenagers to get pistol whipped when they illegally came into the adult establishment.

The simple, real story here is that the Mayor, Paul ‘Poops’ TenHaken violated the law by not allowing public input and a bar skirted any public rebuke because of a lazy, cowardly city staff and council and an oblivious media that doesn’t want to work to hard, if at all.

Is the infrastructure bill and January 6th investigations complicated? YES. And we have thousands of reports about them we can read every day. Is censoring public input complicated? F’CK NO! And we should have at least 2-3 local media reports about it. But we don’t.

Maybe if the meeting was held in a food truck?

The Dead Tree version soon will be Dead

I found this toon I did in 2007;

Should the City of Sioux Falls website be advertising a private business on Instagram?

First off, I don’t think this place needs any advertising considering people are waiting 2 hours in drive thru.

I also question how a fast food place has anything to do with One Sioux Falls?

And lastly, my tax dollars should not be used to promote ANY private business.

This administration will do anything to distract from the real issues going on.

I sometimes even wonder if Mayor SelfTaken is even serious about a 2nd term or if he is just acting as a place holder to raise money for who ever they will pull out of the Taupeville Hat?

Stories the Local Media Should & Could cover but Don’t & Won’t

As many of you know, I have run this blog for about 14 years as a hobby and as a citizen advocate for open and transparent government. While I have a communications degree, I do NOT have a BS in Journalism. This is why I really don’t worry to much about all the criticism when it comes to my writing skills (seriously, I don’t care), I am only concerned about getting the information out even in a rudimentary and snarky way.

It often frustrates me when the media has a wide range of topics and stories they could cover but don’t. Nationally and Locally it has to do with who is paying the bills (advertising) and why I often roll my eyes when the right-winger radio manure spreaders say there is a left wing and right wing media. There is a GREEDY media, that’s it. Locally they have prostituted themselves to the Industrial Hospital Complex and anything controversial to do with them will never be reported or downplayed.

I will also have to give Mayor Poops credit for one thing, he has the local media right where he wants them, somehow he has found a way to make sure any negative or controversial reporting on him or the city is non-existent. Heck, KELO AM even gave him some kind of award. It works out great for him. He has NO serious challengers (only one so far) and he will cruise in as the incumbent with a tank full of money.

So what stories are we missing out on that the local media could cover?

• The lack of Covid vaccination education and combatting misinformation

• Massive profits from the healthcare industry in Sioux Falls and their monopoly on care (relating to Covid). This actually showed up in the city’s financial report presentation yesterday at the city council informational meeting.

• The possible Federal investigation into a certain person (there have been several national stories about this but the local media has only barely scratched the surface, oh and they have taken it to the SD Supreme Court)

• Smithfield (Federal fines, environmental concerns, TenHaken’s ties, tax rebates and incentives, Covid health of workers, product shipping to China, etc.) This place alone could keep one news organization busy for months

• Economic Impact of TIFs in Sioux Falls (I would even suffice for simple story about how the returns don’t even add up)

• A survey of South Dakotans and their stance on abortion (I still think a majority supports legal and safe abortion in SD especially when it comes to exemptions)

• Medical and Recreational Marijuana and the REAL harmful effects, if any really exist, and Noem’s corrupt war on the voter’s will

Medical MJ Dispensary limitations (the not so quiet rumor going around is that the big wheel developers and banksters in town went crying to the Chamber and Mayor Poops claiming if a dispensary is built next to their property it would decrease it’s value. Doubtful. If you visit downtown Fort Collins, CO you will see a striving entertainment district full of bars, restaurants and galleries intertwined in with dispensaries

• Why has the Bishop Dudley House become so mis-managed? What is the SFPD and City Hall doing about it? The neighbors and business owners response? The taxpayers responsibility? The cost? The solutions?

• What’s going on with the Bunker Ramp?

• Why is everything sponsored in Sioux Falls by one person?

• I leave the most important story to last; The lack of open and transparent government in Sioux Falls and the push towards secrecy and corruption. If you think things were kept quiet during the last two mayoral administrations, they have nothing on Poops. He has virtually made sure public meetings are posted so vaguely or just eliminated them all together. He also has limited the number of public meetings the council holds, got involved with eliminating an incumbent populist councilor, changed the meeting times to be inconvenient for the working stiffs, changed public input, tries to cut deals with councilors and developers without quorum and generally doesn’t tell the public much unless it is about his dogs on Facebook.

Do I think this is intentional? YES!

I also don’t think this is a conservative, liberal or independent thing, it is a authoritarian thing. There are some political philosophies out there that think informing the public to much only complicates getting things done in government. While I will agree it is a REAL philosophy, it is also wrong-headed and extremely dangerous and wreaks of corruption. You would think those in the media would be appalled by the lack of access they have to their local government. Sure Poops likes to tell us about butterflies and parking ramps but he really isn’t letting us in on much else except that city employees apparently hold hands and sing songs during their morning coffee breaks because they are part of the SF One Borg.

It is time for our local media to remove their heads from a certain person(s) butt and start digging around, at least on a few of these issues. I would agree we live in a pretty good town, but I also think the concentration of power by a few players and the lack of transparent government is holding us back and it is the duty of the 4th Estate to remedy this, if only they had the courage or the brains.