Entries Tagged 'Media' ↓

Young Americans for Liberty sends out goofy email

While I detest that most of our legislators in the state are Republican, I do get a good laugh when they start fighting over who is the most conservative. I don’t think any of them are, just Cuckoo. Read this email sent out defending State Legislator Julie Frye-Lactation;

Dear Mary Jane,

There’s something strange in the water out in Pierre.

President Pro Tempore, Senator Lee Schoenbeck thinks he’s the King of South Dakota.

Senator Schoenbeck thinks he can unilaterally decide who represents the people of South Dakota.

Schoenbeck, a notorious RINO, is acting like the King of South Dakota and illegally and unconstitutionally suspended a sitting state senator without due process.

His outrageous power trip is disenfranchising and silencing the elected representative of tens of thousands of South Dakotans.

You see, Schoenbeck unilaterally decided to punish South Dakota citizens by suspending Senator Julie Frye-Mueller before an investigation had even been organized, over a private conversation between Mueller and a legislative services staffer regarding childhood vaccinations and other motherhood issues.

Should a politician like Schoenbeck have the power to silence another Senator over a personal conversation?

Schoenbeck, working with Democrats and Establishment Republicans, forced through Mueller’s unconstitutional suspension, overriding the ruling of the chair and dismissing out-of-hand any constitutional concerns.

Schoenbeck needs to be reminded that he IS NOT the king maker of South Dakota

State Senators work for the people who elected them!

If this makes your blood boil as much as it does mine, I hope you’ll help me turn up the heat on “Little King Lee” Schoenbeck.

Click here to send a message to Schoenbeck. Remind him that the President Pro Tempore of the South Dakota Senate does not have the authority to remove a Senator simply based on his opinions of a legislator’s private conversation.

Demand he respects the Constitution and the right of ALL South Dakotans to representation in the State Senate.

I hope you’ll click here and tell “Little King Lee” Schoenback that he has overreached his authority and effectively robbed South Dakotans of their duly elected State Senator.

Unless South Dakotans like you fight back, Schoenbeck and his liberal cronies in Pierre are going to KEEP ignoring the Constitution.

If this challenge to our Republic goes unanswered, Schoenbeck will continue to block conservative bills and control the State Senate like a petty tyrant.

I hope you’ll join me in saying “Enough is enough,” to Little King Lee.

Click here to send a message to Schoenbeck.

Remind him that the President Pro Tempore of the South Dakota Senate does not have the authority to remove a Senator simply based on his opinions of a legislator’s private conversation.

For Liberty,

Bethany Young
Grassroots Director
Young Americans for Liberty

P.S. President Pro Tempore Lee Schoenbeck is acting like he’s the King of South Dakota. He thinks he has the POWER to remove duly elected Senators based solely on his opinion.

Schoenbeck, a notorious RINO, has illegally and unconstitutionally suspended a sitting state senator without due process. His outrageous power trip is disenfranchising and silencing the elected representative of tens of thousands of South Dakotans.

I hope you’ll click here and tell “Little King Lee” Schoenbeck he has overreached his authority and effectively robbed South Dakotans of their duly elected State Senator. Demand he respects the Constitution and the right of ALL South Dakotans to representation in the State Senate.

Yeah there is something strange in the water alright, it is most likely vodka. While I do agree Ms. Frye-Lactation should be punished for having an inappropriate conversation it certainly doesn’t rise to suspension. As reporter Austin Goss recently pointed out on Matters of the State (2:50);

You have people in that chamber, as recently as last year, who have DUIs . . . you have others in that chamber who call each other pond scum and monkeys. So I guess if the reason to throw her off the floor is decorum, I am just kind of confused . . .

I am not confused, while the above email is chocked full of smoke and mirrors there is one clear thing going on here, Julie pissed off the wrong governor and it was time to eliminate her.

Wasn’t worth a lit fart in a wool mitten

I finished watching this movie recently, and while not a real deep dive into anything, I did like the part where Alex Jones broke the bench.

UPDATE: Gannett Employees set up Go Fund Me

Well, yah gotta know employees are NOT happy about a holiday furlough when they blatantly set up a Go Fund me page;

Gannett, which owns the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, the Watertown Public Opinion and the Aberdeen American News, is requiring all of its employees to take a week unpaid over the holidays. This decision affects 15 journalists.

The funds raised will be distributed evenly to help cover the lost income during the furlough week. Many of the journalists affected are young and not from the area. They are worried about not being able to pay rent and their bills while still being able to go home and see their family. This fundraiser aims to help them enjoy the holidays without stressing about rent payments.

Gannett has been doing this for several years now and it should be NO surprise to the employees. I guess over the years I have personally just gotten used to NOT getting vacation, insurance benefits or holiday pay from several of my employers (mostly hospitality). While I agree it sucks, one week unpaid is not the end of the world. If you can’t afford to miss one week’s pay out of the year, you really need to take a closer look at your finances.

UPDATE: I was informed that this page was setup by a NON employee for the employees of Gannett

The Dakota Scout plays into the Republican Party rhetoric

Since the Dakota Scout has launched I have had a subscription. I have also read hundreds of stories over the years of both of the journalists running the media organization. They are good reporters.

But the the resounding criticism I hear from readers (especially ones that are independents and left leaning) is they tend to lean a little right. I would argue they are more Libertarian then outright Republican Right, and if you have a conversation about their political leanings they will admit it.

What I did not expect was for them to play into the Republican Party rhetoric. As I was reading this story on District 15 candidates I noticed they called the Republican Candidates as members of the ‘Republican’ party and Democrats the members of the ‘Democrat’ party. This is the same rhetoric the Republican party members have been pushing for decades;

However, some Republican leaders have made a habit of referring to their opposition incorrectly and discourteously as the “Democrat Party.” The reason isn’t entirely clear; it may be meant to imply that the party isn’t sufficiently “democratic” in the general sense, or may just be meant as a petty insult. 

That is all it is, a petty insult, and I expected more from the team at the Dakota Scout.

I get it, it is hard to start a media organization without catering to the Republican leaning business acumen in our state. Yes, there are many fine companies in SD that are run by moderate indies and Democrats but I’m not sure the capital is out there to support a more left leaning or even moderate news organization in South Dakota. I have caught the media time and time again in this city who just blatantly ignores the bad deeds of Republican lawmakers. Just look at the city election. Not one single news organization even bothered to check the voting records of those running. Why?

It was nice to have high school journalist students do the post game of the governor’s debate

They even wore ties! Surprised there wasn’t a food truck in the background.

Dakota News Now screenshot

Colorado Springs Mayor ‘doesn’t have the data’ to back up claims

Dakota News Now interviewed Colorado Springs, CO, Mayor John Suthers (FF: 7:30). While I was disappointed that DNN did not also interview proponents of IM 27, it didn’t seem to matter since Mayor Suthers buried himself. When asked if he has data to back up his claims about an increase in crime he says,

“I don’t have numbers . . . but I know we have a lot of them (crimes).”

He also could not provide data linking an increase in traffic deaths to marijuana use, but he ‘personally’ believes there is a link (without mentioning a 100K increase in population since Rec MJ was approved in Colorado).

Once again, a small group of officials who are opposed to decriminalizing recreational MJ are pulling crap from their behinds.

It is worth noting that all IM 27 really does is decriminalize the use of Rec MJ for adults 21 and over. The state legislature will be responsible for the regulation and taxation of a commercial retail product. This means it will give an enormous amount of control to local jurisdictions. Just because you vote to pass IM 27 doesn’t mean it will be the Wild West of pot. Larger cities in SD could choose to limit dispensaries to 1-2 to NONE.

I have argued that the state, counties and cities will save millions in law enforcement and justice costs while raking in millions more from taxation. There have been numerous studies that have proven this. The mayor of Colorado Springs has chosen a different path, he has chosen to not allow the sale of MJ in his community and because of that is getting NO benefit from taxation to fight the black market and illegal minor use. That’s on him.

South DaCola welcomes The Dakota Scout

There has been some speculation out there that I may be competition with the new media coming soon in Sioux Falls. Hardly. Even I know that what my blog offers is mostly my editorial view on what is happening in local government and my enduring fight for transparency, common sense, and good government. I even hope to assist them in any way possible.

I am thrilled that Jon and Joe are launching an alternative to the hospital, food truck, developer welfare crazed local media.

Almost every day I see our local media miss the big stories that effect local governing.

During and after the last local election there were two big stories out there about Councilor Dr. Sarah Cole that not one single media outlet in Sioux Falls would cover;

• Before she voted for herself, Cole had NEVER voted in a local election even though she had lived here for almost 10 years.

• She received $17,500 from Mayor TenHaken’s PAC as a campaign donation.

It has always amazed me when I will hand a story to the media on a silver platter they do nothing with it. I hope Jon and Joe don’t fall into this pattern.

Recently I was reading comments on social media about how our local officials don’t listen to constituents and how we need to make them listen to our concerns and needs. This is true, I have been doing it for 16 years and have seen many positive changes in Sioux Falls due to my diligence and the diligence of my readers but what really needs to happen is there needs to be a full court press to change the makeup of these bodies which means getting the public involved with local elections, not just voting in progressive candidates but volunteering for their campaigns.

The regular Sioux Falls constituent is getting clobbered at the ballot box because of low voter turnout and the massive amount of money being thrown at candidates by the ruling elite. It is unethical and dark.

I’m hoping The Dakota Scout starts to uncover how this dark money has turned our local government bodies into impractical, ignorant, rubber stampers that virtually do NOTHING for the everyday citizen in Sioux Falls let alone hear anything they say.

I wish them luck! Telling the truth about things can be a very lonely place sometimes, but it is always rewarding.

Argus Leader loses two incredible journalists

While I never worked for the Argus (I did have several editorial cartoons printed) I did work with these two fine gentleman on several big stories concerning city politics. The Event Center siding settlement comes to mind. The one thing I appreciated about both of them was there ‘NO BS’ approach to creating a story. anytime I would give either one of them a lead they would dig. Ellis said to me all the time, “If only I could get someone on the record!” he was always adamant about having a reliable source. Sneve had a different approach, he would usually try to coax the information out of people with a little liquor and biker charm. I hope they both continue as great journalists in our community. I know they both have families and long ties to South Dakota, so I don’t see them leaving anytime soon.

My funniest memory was meeting Joe for the first time. I had beers with him, Bruce and Mike Myers at Monks. MMM’s communications manager saw us and quickly told her boss about our meeting. Joe told me soon after that Mike told him not to talk to us and Joe told Mike “I will talk to whoever I want to.”

Joe Sneve

Today marked my last day as a reporter at the Argus Leader, a newspaper which I’ve had a relationship with for the entirety of my 37 years on this planet.

From the announcement of my birth that ran in a 1984 August edition of the paper, swimming in disheveled copies of the paper on the floor of my grandfather’s house as a tot, to delivering two routes in Dell Rapids as a young teen, to becoming an intern while in college, to eventually becoming a new hire in 2012 – the Argus Leader has been part of the fabric of my life more so than just about anything else besides my family.

It’s a been a wild ride that’s opened many doors, brought me to many places I’d never have gone otherwise and has enriched my life deeply.

I’d like to thank every single co-worker, many of whom have become some of my best friends (which isn’t going to change), that I’ve had over the years. You made me a better journalist.

But the Argus Leader chapters of my life have come to an end.

However, I am not letting my years of experience as a watchdog journalist go to waste. And despite having some safer career alternatives presented to me, I am forgoing those to continue to hold South Dakota governments and the officials that operate them accountable.

My time at the Argus Leader is done, but I’m only getting started when it comes to kicking ass and taking names.

Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks about what’s next!

Jonathan Ellis

After nearly 17 yeas, today marked my last day at the Argus Leader.

It’s been a great run. I’ve worked with some phenomenal people over the years. First-rate journalists and just good people. Sadly, a couple of them are no longer with us. Dave Kranz was an outstanding political columnist. Maricarrol Kuiter a great editor.

When I interviewed at the Argus in 2005, I had also interviewed at the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News. Working at the Argus gave me opportunity I never would have had at a larger metro daily. Thank you Amy Johnson Ellis for highly suggesting that I take the job.

Less than three years into my time at the Argus, I was doing one-on-one interviews with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as they battled in the 2008 Democratic primary. I never would have had that opportunity at a larger paper.

The Argus has supported my numerous efforts to win public information. We’ve been to the South Dakota Supreme Court several times, and we also went to the U.S. Supreme Court. Not many newspapers would have had the moxie to do that.

So I will always be indebted to what the Argus gave me. But now, it’s time to move on. It may seem crazy to some, but I believe we are entering a golden age of journalism. And Joe Sneve

and I are ready for what’s to come. Standby.

Finally, I want to thank the institution and the great people I worked with and under. We’ve had solid newsroom leadership at the Argus. We’ve done amazing work. That can never be taken away from those of us who labored there. We can be proud of much.

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.