Before the general election I thought it was strange the Argus endorsed two candidates. Both younger candidates with similar business experience. But one was a conservative and the other a progressive. It seems the two candidate endorsement wasn’t a mistake.

Earlier today TenHaken posted this on his FB page;

Because she is a recent member of the Argus Leader Editorial Board, Michelle’s letter to the editor was not able to be printed. But we have no issues posting it! Michelle Lavallee, you are an inspiration to many!

I don’t have an issue with an editorial board member endorsing a candidate on their FB page, or even endorsing them in the paper with an individual letter. But with this clear conflict, the editorial board, no matter who they support personally, or who they are, shouldn’t be endorsing candidates as a body if the members have a personal business relationship with one of the candidates. Also, besides the business relationship, Michelle is also serving as Paul’s Co-Chair for his campaign.

I think the newspaper has done a fantastic job covering the campaign and the platforms of all the candidates, and they should be doing this. But they should stay out of the endorsement game. Notice the TV stations DO NOT endorse candidates. To be truly an un-bias 4th Estate news organization you should stay away from swaying voters one way or the other. Provide the information and let the public decide.

As a blogger with an editorial slant, and as an individual I don’t think it is wrong for me to endorse a candidate. But I also don’t have a personal relationship with either candidate except that I have had a few conversations with both. I also have not directly received advertising revenue from either candidate (I have no control over my google ad circulation). Yet both have advertised on my site thru that service.

I have often felt for awhile that people who don’t research the candidates will pick up the newspaper a couple of days before the election and just blindly vote for the endorsement. This is a problem.

UPDATE: It also seems obvious that the Ed board is setting us up for an endorsement of TenHaken after reading this column. The entire content of the VM isn’t the point, the point is leaving the VM to begin with, because it was in poor judgment for Paul to call and say anything about the incident. When things get rough, the best thing to do as a political candidate is to turn the other cheek and ignore your detractors. Obviously Loetscher struck a nerve with TenHaken. If the ‘doxing’ incident wasn’t a big deal, then don’t make a ‘deal’ out of it.

I recently had the pleasure of visiting with mayoral candidates Jolene Loetscher and Paul TenHaken about some of the issues of the day. I am very excited about a new era of transparency, citizen representation and governmental accountability that will be ushered into Sioux Falls with this election. It is a hopeful time for our Sioux Falls citizens.  I am also grateful to have a respectful relationship with Paul and Jolene.


Jolene: She stated that she has no plans to change it as it now exists. She wants to work for expansion of public access. She referenced being at the Benson’s Flea Market and having beautiful conversations with the working folks who passed through.

Paul: He stated a desire to return to decorum and professionalism. He wants to find ways to communicate with mutual respect, both from the elected officials and the citizens testifying.

Me: I am a staunch advocate of allowing the citizens to speak at the beginning of the meeting. I believe that with a new mayor, many of the contentious outbursts will dissipate.


Paul: He desires 12 good people to lead. He will assess the performance of the current directors after he is in office. He believes that the Mayor sets the tone for citizen advocacy and proper communication from the department heads. He wants respectful, responsive discourse.

Jolene: The department heads will need to be as committed to open and transparent government as she will be. They need to have a commitment to the citizens.

Me: I feel that there needs to be more accountability and oversight in the spending of each department. Also, we need to find ways to help the department heads connect and listen more to the citizens. We need more emphasis on customer service for the citizens.


Jolene: She has heard good things from the community about them.

Paul: He STRONGLY supports their continued use.

Me: I think we should implement a snow gate hotline. We should mark all motor graders with a big number. The citizens can then call in with compliments and concerns about the quality of the service.


Paul: He will appoint a Deputy Chief of Staff who will be empowered to speak to the media. He also wants to implement a media roundtable. He wants to hear from the media: “how can we best communicate with you?” He has been transparent with the media during the campaign. .

Jolene: She believes it is crucial to embrace the media. She stated “Close out the media, close out the people.” The media’s role is to cover city news and hold the city accountable for what is coming out of city hall.

Me: Of course, when the media shows up…everyone behaves better. The coverage from the Media in the last year is the biggest reason we have Transparency at the top of the list for citizen concerns. Friend and former councilor Greg Jamison once told me “Theresa, if the media doesn’t show up, it didn’t happen.” He was right.


Jolene: Respect for due process, No harassment of citizens, Implement compassionate enforcement. Lead and help people to grow without a hostile environment. Do more with citywide cleanup. She would like to implement more help from volunteers like senior citizens.

Paul: Make it more proactive…. “Strict and aggressive” while still not infringing on the rights of property owners. He believes that well-kept areas will be a deterrent to crime. He likes project NICE and is open to using inmates and temp labor to assist in helping with trimming trees and other labor needs in the city.

Me: Encourage neighbors to help one another, instead of turning them into the city for violations. Encourage city employees to help citizens more. We want to find ways to help neighbors care for one another and make this a community where we show love and kindness to one another. There is a growing spirit of hostility happening from one area of town to another. We need to bring people together. Many things can be remedied with some kindness and considerate conversation.


Paul and Jolene are both eager to have regular input sessions from all the council members and to inform the council about upcoming projects and budgetary items. They both said they are committed to transparency in governmental affairs.

Jolene and Paul are both willing to look at using inmates or senior citizens to fill in the gaps for city services.

We also touched briefly upon transportation, RFP secrecy, Park board district representation, project TRIM and city Debt. I didn’t discuss all of these with each candidate, so you can ask them yourselves for their perspectives.

UPDATE: Thought I would revisit this post today;

So chew on this ‘nothing burger’. Do you remember Pat Powers and why he left his blog,, back in 2010 only to return to it in 2012? Let’s rev up the wayback machine and look.

We at SouthDacola were a bit busy back then, helping a disgraced Secretary of State to NOT run for reelection, his aide to run back to Brookings with his tail between his legs and attempt to break a curious conspiracy to conceal unethical behavior.

On July 22, 2012 Powers made an announcement he was back at the blog…

We at SouthDacola will fill you in.

It is election season 2018 in Sioux Falls and South Dakota with some names and events hauntingly familiar from those halcyon days. Why? Keep in mind names like Pat Powers, Dakota War College (DWC), Jason Gant, Bill Clay, Rick Astley, Marty Jackley, Sen. Stan Adelstein, DCI, Click Rain, Paul TenHanken and more to mull over.

SOS Jason Gant hired his friend and confidant, DWC Pat Powers, to be a high-level employee in charge of the sensitive data systems in the SOS office as Deputy. You know the kind of data a government office can hold in a “trust”? As in, you trust no one will do anything wrong with it? An unknown by the mystery name, Bill Clay, became the voice of DWC. To this day no one knows who this Bill Clay was (we assumed is was a fake screen name).

Back to our story, while doing a bit of research using the SD Secretary of State’s corporate database, a curious thing happened. A website previously unknown to the researcher called Dakota Campaign Store appeared when clicking a link trying to sell political postcards.

Why would the SOS office be selling campaign supplies? We started to look into the IP addresses of the SOS databases, the campaign store and DWC to see how they could be linked. Funny thing is, they appeared to be connected. As we exposed the links, these website IP addresses seem to move around the country together which I coined the case of the ‘musical servers’, how could this be? We started asking questions. Powers began to move websites around and created fake links.

The more we researched, followed the IP addresses as they traveled the nation, our questions were answered by Rick Astley. What became apparent was some shady type things were going on. Sen Stan Adelstein from Rapid City also started asking questions. He asked Attorney General Marty Jackley (2018 GOP candidate for Governor) and the Department of Criminal Investigation  (DCI) to look into the issues being brought up.

Instead of finding potential issues with the loss of the state’s confidential corporate database during the documented 4 moves, employee conflict of interest in running a political campaign consulting / sales business while managing the voter database and more, the Attorney General only said, no money was stolen so no harm done. In other words, go away and leave us alone while we bury this mess (Entire DOC: Jackley-Gant ).

When Powers announced his return to the blog Dakota War College writing “for the new owners” who were the new owners? It was announced at the time, the final resting spot was in an up and coming web services company, Clickrain owned by Paul TeHaken.

Well, Clickrain in Sioux Falls became a proud owner but at some time since we last reported, TenHaken must have turned DWC back to Powers:

Click to enlarge graphic

Remember Rushmore PAC owned by the SD Republican Party Chairman and former SD State Senator from Dakota Dunes who was (might still be) a longtime person registered in two states at the same time (Iowa and South Dakota) while being a SD State Senator? This is another story with interesting answers.

Who will ask these people what these people were doing hiding government information on web servers around the country and why? When will these people come clean with where the data is? With all the expense of rebuilding the lost SOS databases due to the apparent cross country moving, why didn’t the Attorney General prosecute or at least slap the Whopper Juniors out of the offender’s hands?

Maybe TenHaken should be included in this 2014 graphic; 2014 Scandal Republican-graphic

Still confused? It’s simple, basically we suspected under Gant & Powers watch at the SOS’s office they were using private servers owned by Clickrain who was owned by TenHaken to not only hide Powers involvement with his blog and campaign store, which was a clear conflict of interest as a state employee (we suspect why he was pressured to quit) but possibly hiding/holding government data. Which isn’t technically illegal if you have a state contract to do so. We have no clue if TenHaken had such a contract. We will never know because Jackley decided to bury that part of the investigation and basically tell us that Gant & Powers weren’t stealing money from the petty cash box.

Paul TenHaken has NEVER publicly talked about the Powers dismissal from state government. Gee, I wonder why?