The Authoritarian Right Wingers really had quite the week pushing their Wacky Radical agenda onto a majority of Americans and South Dakotans that don’t support their ideas;


If there ever was a time I wish Jason Rumblestrips didn’t hit and kill Joe Boever, it is NOW. The SD Dem Party must dig deep to find someone to run against this guy. Remember, this is a person who covered up Gear Up and EB-5, and probably numerous other things, and if you think he has changed, you are mistaken. He has an axe to grind, and it won’t be pretty. Ravnsborg may have been a liar, a dope and a killer, but he isn’t a Marty.


In one of her more bizarre incidents, Noem said on Face the Nation that victims of rape and incest should be forced to have the child conceived in violence. It was probably one of the most despicable things I have ever heard her say. When she claims to be for Freedom and Liberty then turns around and forces raped children to have a child produced by their attacker, you have to wonder what is going on in her head. Cue the circus music.


I even tell my single male friends that this decision will have further implications in the Supreme Court. They are coming for your contraception and partner rights. A majority of Americans support safe and legal abortion clearly showing our SCOTUS is extremely out of touch with Americans.


It’s one thing for this Stop the Steal supporter to get nominated as SOS, but her extremist views on voter registration, religion and all things wacky to the right should scare the Hell out of us. I BEG the SD DEM Party to find a strong candidate to run against Ms. Johnson. What is even more strange is that they booted an incumbent who has done a fairly decent job. My feelings are they booted Barnett because he was trying to make voting easier in SD by supporting online registration and voting by mail. Even the Republicans in this state hate moderate Republicans.


While the President did sign a bi-partisan bill for more gun control, it was watered down by the Republicans involved in the negotiations. It also did not help that SCOTUS said it was A-OK to carry a concealed weapon Federally not allowing states to regulate the 2nd Amendment. A majority of Americans support comprehensive gun control.


This is only the case in states that have a voucher program. I am vehemently against vouchers. I have argued that if property tax payers can receive vouchers when choosing to send their children to private schools then I should receive a voucher for choosing NOT to have children. I especially think it is reprehensible to fund religious schools with money meant to go towards public education. The SCOTUS got this one wrong on many levels, as well as their ruling on prayer in schools. SCOTUS is virtually ignoring 1st Amendment rights and Separation of Church and state.

I knew it would not take long for something like this to rear it’s head during this time of a crisis and social distancing;

A plan to separate the Tri-Valley School District by building a new school to handle overcrowding is once again causing controversy between residents and school district leaders. 

Parents and residents say a recent decision by the school board to build a $10 million kindergarten-only school in Crooks, miles from the current school in Colton, was done without transparency and without the chance for a public vote. 

They say the school board and administration took advantage of a time when no one could attend the school board meeting April 13 in person to voice their opposition because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The board meeting was conducted through Zoom, a video chat messaging system many have relied on to interact with others without risking exposure to the coronavirus in the meantime. 

A select few in the community who can afford the tax increases and want a new school took it upon themselves to pass something literally in the dark of the night knowing there was strong public opposition to the decision. The best way to quiet this opposition is by eliminating them. While legal (and I would go so far to say that is questionable) it definately lacked ethics and integrity and was at best a sloppy parlor trick.

But don’t be fooled by this ‘one’ instance. I have been following and taking note of several things our own city government has been doing behind the scenes. All the puzzle pieces are not in place yet, but once they are, I will be revealing the blatant sloppiness and ignorance our own city has been up to. Right now they are trying their hardest to keep these things tied up in a closet with a sock in their mouth, but that can’t last much longer, and it’s only a matter of time before it spreads like a virus at packing plant.

I will keep you posted, and several others in the local media have been also keeping tabs.

While none of it really shocks me, it will prove once again, when the cat’s away, the mice will play. Our local officials are taking full advantage of this crisis to put a death nail in transparency, and it makes me wonder how they sleep at night.

As we all know, in Sioux Falls, this has already occurred due to a quiet decision by the school board a few years ago. They tried to do it in RC and got caught;

In February 2019, Rapid City police chief Karl Jegeris and School Superintendent Dr. Lori Simon met privately with Pennington County’s new Auditor, Cindy Mohler, and directed her to find new polling places for the ten voting precincts that currently use public schools. The elected School Board members were never informed or consulted as to this change of policy, learning about it eight months later when it—along with all elements of this story—was revealed in greater detail by the Rapid City Journalin its November 3 and November 19 editions.

As you know in Sioux Falls, not only have they eliminated polling places at most schools, they went to super precincts where they pretty much eliminated the entire Northern part of the city for the $300 school bond issue. So here is a little tidbit of interest;

No school shootings or violent incidents in connection with a polling place anywhere in America have been documented.

Yet we are often told this is about the ‘safety’ of the ‘children’. Hogwash! This has been about voter suppression. When you don’t have a precinct in the entire Northern part of your voting district, that speaks volumes of the intent, but they fall back on the excuse ‘What about the kids?’

Most Rapid City voters drive to the polls, and roughly one-third vote early at the Auditor’s office. Some low-income people lack transportation, and walk to the polls or depend on a ride to get there. If a large percentage of voters are suddenly re-directed to a new, less accessible polling place, there is the fear that a lower turnout will result.

And that is what has happened. The SFSD has devised a way to get the people who can afford a property tax increase to the polls and eliminating those who may be opposed. It’s a brilliant scheme. It also gives them the excuse to hand count ballots as a cost savings measure and instead of using mostly volunteers they used employees who work in the finance office. But RC said, no way!

At two Rapid City School Board meetings in November, citizens from across the political spectrum, myself among them, pleaded with the board to allow voting to continue at the schools. Rep. Tina Mullally (R-Rapid City), described the proposed change as voter suppression. Her colleague, Rep. Tony Randolph (R-Rapid City), commented on the negative “optics” of removing voting from the schools at the same time that a $189 million bond issue (the largest per capita school bond issue in South Dakota history) is coming before local voters. Several speakers pointed out that, at a time when schools are teaching less “civics” and students are graduating without a strong understanding of government and democracy, watching adults come to their schools to exercise their franchise can be a positive experience. Ramona Herrington, a local Native American activist, commented that she could not believe that she was on the same side of the issue as the ultraconservative Citizens for Liberty.

This outpouring of support led board members to adopt a resolution sponsored by Curt Pochardt in support of leaving polling places in the schools.

I have often said it is a sad time in our democracy when we have to constantly sneak around to figure out what our elected officials are up to behind closed doors. Voting rights are the highest level of an open and transparent government. Rapid City dodged a bullet – for now. It looks like they are going to try to do a reach around with the County Commission. I feel that the ones pushing for a school bond in RC saw the immense opportunity to only get those they wanted voting for the bond to the polls. They saw the soviet like election results in Sioux Falls and how they pulled it off. I guess the other school districts in South Dakota do learn things from us 🙁

For years, there has been a push for Minnehaha County and the City of Sioux Falls to join forces and become one. With this merger, they went even a step further. The City of Sioux Falls, the County and also the School District are now all one entity called ‘Sioux Falls OP-OUT’

County Treasurer Stan Neilson said, “So many people are confused about where their property taxes go, and with all these increases by all three entities, this will just make it easier to raise . . . uh . . . I mean ‘regulate’ your property taxes.”

So with this change I wondered if it would actually save taxpayers millions in employee salaries and benefits since a lot of the jobs could be combined.

“Highly unlikely,” said HR director for the city, Bud Da’Toole, “We are going to actually ADD more employees, mostly in management, because we will need a lot of middle managers to handle the transition, I also expect the the administrators to double in the education side of the deal.”

There was one bright spot in the whole transition though, and good news in the Parks and Rec department. Parks Director Dave Kornhole explains, “We figured since we are paying teachers a yearly salary anyway, they might as well work the entire year, so during the summer we will have teachers working in our parks mowing grass and during winter break we will have them plowing streets.”

I wondered if teachers would be qualified to plow the streets. Street director Kyle Skidmore said, “Like our current snowplow operators, if they don’t know how to use the snowgates properly, they’ll just skip a driveway or two.”

Some wondered who would be the administrator of this new unity. Would it be the mayor, the superintendent or the commission chair? Former county chair Sandy Highpants said that was an easy decision, “I’m in charge. I’m always in charge.”

We asked superintendent Bruce Mauler if he was aware of the new leadership decision. “Yeah, she may be ‘in charge’ but we all know who makes the decisions around this joint, behind closed doors of course.”

Mayor TwoSh*ts was unavailable for comment because he was busy with a SELFIE Shoot by a hat rack at Flying J Truckstop.

We also wondered what the legislative makeup would be. City council chair Marty Selless said that the first process would be asking any of the board members of each of the entities if they would want to resign. The only taker so far was Commissioner Jesse Farth who told Marty, “I’m outta here suckers!”

The second step of elimination would be done during a joint meeting with all three bodies. “Basically, whoever falls asleep during that meeting or is caught texting would be eliminated. We figured that should whittle us down to about 5 members” said Selless.

So there you have it, in the name of even higher property taxes, we have made government more efficient.

I believe the case will be heard next week, 10 AM on Wednesday, probably in city hall at old commission chambers. Please read the complaint here (DOC: Human-Relations).

Jesus Pena has lived in the United States since he was the age of four. He was born in 1951. He has been a US resident for decades and has worked all over the country as an assistant surveyor and civil engineering technician. All he wanted to do was become a licensed surveyor himself, but was apparently being discriminated against while taking courses at SE Tech (3 semesters) (I’m still verifying the name of the professor who allegedly treated him this way).

It’s unfortunate to hear something like this, especially with the intent of trying to draw more students to SE Tech and the new proposed SF Community College. As our community continues to become more diverse we need to put a clamp down on educators who discriminate based on race and age.