Democrat Patrick Starr claims didn’t break law…. but doesn’t know the law

The Patrick Starr illegal robocall saga continues this evening, with a story in the Argus Leader over the calls as a result of the SDGOP press release today:

In an interview, Starr said “there was nothing illegal about the robocalls,” which do not mention his candidacy for the treasurer position.


The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission says on its website that “autodialed or prerecorded calls to wireless phones are prohibited without prior express consent, regardless of the call’s content, with a few exceptions like emergency calls regarding danger to life or safety.”


Asked about the claims of TCPA violations, Starr said he used a reputable firm he’s familiar with.

“I feel confident we’ve met the exemptions in the law,” Starr said.

However, he did not specify what they were, saying both he and the firm in question would issue press releases later today with additional details.

Read the entire story here.

And remember, if you received the Starr robocall on your cell phone, you can report it to the FCC by clicking on this link at

SDGOP blasts Starr robocall as illegal, encourages people to report to FCC. Wife receives Starr robocall in Brookings.

This is starting to blow up. In a press release posted on the SDGOP website, the South Dakota Republican Party is hitting Democrat MInnehaha County Treasurer candidate Patrick Starr for making illegal robocalls, despit it being this third campaign for public office:

South Dakota Republican Party Chairman Dan Lederman today issued a statement criticizing Sioux Falls City Councilman and Democrat County Treasurer Candidate Patrick Starr for violating provisions of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by illegally placing a number of “robocalls” to people’s personal cell phones in furtherance of his political campaign.


Lederman said “Calls to cell phones using any form of artificial or pre-recorded voice without your consent are flat-out illegal, and I would encourage anyone who received Patrick Starr’s illegal robocall on their cell phone to go online to and report that they were robocalled without their permission.”

Lederman continued “This is at least Starr’s third run for public office, and apparently after all this time he still doesn’t have a grasp of the basic rules of campaigning, much like he lacks the basic qualifications for the office of Minnehaha County Treasurer.”

Read the entire story here.

Starr’s robocall muck-up wasn’t just limited to Minnehaha County. He was blasting this to cell phones in a wider area, as this was received by my wife yesterday afternoon on her cell phone in Brookings from the Starr robocall number cited in all the complaints:

This one might be a bit tough for Starr to explain.

Governor Noem continues to point out Argus Leader’s attacks on her. Are they really helping us make sense of unpredictable times?

Interestingly, about 5 minutes after I received this e-mail…

… in which the Argus Leader claims I should buy it because it is “Helping you make sense of unpredictable times…”   I noticed on facebook Governor Kristi Noem pointing out that the Argus is refusing to publish her update on COVID-19

If the Argus wanted to actually help us make sense of unpredictable times, why wouldn’t they be willing to share the Governor’s update, and instead post an attack editorial with the following disclaimer?

So, they won’t put their own names on their attack editorials, publishing it under a fairly anonymous “editorial board” and disclaims that the hit piece “expresses the views of the author separate from the publication.” However, on a piece the Governor is expressly authoring they won’t allow her to paraphrase and cite experiences without names – even with her willing to show the Argus they aren’t fictional.

The expression “the rules are for thee, but not for me” come to mind.  No wonder people have an ever increasing distrust for the media.

When it comes to the Argus, are they really helping us make sense of unpredictable times?  It sure doesn’t seem like it.

Governor’s Senior Advisor & Policy Director calls out Argus Leader for it’s double standards and biased attacks, calling it “A new low in journalism”

Just a few moments ago, in a message to media across the state, Governor Kristi Noem’s Senior Advisor & Policy Director Maggie Seidel called out the Argus Leader for holding the Governor “to a different standard than they’d hold themselves,” and for yet another in a series of hit pieces in the form of an editorial that they posted to their website today.

If you want to read the entirety of Seidel’s criticism of the Argus:

Folks – We’ve reached a new low in journalism in South Dakota today…

Yesterday, we provided the two largest papers in the state – Rapid City Journal and Argus Leader (a USA Today paper) – the opportunity to exclusively publish an op-ed updating South Dakotans on the state’s COVID-19 situation.

Both agreed. Both also asked for some additional sourcing. Fine, no problem – we added it.

Rapid City Journal published – it’s now the #1 trending story on their site.

Argus’ editors had additional demands, including one that still has me dumbfounded: “And we won’t print anonymous messages she says she received. If those people want to use their names, we can add.”

That refers to this section of the piece:

Recently, a South Dakota doctor wrote me, thanking me “for treating your fellow citizens of South Dakota like adults…” I tell you this because there are also some South Dakota medical professionals who have written to tell me of their fears about voicing their thoughts on the situation.

One family doctor sent me this message: “I feel like I am unable to have an opinion about masking because I am employed. I think your approach has good science and is being suppressed or ignored by many… I think we are all worried if we disagree openly our license or job could be at risk.”

That’s concerning to me, because in America, everyone is free to have and express an opinion about matters of public importance. Some in our culture today have gotten into the habit of shutting down viewpoints they don’t agree with, sometimes ruining lives and careers. This is a serious mistake, deadly to public dialogue and, more importantly, public trust – especially when situations like the one we’re in are changing almost daily.

We asked why they’d hold us to a different standard than they’d hold themselves to (examples here and here, among many others…). The editor said it was because he knows the sources. I said, what about this AP story, which we explicitly, on the record, denied.  He said AP has a good process. I offered to show the editor the messages, but with the names blacked out. He refused.

Reluctantly, we paraphrased the quotes to say:

Recently, a South Dakota doctor wrote me, thanking me for treating South Dakotans like adults. I tell you this because there are also some South Dakota medical professionals who have written to tell me of their fears about voicing their thoughts on the situation.

One family doctor recently messaged me to express fear about having an opinion on masking, saying that if doctors disagree openly their licenses or jobs could be at risk. This isn’t a hypothetical situation; it’s happening in Minnesota.

Then, with an updated op-ed in hand, the Argus editors went silent. That is until they published yet another (I’ve lost track of how many we’ve gotten at this point…) hit piece attacking Governor Noem’s leadership today.

Shortly after that piece went live, we got this note from them:

We’ve decided to pass on the op-ed that Gov. Noem submitted. Normally we are open to guest columns on major issues that present opposing perspectives…

In this case, however, we want to be sure that we’re providing reliable information (backed by CDC guidelines) to our readers during a public health crisis, especially with South Dakota among the states hardest hit. In the realm of science and pandemic response, “both sides” doesn’t always apply.

This leaves several questions for the people of South Dakota to ponder:

  1. Why don’t the Argus Leader editors want you to be informed about all the information out there, including the CDC – which Governor Noem explicitly referenced in her op-ed?
  2. Do the editors have so little respect for their readers that they feel comfortable telling them what to believe instead of presenting all sides of a story so readers can make their own conclusions?
  3. Is it fair that the Argus’ editors continue to bash Governor Noem without giving her the opportunity to share her thinking on the issue?
  4. Why can editors use anonymity to protect sources from retribution, but no one else can?
  5. How can a paper’s editors claim to love free speech, when they refuse to publish information that they don’t agree with?
  6. Why should readers trust the reporting of a news outlet whose editors claim objectivity while uncritically publishing transparently one-sided, partisan editorials?

In short, the state’s highest elected official wanted to share an update on the COVID-19 situation with the people of South Dakota, but the editors of our largest paper don’t want you to see it.  Be sure to read it anyway.

Remember folks, democracy dies in darkness.


Maggie Seidel
Senior Advisor & Policy Director
Office of Governor Kristi Noem

Uncritically publishing transparently one-sided, partisan editorials” Ouch. But it might not sting so badly if it wasn’t something we’re used to seeing.

City Council Member Patrick Starr robocall uploaded to robocall reporting website.

I just had someone send me a link to where Sioux Falls City Council member Patrick Starr has apparently had his pre-recorded message uploaded to an anti-robocall website “NoMoRobo” where it has been tagged as “severe” robocall activity:

This is Sue Fall City Council member Pat Starr personally calling you with a special message concerning our current national election and the ongoing health issues it’s not too late to safely exercise your right to vote and get it counted you have the ability to act now I’m encouraging you in these last few days before the November 3rd election to exercise your right to vote by signing and then returning your absentee ballot to the county auditor as soon as possible so your vote will be counted and remember you can vote in person at the auditor’s Election Center on 6 Street weekdays between 80 and 5 if you have completed your ballot and signed your ballot you can place it in the auditor’s convenient drop boxes at the county administration building and Election Center once again this is Sue Paul city councilor Pat Starr if you need help turning in your ballot you can call the auditor’s office at 605367 or 220 if you still need assistance please feel…

Check it all out here.


Interestingly, I’ve spoken with several who are getting these robocalls on their cell phones.  I’m not so sure that’s a good idea.

MInnehaha County Democrats attacking multiple candidates in run up to election day

According to facebook, Minnehaha County Democrats aren’t just attacking Tom Pischke, as noted in the prior post – they’re going after several Republicans in their effort to get their candidates elected. According to records, they’ve targeted 4 races with negative facebook advertising:

Speaker of the House Steve Haugaard..

State Representative Sue Peterson..

State Representative Tom Pischke, in additional messaging as reflected on the website they’ve set up…

And State Senator Wayne Steinhauer. In fact, they’re not just banging on Wayne Steinhauer with facebook ads, they’ve also sent a negative postcard against him this week as well.

(words words words) The question is, how effective is all of this going to be?

This flurry of advertising is coming after a massive chunk of the vote has already come in, and at the end of a campaign when many are already weary of a lot of things. I’ve spoken with many who are tired of the campaign, so I don’t know that blasting negative ads on facebook is going to punch through, especially at the weak level that they’re hitting.

Do they really think that spending less than $50 against Sue Peterson is even going to amount to anything? It’s going to be less of a bump than a filled Sioux Falls pothole.

Anyone else seeing any negative ads out there? Drop me a note!

Minnehaha County Democrats buy, launch attack using ex-wife’s legislative testimony accusing legislator of abuse

I’ve jokingly noted to politicians at times to make a point to buy your domain name, because if you don’t others just might.

And a good example of that is what Minnehaha County Democrats just did to State Representative Tom Pischke.

They’re using to launch an internet based assault on his reputation, as they post the legislative testimony of his ex-wife who testified to the state legislature that Pischke might be somewhat challenging to be married to:

I can’t post the audio/video clip from the website here as it’s not shareable, but it’s not particularly kind.  (If you want to listen for yourself, you can go to or listen here. )

Legislators and candidates, if you aren’t spending the $10 or $20 to buy your domain, you might just find your opponents doing so. As Tom Pischke just found out.

Thune: Democrats Continue to Filibuster Targeted and Fiscally Responsible COVID Relief Funding

Thune: Democrats Continue to Filibuster Targeted and Fiscally Responsible COVID Relief Funding

“I hope whatever perceived political gains Democrats are getting from their refusal to negotiate are worth denying help to the American people.”

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today expressed his frustration with Democrats’ continued blockade of a targeted and fiscally responsible COVID relief bill that would put money into the hands of small businesses and schools and

provide immediate additional funding for COVID testing and treatment. Democrats filibustered a similar bill in September that also received support from a majority of the Senate and would have prioritized federal assistance to help hard-hit small businesses, safely get students back to school, and support frontline workers who are fighting the coronavirus. Shortly before today’s vote, Thune spoke on the Senate floor, and his remarks (as prepared for delivery) are below.

Rounds Meets with Judge Amy Coney Barrett

Rounds Meets with Judge Amy Coney Barrett
Intends to Support her Nomination to Supreme Court

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement on his meeting with Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s nominee to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court:

“I appreciate the opportunity to meet with Judge Barrett today. We had a wonderful discussion about a number of issues that South Dakotans care about, such as the importance of upholding the Second Amendment and the role of Congress – not the Judiciary – in making policy decisions. During our meeting, she also reaffirmed her commitment to upholding the Constitution as written, and not legislate from the bench. She is a widely-respected legal scholar and judge who will be fair and impartial, as South Dakotans expect from a Supreme Court Justice.  I look forward to supporting her nomination to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.”