Audio: Voicemail where TenHaken scolds Theresa Stehly for her bad behavior on Facebook

If you want to listen to the audio of Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken scolding Sioux Falls City Councilor Theresa Stehly for her bad behavior on Facebook (11 months ago) that is the basis for her attempts to counterpunch on the issue, here it is:

TenHaken never did block Stehly, but he got her attention.

42 thoughts on “Audio: Voicemail where TenHaken scolds Theresa Stehly for her bad behavior on Facebook”

  1. A. Theresa is unfit to hold public office.
    B. Do we think PTH knew that in addition to serving as Mayor, he would have to play the part of a third grade teacher with specific councilors?

  2. First off, this just further validates the professionalism, integrity and class that our Mayor has. He is kind, gentle, and sets boundaries with her. He also took this to her directly and gave her the opportunity to correct her ways. Which she apparently did. Well done Mayor.

    Second, this voicemail is supposedly dated a year ago which is before the supreme court ruled against Publicly Elected Officials who use their social platforms and block people. In other words, this is before it was deemed unconstitutional. Not to mention that the Mayor never actually blocked her.

    Clearly Theresa had her hand caught in the cookie jar and her response is “Oh hey, Paul thought about putting his hand in the cookie jar. Before it was ruled wrong to put your hand in the cookie jar”.

    We need to do a better job of electing officials that have the ability to self reflect, own their mistakes, and know when to shut their mouth.

  3. Paul is a really nice guy and handles himself professionally. Both Jolene Loetscher and Theresa Stehly misrepresented voicemails from him, only to look silly when the recording comes out.

    Theresa does well in her echo chamber that validates her narrow view of the world but she doesn’t know how to talk to people with other perspectives. So she lashes out.

  4. Even in his voice mail he is handsome and like a contestant on the Bachelor.

    Am I the only one who doesn’t care about Teresa or Paul blocking obnoxious facebook comments?

    Who really cares? Bigger issues people.

    Aholes, I’m tired of the liberal media defending your right to be obnoxious. Learn to act civil or lose your rights to ruin someone else’s Facebook page.

    1. No, you are not alone. Many people do not care. Don’t care if they block people, don’t care about the others coming out to prove they don’t block, don’t care about kind and gentle voicemails – we don’t care.

      Maybe we could hear discussions about increasing crime or the increasing homelessness numbers.

      1. Fair points. Push away from distractions. Stay focused & solve real problems. That said, Sioux Falls’ mayor is doing a good job overall.

    2. The first amendment is a “pretty big issue,” particularly as it pertains to politicians using social media to advance their political causes. I care.

  5. I’m sure Trailer Park Stehly will figure out a way to keep the blockgate going. Drama/conflict are like air to her.

  6. Sounds like all anti-Trump people here. Trump is an outsider and so is Stehly. Now I can understand if you don’t like her political views, but what’s the point of trashing her? Focus on the issues. Thanks.

      1. Yes Bernie is an outsider and the Democrat establishment will do everything in their power to make sure he doesn’t get the nomination. They did the same thing to Trump but it backfired.

    1. Stehley’s lies, laziness, lack of intelligence, incompetence and calumny is the issue which makes her unfit to contribute to the betterment of our city.

      1. She is very polarizing like Trump and she is not afraid to challenge the council, Mayor or the media. People trust Theresa just like they trusted Kermit Staggers, only Kermit had a different style.

  7. In the same way that elected officials don’t enjoy the privacy of average citizens and cannot block folks on social media; it is possible that elected officials can block other elected officials because again, they are not average citizens… Just a thought… Otherwise I agree with everyone else that this is a big nothing burger…

  8. Proof Stehley is clueless: She posted this voicemail on both her facebook page and the Sioux Falls Politics facebook page. She actually thinks this makes her look good. You just can’t make this stuff up.

    BTW: I think in the end it will be determined that public officials can block comments and posters on social media and I think they should be able to do so*. The First Amendment is a protection of free speech of citizens by the government acting with the power of the government. Donald Trump, Paul TenHaken, Stace Nelson, and Theresa Stehley are not the government and they aren’t acting with any governmental powers or their office when they block comments and posters.

    * Which also makes Stehley’s response even more clueless. Instead of defending her behavior as legitimate, she makes it into a fight between her and the Mayor AND in the process highlights a time when she was acting like a child instead of an adult. You just can’t make this up.

    1. If it was their personal facebook pages, you would have a point. When they are using the facebook page to discuss political causes, official business, or to inform constituents of ongoing government policy/action, then you have a problem, as you’ve made the facebook page a public forum. Precedent supports this.

      1. We’ll see how it is ultimately decided. Because social media is so new, thought, experience, and nuance may be insufficient for a definitive ruling with clarity at this time.

        The “gray” is public officials have two hats: Executors of official duties and public policy advocates. For instance, the Mayor may have to execute laws/policies he is at the same time trying to change via ordinance change. We not only tolerate this dual function we depend on it (Faithfully executing current law yet free to change that law) to have a vibrant democratic republic.

        For this reason (to allow public officials fluidly transition between executors of current law and public policy advocates), it is my opinion it will further Free Speech in the aggregate for public officials to have the ability to control THEIR communications via social media and not conflate/equate public policy advocation and execution of governmental duties.

        1. They can still control their communications. Nobody is saying they cannot post what they want regarding public policy on Facebook. What the Fourth Circuit has already held is that they can’t silence OTHERS from responding to this sort of advocacy because that advocacy is inextricably linked to their position as a government official. We aren’t silencing government officials, Troy. We ARE saying that they can’t silence others.

          1. I know your argument and I think in the end it won’t prevail. I think the “inextricable link” will be found not to be inextricable in certain forums, including social media.

            For instance, at a public forum, the speaker (public official on public property) can control who says what (e.g. share the stage or speak from the floor). In fact, the speaker (or host) can have a person removed who is shouting their speech from the floor without it being a violation of the First Amendment.

            Thus, a personal facebook page of a public officials denial of me speaking on THEIR forum will not be deemed “silencing OTHERS” as I can form my own forum.

            1. Your analogy is inapt here. A person in a public forum like a speaking event can remove people should their speech become disruptive and prevent an official from communicating their message or constituents from hearing it. There is a demonstrable harm here. The same cannot be said of a social media page, as individuals are limited to the comments section. The harm risked here is little more than a politicians hurt feelings. Your analogy doesn’t work.

              1. I think Troy’s analogy works. Both are disruptive and nothing says that a person can’t say anything they want in their own forum. If a congressman has a cork board in their waiting area, are they forbidden from removing things people put on it?

                Someone has to have control over all forums in order to keep the forum useful. If the politician gains a reputation for blocking people for invalid reasons, those people can go set up a new Facebook page about that and the politician can suffer the political consequences.

                1. Your analogy does not work either. The coarkboard in question has limited space and posting things around what the politician intends to communicate necessarily limits that space. The same cannot be said of a facebook page, which is supported by petabytes of memory. Banning, in this case, represents the silencing of criticism. That’s not ok.

                  1. Imagine an a limitless corkboard then… point is, freedom of speech doesn’t include being able to say anything anywhere at any time. There hasn’t actually been a supreme court ruling or an 8th circuit ruling on this issue yet, so the law in this area is not well developed.

                    Nothing is stopping anyone from being critical about anyone they want in their own forums. Someone has to moderate these things for them to have any use at all. Otherwise they get hijacked and become pointless. I guess the simple solution is just for politicians to not have Facebook pages.

                    I simply think that politicians should also be able to control the content on a forum that they created in as much as they have a freedom of speech too. If they are unreasonable, they will suffer the consequences of that just like Stehley is now.

                    1. Neither SCOTUS nor the 8th has, true. The 4th has and so has the 2nd. Not binding, but the opinions bear some attention:

                      “the First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees.”

      2. Jon makes several good points discussing the law. In the fullness time, the USSC will address this issue. What’s needed: explicit guidance describing the manner of posts (what type? from whom? how often? how many?) that transform an ostensibly private page into a de facto public page. Does this rule apply to all state actors or just elected officials? State? Federal? municipal? If I’m on the school board & I maintain a private page but I post the words “see you ladies at the Govs’ game” is it now shazam! a public page? What if I delete those words? Still public? etc etc. Allowing folks to post comments DOES limit the free expression of the page creator — as if someone spray painted opinionated critiques on the walls of the national gallery. Perhaps the 1st Amendment gives trolls the right to post obnoxious, off topic comments without being blocked. If so, I can accept that outcome, but let’s not ignore its costs.

    2. Weren’t they going to sue Theresa like they are Stace? That’s why I think she dug out that voicemail. Let’s just sue all politicians that have blocked someone, that would probably get rid of half of them. lol

    3. If you get in the mud with a pig prepair to get dirty.

      Tenhaken is obviously thin skinned. Get out of the mud Paul.

      1. Theresa is pulling Paul down with her. He should ignore her. They both look foolish and petty.

    1. What’s the problem; isn’t that what voicemail is for? Maybe Stehly saw it was the mayor and didn’t pick up. I see no issue with a voicemail.


      1. I actually appreciate when people leave voicemails, but if I had a political opponent leak a voicemail during the campaign (this is the second time someone has shared a voicemail. Both don’t do damage to Tenhaken, btw. They’re perfect voicemails) I’d put a stop to leaving detailed messages.

  9. If everyone followed our mayor’s request for not using someone else’s FB page to stir up trouble wouldn’t it be a kinder, gentler, more civil world?

    Thanks for your civility Mayor Ten Haken.

  10. Side question; am I the only one who thinks it’s odd this (and maybe other) voicemails were saved for. Year or more? Is this common? It seems like a lot of effort and organization. How do you even do that?

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