Nelson 2014 1st Quarter FEC Report. 28k raised. 33k in bank.

Stace Nelson’s 2014 1st Quarter FEC report is available & posted on the FEC website. My impression?

He raised enough to employ Ken Olson & Eldon Stahl and to buy bags and pens. And I’m not sure what he accomplished beyond that. Much of the money came from prior donors, so there was little to no growth of his donor base. It’s as if he hit a wall in his campaign and it has gone no further.

Stace Nelson 2014 1st Quarter

I guess I’m not seeing why Stace is still in the race at this point. The same donors giving again & again are approaching the point where they’re tapped out.

There really hasn’t been any growth in the campaign, and the message hasn’t resonated beyond his immediate circle. If he’d moved beyond those few already willing to put up signs for him, it would have shown in at least some nominal diversification of his donor list. But as mentioned, they’re almost exclusively the same people who had given to him before as indicated in previous reports.

One would think that it’s time to close up shop. But, I suspect this tale of woe is going to play out to the bitter end, with little more than a month to go. Stay tuned.

Democratic legislative candidate subject of accusations.

The Argus Leader has an expose this morning on how tribal politics have supposedly been involved with stonewalling justice for a child murdered on the reservation. But of particular interest to political observers is how Dustina Gill, a democratic legislative candidate involved in a primary in District 1, is mentioned in the matter:

In their zeal to realize justice for Aleeyah, Sine and her brother say they ran into opposition and harassment from Contreras and his extended family members at every turn. Contreras and the Gills tried to stop the autopsy and were turned away, Shayne Cook said. They tried to keep two other children in the house the morning Aleeyah was beaten from being forensically interviewed, he added. They even wanted the girl’s body transported to their home community of Enemy Swim for burial but were denied that by the funeral home.

“Our lives have been hell, with no support, because of the Gills,” Shayne Cook, 34, said. “When someone loses a child, our people traditionally come together and support each other. But a child didn’t matter here. It was all about saving Mario.”

Dustina Gill, who serves as legislative liaison for the tribe and has been Shepherd’s administrative assistant, wouldn’t discuss the Cooks’ charges, except to say by email: “Because of numerous attacks, accusations and threats made to myself and family by Shane (sic) Cook and family, I am unsure if I would be the one to speak to you.”

Read it all here.

Democrats gather for funeral dirge on their ability to be elected; hold candidate seminar on how to be likable.

Looks like Democrats are getting together tonight in Sioux Falls to honor their last statewide official, as he prepares to retire, leaving them with their next highest elected official; Mayor Mike Huether:

The South Dakota Democratic Party expects tickets to sell out for McGovern Day, its largest annual fundraiser.


The event honors retiring U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson. Johnson has also served in the state Legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives.

The agenda includes a workshop on “likeable leadership” for Democratic candidates and a luncheon with candidates for governor.

Read it all here.

They expect to sell out their seats, as I’m sure it marks an incredibly momentous occasion- it’s a funeral for the relevance of Democrats in South Dakota. It won’t be speeches coming out of Sioux Falls. It will be a dirge; a song of lament.

With the departure of Tim Johnson, the event marks the complete repudiation of the Democratic party in South Dakota. Their candidates are either imported or as exciting as dry toast.  Their numbers of officeholders in the legislature are anemic at best.

And the numbers of people who are willing to call themselves Democrats are at or below 1994 levels.   Actually, in the January Mercer article, they were at 176,735. Today, leading up to the Democratic Primary for Governor, when they should be gaining people who want to vote, they’re almost 1200 fewer.

As noted in the article, what do they intend to do about it? They are actually holding “a workshop on “likeable leadership” for Democratic candidates.

Like a zombie, they shamble through South Dakota politics. Devoid of life and soul, South Dakota Democrats walk the earth and just haven’t realized there’s no life remaining in the SDDP.

Governor Daugaard’s Weekly Column – Celebrating Our 125th: Looking Back And Pushing Forward

Celebrating Our 125th:  Looking Back And Pushing Forward
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

daugaard2Over a century ago in 1879, a man by the name of Adam Royhl decided to make his way west to the Dakota Territory. At age 21, the pioneer left his family and everything he knew to pursue the opportunities in what would become South Dakota. Royhl traveled from his home in Wisconsin to Marshall, Minn., by train, and then made the journey to Arlington by foot. As he walked, Royhl depended on the kindness of strangers for food and shelter, and he spent one night sleeping on a haystack.

When Royhl arrived in Kingsbury County, he had very little. But through hard work and perseverance, he made something of himself. Royhl farmed, ran a meat business, bought and sold grain, and then served as a senator in the state Legislature, a school board member, vice president of First National Bank and postmaster under President Taft.

South Dakota’s history is full of people like Royhl who took the risk to come here and start a new life. People who arrived with nothing and found success and happiness here. People who spent their lives establishing and serving their communities.

As we celebrate our 125th anniversary of statehood this year, I hope we’ll take the opportunity to remember the people like Royhl who built our state. Communities across the state have already begun to plan events to do just that. Pickstown is dedicating a new museum in June. Garretson is holding a 125th celebration and all school reunion in July. And a fall wagon train from Yankton to Pierre is being organized.

But South Dakota’s 125th shouldn’t just be about looking back – it should also be an occasion to look forward and do something to better our state for future generations.

Twenty-five years ago when we celebrated South Dakota’s centennial, people all across the state donated their time to work on community projects. The people in Midland built a stage for their city park. Doland raffled off a 1989 brand new Pontiac Grand Am and used the profits to buy new street signs and upgrade the athletic fields. The people in Frankfort created a new community center. Huron restored the Old Stone Church. Milbank created a veterans memorial. Madison restored its railroad depot.

I hope more communities will consider starting projects or holding events to commemorate our anniversary. If you’re interested in organizing a 125th project or event, visit and click on “Celebration Communities.”

People like Adam Royhl came to South Dakota over a century ago because they believed life would be better here. As we pause to recognize what we’ve already achieved, let’s also use the opportunity to accomplish something more. With your help, our next 125 years will be even greater than the last.


US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: Giving Thanks for Mom

Giving Thanks for Mom
By Senator John Thune

John_Thune_official_photoEach year in early May we join as a country to celebrate the extraordinary role mothers play in each of our lives. Kids get out the construction paper, macaroni, and glue, and design homemade cards to be given to their mother with sticky hands and proud smiles. Moms everywhere will receive breakfast in bed, bouquets of flowers, and blessings at the morning church service as a reminder of how important their love, support, and affection are to us.

Mother’s Day gathers young and old to celebrate the women in our lives who reared us, cared for us, and have taught us what it means to be a part of a family. The day brings together communities across our country to celebrate the mothers and the women who provide us with love and support, and whose gentle words of encouragement, wisdom, and strength leave a lasting mark of love and joy in our lives.

My wife, Kimberley, has always been an extraordinary example of a faithful, intelligent, loving, and caring mother to our two daughters, but this year it has been particularly special to watch her share meaningful memories with each of them as we celebrated their weddings. Both of us had high emotions surrounding such important and special days in each of our daughters lives, yet while I struggled with the magnitude of the days’ events, it was Kimberley who prepared details, tended to guest lists, and helped remind both of our girls what a marriage is truly about. As I watch my daughters grow a little more like Kimberley each year, I am reminded of the grace and love she shares with our family every day.

Mother’s Day is special for all mothers and their children, but it is especially poignant for those mothers who are serving in the military or have their spouse, or sons and daughters who are serving overseas. I ask South Dakotans to keep those mothers and their children in their thoughts and prayers.

This Mother’s Day, let us all be sure to tell the mothers in our lives how much they mean to us. While my own mother has passed on to her heavenly home, she will always be a part of me both through memories and the lessons she taught making me the person I am today. I wish a very happy Mother’s Day to my wife Kimberley, my mother-in-law Esther, and to all of the mothers across South Dakota.


High School Activities Association proposing policies for transgendered students.


The South Dakota High School Activities Association had its first reading Wednesday for a policy on transgender students.

The policy would allow students to participate in activities according to their identified gender, not necessarily the gender listed on their records.

Recently, a South Dakota transgender student was interested in competing in interscholastic activities. James Weaver with the South Dakota High School Activities Association told KSFY that at the time there was no transgender policy in place. Instead, the student ended up participating in fine arts, since there is no gender separation.

It was then that the association decided it was time to start researching policies in place around the country.

What the South Dakota High School Activities Association is proposing is one way of making sure all students feel included — no matter their gender identity.

Read it here.

This issue seems to bring up a number of points that have the likely result of getting people a little exercised over the authority the SDHSAA is going to be exerting over all school districts in the matter.

And what is that going to do to Title IX?  Well, let me tell you. The Women’s Sports Foundation has issued a position paper that states:


Yes. The Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and Title IX’s prohibitions against sex discrimination have both been
interpreted by state and federal courts to encompass discrimination based on gender stereotyping, including discrimination against individuals because of their gender identity or expression (i.e. transgender athletes). Therefore, schools may face legal liability if they deny access to such student-athletes, even if no law explicitly addresses the issue.

In addition to federal laws and federal constitutional protection, transgender student-athletes are protected under many state and local laws.


Individual sport governing organizations should accommodate transgender athletes to ensure access to locker rooms, showers
and toilet facilities appropriate for their gender identity. These accommodations should be made with the comfort and privacy
of all athletes in mind. Ideally, transgender athletes should have access to the facilities that are available to other athletes of the
gender with which they identify

Read that all here.

Basically, it’s the belief of at least one Title IX focused organization that if you don’t make allowances, you’re going to get sued.

So, are we going to see legislation on the subject next session?

Joe Bottum is the tops!

I was playing a little hooky this morning, as I’ve been working on campaign materials non-stop over the past week or so, and needed a little break to recharge my batteries.

joe_bottomAs I wandered through the local antique shop this morning, I came across the following flasher pin for Joe Bottum.

It’s not very big – this is close to actual size – but it is a great example of the period campaign items of the early 60′s that were used on a national basis by LBJ, Goldwater & Ike, which also ended up being utilized by local candidates such as Bottum & Karl Mundt.

And it was a good buy at $3.


Lora wants to help people make an informed decision ‘at the poles.’

A reader passed this on to me from the Hubbel campaign, as they desperately seek attention from anyone:

From: Bobbe Helmerick
Date: Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 11:09 PM
Subject: Lora Hubbel
To: [redacted]

Dear [redacted],

Dennis Daugaard is not the only candidate for SD Governor.

Lora Hubbel, another Republican, is challenging him.

During the campaign, the incumbent has carefully avoided situations where “inconvenient questions” might be asked.  Lora welcomes them.

Lora has been a science teacher at both high school and college level, a registered nurse, an office manager in the family chiropractic office, and currently owns her own real estate business.

She served one term in Pierre as a Representative, 2011-2012 from District 11, and found her district gerrymandered out from under her because she kept asking inconvenient questions, “If you oppose the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) when campaigning, why do you implement it once in office?”

Tom Daschle wrote a book, published in October 2010, called Getting it Done* about how the Affordable Care Act became law.  On page 296, he wrote, “States…have a lot of control over the success of this reform.”  And on  page 312, “Opponents in state governments could undermine it at every turn or simply say they cannot do what the law requires.”  What he was saying is that the people are still sovereign, the Constitution’s protections still apply.  He is saying the same thing that James Madison said in federalist Papers #46.  If it is that easy to stop ObamaCare, how did South Dakota, with the governor and majority in the legislature claiming to oppose it, end up with it?

If folks don’t like when President Obama in D.C. uses Executive Orders to bypass Congress and get his way, shouldn’t it upset them to learn President Obama gets his way in South Dakota via SD Executive Orders, executive bills, departmental and agency policies.  According to both the US and SD Constitutions, the Executive Branch enforces the laws, the Legislative Branch legislates.

Lora is one of the most knowledgeable people in SD about how and who implemented ObamaCare, Common Core, EB5 (and other federal programs).  She opposes all three and can document what she says.  She offers South Dakota a Constitutional Executive Branch.

Lora is in a David vs Goliath race.  She is up against an incumbent with name recognition and a war chest approaching $2 million.  (Can’t for the life of me figure out why an incumbent in SD needs $2M to get reelected…)  With these odds against her, what on earth would possess her to challenge him?

Lora would like to come to your May party meeting so that you can make an informed decision at the poles on June 3rd.  Please contact me to see where we can fit such a talk into her campaign schedule.  She will be in Madison, Tuesday, 29 April, and Watertown, Thursday, May 1st.

Bobbe Helmerick
Hubbel Campaign scheduler

A request to schedule her at an event would seem to be a poor place to actively campaign, and to trash her opponent, especially given that these are notes going out to party officials who remain neutral in the primary.

My favorite part was when the note mentioned “make an informed decision at the poles” [sic].  It would seem that the type of informed decision at the ‘pole’ that they’re seeking would be whether or not to place your tongue on one in the dead of winter.

South Dakota's #1 Political Website