My wife and I were watching this news story on KELOland news last night, and were a bit surprised by the off-putting tone coming from Jolene Loetscher with regards to successful businesspeople in Sioux Falls:
TenHaken founded Click Rain, a digital marketing firm that has made the list of one of America’s fastest-growing private companies for the past five years.
“You have to be able to step into city hall on day one and have experience with seven figure payrolls,” TenHaken said.
Meanwhile, Loetscher runs two lesser-known companies: Doo Gooders and Mud Mile Communications.
“If we’re going to make this election about who has the bigger budget or company, if that is our barometer for who should be mayor, then we should be asking, ‘Why isn’t Denny Sanford mayor?” Loetscher said.
Wow. That was a slam on people who succeed in business coming from someone who wants to be their mayor. While Loetscher might be doing her best to try to draw differences between herself and her opponent, this was not the way to go about it. It makes her seem petty and small.
Shouldn’t the next mayor of our state’s largest city not be dismissive of the people who build their businesses there?
If Loetscher was more successful in her dog poop collection or marketing businesses, odds are that she would not be running for mayor because she’d find herself too busy. Her opponent has done well for himself, and it took him stepping away from the day to day of his business before he’d even consider running.
There are many people who walk away or don’t even consider public service because their business and providing for their families are too important to divert their attention. They know they have to give it 100% or they fail. This is why you end up with a lack of businesspeople in office, and sometimes end up having to consider people who should not be running for office.
Why isn’t Denny Sanford mayor? He’s too busy running a international business and donating millions of dollars in service to communities including Sioux Falls. I think I can safely say that Sioux Falls would have probably benefitted from his vision and business acumen if he’d decided to run for office earlier in his career when he might have had time for it.
The American Dream is more tightly interwoven with the story of people who’ve had an idea, taken a risk, and been successful in the pursuit of their passions than they have those who dream of being important and running for office. The people who built the Sioux Falls business community might be something that Loetscher should take a moment to consider in the midst of trying to wage class warfare and claims that the “City Council is not like us.”
Loetcher should remember that successful people live in Sioux Falls too. People who dream of building their own business live there. And denigrating them for her political ambitions is not likely to earn their support.
They vote too, you know.