SD Canvassing head claiming they are “getting through” to Democrats on removing election machines

Interesting video that was posted yesterday from Jessica Pollema from the election conspiracy group SD Canvassing. In this video from “Frank TV” with pillow guy Mike Lindell, both are expressing frustration that Republicans aren’t really buying their crackpot message.. and Pollema drops a truth bomb that “some of the people we have finally been able to get through to are the Democrats.”

From about 7:30 minutes to 9 minutes, Pollema and the Pillow Guy go on about how Republicans aren’t buying their snake oil, but Democrats and “new Republicans” are.  When Pillow Guy and Jessica Pollema are singing the praises of Democrats Amy Kloubuchar and Kamala Harris wanting to get rid of counting machines, one has to ask which side they’re on?

So, if SD Canvassing is working with Democrats to remove machine counting from elections.. It begs the question why county republican organizations such as Yankton and Minnehaha are giving them so much oxygen in front of GOP groups?

SD Municipal League Executive Director resigns..

From an e-mail that went out from the Municipal League, apparently their group lost their executive director yesterday:

What’s the reason? This is only anecdotal, but one correspondent tells me they suspect it was plain burnout under the crushing weight of the session.

The word I’m getting is that because of the sheer amount of legislation being brought, last session the Municipal League was trying to cover over 100 bills.. and this year that number increased to over 150 bills that the group was forced to steward in their area of advocacy and legislation.  I can’t speak to the accuracy of that statement, but it would make sense. It’s a good possibility that a near-impossible job might have something to do with Reiss seeking greener pastures.

And it may be a point of reflection for the group representing municipal governments across the state to restructure their efforts and how they approach the legislative session, and that they need to send more troops in the face of legislators trying to bring more government.

Gov. Noem Appoints Travis Theel to Game, Fish and Parks Commission

Gov. Noem Appoints Travis Theel to Game, Fish and Parks Commission

 PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem announced that she will appoint Travis Theel to serve on the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission.

“Our kids and grandkids should have every opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. The GFP Commission shares my mission of preserving our natural resources for future generations,” said Governor Noem. “I look forward to working with Travis to ensure future generations will inherit the beautiful South Dakota we all know and love.”

Theel is the owner of Buckstorm Hunts. He graduated from South Dakota State University in 2013 with a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences.

“The opportunity to positively influence South Dakota’s outdoors for my kids and future generations is a dream come true for me,” said Travis Theel. “I am grateful to serve on the GFP Commission and look forward to the contributions I can make to the state.”

Theel and his wife, Mariah, live in Rapid City and have twin boys, Ridge and Rhette. A photo of Theel and his family can be found here.


Last night’s big announcement from Gov Noem was collection of unclaimed property. I could do the same, if I was motivated.

Because people keep asking me about last night’s big announcement from Governor Kristi Noem .. from South Dakota Searchlight:

Noem’s acceptance of an oversized check for $384.19 in unclaimed property came at the start of her keynote speech to the Hughes-Stanley County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner at the Ramkota Event Hall in Pierre.

The money was likely a holdover from an Edward Jones college account she’d opened for one of her children years ago, Noem told the party faithful.

Read it here.

Well, that’s good. I can always appreciate getting money back from the Government. It happens rarely.

I too have unclaimed property out there.. about $47 worth from my deceased parents, which I’d be happy to collect and get off the books.  $37 for my dad, and $10 for my mom.

Except I have 5 siblings scattered across the country. And for $47, I’d have to collect 5 signatures on a document besides my own. My sister Adrienne is in town. That’s no big deal. But then the convenience goes downhill quickly with the others scattered across Utah and Colorado. Somehow the time and the postage, as well as being a scold to my siblings to sign and send on to the next person that I would have to invest would not make it worth it. I know at least one, probably my brother Mike, would say “what’s the matter, are you poor now, and need the money?” just for the sake of yanking my chain.

And then, would the state split the check 6 ways? From reading the claim form the state just sent me, I think they would.  So, it drops to $7.83 each, greatly diminishing the returns and any interest even further.  Now, the unclaimed property fund is a good program, and South Dakota Treasurers have done a good job with it. But a couple of suggestions from an heir who sees they have cash there, but little interest in chasing such a nominal amount.

#1 – Allow electronic signatures.  I can send you an obit, and my sibling’s e-mails. Add security by requesting a shot of our Driver’s licenses. But chasing down signatures is not worth the time for the return.

#2 – And even more importantly; create an option to allow us to donate it. My mom was a school nurse. I and my siblings would happily donate it to the Pierre schools, or education in general.  $47 isn’t anything to us collectively, but if we and 100 or 1000 other people put our $47 together, it’s a nice donation to education.

I’m glad the Governor got her $384.19 back, as I’m sure she is, so reporters will stop asking her about it.  But for those of us who have far less in unclaimed property, adding some accessibility and  little flexibility could take some of it off the books. And potentially even do a minor solid for a worthy cause.

Just my 2 cents.. or $7.83 worth.

Richard Thomason for City Council hosting fundraiser on February 29th at Looks Marketplace in Sioux Falls

Former State Representative and current candidate for City Council Richard Thomason is having a fundraiser in Sioux Falls at Looks Marketplace on February 29th from 4-6 PM.  Lots of familiar names hosting the event including current Representatives Amber Arlint, Greg Jamison (and spouse), Will Mortenson, Taylor Rehfeldt, and Tony Venhuizen (and spouse). City Councilors Dr. Sara Cole and Alex Jensen with his wife are also hosting, along with almost too many familiar names to go into. Suffice it to say that there are a lot of Sioux Falls residents who are gathering together to support Richard.

Don’t forget to put it on your calendar, or if you’d like to send a donation directly, you can do so through Richard’s website.

State Senate Report – JFM and TP skunked again in legislative efforts

As we hit crossover day, a look at a couple of our favorite state senators highlights that the legislation they brought this year took a beating. As usual.

Senator Julie Frye-Awful.. Frye-Mueller brought 5 bills, and three resolutions. The results?

SB100 – Killed in Committee, SB101 – Killed in Committee, SB122 – Killed in Committee, SB183 – Withdrawn (Killed by her own hand), SB184 – Killed in Committee, SJR505 – Killed in Committee, SJR506 – Killed in Committee, and SJR511 – Killed in Committee. Not ONE of the measures she was prime sponsor for made it to the Senate Floor.

Eight bills, eight kills.  Not a single measure made it to the Senate floor for debate. Even with all that extra time on her hands to convince colleagues, since she isn’t on a committee or allowed in caucus.

And JFM’s deskmate, Senator Tom Pischke, also brought 5 bills and 3 resolutions. The results?

SB174 – Killed in Committee, SB176 – Killed in Committee, SB213 – Killed in Committee, SB214 – died on the Senate Floor,  SB215 – Killed in Committee, SJR503 Withdrawn – (Killed by his own hand), SJR508- Killed in Committee, SJR509- Killed in Committee.

Again, eight bills, eight kills as the Senator from Dell Rapids was able to bring nothing to the table but tinfoil hat ideas. And null results.

Interestingly, both have announced candidates in primary elections this year should they choose to run again.

But if the incumbents decline to run.. it might be nice for their districts to think about a change of pace.

Rounds Seeking Summer 2024 Internship Applications

Rounds Seeking Summer 2024 Internship Applications
Applications Due by April 1 

PIERRE – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) is currently accepting applications from college students to serve as interns during the summer. Positions are available in his Washington, D.C. office and his state offices in Pierre, Rapid City and Sioux Falls. Summer internships typically run from May to August, but dates can be tailored to specific schedules. Interns will receive a stipend, and the office works closely with all universities to meet the criteria necessary for interns to receive college credit.

“Our internship program is an incredible opportunity for students to experience a deeper understanding of the political process,” said Rounds. “Interns are crucial to our office operations both in South Dakota and in D.C. The program is open to students from all areas of discipline, not just political science. I encourage interested college students to apply for the upcoming summer internship.”

Intern duties include researching bills, tracking legislation, attending committee hearings and briefings, handling constituent correspondence and providing support in all areas of the office to Rounds and his staff. Internships can also be tailored to an intern’s specific interest areas when possible.

Interested students can apply at The application deadline is April 1, 2024. For more information, please call Rebecca Herman at (605) 336-0486.


Shad Olson pleads “Not Guilty” to felony charge of Domestic Abuse/Aggravated Assault by Strangulation today in court.

According to court records, former Rapid City News personality and podcaster Shad Olson pled “Not guilty” today to 2 misdemeanor assault charges and a third-degree felony charge of Domestic Abuse Aggravated Assault by Strangulation. According to the South Dakota codified law that Olson is charged with:

22-18-1.1. Aggravated assault–Felony.

Any person who:

(8) Attempts to induce a fear of death or imminent serious bodily harm by impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of another person by applying pressure on the throat or neck, or by blocking the nose and mouth;

is guilty of aggravated assault. Aggravated assault is a Class 3 felony.

Read that here.

According to South Dakota law, a class 3 felony is punishable by an up to fifteen year imprisonment in a state correctional facility and a fine of thirty thousand dollars.

Meade County jail records indicate that Olson has remained in jail since his arrest on or about February 4th, and indicate that he has not posted bond as of this writing. Having requested court appointed counsel, commonly done due to one’s financial situation, it’s entirely possible that Olson may remain confined until his next hearing (a motions hearing), currently scheduled to be held on March 27 at 1:15 PM.

What’s going on with the Secretary of State’s website? It’s been 10 years. You can give it an overhaul.

Is there something weird going on with the Secretary of State’s website?

Over the past week or so, the menus on the front have become unlinked from directly clicking into sub-pages, with graphic images of text replacing the links.

And speaking of text, most of the site has become a mish-mash of web-font barf, like someone bought a font pack off of the internet, and is committed to using every single one. There’s no real consistency, and some weird decisions, such as capitalizing “DIVISION OF” but leaving “business services” in lower case as the title card in a section of the page.

Not to mention using fonts which might be great in black and white or other high contrast environment, but I know I’m challenged to read a white font on a white and grey herringbone pattern which quickly whizzes by.  It’s getting to be as if the website is being updated by a high school student who has been given web access.

I think the Secretary of State would not find a lot of opposition if they broke down and hired a firm to update the website design which was was unveiled in mid 2014, and will celebrate it’s 10 year anniversary in 2024.

Here’s a snapshot from the wayback machine in 2014, shortly after it was rolled out under Secretary Gant, looking fresh and new. It was great for the time. Emphasis on “for the time.” And here’s how it appears today:

10 years and Three Secretaries of State later, (Krebs, Barnett, and now Monae Johnson) it has had the person in the masthead replaced a few times, menu items added, and especially of late is ever-increasingly band-aided. But it’s still the same website, looking scabbier every day as they try add things to menus, using inconsistent fonts and colors, and now it’s actually getting challenging to read.

Good gosh Secretary Johnson, go put out an RFP and let a web design firm give it a makeover. Your constituents will thank you for it.