After Stehly tossed, one of her most vocal backers throws in towel.

A self-written obituary of sorts appeared late last night.

After screaming at the city council in recent weeks, calling them hypocrites before the mayor asked security to remove him, as well as calling the people who voted for Alex Jensen and against Theresa Stehly stupid…

I have said if the election was held on April 14th it would have been a landslide for her. Why? Because the normal percentage of voters who pay attention to city politics would have shown up and cast the appropriate informed vote.


A bunch of uninformed, partisan, primary voters showed up to elect a ‘real’ establishment Republican to the city council, not having a clue that this was a non-partisan race.


Theresa lost because 98 more ignorant fools voted for the other guy.

Read that here. sounds like one of Theresa Stehly’s most vocal allies, Scott Ehrisman, is declaring that he’s throwing in the towel.

Ehrisman, the author of the South DaCola blog, has long been held out as an example of the negative parts of the local blogosphere.  And true to form, last night he claimed he’s quitting because everybody is stupid:

I guess the real reason I am quitting is because I don’t think I am making a dent in stopping or even slowing city government corruption. The elected officials over the past 6 years have become more corrupt, more unethical, hypocritical and quite honestly a lot dumber, unprepared, sophomoric and naïve.

Read it here.

As was put to me this morning by someone who noticed the post, saying “it’s his fault,” referring to his negativity, that they worked so hard to get Theresa defeated.

Regardless, who knew the Stehly defeat would come with fringe benefits?  (Even though it sounds a lot like the last time he “quit.”)

Former GOP candidate killed in Sioux Falls

For those who remember Tracy Saboe, who was a District 15 State Senate candidate in 2008, he was killed in Sioux Falls by an intruder who has been arrested for several attacks.

Alton Ray Bear, 45, shot and killed Tracy Saboe, 40, at 800 N. Prairie Avenue thinking the home belonged to another man, police Capt. Michael Colwill said. Saboe and Bear had a short altercation, and Bear shot him once in the head, Colwill said.


Saboe had political aspirations in 2008, when he ran for the South Dakota State Senate as a Republican in the heavily Democratic District 15, which encompasses northern Sioux Falls. He lost to Democratic incumbent Kathy Miles.

Read it all here.

SDGOP resolution in favor of Juneteenth recognition fails

The resolution from the South Dakota Republican Party resolutions committee in favor of recognizing Juneteenth failed as one of the last items of business at the State Party convention today.

Resolution #8, as found here on the Republican Party’s convention website, was voted on with little discussion, with opponents such as State Rep. Taffy Howard complaining it would create “a state with one color”…

..and proponents such as State GOP Treasurer Justin Bell arguing in favor of the recognition.

I was one of the votes in favor of it… so I can tell you I’m disappointed, and a bit confused. It was supported by our entire Washington delegation, Governor Noem, and President Trump. But apparently that didn’t matter.

As one of the last two states to recognize it, I can tell you that recognition is coming, no matter those who are choosing to oppose Governor Noem & President Trump on it.

If we can honor St Patrick’s Day, and other days celebrating the heritage and legacy of those who made this country, we can certainly support “the continued nationwide celebration of Juneteenth Independence Day to provide an opportunity for the people of the United States to learn more about the past and to better understand the experiences that have shaped the United States,” as stated in the resolution.

Governor Noem Appoints Crabtree to State Senate

Governor Noem Appoints Crabtree to State Senate

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem announced today that she will appoint Casey Crabtree of Madison to the South Dakota State Senate, representing District 8.

Crabtree serves as director of economic development and governmental affairs at Heartland Consumers Power District in Madison. He is currently the Republican nominee for the State Senate in the general election and is unopposed.

“I thank Casey for accepting this appointment,” said Governor Noem. “Casey has already shown his willingness to serve the people of his district and our state, and this appointment ensures that District 8 is fully represented over the coming months.

The Governor’s appointment of Crabtree is effective immediately and will continue through the end of 2020. He will succeed Senator Jordan Youngberg, who announced his resignation earlier this week.​

“I am honored by Governor Noem’s appointment and look forward to putting my experience to work for the people of District 8 and the great state of South Dakota,” said Crabtree. “I am grateful to Sen. Youngberg for his service to District 8 and the many positive things he was able to accomplish during his time in the legislature. I am eager to hit the ground running and serve to the best of my ability.”

Crabtree and his wife Ashley reside in Madison with their two children. In addition to his work at Heartland, Crabtree volunteers his time with the Dakota State University Trojan Athletic Club, various outdoor organizations, and the Lake County Republican Party, and he coaches his sons in youth baseball and football. He is also a graduate of Leadership South Dakota.

District 8 includes Lake, Miner, Moody, and Sanborn counties.​


Here we are again with Minnehaha County coming in last, and appearing bewildered over the fact that many people live there.

So we are starting to wake up.. and we still don’t know the results of what happened in Sioux Falls.

As of 1 a.m., only 49 of 67 partial precincts in the city election were reported, totalling 10,331 votes. The county race  reported 69 of 71 partial precincts, totalling 12,846 votes.

Sioux Falls City Clerk Tom Greco said early Wednesday he hopes to at least get through Election Day ballots early this morning. 

Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz put a pause on counting ballots for the county just after 1 a.m. Wednesday after he and volunteers who had been working for over 12 hours started to tire. Workers were planning to return to the Old Courthouse Museum to finish the job starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Read that here.

Was it last primary when after another slow election in Minnehaha County after giving people incorrect ballots, days later they found ballots that hadn’t been counted?

In February, Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz lamented to Governing Magazine:

Why is the U.S. public tied to the idea that “fast” results are mandatory? It’s not like getting a burger or taco. The folks who push this idea are those who are reporting the elections or those who are in the race, and they don’t want their supporters waiting too long on a Tuesday night for a winner. Neither group should be promoting speed above accuracy.

Read that here

Given that Bob has proven Minnehaha County is known for neither speed nor accuracy, he probably should have kept his rant to himself, and worked on how he could improve one or the other.

And here we find ourselves again waiting for election results.

Yes, the public does have an expectation of finding out the results of elections on a timely basis. And it’s the job of public officials – particularly the auditor – to figure out how to deliver. If they can’t do that they probably should look for a different job.

It’s basic planning. You form a plan. You take your proposals to the County Commission and ask for funding, explaining why. You hire more people. You get more equipment

You have to wonder when they’re going to figure out that with many people living there, inevitably and not surprisingly, “lots of people will vote on Election Day in Minnehaha County.”

Until that time ever arrives, we’re going to continue to wait on the largest county in the state to get their act together as every other county in the state has figured out and manages to accomplish.

Breaking: Governor Noem has activated the National Guard to Sioux Falls/empire mall

Sounds like the violence and chaos that had been feared has taken place at the empire mall, where 700-1200 younger people have turned a peaceful protest destructive.

Tear gas has been deployed, and law enforcement is in the process of clearing the last people out. However, it looks as if it could move to other areas, so everyone is on guard.

More to come on this.

They get the angriest golfers at the Sioux Falls City Council Meeting

From last nights’ Sioux Falls City Council Meeting, one of Theresa Stehly’s prime campaign allies and supporters was all triggered and yelling, and got booted from the City Council meeting yesterday evening.

(If it’s that big a deal, just bring cheeseburgers back to the golf course.)

So, who did the libertarians nominate…..? As far as I can tell from on-line reports, here’s what I’m seeing.

Several days back, I had made note of the Libertarian convention taking place last weekend, to which Libertarian Party Chairman Gideon Oakes made note “We’ll be sure to send you a release with the full slate.”

Fast forward to several days later.. and it’s unclear exactly who will be running for office under the Libertarian banner. No press releases. No media coverage. No mention from the Libertarian party. Zilch. Not to mention nothing has been filed with the Secretary of State, which technically means that no one is yet a candidate, no matter what they might proclaim in facebook posts.

Since there is no actual release or list out there.. here’s what I have been able to glean.


There was a report a month ago that perennial Senate candidate Kurt Evans was going to run, but there’s been no mention of the nomination taking place. Evans has run and dropped out of that race more times than 99.9% of anyone else in the US population, so there’s that.

It appears they nominated the Libertarian party’s “communications director” Devin Saxon for the Public Utilities Commission. Given the level of communication on who the Libertarian Party’s candidates actually are.. we see where this candidacy will be going.


District 4 Senate – Daryl Root is declaring on Facebook that he’s saddling up for another defeat as a Libertarian, this time against John Wiik, after receiving 2.5% of the vote in a 5 way House race last election.

District 5 Senate – Adam Jewell of Watertown is claiming he was nominated at the Libertarian convention. This would be against Republican Senator Lee Schoenbeck, one of the most indefatigable political campaigners over the last few decades of the GOP.

District 13 Senate – Cullen Mack is declaring he was a nominee. I believe he was a former track & field athlete for SDSU. He’s running against Jack Kolbeck. I’m sure he’ll figure it out and switch parties at some point after how he sees it will go in November.

District 17 SenateGreg Baldwin is also saying he’s in. He’s another one who spent time running last election in D17 House. He spent a lot of time on facebook last election claiming Libertarians were going to do well. This time, he is also making a likely ill-fated attempt for the Senate after finishing 4th in a 4-way House race with 6.3% of the vote in 2018.

District 20 Senate – Alexander Martin filed the traditional way, with signatures, several weeks ago on 3/4/20.

District 23 SenateCJ Abernathey who Libertarians ejected as their nominee for Governor last election claims to have been nominated. We’ve written about him several times, so no need to rehash the fact he’s an awful person. I’m not sure this will get beyond the facebook rant stage, much less an actual campaign.

District 29 Senate – Kent Wilsey, originally from Brandon is the District 29 Candidate.

District 30 SenateGideon Oakes had already claimed he’s running so we’ll assume the state chair is in. In 2018 Gideon Oakes fared the best of any Libertarian in the state, getting 18.2% of the vote in a 3 way primary.. and even closing within 10% of the Democrat in the race (who had 25.1%).

And that’s what I‘ve been able to pick up to date.

This slate might represent one of the deeper efforts of the Libertarians to give the façade of being a real political party, if they’ve managed to fill that many State Senate positions. We’ll just skip over the part where it seems to be a bunch of white males between 18-40, and has the diversity of a LAN Party.

They’re approaching Democrat numbers in filing for office for at least the State Senate. Not sure if that’s a positive statement for them, or a really sad statement for Democrats. Or both.

Again, unless and until this is all filed with the Secretary of State’s office, it’s a moot point.

SD Right to Life enters into the District 7 State House race via postcards

It appears that South Dakota Right to Life is taking aim at certain candidates this primary election, as evidenced by the card that peppered the legislative district today, via vistaprint:

(Should I mention that the VistaPrint/Cimpress CEO, Robert Keane is a big Dem Supporter, i.e. Hillary, DSCC, SDDP, etc?)

Anyway, the South Dakota Right to Life PAC dropped a postcard to point out their differences against Larry Tidemann who is coming back to run for State House, and supporting State Rep. Doug Post here in District 7 in an effort to keep voters with Post.

If I’ve discovered anything over the years I’ve lived here, it’s that Brookings proper tends to be very Pleasantville in it’s approach (as in they like things pleasant) and it’s challenging to use issue based campaign to move voters.  Believe me, I’ve learned that over a number of years. I can safely say that the harder edge I might take has, at times, caused me to be a little on the outside. But that’s just the way politics as a whole tends to be in this town.

Now, don’t get me wrong, in some aspects, it’s a really conservative town at times.  But in other aspects, such as the political, elbows just aren’t sharp, and it tends to take a full court press in voter ID rather than a targeted issue based campaign to move voters.

And that brings me to the House race. Honestly, I’ve got to say that all the candidates in the race are gentlemen, and I’ve agreed with them at times, and disagreed with them at times.. but they’re all pretty decent people. I like Larry. I like Doug, and I like the other person in the race, Tim Reed.

Which.. well, yes, that’s a very “Brookings” thing to say.

The tough thing is that there’s three decent people and only two seats to go around.  And people are going to make that choice in three weeks. Postcards or not.