You may have noticed that I’ve made a couple of stylistic changes to the blog, dropping the animated header, and going with the full post display instead of the excerpts.

A reader had mentioned to me that the animated header is a bandwidth and, notably, a battery killer for tablet devices. I’m a desktop guy, so I didn’t notice, and liked it as eye candy, but it served little purpose beyond that.

With the number of ads I have, as well as some of the dynamic NEWSMAX ad content, keeping load times down is in my best interest. So, it’s dropped for now.

As for expanding the top level blog posts, I’m playing with the concept at the moment. I think for the news product I’m offering, its better if more is displayed, as compared to the short excerpts with no photos that the current theme offers.

It also provides a little more real estate for advertising as we move into 2016. This is a reader and advertising supported web site, so more is better.   I might move back to it if I find a better theme. But for now, we’ll go with this.

I’m also pleased with progress of the soft roll out of, in case you haven’t checked it out… well, check it out. It’s under light construction in places, but otherwise, it’s getting used.  Todd Epp from KSOO has been contributing, and I have another one or two who will be.

It’s a nice place for discussion for one of those other things we need to live besides politics, and “everyone has an opinion.”

Just a heads up… Maintenance ahead.

If you’re a late owl as I can be from time to time, the host server where the SDWC lives may be down for a bit in the early, early am.  As I just had noted to me,

This maintenance is required to provide patches and updates, and we will take this opportunity to update our orchestration platform, to fix other minor issues and provide additional service improvements.

It looks like it may be down from 3-6 am tomorrow, and hopefully shouldn’t interrupt anyone’s nocturnal commenting.

10 Years a Blogger Journalist. THANK YOU for the wild ride.

I have to laugh, I missed my own birthday. Or anniversary.  On February 5th, 2005, South Dakota War College was hatched waaaay back when on the free blogging platform “Blogger,” which is now owned by Google. 

It’s almost scary to read now, but this was my inaugural post.

I had someone tell me the other day that they were traveling to listen to “X” teach a class on campaign techniques and strategy. Admittedly, it was really arrogant of me to say so, but my response to them was “You’ve got to be sh*tting me. They ran a terrible campaign, and spent money like an idiot. They were lucky their opponent rolled over and died. What are they going to teach – ‘how to spend money like a drunken sailor?’”

In saying that, I was probably just verbalizing a frustration. There are tons of good Republican candidates out there, but many of them lack someone to show them the way. Hopefully, this weblog can serve as a reference for campaign “newbies” and those with some experience to use as something to get them pointed in the right direction.

Who the hell am I? I’ve been involved with Republican political campaigns since 1988. (I don’t know if I should wear this as a badge of honor, or hide my head in shame for having this affliction.) I’ve worked for the Republican party for a couple elections in Pierre, and one in Rapid City.

I’ve worked for candidates, I’ve worked with candidates, and I’ve done a bunch of other stuff in between. I’ve dived in with both feet, walked away for a few years as a sanity check, and came back. I ran for office myself, and got my stupid ass deservedly kicked for violating every rule I’ve set down to candidates, and it ended making me better for the loss.

In effect, it made me take stock and say “I will not run and do a crappy job again.” It forced me to understand that it takes certain “things” to run a campaign, and to recognize those things.

Circumstance has made me into an unofficial mentor. Why unofficial? One of the people whom I consider a mentor, Geraldine “Gypsy” Hines, the principal of Good Government Consultants in Sioux Falls once noted to me that a lot of people don’t want to pay for political consulting in SD. I tried it to make money off of it once, and while I had a few people who were willing to pay for consulting, I realized that most candidates at this level lack the resources to do so.

And really, the people who can’t afford it need it the most. So, the people I end up helping are typically the young, first time candidate whose never done this sort of thing before, but they’re jumping in with both feet. I’ve got a soft spot for these guys (and gals), because that was me once.

So, I’ve kind of ended up as that politically active guy who people get pointed to by acquaintances who say “Call this guy, he can help you with…..”

Ugh. My first blogpost was rough. I was much freer with “sentence enhancers,” which changed about 6-8 months into it when I started hearing that the Governor, John Thune, and many others whom I respect were reading. Just a little sense of self-consciousness, and getting to know my audience helped.

At times, my love affair with blogging has waxed and waned. It has shut doors in my face, and opened them.   I’ve thought about quitting a couple of times, and after a job required 18-month hiatus where I handed it off to others, I couldn’t wait to jump back in, and I did so with a vengeance.

I’ve made many, many friends, and maybe a couple of enemies with really think skin.  But I’m still here, and I’m not going anywhere.

In retrospect, I’m surprised that I did think about walking away, as there have been times I’ve fought for it, and fought hard.

When Noel Hamiel’s awful blog control act was introduced, while others spent time behind their desks, I was out in Pierre testifying against it, as well as pointing out to groups with lobbyists how it would affect them. And when someone wanted to drag me into court on a fishing expedition, Joel Arends successfully argued that I, as a blogger, have a journalistic privilege, making me a journalist, and not just a guy with a computer on his desk.

As the use of social media has risen I’ve managed to go from being treated as a freak of nature who people avoided, to someone that people are as used to being accustomed as a part of the political process.

And honestly, I couldn’t have done it without you; the readers. You are the ones who have made it happen, and I can’t thank you enough. It’s been a rollercoaster for the last ten years. And I’m here in line to give you ten more.


Having a bad computer day week, but posting straight from Pierre ahead.

There could be spotty posting ahead, especially in the evenings. I think my “bitter computer” might have bit the dust.

My main computer with all of my software, records, e-mail, etcetera and everything decided to inconveniently die. Just because it really hasn’t been turned off in 2-3 years, and is used day and night is no reason to bite the dust. I usually have power supplies give up the ghost and wear out, which is an easy fix, but I think my motherboard went, and that’s major surgery.

I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that the SDWC mothership is up on blocks at the moment, and I’m posting from iPad & iPhone, and a computer that doesn’t have 1/4 of the resources that my main one does.

Actually, it so happens that I would have been on remote anyway, as I’m going to be on the road to Pierre this next week. I’m coming over for some REALTOR things (Thumbs up for the Chili/Oyster feed), and my wife is getting a nice award for being recognized as the Special Ed Administrator of the year.
Hopefully late next week, the SDWC signal will be back at full capacity. But in the interim I’ll be bringing your daily fix of political coverage straight from out state’s Capital!