I smiled when I saw the listing for “several megaphones”

I was noticing on the Argus Leader web site this morning that there’s a huge auction coming up on Saturday in Brandon. I’ve got family from out of state in town this weekend, otherwise, I’m sure I’d be there.

And I have to admit I smiled when I saw that included in the property were “several megaphones.”


We will offer the following personal property located at 26437 481st Ave., (N. Hwy. #11), Brandon, SD or from the Brandon Exit #406 on I-90 – 4 miles south on Splitrock Blvd. (Hwy. 11 – just 1 mile S of Husets Speedway) or from the Jct. of Hwys. #11 & #42 – 2 miles north; from Sioux Falls, SD – (Jct. of E. 10th St. & S. Hwy. #11) – 3 miles east on Hwy. #42 and 2 miles north on 481st Ave.

AUCTIONEERS NOTE:  This auction has something for everyone!  This will be a very interesting auction with a wide variety of items – Note 2 Rings will be utilized throughout a good portion of this auction!  Make plans to come spend the day.  A spacious Parking Area will be off of Hwy. #11 in the pasture located directly south of the farmstead. 


PROFESSIONAL SOUND & CIVL DEFENSE TYPE EQUIPMENT, 8′ CHANGEABLE SIGN w/LETTERS & MISC.:  2 Lg. UBL Mdl. 4699B Professional Series Speakers; 4 Mackie SRS 1560 Active Subwoofer Speakers; 2 JBL 3 Way Speakers; 3 Mackie SRM 450 Active Sound Reinforc. Monitor System; Anchor Audio Megavox PV-35 Loudspeaker; Galls Street Thunder Megaphone; Several Megaphones; Stereo Equip.; Cyclops 14 Million Candlepower Spotlite; 2 Speaker Tripods; 12V Recharg. Spotlites; Fuel Operated Safety Flares; 8′ Light Up Sign w/Arrow & Letters & Other Related Misc. Items.


Read it all here.

I’m sure there will be many fond memories discussed this weekend at the sale involving our former Governor, who no one can deny was a “take charge” guy, with many photos of him with a megaphone in hand.

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.


New pins for the collection, and Senator Kittridge joins the board.

While I was in Pierre this week, I was furiously hitting eBay for a group of political pins that were closing, and dang it, someone was bidding me up, right to the wire. But, I really wanted these, as there were several I didn’t have.


A nice McGovern for Congress Litho pin, a Large Joe Robbie for Governor, a Joe Foss for Governor Pin, 4 inaugural pins (Sig Anderson 1951, Joe Foss 1957, Ralph Herseth 1959, and Frank Farrar 1969), and a pin for that declares ” I am for A. B. Kittridge.”

I was missing the McGovern Pin, the Foss Inaugural, that particular size of Foss for Congress Pin, the Large Robbie Pin, and the Kittridge pin were all ones I didn’t have, so I paid a little more than I might have on another day.

My fellow button collecting friend Lee Schoenback tells me the Kittridge pin is easier to find than some, but I didn’t have one. It’s an early South Dakota pin, and many of those are challenges to find. Especially during a time when US Senators weren’t elected by the people, but were chosen by the state legislature.

In July of 1901, Kittridge was appointed by Governor Herried, and according to an article:

Governor Herreid to-day- appointed A. B. Kittridge of Sioux Falls as Senator to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Senator Kyle.

kittridgeAlfred B. Kittridge is a native of New Hampshire, haying been born in Cheshire County, March 26, 1861. . His early education was obtained In ; the public , schools and when 17 years of age, he entered Yale University. He was graduated from that institution in 1882, and at once commenced the study of law at Rutland, Vt. In 1884 he entered the Yale Law School and was graduated in 1885, being admitted to the Connecticut bar in June of the same year. He removed to. Sioux Falls, S. D., in 1885 and began practice of law. Mr. Kittridge early manifested an interest in State politics and was for a long time ex-Senator Pettigrew’s trusted lieutenant. In 1896 the” two parted upon the money question. Mr. Kittridge was the Republican committeeman from South Dakota in 1892 and 1896. He is a bachelor.

Read that here. And, according to the American Almanac Yearbook of that year, in 1903, he won election in his own right in 1903, when he was selected by the State Legislature on January 20th, by a vote of 120-12 over his Democratic opponent, John A Bowler. (Dems didn’t do so hot back then, either). But, according to his congressional biography, he failed to be renominated in 1908.

The pin was likely from the 1908 election.  And along with the non-duplicates, the Kittridge pin will be given it’s place of honor on the SDWC Bulletin board.