Corporate profits peaked under President George W. Bush in 2006 near $1.7 trillion. The recession then plunged corporate profits to $1.0 trillion by the 2008 election. (Check that: during the economy's nadir, corporations were still coming out ahead.) Since the election of radical Marxist redistributionist Barack Obama, corporate profits have more than doubled to $2.2 trillion. Hmmm... so Obama hasn't come for your guns or your profits...

...but wait! President Obama is coming for a chunk of the profits that corporations are hiding overseas. Yesterday the President announced a plan to grab half of the funding for his six-year, $478-billion infrastructure investment plan from a one-time, 14% tax on current overseas corporate profits stashed overseas, plus a 19% tax on future overseas profits that opponents say still helps big corporations dodge their fair share of taxes.

Meanwhile, Senator Bernie Hunhoff (D-18/Yankton) would like us South Dakota voters to talk about taxing corporations to fund education. Senate Joint Resolution 2 would place this brief, straightforward proposal for a constitutional amendment on the 2016 general election ballot:

The Legislature shall impose an education franchise tax by imposing a tax on the profits of corporations doing business in South Dakota. However, this section does not apply to any insurance company subject to a tax on gross premiums or financial institution subject to the bank franchise tax. The revenue and interest generated by the tax, less the cost of administration, is dedicated to improving the salaries of elementary and secondary public school teachers. The Legislature shall establish the rate of taxation.

Senator Hunhoff's proposal recognizes that South Dakota already imposes income taxes on bankers and insurers (which taxes have yet to lead to an exodus of bankers and insurers). SJR 2 gives the Legislature control over the tax, allowing it to set the rate based on the economy, the needs of the school districts, whatever may come up each session. SJR 2 goes and gets money that President Obama won't be taking, since U.S. Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds will surely work their darnedest to prevent that federal tax from happening. As is Bernie's wont, SJR 2 comes from a bipartisan team of sponsors, including Senator Hunhoff's Highway 50 neighbor Rep. Ray Ring (D-17/Vermillion) and veteran West River legislators Sen. Bruce Rampelberg (R-30/Rapid City) and Rep. Thomas Brunner (R-29/Nisland). These Republicans can sponsor this bill without saying they are advocating a new tax; they could vote for it and contend that they just want the people to decide if a corporate tax is an appropriate way to raise teacher salaries (which would be a nice counter to the impression their Gettysburg colleague Senator Corey Brown is creating that Republicans don't trust voters).

As I noted Saturday, the richest South Dakotans have been surfing that wave of corporate profits to claim more than 50% of our state's post-recession income growth. The average one-percenter in South Dakota makes 31.7 times as much as the average teacher in South Dakota, a disparity that is higher only in Wyoming, North Dakota, and Connecticut. Don't count the top 1% or earners, and South Dakota teachers still make 21.2% less than the average individual income.

Moving some income from the corporate tier, where profits have doubled since the recession, to the teachers who build the corporate workforce seems just. Let's put SJR 2 on the ballot and debate a corporate profits tax in 2016.

7 comments

In his post-speech press conference yesterday, Governor Dennis Daugaard responded to the criticism he knew was coming that his proposed tax and fee increases for road repairs violate his 2010 election promise not to raise taxes. In responding to this criticism, Governor Daugaard reveals his confidence that the nation has fully emerged from the recession and will not go double-dip:

I'm not unwilling to ask for increases in revenue where I feel the need is genuine and concrete. IN the case of the state highway system, I was unwilling to support a tax incrase the first term because, when I ran for re-election [sic] we were still wondering whether or not we would recover from the recession, and even though there were some indications that we were starting to emerge, there was also some concern about a double-dip recession. There was certainly not a strong rebound in the economy, so when I ran I promised to oppose tax increases. The worst time to raise taxes is when you are trying to recover from a recession. And I kept my promise. But when I ran for re-election this time I made it plain that one of the concerns I had was about funding adequacy for our roads and that everything was on the table, including taxes. So anybody that was paying attention to this issue should ahve been well aware that I was looking at taxes as a potential part of the solution [Governor Dennis Daugaard, press conference, recorded and posted by Todd Epp, Northern Plains News, 2015.01.13].

The need is concrete... oh, the subtle wit!

Governor Daugaard is thus affirming the success of the Obama recovery. Looks like Rep. Steve Hickey's Cassandrafication about a Long Economic Winter will get no traction on the Second Floor....

Now if the Governor can believe the recovery is here to stay, what can we do get him to believe that the federal money to expand Medicaid is here to stay, too?

36 comments

Yesterday Rep. Kristi Noem and the U.S. House voted for the tenth time to usurp executive authority and force immediate federal approval of the Canadian tar sands pipeline and eminent domain land grab known as Keystone XL.

Rep. Noem retreads this excuse for her vote:

Delaying Keystone is depriving South Dakota of good jobs, millions of dollars in revenue for cash-strapped counties, and relief for the roads and rails that are currently crowded with oil transit. Moreover, the White House has released more than 20,000 pages of reviews showing Keystone is in the best interest of our environment and our national economy – even admitting in a State Department report that the pipeline would support approximately 42,100 jobs.

In the time that it’s taken to approve Keystone, 10,000 miles of pipeline have been laid in the U.S. – that’s equal to eight Keystone XL Pipelines. We’ve debated Keystone long enough; now is the time to build it [Rep. Kristi Noem, e-mail to supporters, 2015.01.09].

Rick Weiland says Rep. Noem and the House are confused by Big Oil and Big Money:

There isn’t a more egregious example of the stranglehold that ‘big money’ has on our Congress and elected officials than this effort to build the Keystone pipeline.

As I stated throughout my campaign for the United States Senate, this is all about greed -- billions of dollars of it every year.

Early on, the perpetrators of this con, TransCanada, a foreign oil corporation and their ‘big money’ investors, boasted about creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and making America more energy secure. They began their ‘big money’ television campaign and commenced convincing the people of South Dakota and around the country that this was a good thing.

In fact, during the last weeks of the campaign, there was a ‘big money’ effort to tie the rail car shortage and grain problem South Dakota is experiencing, as another reason to build Keystone. The lie was if you build the pipeline, it would move oil so that the rail system would be freed up to move grain.

Fact is, there are no real jobs -- thirty-five permanent jobs according to the GAO and another 1800 temporary jobs for the entire project.

Fact is, Keystone XL is an export pipeline. Most of the oil is moving from the tar sands of Canada to the state of Texas for export to China. We get very little of the oil, so where is the ‘energy security’? We are nothing more than a pass through, taking on the risk for no reward.

With regard to relieving the problem of the inability of our railway system to ship grain, fact is, the oil coming out of the Bakken fields in ND, not Canada, ties up the rail system. These producers have very little interest in using Keystone. They want the flexibility to move their product by rail and truck to markets here in the United States.

In fact, I cannot think of one reason to build this pipeline other than to placate ‘big oil’ and their ‘big money’. I can think of lots of reasons not to. Did you know, TransCanada, a foreign oil corporation, can take South Dakota farm and ranch land without landowner permission through ‘eminent domain’?

Did you know that Keystone One, built in 2010, leaks on a regular basis -- some big leaks too, and that Keystone XL is going to be built over the Ogallala Aquifer, a vital source of water for our region.

And did you know, that the energy it takes to extract the tar sand oil, liquefying it for transport, refining and shipping it overseas for sale, will dump 100 million tons of additional carbon into the atmosphere.

When the threat of climate change has 99% of the scientists in the world seriously worried about the future of the planet and the human race, this greed is inexcusable and needs to be exposed and rejected. We should be transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy, not doubling down on Keystone [Rick Weiland, press release, 2015.01.09].

On the same day the House repeated its mistake, the Nebraska Supreme Court came one vote shy of requiring pipeliner TransCanada to draw a new route for Keystone XL through Nebraska. Pipeline opponents needed five judges out of the seven to agree with a lower court that a state law giving the governor authority to approve the pipeline route instead of the Nebraska Public Service Commission violated the state constitution. Four judges agreed, but three avoided the issue and said the plaintiffs lacked standing.

(O.K., new rule: from now on, before any lawsuit proceeds, we get a clear ruling from the court on who has standing and who doesn't. Or better yet, on Keystone XL, where we have Congressmen from Minnesota and Ohio voting for a pipeline that doesn't cross their state because they say all Americans will benefit from shipping Canadian oil to China, all Americans get standing!)

The Indigenous Environmental Network and Dakota Rural Action say their fight to block Keystone XL in South Dakota will continue. They encourage President Barack Obama to help them out:

“The Nebraska State Supreme Court decision does not change the facts on the matter. The Keystone XL pipeline still remains a threat to the livelihoods of America's farmers, ranchers, tribal nations, and individual landowners. And the fact remains that TransCanada cannot build Keystone XL in South Dakota.

We South Dakota pipeline fighters stand strong in our commitment to see the Keystone XL permit rejected by our state's Public Utilities Commission and by President Obama.

The President has all the information he needs to act and reject Keystone XL today. This pipeline fails the President's climate test. We encourage him to make the right choice to the benefit of us all" [Indigenous Environmental Network and Dakota Rural Action, press release, 2015.01.09].

President Obama has said he will veto the Keystone XL bill that Congress will shortly send him. Remember that his veto will not stop Keystone XL; it will only reject Congress's effort to force approval. The President will still render his own decision on TransCanada's permit application to the U.S. State Department. But remember, President Obama has been playing a coy but clever waiting game. He appears to be letting the clock run to give other forces—the Nebraska Supreme Court, the South Dakota PUC, and now the plunging price of oil, which may not kill tar sands but does change the politics—to stop the pipeline for him.

But President Obama's waiting game is about to run up against its own deadline. Hillary Clinton has only a few months to announce whether she's running for President or not. If she runs, she will run clearly center. She has already been dodging the Keystone XL issue with groups who'd like her to plug tar sands opposition into her pro-environment rhetoric. Clinton's ties to tar sands lobbyists suggest she knows who butters her bread and will advocate the Keystone XL pipeline to win votes from the moderate middle.

That gives President Obama two reasons to take Keystone XL off the table before Clinton's Presidential aspiration becomes official:

  1. Reading P&R Miscellany, the President knows that Keystone XL could split the Dem base. He can take the issue off the table, take the heat as a lame duck, and help Hillary focus on keeping Dems together.
  2. If the Obama–Clinton feud is real, and if the President knows his former Secretary of State supports Keystone XL, he'll want to knock this leg out from under her before the campaign really gets going. President Obama won't go for a direct, distracting confrontation with Clinton during her campaign, because he, unlike Harry Reid, would put winning before personal grudges. But he will take a chance to do what's right, block the pipeline, and force Clinton to campaign on other issues.

Expect Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds to jump on the Keystone XL bandwagon again next week. Expect the President to veto Congress's latest maneuvering, but then watch for a proper Presidential decision some time this year, before Hillary Clinton dclares her candidacy.

16 comments

Governor Dennis Daugaard's new Build Dakota Scholarship for vocational-school students is a corporate welfare program whose primary aim is addressing a workforce shortage and providing select South Dakota industries with a captive labor pool. It will provide 300 scholarships over five years out of a total current vo-tech enrollment of about 6,100.

Democrats in Minnesota's Legislature are proposing free tuition for everyone who wants to attend Minnesota's two-year colleges and technical schools. That proposal mirrors the Tennessee Promise, in which Tennessee is using lottery money to cover tuition to its associate-degree programs:

It will provide students a last-dollar scholarship, meaning the scholarship will cover tuition and fees not covered by the Pell grant, the HOPE scholarship, or TSAA funds. Students may use the scholarship at any of the state’s 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology, or other eligible institution offering an associate’s degree program. While removing the financial burden is key, a critical component of Tennessee Promise is the individual guidance each participant will receive from a mentor who will assist the student as he or she navigates the college admissions process. In addition, Tennessee Promise participants must complete eight hours of community service per term enrolled, as well as maintain satisfactory academic progress (2.0 GPA) at their institution [Tennessee Promise, "About," downloaded 2015.01.09].

Instead of tying graduates to in-state employers and introducing grit in the labor market, Tennessee will ask its scholarship recipients to pay their communities back while they are in school with a simple service requirement.

President Obama likes the Tennessee Promise. He's advocating a national version of the plan, which could serve nine million Americans.

Minnesota Republicans' initial response: class warfare!

Senate Minority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, was similarly critical of the Democrats’ proposal for free tuition.

“At this point, we have a lot of questions,” Hann said. In particular, he said the programs lack a means-testing mechanism to ensure they are not abused by higher-income Minnesotans [Richard Lopez and J. Patrick Coolican, "Free College vs. Tax Cuts as Visions Contrast at Capitol," Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2015.01.08].

Republicans are hilarious: hand out general scholarships, and the rich are untrustworthy, abuse-minded miscreants! Hand out tax breaks, and the higher-income citizens who run businesses can be trusted to pass on great benefits to the trickled-upon masses (tax breaks are a highlight of the MN GOP plan for the state surplus).

And South Dakota Republicans bat not one eyelash at the possibility that higher-income South Dakotans might take advantage of vo-tech scholarship recipients who are required to work in South Dakota for three years by paying them lower wages than market forces would otherwise demand.

8 comments

In the Department of Non-Responses, one Leonard Heckel of Ethan responds to my upbraiding of the Mitchell Daily Republic for publishing a letter to the editor last month from John Shaw that fabricates statistics and repeats proven lies. Mr. Heckel addresses none of my claims; he merely amplifies Shaw's Islamophobia and homophobia and reasserts with cowardly indirectness the pernicious lie about the President's religion:

In his letter to the editor Dec. 6, Cory Heidelberger blasts John Shaw as being hateful, bigoted, a liar and therefore not a Christian, but just some malcontent. He goes on to say that Obama is a Christian. Heidelberger was commenting on Shaw's letter (Nov. 29).

...True Christians confront evil and do not consciously lie and deceive. Obama, on the other hand, has been caught in many lies and deceptions, and in some instances has promoted evil. And in addition to all these things going on under his watch, he has been involved in a string of scandals. Shaw was only warning of coming judgement and why. So let us not kill the messenger [Leonard Heckel, letter to the editor, Mitchell Daily Republic, 2014.12.19].

Heckel avoids saying, "Barack Obama is not a Christian." But none of his text refutes the fact that Barack Obama is a Christian. None of that text refutes the argument I make that if one rejects all available evidence to cling to the fantasy that Barack Obama practices some other religion, one must then logically reject the claims and evidence all other people, including Shaw, present to posit their Christianity. By Shaw's and Heckel's own logic, my claim that Shaw is not Christian is as valid as Shaw's and Heckel's claim that the President is not Christian.

If Heckel wants to assert some "True Christians never lie" Heaven-eligibility standard, then Heckel just forfeited his membership card. Heckel, like Shaw, repeats a lie to gin up fear of Muslims:

The Judicial Watch Corruption Chronicles blog confirmed that four ISIS members were captured on the Mexican border on Oct. 8. These are threats and concerns we can't ignore [Heckel, 2014.12.19].

Actually, we can ignore that threat. There have been no ISIS arrests at the Mexican border. Politifact declared this claim by California Congressman Duncan Hunter "incorrect and ridiculous" two months ago. But people like Heckel and Shaw find it easier to embrace fear and lies to support their narrow-minded worldview.

97 comments

Pat Powers keeps using the phrase "war on energy," as in, "the Obama Administration[']s EPA continues to prosecute their war on energy production."

Hey, Pat, buy gas lately? I saw $2.19 per gallon yesterday. If these gas prices are a result of a war on energy, please, keep warring!

Oh, guess what: These gas prices are resulting, at least in part from the very earth-friendly Obama policies that Powers irrationally hates. Remember those evil fuel efficiency standards President Obama approved in August 2012? Those standards have helped decrease gasoline demand, contributing to the surplus that's driving oil prices down below the business case threshold for Keystone XL. Even if SUV sales surge (it's already happening, because Americans live in the now... and perhaps because gas nozzles are so phallic?), the President's fuel efficiency standards will conserve energy and temper any price recovery:

...the fuel economy standards will help hold down U.S. gasoline consumption, even if buyers swing back to bigger vehicles. As the standards have toughened, and will get even tighter the next few years, automakers have been making even their lowest-mileage vehicles more efficient.

Since 2010, light trucks — like SUVs and pickups — have already earned an overall 5 percent improvement in gas mileage and by 2025 are expected to have boosted their efficiency by about half.

The mandates are eventually expected to eliminate the need for 3 million barrels of oil per day [Steve Everly, "Cheap Gas Attracts Thirstier Vehicles, But Tougher Fuel Economy Standards Will Make Them Guzzle Less," Kansas City Star, 2014.12.13].

A war on energy would be a war intended to destroy energy ("Impossible!" cry the attentive physicists in the audience), or at least to destroy our sources of energy. If anyone seems hell-bent on waging war on energy, it would seem to be the short-term Republican corporate mindset that advocates burning all the energy we can as fast as we can, leaving no energy—or at least no cheap, easy energy—for our children and grandchildren.

The Obama Adminstration appears to be waging the exact opposite of a war on energy. The Obama Administration is adopting conservation policies that ensure more energy will be around for future generations to use. The Obama Administration is waging a war for energy for future generations against the rapaciousness of a greedy present.

Related reading: Ben Casselman of FiveThirtyEight.com says we know nothing about the future of oil prices.

5 comments

Kevin Drum produces a remarkable chart that shows President Barack Obama's clear superiority to his predecessor in helping the economy recover from recession:

Chart: Obama vs. Bush Employment Recovery

Source: Kevin Drum, "The Obama Recovery Has Been Miles Better Than the Bush Recovery," Mother Jones, 2014.12.06

Count private employment as a percentage of the labor force, and you see that in five and a half years, President Bush never got private employment back to a larger percentage of the workforce than it was when he took office. Under President Obama, that percentage has climbed steadily higher. President Obama achieved this recovery from a far worse recession than President Bush faced. President Obama has also achieved this recovery without the housing boom that fueled much of President Bush's recovery but which, as Drum reminds us, ended in "an epic global crash."

Drum spots President Bush a few points with a second graph that includes government employment:

Obama vs. Bush, Total Jobs Recovery

Source: Kevin Drum, "The Obama Recovery Has Been Miles Better Than the Bush Recovery," Mother Jones, 2014.12.06

We raise President Bush's numbers and lower President Obama's if we include government payrolls.

Bush got a nice tailwind from increased hiring at the state and federal level. Obama, conversely, was sailing into heavy headwinds because he inherited a worse recession. States cut employment sharply—partly because they had to and partly because Republican governors saw the recession as an opportunity to slash the size of government—and Congress was unwilling to help them out in any kind of serious way [Kevin Drum, "The Obama Recovery Has Been Miles Better Than the Bush Recovery," Mother Jones, 2014.12.06].

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: President Barack Obama is beating his predecessor George W. Bush on economic performance. The difference would be even greater if President Obama had grown government the way President Bush did.

Related Reading: Discussing British politics, Simon Wren-Lewis says that ideologues who adopt a "small state" as a matter of principle miss lots of points:

...they are not prepared to look at these items on their merits. Instead they have a blanket ideological distaste for all things to do with government. The evidence that government is ‘always the problem’ is just not there. The idea that private sector activity is always welfare enhancing and is best left alone was blown out of the water by the financial crisis.

...reducing government spending during a liquidity trap recession does real harm. It wastes resources on a huge scale.

...a final problem I have with small state people... is their disregard for the evidence. It is true that most people are bad at acknowledging counter evidence, but those with an ideological conviction are worse than most [Simon Wren-Lewis, "The Imaginary World of Small State People," Mainly Macro, 2014.12.07].

5 comments

Attorney General Marty Jackley could be interrogating, arresting, and suing Joop Bollen. He could be arresting Chad Haber for hiding his campaign finance reports for six weeks and counting.

Instead, AG Jackley is wasting his time on another anti-Obama court charade that will serve no interest beyond inflating Jackley's rep among the Republican base in 2018. AG Jackley yesterday announced that he has signed our state onto a lawsuit with 16 other states to challenge President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration policy.

Jackley claims this suit is about the rule of law, even while lawbreaking EB-5 czar Joop Bollen walks free. Jackley claims this suit is about Presidential power, even though the President's directives are entirely Constitutional. Jackley claims this suit is about saving law enforcement, healthcare, and education resources, even though he is throwing away valuable South Dakota law enforcement resources on this lawsuit when he could be focusing on more pressing problems in South Dakota, even though his party's opposition to the Affordable Care Act has denied citizens of this state hundreds of millions of Medicaid dollars, and even though his Governor has just issued a visionless budget that continues decades of Republican neglect of education resources.

Jackley and his friends will also lose this suit, just as they lost most of the arguments Jackley endorsed in the anti-ACA lawsuit. The complaint itself claims that the President has "unilaterally suspend[ed] the immigration laws as applied to 4 million of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States." But Congress has already effectively suspended those laws by not providing the Executive Branch sufficient resources to capture, prosecute, and deport all of the violators of those immigration laws. Throw out these executive actions, and the President will still be bound by Congress's constraints to inadequately enforce these laws. Absent the actions the President announced on November 20, we get worse outcomes, as we expend limited law enforcement resources more randomly and less efficiently instead of focusing efforts on the most dangerous criminals among illegal immigrants. The court cannot provide the litigants the relief their lawsuit seeks. The lawsuit should therefore be moot.

The complaint wastes valuable argumentation space quoting the President's public statements as if they were binding pronouncements on law. They are not. The complaint lists past Obama Administration immigration policies and alleges impacts therefrom as if they bear on the assessment of the Constitutionality of the President's actions. They do not.

Attorney General Jackley may as well be prosecuting local cops for not ticketing every speeder or staking out every bar on Friday night. Golly, that's a public official changing the law by not enforcing it in every instance, right? Where are the cries of tyranny there?

Attorney General Jackley will continue to use his office to waste the courts' time and our money. President Obama will continue to solve problems, with or without the cooperation of Republicans like Marty who care more about scoring partisan points than seeking real justice.

46 comments

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  • Photos: Governor Daugaard Attends Ribbon-Cutting at New Aberdeen Technical Academy 2015.09.01
    Governor Dennis Daugaard joined numerous luminaries today at 1 p.m. on the Aberdeen Central High School campus to celebrate the opening of the A-TEC Academy. Below are some photos of the ribbon-cutting and the new career and technical education building.
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    Governor Dennis Daugaard visited the Hub City this sunny, breezy late summer afternoon to celebrate the opening of the A-TEC Academy on the Aberdeen Central High School campus. Governor Daugaard gave the Aberdeen school district two million dollars from the Future Fund, the economic development fund he controls, to help build this five-million-dollar career and technical education facility for area high […]
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    Plus: State’s Attorney Lovrien Misreads County Referendum Law The Brown County Commission Discussed consolidation of the auditor, treasurer, and register of deeds this morning. Their special committee report on the topic and state’s attorney Larry Lovrien’s explanation of the office-consolidation process are available online. The committee studied consolidations in Hughes County, which combined all three offices, and Brookings County, which consolidated […]
  • Allender Wants Three-Year Terms for City Council, Four-Year Term for Mayor 2015.09.01
    Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender says he wants city council members and the mayor to serve more than two years between elections. Mayor Allender announced at last Friday’s Black Hills Forum and Press Club that he wants city councilors to serve three-year terms and the mayor to serve a four-year term: Stretching the terms of office would […]
  • Kentucky Clerk Arguments Won’t Save South Dakota Employees Who Rebuff Same-Sex Marriage Applicants 2015.09.01
    The Supreme Court of the United States yesterday refused to block a lower court order that Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis issue marriage licenses to same-sex applicants. This morning, acting “under God’s authority,” Clerk Davis is defying the highest court in the land and continuing to refuse same-sex marriage applicants. Davis will likely be cited with contempt […]
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    I smell something funny in the fiscal impact statements on the marijuana-related ballot measures currently being petitioned around South Dakota. The Legislative Research Council has determined that the measure from South Dakotans Against Prohibition to decriminalize possession of marijuana would result in 3,174 fewer convictions each year. The LRC does not break down how many of […]
  • Epp Suggests Drafting Schreck to Challenge Thune 2015.08.31
    Last week reporter Kevin Woster trial-ballooned his Rapid City neighbor and fellow journalist Sam Hurst as a possible Senate candidate. This week Todd Epp makes similar Twitter noise to draft precip prognosticator and fellow Sioux Falls media man Phil Schreck to change jobs and challenge John Thune: Draft @philksfy for US Senate ’16 for @SoDakDems ! He’s smart, articulate […]
  • Allender Wants Rapid City Notices out of Native Sun News: Fiscal or Political Move? 2015.08.31
    John Tsitrian attended his new mayor Steve Allender’s speech at the Black Hills Forum and Press Club Friday. Tsitrian found Mayor Allender’s speech a bit fuzzy and the questions a bit too controlled. Mayor Allender explained to the Forum that his decision to remove city notices from the Native Sun News was strictly business: I got the sense from Allender […]
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    I go fishing for irony and find that Northern State University believes same-sex cohabitation may strengthen the institution of marriage: “A lot of students want singles, they don’t want a double room,” [NSU Residence Life director Marty] Sabolo said. “And that worries me more than anything, is the growing concern for single rooms for students. … At […]
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    Bob Mercer reports that attendance at Department of Transportation public meetings has been declining. DOT officials think that’s a good sign: Attendance has dropped, acknowledged Mike Behm. He is the director for the state Department of Transportation’s project development program. “Our customer satisfaction has been fairly to very high,” Behm said. …The shrinking attendance is a […]

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