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Dakota War College Silent on Biggest South Dakota Political Stories

The South Dakota Republican Party has taken a mild beating this week in the run-up to its convention in Sioux Falls (starting with dinner tonight! Only $19.98!). One of their own legislators, not bomb-thrower Rep. Stace Nelson or certifiable Rep. Lora Hubbel, but the Honorable Senator Stanford Adelstein, calls on Republican Attorney General Marty Jackley to investigate malfeasance and mischief in by the Republican Secretary of State Jason Gant and his lightning-rod lieutenant Pat Powers. Senator Adelstein even floats the word impeachment.

Then South Dakota teachers make good on their promise to refer Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard's flagship education legislation, House Bill 1234, to a public vote by submitting petitions with 30,000 signatures to the Secretary of State's office (where Secretary Gant is conspicuously absent, since he's off driving around the state stoking the soap opera by coming to Senator Adelstein's door... to grovel or strongarm, we know not yet which).

Jason Gant on KDLT
I think I've seen that look... on kids caught with hands in the cookie jar. (photo from KDLT)

The media is lit up with coverage of both stories. The look on Secretary Gant's face alone (see the KDLT story) is worth a thousand snarky blog words. My comment section has been filled with vigorous discussion of both Senator Adelstein's charges (including commentary from the Senator and two Pierre colleagues!) and the merits of teacher merit pay and campaign strategy for HB 1234.

But with two enormous political stories at full boil, with the opportunity to offer a Republican perspective on events of great import to the Republican Party and South Dakota, Dakota War College, the self-proclaimed #1 political blog in South Dakota, has said nothing. For four straight days, we have heard not a word from the anonymous writers of the blog that Pat Powers launched and tried to use to make and break political fortunes (including his own and his boss's, Jason Gant's).

What's the matter, boys? Are Tim Rave and Tony Post too busy setting out the doilies for convention to give you orders on what to say? Did Pat order you to keep silent before he gets in any more trouble?

If blogging were a constitutional duty, Dakota War College would be impeached for dereliction of duty.

South Dakota's #1 Political Website? Ha. Dakota War College is acting more like #2... the old dried-up #2 my neighbor's dogs leave in my yard.


  1. Jim 2012.06.21

    Snore College

  2. Jana 2012.06.21

    Mercer seems to be piling on with the 85 octane scandal. Not sure I understand everything here, but it seems that the folks in Pierre want to allow, excuse me, continue to allow 85 octane to be sold against SD law.

    Some questions for Marty and the GOP:

    Why have you let this law be violated?

    So who has known that this law was being violated and let it happen anyway?

    If it's not good for our cars, but good for business...who are you representing anyway?

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.06.21

    Right on, Jana! The law is the law, right? (Note: Dr. Blanchard is saying the same thing about the President's DREAM Act Lite.) If Governor Daugaard sees a need to change that law to confront the "emergency" of needing gas to sell to tourists, is it time to call a special session? Heck, do that, and we could tackle this impeachment business at the same time, save some time and money.

  4. larry kurtz 2012.06.21

    The Patriot Act enabled state executives to exercise extra-constitutional powers: why would this action by DD and Jacklow surprise anyone?

  5. Jana 2012.06.21


  6. Chris 2012.06.21

    The release is there. I assume the SDDP has a database of receptive contacts at the major newspapers and already sent it off.

  7. Jana 2012.06.21

    Thanks Chris...wonder why they didn't cover that part of the story...maybe they aren't that receptive...this is my shocked face.

    You must have an in with the SDDP. Anything you think would help get the story out?

  8. Chris 2012.06.21

    Was SD always like this? I assume not, but I've only been here for a year and a half now, and, to be frank, this easily beats out the weird quasi-controversies we've had up there in my decade or so living there.

  9. Chris 2012.06.21

    And, no, I don't have an in. But I used to have, and still kinda do, have in's with ND's Dem operation. That's what they would be doing with this, which is kind of a minor gift. 85 octane isn't exactly a pitchfork inducing issue, but anytime you have the Governor and the AG, of the same party, dancing in a different gotta roll with it.

  10. Jana 2012.06.21

    Sorry Chris if we stepped on the story...It was just released today, so I'm sure that competent media will cover this.

    Just hope they look at why we have been allowing substandard fuel that is clearly against the law to be sold in SD!

    Does make you wonder what other laws have been swept under the rug...funny what can happen when one party has total control over a state and oversight is just optional.

  11. Jana 2012.06.21

    Well welcome to SD Chris! As conservative as ND likes to portray themselves...they still have socialized banking to go along with an income tax and of course....the whole NCAA Fighting Sioux...but it sounds like that might finally be over.

  12. Chris 2012.06.21

    No apology needed (it's not my story). I'd probably give it two days. Most newspapers also aren't going to publish a press release from a political party verbatim - they'll take the chunks that'll look good in print and roll with it. Whoever wrote the press release did a good job of giving quotes that one can rip and slap onto a story if needed (though I would have requested them be a bit shorter).

    The story is also still in the, "This is kind of weird - let's see what happens with this" stage. You'd be hard pressed to write a major story on a work in progress like this, but, yeah, this should probably be reported.

  13. Barry Smith 2012.06.21

    Maybe this is where you've seen that Cookie Jar look before :)

  14. Chris 2012.06.21

    ND's not as conservative as it sells itself. It just has a lot of people that tilt slightly toward the Republican side as they hate change of any kind, and the Dem-NPL admittedly hasn't done a very good job giving them compelling reasons not to do this.

  15. Jana 2012.06.21

    Oh My Goodness, or OMG....

    Now the DWC is censoring posts.

    What's sad is that the stuff that's been dumped isn't even that bad!

    Come on "Bill Clay" step it up and don't be afraid of dissenting opinions. It makes you and the party look weak.


  16. Neal 2012.06.21

    Jana, SDWC has always censored comments. Nothing new there.

  17. Jana 2012.06.21

    Thanks I thought it was just Sibby that they were trying to silence.

  18. KatiJenkins 2012.06.21

    May we please address HB1234, and leave the
    Gant debacle to the AG's offfice.

  19. Bob Newland 2012.06.21

    Gant's a lot of fun, Kati.

  20. Jana 2012.06.21

    Hi Kati, glad to have you jump in on HB1234.

  21. Mike Larson 2012.06.21

    MJLJune 19, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Permalink
    Your comment is awaiting moderation

    I wonder if the Republican candidates for PUC will be getting their election material from the Dakota Campaign Store? I am sure that these Republicans have done as wonderful of a job in oversight as SOS Gant.


    I only posted it a day ago and others posted after have been posted with no moderation. Oh well. Mitt doesn't like it when people point out his flaws. That is always unfair.

  22. Dave 2012.06.22

    It really is time for DWC to go away. It only has one commenter in its stable that attempts to address issues, and that's Troy. Troy, the only brainy one that Pat Powers apparently could find to help keep the stream of hate alive, and who thinks HB1234 is a great idea, has shown this week how unrealistic his viewpoints are. He thinks the problems in the SOS office are a simple misunderstanding between Adelstein and Gant. He also noted in a reply to Cory's post about the Pat Powers/Adelstein/Gant issue that he wouldn't characterize DWC as "hateful." And that comes from the only DWC contributor that shows an ability to come up with a rational thought from time to time.
    Everyone else at the war college demonstrates about the same concern for South Dakotans as those snotty kids show for their bus monitor on that video that's gone viral this week. There's no credible sense of criticism in hopes of making things better like you find at the Madville Times. The DWC is simply one childish attack after the other, about Angie Buhl, about Matt Varilek, about Matt McGovern, about Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, about Ben Nesselhuf, about Tim Johnson, about Cory. Sounds like Adelstein was targeted relentlessly, too. There is no intelligent discussion of issues ... just an endless parade of partisan hate.
    I wonder if Troy would still say DWC wasn't "hateful" if he was one of its regular targets?

  23. Jana 2012.06.22

    Personally, I hope the DWC not only sticks around, but actually gets better.

    After all, what would the world be like without Captain Hook?

    Oh well, second star to the right and straight on till morning.

  24. Bill Fleming 2012.06.22

    Watch out for the gators, Tinkerbell. LOL.

    p.s. Hi Kati Jenkins! Shine on, sister.

  25. Dave 2012.06.22

    You would think a better Dakota War College is something that PP and his rag-tag troupe would strive for, but one of the problems is they don't really HAVE to improve. Even the most ridiculous, hateful things posted on the blog receive support, time after time, from their cabal of extreme right-wing friends. But, they have a right, to a certain extent, to express themselves, and we have the right to ignore them. I think perhaps what I was really trying to say (my previous post was made late at night after a long, tiring day) is that Pat Powers must go. I shudder when I think that a man of such questionable character is holding a position of influence in the SOS office, and is working for us. It's no wonder that Gant's world is going to hell.

  26. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.06.22

    Kati, by my count, I've written over 100 posts on HB 1234 since January. I suspect I'll write about that many more before November. Stay tuned!

    And Jana is spot on: I do not seek the destruction of DWC. No blog stands alone, including mine. The South Dakota blogosphere thrives on competitive conversation. It serves the public by providing alternative independent viewpoints on a wide variety of issues that the professional media lack the time and inclination to cover. It engages all comers in vigorous and free expression. Currently, the DWC is neither competitive, independent, vigorous, or free. Either DWC needs to get with the program, or a new Captain Hook needs to take its place.

  27. Bill Fleming 2012.06.22

    ...I think it's fair to say that SDWC has switched gears, downshifted, and is now in damage control mode. Hard to do on a steep hill with an automatic transmission, faulty brakes and no power steering.

    Only thing left is to pull on the emergancy brake and pray that you reach the bottom of the hill before careening over the guardrails. I bet every 'anonymous' poster over there is praying like hell that 'management' has some way of wiping their back end blog visiting history clean before their IP addresses end up on Marty Jackley's witness list.

    It's like when you get up and turn the lights on in a cockroach infested kitchen and you hear that creepy littly scurrying sound. LOL.

  28. larry kurtz 2012.06.22

    Having a wounded Powers backed into a blog corner might be fun for the earth haters: watch for them to turn on him then eat him alive in a frenzy of blood-letting.

  29. moses 2012.06.23

    Yep old gant caught on this one.Sdwc pretty silent on that one to where are your pals now,

  30. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.06.24

    DWC is now approaching one full week of silence. They aren't even doing coverage of the Republican convention. No juicy pics or videos or even quotes from Noem, Thune, and the vaunted Bobby Jindal, no blasting of Ron Paul nuttiness... nothing.

  31. Bill Fleming 2012.06.24

    ...waiting to exhale.

  32. mike 2012.06.25

    SDWC must be in damage control. Either that or PP and his gang are pulling the strings on what content is allowed.

    You said it best Cory that posts have been pulled recently. Maybe the blogger (if it's not PP and his cohorts in the SoS office) got tired of being muzzled or pushing the company line?

    Maybe they just ran out of good material from the Dems? Maybe the fit hit the shan and the GOP was imploding all around them and they are in a bunker somewhere or a burger king?

  33. mike 2012.06.25

    We've enjoyed the blog and hope it comes back on even though we usually disagree.

    I have to believe Adelsteins hatred of Powers is why the blog has slowed. Don't poke the bear. Gant must have tied PP's hands behind his back because the old PP would have been ripping Adelstein a new one all week for making stuff up.

  34. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.06.25

    ...and you know, Mike, I would have welcomed that pushback. We could be wrong, and strong arguments from the other side might help us see weaknesses in Senator Adelstein's allegations. Hearing only one voice or one similarly inclined set of voices on any issue is a bad idea. I appreciate Troy's coming over here to the comment section to try countering the charges, but vigorous blog coverage from the other side on another independent blog would be good for all parties.

  35. Bill Fleming 2012.06.25

    The fact that there has been no response whatsoever at DWC speaks volumes. Volumes. Redacted volumes.

  36. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.06.25

    Adelstein, Gant, Jackley, 85-octane, Varilek on, Jindal, convention, Hickey challenging leadership: eight days of silence amidst these significant political stories is now gross dereliction of blog duty.

  37. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.06.25

    Maybe we should be hitting "Save" and storing copies on the hard drive, just in case AG Jackley needs our help.

  38. Testor15 2012.11.13

    It will be interesting to see the broke red states try to raise the funds to keep themselves out of poverty. Maybe she thinks states like South Dakota will get more as foreign aid versus revenue sharing?
    It is also interesting this issue is gaining steam with the revenue positive to federal government blue states are now in need of some of their money back in order to rebuild their infrastructures.

  39. larry kurtz 2012.11.13

    A Montana legislator wants to be paid in gold: expect Hubbel and Hoffman to be next.

  40. Les 2012.11.13

    I thought Cali was a blue state Testor? Old tired argument on 1.5 for every dollar paid.

    Take the Rez, funded mandates, unfunded mandates, ag, federal highways among others out of our very small population and the picture would be painted quite differently.

    If you're gonna spew, spew facts and figures.

  41. larry kurtz 2012.11.13

    Expect to have even more fat, white earth haters from California as neighbors (in the summer anyway), "Les:" Governor Brown is seeking to eliminate your political party in that state.

  42. Bree S. 2012.11.13

    I thought people from California were beautiful and skinny? Oh well - the death of another stereotype.

  43. larry kurtz 2012.11.13

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is greeting new Dem caucus: "We look like America."

    Republican caucus looks like West Virginia.

  44. Les 2012.11.13

    Hmmmm, all my Cali friends are beautiful and skinny Bree. Are we all RINO? I'll have to add, living there proves they're not all the sharpest tacks in the box.

  45. Les 2012.11.13

    Pelosi has Maxine Waters to prove, intelligence is scarce commodity in Cali world.

  46. Jana 2012.11.13

    Hubbel a secessionist? And the people of district 11 knew she was advocating increasing their taxes and watching their infrastructure crumble without federal aid?

    Hey, didn't Hubbel have a great scorecard from Howie?

    Manny Steele and our own Stace Nelson are financial backers of Lora...wonder what they think.

    Oh my...and what of Sibby? He loves him some Lora. I bet that in the new Country of South Dakotastan, Freemasons would be illegal.

    It just seems funny that the Republicans call themselves the party of Lincoln and then be the ones who are screaming to sever ties with the United States of America. I'm guessing that they have no idea what that would mean to the citizens of the state of South Dakota!

    Another example of the great ability of Conservatives to hold two opposing thoughts as long as it fits in their vocabulary of pithy platitudes.

  47. Jana 2012.11.13

    Sorry, District apologies to District 11.

  48. larry kurtz 2012.11.13

    Lest it disappear:

    Brokeback Mountain: The lonely saga of Howie and Ellis - Alone on the political mountainNovember 13, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink
    Are Gordon Howie and Bob Ellis like Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar from Brokeback Mountain???

    “I wish I knew how to quit you, Gordon Howie.” – Bob Ellis

  49. Les 2012.11.13

    This is where Justin the private equities manager needs to get in the front door. I don't mind the carbon credit deal "Larry", just don't try to steal my credits!

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