Monthly Archives: November 2012

Was the Rounds’ announcement big news?

That’s the question Cory Heidelberger asks over at his Madville Times blog. Well, the timing seemed to generate discussion. And, by coming out so early, former Gov. Mike Rounds staked out first rights to the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2014. Further, his announcement Thursday got Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson to move off dead-center with a statement that Johnson plans an announcement later next year and “fully” intends to field a winning campaign. Others have been cautious about labeling that as an announcement by the senator, but how much more clear could he be without actually pre-empting himself? And, if this is any measure: MSNBC had the Rounds announcement as the fifth of five items on its political crawler across the bottom of TV screens this morning. Somebody in NYC thought it was news!

Recommended reading: A book about instant pictures

The title of this first-class work by Christopher Bonanos and published by Princeton Architectural Press is Instant: The Story Of Polaroid. The book traces the genius and drive of Edwin Land and the genius and drive of the photographers who used his remarkable products. It also looks at Kodak’s infringement of Polaroid patents for instant photography cameras and film — that is, photo prints that developed nearly instantly with self-contained chemicals as part of the film, after the picture was taken — and the subsequent demolitions of both companies by digital — aka filmless — photography. The book is well-researched and well-written, easy to read, pleasantly sized and delightful to look at. Not only is the story told through standard chapters of text, but the many illustrations and photographs are an extended visual essay, spread throughout the book’s 192 pages. Land’s hiring practices alone are worth the read. If you have a photographer, lapsed or current, on your holiday list, this would be a smart gift (and relatively inexpensive at $24.95 list).

U.S. Senate trivia

Of the five governors who won election to the U.S. Senate from South Dakota — Republican Coe Crawford, 1908; Republican Peter Norbeck, 1920; Republican William McMaster, 1925; Democrat William Bulow, 1930; and Republican Harlan Bushfield, 1942 — all were still in office as governor in the election years when they were elected to the Senate. The current challenge by Republican Mike Rounds for the U.S. Senate, if he is successful in 2014, would mark the first time a former governor won a Senate election. The most-recent sitting governor to run for Senate was Republican Bill Janklow in 1986, when he fell to incumbent Jim Abdnor in a Republican primary (and Abdnor subsequently lost to Democratic U.S. Rep. Tom Daschle that November). The most-recent sitting governor to run for the U.S. House — and the only governor to ever win a House seat — was Janklow in 2002.

Johnson says he’ll seek re-election

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson, in a statement issued this morning in response to Republican former Gov. Mike Rounds declaring his U.S. Senate candidacy, said he will run for re-election in 2014. Johnson said he’ll make a formal announcement later next year and “fully” intends to put together a winning campaign.

Rounds plans U.S. Senate announcement Thursday

Former Gov. Mike Rounds jumps into the race first for the 2014 U.S. Senate election with his announcement this afternoon that he’ll formally announce his Republican candidacy Thursday with events in Pierre, Rapid City and Sioux Falls. We get to see 85-year-old Don Rounds introduce his son Mike at the Pierre event (8:30 a.m., Redrossa Annex). From there the candidate jets to Rapid City for an 11:30 a.m. MT event at the Casey Peterson & Associates offices (909 St. Joseph Street) followed by the trip to Sioux Falls for a 4 p.m. CT event at University Center’s Avera Hall.

Division of Banking changes addresses…

The state Division of Banking will be closed for normal business Thursday and Friday as its staff makes the move to different office space in Pierre.  The division has been leasing 4,020 square feet on the second floor of a building owned by Kay and Mike Trucano at 217 W. Missouri Ave. in Pierre. This formerly was the Automatic Vendors building. The division was paying $8.75 per square foot, for an annual lease amount of $35,175. The downstairs will continue to be used for records work by Avera Medical. Avera is taking on the top floor too after the banking move. The new home for the Division of Banking will be in a strip mall near the Pierre Mall. The division will be closed Thursday and Friday so that staff can make the move to the new, smaller location at Suite 1, 1601 N. Harrison. Details of the new 10-year lease call for $11 per square foot, for an annual lease amount of $33,616 for the 3,056 square feet of space. The division also now has a satellite office in Sioux Falls, making for less need for space in Pierre. For a look at the exteriors of the two locations, see the photos below.

…from the old…

The old Automatic Vendors building at 217 W. Missouri Ave. has been home to the state Division of Banking, but downstairs tenant Avera Medical desires the entire building for its records division.

…to the new

Suite 1 in the Linn complex at 1601 N. Harrison, just down the hill from the Pierre Mall, becomes home for the state Banking Division and opens for business Monday.

Maybe the joke isn’t on China?

The Onion, a satirical newspaper that some people enjoy, ran a piece proclaiming North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Eun as 2012’s “sexiest man alive.” The People’s Daily website in Communist China replayed the “story” along with 55 pages of photos and a curious sentence: “With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, Pyongyang-bred hearthrob is every woman’s dream come true.” See The Washington Post piece at for further detail. But you have to wonder this: Was China truly a victim of The Onion spoof, or was China joining The Onion with a second lampoon?

PUC plans briefing for legislators

The state Public Utilities Commission has scheduled a meeting with legislators for the evening of Monday, Dec. 3, to discuss the commission’s proposals for the 2013 session and other items. Topics to be covered are grain buyer regulations, wind energy, telecommunications, pipeline siting and energy regulation, including new rules from the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The meeting is set for 7 p.m. CT in room 413 of the state Capitol. The governor is scheduled to deliver his budget recommendations to the Legislature the next afternoon.