Monthly Archives: June 2018

A look into GEAR UP

University of South Dakota’s Anna Madsen is publishing her honors thesis about the GEAR UP program in South Dakota.

Madsen, a student of Marshall Damgaard, looked at both rounds of applications for federal grants. She noted in the 2005 application a major discrepancy, with more than 80 percent of the funding sought for purposes other than scholarships to students.

She wrote: “These budgetary conflicts are problematic because they show the original application was proposing a program greatly out of compliance with the grant requirements.” That’s just the starting point.

Anna Madsen – Honors Thesis is worth a read, especially as the first GEAR UP defendant faces a state criminal trial in Sioux Falls.

Republican convention images

Yankton lawyer Jason Ravnsborg spoke with state Sen. Deb Peters of Hartford before South Dakota Republican convention delegates began voting Saturday. They selected Ravnsborg on the second ballot.

State Sen. Lance Russell of Hot Springs scanned the hall Saturday after he outlasted Lawrence County State’s Attorney John Fitzgerald (not shown) to make the second ballot for the state attorney general Republican nomination.

Ravnsborg pumped his fist after winning a key county’s delegates.

Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo spoke with some delegates between the ballots Saturday. He originally supported Fitzgerald.

Sioux Falls Argus Leader reporter Dana Ferguson and Associated Press reporter James Nord worked on stories as delegates conferred about the second ballot for attorney general. Ravnsborg faces Democrat Randy Seiler, a former U.S. attorney, on the state November election ballot.

South Dakota continued as a low-cost state

For what it’s worth, South Dakota ranked as the sixth least-expensive of the 50 states in a 2016 comparison by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Compared to the $1 average, least-expensive was Mississippi at 86.4 cents. Others below 90 cents were Alabama 86.6, Arkansas 86.9, West Virginia 87.6, Kentucky 87.8, South Dakota 88.3, Oklahoma 89.0, Ohio 89.3 and Missouri 89.5

Iowa and Tennessee were next at 90.2

Topping the list at more than $1 was Hawaii at $118.4.

Next came District of Columbia at 115.9, New York 115.6, California 114.4, New Jersey 113.2, Maryland 109.5, Connecticut 108.7, Massachusetts 107.8, New Hampshire 105.9, Washington 105.5, Alaska 105.4, Colorado 103.0, Virginia 102.3, Vermont 101.6 and Delaware 100.2.

Among South Dakota’s other neighbors were Minnesota at 97.5, Wyoming 96.7, Montana 94.1, North Dakota 91.5 and Nebraska 90.5.

The information was released during the state Teacher Compensation Review Board meeting Wednesday.

A legislator’s take on state websites

A state legislator from Minnehaha County would like to see some uniformity among state government’s websites.

Rep. Wayne Steinhauer, R-Hartford, made his interest public recently during a June 11 meeting between the Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee and Liza Clark. She is commissioner for the state Bureau of Finance and Management in the Daugaard administration.

Steinhauer noted, for example, there isn’t any commonality among the appearance of several dozen websites.

Different departments, bureaus and offices contract individually with the state Bureau of Information and Telecommunications, or have used outside vendors in some cases.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has about six months left in his eighth and final year as South Dakota’s chief executive. Winner of the Nov. 6 general election for governor might want to put the topic on the list of topics to consider.

Governor appoints a long list of people

Gov. Dennis Daugaard made some new appointments to state boards and commissions recently. Among them:

David Chicoine of Brookings to the Council of Economic Advisers, succeeding Randy Stuefen of Vermillion.

Molly Fulton of Fort Pierre to the Board of Dentistry, for Tina Van Camp of Pierre.

Caleb Arceneaux of Rapid City to the Board of Tourism, for Stan Anderson of Wall.

David Wheeler of Huron to the Lottery Commission, for Bob Faehn of Watertown.

Kellie Beck of Pierre to the Board of Internal Control, for Laura Schaeffer of Pierre.

Michelle Glodt of Pierre to the Commission on Equal Access to Our Courts, for Cheryl Rogers.

Carl Carlson of Sioux Falls to the Workforce Development Council, for Dave Bonde of Fort Pierre.

Robert Buri of Watertown to the Board of Examiners of Psychologists, for Sara Schilplin of Spearfish.

Donald McCoy of Brandon to the Board of Addiction and Prevention Counselors, for Barbara Ohme of Sioux Falls.

Kay Schallenkamp of Spearfish to the Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship Board, for Terry Sabers of Mitchell.

Jeff Wangen of Rapid City to the Board of Examiners for Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists, for Wayne Zako.

With Seiler chosen, who will Republicans run?

The selection of former US Attorney Randy Seiler of Fort Pierre as the Democratic candidate for state attorney general Friday raised the stakes for Republicans when they convene for their state convention this weekend in Pierre.

According to some Republican insiders, Jason Ravnsborg of Yankton was the frontrunner among delegates. He hasn’t tweeted about his candidacy since June 9, however. He has the least prosecuting experience in the field, serving as a volunteer in neighboring Union County. He has continued to campaign, sending flyers last week.

Ravnsborg (pronounced rouns-berg) previously announced endorsements from Republican National Committeeman Ried Holien, a former legislator from Watertown; current lawmakers Jordan Youngberg of Madison, Nancy Rasmussen of Hurley and Art Rusch of Vermillion; state’s attorneys from Haakon, Kingsbury, Brule, Fall River, Oglala Lakota, Yankton and Union counties; and sheriffs from many counties.

John Fitzgerald of Spearfish is the Lawrence County state’s attorney. His campaign slogan is, “Because experience matters.” He last tweeted Sunday about his candidacy. It showed a mailer listing endorsements from state’s attorneys for 29 counties, including Aaron McGowan of Minnehaha, Mark Vargo of Pennington, Christopher White of Brown, Kevin Krull of Meade and Jim Miskimins of Davison.

During the weekend Fitzgerald posted on Twitter: “Fitz v Seiler ~ Now that’s a Race.” He has recently highlighted photos of his family, his father a retired circuit judge, his grandchildren and his record of consecutive victories in state’s attorney elections starting in 1980.

State Sen. Lance Russell of Hot Springs, a former state’s attorney for Fall River County, is the third candidate. He recently won a primary election for his Senate seat and has to choose this week whether to continue seeking the Republican nomination for attorney general.

If Russell goes forward Saturday, he would have to relinquish his Senate candidacy. However, it’s unclear whether Republican leaders from his three counties of Pennington, Custer and Fall River could re-select him for the Senate seat if he doesn’t win the Republican candidacy for attorney general.

The fourth candidate was Charles McGuigan of Pierre. He is chief deputy to state Attorney General Marty Jackley, who lost June 5 to U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem for the Republican nomination for governor. Jackley can’t seek a third consecutive election for attorney general. McGuigan suspended his campaign for attorney general in March.

Noem hasn’t made publicly known her preference for attorney general. She also will declare her choice this week for lieutenant governor. Her campaign treasurer, Ted Hustead of Wall, is listed as a $500 contributor to Fitzgerald.

In 1986, Republican primary winner and later Gov. George S. Mickelson influenced Republican delegates to select Roger Tellinghuisen, the Lawrence County state’s attorney, rather than Michael Jackley, the Meade County lawyer (and father of Marty) and pre-convention frontrunner.

Pre-primary reports on campaign finances showed as of the mid-May filing deadline:

Fitzgerald raised $25,210 this year including a personal $10,000 loan to his campaign and spent $12,385;

McGuigan began the year with $4,707.55, raised zero this year and spent $1,196.50, including $850 to other candidates’ committees;

Ravnsborg began with $31,965, raised $50,480 this year and spent $19,189;

Russell began with $13,664; raised $10,515 this year and spent $16,066; and

Seiler raised $90,254 this year and spent $29,034. Seiler subsequently reported supplemental contributions of $4,500 through June 4.

Republican delegates officially meet Saturday to choose their candidate.

FIRST UPDATE: As of Monday morning, according to Noem campaign spokeswoman Brittany Comins, “Kristi has not weighed into the attorney general’s race at this point.”

South Dakota gives voters two more years than Ohio does

South Dakota has a different approach than Ohio takes for de-listing registered voters.

In Ohio, a postcard is sent if a voter hasn’t been active in two years and then waits four years to permanently de-list.

In South Dakota, a postcard is sent if a voter hasn’t active in four years and then waits four years to permanently de-list.

The US Supreme Court upheld the Ohio method Monday. The South Dakota law seems to correspond to the four-year cycle of presidential elections that traditionally have drawn more voters than statewide elections have for non-presidential races. South Dakota’s statewide elections occur during even-numbered years that don’t match the presidential elections.

GOED reaches for the Sky

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development that promotes South Dakota as a place for businesses to open or expand has a 31-page spread in the June issue of Sky magazine that Delta publishes for its airline passengers.

GOED staff member Mary Lehecka Nelson talked about it Tuesday to the state Board of Economic Development.

Advertisers included businesses such as Poet, Terex, RPM, Sterling Technology, Adams Thermal Systems, Adams Fabrication and Sourcing, Avera Cancer Institute, Immutrix Therapeutics, Regional Health, South Dakota Trust Association, Grand Prairie Foods, VRC Metal Systems and Kitchen Tune-Up.

Other advertisers were Aberdeen, Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Vermillion and Watertown, as well as South Dakota State University, University of South Dakota, Black Hills State University, Dakota State University, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Northern State University, Lake Area Technical Institute, Dakota Wesleyan University and Custer State Park.