South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley launches 2010 campaign website


South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley launches 2010 campaign website:

Newly minted SD AG Marty Jackley has launched an interactive 2010 campaign web presence, the new website contains information about Marty, the campaign, latest news articles, media tools and the ability to connect with the campaign via social networking sites like Facebook.

The Jackley campaign looks to be in a strong position heading in to 2010 with no major opposition announced from either party.  If the environment continues to improve for Republicans  and Jackley continues to strongly position his 2010 campaign he may be able to scare off many potential challengers.


Washington High Student Faces Expulsion For Having Gun In Car = Stupid


The Vaquero is not happy about this.  Feel good law gone bad, no harm here, move along people.

Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens sounds really bad here though.  How exactly would another student have “found it” and “had other plans” with it when the shotgun was UNLOADED and LOCKED IN THE TRUNK OF A CAR.


KELOLAND.COM – WHS Student Faces Expulsion For Having Gun In Car.

11/20/2009 11:51 AM

WHS Student Faces Expulsion For Having Gun In Car

A Sioux Falls student has been arrested and suspended from school for having a firearm on school property.

Sioux Falls Police were called to Washington High School over the noon-hour after the school’s resource officer discovered a 16-gauge shotgun in the trunk of a student’s car. The 17-year-old student said he had gone pheasant-hunting on opening weekend and forgot he had the gun in his car.

“It’s unfortunate that he forgot he had it with him, but you have to remember the law is there for a reason. It’s there to protect people and he might not of had any intent on using it, but if somebody else found it, they might have some other plans for the weapon” Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens said.

The shotgun was not loaded, and there was no ammunition in the car. The student was arrested for having a firearm on school property, which calls for a mandatory 12-month expulsion from school.

Bill Smith with the School Falls School District tells KELOLAND News that there is a provision in the law that allows the superintendent to either extend or shorten that 12-month sentence depending on the circumstances.

Jon Wilson
© 2009 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.

John Thune is Mr. November 2009


My favorite public servant and former employer Senator John Thune (R-SD) seems to be everywhere in the media this week with profile pieces in the New York Times and on CNN.

The common theme through both pieces seems to be that “Thune is what a Republican should be”

I could not agree more.

Best Line from Senator Thune: “How ya like my Buffalo?”


November 13, 2009
Op-Ed Columnist

Meet John Thune

Some days the Republican Party seems to be going crazy. Its public image is often shaped by people who appear to have gone into government because they saw it as a steppingstone to talk radio.

But deep in the bowels of the G.O.P., there are serious people having quiet conversations. The people holding these conversations created and admired Bob McDonnell’s perfectly executed Virginia gubernatorial campaign. And now as they look to the future of their party, and who might lead it in 2012, the name John Thune keeps popping up.

As you may or may not know, Thune is the junior senator from South Dakota, the man who beat Tom Daschle in an epic campaign five years ago. The first thing everybody knows about him is that he is tall (6 feet 4 inches), tanned (in a prairie, sun-chapped sort of way) and handsome (John McCain jokes that if he had Thune’s face he’d be president right now). If you wanted a Republican with the same general body type and athletic grace as Barack Obama, you’d pick Thune.

The second thing people say about him is that he is unfailingly genial, modest and nice. He grew up in Murdo, S.D., population 612. His father was a Naval aviator in World War II and a genuine war hero. He was called back home after the war to work in the family hardware store and went on to become an educator, as did his wife.

John was a high school basketball star and possesses idyllic small-town manners, like the perfect boy in a Thornton Wilder play. He appears to be untouched by cynicism. In speeches and interviews, he is straightforward, intelligent and earnest. He sometimes seems to have emerged straight into the 21st century from a more wholesome time.

After high school, he attended Biola University, a small Christian college outside of Los Angeles. He then got an M.B.A. from the University of South Dakota and has spent his adult life ascending — as a Congressional staffer, South Dakota Republican Party chairman, the state railroad director, a member of the U.S. House, and now the Senate.

His positions on the issues are unremarkable. He is down-the-line conservative on social, economic and foreign policy matters. What’s notable is the way he talks about the issues and jumps off from them.

He is a gracious and ecumenical legislator, not a combative one. When you ask him to mention authors he likes, he mentions C.S. Lewis and Jeff Shaara, not political polemicists. The first person who told me I had to write a column about Thune was a liberal Democratic senator who really likes the guy.

Thune also possesses the favored Republican profile du jour: conservative at the roots but pragmatic at the surface. Like McDonnell, nobody can question Thune’s conservative bona fides. As a result, he doesn’t have to talk about them. Instead, he prefers to talk about what he calls the “economic cluster” of issues: job creation, balanced budgets and small-business-led growth.

He doesn’t have radical plans to cut the federal leviathan. He just wants to restrain the growth of government to bring deficits down. He doesn’t have ambitions to restructure the tax code. He just wants to lift burdens on small business.

He says his prairie background has given him a preference for small companies and local government. When he criticizes the Democrats, it is for mixing big government with big business: the bailouts of Wall Street, the subsidies to the big auto and energy corporations. His populism is not angry. He doesn’t rail against the malefactors of wealth. But it’s there, a celebration of the small and local over the big and urban.

Republican pros are attracted to Thune because he could rally the hard-core conservatives without scaring away the suburbanites. His weakness is that he’s never really worked outside of government, and he’s almost never shown a maverick side.

At the moment, Republicans are riding an emotional wave. Karl Rove had a piece in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal that captures the mood: Obama is being defined as a liberal. Independents are fleeing. The political tide is shifting.

That overstates things. Obama remains the most talented political figure of the age. After health care passes, he will pivot and pick some fights with his own party over spending. He’ll solidify his standing with independents, and if the economy recovers, he could go into his re-election with as much momentum as Ronald Reagan enjoyed in 1984.

Republicans are still going to have to do root-and-branch renovation if they hope to provide compelling answers to issues like middle-class economic anxiety. But in the meantime, people like Thune offer Republicans a way to connect fiscal discipline with traditional small-town values, a way to tap into rising populism in a manner that is optimistic, uplifting and nice.

Are Carole Pratt and Matt Mansell to blame for Virginia Democratic Delegate Losses?


From On High a blog that I used to watch very closely when I lived in SWVA has an interesting take on the 6th district race and it’s implications.  It has been interesting to watch the debate about Matt Mansell and his last minute decision to pump 90 grand into his mothers failed campaign for Delegate (where she got CRUSHED by 30%) cost the caucus even more seats.

Re-posting below but be sure to visit: From On High


Is Carole Pratt responsible for House Democratic losses?

Word on the street is that many members and soon to be former members of the House Democratic Caucus are mad at recently defeated 6th District challenger Carole Pratt and her son, Matt Mansell, who happens to be the campaign director of the House Democratic Caucus.  Apparently they are upset that Matt pumped $90k into his mother’s race, a race in which she got crushed by 30% when there were four Democratic incumbents who lost by 317 votes or less. Obviously they feel that if the money had been spent on the incumbents, the losses may have not been as bad.

Below are the numbers for those losing incumbents.

The question to ask: Who is more responsible for the massive Democratic losses: Creigh Deeds or Carole Pratt?

House 21
R- Ron Villanueva- 7,670 – 49.94%
D- Bobby Mathieson- 7654- 49.84%

House 23
R- Scott Garrett- 10,810- 50.47%
D- Shannon Valentine- 10,600- 49.49%

House 34
R- Barbara Comstock- 11,437- 50.64%
D- Margie Vanderhye- 11,120- 49.24%

House 51
R- Richard Anderson- 7,864- 50.56%
D- Paul Nichols- 7664- 49.27%

Barack Obama and the inappropriate shout out EPIC FAIL.


I keep watching this video clip over and over in total disbelief.  Seriously… What was he thinking?

“This situation called for not only his trademark eloquence, but also grace and perspective.

But instead of a somber chief executive offering reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion, viewers saw a wildly disconnected and inappropriately light president making introductory remarks. At the event, a Tribal Nations Conference hosted by the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian affairs, the president thanked various staffers and offered a “shout-out” to “Dr. Joe Medicine Crow”

My deepest sympathies go out to the soldiers and families affected by this tragedy, I feel a deep connection to central Texas and Ft. Hood as I made my home near there for over a year.

These events turn my stomach, the victims, the community and all Americans look to our President for leadership in times of crisis and we all deserved a much more somber reaction from our commander-in-chief.


*update* maybe Obama did learn his lesson from yesterday, he led his press conference today with news about the shootings and then moved on to the news about unemployment topping 10%