If you’re looking for honest, data-based blogging, turn to John Tsitrian and his quick debunking of Rapid City mayoral candidate Steve Allender’s claim in Sunday’s televised debate that Rapid City’s economic growth has been flat since incumbent candidate Sam Kooiker became mayor in 2011:
To test Allender’s diagnosis of anemia for the Rapid City economy I went to the South Dakota Department of Revenue’s website. On its taxable sales tables I and found year-to-year comparisons for Rapid City’s gross taxable receipts for the period 2011-2014 and found that they went up by an average of 6.3% per year, with a high annual gain of 9.8% and low one of 4.4%. Considering that the U.S inflation rate during the same period has averaged 1.7%, I’d say there has been significant real growth in the Rapid City economy, at least as far as overall sales are concerned. There certainly are other indicators that come to play in this type of analysis, but I believe that year-to-year changes in taxable sales provide a reasonably reliable thumbnail as a measure of economic performance [John Tsitrian, “Watched Allender V. Kooiker Last Night on KEVN. Definitely a Contrast of Styles, with Kooiker Winning,” The Constant Commoner, 2015.05.04].
Tsitrian declares Kooiker the winner of Sunday’s debate, but he can still see Kooiker losing the election on hubris:
If Kooiker has a fatal flaw, one that could cost him this election, it’s that he incites division and controversy, a quality he actually defended last night by claiming that strenuous debate is a means of getting good ideas put forward and that he encourages a confrontational style in both public and private meetings. That’s nutty, and there’s no doubt in my mind that if he loses the election this time he’ll have left behind a legacy of hard feelings and missed consensus-building opportunities [Tsitrian, 2015.05.04].
Inciting division and controversy… ah! That’s why we bloggers never win elections.
Black Hills Fox has posted the full fifty-minute debate online. Watch, critique (preferably with Tsitrian’s keen eye for facts and evidence), and, Rapid City neighbors, vote on June 2!