For a savvy politico, Senator Al Novstrup (R-3/Aberdeen) is remarkably forgetful. The Senate Republican whip can’t remember for sure if he registered as a Democrat… and also can’t remember that Native American Day is an actual holiday:
Sen. Al Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, went to the county courthouse Monday to re-assess his voting record but wasn’t able to get answers as it was closed for Native American Day.
Save the hassle this morning, Al—here’s your re-registration card from May 15, 1984:
South Dakota had Democratic primary races in 1984 for President (Mondale! Hart! Jackson! LaRouche!), U.S. Senate (Sinclair vs. Cunningham), House District 2 (Brown County: Herseth, Schaunaman, and Wyly). But we also had Republican primaries for U.S. House (Bell vs. Mangels). It’s perfectly conceivable that young Novstrup may have wanted to cast more votes and thus claimed Democratic status for that more exciting primary. I could certainly understand the impulse to get in on history and cast his vote for Jesse Jackson.
Maybe official, legal party affiliation doesn’t mean anything. Maybe that’s all the more reason to have open primaries, so Al and other interested voters don’t have to establish a paper trail of fickle party status just to vote for the folks who interest them.
But I’m not sure I’d say so what? to the American Indian constituents whose holiday Al Novstrup appears to have forgotten.
Funny how using a question mark, coincidence, and an anonymous “friend” make crazy talk acceptable. Gordon Howie reads Luke 21: 25–26—
25 There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken [Luke 21:25–26, NIV via Bible Gateway].
It would be hard to make an argument that this scripture doesn’t describe our word today. A friend pointed out an interesting bit of information. On the 21st of September, we saw the eclipse. On the 25th, the Hurricane hit the Texas coast. On the 26th, flooding began in Houston.
Luke 21: 25-26, coincidence? You be the judge, but it certainly should make us think [Gordon Howie, “Jesus… Coming Soon???” The Right Side, 2017.09.10].
This kind of shameless flim-flammery makes Christians, conservatives, and bloggers look bad. Along with typing the wrong month, Howie posts nutty words, then hides from ownership of them with weasel words—”you be the judge… should make us think”—and the well-known bloggers’ question marks in the title, saying, I want to make people think Jesus is coming, but when he doesn’t, don’t blame me, because I only asked a question. Other people must have jumped to conclusions.
I won’t hide behind coy phrasing or question marks. I’ll say it clearly:
The August eclipse, this year’s hurricanes, last week’s earthquake in Mexico, and the sunny weather here in Aberdeen today are all natural phenomena, entirely explanable by science and not foretold by any word or playtime recoding of words in the Bible. The dates on which they occurred on the modern Gregorian calendar have nothing to do with the Roman calendar in use when Luke and friends wrote his gospel or with the chapter and verse numbers added centuries later by various human scribes not inspired by God. Several fellows named Jesús may be coming to America looking for work this week, but no carpenter-turned-teacher from Nazareth who was executed twenty centuries ago by the Roman governor of Judea in Jerusalem will return to clean up after Hurricane Irma, pass a federal budget, or declare a better kingdom any time “soon.”
I’m no expert on Christianity, but I know Christianity is about speaking the truth, not playing number games. Quit making the faith look nutty, Gordon.
By my count from the state’s historical listing of statehood legislators, Barthel is the 89th person appointed to a Legislative vacancy since statehood and the 14th appointed by Governor Dennis Daugaard. Barring other changes, Barthel will be one of nine Daugaard appointees sitting in the 2018 Legislative Session. A tenth beneficiary of luck and gubernatorial largesse, Rep. Kristin Conzet, was originally appointed by Governor M. Michael Rounds in 2009.
David L. Anderson
May 13, 2013
December 1, 2009
R. Blake Curd
June 5, 2013
May 6, 2015
December 17, 2013
November 17, 2011
August 15, 2013
November 18, 2016
November 17, 2011
April 30, 2015
January 13, 2014
November 19, 2015
January 31, 2017
June 16, 2014
September 2, 2017
Daugaard now has the second most legislative appointments under his belt, behind only Bill Janklow, who named 20 legislators. Of course, Janklow had four terms over sixteen years to fill Legislative vacancies, and Daugaard is only in his second term/seventh year as Governor.
The C-SPAN Cities Tour has spotlighted the literary life and history of over 120 American Cities. Next week, the bi-monthly broadcast project finally comes to South Dakota. According to a press release from C-SPAN and Midco (remember, C-SPAN was created by and gets its funding from the cable industry), C-SPAN staff will be in Pierre next week, September 2–7, to shoot material for Book TV and American History TV.
The Pierre City Commission will welcome the C-SPAN crew at its regular meeting on Tuesday, September 5, at 5:30 p.m. Central at City Hall. C-SPAN will spend the week recording features on the following local leading lights and sights:
Interview with Mayor Steve Harding
Interview with Governor Dennis Daugaard
South Dakota State Capitol Tour
South Dakota Historical Society
Trail of Governors
South Dakota Historical Society Press Publishing History
South Dakota Historical Society Press Pioneer Girl Project
Jim McLaird, “Hugh Glass: Grizzly Survivor”
Cathie Draine, editor of “Cowboy Life”
C-SPAN will broadcast its Pierre material October 7–8. The Cities Tour webpage says C-SPAN will feature Sioux Falls November 4–5.
Rambow tells KSFY his concerns about the present resurgence of white supremacist rhetoric:
“It was an organization of hate.” Charles Rambow is concerned about the rise of white nationalism he is seeing and is worried history is now repeating itself in the worst possible way.
He is two generations removed from active Ku Klux Klan members in his own family and says decades later their legacy is still tough for him to reconcile. “Yes my grandmother and grandfather were good people but they should have never been involved in the Ku Klux Klan.”
Charles Rambow tells me he doesn’t believe the Ku Klux Klan has any active chapters in South Dakota right now.
The school opened in 1881 as a teacher’s college. A century later, the university was struggling to stand out among other state colleges, enrollment was dropping, and the Legislature had attempted to close the college.
Then-Gov. Bill Janklow recognized DSU’s struggles and worked with the Board of Regents to change the mission of DSU. In 1984, DSU’s new mission was specializing in computer-related programs [Megan Raposa, “Sanford, Beacom Donate $30 Million to Dakota State University,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2017.08.20].
DSC certainly wasn’t the biggest campus, but in the 1980–1981 school year, three years before the Legislature approved Governor Bill Janklow’s conversion of the liberal-arts campus into a prep school for the new Citibank cube farm, DSC posted the biggest enrollment gain by percentage in the state.
Now, can any of you readers track down the Regental enrollment data for the subsequent school years?
Update 19:43 CDT: Charlie Johnson’s historical point withstands broader scrutiny. The Board of Regents Higher Education Enrollment Information for Fall 1990 (a copy of which rests here in the Beulah Williams Library of Northern State University) includes this bar chart of public FTE enrollments in fall semesters from 1973 to 1990:
DSC’s enrollment is the second block from the bottom in each bar. DSC’s fall enrollment looked pretty peaked in the 1970s, then bulked up in the early 1980s until Janklow’s computer mission change drove enrollment back down from 1984 through 1987.
Dr. Ernest Teagarden, General Beadle/DSC/DSU professor emeritus of business, provides numbers in his 2006 essay in DSU’s quasquicentennial promotional publication:
Enrollment increased during the [DSC President Dr. Carl] Opgaard years from 895 students in 1979 to 1,246 students in 1983. Both figures are, of course, headcounts and probably have to be adjusted if full-time equivalencies are desired. The enrollment increase indicated that parents and their teenage offspring had decided that DSC was not to be closed.
Despite its enrollment increases the collegiate position of DSC was not permanently settled. In the late winter of 1983 Governor William Janklow appeared on the academic scene in Madison. He addressed a selected group of Lake County citizens and proposed the conversion of DSC to a “computer school” (or words to this effect)….
…It was unfortunate that the “new mission” could not have been developed more openly and over a longer period of time. A look at fall student headcount (the number of students taking at least one credit during the semester) in 1983 and the following three years is in order: 1983—1,246 headcount; 1984—999 headcount; 1985—867 headcount; 1986—940 headcount [Dr. Ernest Teagarden, Chapter 4, “Mission Change and Recent History,” Keeping the Edge…, DSU/Leader Printing: Madison, SD, 2006, pp. 35 & 38].
There were questions about the ongoing viability of Dakota State College as a liberal arts/teacher-preparation college well before the 1980s. But to say that decreasing enrollment was a pressing problem at the time of the Janklow computer mission change in 1984 is historically inaccurate.
The McKellips family of Alcester has always exemplified the best of South Dakota. I love the old story of when the family’s bank closed in the Great Depression and they lost everything, and so did a lot of their friends and customers who had money in that bank.
But Roger’s dad never gave up. He worked day and night, and started selling insurance because there was more money in insurance than banking. We’ve told the story in South Dakota Magazine.
Finally the McKellips family paid back everyone who had lost money in their bank. Roger was a teenager then but he must have been paying attention because that’s exactly what he was like when I got to know him at the state legislature a half-century later.
Humility. Selflessness. Determination with patience. And a great devotion to community.
Roger served in World War II and then returned to run the family bank, and devoted his life to Wilma and their beautiful family, to community and public service.
I felt very blessed to get to know Roger and Wilma in 1993 when I first went to the state senate. Of course, Roger had been there for years and I was a rookie.
The years 1993 and 1994 were fascinating in the State Capitol because, after a long spell of total Republican rule, the Democrats had pulled an upset in the 1992 election and took control of the State Senate, 19 to 16.
Roger McKellips’ Democratic caucus was quite a mix. It looked a lot like South Dakota.
Some of us were ideological young freshmen who wanted to change the state and change it now.
Then there were those veteran lawmakers who had been around for a long time and who thought they’d been pretty abused by the Republican leadership. They wanted revenge, a pound of political flesh.
We had six women among the 19 Democrats – strong women: Pam Nelson, Linda Stensland, Roberta Rasmussen, Rebecca Dunn, JoAnn Morford and
They felt it was long overdue to start talking about children and health care and schools and things that didn’t always get enough attention in those days.
There were several Native American senators and they had some issues that they felt had been ignored for too long.
Add to the mix a few liberal Republicans, Larry Gabriel’s Republican House majority, and the old cowboy Walter Dale Miller who was Lieutenant Governor, and you had quite a cast of characters.
Walter Dale had been around forever as a legislator and lieutenant governor so he knew all the rules and he’d written many of them.
Of course, he felt it was his job to help the Republican lawmakers and Governor George Mickelson.
So there was Roger, caught in the middle of all that at age 70 as Senate Majority Leader. I’m sure he must have wondered many times why he wasn’t home with Wilma, or fishing with the grandkids.
It started out very wild. An organization that was supposed to be non-partisan held a reception and had a drawing for door prizes provided by Republican elected officials.
We were all there. Roger’s face got red as they kept awarding the prizes and he started to fidget around – and then he finally jumped to his feet and sought out the leader of the group, a man who might have been a foot taller and a 100 pounds heavier, and he gave him a tongue lashing about the meaning of non-partisanship and how they had just insulted the entire citizen legislature.
And we freshmen learned right then — that’s why Roger was our leader. He was looking out for us!
On another occasion, early in session a young legislator tried to pass a bill for a scholarship program and the old-hand Republicans were really blistering him for being frivolous.
Roger finally got to his feet and gave an impassioned speech about how much we’d spent that year already on new buildings and bridges and such, and he said, “brick and mortar is nice but it’s not as important as the boys and girls of South Dakota.”
He showed us how to have fun. He kept an all-purpose amendment in his desk drawer on the senate floor that proposed to close the law school in Vermillion and re-direct the $5 million in savings to (fill in the blank). When the loyal opposition would object to the cost of a program he liked, he’d sometimes rise to his feet and tell Walter Dale, “I have an amendment ….”
I don’t know what he had against the law school. He must have had a skirmish with some lawyer at some point. But he always had that Johnny Carson grin when he did it.
Looking back, I know the Republicans loved Roger almost as much as we did even though there were times when he’d fight — red-faced and passionate — with Harold Halverson and Jim Dunn and Lyndell Peterson, some of the old lions of the legislature — and you’d think they would never speak to each other again.
But once the vote was taken and the matter settled, they might go and exchange a few words and share a grin and go on to the next bill, which they might even agree on. Who could stay mad at Roger McKellips for long?
And if they did agree on a bill, Roger might say, “I commend Senator Halverson, my good friend from the great city of Milbank, for bringing this important matter to our attention ….”
And then the next bill they might be back at it – passionate and miles apart. He taught us all to not take politics personally; take it one issue at a time, one vote at a time and live to fight another day.
We had some long days and nights in those two years because Roger and his caucus had the votes to bring things to a halt if we didn’t like the direction. I think the Republicans thought they could wear old Roger down. But he enjoyed every minute of it.
Roger and Walter Dale both knew the rules of the senate by memory. But for the first time in his legislative career, Roger had the votes to actually challenge the Walter Dale’s rulings over procedural matters — for example, the outcome of voice votes.
So like an old football coach, Roger would choreograph the agenda and he’d tell us to be ready to challenge the chair. Be sure you’re paying attention and be ready to vote loud and clear, he’d say.
Walter Dale would rule against him and Roger would challenge the chair and we’d holler out a big AYE to support our leader. Roger loved it every time he challenged and won, which was sometimes several times a day.
We’d caucus long into the evenings and he never lost his spirit. We covered the clock on the last day — yes, we used to do that — and when we took the coat off the clock and finally adjourned a lot of good things had happened because Roger McKellips kept his rag-tag band of Democrats together and found common ground with George Mickelson the Republican leaders.
Education, water development, landmark environmental legislation, economic development for small businesses — even a beginning farmer program was passed, Roger loved family farming in South Dakota.
Sadly Governor Mickelson died weeks later in the plane crash and Roger retired from the legislature the next year. As far as I’m concerned, Pierre has never had a golden age like that since. But many of us who were there will always remember the lessons of life learned under Roger’s leadership.
Have fun. Don’t be so serious. Love your family and friends, even when you might disagree. Love your community. Love South Dakota and this great country.
Did anybody ever practice those principles any better than Roger McKellips? I ask you?
How about if we put it to a voice vote? One last voice vote for Roger.
All in favor of the motion that Roger McKellips remains a shining example for South Dakota say AYE!
I’d bet even Walter Dale Miller and Harold Halverson are up there shouting AYE [link added; Bernie Hunhoff, edited text submitted to Dakota Free Press, 2017.08.26].
The main arguments against removing the statues– here the term “argument” is stretched to the point of being nearly unrecognizable–have been “what about this person’s sin or transgression or moral failing or slave ownership or . . . ”
When debate class starts in a few days, my young’uns will be taught that “what about” is a red herring. (I will stay away from the hot button issue of the day, but there are examples aplenty.) They will also be taught three responses. First, the “what about . . .” response doesn’t answer the question under consideration. Second, the fact that two people committed the same act doesn’t mean that both should be celebrated. Freshmen might simplify that to “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Third, “what about . . . ” doesn’t refute anything. In the current controversy, pointing out that Thomas Jefferson owned slaves doesn’t assert that slavery is moral or that rebellion against the United States was justified. It’s saying that both Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jefferson committed the same moral crime, slavery. The assertion, however, doesn’t show that Jefferson led soldiers into Pennsylvania to wage war on the United States of America [Leo Kallis, “What About That One Time In 1972 When That One Guy Did Something I Didn’t Like,” The Displaced Plainsman, 2017.08.18].
Confederates were traitors to the United States Constitution shooting U.S. Army soldiers to defend slavery. Nothing you can say about Thomas Jefferson changes the historical and moral facts about the treasonous, racist Confederacy and the logical conclusion: Confederates do not deserve public statues.
Amidst his rambling, resignation-worthy reversion to racist absurdity yesterday, Donald Trump ran interference for the neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and other white-supremacists rallying futilely around Confederate monuments. In his Monday press skirmish, Trump claimed that removing statutes of Robert E. Lee would slip us down the slope to knocking down half of Mount Rushmore and contended that decisions about statues of Robert E. Lee should be left “local town, community or the federal government depending on where it is located.”
But Lee himself never wanted such monuments built.
“I think it wiser,” the retired military leader wrote about a proposed Gettysburg memorial in 1869, “…not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered.”
…”As regards the erection of such a monument as is contemplated,” Lee wrote of an 1866 proposal, “my conviction is, that however grateful it would be to the feelings of the South, the attempt in the present condition of the Country, would have the effect of retarding, instead of accelerating its accomplishment; [and] of continuing, if not adding to, the difficulties under which the Southern people labour” [Lisa DesJardins, “Robert E. Lee Opposed Confederate Monuments,” PBS NewsHour, 2017.08.15].
Even the general in whose name Trumpist white supremacists cloak their racist agenda as preservation of history felt that preserving that history in public stone was counterproductive.
More than two thousand South Dakotans were killed or wounded fighting the Nazis and their allies in World War II. I’m a life member (by virtue of my 13 month tour of duty as a Marine in Vietnam) of the F.J. Willuweit VFW post in Quinn, at the eastern end of Pennington County. Willuweit was killed fighting Nazis in Europe. I had an employee, long since dead, who fought with Patton in Europe. He once told me that when he landed at Normandy the bodies floating in the water were so thick that you could practically walk on top of them to get to the beach. My own dad, who fought the Nazis in the Balkans while serving in the Greek army, was shot and captured in Macedonia in 1942, then subsequently trucked to a POW camp near Dachau, the infamous concentration camp. He spent the rest of the war as a forced laborer, including a stint as a hod-carrier for German bricklayers constructing the ovens in which thousands of murdered Jews were incinerated [John Tsitrian, “Nazis and Their Demented Paramours the KKK Should Be Condemned by South Dakota’s Elected Officials,” The Constant Commoner, 2017.08.15].