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Video: Ten White Men Vie for Aberdeen City Council

Ten white men are running for four available seats on the Aberdeen City Council. In what I would like to take as a sign of the need for Aberdeen to welcome newcomers, at least seven of the candidates were born elsewhere and moved to Aberdeen later. Aberdeen, like America, is a choice that should be open to everyone.

All ten candidates spoke yesterday at the candidate forum hosted by the League of Women Voters and the Chamber of Commerce. I got video of all portions of the forum except for some of the responses on housing and crime (on the shopping list: more batteries or a camera with direct AC input!).

First, opening speeches from northwest district candidates DCI agent Dave Lunzman, Twin City Fan plant manager Josh Jones, and Aberdeen film festival organizer and pigeon control specialist Tom Black:

Opening statements from southeast district candidates for a three-year term field service technician Tim Prater and incumbent Dennis “Mike” Olson:

Openers from northeast district candidates banker Luke Bunke, motorcycle customizer James Washnok, and entertainer and incumbent councilman Mark Remily:

And the last prepared remarks from southeast district five-year term candidates HVAC tech Kaleb Weis and state inspector and incumbent Clint Rux:

All ten candidates address the question of whether the city should invest in a big events center:

A question about the city’s role in promoting affordable housing brought the following responses. My video got all but Lunzman and the first half of Olson’s response:

A question submitted by the audience asked the candidates to explain why population had only gone up 10% but crime had doubled and lay out what they will do to stop all that crime. My video got Lunzman, Jones, Black, Prater, and Olson; watch for Tom Black to come to the dais at 4:15 and explain, armed with stats, that the question is flawed:

Finally, closers from all ten candidates:

I’ll prepare commentary on the candidates’ responses separately. I’ve also contacted all candidates except for Mike Olson to arrange one-on-one interviews for the Dakota Free Press podcast. But for now, view, share, and discuss!


  1. grudznick 2017-05-07

    I read Mr. H’s blogging as telling us that we all need to stand up and criticize the non-white, non-male population of Aberdeen for not stepping up and doing their civic duty. I, for one, say it is time for an albino Eskimo Trans-gendered person, a dwarf one in fact, to be on the Aberdeen civic board and by golly it is incumbent upon the Democrat Party of Brown County to get this done.

  2. grudznick 2017-05-07

    A very Argus Leader-like headling to a blogging indeed. I like it!

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-05-07

    Grudz, you aren’t reading what I’m telling you to say. You’re saying what you want to say. I merely observe that every candidate for city council comes from a demographic minority. We have some age range, at least.

    Some intern or computer in Shreveport generates the headlines for that corporate paper. My headlines are local, direct, and, in this case, exactly factual.

  4. grudznick 2017-05-07

    You are correct there, Mr. H. Aberdeen is a very large, white, male dominated town, from what I am told. By that, I do mean large as an adjective to the individual white males, not that Aberdeen has any larger predilection to wanting to be governed by such individuals. I just mean some of them are big fellows. White, large, and male, is what I meant. Beef eaters.

    Here’s another Argus Leader headline for you: All Aberdeen Town Board Candidates Are English Speakers

  5. grudznick 2017-05-07

    The real takeaway here is not that Aberdeen needs more newcomers, it is that some of the existing citizens in the majority group who are not fat white males need to step up and run for office. Step up, people, or be governed by those fellows who have the gumption to run. Fat, white, and driven by natural testosterone.

  6. Don Coyote 2017-05-07

    Cory does seem to like his “yellow journalism” headlines.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-05-08

    Aberdeen readers, don’t mind Grudz and Coyote. They’re more interested in cheap distractions and goat-getting, not the actual choices we voters face.

    And the fact is, out of a large and increasing diverse pool of residents, strangely, no women and people of color chose to vote.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-05-08

    Coyote: “yellow journalism”:

    Led by newspaper owners William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, journalism of the 1890s used melodrama, romance, and hyperbole to sell millions of newspapers–a style that became known as yellow journalism [PBS, “Yellow Journalism,” 1999].

    My headline does not constitute yellow journalism. I say nothing melodramatic, romantic, or hyperbolic. Your comment, however, does exaggerate and misstate for sensational effect. Yellow commenting?

  9. DR 2017-05-08

    Any predictions from CAH on the races?

  10. Joe Nelson 2017-05-08

    Well, one definition of yellow journalism is “a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers.” I think in this case, it is not yellow journalism, even if it does use a eye-catching headline. Click-bait might be more appropriate.

    As far as “My headlines are local, direct, and, in this case, exactly factual.”, this is also true (if we assume gender). But just because something is factual doesn’t mean it is free from connotations. Heck, we could always put “, known atheist and failed legislative candidate.” behind every mention of your name. Certainly factual. Loaded with connotation, but not necessary in any but a few cases.

    Maybe you could go into detail as to what you were implying with your headline, or why you thought it was necessary to include the descriptor “white”. One might think, from you last sentence in the first paragraph “Aberdeen, like America, is a choice that should be open to everyone.” that the implication is that city council seats are NOT open to everyone. But they are. So, sensationalism? Or are you going to claim ignorance/innocence when it comes to the power of words?

    Final note: didn’t you, a white male, attempt a run at city council?

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-05-08

    Joe—funny how a post where I offer no biased commentary and simply present the candidates’ statements in full, as they happened, becomes a discussion of yellow journalism.

    Where’s your journalism from, Joe? I’ll offer more definitions that support my contention that “yellow journalism” includes an accusation of inaccuracy if not outright falsehood and my understandably negative reaction to Coyote’s gratuitous swipe.

    U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian: “Yellow journalism was a style of newspaper reporting that emphasized sensationalism over facts.” How is my headline sensationalist?

    Joseph Patrick McKerns, 1976: “The yellow journalism of the 1890’s and tabloid journalism of the 1920’s and the 1930’s stigmatized the press as a profit motivated purveyor of cheap thrills and vicarious experiences.” Cheap thrills? Vicarious experience? Where?

    Thomas Arthur Gullason Yellow journalism depends on “the familiar aspects of sensationalism—crime news, scandal and gossip, divorces and sex, and stress upon the reporting of disasters and sports”; “the lavish use of pictures, many of them without significance, inviting the abuses of picture-stealing and ‘faked’ pictures;” and “impostures and frauds of various kinds, such as ‘faked’ interviews and stories.” Hmm… not at all relevant to this headline or post.

    The rest of Alexandra Samuel’s Nov 2016 column (from which I get the two preceding quotes) refers to yellow journalism and fake news as cousins, if not twins. I offer nothing fake. I offer a headline that points out the lack of participation of women and minorities in this year’s municipal election, a lack made evident by watching the videos and seeing that, indeed, the candidates are all white men.

    Calling this blog post “yellow journalism” is another step toward making useful terms meaningless.

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-05-08

    Ah! When I ran, the election was one white man versus one white woman. The white man dropped out when he and his wife decided to buy a house in a different district.

    And Joe, on that sentence about Aberdeen and America being choices open to everyone, I actually drift toward another point left unsaid (which Tom Black’s comments on the crime video and in an upcoming podcast will open for further discussion): some residents are concerned about new people moving to town, yet the majority of city council candidates were, at one point, new people moving to town.

  13. grudznick 2017-05-08

    Argus Leader Headline-ism is perhaps more accurate, if it is not yellow journalism, or in this case yellow blogism.

    Mr. H, respected Athiest and failed candidate for the legislatures, did not use ALH-ism in his blogging today when he refrained from saying “4 white people for school board make their pitches” but instead just called them candidates.

  14. grudznick 2017-05-08

    And the fact is, out of a large and increasing diverse pool of residents, strangely, no women and people of color chose to vote.

    I, for one, blame the women and people of color for this situation and not the white, civic-minded young men who stepped up to run. And I blame Mr. Sibby for teaching me the neato quoting thing and my granddaughter’s boyfriend for fixing it for me.

  15. Roger Cornelius 2017-05-08

    grudz’s when is that you learn neato things from Sibson, he hasn’t had a new blog post since April 17?

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-05-09

    And now grudz repeats himself, as shall I: my headlines are better than that Sioux Falls paper’s.

  17. DR 2017-05-09

    Not hearing anything yet…If you base it off the sign war…

    Prater and Weis have it in the bag but not sure I 100% support their beliefs. I believe they were recruited by Drew Dennert to run
    Black has good and bad name recog but I feel would be good for the city of Aberdeen.
    I am on the Washnok train b/c Remily isn’t good for anything including entertaining and Washnok is married to a political behind the scenes machine…I like his chances.

    School Board is a toss up: Renee Wise has excellent ideas and would bring a fresh face to the board that has never been in the political arena before. Her ideas on the gifted program and expanding the learning disabilities is the step the district needs to go…

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