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Mayor-Elect TenHaken Allows Republicans to Celebrate “Red Wave”

May Day, May Day—Sioux Falls has affirmed its craving for patriarchal Republican corporatist theocracy:

Marty Jackley at Paul TenHaken's victory party, @martyjackley, 2018.05.01.
Marty Jackley at Paul TenHaken’s victory party, @martyjackley, 2018.05.01.

The South Dakota Republican Party, which threw in heavily for TenHaken, saw this nonpartisan mayoral race as an opportunity to crush the “Blue Wave” hopes of the South Dakota Democratic Party, which threw in heavily for Jolene Loetscher, who lost to TenHaken 37% to 63%:

SDGOP, Facebook post, 2018.05.01 morning.
SDGOP, Facebook post, 2018.05.01, morning.

In her concession speech, Loetscher reminded voters that the Republican chosen one outraised her 4 to 1. Loetscher’s defeat reminds Democrats that we can’t keep getting outraised 4 to 1. If we want a blue wave, we need a green wave.


  1. tom 2018-05-02

    I’ve been heartened by the success progressive Dems have been having in races throughout the country even when they have been significantly outraised. It’s about the basics – not being a corporate shill, calling people and knocking on doors – a lot…. – no idea what the dynamics were in Sioux Falls — but, do think the blue wave doesn’t necessarily need a green wave to accompany it — especially if the green comes from corporate sources.

  2. Donald Pay 2018-05-02

    I don’t view this as a “victory,” unless it’s for corruption and lawlessness. They haven’t changed the law, have they? Municipal elections in South Dakota are non-partisan. The fact that Republicans would purposely go rooting in the sewer of partisanship on a non-partisan ballot indicates how far they have fallen into corruption and power-grabbing at any cost. This was an excellent time to point to that fact. Jackley standing with violators of South Dakota election law seems to me to automatically disqualify him from holding his Attorney General position. You certainly don’t want that upholder of corruption, that violator of the culture and custom of South Dakota elections to hold another elective office.

    Non-partisan elections are meant to protect municipal, judge and school district elections from entering the sewer of partisanship. We expect city services, schools and judges to be fair and impartial dispersers of good government. Laws are meant to assure that. Republicans, apparently, prefer to violate those laws in furtherance of their thirst for power and corrupt behavior.

    When I ran for school board I ditched all my partisan activity and left partisan politics to the side of the road. I thought it was the right thing to do, and the law, by the way. I think people will wonder if TenHaken could have won without the corrupt machine behind him. He’s got a lot to prove, and the first test of his character will be whether he can distance himself from the corrupt folks who supported him. He starts out looking like just another corrupt pol.

  3. Dicta 2018-05-02

    Wait, wait: Ten Haken winning the election is a sign of corruption?


    An election being non-partisan doesn’t mean a person has to be quiet about their leanings or affiliations. It also doesn’t mean a party can’t throw their support behind that person. A nonpartisan election simply means the person’s party isn’t shown on the ballot next to their name unless I am missing something. How is this corrupt?

  4. o 2018-05-02

    Having partisan, tribal-identity politics now also decide “non-partisan” races is troubling. Once this mayoral race became red versus blue and part of a wave or wave-denial narrative, it stopped being about ideas, policies, and vision. Given South Dakota’s GOP leaning, the path to office – ALL office – now seems to be paved in red brick (and ONLY red brick).

  5. Dicta 2018-05-02

    Tribal identity has always played a role in elections, even non-partisan ones. Gagging a political candidate on their party affiliation or political ideology not only raises first amendment questions, it denies voters information they should have in order to make a determination on who to vote for. I get that it sucks because politics is so unbelievably polarized at the moment, but I am not sure people here are thinking through this problem.

  6. Donald Pay 2018-05-02


    You are wrong regarding partisan leanings and affiliations. Of course there are social affiliations that aren’t affected by the non-partisanship. Read the history of how non-partisan elections came to be. You seem to be defending corrupt machine politics without quite understanding why. Maybe if you looked closer into it, you would agree with me.

  7. Dicta 2018-05-02

    So hiding information by placing gag orders on political participants is how you battle corruption? Yeah, no offense, but your cure sounds worse than the illness.

  8. o 2018-05-02

    Dicta, first, I agree that there are First Amendment rights for candidates to speak to their candidacy as they see fit. I do not see how labeling by party affiliation is in any way more informative than really discussion issues and philosophy at hand; I say identification politics undermines that real discussion. Party identification gives LESS information about a candidate – not more.

    Even given your stance, how can one justify the enclosed SDGOP Facebook post which is 100% identity/partisan intrusion into this non-partisan race? “Together we can show the Democrats our ‘RED WAVE'” demeans both candidates and this election. Do you see that post as appropriate?

  9. Dicta 2018-05-02

    I guess that depends on how you define appropriate. Does it irritate the hell out of me that the current incarnation of the GOP is pulling so heavily from Trump and shoving tribalism down the throats of people that democrats are bad and scaring the hell out of boomers that mooslims are coming for them and their babies? God, yes. It’s terrible. Is it corrupt in the legal sense, which is how I see it being used here (“corruption and lawlessness”)? No.

  10. Steve Pearson 2018-05-02

    My God you people are crazy. Why the #$%$ would you run for Mayor on a platform of identity politics of diversity and gay pride???? All of you lefties, yes lefties, wanted her for that but that is NOT what a mayor is or does.

  11. Dicta 2018-05-02

    “identity politics”
    “you lefties”

    I can’t tell if you are making an attempt at irony or if you are just an utter imbecile.

  12. jerry 2018-05-02

    Good News for Mr. Hickey! He can now be free of the worries of Marty coming for him with the kindred spirit of Tough Actin Tenactin elected. Red Wave was not celebrated by Marty though, look where his widdle hands are on stretch. Show me that picture again of Marty with his pants all hiked up like Ed Grimley.

  13. o 2018-05-02

    Steve, I would like to split your argument into two pieces to answer.

    First, I object to this element in Loetscher’s race, “Loetscher fully embraced the Democratic Party, campaigning at the state party’s annual McGovern Day fundraiser . . .” (from your linked article). As much has I think it was inappropriate for TenHaken to run as a Republican, I find it equally inappropriate for Loetscher to run as a Democrat.

    Second, ” . . .and running on a platform of identity politics of racial diversity and gay rights that is unusual for South Dakota.” (also from your linked article) is another matter. Those are issues that are not party-identification dependent (although that statement should trigger a side discussion about parties and their embrace of those respective issues). Winning and losing because of the issues you stand for is not the point of this post. Don’t confuse two separate points here.

  14. Donald Pay 2018-05-02

    That Facebook post by the South Dakota Republican Party is a political contribution, and it represents an illegal partisan effort to impede the voters of Sioux Falls from selecting a non-partisan mayor. Do you think Jackley will investigate? Hell no he won’t! Why would he? A corrupt cog in the political machine won’t investigate the political machine.

  15. Dicta 2018-05-02

    He won’t investigate because it’s not illegal. You are arguing what you think the law SHOULD BE, not what the law IS. Jackley is supposed to enforce existing laws, not make them. Playing fast and loose with the facts doesn’t make you right, even if you do so with a lot of passion.

  16. Donald Pay 2018-05-02

    Dicta, And who the hell are you, Judge Judy?

    Either you have non-partisan elections or you don’t. It says “South Dakota Republican Party” on their Facebook post. Who paid for that? Putin?

    You don’t get to turn non-partisan elections into partisan elections, while labeling it non-partisan. Is that the Republican way? Bait and switch? Fool the people? I would think Republicans would behave as if the law, including the spirit of the law, mattered.

    It fails the smell test, which is why we have non-partisan elections. We don’t want the stench of political rot in those elective offices that are supposed to deliver basic services to “we the people.”

    What is TenHaken going to do? Lick the Republican Party’s rectum and take orders, or is he going to serve the people? It’s kind of hard to know right now. Machine politicians usually serve the machine first. It’s a test of his character. He failed the first test of character by allowing that to happen. He’s got a lot to prove.

  17. Dicta 2018-05-02

    I’m not Judge Judy, I just try to keep my feelings about an outcome and the legality of an outcome distinct from one another. You keep claiming “illegality” but haven’t pointed to a single statute that was violated and express SHOCK and DISMAY that it isn’t being “investigated.” Your arguments are so scattershot they are hard to take seriously. And then, in your clear frustration, you toss out non-sequiturs about the newly elected mayor performing analingus on a party and still try to claim the moral high ground. You make no sense, dude.

  18. Donald Pay 2018-05-02

    When a candidate is placed on the ballot in a municipal election, he or she is not identified as to political party. However, when a supposedly “non-partisan” candidate wraps himself around a political party, and/or a political party wraps itself around a candidate in the course of a campaign for a non-partisan office, the ballot label is corrupted. A fraud has occurred against the people, who count on the election being non-partisan. Being non-partisan means more than a label on a ballot. It reflects how you run your campaign and how you intend to govern. If you run a non-partisan campaign as a partisan you are de-fraud the people of their right to vote for a non-partisan for a non-partisan office.

    This is really simple. If you run your campaign for a non-partisan office in a partisan way, you are violating the law.

  19. mike from iowa 2018-05-02

    So the Soo Falls mayor only mayors for straight, white, so called kristian people? Have I got this right, SP?

  20. jerry 2018-05-02

    Apple loves the “Red Wave” too. “When President Donald Trump’s massive tax plan was announced last year, experts immediately feared the worst about how companies would spend the additional cash they’d soon have for deployment.

    They figured corporations would choose to enrich shareholders through buybacks and dividends, rather than reinvest in their business or create jobs.

    Their fears were valid. In 2004, the last time a tax holiday occurred, companies used a whopping 80% of their proceeds on share repurchases. This time around, Bank of America Merrill Lynch expects that figure to be just 50% — but the jury is still out.

    Apple didn’t help matters much on Tuesday when it said it would buy back an additional $100 billion of its stock, an eye-popping number that marks the biggest increase for a company already known for making massive repurchases.

    Sure, the announcement boosted Apple’s stock, which was 3% higher in early trading on Wednesday. But it also fueled concerns that companies are spending their windfall with shareholders in mind rather than employees.”

    Just like in 2004, The Red Wave continues to drench taxpayers with debt while providing nothing for the farmers, ranchers and workers as a whole. Not even mental health to deal with the suicides. The Red Wave is so new wave Lenin/Putin like, all in for the oligarchs.

  21. mike from iowa 2018-05-02

    What about all them Steve King rabid morons bused in from iowa to vote for the Big Red machine?

  22. Ryan 2018-05-02

    Steve P. has a pretty solid point there. I don’t know what platform jolene really ran on because I saw nothing from her except yard signs, but if Steve accurately portrays her campaign, she deserves the steamroller she got.

  23. Steve Pearson 2018-05-02

    No Mike. That’s not what I’m saying….but in true Libtard form you like the others go down the “you must hate” path of those who are conservative.

    For those of you on Twitter please follow @Education4libs ALL OF YOU DESPERATELY NEED IT.

  24. Craig 2018-05-02

    Donald: “That Facebook post by the South Dakota Republican Party is a political contribution, and it represents an illegal partisan effort to impede the voters of Sioux Falls from selecting a non-partisan mayor.”

    Can you please cite the law you feel was violated? It seems to me you are grossly misunderstanding what a non-partisan election is. In this context, non-partisan merely means that candidates are not identified by party affiliation on the ballot. It also means that voters, regardless of party affiliation, may vote for any candidate of their choice in both the primary (if applicable) or the general/run-off.

    Although I find the messaging from the SDGOP to be tasteless (which isn’t unusual), it most certainly is not illegal. It was well known that Paul was a Republican and had support from the GOP and fellow Republicans just as Jolene was a Democrat and had support from the Democratic Party and fellow Democrats. So be it – that isn’t corrupt nor illegal as far as I can tell.

  25. Steve Pearson 2018-05-02

    Apparently those of us that were not for Jolene should’ve voted for her because of the following:

    She supports Gay, Trans etc
    She says she’s for diversity
    She started a “Bio-Tech” company in which that was shown to be a HUGE tall tale
    She said she was threatened and hacked. None of which were true.
    Real policy and issues that a MAYOR handles were not necessary to state.

    Okay, good to know.

  26. Porter Lansing 2018-05-02

    Hey, Steve-O … Thanks for the great Twitter site. Great education, there. Got any more? The more them damn liberals learn the better off we’ll be, huh?
    What’s a libtard, though? Is that a “retarded” liberal?

  27. Porter Lansing 2018-05-02

    Hi, Steve-o … Me again. She supported Gay and Trans people? Fill me in. What exactly are Trans people? She told lies?
    Okey Dokey … good to know.

  28. mike from iowa 2018-05-02

    Why the #$%$ would you run for Mayor on a platform of identity politics of diversity and gay pride???? All of you lefties, yes lefties, wanted her for that but that is NOT what a mayor is or does.

    That is exactly what you are saying, SP. No diversity means whites only. No Gay pride means straights only. You don’t want Muslims so its kristians only. This is the wingnut party platform in a nutshell.

  29. mike from iowa 2018-05-02

    Fortunately I am not on Twitter and you are not conservative, you are a right wing nut job who fully believes the earth is flat.

  30. Roger Cornelius 2018-05-02

    Libtard – “A commonly overused and abused term used by Trumptards to describe someone who actually knows history, science, economics, world affairs, grammar, and spelling. In other words, Libtards know actual facts”.

  31. Donald Pay 2018-05-02

    When you run for a non-partisan office, one of the major responsibilities is to campaign and govern in a non-partisan manner. I’m sorry if folks don’t understand the difference between a spring ballot and a fall ballot. I realize we haven’t had good civics curriculum in schools for a few generations, and that may explain why corruption in this and so many other areas in South Dakota is growing out of control. The political parties and candidates who run with political party assistance need to get themselves under control, or you may find people there simply doing away with political parties altogether.

    TenHaken can go a long way to correcting the problem if he has the character to do it. I know, for myself, I wouldn’t accept an office that was won in a corrupt way. What a powerful message he could send. He could always run again, and he would probably win after showing how much character he has.

  32. Jason 2018-05-02

    LOL at the notion that Dems don’t raise as munch money as Rupubs. How much did dems and their pacs spend vs repubs and their pac in the last Presidential election?

    As for SD, the majority of the people are Republican so it doesn’t take a brain scientist to understand that Repubs would raise more money.

    By all means, keep blaming the money and keep practicing your identity politics.

    You guys have a kanye problem now. I hear Maxine Waters said he should keep his mouth shut.

    Mike lies again when he said the Republican party is not diverse.

  33. Jason 2018-05-02


    Only Democrats were saying Tenhaken would run the mayor’s office as partisan with no proof.

  34. mike from iowa 2018-05-02

    Jason lies some more when he pretends 2 token black women make wingnuts a diverse party. Diamond and silk performed wingnutly in front of Congress by perjuring themselves, just like everyone else in Drumpf’s administration and just as Jason does when he flaps his goalpost moving gums around here.

  35. Porter Lansing 2018-05-02

    Thanks, Roger.
    I’ve been doing a little deep research on the Steve Pearson. Doesn’t seem to be a real person with a real social media/internet/USA presence. There’s a Facebook page with the standard white supremacist, Pro-Trump, redneck memes. The dead give away the foreign trolls forget is there’re never any comments on their posts.
    Hopefully I can do some questioning of the Steve Pearson. He could always be the SP from Watertown or the SP from ORD, NE. As President Trump says, “We’ll see.” “Doesn’t matter.” Everyone is welcome on the Cory-Train.

  36. Donald Pay 2018-05-02

    Here’s something else. It involves that photo of Jackley with his arm embracing TenHaken. I have to wonder about what Jackley isn’t doing to protect the state while he’s out raising money and showing up at parties for supposedly non-partisan Republican Mayor-elects. There’s a corrupt “settlement agreement” for the Gilt Edge Superfund site between the state, the EPA and a Canadian mining company that Jackley, supposedly, had one of his deputies sign for him. Now we learn that the EPA honcho in charge of the Superfund program resigned after his corruption in other areas was exposed. It would be nice if Jackley dug into that agreement and put a stop to it.

  37. Craig 2018-05-02

    Donald: “When you run for a non-partisan office, one of the major responsibilities is to campaign and govern in a non-partisan manner.”

    You said previously the GOP facebook post was an “illegal partisan effort ” but you don’t seem to be willing to cite which law(s) you feel are broken. Now you’re speaking about “major responsibilities” but is it safe to say those responsibilities originate in your mind rather than in some official rulebook or code of conduct?

    I really think you’re reaching here. Political parties often get involved in so-called “non-partisan” elections and have for as long as I can remember. And candidates surely haven’t hidden their political affiliations. Mike Huether was openly a Democrat (right up until he realized he had no chance at obtaining higher office in South Dakota while remaining a registered Democrat). Prior to him Gary Munson and Gary Hanson were Republican and were embraced by the Republican party.

    I like the idea of a truly non-partisan election because it would emphasize issues and policies rather than party philosophy which isn’t relevant at the city level. However I know of no possible way to legally restrict people or groups from stating their views or publicly supporting candidates. That is their right just as it is the right of candidates to be registered with a political party and to be open and honest about such an affiliation.

  38. Dicta 2018-05-02

    I guess I will have to console myself with the fact that when pressed by multiple people on the topic of how what Ten Haken and the GOP did here was illegal, Donald ignored the question and refused to point out which statute was violated and equate that to his admission that he overstated his claim.

    By all means, prove us wrong if you get the chance.

  39. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-05-02

    O rightly points out that both sides made the election about political partisan identity. I will contend that TenHaken is far more a Dem insider, that his candidacy was more partisanly motivated than Loetscher’s, and that the Dem partisanship was partially a response to the GOP offensive; however, both parties participated in making it easier for voters to ignore policy and vote on political identity. None of that is illegal or corrupt, but, following O’s and Craig’s thinking, it’s darned disappointing. Local politics is supposed to be where we stop thinking of party labels and instead concentrate on practical problem-solving. Hanging party labels on local candidates extends the realm of politics where voters think less and grunt tribal cheers more.

  40. Rorschach 2018-05-02

    We need a green wave … and a candidate who doesn’t self-destruct in the last 2 weeks of a campaign.

  41. Donald Pay 2018-05-02

    Craig, Yes, Munson and Hanson were Republicans, and I’m sure they had lots of support from certain Republican circles. More importantly, however, and maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t recall that they campaigned as Republicans or would have accepted such obvious Republican efforts on their behalf. I think they knew the line between fall and spring elections. I knew both from their time as legislators, and they seemed to me to be less concerned with party labels and more concerned with policy than other folks in Pierre.

    I think there have always been norms, the culture and customs of South Dakota, that has kept partisanship from intruding on non-partisan elections, more than the slammer. When candidates and party leaders lack character, or fail to understand civics or history, they erode institutions, and the culture and customs that make civic life possible seem quaint.

    You say, “I like the idea of a truly non-partisan election because it would emphasize issues and policies rather than party philosophy which isn’t relevant at the city level.” Great, that and the evils of machine politics, corruption, and spoils are the reasons non-partisan elections were instituted in the first place. Then you wring your hands about how to have such elections, as if it is difficult to raise your voice, like I have hear, and called out the evildoers. Shame is a great motivator, and TenHaken and the South Dakota Republican Party have a lot to be ashamed of. Remember, it is the norms of governing in South Dakota that have been so eroded (including the initiative and referendum) that where there used to be bout of corruption and scandal every 10 years, you now have them every 2-3 years. Is that the kind of government you want? You better speak up, and stop wringing your hands.

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