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Baumeister Returns! Finds Tapio’s Ignorance and Anti-Immigrantism Disgusting

Dave Baumeister
Dave Baumeister

Greetings, Blogophiles, I’m back!

I have to apologize for my absence over the past month, but between the holidays, and my other writing job being in question, I had to put my focus elsewhere.

As I write for four newspapers, and two of them sold, I had to work on making sure my place was secure, which, I am happy to say, it is.

Also, I was involved with getting entries ready for the South Dakota Newspaper Association awards, so I was spending a lot of time combing through papers from last year to find pithy things to enter.

I am hoping to get back on a regular schedule for my, no doubt, eagerly anticipated opinion columns to add to the great work Cory already does.

*     *     *

How do you spell “hate”? T-A-P-I-O!

Tuesday, January 14, was a very long day for me. I had the “privilege” to sit through a three-hour Minnehaha County Commission meeting, as well as a four-hour long Sioux Falls City Council meeting.

The meetings were to deal with the issue of refugees and whether localities should allow them to resettle in their states and cities.

This was due to a Trump executive order signed last September saying that states and local governing bodies had to sign off on an agreement before allowing their resettlement.

While this was an issue on Tuesday, it really wasn’t on Wednesday, according to an article in the Washington Post: “U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte of Maryland temporarily halted President Trump’s executive order requiring governors and local officials nationwide to agree in writing to welcome refugees before resettlements take place in their jurisdictions.”

Both the county commissioners and city councilors voted unanimously to sign the letter and welcome refugees, as the county and city have always done.

Now, I could write quite a bit of how proud I was in our elected officials, or how impressed I was with the rationale for their votes, which all of them gave, but I want to concentrate on one other impression…

I have never met South Dakota’s own maestro of hate, Neal Tapio, but I was able to see him in action firsthand at those meetings.

He attended both meetings, and, at both, he sat in the periphery of the rooms, seemingly to be a voyeur, and not to become involved.

Now, I really can’t attest to all of the reasoning for this Watertown native thinking he should have a voice with Minnehaha County and the City of Sioux Falls, but he made his presence known.

First of all, at the county commission meeting in the morning, Tapio sat on the far side of the room by the back exit door to the outside. I am pretty sure he also came in that way, avoiding most of the people in the room, as I sat in the first chair in the front row by the main door, and, as I was one of the first people in the room, I almost assuredly would have seen him come in.

Had he come in that way, he would have had to pass by the myriad of people who supported refugees in Sioux Falls, as the vast majority of folks at that meeting fell into that category.

My guess is that he wanted to avoid that.

At the county meeting, Mr. Tapio was dressed like a farmer in wearing what seemed to be work clothes and a work jacket. I guess he wanted to give the impression he was one with what he viewed typical county residents to be like.

He also had on the obligatory cap that similar to what farmers often wear, only Tapio’s camp read “TRUMP 2020.”

(At the council meeting, City Mouse Tapio had traded his Country Mouse work gear for a suit and tie.)

People filled the Minnehaha County Commission chambers on Tuesday, Jan. 14, to speak about a requirement following a federal executive order to sign a document before allowing refugees to be located into a community. 20 people spoke in favor of refugees and the positive impact on the local labor force. Five people spoke against the resolution. One person who has voiced anti-refugee sentiments in the past, former state senator Neal Tapio, seated in the bottom right of the photo near the exit door waring a "TRUMP 2020 cap," did not speak. Commissioners voted 5-0 to sign the document.
People filled the Minnehaha County Commission chambers on Tuesday, Jan. 14, to speak about a requirement following a federal executive order to sign a document before allowing refugees to be located into a community. 20 people spoke in favor of refugees and the positive impact on the local labor force. Five people spoke against the resolution. One person who has voiced anti-refugee sentiments in the past, former state senator Neal Tapio (right edge of photo), seated near the exit door, wearing a “TRUMP 2020 cap,” did not speak. Commissioners voted 5-0 to sign the document. Photo by Dave Baumeister, DFP, 2020.01.14.

But Tapio had nothing to add to the county meeting, as five other people – not all from Minnehaha County – spoke against the refugee resolution, and as some of them seemed to be reading from Tapio’s “talking-points,” even though they were grossly overshadowed by the 20 county residents from various walks of life who spoke in support of the refugee community.

However, Tapio did speak at the city meeting later in the day. At that meeting he spoke on two separate issues, and I watched him, as he purposely spoke last each time.

It was obvious to me that he was always waiting until no others were going to speak, as several times I watched him give the floor to those who stood up at the last second when it seemed like all others were done.

Former state state senator and current Trump supporter listens with "rapt attention" while the 16th person speaks in support of refugees at the Sioux Falls City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14. Photo by Dave Baumeister, DFP, 2020.01.14.
Former state state senator and current Trump supporter listens with “rapt attention” while the 16th person speaks in support of refugees at the Sioux Falls City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14. Photo by Dave Baumeister, DFP, 2020.01.14.

As I mentioned there were five people who spoke against refugees at the county meeting, but only one spoke coherently at the city meeting.

One woman rambled on about how she witnessed a vehicle driving around a parking lot that ran into a parked car, at which point the driver left the scene of the accident and went into a movie theater. I think she was trying to make the connection that the driver was not an American citizen, but she never really got there. The closest she came was in saying that she “later learned” that the driver had some connection to an immigrant.

Another woman spoke to tell the assembled masses that because of refugees, her children can’t play in their neighborhood park and also, because of refugees, those same children hear all sorts of dirty words on the school bus.

And of course, as we all know, good old God-fearing ‘M’ricans never use dirty language or have car accidents!

So, I suppose Tapio felt the need to speak out and share his “infinite wisdom” with the city council about why we need to keep refugees out of Sioux Falls.

Again, remember, Tapio is from Watertown, and he could hide away there in perfect “safety,” since Watertown and Codington County are not on the list of places in the state where refugees live.

But the second issue Tapio spoke on was really sad.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Sioux Falls council was also looking at adopting an anti-hate resolution, because recently, there have been hate-related incidents in the city.

This time Tapio was absolutely the ONLY person to speak against the proposal, and after listening to him, I would have to put his comments in that “incoherent” category.

Of course, he again spoke last, and what I picked up was that Tapio seemed to think an anti-hate ordinance would lead to sharia law in Sioux Falls.

But what his words told me that he didn’t really know what sharia law is and he doesn’t understand that is why the US Constitution will not allow ANY state religion.

So, after sitting through seven hours of meetings with him, I now am glad that I don’t know Neal Tapio, and I hope I never have to sit in the same room with him again.

6 Comments

  1. mike from iowa 2020-01-20

    Welcome back, Sir. A steam pressure wash should rid you of Tapio residue goo and you’ll be good to go some more.

  2. Mark 2020-01-20

    Good grief.
    It’s kind of like waking up one day
    and looking in the mirror and realizing that you weigh 350 pounds.
    How in the world did this happen?
    Slowly, a bit at a time, and all of a sudden … YIKES !!!
    Kind of like:
    Noem……..The Dope Queen of Delusion
    Thune……..Curly
    Rounds……Larry
    Johnson….Moe
    Neil Tapio
    Jim Bolin
    Fred Deutsch
    Steve Haugaard
    Al Novstrup
    There is at least 300 “pounds” of GOP
    weight that we need to loose.
    We got rid of Dope Queen #2 when Lynne DiSanto left for Montana.
    Good job. Lost a little fat.
    Unfortunately Pierre didn’t stay on the diet and wound up with Helene DuHamel in her place.
    Whoops….back up to 350 !
    SOUTH DAKOTA!!!!!
    It’s time to diet. Loose the fat.
    Start with Hemp seed on your Corn
    Flakes.

  3. Jeff Barth 2020-01-20

    Dave Baumeister is a great journalist and an asset to the people of Minnehaha County, this Blog and the State. Because of his work our county chose to exceed the number of official newspapers we are required to publish our minutes in. It costs a little money but that extra coverage has many benefits.

    Local businesses (our rural newspapers) are supported and citizens around the county are better informed.

  4. Porter Lansing 2020-01-20

    Watertown and Codington County, as Dave points out, are not on the list of places in the state where refugees live. As a Watertown ex-pat I strongly assert this is why Watertown will never rise above a second level city. Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, Huron, and Rapid are exceptional because they understand diversity’s benefits. Watertown’s worst (Deutsch and Tapio) reflect what’s become a “rancid cocoon of white insulation, isolation, and indignation”.

  5. Debbo 2020-01-20

    Welcome back Dave. Glad your writing gigs are all working out.

    And Tapio? 🤢🤢🤢🤮 There are some sick puppies out there, and some who make us sick. Tapio is both.

  6. leslie 2020-01-21

    Funy Mark!

Comments are closed.