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Noem Releasing 16% of Federal Coronavirus Cash to Local Governments; TenHaken Balking

The Snow Queen graces her provincial subjects with gold from Good King Donald:

Governor Kristi Noem is unveiling the Local Government Covid Recovery Fund.

Cities and counties across the state will split $200 million. That’s about 15 percent of South Dakota’s $1.25 billion total from the CARES Act.

Census data will determine how much each community receives.

Noem says reimbursements will follow treasury department guidance [Lee Strubinger, “Local Governments to Dip into Federal CARES Act Dollars,” SDPB, 2020.06.22].

Governor Noem is still trying to keep the lioness’s share of the federal coronavirus money in her hands to paper over her own poor budgeting and pay her kids’ salaries. Yet incredibly, Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken, who was among numerous local officials calling on Noem two months ago to make those CARES dollars available, and whom Queen Noem summoned to stand hunkily at her side as she announced her largesse, is now joining Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead in saying they don’t want a tub of money to help their people:

Both Mayor Paul TenHaken and Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead say it is likely the city and county won’t receive the allocated amounts. That’s because they have carefully tracked coronavirus related expenses and don’t want–or expect–a windfall of money from the state [Todd Epp, “Sioux Falls Eligible for up to $41.5 Million in State Coronavirus Funds,” KELO Radio, 2020.06.22].

Are you kidding me, Mayor Paul? George Mickelson said if it’s only gonna rain once, get out your bucket. I’m willing to bet you and other local officials will use that CARES money more practically and less corruptly than Noem will, and the law was designed to help governments take serious action to help their citizens, not become Fox-Barbie’s slush fund. Take the money! Take all you can get! Get the money out of Pierre and put it to good use for your residents!


  1. Donald Pay 2020-06-23 10:53

    This is why everyone needs to think seriously about the sort of person you elect as a leader. TenHaken is all over every side of this issue, isn’t he? I mean if you want a mealy mouthed cipher, he’s your man.

    My daughter showed up a few days ago for COVID testing in Beijing. They have a lower rate of infection than Sioux Falls, but there was an outbreak in one marketplace and the authorities want to prevent follow-on infections. The first screening is done in a large batch of combined samples of about 1000. If there is no finding of COVID in that batch sample, then that’s it. Everyone is negative. If they find COVID in the batch, the individual tests are run. If she’s positive, she gets an all-expenses paid stay in a quarantine facility and medical care as need.

    We know this pandemic ain’t going away anytime soon. Why is TenHaken acting as if he is some mayor in a village in a third world country, not like one elected in a city with a great medical community that could do great public health if given the finances to do it. He could be building public health capacity in the biggest city in South Dakota and saving lives.

  2. Loren 2020-06-23 12:50

    If Thune can be bought off with a photo op and Kristi with an appearance on Faux, what would make anyone think Paul couldn’t be bought… CHEAP?

  3. mike from iowa 2020-06-23 14:12

    New milestone reached for body count….


    Nearly 20X moar bodies than showed u-p for drumpf in Tulsa.

  4. Robin Friday 2020-06-23 15:04

    Wow, Donald Pay, that’s interesting about what China is doing now. Thanks.

  5. jerry 2020-06-23 15:23

    trumps America is now officially a s#:+hole country with respect to the European Union. Let that moment of pride set in while the old country is forbidding us to infect them.

    “European Union countries are prepared to block Americans from entering as they reopen their economies due to the United States’ failure to contain the spread of the virus, according to draft lists of travelers deemed acceptable for entry to the EU obtained by The New York Times.

    If the plan is implemented, Americans along with Russian and Brazilian travelers, would be prohibited from visiting countries in the EU — a clear rebuke of President Trump’s handling of the virus in the United States, which has had more than 2.3 million cases and has exceeded all countries with a staggering death toll of more than 120,000.”

    Wow, we get to join the ranks of Brazil and Russia as loser country’s.

  6. Debbo 2020-06-23 15:29

    *The Roger Cornelius Memorial Cartoon by Marty Two Bulls:

    (*Be sure to read the excellent song in the comments too.)

  7. mike from iowa 2020-06-23 16:13

    Song lifted from the Monkees. I was thinking it was one of the last videos made by the lads. (Micky Dolenz actually)

    Nice pick me up. Thanks, Debbo.

  8. grudznick 2020-06-23 17:28

    You know what they should do with the money instead of giving it over to the fatcat administrators is hand it out to all the people. Just hand it out. Only to South Dakotans, of course. Real ones, not pretend ones with PO boxes or vacation homes. Wait, how do we measure this? I know, either show your SD driver license or we change it to give money back based on who pays property tax in South Dakota. Even out-of-staters. If you pay property tax we will slash it down to nothing. Free property tax for a couple of years.

  9. Eve Fisher 2020-06-23 17:30

    I had hopes for TenHaken for about the first 2 weeks of this pandemic – and then he folded like a cheap tent into a wad of… nothing. No explaining to the Gov that a city needs different treatment than her ranch; no pushback; no direction or demand or enforcement of any prevention measures at all. The result is we’re at above 2% of the population of Sioux Falls officially diagnosed with COVID-19, and at that point, as the CDC pointed out in one place, if you have a gathering of 25 people, at least one of them has either had it or been exposed to it. But everything’s open, folks, come on down.

    Then again, TenHaken is thinking he can probably replace Senator Thune in his role as empty suit some day, so don’t rock the boat.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-06-23 21:58

    Hey, Grudz is onto something. $1.25 billion, divided by about 890,000 South Dakotans… that’s about $1,400 per person. Noem says she trusts us more than she trusts herself and her government to do what’s right. So why keep that cash in government hands? Why not disburse the whole kit and kaboodle right now to all of us trustworthy commoners, to invest in the things we think best for our community?

  11. Debbo 2020-06-23 23:57

    What Don said is a perfect fit, “TenHaken is all over every side of this issue.”

    Loren describes SD’s useless and cheap GOP perfectly.

  12. grudznick 2020-06-24 17:59

    Mr. H, I bet you that would stimulate the economy, too. And probably the government would get back their sales taxes on those amounts. And the dollar bills would swirl around and around in our economy, passing from person to person and enriching everybody’s life.

    But instead of everybody getting $1,400, what if they dispersed it in proportion of property taxes paid?

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