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Dakota Political Junkies

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Kealey Bultena SDPB
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South Dakota's campaign season made its unofficial start this week with the first general election debates for U.S. Senate, U.S. House and governor at the DakotaFest ag show in Mitchell.Republican Congresswoman Kristi Noem faced Democratic challenger Corinna Robinson on Tuesday. Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard took on Democrat Susan Wismer and independent Mike Myers today and all four candidates vying for the state's open U.S. Senate made their cases for why voters should them to Washington, DC.

Dakota Political Junkies Jon Hunter, publisher of the Madison Daily Leader and Watertown Public Opinion managing editor Roger Whittle joined Dakota Midday and discussed the debates. Other topics included U.S. Senate candidate Larry Pressler's new TV ad featuring a news clip from Walter Cronkite, veteran political strategist Steve Jarding joining Democrat Rick Weiland's U.S. Senate campaign, and state Democratic leaders call for lawmakers to question Governor Daugaard, former Governor Mike Rounds and other officials about the EB-5 visa program.

Karl was born to northeastern South Dakota crouton farmers, but was orphaned as a toddler during the Great Salad War (1966-67). Rescued by a flock of chickadees, he grew up in the woodlands of Sica Hollow. Legends of a bird boy living in the trees attracted the interest of renowned ornithologist and amateur bandoneon repairman Dr. Vogel Gehrke. With a handful of suet, Dr. Gehrke coaxed the timid boy down from the trees. He adopted him, named him Karl and taught him not to molt on the carpet. Dr. Gehrke’s book, The Bird Boy of Sica Hollow, was a best seller and Karl became a minor celebrity and teen idol. He appeared as a guest star on numerous television programs, most notably an awkward role on The Love Boat as the boyfriend of Captain Stubing’s daughter, Vicki. After critics panned his 1980 album, Bird Boy Does Disco, Karl retreated from public life and returned to Sica Hollow. Living in an isolated tree house, Karl achieved a reputation as a mystic. Pilgrims and seekers from around the world came to ask him about the meaning of life and for vinaigrette recipes. Growing tired of answering questions, he climbed down from his tree, shaved his massive white beard and took a job as the host of SDPB Radio’s Dakota Midday where he could ask the questions instead. After three years in that position, he ran out of questions and became host of Jazz Nightly instead. Karl makes his home in Vermillion with his charming wife Kari and three delightful children, Kodey, Kasey and Spatula. His hobbies include reciting the alphabet, combing his hair and doing volunteer work with delinquent songbirds.
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