Voters To Decide Rapid's Civic Center Expansion Tuesday

Mar 9, 2015

On Tuesday voters in Rapid City go to the polls to make a $180-million dollar decision.
A municipal election is set to decide the proposed expansion of the Rapid City Civic Center arena.  If approved the renovations would amount to the largest single expenditure of city funds ever undertaken.    
Proponents say it’s an investment in the future that will pay itself back in increased sales tax revenue and visitor spending.  But opponents say the price tag is too high and the city needs to consider alternatives.

You can hear the story by clicking play below.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Watertown Public Opinion managing editor Roger Whittle and Rapid City Journal reporter Seth Tupper joined the Dakota Political Junkies this week. They discussed proposals before state lawmakers, including bills exempting youth from the minimum wage hike, allowing cities to impose additional sales tax, and establishing water management districts in the northeastern part of South Dakota. Other topics included the selection of Pam Roberts as the new Republican state party chair and next week's election on expanding the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City.

Dakota Political Junkies

Feb 25, 2015
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Madison Daily Leader publisher Jon Hunter and KELO-TV Rapid City reporter Kevin Woster joined the Dakota Political Junkies this week. They discussed President Obama's veto of a bill approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, the debate over transportation funding in the state legislature, the defeat of several concealed weapons bills, and Rapid City's upcoming vote on expansion of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

Dakota Politcal Junkies

Nov 26, 2014
Rick Weiland

Could former U.S. Senate candidate Rick Weiland be the next chairman of the state Democratic party? That's one of the questions discussed by Rapid City Journal reporter Seth Tupper on the Dakota Political Junkies. Other topics included the future Republican U.S. Senator John Thune and the latest in the unfolding EB-5 saga.

Nate Wek / SDPB

Along with victories by Dennis Daugaard, Kristi Noem and Mike Rounds in a Republican sweep of statewide races Tuesday, the GOP will also maintain their dominance in the state legislature with supermajorities in both houses. State Senate Majority Leader Tim Rave and State House Minority Leader Bernie Hunhoff joined Dakota Midday with their perspectives on yesterday's election results and what they mean for their respective parties.

Dakota Midday: Post Election Analyisis

Nov 5, 2014
Nate Wek SDPB

Around 54 percent of South Dakota's eligible voters went to the polls yesterday for the midterm elections. In the most closely watched race, former Republican Governor Mike Rounds won his bid to become South Dakota’s next U.S. Senator. He replaces retiring Democrat Tim Johnson. Rounds’ win last night helped Republicans take control of the U.S. Senate.

Republican Kristi Noem won a third term as the state’s lone representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. Governor Dennis Daugaard was re-elected as part of a Republican sweep of all statewide offices.

Nate Wek / SDPB

United States Senate

(Rep) Mike Rounds 50.5%

(Dem) Rick Weiland 29.4%

(Ind) Larry Pressler 17.1%

(Ind) Gordon Howie 3%

United States House of Representatives

(Rep) Kristi Noem 66.7%

(Dem) Corinna Robinson 33.3%

South Dakota Governor

(Rep) Dennis Daugaard 70.5%

(Dem) Susan Wismer 25.4%

(Ind) Michael Myers 4.1%

Constitutional Amendment Q

Yes 56.6%

No 43.4%

Initiated Measure 17

Yes 61.8%


Republican Kristi Noem says if she’s re-elected to Congress, she’ll focus on policies that would help grow South Dakota’s economy. She wants to overhaul the tax code to help job creators and repeal what she calls “job killing regulations.” Noem was first elected to serve as South Dakota’s lone member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. She serves on the House Agriculture Committee and House Armed Services Committee. Noem faces a challenge from Democrat Corinna Robinson.

Rick Weiland

Since announcing his campaign for U.S. Senate last year, Democrat Rick Weiland has visited every town in South Dakota. He says government is not the problem, but a government controlled by what he calls “big money and special interests.” Weiland is a Sioux Falls businessman who worked for Senator Tom Daschle. He also served as regional director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and was state director for the AARP.

During a Dakota Midday interview, Weiland explained why he thinks big money has taken over government and how he plans to fix the problem.

Rounds for Senate

On Wednesday members of the Government Audit Operations Operations met in Pierre to discuss the EB-5 program. Lawmakers reviewed written responses from former Republican Governor Mike Rounds and current Governor Dennis Daugaard to questions asked by the committee. Rounds is running for U.S. Senate and Daugaard is seeking re-election. Democrats have been making EB-5 an issue in the fall campaign and trying to link it to Rounds.

Rounds for Senate

Kevin Woster, KELO-TV Rapid City bureau reporter, and Jon Hunter, publisher of the Madison Daily Leader joined the Dakota Political Junkies this week. They discussed former EB-5 director Joop Bollen’s agreement to answer lawmaker’s questions in writing; Mike Rounds decision to skip a U.S. Senate debate sponsored by the Native Sun Times and United Tribes Technical College; and Larry Pressler’s “surging” independent U.S. Senate campaign.

Labor Day is often considered the unofficial start to the general election season. But in South Dakota the season got underway two weeks ago with debates at Dakotafest in Mitchell followed by State Fair debates in Huron. Today on Dakota Midday, Political Junkies Jonathan Ellis and Denise Ross discussed what's next in the campaigns for U.S. Senate, U.S. House and governor. Ellis is a reporter and columnist for the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader and Ross is web editor for the Mitchell Daily Republic.

Kealey Bultena SDPB

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

Aug 13, 2014

Mitchell Daily Republic web editor Denise Ross and Sioux Falls Argus-Leader political reporter David Montgomery joined this week's conversation about the latest news in South Dakota politics. They discussed this past weekend's Libertarian convention and the nomination of Chad Haber as the party's candidate for attorney general. Other topics included the upcoming U.S. Senate, U.S. Representative and gubernatorial debates at DakotaFest in Mitchell which mark the kick-off the fall campaign season.

Dakota Political Junkies

Jul 16, 2014
Lawrence Jackson/whitehouse.gov

Jon Hunter, publisher of the Madison Daily Leader; and David Montgomery, political reporter for the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, joined the Dakota Political Junkies this week. They discussed Democratic U.S. House candidate Corinna Robinson's struggles to raise funds in her attempt to unseat Republican Kristi Noem. Other topics included state Libertarian's upcoming convention and Chad Haber's plans to seek the party's nominee for attorney general. Haber is the husband of former Republican U.S.

Dakota Political Junkies

Jul 2, 2014

The state of the South Dakota Democratic party was among the issues discussed by the Dakota Political Junkies. Democrats held their state convention this past weekend in Yankton and failed to find candidates for three offices: attorney general, state auditor or public lands commissioner.

This means Republican candidates Marty Jackley, Stave Barnett and Ryan Brunner win by default. Longtime South Dakota journalist and reporter for KELO-TV, Kevin Woster, and Watertown Public Opinion managing editor Roger Whittle joined the discussion this week.

Susan Wismer

South Dakota Democratic gubernatorial candidate Susan Wismer has announced Susy Blake as her lieutenant governor running mate, making this the first all-female ticket for governor in South Dakota history.

This decision, plus the recent state Republican convention and upcoming state Democratic convention, were topics covered with this week's Dakota Political Junkies. The discussion included Sioux Falls Argus-Leader political reporter David Montgomery and Mitchell Daily Republic publisher Seth Tupper.

Tribal Members Comment On Presidential Visit

Jun 13, 2014
Courtesy Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Following up on a promise made last Fall to tribal leaders from across the country, President Barack Obama is on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota today. And though a presidential visit is a big event in any part of the country, feelings on this Native American land that stretches across 2 states is being met with mixed feelings.

Dakota Political Junkies Discuss Polls and Primaries

Jun 11, 2014
Rounds For Senate

Former U.S. Senate Candidate Annette Bosworth released another Youtube video Tuesday in which she defended herself against 12 felony charges. Meanwhile, she's being followed by a documentary film crew. Also, a new Rasmussen Senate poll released over the weekend showed former Governor Mike Rounds leading Domcrat Rick Weiland 44% to 29%, while former Senator Larry Pressler is at 18% as an independent.

Dakota Political Junkies

May 7, 2014

Joining the program this week are Jonathan Ellis, reporter and columnist with the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, and Seth Tupper, publisher of the Mitchell Daily Republic. Topics included the flood of candidates seeking the U.S. Senate seat currently held by retiring Democrat Tim Johnson, the South Dakota Attorney General's probe into the nominating petitions of U.S. Senate candidates Annette Bosworth and Clayton Walker and state legislator Steve Hickey's controversial post in which he called on medical doctors to condemn gay sex.

Dakota Political Junkies

Apr 30, 2014

Joining the program today are veteran South Dakota journalist Kevin Woster, KELO-TV Rapid City reporter, and Denise Ross, web editor of the Mitchell Daily Republic. Topics this week included the race for governor; U.S. Representative Kristi Noem's China selfie; Rapid City same-sex couple's plans to sue South Dakota for marriage equality; and John Thune's announcement that he's not running for President.

Democratic Candidate Corinna Robinson

Apr 28, 2014

In her campaign, Democratic candidate Corinna Robinson says the country is facing unprecedented challenges while politicians seem more interested in scoring political points than doing what's right for South Dakota and the nation. After high school, she joined the Army and worked her way up to Sergeant First Class. She attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned an officer in the Military Police Corps. She served in Iraq and retired after 25 years in the Army.

Dakota Political Junkies

Apr 23, 2014

Roger Whittle, managing editor of the Watertown Public Opinion, and David Montgomery, political reporter with the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, discussed the new U.S. Senate campaign ads, first quarter fundraising, RINOs, and a joint press conference with Republican gubernatorial candidate Lora Hubbel and Independent candidate Mike Myers on this week's edition of the Dakota Political Junkies.

Dakota Political Junkies

Apr 16, 2014

Joining the program are Jon Hunter, publisher of the Madison Daily Leader, and Kevin Woster, Rapid City reporter for KELO-TV. Topics include the weekend debate with the five Republican U.S. Senate candidates, challenges to the validity of signatures submitted by GOP U.S. Senate candidate Annette Bosworth, former state senator Gordon Howie's independent candidacy for U.S. Senate, and state lottery officials commissioning their own study of problem gambling.

Dakota Political Junkies

Apr 9, 2014

Joining the program are Jonathan Ellis, reporter and columnist with the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, and Denise Ross, web editor of the Mitchell Daily Republic. Topics include the Sioux Falls mayoral election results, Pat Miller's candicacy for Secretary of State, former Republican State Senator Gordon Howie's announcement that he's running as an Independent for U.S. Senate and the April 12 debate featuring the Republican U.S. Senate candidates.

Dakota Political Junkies

Apr 2, 2014

Joining the program are Kevin Woster, veteran South Dakota journalist and Rapid City reporter for KELO-TV, and Seth Tupper, publisher of the Mitchell Daily Republic. Topics this week include Veto Day's quiet end to the 2014 session, the controversy over Mike Rounds' use of stock footage in a television campaign ad and Democrat U.S. House candidate Corinna Robinson.

Dakota Political Junkies

Mar 26, 2014

Joining the program today are Jon Hunter, publisher of the Madison Daily Leader, and Jonathan Ellis, reporter and columnist for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. Topics included Governor Daugaard's official announcement that he's running for re-election; the beginning of the primary election season; the Sioux Falls mayoral race; and Senator Tim Johnson's legislation to shut down the government-run mortgage insurers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Poll: In SD Young People Lean Right

Mar 20, 2014

There is a common notion that young people are more idealistic and liberal.   The young are thought to more often lean to the Democratic side of the political spectrum.

But a new poll of 18-35 year olds shows this may not be the case in South Dakota.    Conservatives in this younger graphic outnumber liberals by almost two to one.

You can find more on the  The Dakota Poll survey here.

2014 Legislative Session Recap

Mar 17, 2014

The legislature adjourned the 2014 legislative session on Friday after passing the budget. Lawmakers approved extra money for teacher pay and low-income medical care, but Republican majorities in the House and Senate blocked Democrats' attempts to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Republican Senate Majority Leader Time Rave and Democrat House Minority Leader Bernie Hunhoff discussed the final budget along with other issues debated during the session including the Common Core standards, animal cruelty and texting while driving.

Animal Cruelty Closer To Being A Felony In SD

Mar 12, 2014

South Dakota would become the last state in the nation to make animal cruelty a felony under a bill that received the legislature's final approval Tuesday. The House voted 54-15 to pass the measure, which was approved earlier by the Senate. It will become law if signed by Governor Dennis Daugaard. Similar bills have failed in past years amid fears they could interfere with the livestock industry, but this year's measure was written in a cooperative effort led by State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven.