Photographic Proof

There seems to be some question in regards to the number of local Democrats that got together to discuss South Dakota’s Democratic candidates and issues. Erin McCarrick, executive director of the South Dakota Democratic Party says 1200 showed up.

“Yesterday, I was with about 1,200 Democrats and independents. We were really focused on South Dakota candidates and issues. They are excited and unified about it,” said Erin McCarrick, executive director of the state’s Democratic Party.

On the other side South Dakota War College’s PP poo poo’s that number.

1200 Democrats? She’s actually claiming 1,200 Democrats?

What, did Erin go to the mall and make an assumption? Considering that most years South Dakota Democrats can’t get many more than 100 people to their state convention (and the last ones in the door get drafted to run for a constitutional office) I’m just a little bit of a doubting thomas at this claim.

Well I figured I would get to the bottom of this and lo and behold one of my spies sent me this photo he swears was taken at the meeting.

Oh wait my spy was referring to one of those other get togethers….Nevermind

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Sandlin Running For House

I guess Pat Powers will just have to go back to regurgitating more GOP “hit” press releases and continue to criticize Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and her husband for things like selling their Texas house at a loss versus slamming her for not deciding which office she will be running for as KELO has just reported that she is going to run for another term in the House in 2010.

Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin plans to run for re-election in 2010. Herseth Sandlin announced the decision on Tuesday. She has served as South Dakota’s only member of the House of Representatives since 2004.

In a statement from her office, Rep. Herseth Sandlin said, “I strongly believe I can best serve the state by building on the work I’ve undertaken over the last five years in Congress.”

Herseth Sandlin says she and her husband, Max, decided running for re-election is the best decision for their family. She says they have found a good balance between their professional lives and the time they spend with their young son.

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Good Thing This Is Being Considered In Minnesota

It is a good thing this is being considered in Minnesota and not here in South Dakota as our resident “Nanny State Crusader” would be having a cow!

MN Considers Smoking Ban In Cars

While South Dakota lawmakers debate whether to ban smoking at all businesses, Minnesota’s legislature is considering a ban that extends to streets and highways. The bill would prohibit smoking in cars with kids inside.

Minnesota has already banned smoking in all bars and restaurants which is one of the latest pet peeves of certain local bloggers and now their legislators look to go even further. The question is how long will this even be an issue, especially after our latest $1 a pack increase here and the $.61 per pack increase that will take effect as part of the latest SCHIP bill signed by Barack Obama a few days ago.

Read the whole story

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Cashing In On The Digital Switchover?

I was writing a comment to a post that Pat Powers had today (apparently he doesn’t read my blog either) over at the SDWC in regards to the old news on KSFY’s negotiations with Goldenwest and all of a sudden it hit me. Are local stations like KSFY in this case and KELO with their recent dispute with Dish Network trying to cash in on February’s government mandated digital switchover?

My original thinking on this was who cares if Goldenwest drops KSFY, i’ll just use my rooftop antenna to pick up the station in the very rare case that they have something on that I can’t find elsewhere. In my case that is no problem because my digital ready antenna is hooked up to my nice big HDTV with it’s included digital tuner which will have no problem tuning in to KSFY’s digital signal when the switchover happens. What if you are like what I can only assume is many folks in that you are relying on having cable or satellite to keep giving you your local stations without the need for getting a new TV or buying the digital converter box?

If that is you, you would be out of luck.

So with that being said, isn’t is interesting that local stations, whom have had 16 plus years of exclusive broadcast rights guaranteed by federal law that mandates that cable and satellite companies cannot broadcast out of market stations, are only now starting to ask for payment for such signals?

Hmmm, their sudden interest in getting paid couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that they have most of us over a barrel would it? Reminds me of that old Seinfeld episode dealing with “hand”, they have it and apparently some are looking to cash in on it.

UPDATE 1/1 – Apparently neither side caved as KSFY is indeed no longer being broadcast on Goldenwest in Canistota. Goodbye KSFY you and your “Wheel of Felons” will not be missed.

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The Joke Of The Day

The local media is finally reporting a story I wrote about 5 days ago with the article in this morning’s Argus Leader about KSFY demanding payment from Goldenwest for the rights to re-broadcast their signal. My earlier post pretty much detailed my thoughts on the subject but what I found quite humorous from the Argus story was a quote from Goldenwest station manager Rick Reed.

“I want to try to provide programming that is fair and reasonable to my customers”

Being a current Goldenwest customer I would like to ask Mr Reed, when exactly are you going to start doing that? Is that your company’s New Years resolution? If neither is the case I wonder if you were able to keep a straight face when you said it…

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iPhone Now At Wal-Mart!

Big news! As rumoured a few months ago, you can now go into your local Wal-Mart and pick up Apple’s legendary iPhone and save a whopping $2 in the process. The world’s largest retailer now has the $199 dollar 8 gig version available for $197 and the $299 16 gig version can now be had for the bargain basement price of $297 (2 year agreement with AT&T still required).

So if you were waiting for this monumental event to finally arrive, you can now rush out to one of the 2500 Wal-Marts or 69 Sam’s Clubs that have been pegged to carry this technological wonder and get your very own iPhone. But of course if you live in South Dakota like I do, the state with seemingly more Wal-Mart’s per capita than just about any state,  you can disregard this post as it is still not available here…

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They Can't Be Serious…

KSFY can’t be serious can they? SDSU vs NDSU on in primetime instead of Texas Tech vs Oklahoma? Not cool…

As an aside I wonder how the suits at ABC corporate would feel about that big NBC peacock logo currently being prominently displayed on one of their local ABC affiliates?

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Our Cell Phone Service In For A Change?

Anyone that has spent any amount of time traveling through South Dakota knows that cell phone service is spotty at best. In my experience, the company with by far the best coverage in the state has to be Verizon, especially now that they have upgraded to their high speed EVDO network in several cities including Sioux Falls. With that said, news that the FCC has approved Verizon’s request to buyout Alltel could spell big changes here in the great white north, also known as South Dakota.

Why you ask?

Part of the deal that Verizon struck in order to get approval from the DOJ and the FCC was that they had to divest assets in 100 areas in 22 states. One of those areas just so happens to be the whole state of South Dakota.

The Department of Justice said the divestitures were necessary to preserve wireless voice service competition in areas where Verizon and Alltel both already have significant footprints. In addition to divesting its assets throughout the whole of North Dakota and South Dakota, Verizon must also divest wireless businesses in areas of Midwestern states such as Ohio, Minnesota and Kansas; western states such as Arizona, Colorado and California; and Southern states such as Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina.

“The divestitures required are necessary to protect wireless consumers and are among the most extensive required by the department in a wireless case,” said Thomas O. Barnett, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Department of Justice’s antitrust division.

Considering the deal was just approved last week, the details of any divestment of Verizon assets here are far from worked out. But if the Verizon sell off happens to include several smaller carriers, we could be living the old Verizon slogan of “can you here me now” with no one answering.

Is the DOJ’s attempt to promote choice in service actually going to end up doing the opposite here? Time will tell but it quite possibly could depending on how the changes play out. Then again maybe Sprint will buy some of the assets so that their so called South Dakota “coverage map” actually becomes accurate for a change…

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Eat Your Heart Out

Ok, maybe not but I am smack dab in the middle of one of the worst blizzards Western South Dakota has experienced in years.

At least most of whatever snow is falling isn’t hitting the ground. Kind of hard for that to happen with 60-70 mph winds.

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