In its editorial today, the Rapid City Journal came down about as hard as a newspaper ever does on the government of a city whose government officials also control quite a little of the business done with the newspaper. Read it all here.
[Public Works Director Robert] Ellis and [City Attorney Jason] Green produced over 1,000 pages of e-mails in an attempt to paint Kooiker as obsessive and micromanaging. But they opted to print out e-mails of lunch dates and shared photos, counted each reply to a reply to a reply as a separate document, and misrepresented the time frame of the e-mails.
If Kooiker wasn't already the most beloved member of the council, he is now, and Tuesday's debacle only made him a much stronger force in the city. He was censured for trying to get answers for why the city is misusing taxpayer dollars, trying to get answers on behalf of constituents - some of whom packed council chambers and stayed until the bitter early morning end.
As each of them took the podium, many noted they weren't in Sam's ward but they called him for help because he - unlike their own representatives - would call them back. It did not go unnoticed that the people of this city spoke on Kooiker's behalf; only current and former city officials spoke on Sagen's behalf.
[Kooiker] was forced to defend himself against presumed guilt - so predetermined that councilwoman Karen Gunderson Olson came to the meeting with her prewritten final comments. Her mind was made up to censure Kooiker before ever listening to the evidence, the explanations, or the public.