The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

There's something you should know about Alan Hanks...

Former councilperson Jean French was perhaps the nuttiest wing-nut ever to hold a council seat. She was one of the people Adelstein and Hanks warned voters about in the now infamous "wing-nut" brochure. One of those religious right-wing conservatives who once supported Sam Kooiker.

She now supports Alan Hanks in a letter to the editor. Does that mean we should beware of Alan?

My friend Bill Fleming reminds me that Jean French is not actually mentioned in the wing-nut flier. The flier says Kooiker had been endorsed in letters to the editor by a slew of right-wing conservatives (whom they named) "and others on the far right." I admit I made the bold assumption that Jean was one of those others. The point of the brochure was to make people feel uncomfortable about voting for someone with religious convictions and a right of center political agenda. Apparently, that stance has changed for Alan. He's been careful to tell Ward 2 voters that Deb Hadcock is the conservative's choice in Ward 2. And, anyone who thinks Jean French is not on the far right, just wasn't payin' attention. I know. I know, Bill. All she did was write a letter in support of Hanks...But, isn't that all those other conservatives did for Sam, four years ago?  gms


BF said...

Mike, sorry to have to disappoint, but Jean French wasn't mentioned in the "wing-nut" piece.

You must have just made that up in your mind.

(Hey, it happens.)

I'll send you a PDF of the flyer so you can get your facts straight, okay?

BF said...

Here, since you seem to want to ignore what it actually says, Mike, is the entire verbal content of the flyer you mention.

Your readers can decide for themselves what it says:

"There’s something you should know about Sam Kooiker."

Sam Kooiker: ultra-right

It is no coincidence that Sam Kooiker has been
endorsed in letters to the editor by Bill Napoli, Peg Napoli, Rick Kriebel, Joel Schweisow, Elizabeth Kraus, and others on the far-right.

It’s no coincidence that far-right political websites are clamoring for Sam Kooiker and trashing his opponent. Sam Kooiker is an ultra-right conservative.

Councilman Mike Schumacher, also a far-right
extremist, was Kooiker’s best friend on the city council.

In fact, city council minutes show that time after time, Schumacher and Kooiker were the only two voting together on 8-2 council decisions.

Sam Kooiker came out on top in the first round
of voting in the Mayor’s race because the religious right’s get-out-the-vote machinery went to work for him.

Now they’re running a whisper campaign to
remind their “base” that Alan Hanks voted against last year’s controversial abortion ban (HB 1215) while
serving in the State Legislature – the ban that voters
subsequently defeated here in Pennington County by
more than two-to-one.

We don’t think that kind of politics belongs in
the Mayor’s race. It’s time to bring our community
together, not divide it once again. On June 26 vote
for Alan Hanks.

Alan Hanks: moderate

Alan Hanks is a moderate who will provide the
new leadership that Rapid City needs right now. He has more than 25 years of experience starting and running successful businesses. He is by far the most qualified to lead Rapid City’s efforts to create more high-paying jobs through innovation, entrepreneurship, and partnerships with public education and higher education to educate a workforce that can compete globally.

Alan is a champion of smart growth.

He believes the city should take a long-term view
in economic development so that it can protect the
beauty and quality of life that makes Rapid City
special and give us a competitive edge for attracting
high-wage jobs.

Alan also believes in reforming the city’s use
of tax breaks known as TIF’s (tax increment financing) and opposes the proposed $30 million TIF to fill in a gully on Highway 16 to make a flat site large enough for big box retail development. Hanks believes TIF’s should be used only to finance legitimate expenses like water and sewer pipes or access roads, not to increase profits for millionaire developers.

Because Sam Kooiker will have that far-right machinery running in high gear again, we urge you
to please make sure that on June 26 you vote for Alan Hanks for Mayor. This race will be very, very close. A handful of votes could make the difference."

Paid for by ModerateLeadershipPAC"

Michael Sanborn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Sanborn said...

THANKS BILL! You made my point without forcing me to do all that typing.

What you were saying THEN was that because Sam Kooiker was supported by people like Jean French, people should vote for moderate Alan Hanks.

But, what Alan is saying NOW is that Rapid City NEEDS conservatives like Deb Hadcock. Which is it Bill? Is Allen a moderate or a conservative. Pick one.

What Alan was saying THEN was that religious conservatives were sending letters to the editor in support of Kooiker. And, that was bad.

Now that Jean French (the woman who stopped council proceedings to ask God for divine guidance on whether to vote for, or against a sewer extension or blue lights for downtown Christmas lights) has written a letter in support of your candidate, suddenly being associated with wing-nuts is okay? Make up your mind, Bill.

Simple question, Bill. Is it a bad thing to be supported by conservatives or is it a good thing? You set the bar. Jump over it.

You knew it then and you know it now. Kooiker is a populist. He's supported by the far left, the far right and almost everyone in between. He was then, and he is now.

Tell us Bill, who is correct? What has your candidate done for the left? The right? Or those in between? What does he stand for?

C'mon Bill, does your candidate now support Jean French's causes? How about an abortion ban? Jean French sure supports Napoli and the rest on abortion. Does he support Ritchie Nordstrom's causes? Is he a big union supporter? Is he somewhere in the middle? What has Stan told him to support? The voting public wants to know what Stan Adelstein's boy is going to support. Tell us, Bill! You're an insider.

Is Stan going to say "Poor Alan" like he did with the wing-nut brochure for the crap that's being put out there now? Will he apologize for it later?

You can't have it both ways brother. What does your guy stand for? Why is a right wing crazy like Jean French supporting him?

I'm a religious guy. And, I absolutely know Alan is bound for heaven, along with Stan. Because Hell won't have them.

larry kurtz said...

when D-10s are outlawed only outlaws will have D-10s.

Put 4 abreast, start with the Fischer Furniture complex, and finish somewhere around Caputa.

BF said...

Mike, a couple of things.

First, I don't speak for the Hanks campaign. I set the type, do the layouts and sometimes supply the pictures. So what I have to say are my own thoughts, not those of the campaign.

If you want feedback from the campaign, you'll need to address the people who are running it. That would be Alan Hanks and to some degree, Jody Severson who consults with him on his campaign's brand positioning.

Second, I supplied the text of the Wing-Nut flyer so everybody could read what it said.

It is a time capsule. Things that were key issues then are not necessarily key issues now. New doors have opened, old ones closed. Time marches on.

Third, as I recall, the Wing-Nut flyer was sent only to Democrats. It was not aimed at a larger audience.

The warning of the flyer back then was that the far-right was doing an anti-Hanks "whisper campaign" because Alan had made clear his "pro-choice" position and that that criteria and style of politics had no place in a Mayor's race.

That was THE point of the flyer.

If that has stopped, good. If it hasn't it's still bad.

That's my read anyway, Mike.

Those may not be all the answers you want, but it's all I have.

I am as curious as you are about the rest of it, except to say that Rapid City seems to be thriving under Hanks's leadership, in the midst of a really tough economic downturn.

I think Hanks's vision for Rapid City is clear and is a work in progress.

BF said...

One last note:

Here's the key summary point from the Wingnut flyer:

"It’s time to bring our community together, not divide it once again."

I think that still fits, don't you, Mike?

Les said...

BF@"""Here's the key summary point from the Wingnut flyer:"""

"It’s time to bring our community together, not divide it once again."

Good Lord, 450 words to get that message across and from the point of view of a writer editor you endorse as being an able efficient best candidate for the job?

BF said...

Well, if you want to talk about using the most words to say the least, Les, take a look at Mr. Kooiker's website.

...but you know, now that you bring it up, here's what I'd like to hear Sam say, in no uncertain terms.

"I, Sam Kooiker, did not once ask the City for payment of my legal bills in any executive session between June and September 2010 after learning the City's insurance wouldn't pay them."

Do you think Sam would say that on the record, Les?


Wayne Gilbert said...

See what happens Mike when you don't just say: "I was wrong...I thought Jean French was mentioned in the wingnut flyer," instead of going all spin?

Rick K said...

It Follows that Jean supports Hanks. During my election Jean had a similar problem with the truth as Hanks has had with truth in his campaign this year.

Am I supposed to believe that after lieing about sales tax, property taxes and jobs, Hanks has suddenly decided to start telling the truth ?

Les said...

I cannot know what Sam would say to that Bill.

Obviously someone is either lying about Sam's statement or executive session is being broken by a candidate other than Sam.

BF said...

So you agree with me, Les? You too would like to hear Sam say that he didn't ask the taxpayers to pay his legal bills?

Rick K said...

There will be numerous occasions to ask him Bill. Tuesday june 21 KOTA live debate 630pm - 7pm

Wednesday june 22 - live chat with the RC Journal

Thursday June 23 North Rapid Civic assiciation debate 7pm General Beadle School

KEVN will tape a debate Friday June 24th and air it June 26.

Surley at one of those events someone will ask about Hanks lies.

Or - check out his facebook page. The letter his attorney wrote to Jason Green is on display for the whole world to see.

If was a coucilperson I would never go into executive session with Hanks again, you never know what he is gonna say happened. He makes up stuff about everything, salestax revenue, property taxes, jobs he didnt create, and now executive session is fair game, WOW.

BF said...

That's an interesting letter, Rick, but wouldn't you rather hear Sam say it himself:

"I, Sam Kooiker, did not once ask the City for payment of my legal bills in any executive session between June and September 2010 after learning the City's insurance wouldn't pay them."

Do you think he will? He hasn't so far.

As for the executive session thing, certainly the other council people know what was said in those meetings. Maybe we should hear from them before we automatically decide the Mayor is lying. Wouldn't that be the smartest, most honest thing to do?

If I were a reporter that's what I'd do anyway.

Rick K said...

I have already heard Sam say it Bill. Are you going to ask him ? I believe Sam is eager to expose this stunt for what it is give him a call, 721-6282. Or ask at the other opportunities listed.

p.s. since the letter from his attorney is dated Oct 6th 2010, that pretty much covers the June - September claim by Hanks.

BF said...

By the way, Rick, what is it about the employment numbers and tax revenues you think is not truthful?

Can't we just look at the Department of Labor and Sales tax reports to confirm the validity of those claims?

There's also this article in the RCJ.


"The city of Rapid City has officially exceeded its single-year record for infrastructure construction with a total of $49.6 million worth of projects awarded with six months left in the year.
The previous record was in 2007 when the city awarded $37.7 million in projects, including the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center ice arena expansion. By the end of 2011, the city could award more than $83.9 million in infrastructure projects, Public Works Director Robert Ellis said.
“As long as prices are good, we’re still going to go for that goal for the $83.9 million,” he said.
What pushed the city over the record was the Rapid City Council’s action last week to finally award the bid for the Jackson Springs water treatment plant, the single largest project planned for this year."

What is it specifically you are accusing the Mayor of lying about, Rick?

BF said...

Yes, Rick, I'm asking him right here.

Pretty sure he reads this blog.

I know he reads Mt. Blogmore. So far all he's done is offer to have lunch with me and give me a flyswatter.

BF said...

So far Sam has pretty much been dodging all my questions to him. I, along with Kevin Woster have been asking him who he is accusing of fraud. No answer.

I asked him if he and former mayor Carlyle were really accusing Mayor Hanks of "obstruction of justice." No answer. (They are both on record of doing it... sort of.)

I asked him what he means by "Chicago politics". No answer.

And now, he won't answer a question about whether or not he asked the City to use taxpayer money to pay his legal bills. Just shows a lawyer letter. Is that the only lawyer Rick?

Are you saying that the minutes of the Sept. 20 city council meeting are false where it says:

"Motion was made by Costello, second by Waugh and carried to direct staff to reject the claim for attorney fees as determined in Executive Session."

Page 17 under “Staff Direction.”

BF said...

Sorry, didn't finish a sentence. Above should have said:

"Is that the only lawyer LETTER Rick?"

BF said...

I note that the letter Sam is posting on his FB page references another letter. It also seems to confirm that the above note in the City Council meeting was indeed about Sam. Are we in agreement so far, Rick?

In other words, it seems Sam himself is making the topic of discussion of the executive session public (at least a little bit) in order to try to piece together his denial that he was asking the city to pay his legal bill.

Is he then saying that it was his Attorney who asked, not him? If so, that would be a pretty thin excuse, wouldn't it?

Imagine something like that in court.

"Your honor, I'm not saying I'm not guilty, my lawyer is."

Pretty funny.

I really think it would be good if Sam came on here and cleared all this up for us, don't you, Rick?

Michael Sanborn said...

Boy Bill,
You've got SOME ego. Sam hasn't posted on this page. He hasn't time to monitor this blog or any other. He's running for mayor. I seriously doubt he's avoiding you. He's answered all your questions publicly, in the traditional media and on the internet. Must he really answer you personally?

If Kevin wants to ask him questions, he knows Sam's number. Woster really doesn't want to publish the answers or he would ask Sam personally, rather than posting on his blog.

Alan and Stan are not answering my questions here on this blog. Does that mean he's avoiding me? I'm pretty sure they're aware of what gets posted here.

Next time I talk to him, I'll be sure to relay to Sam that the great BF is beckoning him.

BF said...

Great, thanks, Mike!

Michael Sanborn said...

I think it has been made very clear that Sam's attorney asked Jason Green to submit a claim to the city's insurance carrier. Green refused. Sam's attorney then made the claim to the carrier himself, which they denied. Once the insurance claim was denied, Kooiker, against several attorneys' advice, chose to pay the bill himself.

Neither he nor his attorney asked taxpayers to pay his legal fees. The letter posted shows his attorney's attempt to get Green to stop changing the record and tell the truth.

Rick K said...

It certainly seems reasonable that Sams attorney was talking about Sam. Are you sure the minutes of Sept 20 are talking about Sam ?

Rick K said...

quoting Sams attorney,,

,,,"Mr.Kooiker did not ask the city council to pay his fees.",,,

What is so hard to understand about that ?

are you calling his attorney a liar Bill ?

BF said...

"Sam hasn't posted on this page. He hasn't time to monitor this blog or any other."

Mike again, please note Sam's multiple answers to questions on Mt. Blogmore.


...and here:

Looks to me like he's monitoring the blogs alright. Maybe just not yours?

I know, I know, where is the love, huh?

BF said...

"Are you sure the minutes of Sept 20 are talking about Sam ?"

Rick, no, I'm not.

That's why I'm asking the question, obviously.

Michael Sanborn said...

Gee Bill,
How could Sam accurately answer questions about a meeting that has no minutes or record and at which neither he, nor his attorney was in attendance?

The ads and the recent flier are a lie. They will be proven to be lies. I know you only set the type and never offer advice. So, do you also never ask if the type you're setting is the truth?

I forgot. Such distortion is perfectly okay when the goal is to win at any cost.

Les said...

Wouldn't printing known lies be similar to buying a stolen vehicle with a suspicion the price was just too good to be true? At what point will the courts decide there is complicity?

Or do the ends justify the means?


BF said...

How would you know they are lies, Mike, if you weren't there? Don't you think you would want to talk to someone who was?

Michael Sanborn said...

What I know Bill is that he wasn't demanding that taxpayers pay his legal fees in closed door meetings because he wasn't in the meetings to make the demands.

BF said...

Which meetings are you talking about, Mike?

BF said...

The claim is as follows: "From June through September of 2010, in a series of closed door meetings,Sam Kooiker demanded the taxpayers pay his personal legal bills totaling over $16,000."

So, here are notes from the minutes of City Council meetings within those date parameters. It looks to me like Sam was at most of the meetings, right?

Any idea what the Aug 2 meeting was about? You know, I don't follow this stuff as closely as you do, Mike.


(June 7) EXECUTIVE SESSION for the purposes permitted by SDCL 1-25-2
Motion was made by Costello, second by Chapman and carried to go into Executive Session at 11:53
P.M. for the reasons permitted by SDCL 1-25-2. The Council came out of Executive Session at 12:40
A.M. with all members present.

(June 21) EXECUTIVE SESSION for the purposes permitted by SDCL 1-25-2
Motion was made by LaCroix, second by Costello and carried to go into Executive Session at 12:10 A.M. for the reasons permitted by SDCL 1-25-2. The Council came out of Executive Session at 12:18 A.M. with all members present.

(July 6) EXECUTIVE SESSION for the purposes permitted by SDCL 1-25-2
Motion was made by Costello, second by Waugh and carried to go into Executive Session at 12:15 A.M. for the reasons permitted by SDCL 1-25-2. The Council came out of Executive Session at 12:54 A.M. with all members present.

(July 19) EXECUTIVE SESSION for the purposes permitted by SDCL 1-25-2
Motion was made by Costello, second by Waugh and carried to go into Executive Session at 9:38 P.M.
for the reasons permitted by SDCL 1-25-2. The Council came out of Executive Session at 11:07 P.M.
with Alderwoman Hadcock absent.

Motion was made by Costello, second by Davis, to go into Executive Session at 10:57 P.M. for the
reasons permitted by SDCL 1-25-2. Weifenbach, Kooiker and Hadcock expressed concern speaking
about Item 87 in Executive as it has already been discussed at committee. Green indicated it is potential litigation matter. Motion carried with one NO from Kooiker. The Council came out of Executive Session at 11:54 P.M. with all members present.

(Aug 16) EXECUTIVE SESSION for the purposes permitted by SDCL 1-25-2
Motion was made by Costello, second by Waugh and carried to go into Executive Session at 10:17 PM
for the reasons permitted by SDCL 1-25-2. The Council came out of Executive Session at 11:25 PM with all members present.


Motion was made by Waugh, second by Kroeger and carried to go into Executive Session at 10:51 PM
for the reasons permitted by SDCL 1-25-2. The Council came out of Executive Session at 12:13 AM with Alderman Kooiker absent.

Motion was made by Kroeger, second by Waugh and carried to go into Executive Session at
9:01 p.m. for the reasons permitted by SDCL 1-25-2. The Council came out of Executive
Session at 9:40 p.m. with Alderpersons Kooiker and Weifenbach absent.


So, to recap, are you saying that Sam didn't attend any of the Executive Session meetings above? (Because it sure looks like he did). Or just the ones where his demanding that the city pay his legal fees was discussed?

Or something else?

I'm getting confused over here, bud.

Les said...

Who's making the claim BF? Put a name on them. Mayor Hanks breaking the executive session here? Or just fibbin a little?

BF said...

The Mayor's campaign is making the claim, Les.
It's in the literature Mike S. is referencing.

Les said...

How do you view the mayor using priveledged and confidential information(if true) for his campaign?

Just what does executive session mean to his campaign?

BF said...

Les, can you point me to the rules that stipulate that information like that needs to be kept confidential?

Is there any reason not to discuss it once it's all settled?

It seems that Sam is saying there are too many closed meetings the way it is.

I'm for more open city government and fewer closed room meetings, just like he (Sam) is (or says he is).

If Sam thinks having the city (or the city's insurance policy for that matter) pay his personal legal bills is a legitimate use of our money and time resources, why wouldn't he just ask for it it open session?

Why all the hush, hush?

Les said...

What is the purpose of executive session if the mayor can throw down executive session business in the best interests of his campaign?

I am all for open government and will stand shoulder to shoulder with you on that Bill. Does that mean we walk on the sacred cow of executive session?

Explain to me why it suddenly has no value to you or our mayor?

BF said...

It has (supposed) value by statute, Les. Have you read the statute? Here's what it says:

SDCL 1-25-2. Executive or closed meetings--Purposes--Authorization--Misdemeanor.

Executive or closed meetings may be held for the sole purposes of:

(1) Discussing the qualifications, competence, performance, character or fitness of any public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee. The term "employee" does not include any independent contractor;

(2) Discussing the expulsion, suspension, discipline, assignment of or the educational program of a student;

(3) Consulting with legal counsel or reviewing communications from legal counsel about proposed or pending litigation or contractual matters;

(4) Preparing for contract negotiations or negotiating with employees or employee representatives;

(5) Discussing marketing or pricing strategies by a board or commission of a business owned by the state or any of its political subdivisions, when public discussion may be harmful to the competitive position of the business.
However, any official action concerning such matters shall be made at an open official meeting. An executive or closed meeting shall be held only upon a majority vote of the members of such body present and voting, and discussion during the closed meeting is restricted to the purpose specified in the closure motion.

Nothing in § 1-25-1 or this section may be construed to prevent an executive or closed meeting if the federal or state Constitution or the federal or state statutes require or permit it.

A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Which of the above do you think applies in this particular instance, Les?

Rick K said...

Thanks for the post Bill. That shows that paying bills is not executive session material. Hanks and those that did not leave violated State law, IMO.

I expect an open meeting commision investigation will yield a stern warning !!

Les said...

If Sam asked a question not fitting the statutes in E/session and mayor Hanks allowed a discusion, Hanks is also guilty of violating the open meeting doctrine.

If Sam asked that same question and the mayor denied discussion based upon statute, I still believe in the confidentiality of executive session and feel the mayor is in violation of the cities executive session policy(Anyone who breaks the confidentiality of executive can be disciplined by the organization).

Wouldn't that be a requirement of the mayors duties? Or is it more responsible to wait and use it for campaign material?

BF said...

It would be responsible of Sam to answer the question truthfully.

Did he, or did he not ask the City taxpayers to pay his legal bills — in Executive session or otherwise?

Sounds like you guys (Les, Rick) are ready to admit that he did.

Or am I reading you wrong?

It doesn't really help Sam to try to change the subject as long as the main question is still on the table, does it?

Michael Sanborn said...

This is a post about the very nutty Jean French and her support of the incumbent mayor.

I don't know what went on in ANY of those executive sessions, Bill. But, you seem to behave as if you do.

Bill, your questions have been sufficiently answered here and in other media. There isn't a person reading this blog who thinks you're on to anything, other than an effort to cast doubt where there is none.

And, if you didn't think there was doubt, why did the Hanks campaign pull the ad from YouTube and eliminate the comments?

They're back, by the way. The Kooiker campaign put the ugly ad up on THEIR site so everyone could see how low the Hanks campaign has been willing to go.

I hope you're all getting paid up front. This nasty stuff ain't workin'. It ain't gonna work. And, I hope you're all paid up before Stan figures it out and stops throwing money at it.

BF said...

Oh, the ad's still there, Mike. Has been all along.

You sure seem to have had a lot of trouble getting your facts straight on this thread, bud.

Michael Sanborn said...

I stand corrected Bill. Where did the comments go, Bill?

BF said...

I don't know, Mike. Were there once comments? I don't recall seeing any. Maybe they were never enabled. I think you can comment on the Mayor's FB page if you click "like" on the page first. Give it a try.

Rick K said...

Bill,It sounds like you are ready to admit Hanks is off his rocker.

BF said...

Rick, maybe more like "Sam seems to be driving everybody nuts."

Les said...

Obviously you have more at stake than a horse in the race Bill!

Every man has his price, I'm sorry to see you looking like a cheap date.

Rick K said...

I cannot fathom how a multi-term city councilman, multi-term State legislator and multi-term Mayor can make so many crazy statements. Even before the election, back in sept? he said property taxes were going down, and the mil-levy was decreasing. Niether of those statements is true.

Honestly I have nothing personal against Hanks, I wish him well. I hope he gets the help/relief he seems to need and blessings to his family. He seems to have an unhealthy addiction to politics. I think getting away from politics would be good for him as a person. I also hope that July 5th starts a new and better time in his life.

BF said...

Les, I just call it like I see it, brother. Same as always. I don't think Sam would make a very good mayor. I think he's a divider, not a uniter. One who tears things down instead of building them up.

BF said...

And I think his recklessness has cost come good people their jobs. In fact, his recklessness may have cost him his own job.

Les said...

I have no problems with Sam tearing down the good old boy network if that is what you want to call it Bill.

Alan had the support of many of us until he unveiled a different side of his character.

BF said...

We'll just have to disagree on that then, I guess, Les.