Tag Archives: Ken Santema

Video of the Aberdeen School Board Candidate Forum

Aberdeen School Board Candidate Forum

*** Updated on May 8, 2017. The original post had the wrong version of this video. I have replaced it with a video that has the proper audio embedded. I apologize for the bad audio included in the original post.

Yesterday, May 7th, the League of Women Voters of Aberdeen, SD, and the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a candidate forum in Aberdeen. There were two parts to the forum. The first part was the City Council Candidate Forum; which I highlighted in an earlier post. The second forum was for the Aberdeen School Board and will be the focus of this post.

Channel 7 will be broadcasting the event until election day. But for those of us who don’t have Cable TV I recorded the event and have it posted below. Alternatively you can click here to directly view the forum on YouTube.

There are five candidates running for three seats in this race. The five candidates running for Aberdeen School Board are:

  • Ken Santema – Facebook – That’s me…
  • Aaron Schultz – Facebook
  • Renee Wise – Facebook
  • Brian Sharp, incumbent – Facebook
  • Kevin Burckhard, incumbent – Facebook. Burckhard was not able to attend the forum.

The third incumbent, Todd Kolden, did not seek reelection (thank-you for your service Todd!).

Here is the video. It is just under an hour in length.

I will post more about the questions on my campaign Facebook page, and possibly here (blogging is much easier than Facebook posting).

Executive Committee and Johnson/Weld electors chosen at the LPSD State Convention

Here is a repost from the Libertarian Party of South Dakota (LPSD) website:

sd_fb_profileThe Libertarian Party of South Dakota (LPSD) state convention was held in Aberdeen today. As the outgoing chair I consider the event a success and look forward to what the LPSD can do going forth! At this convention new Executive Committee members were selected. The party also chose the three Presidential Electors that will show up on the 2016 South Dakota ballot on behalf of the Johnson/Weld campaign.

Here are the members chosen by the party to be the executive committee:

  • LPSD Chair: Jon Boon McNutt 
  • LPSD Vice-Chair: Richard Shelatz
  • LPSD Treasurer: Daryl Root
  • LPSD Membership Director: Scott Baldwin
  • LPSD West-river At-Large member: Sean Metz
  • LPSD East-river At-Large member: Ken Santema

Here are the three electors that were chosen to represent the Johnson/Weld ticket on the 2016 South Dakota ballot:

  • Jon Boon McNutt
  • Elaine Kub
  • Richard Shelatz

I believe the LPSD Executive Committee has a good vision of how to move the libertarian message forward in South Dakota. More information about what occurred during the convention are forthcoming over the next few days. Stay tuned!

Fear not South Dakota legislators, I’m not taking pictures for nefarious reasons

Ken Santema. Editor/Author of SoDakLiberty.com
Ken Santema. Editor/Author of SoDakLiberty.com

This post goes out to the South Dakota legislators in Pierre I have yet to meet in person. My name is Ken Santema, blogger for SoDakLiberty.com. I’m that big guy that is usually running around with a camera on a mono-pod (a big stick). Many of you have noticed me up in the gallery every now and then over the last couple of years taking pictures. Some of you I have met personally, some I have not. Apparently I need to introduce myself to every legislator in person to calm the paranoia about who is taking pictures.

For the third year in a row on the SD Senate side I had a conversation with the sergeant-at-arms because some Senator wanted to know who was taking pictures of them. I’ve also had a sergeant-at-arms from the House side come up to confirm I was the same person that was hanging around randomly last year. The sergeants-at-arms in both chambers are nice guys by the way.

Apparently some of the political activists groups out there tend to send photographers to take pictures, especially during controversial bills. Those pictures can then be used against legislators during election season in post cards and such. That is not what I am doing. All I am doing is taking pictures to use on my blog and in a book I am thinking about publishing in the future.

On this blog I try hard to refrain from attacking people personally; that includes legislators. I may call some of your bills silly  or shortsighted, but that is hardly an attack from my viewpoint. Any legislator that looks bad because of a blog post I’ve done has probably done or said something that made them look bad on their own, and had nothing to do with me skewing the situation.

I was also cornered after session last Thursday by a legislator annoyed by my camera making noise and having a distracting red light. Well, to those worried about the noise of my camera I say “oh well”. My old Sony Nex-3 is a great camera and I have some cool lenses to utilize with it (which I’m still learning to use). But it does make noise, that is the nature of the beast. Personally I think a camera that makes noise is better for use in public settings, it lets people know I’m taking pictures.

I guess I’ll end this little post here. I never intended to write such a post. But apparently we have some state legislators that worry about who is watching them in a very public forum….

Posts from the Alternative Candidates’ Forum forthcoming this week

On Saturday, August 23, there was an Alternative Candidate Forum held at the Main Public Library in Sioux Falls. As far as I can tell this was the first event of this type to be held in South Dakota. This event allowed a public forum for Independent and Third-Party candidates to get their message out and answer questions from the public and/or media.

Overall I would say the event was a success. It allowed the media (and me as a blogger) to hear some alternative viewpoints which can then be passed on to the voters. Throughout the week I will be posting about each candidate in attendance and what they had to say.

Here is the list of candidates that were in attendance:

  • Larry Pressler – Independent US Senate candidate facing off against Republican Mike Rounds, Democrat Rick Weiland, and Independent Gordon Howie.
  • Ryan Gaddy – Libertarian seeking to enter the Public Utilities Commission race. He has been denied ballot access due to registration issues and will be fighting that in court. If his court battle is successful he will face incumbent Republican Gary Hanson, Democrat David Allen, and Constitution Party candidate Wayne Schmidt.
  • John English – Libertarian Commissioner of School and Public Lands candidate that will be facing off against the current Republican Deputy Commissioner Ryan Brunner.
  • Ken Santema – Libertarian State Treasurer candidate that will be facing off against incumbent Republican candidate Richard Sattgast and Democrat candidate Dennis Pierson.
  • Lori Stacey – Constitution Party candidate for Secretary of State. She will be facing off against Republican Shantel Krebs, Democrat Angelia Schultz, and Libertarian Emmett Reistroffer.
  • Mike Myers – Independent gubernatorial candidate. He will face incumbent Republican Dennis Daugaard and Democrat candidate Susan Wismer.
  • Emmett Reistroffer – Libertarian Secretary of State candidate. He will face Republican Shantel Krebs, Constitution Party Lori Stacey, and Democrat Angelia Schultz.

It was an interesting event that will give me some blog posts that I hope will help voters. Getting information out to voters is one of my two big reasons for putting so much work into this blog. The other reason is to get an alternative viewpoint out there I feel gets left out too often.

SD Libertarian Party fills all Constitutional offices for the fall ballot

sdlpToday the South Dakota Libertarian Party held its state convention in Sioux Falls South Dakota. It was an interesting event; one which will give me a series of blog posts to do over the next week. This post will focus on the Constitutional offices that were filled by the Libertarians at this event. This post won’t have much details in it; that will have to wait for a couple of days when I have more time.

Here are the candidates that are going to be on the ballot this fall. This list is compiled in the order their nominations were completed.

South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (6 yr) – Ryan Gaddy. Ryan is a Sioux Falls area activist. His opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and support of keeping the Internet unregulated are notable stances. He will be facing incumbent Republican Gary Hansen, Constitution Party Candidate Wayne Schmidt, and Democrat candidate David Allen.

South Dakota Secretary of State (4 yr) – Emmett Reistroffer. Emmett is a Sioux Falls area political activist with experience in elections. He can draw on his election experience in an attempt to improve the election process within the State. His battle will be tough however. The Republican candidate, Shantel Krebs, is very intelligent and hard-working. Plus there are two other candidates that have the potential of gaining support if voters every hear from them: Lori Stacy of the Constitution Party and Angelia Schultz of the Democrat Party.

South Dakota Attorney General (4 yr) – Chad Haber. This was an odd choice. Many had hoped to block his attempt at winning the AG nomination (including me). He will draw on the experience of him and his wife being targeted by the current AG to show a non-lawyer should hold the position. Law does not require the AG to be a lawyer, and in fact Haber makes the case that perhaps a watchdog AG that isn’t part of the current legal system would be better. I am still undecided about his attainment of this office. I will try to keep an open mind, but also keep a close eye on his campaign. Maybe he will surprise us doubters and end up being a great candidate…. It should be noted that Haber is the only competition to the current Republican AG Jackley on this falls ballot.

South Dakota State Auditor (4 yr) – Kurt Evans. Earlier in the AG debate Evans had focused on transparency in Pierre. I believe he will draw upon transparency as a top issue in the Auditor race. Kurt is the only candidate running against incumbent Steve Barnett.

South Dakota Commissioner of School and Public Lands (4 yr)  – John English. English was an unexpected surprise at the convention. He spoke of Austrian economics and seems quite capable to run for this position. His opposition is the current Deputy Commissioner Ryan Brunner.

South Dakota Treasurer (4 yr) – Ken Santema – Astute regular readers of this blog may notice that is my name. Yes, I am the candidate for treasurer. I have experience in the accounting industry and have ideas to improve the unclaimed properties procedures. Also in this race is the incumbent Republican Richard Sattgast and Democrat candidate Dennis Pierson.

With those six positions filled the Libertarian Party of South Dakota was able to place a candidate in each of the Constitutional offices. That is somewhat notable because even the South Dakota Democrat Party was not able to attain that status. It is not all roses for the SD Libertarian Party however. After the election this fall the SDLP will have to collect signatures to regain official party status. The party will lose its status after 2014 because it failed to field a candidate in the gubernatorial race. Plus I’ve already gone on record to say South Dakota will likely remain very red after the election this fall. I still feel that is true. Yet I do think there is a chance at least one of the Libertarian candidates can pull out a surprise victory (perhaps a long-shot, but yes it is possible). No matter what, I am happy the Libertarian Party was able to step up and make sure no office goes unopposed. The democratic voting process works if voters have actual choices on the ballot.