Thursday, March 26, 2015

Rapid City mayoral election referendum on race relations

Few dispute that Rapid City is divided by race and income.
On March 5, Mayor Sam Kooiker announced his intentions to seek re-election. When asked about his biggest challenge, regarding the Native American community, in the past four years as mayor, Kooiker says, “Making strides in race relations and having things happen which set things back.” The other example of efforts to involve minorities in city positions was the failed appointment of Elias Diaz; which Kooiker claims was conspired by members of city council. Diaz would have been the first Native American, or minority, in the position of police chief in Rapid City. [excerpt, Richie Richards, Native Sun News]
An analysis of the previous election from Joseph Budd appeared in the Native Sun News and was reposted at
But in all, it would prove to be a close fight, as Hanks would win 12 precincts, out of 25 in the city to speak of. For the Native Americans within Rapid City, voting in specific areas tended to highlight this. The Lakota Homes subdivision, located within the Ward Four, Precinct Three, would have 193 votes for Hanks, while 285 votes would be counted for Kooiker. North Rapid, the section that Kooiker had mentioned regarding gerrymandering issues, would vote for Kooiker as well, with a 198-109 total. Overall, Kooiker’s win highlighted the division in Rapid City, between the well-to-do living in West side and Sheridan Lake Road areas and the middle-lower class living on the East and North Side, but it also highlighted that those traditionally living in North Rapid, are now spreading out to other parts of Rapid City. During Kooiker’s censure, several people were brought forth to defend his freedom of speech, including Robert Doody, Executive Director of American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota.
Former mayor Alan Hanks is a Roman Catholic. That sect is deeply rooted in the collective Native unconscious as the psychosexual predators that colluded with the US to abrogate the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868.

Also a Catholic, Kevin Woster reported in the Rapid City Journal:
I pondered the question when I saw Kooiker Monday night during a Fourth of July celebration at the southwest Rapid City home of Qusi and Jamie Al-haj. Qusi is a former Republican Party leader in Pennington County and current West River director for U.S. Sen. John Thune. And when Qusi celebrates, he enjoys a little company. Last week, that included familiar Republicans such as Ken Davis and J.P. Duniphan. It also included the most devout of Democrats, Bill Walsh, who announced loudly that Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were the world's three greatest leaders.
The opulent west side Blessed Sacrament Church parking lot looks like a Lexus/Lincoln dealership every Sunday. Sam Kooiker is a white evangelical Protestant with ties to the sovereign movement, the radical anti-government secessionist wing of the Republican Party, that seeks to woo tribal members in other political races.

After 5-shooting an unarmed American Indian man a Pennington County deputy will face a wrongful-death lawsuit.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit last week upheld Chief U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Viken's decision concerning the lawsuit filed by Jerry and Jaylene Capps in 2012 on behalf of their Native-American son. The parents claim the deputy violated their son's constitutional rights and used excessive force. [Rapid City Journal]
Also announcing for the race race is a former police chief whose force was accused of being a 'bunch of racists' by a former member of the judiciary.

A civil trial is underway in Rapid City involving an American Indian man who claims Rapid City Regional Hospital employees intentionally carved the letters 'KKK' into his abdomen.
A Native American man scored a legal and symbolic court victory on Thursday in Rapid City with his acquittal on a charge of fishing without a license. James Swan, 53, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and a Rapid City resident, represented himself in 7th Circuit Magistrate Court at the Pennington County Courthouse. Will Williams, of the Pennington County State’s Attorney’s Office, was the prosecutor. [Seth Tupper]
No Democrat has announced for the Rapid City mayoral contest.

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