Monday, May 9, 2011

It's Not About Me, It's All About You

I thought nothing could surprise me anymore. Then I watched the "Press Conference" statement by Councilor Entenman at the City Council Information Meeting today.

Having an ethics complaint filed against you as an elected official is serious business. You could tell that Councilor Entenman took the complaint personally. It is easy to understand the emotions he expressed regarding what he feels is an attack on his family's integrity.

However, I believe it is important to remember that his role as city councilor is much different than his role as a private business owner. This complaint was not against his business or how he and his family have run his business. This complaint centers on his second job, the job of an elected official as a member of the Sioux Falls City Council. These are two separate and very distinct jobs.

The job as city councilor requires a much higher standard of conduct than that of a private business owner. City ordinance spells out conflicts of interest and a code of ethics for elected officials and provides an avenue for citizens to express their concerns. The conflict of interest ordinance addresses both direct and indirect conflicts of interest.  It is up to the independent Ethics Board to sort it out.

The conspiracy theories thrown out against Steve Hildebrand, President of Build It Downtown is just foolish on Councilor Entenman's part. Councilor Entenman himself started this conflict of interest  issue when he stood up in public before the Public Services Committee of the City Council and while brushing Councilor Jamison off, stated he didn't care if he had a conflict of interest or not regarding his liquor license application. The fact that he owns property a block away from a parking lot proposed for the Event Center is surely open for conflict of interest consideration by the Ethics Board.

Councilor Entenman has chosen to publicly attack a private citizen who happens to be involved in a grass roots campaign to challenge the mayor's vision for a major project that will impact this community for decades to come. He has basically done to Hildebrand what he accuses Hildebrand of doing to him. It is certainly way over the top to accuse Hildebrand of attacking the integrity of his brothers, wife, children and deceased parents. This is not about his family. This complaint was filed based on his role as a city councilor, not his role as a private business owner.

It is any private citizen's right to file a complaint with the Ethics Board under city ordinance.

To use one's position as an elected official on the City Council to vilify the complainant is outrageous and shows political naivete.


  1. Entenman's rant was quite self serving. Why not just wait for the Ethics Bord to rule first? Sorry Councilor, even if you win this one you didn't do yourself any fvors with that display.

  2. Well said! People get angry when they are wrong. He brought in his family which was weird. It could have been handled so easily by him. He should have said "I understand people may have concerns and the Ethics board is the appropriate forum to have it decided." And - he should have invited anyone else who has concerns to bring them forward. Sounds like the heat is getting too much for him!

  3. Political naivete is right. He is much too thin skinned to be an effective city leader.

  4. The fact that he reacted so defensively and by using classic & disturbing "projection defense" shows me that Hildebrand is a lot closer to the truth tha Councilor Entenman wants anyone to know.

    It also shows me that Entenman is in no way qualified to sit on the Council, let alone vote on the Events Center.

    Also, if the Mayor's plan was as solid as they want you to believe they wouldn't have a Council that's so split, hence not needing Entenman's vote in the first place. Case in pointp; the Center for Active Generations always had support even when Benninga recused himself every time an item concerning them came before the Council.

    And Benninga didn't even own the building or property nearby.

  5. Boy, you people really are in an isolated bubble, which is why you are so shocked that downtown SF lost in each of the studies and has very little public support for an events center site.

    Understand who Steve Hildebrand is....he is a full-time political operative who smears people like this for a living and with no regret or conscience. Look what he did to Herseth Sandlin, he was just as responsible for her defeat as anyone and just ask him, he takes great pride in that. Look what he did to Obama when he wouldn't support a public option in his health care proposal - he went on every national tv and radio show attacking him, calling him a weak leader, etc.....just like he's now doing to Huether, someone he worked for and collected lots of money from to help elect just one year ago.

    Steve Hildebrand is nothing more than a two-bit political attack dog, always has been and always will be. He's lost the last several high profile political races that he was actually managing (he didn't contribute nearly as much to Huether or Obama's campaigns as he would like you to believe, in fact, Obama's people are all on record saying the guy's a nut) - he lost Daschle's race, Kendrick Meek's in Florida, he only won Johnson's by busing in native americans by the thousands on election day. He's not a political strategy genius, he's a glorified community organizer.

    This isn't Washington style politics, Steve, you did yourself and BID a huge disservice on this one.

  6. Isn't it interesting that the arena camp has to resort to name calling and personal attacks to deflect from what is bad idea for the event center. You want to talk about two bit political attack dogs? You only need to hold up a mirror and look yourself right in the eye. There has not been one bit of name calling or personal attacks made by Hildebrand or the BID group. Yet that is all the arena crowd does instead of sticking to the facts. You bring disservice to your point of view by being an attack dog just because someone doesn't share your point of view. Small people breed small ideas and small thinking.

  7. Wow. Whoever wrote the last comment at 1:28pm clearly has a personal beef with Hildebrand. Why don't you sign your name when you attack a man? Oh, that's right. That's exactly what bullies and cowards do. They hide behind their computer screens.

  8. @ 1:28pm...So apparently you don't care that Entenman doesn't care about a conflict of interest, it's attack the messenger time and make it personal while your at it. Hildebrand isn't attacking Jim's family or his business or his intelligence or lack thereof.

    It's also worth noting that Hildebrand first tried to go to Entenman directly and was rebuffed and Jamison also tried on a different topic with the same results.

    Jim has made his bed and like him I look forward to what the ethics board says.

  9. What easily bothers me the most is when asked if he would benefit off of the new Events Center being in that area, his answer continues to be "I have no intention of selling my land or property." What also shocks me is how he is pulling the "attacking my family" card, when really as a public servant, he's getting a complaint about his work ethics, not his family business. He knows he is in the wrong, and is trying to use every card he can pull out of the bag to defend himself.

    Of course he will not "sell his property", as he's going to benefit by altering his property to make money off of a potential million dollar development right down the road. IIRC wasn't he going to open a Franchise close to that area? Sorry Entenman, you're caught.

  10. Interesting. He seems to be using the Doug Henning/David Copperfield "world of illusion" tactic - get them focused on the right hand so they don't notice the left one. What's next, the "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" defense???

  11. CCFlyer- No Entenmen was not going to open a franchise on his Burnside lot. That seems to be how misinformed many are on this forum and like to throw dirt. He was thinking about opening a "roadhouse" style restaurant near the present site of his H-D building on HWY 38. Jim grew up in the Terrace Park area and the land they have on Burnside was a business called General Marine long before they had a Harley franchise. His family has history in the West Sioux Area.

    If everyone feels so strongly about how rich the landowners are going to get out there, get your money together and buy Michael's Steakhouse or Jono's.

  12. It's a classic dichotomy. In order for Entenman to argue that he would not benefit financially he has to refute the findings of the economic study he currently supports. If the findings are flawed, why is he (or anyone else for that matter)supporting them? Even if he makes the case that he would take a loss on the property, perhaps that would mean he gets a tax deduction because of it, still equates to a financial benefit.

    He's painted himself into a corner and if Steve Hildebrand is the anti-Christ it doesn't change that situation on iota.

    BTW, if Hildebrand is indeed a nut or incompetent, why did our Mayor hire his old "friend" to run his campaign?