Senator Russell Olson and Secretary of State Jason Gant at SDGOP convention. Photo by Sen. Dan Lederman, June 2012

Russ to Jason: "I feel for you, bro. The Internet is nothing but trouble. Ya just gotta block all those troublemakers on Facer and Twitbook, and everything will be fine." (Photo by Dan Lederman, June 2012)

Now even Bob Mercer is finding whacky stuff in the Secretary of State's office. The dogged journalist finds what appears to be an attempt to rewrite the documentary timeline for Jason Gant's private consulting business, the Gant Group. First Mercer finds information listing the business's agent at the non-existent Pierre address of 666 Main. (Please, someone tell me the theocratic wing of the SDGOP will see the Mark of the Beast in Gant's devilry.) Then Mercer finds updated documents changing the agent to Gant himself at his real home address.

Gant says the weird address came from a "dummy document" that a local tech consultant used while working on the system. Reporter David Montgomery calls the dummy document a "minor embarrassment." The weirdest part to my eye is the chronology Mercer lays out:

Gant said the new documents were filed Wednesday and Thursday after the matter was brought to his attention Wednesday afternoon.

However, the chronology indicates that version of the story isn't accurate.

Time stamps on the two new documents filed Wednesday showed 2:09 p.m. That was before the first email was sent to Gant inquiring about the fictitious information. The email went at 3:38 p.m. [Bob Mercer, "Fictitious Data Linked to South Dakota Official," Aberdeen American News, 2012.06.26]

The passive voicw—was brought to his attention—leaves us to wonder who did the bringing, and what prompted them to do so. Could someone in the Secretary of State's office be sitting at the computer all day watching for certain users (journalists? bloggers? legislators? other troublemakers?) accessing certain documents? But if the Secretary of State's office were that attentive, why would they leave dummy documents online? It's almost as if they were leaving crumbs to chase our wild geese in different directions.

Meanwhile, Gant's Constitution Party challenger in the 2010 election, Lori Stacey, is jumping into the anti-Gant fracas. After she is finally going public with allegations of improper campaign contributions from Pat Powers to his patronizer Jason Gant. Stacey offers a lot of possiblies, mays, and passive voice, but incredibly, she and her supporters can't track down the substantiating screenshots they took on multiple computers.

Scott Ehrisman and commenters are scrambling to track the labyrinthine world of IP registration to figure out just where Pat Powers is hiding his continued management of the sputtering Dakota War College.

And just to top it off, Secretary Gant now suddenly has on file in the corporate database a slew of backfiled annual reports and an application for reinstatement from the Madison Community Foundation. I assume this means that the Secretary of State is recertifying a corporation that violated state law and its own by-laws.

Jason Gant's terribly, horrible, no-good, very bad summer continues....