Shortly before the Secretary of State Jason Gant announced the resignation of his politically toxic deputy Pat Powers, Senator Stan Adelstein released for public reading the following letter, which he sent to Attorney General Marty Jackley yesterday, July 5. The timing of this letter's appearance in Jackley's office and Powers's departure from Gant's is coincidence, surely.

05 July 2012

Via Email (marty.jackley@state.sd.us) and U. S. Mail First Class

Attorney General Marty Jackley
1302 E Hwy 14 Suite #1
Pierre SD 57501-8501

Dear Attorney General Jackley:

Since my first request on June 17, 2012, for an investigation of the Secretary of State's Office, information has come to me as a result of the publicity surrounding that request. Therefore, I have four new issues I would like your office to look into.

1. In the 2010 election, it is alleged by a Constitutional Party candidate that Jason Gant indicated that contributions to the blogsite South Dakota War College (SDWC) would be taken for the benefit of Mr. Gant's campaign.

A. There is no record that SDWC ever filed Statement of Organization or Campaign Finance Report.
B. There is no record of receipt, by the Gant campaign, of funds from the SDWC solicitation.
C. There is an allegation that the SDWC purchased, through its normal operations, campaign signs and contributed them to Gant's campaign which, it would appear, would have been an in-kind contribution. There is no record of such permitted in-kind contribution.

2. It appears that in 2011, fictitious information was listed on the corporate filings for the "Gant Group" in the Secretary of State's official records. That filing indicated that "Jason Gant was registered agent for the Gant Group" and indicated his address was 666 Main Street, Pierre, South Dakota - an address that does not exist. It appears later that the address was changed to his Pierre home address during the week of June 23, 2012; however, the false information was left on record longer than would have been appropriate under South Dakota law.

3. Mr. Pat Powers, the Deputy Director of the Secretary of State's Office, did not file the "Dakota Campaign Store" as a fictitious business name until March 21, 2012. He had been operating his business under that name prior to that date and the failure to have timely filed is a Class 2 Misdemeanor. Since the obligation to charge a misdemeanor is in the Secretary of State's Office, and obviously was not done so, what is legal situation with regard to this filing and charging?

4. Attached are data collected from Senator Gant's campaign website which show, at least to this uneducated mind, that as late as June 27, 2012, the website's technical representative is Pat Powers. While Mr. Powers may be working pro bono, is it even legal for any employee of the state to be furnishing personal campaign assistance to a Constitutional Officer for whom he is an employee?

In my letter to you dated June 17, 2012, I asked what would be required for impeachment. I am now more interested in the portion of the Constitution that provides for removal from office for gross incompetency. Impeachment would require a delay until the next session of the legislature. I am so concerned about the mismanagement of the Secretary of State's Office, that I would like to know how we could use SDCL § 3-17-1 to remove Mr. Gant from his office unless he volunteers to leave.

The items listed above would certainly indicate gross incompetence. In addition to those, I have received other information concerning everything from Deputy Director Powers being asleep at his desk, to the alleged absence of anyone in the Secretary of State's Office on primary election day June 5, 2012, to answer questions from county auditors, the difficulty of getting information from the Secretary of State's Office to file necessary corporate documentation, e.g., corporate annual reports - since the office refuses to accept any information that is not submitted via internet email.

I am sorry to have to address these issues in such an adversarial manner, but I think the situation is serious and, as a state senator, I need guidance to the extent that I need to ask the Governor for the removal of Mr. Gant as required under SDCL § 3-17-1 of the South Dakota Codified Laws.

Warmest regards,

Stanford M Adelstein
State Senator, District 32

SMA:kj
Attachment

Senator Adelstein attached to his letter this data from a WHOIS registry search of Jason Gant's campaign website, JasonGant.com, which as of this writing is still functional.

jasongant.com Registry Whois
Domain Name: JASONGANT.COM
Registrar: GODADDY.COM, LLC
Whois Server: whois.godaddy.com
Referral URL: http://registrar.godaddy.com
Name Server: DNS1.MIDPHASE.COM
Name Server: DNS2.MIDPHASE.COM
Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Status: clientRenewProhibited
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Updated Date: 27-jun-2012
Creation Date: 28-jan-2003
Expiration Date: 28-jan-2014
jasongant.com Registrar Whois
Registrant:
GANT FOR SECRETARY OF STATE
PO BOX 2012
SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota 57101-2012
United States
Registered through: GoDaddy.com, LLC (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: JASONGANT.COM
Created on: 28-Jan-03
Expires on: 28-Jan-14
Last Updated on: 27-Jun-12
Administrative Contact:
GANT, JASON @jasongant.com
GANT FOR SECRETARY OF STATE
PO BOX 2012
SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota 57101-2012 United States
605-362-4725 Fax -- 605-335-9549
Technical Contact:
Powers, Pat @yahoo.com
1610 17th Ave S
Brookings, South Dakota 57006
United States
+1.6056906853
Domain servers in listed order:
DNS1.MIDPHASE.COM
DNS2.MIDPHASE.COM
Trace route performed on jansongant.com
DNS1.MIDPHASE.COM
DNS2.MIDPHASE.COM
Trace route performed on jansongant.com
Tracing route to jasongant.com [209.236.71.13] over a maximum of
30 hops:
1 3 ms 2 * * * Request timed out.
3 11 ms 9 ms 9 ms host-29-3-220-24-static.midco.net [24.*.*.*]
4 10 ms 9 ms 9 ms host-68-6-220-24-static.midco.net [24.*.*.*]
5 21 ms 21 ms 32 ms host-12-6-220-24-static.midco.net [24.*.*.*]
6 119 ms 203 ms 204 ms te7-1.ccr01.msp01.atlas.cogentco.com [38.104.196.181]
7 37 ms 38 ms 36 ms te0-2-0-5.mpd21.ord01.atlas.cogentco.com [154.54.84.101]
8 48 ms 49 ms 49 ms te0-2-0-4.mpd21.mci01.atlas.cogentco.com [154.54.84.81]
9 60 ms 62 ms 61 ms te8-7.mpd01.den01.atlas.cogentco.com [154.54.82.201]

AG Jackley has yet to offer any public comment on Senator Adelstein's request for an investigation of the Secretary of State's office or on the propriety of Secretary Gant's non-enforcement of notary laws (which Ed Randazzo rumors without substantiation may rouse someone to file charges against Rep. Brian Gosch), his use of his official title in a political endorsement, or his effort to influence Senator Adelstein after publication of the call for an investigation. Secretary Gant has also failed to respond to my request for an investigation of the legality of the Madison Community Foundation's attempt to reclaim assets it forfeited when Chris Nelson dissolved them in 2005.

The question of the week: will the "resignation" of Pat Powers assuage concerns about impropriety in the Secretary of State's office? Or can confidence in the integrity of our state's elections and corporate filings only be restored by the resignation of the man at the top whose poor decisions led us to this situation?

p.s.: The South Dakota blogosphere lights up with the story of Pat's resignation. His old blog, Dakota War College, remains silent. The last two mentions of Gant on DWC came on April 20, 2012, when DWC noted Gant's approval of the Constitution Party and the Americans Elect non-party, and November 16, 2011, when DWC hosanna'd the SDGOP's selection of Gant campaign manager Justin Rollins as party political director.