As an example of the incompetence and cronyism that warrants Secretary of State Jason Gant's immediate resignation, take a look at the October 26, 2012, campaign finance filing of State Senator Jeff Monroe (R-24/Pierre).

Secretary of State Jason Gant lists this filing as a "pre-general" filing. That can't be right, though, because Jeff Monroe faced no challenger in the general election. He won his seat in the GOP primary in June 2012, in which he ousted Senator Tad Perry by less than a percentage point. Monroe himself fails to indicate on the form whether his filing was pre-general, supplemental, or what-have-you. In his sloppiness, Monroe also fails to indicate the cash he had on hand at the time of his last campaign finance filing (pre-primary, May 25) and separate previously reported contributions and expenses from subsequent transactions.

But Secretary Gant happily stamps this report received and files it away.

Also of interest are the first two expenditures Monroe lists on his October 26 report. Pat Powers received two payments, one for $1,057.94, another for $212.00. Again, Monroe fails to delineate these itemized expenditures on his October 26 report from the general printing and advertising expenditures he listed on his May 25 report, so it's impossible to tell when he spent this money.

But what would candidate Monroe have paid Pat Powers $1270 for? One can only assume it was Powers's widely advertised campaign consulting and advertising services. Did Monroe send out $1270 worth of post cards in the run-up to an uncontested general election? Probably not. It seems much more likely that $1270 paid for services that Monroe used to win his primary election in spring 2012... during which time Pat Powers was still gainfully employed in Secretary of State Jason Gant's office.

That Jason Gant allowed his then-employee and patronage beneficiary to operate a political commercial enterprise while enjoying full access to the resources of the Secretary of State's office is not a new revelation. But as that former employee continues his role as Gant's chief public apologist, it is important that we remember all the ways in which Secretary Gant has violated the public trust. Jeff Monroe's campaign inaccurate and uncorrected October 26, 2012, campaign filing is a useful artifact to reinforce that memory as we urge Secretary of State Jason Gant to step down and let the Governor appoint someone who can handle the job.