There goes the insanity defense....

Lawyer Joel Arends, the Sisyphus trapped on the mountain of fake U.S. Senate candidate Annette Bosworth's woes, just rolled a boulder at David Lias. The Vermillion Plain Talk editor published a punishing non-endorsement Saturday, urging South Dakota Republicans not to waste their votes on the erratic, possibly mentally ill Bosworth.

Of all the things he could have been doing this primary election afternoon, Bosworth's attorney Arends called Lias in what looks like a pretty transparent call for a retraction. Lias summarizes his conversation in an update to the editorial:

On Tuesday afternoon, June 3, the Plain Talk was contacted by Joel Arends, Annette Bosworth’s attorney. According to Arends, Bosworth has never been diagnosed with a mental illness. The Plain Talk notes that KELO-TV reported on Nov. 28, 2012, that Bosworth’s June 2012 reprimand by the South Dakota Board of Medical Examiners included an agreement “to seek treatment for a mental illness in order to continue her practice.” Tuesday’s phone conversation with Arends also touched on claims that have been made by Assistant Attorney General Bill Golden, who serves as a lawyer for the state medical board staff.

“Assistant Attorney General Bill Golden has asserted that she has been diagnosed with a mental health disease or defect,” Arends said. “He is wrong, but I am informing you today that she has not been diagnosed with a mental health disease or defect.”

Arends refused to provide any documentation that shows earlier news reports about Bosworth have been incorrect.

“Her attorney in fact is telling you that what you wrote in your article is incorrect. Documents from the hearing are protected information that she has never released,” Arends said during Tuesday’s phone call. “None of the records have been open to the public, and Dr. Bosworth won’t allow that to happen.”

The editor’s opinions and conclusions shared in this opinion piece remain unchanged [David Lias, Editor's Note to "Consider This Political Non-Endorsement," Vermillion Plain Talk, updated 2014.06.03].

Illness, disease, defect—anyone who has watched the Bosworth campaign can recognize that Bosworth is a few noodles short of a casserole.

Arends ignores the fact the the media reported Bosworth's mental illness as fact in 2012. Arends ignores the fact that the assertion of a diagnosis of mental illness comes not simply from Assistant Attorney General Bill Golden but from the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners, which cited the Kansas Professional Renewal Center's diagnosis in its May 7, 2012, petition for suspension or revocation of Bosworth's medical license. Arends ignores this exchange between Mr. Golden and Dr. Robert Ronald Perkinson, clinical director of Keystone Treatment Center, a licensed psychologist whom Bosworth enlisted to provide the treatment prescribed by the SDBMOE:

Golden: So let's talk about her Medical Board file. At the moment what do you know about it?

Perkinson: I have read the Board file, at least all of the files that have been sent to me, I read those on many occasions.

Golden: When you say file, I have no idea what was sent to you. Could you please describe them?

Perkinson: Well, I have them all here.

Golden: Okay. Do they include the PRC report, Professional Renewal Center?

Perkinson: Yes, sir.

Golden: And so you are aware of Dr. Bosworth's diagnosis?

Perkinson: Yes, sir.

Golden: And you started to treat on September 3rd with Dr. Bosworth according to Exhibit Number 15 which is currently on the screen?

Perkinson: You mean these files?

Golden: Yes. So you are familiar with them?

Perkinson: Yes, sir.

Golden: So you are aware of Dr. Bosworth's current diagnosis of a personality disorder, not otherwise specified, with narcissistic and histrionic personality traits?

Perkinson: Yes.

[hearing transcript, South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners, Sioux Falls, SD, 2012.11.09]

Arends brought Perkinson as a witness. Arends was in the hearing room during Golden's cross-examination. Arends offered no objection to Perkinson's confirmation that Bosworth has a diagnosis of personality disorder with narcissistic and histrionic personality traits. Perkinson confirmed this statement in a hearing that was open to the public thanks to Bosworth's waiver of confidentiality, made explicit by Arends at the beginning of the hearing.

In short, everything Arends said to Lias was wrong. Arends is simply recycling the strategy he used after Jonathan Ellis's February exposé of Bosworth's shady finances, throwing patently false accusations to smear former employees and distract from Bosworth's sins. Lias is right not to change the opinions or conclusions stated in his editorial.