Aw, nertz! If Marty can't give Jason legal advice, who can?
I've been pinning my needles all day, waiting for the announcement Secretary of State Jason Gant said he would make this morning about the status of the Libertarian nominations of Ryan Gaddy and Chad Haber. There is now grave doubt about the validity of those nominations, since SDLP executive committee member Bob Newland says the two men handed him their voter registration applications on Saturday at convention, and Newland mailed those applications to the county auditor on Monday, meaning those applications had not been processed and Gaddy and Haber were not registered Libertarian voters at the time they were nominated, which state law requires they have been to be legally nominated.
Our grave doubts shall remain unsated for at least another day, maybe longer. Secretary Gant had turned to Attorney General Marty Jackley for a legal opinion on the situation. AG Jackley said, No way!
...[T]he question presents a potential conflict of interest. A ruling against Haber would remove Jackley's only opponent in the November election and give him a second full term unopposed.
Previously, Jackley said he was recusing himself from the question and leaving it in the hands of deputies under a "conflict wall."
"I'm not part of those discussions or that decision-making," Jackley said Thursday afternoon. "I'm not overseeing any advice that is given in relation to that issue."
But discussions had been underway for days about a more radical solution: removing Jackley's office from the picture entirely.
By late Thursday, Jackley said, "everyone was comfortable with it and agreed to it" and Gant announced attorney general's office would remove itself entirely [David Montgomery, "Gant: AG Office Removing Itself from Haber Decision," that Sioux Falls paper, 2014.08.14].
So to whom does Gant turn for legal advice? An attorney general from another state? (Oh, I bet Utah is out.) A U.S. Attorney? (Again, more conflicts.) Hire a private lawyer? (Uh oh: not Brandon Taliaferro! Not Joel Arends!)
Jeepers, Jason: instead of trying to find a lawyer not somehow tainted by Haber's scams, it might be quicker to just use the brains whatever God you believe in gave you and that the voters charged you with using, read statute and your predecessor's very clear precedential statements, and call Gaddy and Haber's nominations what they are: illegal.