A bill inspired by this blog's reporting has received unanimous approval from both chambers of the South Dakota Legislature. Senate Bill 18 makes conducting a fake raffle a crime prosecutable under South Dakota's deceptive trade practices statute. In five votes—Senate Commerce and Energy, full Senate, House Judiciary, full House, and Senate again to concur in amendment—not one voice rose in opposition to this bill, because every sane person recognizes that selling tickets for a raffle, then not holding the raffle and not refunding ticketholders ought to be a crime.

Such a crime is apparently rare in South Dakota. In testimony to Senate Commerce and Energy and House Judiciary, Attorney General Marty Jackley said that since 2009, the Division of Consumer Protection has fielded 25 complaints about raffles. Seven of those complaints came from three raffles that cheated no one but erred on technicalities:

  1. Backyard Motorcycles LLC sold tickets for a raffle to benefit Children's Miracle Network, but SDCL 22-25-25 does not allow for-profit entities to conduct raffles.
  2. Full Throttle Saloon sold tickets for a raffle in violation of the same for-profit-entity restriction and failed to register its raffle with the Secretary of State.
  3. Black Hills Youth Football did not register and sold tickets outside of its jurisdiction.

AG Jackley said all three of those errant rafflers have refunded ticketholders, are refunding, or are working with the AG's office to make things right.

The remaining eighteen complaints all come from the same raffle: Preventive Health Strategies' fake raffle of land in Moody County, promoted in late 2012 and 2013 by U.S. Senate-candidacy-bound Annette Bosworth and her husband Chad Haber. PHS sold raffle tickets for $1,000 apiece but never held a drawing, never awarded the prize (AG Jackley confirmed the Moody County land has not changed hands) and never offered refunds. Five months after this blog broke the story of this fake raffle in November 2013, and after Bosworth and Haber attempted to cover their scam by publicly framing former employees, the Attorney General managed to shake five $1000 refunds out of PHS.

However, in his testimony to the Legislature, AG Jackley said the remaining thirteen complaints against PHS remain unresolved. The Attorney General used the present perfect progressive, saying his people "have been trying to work with the owners," suggesting that the AG's effort to get Bosworth to cough up the $13,000 they swindled from the remaining complaining ticketholders is not over.

According to Attorney General Jackley, Senate Bill 18 will not be retroactive. The PHS raffle scam will not be subject to prosecution under SB 18. However, AG Jackley told Senate Commerce and Energy chairman Sen. R. Blake Curd (R-12/Sioux Falls) that his office could still bring theft charges if it can prove that PHS had fraudulent intent never to conduct its Moody County raffle.

House Judiciary added an amendment at the request of the Attorney General and State Treasurer Rich Sattgast to remove the 30-day refund requirement and bring Senate Bill 18 in line with the state's other unclaimed property statutes. That amendment allows the AG to pursue bogus raffle claims, place retrieved funds in the unclaimed property fund, and let the Treasurer handle distributing refunds. The Senate thus had to take up SB 18 again today to concur with that amendment. With today's unanimous vote, the Bosworth-Haber raffle scam bill now heads for the Governor's desk.

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Folks who ran for office here in South Dakota have eleven days to file their year-end campaign finance reports. As Bob Mercer noted Tuesday, that impending deadline has not stopped Secretary of State Shantel Krebs from unplugging the online campaign finance filing system for an upgrade. Secretary Krebs is busy—Mercer also reports that her office has processed 1,300 pistol permits since Krebs took charge on January 2. "Evidently," says Mercer, "a lot of public business had been left waiting for the new crew." (Yes, I do believe that is Mercer snarking on Gant again.)

Among other business Secretary Gant left for Secretary Krebs to handle is obtaining Chad Haber's delinquent campaign finance report. I check the campaign finance search portal and find that every statewide candidate from 2014 is up to date on filings except for the Libertarian candidate for Attorney General. Everyone else got their pre-general reports in by the October 24 deadline, with the exception of Constitution Party PUC candidate Wayne Schmidt, who waited until November 24. But Haber hasn't checked in with the state since September 2, when he declared on his financial interest statement that he had no sources of income greater than $2,000 and that his job was "full-time candidate."

You'd think a "full-time candidate" would have an easier time filing reports and following the law than those other poor slobs who ran for office while holding down regular jobs.

Secretary Krebs glances up from the big pile of papers on her desk and tells me that Haber faces a $3,000 penalty, the maximum allowed under SDCL 12-27-29.1. If he fails to file his year-end statement by February 2, Secretary Krebs will be able assess another $50 per day delinquent, up to another $3K.

Here's the campaign finance disclosure form—don't be late, candidates!

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Attorney General Marty Jackley's 2015 legislative package has hit the hopper in the form of Senate Bills 11 through 18. Of particular interest to readers of this blog will be Senate Bill 18, AG Jackley's effort to make really, truly illegal the kind of raffle scam perpetrated by Chad Haber and Annette Bosworth in 2012 and 2013 and uncovered by this blog in November 2013.

SB 18 sets these rules for raffles and lotteries:

No lottery may continue for longer than eighteen months after the date on which the first ticket is sold. If an organization determines that a drawing cannot be held within eighteen months, the organization shall within thirty days notify all purchasers that the lottery cannot be completed or prize awarded, and that each purchaser is entitled to a full refund of the ticket price upon the submission of a request for refund. If a purchaser fails to contact the organization and request a refund within one hundred eighty days after the notice was given, the organization shall within thirty days remit the unclaimed refund amount to the Office of State Treasurer as unclaimed property [Senate Bill 18, South Dakota Legislature, posted 2015.01.07].

But look out! Senate Bill 18 reveals a Channette Loophole in our consumer protection laws. SB 18 adds violations of the above new rules to the list of deceptive acts or practices. But check out the existing penalty clause of that statute:

Each act in violation of this section under one thousand dollars is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Each act in violation of this statute over one thousand dollars but under one hundred thousand dollars is a Class 6 felony. Each act in violation of this section over one hundred thousand dollars is a Class 5 felony [SDCL 37-24-6].

Chad and Annette sold raffle tickets for $1,000 a pop, then failed to draw for the prize or refund buyers (at least not until public scrutiny and the AG's pressure forced them to hand cash back to a few of their marks). Under the above statute, would that have been a Class 1 misdemeanor or a Class 6 felony?

Update 2015.02.12 17:36 CST: The omission of exactly one thousand dollars from the deceptive trade practices statute came from the Attorney General's office just one year ago in its 2014 Senate Bill 23. In testimony on this year's Bosworth-Haber raffle-scam bill, SB 18, Attorney General Jackley said the dollar figure is aggregate, not per ticket, so selling 18 bogus raffle tickets for $1,000 each in violation of SB 18 would constitute a Class 6 felony.

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The Legislature has no bills in the hopper yet (Session doesn't open until January 13—ugh! I can't wait!), but Attorney General Marty Jackley has posted his legislative package for the new year. South Dakota's most popular Republican is riding his massive mandate to proposing eight new laws (because Republicans... like... more laws...?) to make us all safer:

  1. Put child sex traffickers on the sex offender registry: perfectly sensible—selling child porn puts crooks on the sex offender list, so why not selling children?—but techincally necessary? SDCL 22-24B-1 already lists sexual exploitation of a minor and promotion of prostitution of a minor as registrable offenses. I look forward to hearing AG Jackley's committee testimony to explain the necessity of specific trafficking language.
  2. Make raffle scams illegal: Hey! The Madville Times makes a difference! This blog broke the story in November 2013 of Chad Haber and Annette Bosworth conducting phony raffles. The Attorney General managed to force Haber and Bosworth to refund some ticketholders, but incredibly was unable to prosecute the raffle scammers because state law doesn't actually require that folks selling raffle tickets actually draw for the prize they promise. (I still think Haber and Bosworth may have violated some other prosecutable raffle statutes.) Crazily, Haber ran against Jackley for the AG spot this year, perhaps to stop exactly this kind of legislation. Expect swift and unanimous passage.
  3. Let cops and first responders administer overdose treatment: AG Jackley wants to train and equip police and first responders to give the drug Naxolone, also known as Narcan, to opioid drug overdose victims. Narcan can save lives, and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder promoted its use by federal agents, but expect some serious discussion of the precautions necessary to turn cops into medics.
  4. Let soldier's spouses get concealed weapons permits: SDCL 23-7-7.1(6) requires an applicant for a concealed weapons permit to have lived in the county of application for at least thirty days. Apparently thirty days is too long for a soldiers's spouse to wait to carry a concealed weapon. (But wait: there still isn't any rule stopping the wife of a new transfer to Ellsworth or anyone else from openly carrying a pistol from the day of arrival in South Dakota, is there?)
  5. Legalize police scanners! Technically, all the fun South Dakota reporters and citizens have listening to their local cops on police scanners is illegal. In a small nod to transparency, AG Jackley wants to revise that law to make monitoring police communications illegal only while committing a felony.
  6. Protect DCI and HP bosses from political backlash: AG Jackley wants a law that gives the DCI director and the Highway Patrol superintendent their old jobs back if their appointments are revoked without cause. The Governor appoints the HP chief; the AG appoints the DCI boss. Curious: when's the last time either official was dismissed without cause?
  7. Make bigger lemons! AG Jackley wants to update South Dakota's consumer protection laws to raise the vehicle weight limit for our lemon law from 10,000 pounds to 15,000 pounds. (Hmm... will we have to change the name to "grapefruit law"?)
  8. Allow Supreme Court to correct illegal sentences: The AG says he is responding here to federal Supreme Court decisions; I'll have to see the bill and hear the testimony to make sense of the impact, but it sounds like minor bookkeeping.

Stay tuned for the real bills, coming sometime in the next couple weeks!

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I wasted a few minutes of my life last night listening to angry little Chad Haber insult about our soon-to-be-reëlected Attorney General Marty Jackley. In his recorded interview with SDPB, the Libertarian poseur defined irony by fretting that the purpose of the law is to "catch fraudulent snake-oil salesmen." Our neighbors who had to get the Attorney General to help them get refunds on fake raffle tickets that Haber sold them could tell us a bit about the snake oil Chad Haber sells.

Haber also made this galling statement: "Marty Jackley is a terrorist.... Stop the terrorism: vote for me."

Terrorist... as in using intimidation tactics to get what one wants? Is that like getting nose-to-nose with someone, pretending to know some deep dark secret about one's childhood, and then delivering an f-bomb laced threat?

Is that like using Senate campaign funds to create a video attacking a blogger who investigates your antics and issues a legal challenge of nominating petitions on which you and your wife Annette Bosworth committed perjury?

Is that like coaxing a $200K loan from a friend, then lawyering up to make it too costly for her to fight for her rightful repayment?

Or is that like this picture:

Chad Haber and Oscar Batiz, fall 2014

Chad Haber and Oscar Batiz, fall 2014

That's Chad Haber with local musician Oscar Batiz. Oscar is the former husband of LeAnn Batiz, one of the former employees whom Haber and Bosworth stiffed and attacked in the media. LeAnn divorced Oscar. LeAnn tells me Oscar isn't pleased with being divorced.

LeAnn tells me the truck in the photo is hers. She took it in for repairs last month. Oscar dropped by the shop before she returned and took the truck. Oscar sent LeAnn this grinning photo with the following caption:

Turns out you may be Getting reaquainted [sic] With an old friend since you will be spending time in the same place. wanna know more? call... [Oscar Batiz, text to LeAnn Batiz, fall 2014].

Unlike Chad Haber, I prefer not to get involved in divorces. I will only look at the photo and the text presented and suggest that the threatening, intimidating tone is pretty clear.

Unlike Chad Haber, I don't view words as mere tools that I can make to mean whatever I want to serve my immediate desires. Terrorist overstates Chad's manic attempts to bully others, just as it overstates any of AG Jackley's various sins in office.

But while Chad wheezes "Terrorist!" at the South Dakota Attorney General, he uses his own cheap intimidation tactics against anyone he sees fit. One can only imagine what Haber would do with the power the Attorney General if South Dakotans were foolish enough to vote him into that office.

Related: Chad Haber stands in violation of campaign finance law. As of close of business Thursday, the Secretary of State's office still had no pre-general campaign finance report on file for Haber's AG campaign. Pre-generals were due in Secretary Gant's office last Friday, October 24. Haber faces a Class 1 misdemeanor and $50-per-day late penalty. No wonder Haber lives in terror: he keeps doing dumb things could land him in jail (Class 1 misdemeanor can draw a year in the county jail and a $2,000 fine.)

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Fake Libertarian candidate for attorney general Chad Haber butted his way into the candidate forum at Oglala Lakota College last week and presumed to lecture our Lakota neighbors on their own history.

"I will always be called wasicu," says Haber... and never has that Lakota wordplay been applied more accurately. Haber takes all the fat, all right—he also steals much of his rambling recitation from New York Times photographer Aaron Huey's November 2010 TED talk.

Note that the video includes Haber's entire speech. He does not cite Huey. He does not indicate that he is reading someone else's words. He just steals it.

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Two of South Dakota's most putrescent political creatures are showing signs of improving mental health.

Pat Powers continues to make progress recovering from his misguided affection for Chad Haber and Annette Bosworth. Today, Powers cheers South Dakota Right to Life's "absolute skewering" of the fake Libertarian attorney general candidate. Says SDRTL:

It is hard for us to imagine a likely scenario in which a legal team led by someone as inexperienced as Chad Haber would be successful in court against anti-life forces. He has zero experience for this position. Running for attorney general is not a game and should not be an avenue for some vindictive grudge match. Lives are on the line here. Our Anti-coercion law currently hangs in the balance as it makes its way through the courts with NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU just waiting for any sign of weakness in any part of our legal defense. All it takes is one crooked pro-abortion judge to raise a legal issue with any of our existing or future pro-life laws to hold them up in court. Be sure to pick your legal defense wisely [South Dakota Right to Life, quoted in Pat Powers, "South Dakota Right to Life Voter Guide...," Dakota War College, 2014.10.02].

Yet Powers's piling-on also hints that Chad Haber, too, may be lurching toward just a little integrity. Last year, as he graffiti'd the Internet with fake press to boost his wife's impending fake Senate campaign, Haber cobbled together a shoddy screed fabricating pro-life cred for Bosworth. Bosworth and Haber pandered to the pro-life vote during their doomed primary campaign. I always had the impression that neither Haber nor Bosworth really believed in any of their pro-life statements.

And now, when he should be scrambling for pro-life votes for himself, Haber refuses to respond to the South Dakota Right to Life questionnaire.

It's a beautiful day, so permit my some optimism: perhaps Haber has turned over a new leaf. Perhaps he has realized that he, the attorney general, and South Dakota have much bigger issues to worry about than one narrow-minded activist group's obsession with a handful of doomed lawsuits over their campaign to oppress women. Please tell me that's the case, Chad.

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Even the Internet doesn't trust Chad Haber:

Untrusted: Haber for Attorney General; screen cap, 2014.09.29

Untrusted: Haber for Attorney General; screen cap, 2014.09.29

The above warning came up this afternoon when I tried to access Haber's fake attorney general campaign website. No truer words could have popped onto my screen.

Meanwhile, Marty Jackley road tests images for his 2018 gubernatorial campaign:

Marty standing in empty courtroom talking to himself—no. Frozen family shot for last ten second of ad—awkward. Angela striding boldly toward the camera in those boots—yes!

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