When he wasn't getting everything else wrong, Pat Powers managed to add three useful observations to our favorite political undercard, the fading Chad Haber-Annette Bosworth medicine show:

  1. Powers finds that Haber, in his fake and mostly silent candidacy for attorney general, has rewritten a key part of his family's story. Where his wife found it useful during her fake Senate candidacy to claim that she had to live with her children in an RV in the middle of winter because because the government attacked her, Haber now claims that they sold their two houses to buy medicine for Native American kids.
  2. Powers checks Haber's financial disclosure form and finds that Haber continues to earn no income for his family (which is a more logical explanation for losing houses and living in an RV... but doesn't explain who paid for his three-month sojourn to warm and sunny Haiti with a young female college student while his wife and kids froze in the RV).
  3. Powers also catches Haber providing evidence that his wife should be prosecuted for medical malpractice. Haber says that he paid for his wife to inject 94 Native American children with Vivitrol, an drug that helps drug users fight addiction. No one has studied Vivitrol in children, and the FDA has not approved prescribing Vivitrol to patients under 18.

Wow: so in an alternate universe where Haber is able to keep his story straight and run an honest campaign, it's anyone's guess whom he would arrest first: me, Joop Bollen, or his own wife.

Well done, Pat. It's nice to see you can occasionally uncover some actual news.

Related Viewing: Haber's YouTube channel includes this video of him in Haiti whining about getting lost after failing to find a translator. "A little frustrating, what do you do?" he asks.

Gee, Chad, I don't know, maybe quit being a thick-headed cultural imperialist who thinks everyone should learn English and study the local language before you go?

40 comments

My inbox lights up with a campaign fundraising e-mail from fake Libertarian candidate for attorney general Chad Haber. Short form:

  1. Haber touts his wife's disastrous, money-gobbling, law-breaking Senate campaign as a reason to send him money.
  2. Haber shows his irrelevance to the GOED/NBP/EB-5 debate by treating as news the predictable excuses Northern Beef Packers lawyer Rory King gave to Bob Mercer back in December 2013 for Benda's diversion of Future Fund Grant #1434.
  3. Haber calls me (well, not personally, but the blogs and the press in general) lazy and afraid of the truth. (Lazy? Chad, remind who here has a job and who doesn't.)

The only part of Haber's pitch worth mentioning lies at the bottom. After Haber signs off with his beg line, the e-mail displays this footer:

Life and Liberty Group - 640 E. St. Patrick Street, PO Box 866, Rapid City, SD, 57709, United States

Life and Liberty Group... that's Gordon Howie's company!

I called Howie and asked what the presence of his company's name at the bottom of Haber's campaign e-mail means. According to Howie, Life and Liberty Group sent the campaign e-mail to addresses on its e-mail list at the request of someone promoting the Haber campaign, with a promise to pay Life and Liberty Group for that service. The e-mail does not say who is paying for it.* Howie did not name the client, but he says he is confident that Life and Liberty Group will receive payment for this service. The monetary value of that service will appear, of course, on Chad Haber's pre-general campaign finance report.

Howie said the Life and Liberty Group e-mail list is available for rent by almost anyone. Howie says his company has turned down some e-mails, but he is willing to do business with the Marty Jackley campaign and the Madville Times, not to mention far less shady characters.

Howie emphasized that the e-mail included and constitutes no endorsement of Haber by the Life and Liberty Group or by Howie's Independent Senate campaign. Howie says he does not plan to endorse any candidate in any race.

There have been prior inkles of collaboration between Haber and Howie. I asked Howie what relationship he has with Team Haber-Bosworth. "We are friends with a lot of people that frankly would amaze a lot of the public." Howie cites his own video series with me last spring as an example of his ability to build positive relationships with people of all sorts of worldviews (there's a campaign pitch in there somewhere).

Howie confirmed that his Senate campaign paid Haber-Bosworth's paid spokesman for some consultation and media production. However, Howie says that engagement was "terribly insignificant" and nowhere near the level of engagement between that spokesman and Bosworth and Haber. We will see that insignificant payment on Howie's Q3 FEC report.

Howie says his relationship with the Haber campaign is purely business, no different from the relationship demonstrated by the presence of ads from former Republican Senate candidate Stace Nelson and current Independent gubernatorial candidate Mike Myers on this liberal blog.

Now let's just hope Howie doesn't have to take Haber to court to get paid.

Update 17:23 CDT: No "Paid for by..." statement? That seems odd. The Secretary of State says all candidates are supposed to "Display or clearly speak the statement: 'Paid for by (Name of political action committee)' on any printed material or communication. This disclaimer is not required on buttons, balloons, pins, pens, matchbooks, clothing, or similar small items upon which the inclusion of the statement would be impracticable." Does printed material include e-mail?

If this e-mail was arranged by an independent expenditure promising to pay $100 or more (and Gordon, you're nuts if you didn't charge that much), the source may want to review the following part of state campaign finance law, which does not distinguish between print, electronic, or other communications:

Any person or organization that makes a payment or promise of payment totaling one hundred dollars or more, including an in-kind contribution, for a communication which expressly advocates for or against a candidate, public office holder, ballot question, or political party shall append to or include in each communication a disclaimer that clearly and forthrightly:

  1. Identifies the person or organization making the independent expenditure for that communication;
  2. States the address or website address of the person or organization;
  3. States that the communication is independently funded and not made in consultation with any candidate, political party, or political committee; and
  4. If the independent expenditure is undertaken by an organization not including a candidate, public office holder, political party, or political committee, then the following notation must also be included: "Top Five Contributors" followed by a listing of the names of the five persons making the largest contributions to an organization during the twelve months preceding that communication [South Dakota Codified Law 12-27-16].
19 comments

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned a Brookings correspondent's report that Chad Haber and Annette Bosworth had lured students to a campaign event with an ad in the SDSU Collegian promoting marijuana legalization. The comment section lit up with a discussion of who actually placed the ad.

Let's look at the ad in question first:

Cannabis legalization event ad placed in SDSU Collegian, first edition of 2014–2015 school year, August 2014

Cannabis legalization event ad placed in SDSU Collegian, first edition of 2014–2015 school year, August 2014

The ad states that it was "Paid for by the libertarian Party." The ad refers to the Facebook page for the marijuana legalization organization South Dakotans Against Prohibition. It identifies no individual organizers or speakers. Staff at the SDSU Collegian did not identify the the representative of the Libertarian Party who submitted and paid for the ad. We can only hope the advertiser's check did not bounce the way the SDLP's check for SDAP organizer Ryan Gaddy's lawsuit did.

So we don't know who actually signed the check for this ad. But we do know what the ad says. It promotes the September 3 event as a chance to...

  1. get free food,
  2. "meet the libertarian party," and, most prominently,
  3. join a "grassroots digital media movement" to end cannabis prohibition.

I spoke with Nate Cacy, an SDSU student who attended the event at Hillcrest Park. Cacy says the first promise was absolutely true: free food was present.

The second promise is arguably true, if the Libertarian Party now consists of Chad Haber and Annette Bosworth. Haber and Bosworth were the only two organizers who identified themselves at the event.

The third promise, however, the thrust of the ad, proved entirely false. Cacy says that in the half hour that he attended the event, he heard not one word about legalizing marijuana. Haber dominated the event, talking nearly the entire time about his own candidacy for attorney general and, in Cacy's view, coming across as somewhat rude.

Haber exposed that rudeness most clearly when he took a moment to interact with his audience of four (Cacy reports seeing three other spectators, as well as a young unnamed companion helping Haber and Bosworth). Haber asked what issues the youth consider important. Cacy mentioned discrimination and cited LGBT equality issues as an example. Haber said to Cacy, "Oh, so you're coming out to everyone?"

Cacy is still wondering just what Haber's intent was with that comment. I'm trying to figure out how Haber's comment is any way an appropriate response to a voter who raises an important electoral issue.

I'm also trying to figure out the logic that gets a party to advertise an event around Issue X and then play a switcheroo in which one of its candidates shows up unannounced at the event and talks all about himself and not at all about the issue that drew people to the event.

Ah, but it's been a while. I almost forgot: if we're talking about Chad Haber, we're not talking about appropriateness, logic, or truth. We're talking about false advertising and self-obsession, the cement blocks to which the South Dakota Libertarian Party has chained itself.

22 comments

Just when you thought the Libertarian brand could suffer no greater damage, police arrest Emmett Reistroffer for raising hell at Eastgate Towing:

When officers arrived they found Emmett Reistroffer, a Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State.

His car was towed to the lot because of unpaid parking tickets; police say Reistroffer insisted the company had no right to tow it.

He's charged with a misdemeanor charge of unlawful occupancy ["Candidate Charged with Misdemeanor," KELOLand.com, 2014.09.10].

Don't worry, Emmett. I'm sure your fellow "Libertarian" Chad Haber will be happy to lend you a car. Maybe he can use his awesome political fundraising skills to guilt some gullible Christians to buy you a campaign car.

But maybe Reistroffer has done us all a favor. His arrest puts the lie to the candidate immunity theory that arose last May when Attorney General Marty Jackley said would not arrest or prosecute anyone who is on the ballot, for fear of interfering in an election. Reistroffer is on the ballot. Are Sioux Falls police interfering with an election by arresting him and subjecting him to bad press? If it's o.k. for Sioux Falls police to arrest a Secretary of State candidate for getting hot when his car gets towed, is it o.k. for the U.S. Attorney or the state Attorney General to perp walk a Senatorial candidate for aiding and abetting fraud and violations of state law?

Or maybe Reistroffer has shown us that the "standard practice though not an ironclad rule" of prosecutorial non-interference in elections only applies to the rich, big-name candidates and the candidates whom the powers that be think serve their agenda.

38 comments

Failed U.S. Senate candidate Annette Bosworth has hired her fourth attorney in three months. Christopher Robert Jansen wasn't available, so Robert Van Norman will take over Bosworth's defense against twelve felony charges of false filing and perjury.

Predictably, Van Norman tells the press that Bosworth's case is "very complex from a defense standpoint" (no, it's not: she lied under a sworn oath), meaning he needs "additional time to review records, locate various witnesses, and investigate the charges and legal issues in order to properly represent her" (no, you don't: just read this blog, and you'll understand the perils of representing this incorrigible con artist and that your client's only hope is to plead guilty and beg for mercy).

Van Norman also has a daughter getting married and guests from Europe staying over this month, so the Hughes County court has delayed Bosworth's motions hearings to November and December and her trial to February 4–6. That delay has thus doubled the chance that Bosworth's husband Chad Haber could save her from a felony conviction from one over infinity to two over infinity. Haber is a fake candidate for attorney general. If he (chuckle) beats Marty Jackley (snort!) in November, Haber would take office (ha ha ha!) in January and could tell his lawyers to ignore the law and drop the case.

O.K., back to reality. If she and Chad don't finally close the clinic and flee the country with their leftover campaign cash, Bosworth goes to trial February 4, and a jury will convict on February 6.

Related Reading: While awaiting conviction, Chad and Annette are pulling more scams. A Brookings correspondent tells me that Chad and Annette placed an ad in the SDSU Collegian a couple weeks ago inviting students to a picnic (food for votes again?) to discuss legalizing marijuana. According to my correspondent, four students showed up. They heard nothing about legalizing marijuana; instead, they got a sales pitch for Chad's fake candidacy and the now fake Libertarian Party.

Correction... for the rest of the press: Reports on Bosworth's arrest and pending trial have perpetuated the misleading labeling her jaunt to the Philippines as a "Christian mission trip." That is technically true, but it was not the original intent of the trip. Bosworth and Haber originally organized the trip as a stunt to promote her fake Senate candidacy and their attorney Joel Arends's veterans organization. In a November planning discussion with Arends, Haber laid out a cynical strategy to exploit Christian guilt to raise money for the trip. The trip only became a Christian mission trip when Haber and Bosworth's hasty organization and fundraising fell predictably short and they had to glom onto an independently organized Wesleyan church mission trip.

128 comments

Fake Libertarian candidate for attorney general Chad Haber has chosen to exploit American Indian foster children as his primary campaign (fundraising) issue. Even American Indians aren't falling for Haber's latest scam. Chase Iron Eyes, attorney for the Lakota People's Law Project that worked to bring abuses in South Dakota's foster care system to light long before Chad Haber decided he could make money off the issue, says Haber's exploitation of the issue is as bad as any cover-up or corruption of which we might accuse Haber's opponent, Attorney General Marty Jackley:

The articles surrounding the issue recently have tended to focus on Chad Haber and his campaign to unseat Marty Jackley from the Attorney General’s office.

Lakota People’s Law Project believe Jackley and his officers were more interested in covering the tracks of the corrupt DSS than pursuing justice for disempowered and sexually abused children.

The heinousness of this crime cannot be overstated and the fact that it has received little to no press coverage inside or outside of South Dakota is disappointing to say the least.

However, it is equally dismaying to see this unconscionable instance being used as little more than a narrow window of political opportunism by opponents to Jackley who are angling for a high-powered state job.

The Mette case should not be about elections. If Haber is elected, will the illegal practices of the Department of Social Services suddenly cease? Forgive us for our cynicism, but it is doubtful [Chase Iron Eyes, "The Mette Case Is About the Children, Not Elections," that Sioux Falls paper, 2014.08.28].

South Dakota's Lakota people have true allies in the ACLU, the U.S. Department of Justice, and other conscientious actors. They recognize that the attorney general campaign is a sideshow that will do nothing to advance the cause of their children and families.

88 comments

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.

35 comments
Chad Haber, tuning his brain to the Libertarian wavelength?

Yes, probe my brain, deeper, deeper...

We all have better things to do with our weekends than talk to Chad Haber. But Chad Haber is asking for it... quite literally.

On the lively South Dakota Libertarian Party Convention Facebook page, the Republican candidate for the Libertarian nomination for attorney general has invited us all to ask him questions:

Let's tall about my "scandals."

I've been subjected to over a year of smears, especially from the two main political blogs in South Dakota.

Let's clear the air. If you have any questions, please ask them and let me tell you this side of the story that you haven't been hearing [Chad Haber, post to South Dakota Libertarian Party Convention Facebook page, 2014.08.02].

Now Haber has told folks following the SDLP convention page that I am just a "statist liberal who is only here to sow chaos so the establishment stays in power." I thus won't clutter up the SDLP page with too much of my establishmentarian statist chaos.

But permit me to do two things. First, indeed, let's clear the air. If by "smears" Haber means stern criticism and regular documentation of questionable, apparently fraudulent, possibly criminal behavior, then he should be referring to just one main political blog—mine. The other blog to which he is referring, Pat Powers's Dakota War College, spent most of the past year acting as Haber's ally in the blogosphere, pushing Bosworth propaganda and spinning positive stories about the amateurish and ultimately ridiculous Senate campaign that Haber maanged for his wife, Annette Bosworth. Only when Bosworth turned on DWC's Republican friends Marty Jackley and Joel Arends, and only when Haber had clearly picked a new creepy blogosphere best buddy did Powers get real about branding Bosworth and Haber the charlatans that they are.

Pat Powers is the least of your problems, Chad. You want me. Focus.

Now, to the greater business at hand, the questions Chad Haber says he wants us to ask. Friends, if you have a moment, feel free to pose any of these questions to Chad in his chosen forum.

  1. Why did you refuse to repay Christine Dearing the $200,000 she loaned you?
  2. Following up on Rick Knobe's question, please explain the business activities you engaged in and the current business status of the corporations you have worked for and/or run from 2004 to the present, including but not limited to 100X, Prescott & Walker Inc., Associated Strategic Capital, Haber Truck and Trailer Sales, Equipment Sales, Ironworks Leasing, Preventive Health Strategies, and Meaningful Medicine?
  3. Given that you have cited your management of your wife's Senate campaign as a demonstration of your "entrepreneurship," can you explain what your spending six times more per vote than Mike Rounds and coming away with less than a tenth of Rounds's winning vote total says about your entrepreneurship?
  4. Why, when a lack of income forced your wife and children to live in an RV in the middle of winter in 2012–2013, did you leave for a three-month stay in Haiti that appears not to have generated any income to support your family?
  5. On a similar note, how did you pay for your getaway to Alaska (or was it just Canada?) in June immediately after your wife's loss in the primary?
  6. How do you justify leaving your wife for that vacation when she was dealing with her primary loss and the charges filed against her by Attorney General Marty Jackley?
  7. Did you witness every signature to which you affixed your circulator's oath on your wife's nominating petition?
  8. Did you hand copies of your wife's nominating petition to anyone or solicit any signatures for that petition prior to January 1, 2014?
  9. What did you know, prior to their arrests, about the activities of your associates in 100X that led to their convictions and federal prison sentences?
  10. Do you consider it ethical to exploit Christian guilt to solicit donations?
  11. What unethical behavior did you exhibit that could have provoked a campaign employee to quit the campaign?
  12. Why did you not pay Mathia Rall her full wages?
  13. Why did Rall receive a paycheck from for-profit Independent Medicine for work she did as an employee of non-profit Preventive Health Strategies? Was that paycheck a contribution from IM to PHS?
  14. Have you paid all of your delinquent taxes in Utah?
  15. Did you allow any resources (e.g., employee time, office space, supplies) belonging to your non-profit Preventive Health Strategies to be used in the Bosworth for Senate campaign?
  16. Why did you stonewall PHS raffle ticket buyers for so long?
  17. Why did the state's consumer protection office have to get involved to secure refunds for five PHS raffle ticket buyers?
  18. What is the current status of all raffle funds raised in the motorcycle and land raffles for which PHS never drew prizes?
  19. Did Preventive Health Strategies legally own the Moody County land it offered for raffle during the entire time that PHS offered raffle tickets for that land?
  20. Why did law enforcement never act on your allegation that I pilfered papers from your locked desk? Did you even have a locked desk in June/July 2013?

If you can get Chad Haber to answer those questions, let me know. I can come up with more.

And remember, Chad Haber really did ask for your questions.

87 comments

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