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AG Jackley Finds No Prosecutable Monkeyshines in Secretary of State’s Office

Last updated on 2014.01.14

Attorney General Marty Jackley wrote to Senator Stanford Adelstein (R-32/Rapid City) yesterday. AG Jackley confirmed that the Legislature can impeach Secretary of State Jason Gant, but he said there's no criminal reason to do so.

In response to Senator Adelstein's June 18 request, AG Jackley spent the past month perusing 60,000 e-mails, 150,000 Internet usage logs, and 2.6 million electronic files from the Secretary of State's office (hey, Marty! did you find out which Gant staffer is Bill Clay? I mean really, what better explanation for Dakota War College's absolute silence on the Gant scandals than the fact that its main author is a Gant employee?). He reviewed Jason Gant's campaign finance papers and Gant's and Pat Powers's corporate filings.

His conclusion:

Based upon witness information and document review, I concur with DCI's determination that there exists no evidence of state criminal violations within the scope of this investigation. The voluminous e-mails, internet usage and computer files provided no evidence that the activities of Secretary Gant, Mr. Powers or "Dakota Campaign Store" were in violation of state criminal statutes [Attorney General Marty Jackley, letter to Senator Stanford Adelstein, 2012.07.17].

AG Jackley's investigation and letter do not appear to address the Gant-Gosch notary scandal or Gant's awkward partisan activities. Jackley definitely does not address the perception problem by which Secretary Gant has damaged public trust in his office.

Senator Adelstein says the investigation was worthwhile, if for nothing else than leading to the removal of Powers from the deputy director's position in Gant's office. He does not signal that he'll push for impeachment, but he says he will pursue legislation to prohibit the Secretary of State from endorsing candidates... which could lead to some interesting First Amendment debates in Pierre next winter.


  1. Troy 2012.07.18

    Three comments:

    1) You can't limit anyone's free speech rights no matter the "merits." Only the voters can express approval or disapproval of any speech of SOS Gant. I find it chilling that Senator Adelstein would believe it positive to do such a thing and am confident upon reflection he will forego such an effort.

    2) I have no irrefutable proof that Powers is not "Bill Clay" but alot of circumstantial evidence. One is early when "Bill Clay" began authoring threads, I sent this person an email through the war college. I got an "out of office" reply from a person who is not Pat Powers or associated with state government or the GOP in any formal (or informal as far as I know) position. I know of this person and did not even know the person to be particurly politically active. The person probably corrected the oversight as I've never gotten such a reply back to other emails, unless of course the person has not left the office since.

    3) I can only speak for myself on why I have not written about the situation.

    First, and dominant, is I have personal affection for Pat and respect the friendship in a way that I feel anything I have to say will be seen as "defending" Pat so I chose to say nothing. Maybe that is wrong as part of me says Pat deserves a defense. On the other hand, a defense that only throws gas on a fire doing my friend no good.

    Second, my view is simple. Nothing illegal was done as the AG confirmed. Nothing unethical was done in my mind. People, even state employees, are allowed to moonlight in their off-hours. We all know Pat's capacity to do many things at once (parent a cabal of kids, sell real estate, work on campaigns and blog). I just think Pat didn't contemplate the appearance and for that he has suffered huge loss of reputation that I think is unfair. But, in this world of anonymous posters who can impugn without mercy, I just don't believe giving a forum for it served a purpose.

    Third, Pat started DWC and built it. He left it to a bunch of putz's (myself included) who don't have the time, vision or desire to give it what he gave it. I'm not going to add insult to our poor stewardship with futher injury to allow others to pile on Pat.

    Finally, Pat never called me throughout this. I find it very mature to just take your medicine without asking anyone to come to your defense. Who am I to thwart (or appear to thwart) what Pat seemed to desire. Anyone who survives a purging fire comes away stronger. I wish Pat the very best.

  2. larry kurtz 2012.07.18

    "In May 2010, NHMC filed comments in the FCC’s proceeding on the Future of Media and Information Needs of Communities in the Digital Age.[71] Joined by 32 national and regional organizations from throughout the country, the comments ask the FCC to examine hate speech in media. In its comments, NHMC reinforces the need for the FCC to act on NHMC’s petition for inquiry on hate speech in media filed in January 2009."

  3. larry kurtz 2012.07.18

    That DWC promoted outright race hatred toward Professor Adelstein because he is rich but Jewish, but now defends Willard Romney is so over the top that it is indescribable hypocrisy.

  4. Troy 2012.07.18

    Larry, opposition to a person (personal or with regard to position) does not necessarily translate into opposition to one's religion or ethnicity.

    Pat and Stan don't like each other. Pat and Dan Lederman like each other. Both Stan and Dan are Jewish.

    Neither will like me saying this but some of the animosity between Stan and Pat is because they are more alike than different. Both are people with strong views and can be intemperate when they say what is on their minds or pursue what they think.

    It goes to their basic temperment, a temperment given to them by God.

  5. larry kurtz 2012.07.18

    I hope Stan sues Pat into oblivion.

  6. larry kurtz 2012.07.18

    Tell me this isn't institutionalized race hatred, Troy.

  7. Bryce Rausch 2012.07.18

    So, the tea partier Senator Wolverine (come on, he looks like an old timey X-Men character) would only defend the constitution when it fits his agenda? It'll be interesting to read about the debates.

  8. Jim 2012.07.18

    Troy, that was more than three comments. Also, the AG's office didn't confirm nothing illegal was done. Courts determine that. The AG's office determined not to bring any type of criminal charges. Big difference. Marty referred to criminal statutes twice, stating in his opinion following the investigation that no criminal statutes were violated. Marty doesn't address non-criminal statutes bc he doesn't have to. You stated once that at the end of the day we would all want Pat as a neighbor. I take it you would exclude democratic candidates from this list. Pat used to like to gossip about the comings and goings at the Herseth home and others. Can't really say I like my neighbors going all Gladys Cravitz on me. If you are republican, Pat is probably a great neighbor.

    If Pat didn't think he did anything wrong, he shouldn't have resigned, unless he actually had been contemplating that decision well before this whole flap came about. Pat will probably keep that one tucked away in his little book of secrets. One thing is for certain, his resignation made Marty's decision of no action taken a easier.

  9. Jessica 2012.07.18

    If it feels like a conflict of interest, then it probably is.

    Do any other states have clauses or statutes that prohibit employees of the Secretary of State's office from involvement - directly or not, in this case - with political campaigns?

  10. Steve Sibson 2012.07.18

    "It goes to their basic temperment, a temperment given to them by God."

    No Troy, it was caused by the depravity of humanity due to the fall of Adam when they followed the advice of a serpent.

  11. Justin 2012.07.18

    I think it's pretty difficult to keep any government position apolitical. Tim Pawlenty had Mary Kiffenmeyer as his Secretary of State, and now she is in charge of handing out ALEC money in Minnesota. Different day, same story.

    Cabinet positions in every branch of government have always been viewed as spoils for the winners, unfortunately.

  12. Troy 2012.07.18

    I would like to have Cory or Bill or alot of Democrats I know as neighbor. I don't have to agree with my neighbor on political issues. I need to value them as people. There are good D's and R's and there are pigs in both parties.

  13. larry kurtz 2012.07.18

    I've begun to ask people upon meeting which political party they support.

  14. David Newquist 2012.07.18

    Just because people have the right to exercise their freedom of speech does not mean that they cannot be held accountable and responsible for what they say. In the last years that Powers openly produced War College, he published statements that were malicious, viciously untrue, and thoroughly dishonest. Many people who worked closely with the SOS office before Gant's regime were very reluctant to approach that office knowing Powers was running things.

    No criminal laws may have been violated, but there has been a massive breach of trust that makes many of us wonder if the SOS should any longer be in charge of elections.

  15. Bill Fleming 2012.07.18

    I'm fine having Republican neighbors.

    Hey, (wait for it...wait for it...)

    ...some of my best friends are Republicans.


    Troy, if you lived out here we'd have to drag you to the Top Secret Saturday Morning Breakfast Club where an assortment of D's, R's and I's meet in bacon-and-corned-beef-scented back rooms, discuss the issues of the day, and throw scrambled eggs and sausage frizbees at one another.

    I've heard it rumored that you have friends who attend fairly regularly (to the degree any of us do.)

  16. Jim 2012.07.18

    Marty also said " evidence of state criminal violations within the scope of this investigation."

    Good choice of words. Begs the question, what was the "scope"? If we are talking about internet usage and emails 8-5, that isone thing, and limited in scope. Guess we won't know if Pat's other interests and activities violated his oath to act impartially bc it doesn't appear it was in the scope of the investigation. Ahh, the art of clever drafting. Well played Marty.

    Troy, I think you would make a great neighbor. After seeing Pat in action over the years, I wouldn't care to live next door to him, particularly if I was active as a D or an I.

  17. grudznick 2012.07.18

    Mmmmm. Breakfast with Mr. Fleming, followed by a good hooka snort.

  18. Troy 2012.07.18


    Interesting concept to hold bloggers accountable for things said that are "malicious, viciously untrue, and thoroughly dishonest." There are some blogs and bloggers I have totally quit reading for this very reason.

    In fact, just for the fun of it, I went to one and read an article called "Parasites and predators as citizens" and it totally fit to which you refer. If Pat is unfit to be in the SOS, I certainly wouldn't let this charlatan in a class room. Agree?

  19. larry kurtz 2012.07.18

    That David and Ken Blanchard have been able to drive you from their blogs brings me great pleasure, Troy.

  20. Donald Pay 2012.07.18

    The whole idea of a politically elected Secretary of State overseeing elections is scary. It's a recipe for election fraud, and it's time to rethink the whole idea. If you want to reform the system, you can't do it by keeping SOS offices in charge of elections. Maybe it's time to eliminate the whole office, and farm out the duties to other places.

    Wisconsin figured this out a couple decades ago. Election, lobbying oversight and government ethics were all taken out of the SOS office and put into a non-political board made up of retired judges. Unfortunately, we still have elected county officials overseeing elections. This causes no end of trouble, but that should be reformed as well.

  21. John Hess 2012.07.18

    Katherine Harris!!!

  22. Bill Fleming 2012.07.18

    Yes. The ghost of partisan SOS's past.


  23. John Hess 2012.07.18

    Even the establishment Republicans got scared of her later. She was not picked for her competency.

  24. David Newquist 2012.07.18

    There is a big difference between making false and libelous statements and making observations based upon fact on the function that some people choose to serve the functions of parasites and predators in the economic system.

  25. David Newquist 2012.07.18

    Try it this way:

    There is a big difference between making false and libelous statements and making observations based upon the fact that some people choose to serve the functions of parasites and predators in the economic system.

    And making comments about a person's professional conduct of which you have no knowledge (and would not be able to interpret if you did) is a form of the kind of libel of which the War College inmates are so fond.

  26. Troy 2012.07.18

    David, your impugning of people is much more insiduous and actually evil than anything Pat did. You pretend to make observations that are actually calculated libel, slander and calumny.

    By the way, what do you KNOW of Pat's professional conduct at the Secretary of State?

    Just to be clear. I wouldn't want your feeble mind pretending to be a professor for my children or anyone else's. Nor would I want you to be my neighbor. The "observations" you make in the aforementioned article are dishonest and the calculation is palpable. I actually would fear to leave my house unlocked for 10 minutes if you were in my neighborhood.

  27. Testor15 2012.07.18

    Notice how negative and petty personal Troy troopers get when wronged...

  28. Erin 2012.07.18

    Yes, Testor15, everyone notices.

  29. Justin 2012.07.18

    Oh yeah, that was way worse than running an anti-semitic campaign against a colleague.

    I especially enjoy all the accusations without a single quote as a reference.

  30. Troy 2012.07.18

    My point is David is willing to throw Pat under the bus yet does what worse what he attributes to Pat.

  31. grudznick 2012.07.18

    Mr. Gant was vindicated and that is now over. Mr. PP should be offered a promotion and company car.

  32. Testor15 2012.07.18

    Until the archives are opened again, pp is hiding.

  33. Erin 2012.07.18

    At some point I hope Cory will exercise intelligence and the delete button on this thread.

  34. Justin 2012.07.18

    So do Gant and Jackley.

    Which leads me to this observation: Gant is getting out of this a lot cleaner than I expected. People are mentioning his office but not his name very much.

  35. grudznick 2012.07.18

    I've been trying to figure out how Mr. Gant works into this news given that no bloggers seem to have pointed it out. I'm disturbed by it, and I'm disturbed by Mr. Gant looney toon like visage peering out at me from my computer screen so maybe that's the tie in.

    Why is my good friend Mr. Fleming not foaming at the mouth about Obama coming out with his own teacher merit pay thing for math and science but not french teachers? Mr. H is probably still smashing things in his garage. Mr. Sibby is going to say that this proves that 45 + 8 12 and shows that the state GOP powers that be are operating from the same set of talking points as Obama and Justin is going to be wrong about something.

    Those are my predictions.

  36. Dougal 2012.07.18

    I am shocked — shocked— to find that whitewashing is going on in Pierre!

  37. John Hess 2012.07.18

    So David lacks trust. Who doesn't? We haven't been given many reasons to trust in the last few years.

  38. Justin 2012.07.18

    Since someone posted that link, as a former private equity industry worker I have a great deal of respect for Bain Capital. Not everybody makes money in that business and when they first started it was nothing for them to get 30+ times there money on their investments.

    What I don't like about him is everything he has done and said since announcing he was running. Especially reneging on tax loopholes.

    But Bain doesn't bother me at all, I have heard a few people whisper about accounting practices in the early years, but they have the best track record of any PE investor I would guess. I almost went to work at one of their competitors that is a lot more controversial.

    These people aren't demons. They are just super impressive incredibly successful investors. I think our sources of private capital are a leading force in our economy and I don't see why it is a bad thing if they aren't breaking any laws. Their specialty has kind of been taking a company squeezing every ounce of economics of it and then taking it public and getting out before the crash, so they are bound to be a little controversial but they made people tons of money.

  39. Justin 2012.07.18

    sorry for the typos.

  40. Troy 2012.07.18

    John, you are right. There is a lack of trust. However, for instance, what David didn't mention in his article about trust is that unions and the government is trusted lower than business. He selects certain information to make an "observation" by talking about a lack of trust in banks which happen to be regulated by the government, heavily regulated. Furthermore trust in banks has declined since passage of Dodd-Frank. Obviously, the people didn't gain trust by more regulation. Why? Maybe it is because they don't trust the government.

    Everyone needs to act with greater integrity. Period. Our society and social contract depends on it. And, as David does, impugning by tearing a more trusted organization to justify a bigger government does not serve any good purpose.

  41. John Hess 2012.07.18

    So Romney is entirely calculating and extremely good at that. He hasn't released his tax records because it wasn't in his best interest. At some point he will if necessary and then we'll know more how he carries himself.

  42. Erin 2012.07.18

    I wonder if anyone has actually read the sources they claim to be representing here.

  43. Jana 2012.07.18

    Just for fun, let's say that Ben Nesselhuf was the SOS and David Newquist was his 2nd in command...does anyone think that Pat Powers, his blog and his followers wouldn't be on a rampage?

    Heck, someone might even be hurling ad hominem attacks at Troy using words like Insidious, evil, libel, slander, calumny, feeble and dishonest.

  44. John Hess 2012.07.18

    We have had a strange and uncomfortable marriage of government and business. There's plenty of reasons to be cynical, so I can't quite see the anger at David's article. It's not just the banks you know, but also that the corruption repeats. I'm old enough to remember the S&L crisis. It gets disheartening you know.

  45. Justin 2012.07.18

    Since we are talking about the banking system, the NY Fed's blog is doing a series on the history of intermediation, which may be more interesting to me than some but it looks to be tasty for economics geeks:

    The FT blog I found it through is pretty interesting too:

  46. Taunia 2012.07.19

    I'm crying. "Leave Pat Alone!" or I'm going to put more makeup on and write really long posts no one reads.

  47. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.07.19

    Erin (not Mrs. H!), I apologize: I'm in Paris, so I'm not in a good position to execute the Delete option. Everyone, be good!

    For the record, I do not accept the thesis that Pat's resignation proves wrongdoing. I accept as Occamly tenable the thesis that Pat decided the job wasn't worth the hassle, the drive time, and the time away from family. And seriously, folks, where would you rather live, Pierre or Brookings?

  48. Steve Sibson 2012.07.19

    So Cory, what about Obama's teacher merit plan idea?

  49. Douglas Wiken 2012.07.19

    What a tangled web we weave when twisting mythology into 666 and Salem witch dumping.

    "“It goes to their basic temperment, a temperment given to them by God.”

    No Troy, it was caused by the depravity of humanity due to the fall of Adam when they followed the advice of a serpent"

    Beware the talking snakes.

  50. Justin 2012.07.19

    Welcome to the world of not blindly supporting every issue your candidate is behind, Steve.

    It has to be surprising to Republicans who are willing to sign up for everything in the ALEC legislative agenda, even if they are penniless zealots that don't stand to gain a thing from it.

  51. Justin 2012.07.19

    I know, right Larry. We will see the real mouth breathers when dd refuses the federal aid to expand Medicaid. We know if there is one thing better than providing medical care for the needy it is "winning" on your partisan talking points, even when the two largest hospitals/employers in the state support it.

  52. larry kurtz 2012.07.19

    the Pen will have to add a wing to their prayer to bunk both Klaudt and Gant.

  53. Stan Adelstein 2012.07.19

    Attorney General Jackley told me that the investigation which I requested could only look for provable criminal activity. He made it clear that impropriety; inappropriate or other non-criminal activity could not and would not be researched.

    As a consequence, I believe that his report was all that I expected of him, and has no – repeat no – political overtones!

    As a consequence, I do not believe that the Secretary of State can be removed by impeachment. In any case that is not my decision, but rather the decision of the members of the State House of Representatives.

    I would prefer that the Secretary of State resigned, given the clearly articulated mismanagement and incompetence . In my opinion, Secretary Gant has no shame, and probably could not do as well in the private sector. Therefore he is unlikey to so. His behavior assures that he could not be reelected – or even renominated.

    During the next session I will be introducing specific legislation that I believe will improve that office, and, hopefully, ensure that no one with Secretary Gant's predilections will never again hold that office.

    1. The 1st bill will provide the same prohibitions regarding political office by the Secretary of State or employees of that office that are now required by the "Hatch Act,” of federal employees. That act has been effective for sufficient time to make me think that there is no constitutional conflict.

    2. The next bill will require that the Secretary of State will no longer be nominated by party Convention, but rather by primary vote as are the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General. The present method is based on communications and availability of information from the last century. This office because of its political sensitivity should not be filled by a small number of party members attending a State convention

    3. I will offer legislation that will make changes in some of the arbitrary decisions in the current SOS procedures,
    • The office will be prohibited from collecting detailed financial information from candidates for office, candidate committees, political action committees, etc. without specific direction from the legislature
    • the SOS may not require digital information that has previously been submitted on forms unless specifically required to do so by the legislature.
    • The office of the SOS must adopt a personnel policy prohibiting conflict of interest, particularly in the area of candidate recruitment, selling of political paraphernalia, or political consulting to candidates for public office at any level in the state of South Dakota. (I am sure that I will have some more conditions suggested by my colleagues before that legislation is finalized.)
    I will support a motion for censure of Secretary Gant, if one is offered. While I have had numerous expressions of support by colleagues – I think it time that I step away from initiation of such action.

    SD State Senator Stan Adelstein

  54. Justin 2012.07.19

    Thanks, Senator.

    Now we know the "scope" of the investigation.

  55. Jana 2012.07.19

    Thanks Senator Adelstein.

    While Pat Powers may have left, it does nothing to restore trust in the SoS office.

    I do find it interesting that the Governor, his junior staffers, and the rest of statewide Republicans haven't given SoS Gant any votes of confidence to speak of.

    The guy had zero for credibility as an executive and then proved it when he got into office.

    But then...we have so many that are short in experience but long in political agendas running the state, that it gives me little comfort in having Partisan Pat leave the office.

    Not to worry though, I'm sure that there will be another pure politically based appointment to Gant's staff. Although I do think that all of the Round's family and the Daugaard family is already on the state payroll.

    Whether Powers did anything wrong has become inconsequential...the fact that he and Gant created a culture of distrust in the one office we should count on, speaks volumes.

    That his boss tossed him under the bus without so much as even a goodbye kiss is even more damning...not to Pat...but to Gant.

    Nice job Mr.'s not just anyone who can destroy an office's credibility.

  56. Jana 2012.07.19

    I will admit that sometimes Troy makes me think. Like when he said this in defense of banks and their bad deeds:

    "Furthermore trust in banks has declined since passage of Dodd-Frank. Obviously, the people didn’t gain trust by more regulation. Why? Maybe it is because they don’t trust the government."

    Damn you Dodd-Frank!!!

    Certainly it wasn't the bankers fault...that would mean they believed in taking personal responsibility for something.

    Well that explains everything...the poor misunderstood bankers at JP Morgan (and how can you not look at the puppy dog eyes of those poor over regulated bankers involved in the Libor scandal) and not conclude that the government made them do it...

    Or, just maybe Troy, it is because it doesn't matter how much banks are regulated, they will do as they damn well please and consumers are the farthest thing from their minds except for being able to charge more pass along fees!

    Are you really suggesting that if there wasn't more regulation that people would trust banks more?

    Are you saying that the lack of trust for the banks, you know, the guys that gambled our way into a worldwide monetary crisis, is because people don't like government regulation?!? And that gambling they were doing...that game was rigged to where the profits were privatized and the losses socialized. Real capitalistic courage those bankers have.

    Hell, they gambled without any real risk to themselves or the banks they represent. The kid stealing a candy bar from a 7-11 has a greater chance of serving jail time than any of Troy's friends in the banking industry who wiped out an entire global economy.

    I'm guessing Troy thinks the JP Morgan $9 billion loss was because of too much regulation....

    The whole Libor thing...clearly a sign that Obama is stifling jobs and killing creativity in the banking industry...they certainly had the peoples best interests at heart.

    Seriously Troy..."the people didn’t gain trust by more regulation?" Do you think that maybe people would have more trust if just one person from the industry would be prosecuted for the shit storm they created?

    Hey, I know...we could give less regulation to BP and their partners in offshore drilling in the gulf...what could go wrong there? That whole billion dollar Canadian oil spill in no attention to that. After all, Transcanada has been a solid supporter of the Governor's Hunt and there is no reason we should get the same deal other state's got for taking private land...

    Back to the banks and thinking they are over regulated. JP Morgan loses 9 billion in a scam investment and we should look the other way? wouldn't have happened if there were fewer regulations?

    But no...we invite Jamie Diamond in to testify on the hill and he grills our Congress on how they should treat him and his industry can't make that crap up.

    Don't make me link to the youtube where the kid is tearfully saying "Leave (banks) alone."

    Trust is earned Troy. Please do tell us why the Republicans that have run Pierre and the state should be trusted. Because Jason is a great party guy? Because the governor said there was no budget crisis when he ran for the office and then turned around and blamed the budget for his draconian cuts to education? That was certainly a trust builder.

  57. grudznick 2012.07.19

    Mr. Gant regulates banks and controls the state budget cuts? I had no idea, and now with PP gone how will he keep dancing the puppet master jig?

    I think you people all fear Mr. Gant because he looks sort of funny.

  58. Dougal 2012.07.19

    Hey Gant! You really can get away with it ... and more than you first realized. The AG just institutionalized unethical behavior by a Secretary of State. I love Stan, but the problem isn't lax oversight or regulations. It's bloated, power-hungry egomaniacs like Stan whose appetites for glory (as they see it) is insatiable and whose capability of self-restraint and sense of what's appropriate are virtually non-existant. Apparently, Jackley's gusto for using his office for political oversight is reserved only for fool's errands, like his failed case to kill health care reform for thousands of South Dakotans.

    Pierre is ruled by a culture of corruption.

  59. Justin 2012.07.19

    The Argus says this means it's all over. Oh and read their interview with DD!!

    I give that rag less than a year.

  60. Troy Jones 2012.07.20

    Jana, you really should quit with your presumptive assertions I have views I have not stated and you should pay attention to what I have said.

    I opposed Tarp, I support repeal of Gramm Leach and a return to the prohibitions of Glas Steagall, which would break up the big banks. These are positions much more painful to banks than the joke called Dodd-Frank. If my views were adopted, JPM would not have lost that money because they wouldn't have been allowed to be in that business.

    But, in short, just because I don't support nonsense, you should not assume I am defending big banks.

  61. Anne 2012.07.20


    Despite the insults with which Troy Jones responds to you and everyone, his comments in this thread clearly stated that he regarded the criticisms against banks as "tearing a more trusted organization to justify a bigger government." However, his display of infantile rage should make clear the value of anything he says. Do not try to reason with someone in such dire need of therapeutic treatment. I join Erin in suggesting that discussion on this blog is greatly harmed by his comments. If he needs to exercise free speech, he can do so at War College where he can rage with his own kind at his heart's content. I appreciate your reasoned and informed comments, Jana.

    Recall that this discussion was sparked by a post regarding the Secretary of State's office and the record of scurrility of the kind indulged in by Jones that Pat Powers brought to that office.

  62. Troy 2012.07.20

    Anne, your toleration for insults of the right by the left and intolerance of it in reverse is hilarious. My comment was solely in response to Newquist's impugning Pat when he practices that which he condemns and to his logical fallacies by using selecting information in one context and then using other information with a different standard. I have no rage, except for dishonesty. Maybe my fault was to try to expose hypocricy by showing what it looks like.

    If you have a liberal perspective, I can respect that. Just be sure to apply a standard to my thought you will expect applied to yours.

  63. Erin 2012.07.20

    There are some facts in this discussion that override the angry contentions. There is a university-sponsored study of blogs and their contents, which I have participated in, and there are also some legal offices which have collected postings on blogs for various purposes. The War College which was taken down became noted for the personal and apparently libelous attacks on individuals. In a number of cases, the War College edited some of those accusatory posts and eliminated others altogether, presumably because someone realized the legal dangers of the statements made. However, some of those postings were noted and some were preserved in the files mentioned above. It is also presumed by people who have studied those files that the War College was taken down when Powers went to work for SOS because it was seen as a liability for that office to be associated with such postings.

    The attacks on Sen. Adelstein are an example of what those postings contained. A number of bloggers have commented in disapproval on the nature of those War College posts and the motives behind them, as some of the comments on this blog have done, but they have not engaged in the kind of malicious personal attack that characterized the War College--and shows up in comments on this blog.

  64. Bill Fleming 2012.07.20

    I agree with Troy about repealing Gramm Leach. Not sure it would eliminate the "too big to fail" problem, but it's a start. At any rate, as long as Dodd/Frank is unenforced, yeah, it's basically just a bad joke. ( in, "Oh, I'm sorry, you say that's illegal? Tough sh*tski, so sue me.")

  65. Troy 2012.07.20


    I'm sure that you looked at Newquiest as well. Right?

  66. Erin 2012.07.20

    Of course.

  67. Anne 2012.07.20

    The only person who has impugned Pat Powers is Pat Powers with the defamatory materials that appeared on his blog. A number of people have merely stated that he should be held responsible for them. If there is a question about the trustworthiness of Mr. Powers, it is a question he raised all by himself. And that as many have pointed out is why his former blog is probably buried somewhere in cyberspace.

    This blog, for example, carefully avoids scurrilous, personal attacks--except for the intrusions of Mr. Jones and a few stray comments.

  68. Troy Jones 2012.07.21

    Erin, I assume you would allow one to review your research. Cory know how to contact me so I can get your research.

  69. Charlie Hoffman 2012.07.21

    Troy the truth will show that only one truly non-hypocritical person ever walked on this planet. He showed us how a true compassioned life can be led yet even then love for his Father and disdain for the wicked shows up in scripture giving pause for just how human his emotions actually were. Sadly/normally every human before and after rudimentaly exhibits lust for their personal passions. :)

    (And Cory once we start down that road of relentless torpedoing of an individual's rights to either negate or support political prospects; blogs, newspapers, and airwaves come next into full view.)

  70. Justin 2012.07.21

    Are you the the fat albino golfer with a mullet?

  71. larry kurtz 2012.07.21

    uh, anne? my middle name is scurrilous.

  72. larry kurtz 2012.07.21

    my nephews call me uncle scurry, or larry the louse.

  73. Charlie Hoffman 2012.07.21

    Too funny Justin! I don't golf, will never golf, don't have the slightest care in the world to golf; but out of respect for those who do-- keep quiet about my true feelings about the game of golf. :)

  74. Bill Fleming 2012.07.21

    Charlie as per one of my favorite authors: "Golf is basketball for people who can't jump and chess for people who can't think."

  75. Justin 2012.07.21

    I quit the game last year, but I'm sure if we all put on hockey wigs to look like this guy we could drink beer and have fun. Business upfront, party in the back!

  76. Anne 2012.07.21

    Uncle Scurry,
    I always thought your comments were ridiculously funny, and assumed it was because you smoke milfweed.

  77. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.07.21

    Charlie, if in doubt, I try to err on the side of the First Amendment. I will have to look carefully at whatever legislation Senator Adelstein may propose.

    That said, Charlie, even if we cannot legally restrict the Secretary of State and his minions from certain political activities, are we entitled to certain moral restrictions to protect the integrity of the office? Or was Chris Nelson just wound too tightly?

  78. Justin 2012.07.21

    I'm less concerned about the office than the fact the state's constitution and government have been ranked the 2nd worst in the country on the potential for fraud. Telling people there is no fraud despite this might be sufficient for those that don't challenge their leaders, but it isn't for anybody that cares about governing principles seriously.

    One of the many Fs was for being the only state in the union without an ethics enforcement agency. This sham investigation is exactly WHY we got the rating and WHY a cursory statement from Jackley is not sufficient.

    We've got two members here, why don't either of you explain to us why that is unnecessary?

    Every public official should be accountable to an impartial judiciary authority. You can't talk about transparency and sit here with a straight face and say you haven't weighed fixing every one of those failures.

  79. Justin 2012.07.21



  80. Justin 2012.07.21

    I doubt the pols will answer and I don't blame them.

    So let me ask anybody doesn't oppose the "strong governor" approach, what arguments are there for allowing the least oversight of almost every state in the Union? .... EXCEPT the answer can't be a version of "because I'm a Republican".

    I envision the vast pleasure of psychic subtitles.

  81. Charlie Hoffman 2012.07.22

    Cory you absolutely have a point here. The voter loves hearing a candidates views on every relevant issue but hates having anyone tell them how to vote. Maybe we should follow Australia's process and fine everyone $20 who don't vote!! I am sure the US Supreme Court would find it constitutional now as they recently agreed that government can tax the people for not following the rules.

  82. larry kurtz 2012.07.22

    Hey, Charlie: you going to Colorado to march with Phred Phelps?

  83. Justin 2012.07.22

    Charlie I'm far less offended by the ability to tax than I am by our state allowing smoking bans.

    why don't you have the courage to explain why you sit as part of the legislative body that is ranked next to last in fraud? Why is there no ethics authority?

    The supreme court interjected itself in the 2000 election and voted for your idiot president, that also offended me a lot more.

    But changing the subject and blaming Obama works on Fox so why not, right?

    Nobody ever considered the legal argument against ACA serious. Thanks for wasting our money
    focusing on that and dissolving the ethics board with the least amount of media coverage.

    I noticed in the new balanced budget cowpie you guys are considering there is no problem continuing to horde state money in "reserves". Good job, I hope your taxes are going up too while we raised too much at the state level.

  84. Justin 2012.07.22

    Also the suggestion that the GOP wants everybody to vote is laughable.

    ALEC certainly doesn't want it and they determine all of our legislation for you to make it easy, don't they?

  85. Charlie Hoffman 2012.07.22


    You are the new poster child for oxymorons!!


  86. Justin 2012.07.22

    Pick up a dictionary, boss.

    Although the phrase "strong governor" was oxymoron.

  87. Justin 2012.07.22

    Malapropism is another one to look up.

  88. Charlie Hoffman 2012.07.22

    Justin your anger is smothering any good you may have within you my friend. Lighten up and realize we are but drops in the sea of humanity.

  89. Justin 2012.07.22

    I'm not angry I'm a responsible citizen with a voice.

  90. Justin 2012.07.22

    And lots of still unanswered questions.

  91. Charlie Hoffman 2012.07.22

    malapropism - Turning the NRA into Aurora and ALEC into dumbfounded SD Legislators. Justin you are a devil-man for sure!

    Absurd or humorous misuse of a word, especially by confusion with one of similar sound.

  92. Justin 2012.07.22

    I don't even think I said anything about Aurora or the NRA.

    What is your argument for being the only state in the Union to not have an ethics agency?

    You apparently have a say in it. If I check did you vote for it?

  93. Justin 2012.07.22

    I will also say I don't think you get or need much for your local campaigns. I am in no way accusing you guys of taking lots of out of state money it but it all falls in place. Look at their main issues and we were early adopters of most. It's a macro observation.

  94. Charlie Hoffman 2012.07.22

    Justin we have never voted for an extensive agency set with ethics overviews within. It is possible that the conservative nature of South Dakota does not warrant a bureaucracy laden with public dollars searching for wrongdoing where none exists. Certainly we could set up a huge agency within the government bloating employee numbers every year with fictious lawsuits against both government employees and politicans; but then we would just mimic the Federal Goverment. And we sure as Hell don't want that to happen to our great state buddy.

  95. Justin 2012.07.22

    How big of an expense and "bureaucracy" is it to have a bipartisan committee that investigates ethics accusations?

    In fact you used to have that and dissolved it. Why?

    I was embarrassed by our ranking last year and we dropped. The only thing I've heard from the governor was Blah Blah Blah improving (no apparently not improving) Blah Blah Blah transparency (nope we got an F there too)

    If its such an expense why do 49 other states have rules that don't involve a state official investigating the guy he probably works with most other than maybe the governor?

  96. Justin 2012.07.22

    I'd like to se those 60,000 emails can I make a FOIA request?

  97. Justin 2012.07.22

    The way I see it is we can "afford" good governance, but we can't afford to turn our heads on these issues.

  98. Justin 2012.07.22

    Senator Adelstein do you support the dissolution of the ethics committee after being treated to an entirely inappropriate investigation of your charges by the standards of any other state in the Union?

    It looks like there are implications for Republicans too. How do gop voters benefit from this?

  99. Anne 2012.07.22


    One of the reasons that South Dakota ranks so low on the integrity scale is because it does not have a Freedom of Information provision. Furthermore, when there is any evidence of hanky-panky it is kept secret under the rubric that it is a personnel matter and privacy laws prohibit disclosure.

    Even some very prominent judges in the state laugh when anyone in state government claims transparency.

  100. Justin 2012.07.23

    It's treasonous crookery to anybody that cares about Democracy. Which apparently includes Charlie and every other person that voted for this in our legislature and doesn't see the problem.

    Do we even have public records of votes so I can personally contact all of these people?

  101. Justin 2012.07.23

    That was a typo I meant to say "which apparently DOESN'T include"

    As in anybody that voted for this and claims they care about democracy is a fraud.

  102. Justin 2012.07.23

    There is still the ability to form an ad hoc committee to look at the evidence in this case.

    Senator I believe you should propose that. We can count the people who want no oversight of government by how they vote. And you won't have a standing committee where those pesky Dems can call an investigation and search through your emails when you don't want them too.

    Oh yeah and that would be far less expensive for Charlie who is so worried about the expense of government oversight.

  103. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.07.23

    Charlie, what a dodge. If you don't trust government, shouldn't you support some sort of independent oversight of government via an ethics committee? You seem to be putting more trust in government officials, saying they don't need oversight, than you do in the people, fictitiously accusing them of threatening all sorts of bogus lawsuits against the trustworthy people in power. That elitist sentiment seems to run counter to your politics.

  104. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.07.23

    ...and on the endorsement issue, Charlie: the problem with Gant's Rausch endorsement and Santorum-stumping is not that people don't like being told by higher-ups how to vote. It's that Gant's engagement in partisan politics, beyond the unavoidable activities of running his own campaign to win what our Constitution establishes as a partisan office, calls into question the impartiality of the office. As Joel Rosenthal said (that Sioux Falls paper, July 10), the Secretary of State is a "ministerial" position that differs from the Governor's office or your part-time Pierre job.

    So I'm still wondering: did Chris Nelson overdo his circumspection? Or does Secretary Gant's continual politicking imperil the integrity of the office?

  105. Steve Sibson 2012.07.23

    "It is possible that the conservative nature of South Dakota does not warrant a bureaucracy laden with public dollars searching for wrongdoing where none exists."

    Instead we set up "Planning Committee" searching for a plan when one already exists. Charlie, even though we don't get to attend Bilderberg conferences, the plans still make it to our conservative state.

  106. Charlie Hoffman 2012.07.23

    Steve just in case anyone wants to read up on Bilderberg activities here is a web site for further review.

    Cory I trust the local and state governmental agencies of SD and we do have a process in the legislature to review every agency on a recurring basis. Also there is a standard within the legislature for an acute ethics charge easily made by any sitting legislator against another legislator. Two come to mind from the past 12 years. As a private citizen you have the right to bring charges of corruption against any sitting governmental employee including those elected by the people for constitiutional offices.

    You are dwelling on personal politicking for negative purposes when you suggest that Gant is continuously throwing his weight around for political purposes though; but you already know that. One letter commending a very good friend of his; and you call this continuous. I'll stick to dodging the question for good reason Mr. H.

  107. Justin 2012.07.23

    Who is going to bring an ethics charge against anybody if it is going to be both investigated and judicated by his direct report?

    After seeing the embarrassment of an investigation by a far from impartial buddy, are we seriously supposed to be calmed?

  108. larry kurtz 2012.07.23

    any sitting employee. what if (s)he's no longer sitting?

  109. Troy 2012.07.23

    Justin, hmmmm. You claim we can't get a fair review from Jackley so do you feel the same from Holder with regard to the national security leaks that appear to have come from the White House?

    If you think Jackley is willing to be unbiased for someone he doesn't answer to, you must be even more critical of Holder's ability to be unbiased.

  110. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.07.23

    Vocab note: I very deliberately chose the word continual, meaning "continuing to happen regularly," rather than continuous, meaning "happening at every moment, without interruption." Gant endorsed Rausch on a campaign flyer and used his official title to boot. He put himself forward as Rick Santorum's chief delegate and state campaign chief before that bad dream ended. His politicking continues to happen in ways that Chris Nelson did not pursue while holding the office.

    So again, was Chris Nelson just too anal about appearances? Or is Gant doing things that wiser Secretaries of State knew made the office look bad?

  111. Justin 2012.07.23

    Troy, no, I don't think it is at all impartial. Although the allegations are dubious to me as the supposed leaks aren't pro Obama from my perspective. Obama isn't any more transparent than Bush and has been sued by the group that ranked SD 2nd to last in our "fraud" standards.

    Although technically, we should have all the details of the Holder investigation eventually through FOIA, unless emails are deleted, which is also why the group that ranked us next to last sued the Bush administration.

    I understand why Pierre is afraid to have an ethics committee. The problem with having an impartial group is you can't control them.

    What I can't even fathom to guess though is what the hell are they hiding? And how can any citizen that supports whatever party think not holding your legislature to a standard that 49 other states do is possibly helping your representatives represent you? (the presumably non-criminal public now competing with Superpacs for representation from your representatives)

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