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Robocallers Respond from Hiding to Lederman Lawsuit

Last updated on 2012.12.12

I receive the following curious e-mail from someone claiming to represent "Veterans Against Unethical Politicians," the name used by whoever put out the September 17 robocall attacking Senator Tim Rave (R-25/Baltic). "Veterans Against Unethical Politicians" is named as one of the still-unknown defendants in Dan Lederman's Rushmore PAC lawsuit against those who would speak ill of powerful Republicans.

VAUP continues to conceal its true identity, thus still qualifying them as "cowards" in Governor Dennis Daugaard's book. I still don't like anonymous comments, but assuming the e-mailer is indeed preparing to fight his/her/their case in court, let's look at the legal arguments VAUP offers to Dan Lederman's litigation:


It has come to our attention that there have been some recent concerns expressed about legislative voting record information that was communicated via automated communication system to citizens in South Dakota.

This correspondence is a good faith gesture to clear up some possible misunderstandings and misconceptions regarding the calls that were placed in reference to Brian Gosch, David Lust, Tim Rave, and Russell Olson on September 7, 2012 and September 17, 2012

First of all, the calls were merely intended to be an expression of the editorial opinion of a several veterans who happen to strongly disagree with the recorded votes on Senate Bill 188 (2011) by the above-mentioned individuals. As such, we believe this communication is exempt from the provisions of 12-27-16 Sections 1 through 7.

Secondly, the automated communication system that was used did not expressly advocate that voters cast a ballot for or against any of the individuals named in the editorial opinion that was shared. Therefore, according to the opinion of legal counsel, the calls in question cannot rightly be considered "electioneering" under South Dakota codified law 12-27-1.

Thirdly, the above-mentioned editorial opinions were aired by an automated communication system that is not owned or controlled by any candidate, political action committee, or political party.

Lastly, a single veteran (who is not a current office holder or candidate for political office) paid for the editorial opinions that were expressed via the automated communication system, and total expenditures for the automated communications came to exactly $292.94. Therefore the expenditures are exempt from the reporting requirements listed in 12-27-4.

In closing, we would like to also highlight the fact that one or more of the individuals and groups who are parties to proposed legal actions regarding this matter do not appear to be residents of one or more of the counties in which the above-mentioned communication was distributed. As such, we question what legal standing (if any) they may have in regard to this matter.

It is our sincere hope that this correspondence helps to clarify our position and acts as a rebuttal to the vitriol and misinformation that is being propagated by overly sensitive members of the political establishment in the state of South Dakota.


Veterans Against Unethical Politicians [e-mail, September 22, 2012]

I welcome the legal analysis of my studious readers. Hit the law books, folks!

Update 09:35 MDT: By the way, does the veteran who purportedly paid for the robocall accusing State Senator Rave of unethical behavior against veterans have another $292.94 to run a call against Senator John Thune? Our junior Senator joined a majority of Republican colleagues in voting to block the Veterans Job Corps Bill, a bill on which Democrats compromised by adding several Republican proposals to ensure that a billions dollars would have been spent well to put thousands of veterans to work as cops, emergency responders, and parks officials.


  1. mike 2012.09.22

    This cloak and dager stuff is actually kind of entertaining. We might not like the anonymous attacks but it's good theatre.

  2. Justin 2012.09.22

    Joel Arends is "shocked, shocked" that veterans could be involved in anonymous attacks marred with dubious claims.

    -Paid for by Swiftboat Veterans for Truth

  3. Douglas Wiken 2012.09.22

    It was a dark and stormy night. Then Robo called.............

  4. Jana 2012.09.22

    I am amazed that the Republicans that wrap themselves in the flag and parade veterans around when they are campaigning aren't just livid about Thune's vote against the veterans.

    Even more amazing is the free pass he's getting from the South Dakota media. He either says that he is against helping veterans or he says that petty partisan politics and obstruction are more important than the veterans they voted to send to war.

    From Lawrence Downes column in the NY Times:

    "It’s probably useful to remind Republicans like John McCain (a “nay” on the jobs bill) that wounded, jobless and homeless veterans aren’t a fact of nature. They’re a product of the wars that Congress members voted for, the war debt they piled on, and the economy they helped ruin.

    “It’s unbelievable that even after more than a decade of war, many Republicans still will not acknowledge that the treatment of our veterans is a cost of war,” Ms. Murray said in a statement after the vote.

    Downes has two columns up (Sept. 19th and Sept. 13th) on the Veterans Jobs Corp Act that are worth the read.

  5. Owen Reitzel 2012.09.22

    glad you brought up the last part about Thune voting against veterans job bill.
    Lets hear the outrage veterans!!!!
    Oh, by the way this program was paid for

  6. Jana 2012.09.22

    So while PP at the SDWC continues to harp on the robo callers about their anonymity in criticizing legislators for their votes that affected our guard members...he is silent on his man-crush Thune's blatant disregard for veterans in favor of politics.

    I wonder if the robo callers might add Thune to the targeted list.

  7. LK 2012.09.22

    I agree with Mike that the fight between Howie et al and Daugaard Inc. is entertaining.

    My big question is what are they fighting over? The South Dakota Republican Party has a hollow cavity where its soul should be, so it seems as if they are fighting over nothing.

  8. mike 2012.09.22

    So Joel Arends attacks Obama with Vets for a Strong America but no one is allowed to attack the Governor? Hmmm?

  9. Jana 2012.09.22

    Has Arends said anything about the Veterans Jobs Corp Act?

    I haven't seen anything, so it hard to say if he's a hypocrite or just using the veterans as a beard to mask his real intentions. (Make money, take potshots at Dems and feed his own ego?)

  10. G-Man 2012.09.23

    The South Dakota Republican Party is literally cracking...I mean "quacking" apart! LOL

  11. grudznick 2012.09.23

    Why hasn't it occurred to anybody to point out where Mr. Nelson and that young Ms. Hubbel legislature have voted against things that would have benefited veterans? If they vote against things to benefit veterans they must hate veterans.

  12. larry kurtz 2012.09.23

    has PP banned you, grudz? your appearances over there seem...non-existent.

  13. larry kurtz 2012.09.23

    and you appear just after he posts just like clock-work.

  14. larry kurtz 2012.09.23

    over-godding: code for anybody but pope benedict?

  15. Charlie Hoffman 2012.09.23

    Hey Grudz? We seem to have republicans dissing republicans, Catholics dissing Catholics, democrats dissing democrats, Christians dissing Christians, and certainly Muslims dissing Muslims(and every other breed and religion on the planet). That said have you or anyone read, seen, or heard of any Mormons saying or writing anything negative about Mitt Romney? Pretty compelling statement I'd say about his integrity. (I mean really just how many pols lately have had women attempt to sabotage their campaign with sex scandals alone?)

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.09.23

    That's a stretch, Charlie. The Mormons are probably all waiting with bated breath for Romney to fulfill the White Horse Prophecy. He is the fulfillment of his church's destiny. Mormons are a fervent bunch; they aren't going to diss their Second Coming.

    Oh, and I can think of one other pol who hasn't had women attempt to sabotage his campaign with sex scandals: President Barack Obama. Good family man. Good Christian. A straight-up dude who renders your "integrity" speculation a Mitt—er, moot point in terms of distinguishing candidates.

  17. Jana 2012.09.23

    Grud...what do you think of Thune voting against veterans? Tim Johnson voted for them...along with most of the other Democratic Senators.

    Hmmmm. I think that veterans have served their useful purpose with the Republicans, just like the fire fighters and police after 9-11. Of course we all remember how Mitt and Paul Ryan seem to have lost the words war and veterans.

Comments are closed.