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Monroe Filing Shows Gant’s Incompetence, Powers’s Political Profiteering

As an example of the incompetence and cronyism that warrants Secretary of State Jason Gant's immediate resignation, take a look at the October 26, 2012, campaign finance filing of State Senator Jeff Monroe (R-24/Pierre).

Secretary of State Jason Gant lists this filing as a "pre-general" filing. That can't be right, though, because Jeff Monroe faced no challenger in the general election. He won his seat in the GOP primary in June 2012, in which he ousted Senator Tad Perry by less than a percentage point. Monroe himself fails to indicate on the form whether his filing was pre-general, supplemental, or what-have-you. In his sloppiness, Monroe also fails to indicate the cash he had on hand at the time of his last campaign finance filing (pre-primary, May 25) and separate previously reported contributions and expenses from subsequent transactions.

But Secretary Gant happily stamps this report received and files it away.

Also of interest are the first two expenditures Monroe lists on his October 26 report. Pat Powers received two payments, one for $1,057.94, another for $212.00. Again, Monroe fails to delineate these itemized expenditures on his October 26 report from the general printing and advertising expenditures he listed on his May 25 report, so it's impossible to tell when he spent this money.

But what would candidate Monroe have paid Pat Powers $1270 for? One can only assume it was Powers's widely advertised campaign consulting and advertising services. Did Monroe send out $1270 worth of post cards in the run-up to an uncontested general election? Probably not. It seems much more likely that $1270 paid for services that Monroe used to win his primary election in spring 2012... during which time Pat Powers was still gainfully employed in Secretary of State Jason Gant's office.

That Jason Gant allowed his then-employee and patronage beneficiary to operate a political commercial enterprise while enjoying full access to the resources of the Secretary of State's office is not a new revelation. But as that former employee continues his role as Gant's chief public apologist, it is important that we remember all the ways in which Secretary Gant has violated the public trust. Jeff Monroe's campaign inaccurate and uncorrected October 26, 2012, campaign filing is a useful artifact to reinforce that memory as we urge Secretary of State Jason Gant to step down and let the Governor appoint someone who can handle the job.


  1. mike 2013.08.12

    How does someone who serves as a well known political operative and blogger not realize he will need to be on his best behavior when taking a job in the impartial elections office? He had to know that he made enemies and they were watching him like a hawk for any crumb they could find.

    Rule number one should have been to shut down the campaign store and cease political activity. If he worked in the Treasurer's office no one would have cared.

    Maybe Powers didn't do anything illegal but he certainly broke the standard of ethics.

    Why does he think political consulting is appropriate work for someone who works in the SOS office?

    And more importantly why did Jason Gant?

  2. Dave 2013.08.12

    Strange ... Monroe's expense report lists businesses by their name -- KGFX, Pro Build, Knecht's, Cholik Signs, etc. But it lists Pat Powers by his only his personal name under expenses twice ... as an individual, not as his business, Dakota Campaign Store. So, just what kind of services did Powers provide Monroe while he was working on our dime in Gant's office? Scroll farther down in the report, to where campaign expenses are to be listed, and there is $1,270.94 listed under expenses for printing. Powers was paid $1,058.94 and $212, according to the "Expenses to Date" portion of Monroe's report. Which adds up to $1,270.94. Did Powers simply quit using his business name while supplying printing services to Monroe so it wouldn't appear that he was operating a campaign business while working in Gant's office?
    So much questionable behavior; so few answers.

  3. Jana 2013.08.12

    Mike, good points.

    What the voters are figuring out is that the one party politburo that is the SD GOP considers themselves above following rules or governing. The name of the game for them is simply leveraging their power for themselves and their friends.

  4. Jana 2013.08.12

    Personally, I say let him stay in office until the election as an example of the abuse of privilege and office that the GOP seems to think no one notices.

    Hello GOP, Gant is your brand and your moral compass for all to see.

    Hello Dems, Gant is the poster child for what the GOP stands for in SD and why they should never get one more vote...ever.

    Keep it up Jason!

  5. Jana 2013.08.12

    PP has proven himself to be a political whore...plain and simple.

    Thank God the GOP embraces his give the voters a chance to make a choice.

    The media sees him in the same light...just without the courage to call him out...even when he mocks their reporting.

  6. Jana 2013.08.12

    Pat's silence is either deafening or incriminating...your choice Pat Powers.

    Again...the rules don't apply to the GOP...

    It's that whole absolute power corrupts thing...and the villagers in the absolute power crowd are showing their cowardice in not calling out the crime.

    Waiting for the titular head of the GOP to make a comment...he's been quiet lately. Since he is an insurance exec selling high premium-no coverage insurance, maybe he can weigh in on the conversation.

  7. South DaCola 2013.08.13

    The bigger problem is there is NO ethics rules in Pierre. While all of these things Gant and Powers have been up is quite despicable, disgusting, underhanded, shady and a tad weasily, it's all legal. Oh the shame.

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