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Key to Madison Downtown Development: More Courtroom Drama!

A Facebook friend notes that the Dan Willard robocall trial has things hopping in Madison. The block around the courthouse was packed with cars yesterday. My friend spotted newly christened Heartland CEO and victim of terror Russ Olson at Mochavino's. Newsman David Montgomery was Twittering around for the best place for lunch in Madison (reporters: Dairy Queen is fast, but Mochavino, Skipper's and El Vaquero offer local variety).

And then it hit me: Dan Willard is doing Madison an enormous favor! His trial is the key to economic development that Madison has been missing since 1881!

Look at all the big eaters Willard is bringing to town: Pat Powers, Jason Gant, maybe Stace Nelson (DeLon! Order extra footlongs if Stace comes!). Drag out those cross-examinations, counsel! Madison needs those big sandwich dollars.

Madison was founded on the theft of a safe; why not recapitalize on larceny and scandal? Madison needs more trials! Forget opening a second grocery store or new car dealership [a Google alert goes off in Pat Prostrollo's office]; Madison needs to open a robocall center! A Planned Parenthood branch where the local faithful can get hauled away for over-eager protests! An alternative newspaper that will publish salacious details about high Republican officials and draw First-Amendment court challenges!

From Scopes to Willard, big trials can be big business. Sell those sandwiches, Madison!


  1. Billy 2013.08.27

    PP likes to "moderate" comments he doesn't like or that run counter to his spin cycles. Here is one that recently met his journalistic threshold for moderation. My guess is he didn't want Tornow to see it before today's court session began.

    "Pat, Arends says you have operated your "news site" since 2005. This would included during your stint at the SOS? I think the Court's inquiry should have gone a little further: Was PP working as a journalist during the events in question, or was he working as Lederman's paid Arend Boy. Those lines are blurred. Were you hired by Lederman as a journalist? Didn't think so. Here is one for you to chew on: if Rounds got himself in hot water on something, could Krebs claim privilege as a journalist?"

    Pat likes to keep things a little fuzzy. My understanding is that he has been paid by Lederman for "consulting" or campaign services, but his role in this affair is as a journalist? Sorry Pat, no good on the smell test.

    Here is how Pat reacted to the Judge saying he thinks Pat is a journalist

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.08.27

    Say, Billy, if Pat wasn't a journalist during his SOS stint, does that mean is affidavit contains a false statement and that he could face legal sanction? You'd think a "journalist" would be more accurate with his reporting... but Pat can't even keep his own story straight, let alone South Dakota's.

  3. Billy 2013.08.27

    Haven't seen his affidavit. His attorney stated he has operated his "news site" since 2005. While at SOS PP claims he relinquished the reins of the SDWC, while scrubbing all of the prior content. Part of the issue then turns on how you define "operate". Pat wanted everyone to think he had appropriately distanced himself from SDWC while working for Gant, but then his attorney claims in open court he operated the site during the same time. Does anyone really believe Pat was not in control of his blog while with the SOS? It was a similar problem with his "postcard business" Pat wanted everyone to think he could an objective and unbiased public servant by day at the SOS office, yet if he went all Karl Rove in the evenings it was perfectly ok. Maybe Pat should audit a journalism ethics course over at the university. Then hopefully maybe he will come to understand that if he is reporting on politicians as a "journalist" - ala Rounds, Lederman etc. - He also shouldn't be taking gifts or cash from them. I'm not talking about advertising dollars. But so goes the muddy swirl of Jeckyl and Hyde rationalizations in the mind of Pat the "journalist" and Pat the political operative/consultant.

  4. Michael Black 2013.08.27

    I have NO time for ROBOCALL HORSESHIT.

    I've voted for the other candidate because some jerk decided for the upteenth time that week that I needed my family time interrupted by a political recorded message.

  5. Michael Black 2013.08.27

    Why should I have to put up with them in the first place? What gives this guy or anyone to annoy the hell out of us with ROBOCALLS? A real person I will gladly listen to.

  6. Billy 2013.08.27

    Well Cory, a couple of observations.

    Pat states in paragraph 2 of his affidavit Pat states he "operates, writes reports and publishes new to a website called to Dakota War College"
    (Not sure how one "", but I will leave that to the grammer experts like Mr. Grudznik)

    In 4 he says he started "news" website in 2005. The implication is that he has done so continuously to present. Pat doesn't clarify. I think it more likely Pat fibbed a little to the public when he claimed he wasn't involved with SDWC while at the SOS. "Wasn't involved" is my language. I don't recall exactly how Pat described his diminished role with the blog while at the SOS. I suspect Pat had more to do with steering the content of the blog than he lets on during his time with Gant, but that is my own personal opinion.

    The other part of the affidavit I find interesting is in paragraph 20 where he states he does he does not want to have to "reveal privileged information gathered as a result of his reporting and journalistic efforts..." This is where lines get a little blurred. As I recall, Lederman was a client around this time. Was Pat sniffing this thing out as an agent of Lederman the client, or as a "journalist". Did Pat consult with Lederman on this? Get approval for what he would run? Was he getting paid? By whom and for what? If the work was done on behalf of Lederman the client than there is no privilege between the two.

    But even if there is no privilege can't really say communications between Lederman and Powers are material to Willards defense. I am not aware of any defense which says if "PP is a machinating RINO sympathizer, Willard can make these types of calls within 60 days of an election." More likely Tornow wants to make them squirm and see what he may be able to uncover. And also paint PP and Lederman as unsympathetic figures to the jury.

    Personally, I don't care for robo calls or Willard (his service to country aside), and I don't care for the PP's style and arrogance, or Lederman's politics. As far as I'm concerned they built this little pig sty they are in, and I'll watch em flop around in there as long as they want to keep at it. I just don't want to get any on my shoes. That smell never comes out.

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