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Duane Sand Shows Future of Bosworth Base Connect Scam

Fake U.S. Senate candidate Annette Bosworth is scamming voters, donors, and political consultants with her God-guns-and-fetuses medicine show. Her enormous debt to political exploitation firm Base Connect shows she's not serious about politics; she and her scheming husband Chad Haber are simply creating the illusion of financial support, hoping to create a bandwagon effect that will last just long enough to pad their legal defense fund.

Bosworth's campaign reminds a Dakota War College commenter of Duane Sand's perennially failing political efforts in North Dakota. Sand last splashed in North Dakota's 2012 GOP Senate primary against Rick Berg. Sand lost to Berg 2 to 1; Berg then lost to Democrat Heidi Heitkamp (history! parallels! please continue!).

Sand, like Bosworth, chained himself to Base Connect. As with Bosworth, Base Connect's direct-mail efforts drew a large percentage of small, non-itemizable contributions. As with Bosworth, Base Connect still didn't help Sand out-fundraise his front-running GOP opponent (Sand raised over a million, but Berg raised over $3 million). And like Bosworth, Sand incurred so much debt to Base Connect that he had little left for real campaigning.

Sand blew so much money on Base Connect that he is still raising money to pay them off. Two years later, Sand still owes Base Connect and its affiliates $75,000. He's not running for anything, but he's still raising money and fleecing inattentive donors.

Rob Port of the North Dakota blogosphere calls Sand and others who use Base Connect "willing dupes." But the real rub with Bosworth's Senate scam is that Base Connect's business model relies on shouting conservative platitudes at willing dupes around the country, far removed from the candidates and the local press attention that shows their inadequacy.

Jim Fuglie investigated Sand's list of Base Connect donors and found this troubling pattern of exploitation:

So who are these people who give Duane all this money? Well, let me tell you, I’ve talked to a few of them, and for the most part, they seem to be pretty nice folks—if a little gullible. After I talked to some of them, I compiled a profile. Well, actually, a short profile. A very short profile. They have two things in common: The first number in their age in almost always 8 or 9, and almost none of them are from North Dakota.

A typical donor was John Valerius, age 81, from Irving Texas (a suburb of Dallas), who sent Duane a check every time he got one of Duane’s letters, which was pretty often, because his total for the campaign was $2,850 [Jim Fuglie, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" The Prairie Blog, 2013.04.17].

Fuglie found that Valerius wrote six checks to Sand after the primary. Fuglie asked Valerius if he knew Valerius had lost before he wrote those last six checks,

“I did not know he lost the primary,” John said. “I’m troubled now that I know it. I would have sent less if I had known it” [Fuglie, 2013.04.17].

Don't fall for the "care for you" rhetoric. Bosworth, like Sand, is gambling and plunging herself into debt using a company that preys on senior citizens.

Bosworth donors, this is what you're signing on for: a scam artist like Sand who will wrap herself in all the familiar conservative slogans, take your money, and give most of it to direct-mail profiteers. A small percentage of your money may pay for a shoddy ad or two (complete with copyrighted material pirated from unpaid campaign companies). It may pay off a few stiffed raffle ticketholders. It may help Bosworth and Haber pay lawyers to defend them from unpaid employees and possibly attentive prosecutors who could charge the couple with fraud and misuse of non-profit resources for political purposes.

Learn from Duane Sand, fellow citizens: the money you send Annette Bosworth will not serve your political goals. It will serve one selfish, unstable woman to advance her and her husband's destructive delusions of grandeur.


  1. Rorschach 2014.02.22

    Like Sand through the hourglass, these are the days of Dr. Bosworth's campaign.

  2. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.02.22

    I have a question to our host, Bob Mercer, Pat Powers, Kal Liss, Scott, Sibby, John, Ken, Flyover, etc., etc.

    Since Annette Bosworth claims to be such a champion of pro-life, 2nd Amendment, etc., how often has she actually done anything to support good bills and oppose bad bill on Conservative legislative issues in Pierre? Same goes for Jason Roundsberg.

  3. Jim 2014.02.22

    After campaign, will probably switch to mission fundraising to get paid.

  4. Sam 2 2014.02.22

    Bosworth or Rounds I do not see a bit of difference. Both are very good at running scams. They also both make Bernie Madoff look like a Saint.

  5. Jerry 2014.02.22

    If the old geezer rubes are so gullible as to keep giving, even when the race is over, it sounds like a criminal case of fraud to me. Don't we have an attorney general here that could look into shady, perhaps fraudulent deals that scam the elderly, or is he part of the pay off.

  6. RA Johnson 2014.02.22

    Well, we disagree on this. I have a very close relative who is a patient of Dr. Bosworth and could not be happier. Actually, since another independent internal medicine guy died here in Sioux Falls, this relative hasn't found healthcare in Sioux Falls to be amenable for complicated issues. She found hope in going to Meaningful Medicine. As for the campaign; this woman IS interested in bringing the third part prong to Thune(career politician) Noem (farms interests) and Bosworth (doctors and healthcare) South Dakotans. Most of the doctors in the state have donated to her campaign and so has AMA. So? not sure about the fake campaign business? This woman appears sincere and the husband is her biggest cheerleader and partner and they have some impressive South Dakotans behind them. We applaud her work for the poor. Just sayin....

  7. Jerry 2014.02.22

    Interesting RA Johnson, what part of the fake campaign business are you not sure about?

  8. Donald Pay 2014.02.22

    I'm in favor of much tougher regulation on these fundraising outfits. In fact, I'd be for banning them.

    They prey on the ignorant and the elderly, especially those who have short-term memory deficits and can't remember that two weeks before they sent a check. The send out these fundraising letters every two weeks to people who can't remember whether they sent a check. So, they send another one. Pretty soon they are drained. We ran into this with my mother. And it's not just the scammers that do this. South Dakota politicians do it, too.

  9. Nick Nemec 2014.02.22

    RA Johnson: "most of the doctors in the state have donated to her campaign and so has AMA."

    Care to link to a campaign report so we can check your claim? Because, I don't believe you. And unless a claim like that is checked out it's BS.

  10. interested party 2014.02.22

    Annette Bosworth couldn't win a seat on a school board yet the US Senate is in her wheelhouse. Southern Dakota is truly the Land of Infinite Vulgarity.

  11. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.02.23

    RA: being a good doctor is one thing. Being an honest politician is another. Don't confuse the two.

    As for "Most of the doctors in the state have donated to her campaign," here's the list of South Dakota donors among the itemized donors on Bosworth's Q4 FEC report:

    Richard Bandy Sioux Falls 650
    Dwane Blachowske Sioux Falls 250
    James Breit Sioux Falls 260
    Helen Eckrich Aberdeen 500
    Andrew Holst Yankton 500
    Jeffrey Krell Sioux Falls 250
    Patrick Lawler Sioux Falls 500
    Dirk Lohry North Sioux City 500
    Vicki Mitzel Aberdeen 500
    Wayne Monson Reliance 250
    Christopher Paa Sioux Falls 250
    Ernest Schabauer Rapid City 1000
    Adam Stys Sioux Falls 1000
    Tomasz Stys Sioux Falls 1000

    That's 14 people. The doctors I can verify on this list are Breit, Eckrich, Lawler, Paa, Schabauer, Stys, and Stys. That's 7 in Q4. ID one more of those donors as a doctor, and you'll be able to say that most of her itemized South Dakota donors are doctors.

    The South Dakota Medical Association PAC has also given Bosworth $1000... so do you want to argue that since the PAC has donated, and the PAC represents most doctors in SD, most doctors in SD have thus donated to Bosworth?

  12. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.02.23

    Larry Rhoden, who hasn't been trying very hard, has 52 itemized South Dakota donors in Q4.

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