Last updated on 2014.04.30
There are three kinds of falsehoods: lies, damned lies, and stuff Annette Bosworth says. Now that Sioux Falls paper has decided the whoppers Annette Bosworth tells are too big to ignore. In a lengthy report, Jonathan Ellis confirms much of what I've reported about Bosworth's raffle scam and her fake Senate campaign. Ellis adds these important facts to the public record:
1. Two more South Dakotans, Maureen Lee near Yankton and Patty Andresen near Hartford, go on record saying they bought raffle tickets for prizes that were never awarded. Lee and Andresen say, as have Nathan Fluit of Sioux Falls, Ryan Kappenman of Madison, and a third buyer, that they have struggled to get Bosworth and her husband Chad Haber or anybody in the Preventive Health Strategies/Meaningful Medicine/Bosworth for Senate office to merely communicate with them, let alone give back their money.
2. The Attorney General's office has received five formal complaints from raffle ticket holders stiffed by Bosworth and Haber.
3. Former PHS executive director Mathia Rall says part of the problem with the failed raffles was Bosworth's bad record-keeping:
Rall said that Bosworth, her husband, and a friend of the couple went to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that summer to sell tickets to the various raffles. She accuses them of selling the tickets at various price points, and when they returned from Sturgis, tickets had been sold without the names of buyers. There was no accounting of who sold tickets for what raffle and for how much money, she said.
“She just starts pulling wads out of her pockets, out of her shirt, out of the backpack she always carries,” Rall said. “She just starts throwing these wads all over the place” [Jonathan Ellis, "Tenuous Finances Nagging Senate Hopeful," that Sioux Falls paper, 2014.02.23].
4. While Rall and another former employee maintain lawsuits against Bosworth for unpaid wages, Bosworth has had to settle a lawsuit with a doctor to whom she failed to pay rent on a transcranial magnetic stimulation machine. Sioux Falls printing company Alphagraphics had to sue Bosworth and Haber to get $2,042 to pay for raffle promotion materials.
5. Republican ad firm SSC, which pulled Bosworth's campaign materials from online circulation in November, is considering a lawsuit to get Bosworth to pay them. SSC's Douglas Brown says Bosworth is using graphics and video for which she has not paid. Brown says Bosworth proposed a third-party payment that would have violated campaign finance law. Brown says Bosworth's financial irresponsibility is unconservative, unprecedented, and un-South Dakotan:
“The conservative brand,” Brown added, “we’re known for paying our bills and being fiscally responsible. And it’s unfortunate that we have not been paid.”
...Bosworth said there’s an “ongoing dispute” about the campaign’s contract with SSC, and the firm has not delivered the product it was asked to deliver. She said the campaign did offer partial payment.
“In South Dakota, if you don’t do the full job, you don’t get full payment,” she said.
Brown said the campaign offered to have a third party pay the debt, an offer the firm rejected because SSC viewed it as an attempt to bypass campaign-finance laws. He noted that the campaign acknowledges the debt on its finance report, and he said that in 25 years in the business, he has not encountered a similar situation.
“It’s not advisable for a candidate with a growing track record of not paying her bills to lecture anyone on the South Dakota tradition,” he said [Ellis, 2014.02.23].
Bosworth and Haber respond to the raffle-scam charges by having their lawyer, GOP bigwig Joel Arends, write up a letter framing two PHS staffers for stealing documents (sound familiar?). Bosworth claims that, following the great document heist, her office gave up trying to compile an accurate list of raffle ticket holders and says folks claiming to have purchased tickets are lying.
Bosworth uses the alleged document heist to excuse not paying her former employees. Asked about the Alphagraphics lawsuit, she moans about having to sell her couch (and invites a psychotherapy punchline). Ellis fails to tell us whether Annette also held her cute little dog throughout the interview and invoked her dead father-in-law's name for sympathy.
Ellis's report comes too late for the hundreds of donors already duped by Bosworth's expensive direct-mail marketing campaign. Bosworth claims that her fundraising total for this quarter is already bigger than the surprising $315K she claimed in Q4. We can only hope that the national press will take notice of Bosworth's trail of financial irresponsibility and protect more donors from falling for her latest, greatest flim-flam.