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Gant Upholds Bosworth Petition, Forwards Fraud Question to Attorney General

Secretary of State Jason Gant announced today that the challenge to fake Republican U.S. Senate candidate Annette Bosworth's nominating petition did not result in the discovery of enough invalid signatures to disquality Bosworth from the primary ballot.

Secretary Gant sent me the following letter explaining his decision at 12:28 CDT this morning:

Dear Mr. Heidelberger:

On April 1, 2014, an affidavit was filed with this office pursuant to SDCL § 12-1-13 challenging certain signatures on Annette Bosworth's Nominating Petition.

The candidate submitted 3,648 signature lines. Of that number, 795 were blank, 275 were registered to vote but not registered Republicans, 125 were not registered and 148 were not valid due to other reasons such as duplicates, invalid date of signing, invalid notary, etc.

State law requires 1,955 valid signatures for a Republican candidate for United Stats Senate. After reviewing the signature lines, we have determined there are 2,305 valid signature lines.

Another issue in the affidavit cited that the circulator was not present at the time of collecting signatures. The Secretary of State does not have the statutory authority to investigate the claims that you list in the affidavit. I have forwarded the affidavit and relevant petition sheets to the Attorney General's office for their review.

This letter is formal notification to you that the challenge to the petition of Annette Bosworth was not successful and her name will continue to appear on the 2014 Primary Ballot as a candidate for United States Senate.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.


Jason M. Gant, Secretary of State [letter, 2014.04.05]

What, me, hesitate with questions?

At 21:30 CDT, I transmitted the following e-mail to Secretary Gant and cc'ed election office Brandon Johnson, with whom I conducted most of my communication while acquiring Bosworth's petition and preparing my challenge:

Dear Secretary Gant:

Thank you for your reply to my affidavit. In the interest of providing clear information to future petitioneers and petition challengers, as well as citizens seeking a clear understanding of your office's enforcement of election law, I make the following requests:

  1. Please clarify your count of 3,648 signature lines. This number does not match my counts. Your office provided my 277 petition sheets, would include 4,450 total lines, but by my count, those sheets included only 2,868 signature lines with information entered on them (including scratch-outs). Did I receive all petition sheets?
  2. Please provide responses to the specific challenges laid out in my affidavit of April 1, 2014, Items 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13.
  3. If possible, please provide an itemized list of individual signatures rejected and the reasons for rejection. If you have such a list that aligns with the coding (by page and line #) that I used in the spreadsheets I submitted with my affidavit, I would be very grateful.
  4. Along with itemizing rejected signatures, please itemize any rejected sheets and the reasons for their rejection.
  5. As far as I can tell, your response letter offers no response to Item 18, the challenge to eligibility for the office sought of the individual named at the top of the petition. While Items 3, 4, and 5 may lie outside the authority of your office to investigate and require action by the Attorney General, Item 18 offers a very specific question about petition requirements, which is within your purview to determine. Please respond to Item 18: can a nominating petition be valid when the name of the candidate does not appear in the voter registration database?

I thank you for your attention this challenge. I especially thank you for acting on Item 20.4 and forwarding the evidence of fraudulent petition activity to the Attorney General. If I can be of any assistance in further investigation of this petition, please contact me.


Cory Allen Heidelberger [letter to Secretary of State Jason M. Gant, 2014.04.05]

Peter Harriman of that Sioux Falls paper reports that Attorney General Marty Jackley is spending his weekend contacting Secretary Gant, his litigation team, the DCI, the Bosworth campaign, and me. AG Jackley, I eagerly await your call.


  1. owen reitzel 2014.04.05

    well according to the FB posts after the story on KELOlAND Cory you're a terrible person.
    We have to believe because that person source is the Dakota war College. That was so dumb I couldn't respond.

  2. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.04.05

    PP as a source? Seriously? Did KELO make an effort to contact you again.

  3. grainofsalt 2014.04.05

    Yes Cory, you are a very very bad man. You insist on attempting to warn people who don't want to be warned, about the Bosworth/Haber Gang. They've done some very unchristian like things to their fellow man, all the time claiming to be Gods chosen. Their little flock choses to overlook obvious things like the lawsuits filed because of unpaid wages, unpaid bills, and unreturned $1,000 raffle checks (when they forgot to do the raffle) Would Jesus do these things? Of course not. As former friends turn away (when they finally figure things out) the cry is that poor Annette and Chad are being persecuted because of their righteousness. Couldn't be further from the truth.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.04.05

    Deb, KELO's weeknd guy did leave me a message this afternoon. I was unable to respond until I got off work this evening. We still haven't connected; I hope for an opportunity to follow up with the reporter tomorrow.

    Owen, Grain, be sure when you review those posts about me to mark how many of those comments have any bearing on the questions of fact and law into which Attorney General Jackley is now looking.

  5. Roger Cornelius 2014.04.05

    Press release blog is full on personal attacks on Cory.

    I'm reminded tonight of how Nixon's re-election team took on The Washington Post over Watergate The Post held their position and never wavered. The truth won and Nixon resigned.

    Bosworth, Ellis, Powers, et al., remind of those days. As Ben Bradley said "hell, I'm not running for office, Nixon is".

    Regardless of how this turns out, what we have to remember is that this very Republican South Dakota, the Attorney General and Secretary of State would rather cover up or explain away crimes. It is obviously against the law in South Dakota to prosecute Republican political criminals.

    If nothing else, I hope more than a few Republicans are
    googling Bosworth's name and following the links to Madville Times.

  6. Rorschach 2014.04.05

    You are afflicting the comfortable, Cory. You are a boil on the SD GOP establishment's arse, and Joel Arends has downright lost his cool. How dare you shoot holes into their legal defenses where they claim that unpaid employees somehow stole business records generated after their employment ended? How dare you call attention to fraudulent raffles, and demand that the Attorney General's office do something about them? How dare you seek prosecution for falsely attested candidate petitions, and force GOP officeholders to figure out whose job it is to enforce South Dakota laws, or even whether they should enforce the laws?

    If you would just stay out of it they could handle everything behind closed doors with no press. After all, they're the elephant and you're just a mouse. Keep it up, mouse!

  7. WestRiver 2014.04.06

    Wow! I just spent 10 minutes of my life over at DWC to find out that you lost your job cause you were mean to a student and that you live out of state and you used one of Annette's minor children's names to get people to look at your site! Not just that but you're under investigation for doing so! All this from Arends! Might I say here that it was 10 minutes of my life that I wasted? Not ONE word from the Bosworth-Haber-Arends camp about the fact that the AG's office is investigating their obvious fraud still this weekend. I really hope she's not on the ballot after this weekend; not because she doesn't have enough signatures but because someone, hopefully her free legal counsel (one has to believe Arends works for free cause his bills like everyone else's will go unpaid) finally gets through to her and gives her the best advice one could give her...get out of the race now while you still have some small pot to piss in and custody of your children.

  8. mhs 2014.04.06

    Dude, you got a United States Senate campaign (albeit a fake one) to publicly commit suicide. That's a once in a lifetime coup for a major media outlet, let alone a guy who can't respond to a press inquiry quickly because he's working his day job.

    Just awesome. Well, well done.

  9. larry kurtz 2014.04.06

    Curious how much longer Madville will subsidize SDGOP by having DWC in the sidebar.

  10. Bill Dithmer 2014.04.06

    "Generally, elections are the responsibility of the Secretary of State and county auditors," Jackley said. "With that said, we will look at this ... I can't tell you what we will do with it yet."

    Jackley also wants to hear from Bosworth campaign officials about their view of the limits of his investigating responsibility. He wants to hear from Heidelberger about how far Heidelberger wants Jackley to pursue allegations against Bosworth, and he wants to hear from his litigation team and DCI about whether they think potential fraud has been committed.

    "I also don't want to make a hurried decision without thoughtful input from all parties involved." Jackley said while the customary line of authority in elections is auditors, the secretary of state and circuit court if there are disputes, he is willing to listen to rationales from the parties in the Bosworth challenge on whether his office should or should not take a more preemptive role beyond what is customary.

    Do you mean to tell me that the states top lawyer "doesn't" know how to proceed?

    Either the signatures are valid, or their not. If not the petition is invalid. There is no grey area because the rules for gathering names, and submitting petitions, are in place and ready to be viewed and used.

    It's hard to believe the AG of South Dakota could be that stupid. After all, he went to law school, he passed the Barr to practice law in this state, and his actions seem to indicate that he knows how to read.

    So what's his problem when the rules are clear? Who knows.

    Our problem is the misappropriation of authority to a man whose sites are clearly on his next job. He doesn't want to piss the good old boys off or his present job would be his last in state government. But he also must say pretty words to give the illusion of doing his job.

    This brings to question, who exactly is Marty Jackley working for? The people of South Dakota, the governor, or his personal advancement up the political ladder.

    Maybe he could get by with these things if his name was Bill Janklow. But he has to face reality, Marty Jackley is no Bill Janklow. Thank god, he she it or the goat down the street, I want to cover all the bases.

    The Blindman

  11. Barry Smith 2014.04.06

    Roger - those were my exact thoughts. Cory is not running for the US Senate ,Bosworth is. How could Cory stand by the fact that he is the leading Liberal blogger in South Dakota and not take action against this circus sideshow called the Bosworth campaign? Kudo's Cory for taking the time to exercise your rights.

  12. Tim 2014.04.06

    The AG's excuse for not pursuing his fellow republican will be interesting to say the least. I am sure, based on a lot of what comes out of his office, Jackley isn't working for all of the people in South Dakota, only republicans.

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.04.06

    Bill, I have contacted the AG by e-mail offering my help; he replied last night by asking me to provide documentation and other information that I would like his office to consider in addition to my affidavit. I am pleased to fulfill my duty as a citizen to help our top law enforcement officer investigate violations and enforce the law.

  14. owen reitzel 2014.04.06

    "Owen, Grain, be sure when you review those posts about me to mark how many of those comments have any bearing on the questions of fact and law into which Attorney General Jackley is now looking."

    None of them do Cory. When you can't state an argument with facts then the name calling starts.

  15. Jim 2014.04.06

    Cory, do you know how many signatures we submitted by her (or other circulators on the phillipines trip) allegedly collected during the time any of the circulators we out of the country?

  16. Jim 2014.04.06

    My guess is members of her mission team were also circulating petitions, and all of the uncompleted petitions were handed off to be worked on while the circulators were gone. Maybe Marty could ask her if any circulators were on her mission team roster.

  17. Douglas Wiken 2014.04.06

    Cory, has anybody found a list of all factors the SOS can or must use in evaluating validity of petitions? Any list of those he can't use. I am still wondering why he claims he cannot look at the other issues you presented.

  18. Rorschach 2014.04.06

    "Jackley also wants to hear from Bosworth campaign officials about their view of the limits of his investigating responsibility." Peter Harriman, Argus Leader.

    Maybe that's why nothing has been done about the raffle scam. The AG asked Bosworth/Haber/Arends if his office had the responsibility to investigate, and Bosworth/Haber/Arends told him no.

    Since when does a prosecutor ask a potential defendant for their advice on whether he can investigate them? "Excuse me, Dr. Bosworth, or Haber, or whatever your name is. Do you feel that my office has the responsibility to investigate your alleged perjury?" "Why no, Mr. Attorney General. It's not your job to conduct criminal investigations of fellow Republicans." That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard since the last thing Dr. Bosworth said.

  19. Steve Sanchez 2014.04.06

    Great observation, Rorschach. The same thing went through my mind when reading that little gem and the one about asking Heidelberger how far he wants the allegations against Bosworth pursued. Really? (Mr. H, you don't have Jackley on a retainer, do you?) Cory, all by himself, isn't the potential victim here. It's the State of South Dakota and its citizens at-large that are getting taken for a ride.

    I found this statement in Gant's response to be completely absurd. "Another issue in the affidavit cited that the circulator was not present at the time of collecting signatures. The Secretary of State does not have the statutory authority to investigate the claims that you list in the affidavit." The same issue was addressed another way in the newspaper article. "'I don't have the authority to determine whether or not those claims are true or false,' Gant said." How much authority does making a True or False determination require of the state's chief elections officer while investigating a petition challenge? Determining reasonable suspicion and/or probable cause is - and almost everyone knows this - not a duty or responsibility of the Office of the Sec. of State.

    By allowing the Bosworth-and-Haber-as-circulator petitions of 5-15 January to be counted, Gant demonstrates that he would have allowed an infinite number of signatures to stand during that period when the circulators were out of country - apparently, even if each and every one accounted for the total of signatures submitted on the petition. Think about that one for a minute.

  20. grainofsalt 2014.04.07

    Argus Leader 4/7/14 Small Claims Court; Preventive Health Strategies, Chad Haber and Annette Bosworth-Haber to FJM Collections Inc.; $2,197.53 Now the tough part - collecting.

  21. Cari 2014.04.07

    Really!? Why bother with having any rules for the collection of signatures if we aren't going to bother enforcing them!? And to top it off, it appears that even if we, the people of South Dakota, would like to play by the rules, those in charge OF ENFORCING THEM don't feel like doing their JOB! Why is that even an option?

  22. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.04.08

    Cari, I share your dismay on that point. I have participated in petition drives. I have diligently followed the stated rules. I guess we all might as well just leave a clipboard in the break room and encourage people to sign up throughout the day, even when we're out working and not paying attention. The only way we'll get in trouble is if someone with big money hires a lawyer to sue the Secretary of State to get him to enforce his own rules. Looks like the Secretary and AG see no need to protect the ballot from such shenanigans.

  23. Bill Dithmer 2014.04.08

    I'm having a tough time reading these things but it sure looks to me like the SOS only has the power to do what Cory wanted in the case of initiatives, and referendums. I can't find anyplace where it gives hard and fast rules for nominating petitions or penalties for breaking those rules.

    The Blindman

  24. larry kurtz 2014.04.08

    Mercer just tweeted that Gant has been living in Soo Foo for the last year. Pierre must have been miserable this winter.

  25. jerry 2014.04.08

    Marty is just protecting his mentor, Rounds by keeping the Bos in the race. You can bet if it were a Democrat that produced that rubbish of a petition, Marty would be all over it like a dirty diaper. The dude stinks like this whole thing does and continues to show South Dakota's decline into a corrupt cesspool of dirty money politics. Follow the money and it comes back to the 9 million that the "Egg Roll, Rounds" has bragged about.

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