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Hickey, Belfrage, Nelson Agree, Question Bosworth Petition and Integrity

Dr. Annette Bosworth flaunts her Che Guevara t-shirt, Facebook, October 16, 2012.
Dr. Annette Bosworth flaunts her Che Guevara t-shirt, Facebook, October 16, 2012.

Illegitimate U.S. Senate candidate Annette Bosworth is now taking heavy fire from the South Dakota's right flank.

Rep. Rev. Steve Hickey (R-9/Sioux Falls) and KELO-AM conservative talker Greg Belfrage just unloaded a drive-time bombing on the fake campaign. Belfrage invited Rep. Hickey on air during the eight-o'clock hour this morning to discuss the lawsuit he withdrew Monday against the Secretary of State's certification of Bosworth's nominating petition. Hickey reiterated the statement he released to this blog Monday, saying Bosworth's "unscrupulous, scandalous, unChristlike" compelled him to speak out against her abuse of the electoral process.

His comments on air this morning were no less blunt. Rep. Hickey said every press release from Team Bosworth on the petition challenge has been false. Rep. Hickey (who, remember, is also a conservative pastor) said it drives him nuts to see candidate claim to be Christian and Republican and post devotions online yet brag about astroturf Facebook Likes ("we all know those aren't real") and raise money out of state with spurious fundraising companies. "Grandma in Florida is writing checks expecting that what she's reading on that mailing is the truth," said Hickey, and instead, Grandma is getting "duplicitousness" from Bosworth.

"Character matters more than Republican talking points," said Rep. Hickey. He sees a lack of character in her false petition circulating oath and in her ever-shifting story about the Che Guevara t-shirt she flaunted on Facebook.

Anticipating a Bosworthian response (and Bosworth was apparently banging at the studio door, demanding to be allowed a response on air this morning), Belfrage asked Rep. Hickey how he'll respond to charges that he has some ax to grind. Rep. Hickey responded that he has endorsed no candidate but that Bosworth simply won't answer questions, resorting instead to "backtrack and avoidance" and "major spin." Rep. Hickey said he spoke up in part because of Bosworth's attack on me. Rep. hickey said he sees Bosworth waging an "unChristlike" attack on a citizen activist who challenges politicians in an honest way. Rep. Hickey said an attack video on Bosworth would be ten times worse than he poking at me for once losing a job.

After soothing Bosworth's off-air temper by promising to have her on for an interview tomorrow, Belfrage said he essentially agrees with Rep. Hickey: Bosworth is an illegitimate Republican candidate. Belfrage said that he initially gave the challenge no thought when it was coming from "just a liberal blogger." He said he was skeptical of reports like those I've published on Bosworth's raffle scams and unpaid employees; such stories come out in political campaigns all the time, driven by disgruntled folks with axes to grind.

But Belfrage said he now wishes he had paid attention to criticisms of Bosworth sooner. He said my argument that Bosworth submitted a fraudulent petition is a "pretty compelling case, a fairly damning case." But it took Rep. Hickey speaking up to really get Belfrage to take note.

Belfrage wrote his own damning blog post yesterday, and he reiterated that commentary for his drive-time listeners today, likening Annette Bosworth to Bill Clinton:

This is yet another mess for Bosworth, whose campaign has been plagued by allegations of scandal and wrongdoing.

I've been reflecting a great deal on this situation since it first unfolded. I've been guided by a very simple belief. Oaths matter.

Many people made excuses for former president Bill Clinton when he lied to a federal grand jury about his involvement with Monica Lewinsky.

However, I said, "Oaths matter."

I'll say the very same thing now. Oaths matter.

If you took an oath swearing that people signed petitions in your presence, but you were out of the country at the lied. It's just that simple [Greg Belfrage, "Bosworth Escapes Court Challenge," KELO-AM: The Daily Dose, 2014.04.15].

Belfrage then brought the Jesus:

As I've been contemplating Bosworth's petition troubles, I've been recalling the words of Jesus in Luke 16:10.

"The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones" [Belfrage, 2014.04.15].

Belfrage finds the other stories of Bosworth's wrongdoing hard to sort out, but he says breaking an oath is a dealbreaker.

To frost the cake, real U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Stace Nelson (R-9/Fulton) appears to be taking the same position. At yesterday's GOP Senate candidates' forum held by the Siouxland Republican Women, someone asked Bosworth about the challenges to her petition. Bosworth evaded, saying she's facing attacks because she has lots of grassroots support. Rep. Nelson stuck his neck out and said that he's read the arguments made against Bosworth's petition and agrees there are legitimate concerns about whether she should be on the ballot.

Donors, pay attention: it is not just one liberal blogger or a reporter in Pierre questioning Annette Bosworth's credentials as a Republican candidate. It is a conservative, pro-life pastor. It is the most prominent conservative talk radio host in South Dakota. It is a genuine grassroots conservative Senate candidate. It is Republicans.

Update 10:10 CDT: Belfrage tweets that he has had politicians surprise him with phone calls, but he has never had one just show up at the studio. Scott Hudson tweets that Belfrage should have let her in: "It could have been a legendary moment in South Dakota political radio. Pat Powers agrees. I say Belfrage did Bosworth a favor by giving her 24 hours to think about what word salad she wants to serve in response.


  1. PNR 2014.04.16

    It's TWO conservative, pro-life pastors. :-)

    I stick by my great-grandmothers advice to not attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity, and I think a most of what Bosworth's accused of can be explained by the latter, but either way - malice or stupidity - she does not belong in the United States Senate.

  2. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.04.16

    I can't wait for her to answer how she and her husband were collecting signatures in SD, while they were in the Philippines, how that is not Perjury and how her campaign lawyer (and Rushmore PAC AND Rounds supporter) Joel Arends did not suborn perjury when he knowingly swore them to statements that he personally knew were false, and then had her submit them to the SOS knowing they were false.

    Everyone incensed by Arends apparently violating FEC laws by coordinating her campaign with the PAC, and dare say Rounds, and his apparent perjury and subordination of it, should write Jackley and complain AND file complaints with SD's Bar.

    Word is that Arends has already been disciplined by the Bar previously for ethical problems.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.04.16

    PNR! My apologies for omitting your earlier critique. You're right: we don't need to prove malice when stupidity is sufficient to disqualify a candidate. But be careful: you'll get a video made of you, too! :-)

  4. DeeJay Beejer 2014.04.16

    Cory, you are right Greg did Boz-oh a favor by not letting her on the air, but he didn't need to do her ay favors. I think if she had gone on live against Hickey, her Senate bid would have been over. She would have been directly confronted by questions that she could not answer. She will have the "Poor lil' me" schtick down by tomorrow, but Greg is good enough not to let her get away with that. However, if she can storm into a radio station, she can storm out when she sees things are not going to go her way. However, the old saying is that "you don't screw with a guy who buys his ink by the barrel." The 21st century version is that you don't screw with a guy who buys his by megahertz by the satellite. OK, that probably makes no sense, but you get the idea what will happen should she walk out on him. It will be Letterman and Madonna all over again! At any rate, she won't be able to do her cute act on him, like she is used to doing with others she tries to win over. Belfrage only has to ask her one simple question: "How could you witness the signing of the pet ions in questions when it is public knowledge you were out of the country?" She can't answer that truthfully, so she won't answer at all. She will say something, but she won't answer the question. Leaving Greg the opening to say, "I don't believe you are a legit candidate and you should not be running for office." I am so looking forward to hearing this tomorrow! Belfrage is, after all, the Dark Knight! Forget satellite, ink and megahertz; you don't screw with Batman!

  5. mike from iowa 2014.04.16

    Well,we're pretty sure to know who the victim is in all this by tomorrow or else Bos hasn't paid enough attention to Snowdrift Snookie-Alaska's half-gov/quitter turned grifter.

  6. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.04.16

    Did anybody else catch Hickey in an apparent "white lie?" At 14:29 He confirms that the "Rounds campaign" should want to keep her in the race to weaken the conservative voters against Rounds, but Steve Hickey outed Bosworth anyways!

    Pretty obvious, from that statement, and past actions of pandering to other establishment politicians, that Hickey is a Rounds supporter.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.04.16

    DD, I don't think that was a white lie. I don't see any Rounds sentiment in Hickey motivating his challenge of Bosworth's legitimacy.

  8. Nick Nemec 2014.04.16

    I don't think Hickey is acting out of malice or support to any candidate. He just sees the obvious dishonesty of Bosworth's petitions and wants to make sure the rules are followed.

  9. Steve Hickey 2014.04.16

    Crazy day and all your comments are appreciated. I have no connection to Rounds, Disgusted Dakotan, I've been neutral in this race expect for what I've just recently done here with Bosworth. My point in that comment was if I was doing Rounds dirty work it wouldn't make sense as he probably prefers she stay in the race and further dilute the anti-rounds vote. I know for a fact other Republicans would rather me not make a big deal of this and just let the voters decide because there is potential here to make her a martyr.

    Though I would have happily conversed with her live on the radio this morning, I would probably only been able to say half of what I said. So, I'm glad she will have her own time to answer these questions tomorrow.

  10. mike from iowa 2014.04.16

    At the very least make her pinkie swear she is telling the truth-if she gets on and stays on topic. I've a feeling she is going to take South Dakotans to strange places in the universe in only a few short minutes. Don't forget the transcript for us hearing impaired,non-radio listeners.

  11. Roger Cornelius 2014.04.16

    Good idea mike from iowa, I would take it a step further and have Belfarge provide this "Christian" candidate a Bible on which to swear she is telling the truth.

  12. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.04.16

    Representative Hickey, If I confused what you said, with the understanding of your past ardent support of establishment politicians/policies (HB-1234, etc.) that depart from conservative principles, my apologies.

  13. mike from iowa 2014.04.16

    I wonder if her lawyer knows she'll be on live radio tomorrow? Hard to believe he would allow it. If she implicates herself,it might implicate him as well.

  14. Bree S. 2014.04.16

    Crazies are going off like bottle rockets these days.

  15. grudznick 2014.04.16

    You are mean ones, Messrs. H.

    I look forward to listening to the web radios tomorrow morning to what the good Dr. has to say. In her latest video you can really see all the insanity that has been thrust upon her almost come bubbling out when her pretty brown eyes harden at the television camera.

  16. Roger Cornelius 2014.04.16


    Would that be the "entrenched powers" being thrust at her insanity.
    You may see pretty brown eyes grudz, I see conniving eyes.

  17. grudznick 2014.04.16

    It is the entrenched powers indeed, Mr. C. I bet her little boys go to bed at night hiding under the covers in fear of the entrenched powers who are in their minds deeper than a dug well.

  18. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.04.16

    Curious how many people think she will show up tomorrow?

    I think she will, and I think Joel Arends is making messy in his geranimals. If she gets in any kind of trouble for the perjury, he is up to his nose in it having notarized some of the perjured petitions knowing they couldn't be legitimate and advising her to submit them. She will have a wonderful legal malpractice case against him, at the least, if she is in fact brought to justice.

  19. grudznick 2014.04.16

    Is this Mr. Belfrage fellow a professional journalist or just a blogger guy on the radio, like Mr. Howie does? I think the young Dr. will show up because she really wants to stick it to Mr. Hickey for his doings.

  20. larry kurtz 2014.04.16

    you mean a professional muckraker like PP, grud or a journalist like Bob Mercer?

  21. grudznick 2014.04.16

    Mr. PP and Mr. Mercer are similar in their investigative bloggings. I think they both are published in real newspapers and on the TV too. Both worked for a Republican governor for a couple years as press secretaries too. They are as similar as two congruent triangles.

  22. Bree S. 2014.04.16

    Her children are old enough to fend for themselves, Grudz. And I don't know what entrenched powers you're talking about. All I see is a big card castle waiting to fall.

  23. cathy 2014.04.16

    I have a feeling I'm gonna be late for work tomorrow, heh.

  24. larry kurtz 2014.04.16

    bs grud.

  25. larry kurtz 2014.04.16

    calling pp a journalist is like calling boz senator.

  26. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.04.16

    Garanimals—haven't heard that one in a while. :-)

    Steve, your host offers a great explanation of why it was professional courtesy for him to shield you from ambush and allow you the time you'd been promised to inform the audience. She'll have her turn, if her lawyer and campaign staff don't talk her out of it. (Believe me, they won't. Chad won't. In Chad and Annette's world, no press is bad press. Popcorn for breakfast.)

  27. Roger Beranek 2014.04.17

    As much as I want as many primary challengers as I can get, the last thing politics needs is more frauds and charlatans.

  28. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.04.17

    I leap at the chance for rare agreement with Roger. Lots of people running for office is a sign of healthy democracy. But those candidates need to be honest public servants, not self-seeking tricksters.

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