Yesterday I highlighted the political significance of the letter Rep. Steve Hickey publicized from LeAnn Batiz, a former employee of Annette Bosworth who had to go on food stamps when Bosworth refused to pay her promised salary. That story matters because it exposes Bosworth's hypocrisy on food stamps, trying to score conservative points by likening food stamp recipients to wild animals while relying on food stamps to subsidize her cheating of her employees. Batiz also deftly refutes Bosworth's thesis that food stamps promote dependency: Batiz says that she got off food stamps immediately after quitting Bosworth's clinic and getting a job that paid on time.
The Batiz letter carries much more significance beyond the food stamps story. Batiz reveals a wide range of illegal, unprofessional, and unethical activities Annette Bosworth has relied on to get where she is today. Here are the highlights:
- We now have a fourth Bosworth employee on the record charging that Bosworth failed to pay wages due. Mathia Rall and Tanya Montgomery have taken Bosworth to court for back pay from 2012. Batiz says Bosworth cheated her from June to November of 2013. Bosworth shorted campaign worker Ethan Crisp $2000 this winter and still hasn't paid him (see Q1 2014 FEC report, p. 361). Batiz's letter further establishes Bosworth's pattern of using workers like slaves and feeling no obligation to pay them for services rendered.
- Batiz says Bosworth's story about selling a couch for gas money to make it to her campaign announcement in July is a lie.
- Batiz says Bosworth maintains "no separation between her professional business and her personal life." Batiz cites a political event held at a patient's house last Saturday as an example of those blurred lines. (For perspective, imagine the proper hue and cry folks would have raised if, while teaching in Spearfish, I had run for office and held a fundraiser at the home of one of my students, or if I took campaign-related phone calls while in my classroom.)
- Batiz says Bosworth further crosses professional lines by bemoaning her troubled finances to patients and getting them to "give them food, clothing, even a Christmas tree with more presents than the Haber boys have seen in years."
- On the raffle scams, Batiz says she witnessed Bosworth and Haber "laugh at the office about the raffle ticket holders whose money they spent without every considering giving it back."
- Directly challenging Haber's false accusation that I broke into his office last summer, Batiz says there is no locked desk.
Saying these things about Bosworth is apparently not easy for Batiz. Many people have kept quiet about Annette because they are afraid; Batiz kept quiet because she was a friend:
I have tried many times through text and phone calls to bring Annette around to reality; but, enough is enough. I am one of the many Christians and former friends/employees who have tried to bring her back to reality; who tried to believe that somewhere deep inside she is a good person. I, like many, only hoped that before she destroyed more people and herself and family completely, that she would just stop. But, also, like many, those of us they use and abuse reach a breaking point. I reached my breaking point when after asking for yet another apology, which someone who professes Christianity should do, which anyone for that matter, should do, instead, I got another slap in the face and so did everyone else who has had to use the program to feed themselves and their loved ones. She should be praising the food stamp program; it feeds her employees and keeps them around longer [LeAnn Batiz, letter to Rep. Steve Hickey, 2014.05.04].
The national backlash to Bosworth's food stamp memery may have little impact on Bosworth's fortunes. It may even boost her standing with among superficial martyr-minded Tea Party donors. But Bosworth's thoughtless parroting of such mean-spirited rhetoric has produced a very personal backlash that may have greater repercussions for Bosworth and Haber than anything Huffington Post may say about South Dakota's fraudulent Senate candidate.