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Haber, Heidelberger, or No One: Vote Now for Libertarians’ Best AG Choice!

The South Dakota Libertarian Party doesn't have to nominate a con-artist or a socialist French teacher for attorney general. The SDLP can choose to nominate no one. That's the question I turn over to you, dear readers: given a choice between Chad Haber and Cory Allen Heidelberger, whom should the SDLP nominate? Or in that situation, should the SDLP nominate no one, and let AG Marty Jackley ascend to a second term unopposed?

* * *
Chad Haber has finally poked his head out from under his shell and handed the press his jobless, degree-less résumé to support his effort to distract from his wife's impending conviction. The putative (the Spanish would use a shorter word) candidate for the Libertarian nomination for attorney general asserts that he will help the Libertarian Party by being a viable candidate:

"This'll be a real candidacy. We know how to raise money," Haber said [David Montgomery, "S.D. Politics: Libertarians Looking to Fill Gap," that Sioux Falls paper, 2014.07.21].

The thunder you hear is unpaid employees, raffle ticket holders, and the folks who loaned Haber and his wife an RV to winter in all laughing.

Haber also feigns largesse by saying he'll defer to a candidate who satisfies his criteria for "more qualified":

But he said he was hoping to find another lawyer to run against Jackley, and is still willing to "step aside" if "someone more qualified steps up."

Haber said his standards for "more qualified" primarily are based on a candidate being willing to "stand up" to Jackley [Montgomery, 2014.07.21].

O.K., Chad. I'm your man.

I've been calling out Marty Jackley for dereliction of duty and the state of South Dakota in general for corporate cronyism and oppression since before Chad and Annette fled his failing mortgage scam in Utah (which, by the way, Pat Powers finally gets around to throwing in Haber's face now that Chad is attacking Pat's pal Marty... more than a full year after I brought you that story and Raymond Paul Morris's accusation that Haber ran the mortgage-Ponzi scheme that sent half a dozen people to federal prison).

So Chad, you can already drop your candidacy, because a better candidate has come along: Cory Allen Heidelberger, honest and dedicated stander-upper to Marty Jackley.

Not that the South Dakota Libertarian Party needs convincing, since every Libertarian who has spoken publicly about the Haber candidacy has rejected it, but I made this case Friday to Bob Newland and other Libertarians that I'm a better candidate for their party. Look at all the qualities I can bring to the ticket that Chad Haber cannot:

  1. Lots of Democratic voters.
  2. The highest vote total ever received by a Libertarian nominee in South Dakota.
  3. Proven rhetorical skills (read Chad's writing, especially when he tries to get technical: you need to communicate more coherently than that to campaign, not to mention produce legal opinions and speak for the state of South Dakota).
  4. No one in my immediate family distracting with felony charges.
  5. Firm grasp of South Dakota legal and political issues, including EB-5.
  6. Proven record of reporting corruption in South Dakota, including the Taliaferro/Schwab case, which I covered two years before Chad Haber ever mentioned it.
  7. An honest dedication to truth, justice, and South Dakota, not self-promotion.

Plus, I've established that I can accept at least 52% of the Libertarian platform. Haber has offered no such detailed analysis of his political views.

Libertarians should not be fooled by Chad's only other claim to qualification for candidacy, his and his wife's purported ability to raise money. Sure, on paper, they raised more money for the GOP Senate primary than everyone else except Mike Rounds (and they outdid him in April and May). But every penny documented so far covered paid Base Connect and its associates to get those donations. That money didn't promote a political agenda. It enriched clever direct mail companies and bought Annette some Starbucks. That money also came mostly from out-of-state hot-button donors who won't give a rat's toejam about an in-state AG's race.

Translation: Chad won't bring you Libertarians any money. I can promote the Libertarian agenda better with a couple speeches and a few good blog posts.

But here's the big question for the South Dakota Libertarian Party: do you want either of us?

Suppose those lawyers Emmett Reistroffer is jawboning all back out. Suppose the Libertarian Party is stuck with just two candidates for attorney general: Haber and me. We both can get press for the party, but we neither one are lawyers, meaning we neither one can carry out the primary statutory duty of the attorney general: representing South Dakota in court. The question may not be who's the better candidate; it may be which one is less of a joke?


  1. El Rayo X 2014.07.21

    Cory, before you go too far down the road, you do know that if you win, you will be required to live in Pierre, right?

  2. daleb 2014.07.21

    if haber wins would the IRS garnish his wages?

  3. 96 Tears 2014.07.21

    Nothing's more dangerous than a man with nothing left to lose. Run, Chad, run! This might be Jackley's worst nightmare, and I think both deserve to have the other as their opponent.

  4. mike from iowa 2014.07.21

    This vote is binding. If Cory out polls no one he is the party candidate for the Libertarians.

  5. mike from iowa 2014.07.21

    Forgot this,I was the first vote for Cory so that means Cory has to buy. Make mine milk.

  6. Danno 2014.07.21

    I think... "Corey sucks less than no one" ! (grin).... Sorry, had to say it!

    (What would he do if he won and had to move to Pierre and had to be part of the establishment? Careful what you wish for.... )

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.21

    No food for votes, Mike. No beverages, either. But thanks!

    Live in Pierre, El Rayo? I don't think that's statutorily required any more than that law degree. Besides, give me a computer and good Internet signal, and I can do 90% of South Dakota jobs from anywhere in the state.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.21

    96, nothing left to lose? Uh oh--that describes the SDLP's situation as well. Given that they are going to lose their party status for not running a candidate for governor, maybe Chad's nothing-left-to-lose approach is the perfect fit. Yikes.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.21

    What would I do, Danno? Quite logically, I would change the establishment.

  10. Roger Cornelius 2014.07.21

    Doesn't SOS Gant live in Sioux Falls?

    Anyway, it looks to me like Chad has already conceded the attorney general's race to someone more qualified, that would be almost anyone other than Chad.

    Where's the mouth of the south, Stranahan, on this latest development?

  11. 96 Tears 2014.07.21

    Stranahan? Nobody's payin' him right now.

  12. WestRiver 2014.07.21

    I vote neither of you should run; because, although I do like you Cory, you aren't educated to be an AG either. I think I would still prefer you as SOS!!

  13. Kal Lis 2014.07.21

    Perhaps I'm getting too serious because it's a hot, muggy Monday, and heat, humidity, and Mondays make me angry.

    The Libertarians should nominate an AG candidate who is going to work to help them build a party. While I suspects that Cory could run as a "liberal-tarian," I don't know how that sort of race will help the libertarians build a party that can challenge the Republican monopoly. I'm not sure how the Dem candidates for treasurer, SOS, and PUC help build the Dems. I plan to vote for at least a couple of them, but I have no illusions that the Dems will have a stronger party in 2016 because they ran.

    The races for the U.S. House and Senate are different. Those candidates can run on personal appeal as Daschle did and Noem does, although I still fail to understand the latter's appeal to anyone with an eighth grade or higher education.

    If Cory takes up Bill Fleming's challenge to run for the U.S. House I will give him whatever financial support I can and as much pub as I can on the Displaced Plainsman. The Libertarians, however, should do everything they can to build a party and field candidates who will help them sustain a challenge to Republican single party rule in South Dakota and, as I said earlier, a "liberal-tarian" is unlikely to do that.

    Just so I'm clear Chad Haber should not be anyone's nominee for any elected position ever. If he founds his own party, they should not nominate him for anything.

    Heidelberger for US House in 2016

  14. Dave Baumeister 2014.07.21

    Haber is just trying to use the "protection of the ballot" -- even though that is not a real protection. There is no way he would win. He would make a joke of theSDLP. I don't know how their convention works, esp. If there is no other candidate. Cory, you putting you name up to protect the Libertsrians from chad is nobale, but they should be able to protect thselves. None of this makes a difference to the good doctor, as her trial isn't until after the election, anyway. At which time Jackley will crucify her for making his life miserable. But Haber doesn't give a damn about doing what Ana should and protecting his wife. He has said, in so many words, that he has always used her to get ahead in life.

  15. Danno 2014.07.21

    Bravo for CH, the establishment could use a bit of a remodel.

  16. 96 Tears 2014.07.21

    Wanna make news? Commit news! You know, the difference between 'dog bites man' and 'man bites dog' as news stories.

    Chad's their man if the Libertarians want to commit news and rattle the power clique in Pierre. That boy ain't leavin' quietly. Might as well use that crazy energy and put it to some useful function, like ripping the shorts off the laziest, most nakedly partisan Attorney General since ... I don't know. Even Bill Janklow knew when to give it a rest.

    As to the reason the law allows non-attorneys to become Attorney General, it is because the post is that of an agency secretary who is accountable to voters, not that of a trial attorney. They have a stable full of trial attorneys on the First Floor who do all of that courtroom stuff and they farm out plenty of contracts to law firms and state's attorneys' offices to keep up with bid'ness.

  17. Roger Cornelius 2014.07.21

    In traditional state politics, the attorney general is perceived as being on step closer to governor's chair than even the Lt. Governor.
    The AG periodically steps out from behind his desk and out of his office to prosecute high profile cases to remind the public he is doing his job and of course, to get headlines.

    For some AG's (i.e. Janklow) he was campaigning for governor as soon as he was sworn in as attorney general.

  18. Tim 2014.07.21

    Cory, I think you are being a little unfair.

    3. Proven rhetorical skills (read Chad's writing, especially when he tries to get technical: you need to communicate more coherently than that to campaign, not to mention produce legal opinions and speak for the state of South Dakota).

    Jackley doesn't do this now, I am surprised you expect more from Chad. I could be getting a little snarky today, been a long hot day.

  19. lesliengland 2014.07.21

    thanks alot roger, perhaps bait sib too :) jk

    telecommuting AGs are hardly likely and any race between the AG and haber is less so.

    this is all fluff, however...

    cory, if you run in 2016 the dems loose a profound service

  20. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.21

    The Dems "loose" a profound service? Help me out, Leslie....

  21. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.21

    No snark taken, Tim. I'm just offering another line for the resume that some employers might find valuable.

  22. Roger Cornelius 2014.07.21

    Is that loose, as in loose cannons?

  23. Bob Newland 2014.07.21

    Cry havoc! And set loose the hounds of Heidelberg. er.

  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.21

    96—seriously? Just to be clear, statute seems to indicate the AG himself needs to do those things. So you're telling me that the AG can fulfill those duties by assigning them to staff? If so, bring on the nomination!

  25. mike from iowa 2014.07.21

    By way of comparison,the Texas Ags office has at least 1850 employees that earn a minimum of 40k per year. Anyone under that has to be searched for by name.

  26. Bob Newland 2014.07.21


    By way of comparison,the Texas Ags office has at least 1850 employees that earn a minimum of 40k per year." Anyone under that has to be searched for explosives.

  27. grudznick 2014.07.21

    90% of state jobs from anywhere in the state, Mr. H? OK, you're on.

    First, I support your candidacy for General Attorney.

    Now, what if 20% (or 11%, but you said you could do 90% so I only need 11%) of state jobs requires:

    a) living in this state
    b) performing a certain task at a certain location
    b1) let us assume everybody in the capital building needs to be there. you count them um
    b2) let us assume snow plow drivers need to be in the vicinity of the plows they drive and the roads they are assigned to plow
    b3) let us assume that college professors need to be, you can argue this all you want but then students can stay home too, in the vicinity of their classrooms. If not, send them all home and cancel everything but virtual college
    b4) game wardens need to be near the game the warded
    b5) hiway patrollmen should live near the stretch of the highways they patrol, else under Mr. H's governorship we have a vast increase in travel
    b6) social workers: Social workers should probably live near those slovenly lazy people who they help. Otherwise we should just force the slovenly lazy people to move.

    Mr. H. your statement is insaner than most. Defend it or retract it. Move to this state and run for AG, and do 90% of the jobs from anywhere. But first move here. I'm just sayin...

  28. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.22

    Grudz, you're right. I'd have trouble plowing roads in Aberdeen, patrolling Highway 81, or "warding" wild critters along the Missouri from behind my laptop in Spearfish. I retract a specific number.

    But I stand by the larger point: a lot of the work involved in a lot of state jobs can be done remotely, via online communication. The AG can do legal research, write opinions, prepare arguments, and meet with other officials online. The Secretary of State can communicate with candidates, voters, and elected officials from anywhere. Social workers can process applications from secure virtual desktops. Professors can teach entirely online.

    I've said much crazier things. The notion of managing more state functions via telecommunications is far from outlandish. In many offices, it's policy.

  29. Ken Santema 2014.07.22

    Sorry Corry, I had to vote none given the choices.

    But I do think the point about tele-commuting for some of the positions is valid. I've helped many businesses do this over the years. In many situations it works out better than a traditional office job. I actually think our State Legislature should have two or three "mini" sessions throughout the year via technology such as Google Hangouts. It would allow fixes to be done and possibly help with the executive power imbalance in the state.

  30. Danno 2014.07.22


    I've pointed out before that the pool of people who are able to run for office is limited, due to sessions taking place in the first three months of the year - (who can take three months off work)?

    If the "be there in Pierre" time commitment is reduced, and "normal" people are suddenly able to run for office while holding onto their regular jobs.... perhaps the pool of people able to run for positions will vastly expand, and perhaps the quality of our representatives might make a quantum leap forward?

    Just a thought.

  31. Danno 2014.07.22

    In the above I was trying to tag onto Ken's statements of tele-commuting, but in this case for attending Pierre Govt. functions.

    I know some of the informal social networking might not take place in this manner, and that in a perfect world full-time people located in the same place would work better, but one must take what one can get....

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