Press "Enter" to skip to content

Knobe Asks Simple Questions; Haber Proves Inability to Answer, Lead, or Win

Now that Chad Haber is finally talking to the media about his purported desire to be attorney general, he's confirming what I've known would happen: get Chad talking, and he'll sink his own life raft without any help from me.

The aspiring Libertarian nominee spoke with Rick Knobe on KSOO's Viewpoint University last week. Haber is angling for the South Dakota Libertarian Party's nod with one main promise: money. He told Knobe that his entrepreneurial skills guarantee that he can raise campaign money, and he promised that every Libertarian candidate "will be propped up" with radio and TV ads, implying that Haber plans to bankroll the entire SDLP ticket.

Knobe asked Haber to give examples of his entrepreneurial activities. Following is the lengthy transcript of that exchange:

Rick Knobe: I want to learn a bit more about you. I went back and read some of the news stories and one of the things you list is you're an entrepreneur. Tell me what you've done that qualifies you to be an entrepreneur.

Chad Haber: That's a great question. So, I have owned several companies ranging from trucking to dealerships to manufacturing, and, yeah, it's good. I like doing startups. I like taking a small team that people think you can't do that and then proving them wrong. Annette's campaign was a great example. It was fun to do that, it was basically a startup.

Knobe: So the companies that you started up, how long ago did you do that?

Haber: So, five years ago when Annette's battle with Marty started, and they started throwing around the f-word—fraud—and, you know, when the attorney general makes a claim, the first assumption is that there's something hehind it. And the good thing is, in South Dakota, we are the most corrupt state in the country according to some sites, and Marty Jackley has had a scandal-ridden career. And so in South Dakota, he doesn't need to have an excuse, sometimes he just does it. You look at Brandon Taliaferro, you know, $250,000 to defend himself against trumped-up charges in the Mette rape scandal, the child rape scandal. He was the attorney that pointed out children were being molested, and then Marty tried to prosecute him for pointing out that children were being molested. 250 grand it cost him to defend that. That's economic terrorism. I think I got out about 2013, where I could just see that they were never going to stop attacking her, and every time they would attack—

Knobe: When they say attacking her, you're talking about—

Haber: —Annette—

Knobe: —Your Annette, your wife.

Haber: —and the headlines are always horrible, right? So now she's currently facing 24 years in jail. Not why I'm running. For the record, I love my wife, o.k., but—she's facing 24 years in jail basically because she learned how to raise money. So if you'd have looked at my businesses, you know, I had a lot of people dependent on me, and you don't do things like that for the money, you don't start businesses for the money, you start them because you have a dream and a passion, and so I sold out, and most of that money has now gone into medicines for kids and it's gone into legal defenses, and, you know, yeah, it's gone.

Knobe: So, o.k.—

Haber: So I was very rich. We should have been untouchable.

Knobe: O.K., so, go back, I want to get to—o.k., I understand what you've said about you've started businesses, you've run them, and you were very successful. Give me some names, 'cuz I'm trying to, I want to be able to put some names with some companies you've started that I would say, "Oh yeah, I know that one. Oh yeah, I know that one." Help me.

Haber: So the reason I got out is to protect the companies. By naming the companies now on the air, I'm making them a target.

Knobe: Why would you make them a target? Why would that be a target?

Haber: It's just what's happened. You know, five years of living through this, it's what happens. And so you know as you get to know me, you'll start saying, "Oh, that's that." I am afraid, o.k.? I'm very afraid of Marty and his retaliation... [transcription by CAH; Rick Knobe interviewing Chad Haber, KSOO Radio, 2014.07.24].

Let's unpack.

1. The Entrepreneurship Lie

The only specific example Haber offers of his fundraising skills is the Bosworth for Senate campaign. Haber talks revenue but neglects cost. He spent (and since Haber is claiming Bosworth for Senate as one of his entrepreneurial skills, let's assign him responsibility for spending decisions) more than six times as much per vote as big-money candidate Mike Rounds yet delivered less than a tenth of Rounds's primary-winning vote total. According to the total expenditures reported by Bosworth for Senate to the Federal Election Commission as of June 30, Haber spent $440 for every primary vote his wife got.

"Entrepreneurship" isn't throwing lots of other people's money around; it's producing return on investment. If South Dakota Libertarians are nominating an attorney general candidate based on the ability to deliver return on investment of campaign funds, they should dismiss Haber and nominate Larry Rhoden, who spent $9.39 per vote in the GOP Senate primary. Or nominate Stace Nelson, who spent $10.23 per vote and would bring criminal investigative experience to the office. Or nominate Jason Ravnsborg, who spent $27.38 per primary vote and has a law degree.

(I think I spent $60 on a newspaper ad when I ran for school board in 2011. I got 448 votes. That's a bit more than 13 cents per vote. I'm an entrepreneur! Vote for me!)

2. The Business Dodge

Haber claims to have started and successfully operated a number of business that made him "very rich." He says he sold them all and now declines to name them for fear that they will become targets.

A review of public corporation records reveals that Chad Haber has indeed incorporated a number of entities. However, not one appears to be operational or to have made any discernible contribution to the economy. I have documented several business entities that Chad Haber has incorporated in Utah and South Dakota, the most prominent of which is 100X, a Utah entity that under Haber's presidency and directorship appears to have engaged in a mortgage-flipping scheme that sent six people to federal prison. Haber's other businesses include the following:

I see no evidence that Chad Haber has ever run a successful startup company. I see no evidence that Chad Haber has ever sold a startup company to anyone else and that said sold company is still in operation. Haber might as well be telling Libertarians that he knocked down trees in the woods where no one could hear them.

3. The Fear Fudge

Haber claims to be acting on "twenty seconds of insane courage," a line that Haber and eHarmony borrow from We Bought a Zoo. Twenty seconds must be all the courage Haber has in him. Pressed by Knobe to name his companies, Haber says he is "very afraid" of Marty Jackley.

What's there to be afraid of? Haber tried to defraud raffle ticket buyers, and the attorney general has yet to file any charges, settling instead for squeezing some refunds out of PHS. The state says Haber's wife broke Medicaid rules, and the attorney general settled for a relatively small financial repayment. AG Jackley has let slip away opportunities to bag Haber and Bosworth on evidence of real business misconduct; his record suggests he is unlikely to aggress any harder on trumped-up charges.

What's there to be afraid of? I bust AG Jackley's chops on a regular basis on this blog. I'm not afraid of him. What's he going to do to me? He can't take away my teaching certificate, which the state just renewed for another five years—ha!

If Haber's startups still exist, and if he sold them, what harm could the attorney general do to Haber through those businesses? If Haber still owns any legitimate businesses, how does not telling the press the names of those businesses prevent a vindictive attorney general from reviewing public business records, finding the names of Haber's businesses, and ordering all manner of audits and investigations? On KSOO last week, Haber wasn't as afraid of Marty Jackley as he was of Rick Knobe and his one simple question: Give me some names. Give us evidence that what you're saying is true.

4. The Courtroom Shield

Recall Haber's odd comment about his flown wealth: "...I was very rich. We should have been untouchable."

Untouchable. When I dream of getting rich (hey, did you ring that tip jar yet? ;-) ), untouchable is not the first adjective that jumps to my mind. It suggests that Haber views wealth as a way to avoid legal prosecution.

And if wealth isn't available, candidacy for public office is:

Knobe: ...this all could be for naught if you can't get on the ballot

Haber: Absolutely, and then I will be targeted. Being on the ballot—

Knobe: Well, no, I don't know if you're going to be—

Haber: —being on the ballot gives you some protection. It does. We saw a very peaceful year when Annette was a candidate for public office. O.K., it was a very peaceful year. Nobody messed with her until April, o.k.? That was the firs peaceful moment of breahting room we've had since—for five years.

Knobe: So are you running then because you think that if you get on the ballot that'll buy you more time for whatever—

Haber: No, no, no—

Knobe: —I want to make sure I understand

Haber: No, So I'm running because South Dakota has some clear problems, some of which I've experienced personally, and this is the most effective way to cause change, to create change [Knobe–Haber interview, 2014.07.24].

Haber slips and tries to recover, but his talk of protection belies his boilerplate. Haber's slip supports the statement I made when he announced his candidacy three weeks ago: he is running for office to buy himself a few months of immunity from criminal prosecution.

Just like his wife, Chad Haber is his own worst enemy. The more he talks, the more he'll expose his own unfitness for public trust.


  1. larry kurtz 2014.07.28

    Their story is mind-bending: makes Bendagate look open and shut...except they're parties to it.

  2. Michael B 2014.07.28

    This guy does not matter. He has no chance of winning.

  3. scott 2014.07.28

    I read the link for the mortgage flipping scheme. How did Haber avoid prosecution on that?

  4. Dave Baumeister 2014.07.28

    This is funny. Knobe is really good at tripping Chad up. Chad has no experience starting viable businesses. If he did, he would know that saying their names on the radio would NOT tip tyne AG's hand, as the same AG would already know about any business in South Dakota Haber is part off. Utah doesn't matter, as we are talking about the SOUTH DAKOTA AG (and he probably knows about them, anyway). But this is just the first example of why Chad Haber has never been in the forefront before now. It is too easy for people to see through his blather. Cory, I have thought about this a lot, and I do not think you should run for the Libertarian AG position. I think you are doing it to protect the Libertarians from Chad, but they can protect themselves by simply not nominating him in the first place. I don't think it will do you much good to have your name on a ballot against Jackley. Should you ever want to run for something legitimately in South Dakota, I don't know if having run for an office you weren't really qualified to hold would be a big feather in your cap. Few would know you had done it to protect the good people of South Dakota from a con-artist. If the Libertarians do nominate Haber, it will be their mistake. I hope they don't, because I like Libertarians. Heck, I even am one! But Michael B really does sum it all up when he writers "This guy (Haber) does not matter." Oh, and Libertairians, in case we be misled, Chad Haber brings nothing to the table in terms of raising money. In politics, he and his wife ended up spending an obscene amount of money to get next to no votes. In other aspects of their life, they raffled or sold their own personal possessions to get the money to front their non-profit (??) and clinic. When they tried to use land they had to use the raffle idea for sustaining income, they failed miserably. And as to having the year to "breathe," that has nothing to do with being on the ballot. Previous problems had been settled with the state months before. Medicare money was coming in, we were holding successful presentations about what PHS was doing in Haiti, and then the lame idea of Annette running for office came up, and the floodgates of problems opened up. The entire time she was a candidate, they knew they had violated the use of their non-profit tax status, and they knew they fraudulently circulated petitions. And that is extremely minor compared to other problems Annette has had with the state and Medicaid in the past, but she and her husband have turned those problems into something major without any help from anyone.

  5. Roger Cornelius 2014.07.28

    Anyone that starts a business because it is a dream, has written a business plan that will fail.

    Business is about profit, lots of profit. Chad apparently doesn't understand the true meaning of capitalism.

  6. NeNe 2014.07.28

    Haber has yet to articulate why it's in South Dakotans' best interests that he run. He has, however, made it crystal clear why it's in his own best interests to run. He does not seem to be able to understand that his best interests mean squat to South Dakotans not named Haber or Bosworth.

  7. NeNe 2014.07.28

    But Roger, Chad's an Entrepreneur.

    It's you and I who must be incorrect.

    Btw, how rich is "very rich?"

  8. Steve Hickey 2014.07.28

    Thanks for reporting this Cory and I'm glad Knobe had had him on. If I'd have known about it I would have stormed the studio to demand some airtime. ;-) I'd love to do an interview with Haber. Unfortunate that jackley has to sit quiet and tolerate these smears on Sioux Falls prime time radio without an opportunity for a truthful retort. I'm sure he people are taking detailed notes.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.28

    [Hey, "NeNe," I need an e-mail address at which I can reach you.]

    Scott, I've been trying to find an answer to that question.

    Dave, I hope you are right. I hope the Libertarians have the good sense not to sully their brand with this con artist. I offer my services as a last resort, to be employed only if the SDLP is convinced that any candidate is better than no candidate, and only if this charlatan is their only other choice. I agree that my running for AG would likely do me more harm than good. But there's a key difference between Chad and me: I can see that running does not serve my self-interest, yet I am willing to do it to serve others. Chad is willing to pretend to serve others only because he thinks running will serve his self-interest.

    Steve, I'd love to watch a conversation between you and Chad. I would also love to see Jackley's notes.

    Curious: if the SDLP does nominate Haber, should Attorney General Jackley decline to attend any debates? Or should he agree to one live debate, on KELO, walk over to shake Chad's hand... and then slap cuffs on him?

  10. Michael B 2014.07.28

    Cory, you and Chad have ZERO chance of winning an election for AG. I guess if Rick Knobe wants to waste his time he can.

  11. Steve Hickey 2014.07.28

    I'm not a math guy but this is far less than a zero percent chance. Even so we have to play along for another couple weeks until they announce their next game. I maintain they are a flight risk.

    I'd love to hear Chad answer this question: considering there isn't a lawyer left in SD who will even be in the same room with you and your wife, doesn't that make it impossible for you to function as our AG and serve SD well?

  12. Bob Newland 2014.07.28

    I don't think that being on the ballot for AG will hurt your future, Cory. Didn't hurt mine. Enhanced it, I'd say.

    If you were to run for future office, it would likely be as a Democrat. Last I heard, the Democrats are not turning down candidates. I'm almost certain I could get on the state ballot for SD House or Senate from District 30 as a Democrat in 2016.

    Anyone want to take that wager?

  13. Bob Newland 2014.07.28

    There's a pretty fair chance that, if Cory wins the nomination for AG at the SDLP convention, that his vote total in the general election will be the highest ever garnered by a Libertarian in any race in The Coyote State.

  14. Bill Fleming 2014.07.28

    Go Heidelberger! If nothing else, it will be a spectacular debate. Guaranteed.
    There are plenty of candidates who run on principle, knowing their chances are slim. That's what real democracy is all about. Participation.

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.28

    Michael, the probability of South Dakota electing me AG is slightly greater than zero. The probability that I would bring the Libertarians their highest vote total ever in South Dakota is 0.75. The probability that I would bring the Libertarians more votes than Chad Haber is 0.99.

    Bob, honest question: how specifically did running for AG enhance your future? Even if Dems are hard up for candidates, wouldn't they (especially donors) look at any past Libertarian candidate with more suspicion than any regular, previously non-aligned Democrat?

  16. Roger Cornelius 2014.07.28

    When Cory is an officially declared Libertarian candidate
    FOR-A-DAY, I would fully expect him to answer all questions directed at him and trust he would do better in answering direct questions than Chad Haber did. That should be didn't answer. Until than .............!

  17. Bob Newland 2014.07.28

    Did I say enhanced? Really? Well, maybe it didn't exactly enhance it, but...

    Seriously, I doubt that it kept me from taking advantage of opportunities.

    Donors? I met one once. She gave me $20. I still live with her.

  18. Beth Sundewald 2014.07.29

    Rick Knobe is quite literally also a crack pot and well known for that. The late Heath Tople was one of his bffs. Says a lot.

  19. Beth Sundewald 2014.07.29

    Corey, r u running for AG? Seriously?

  20. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.29

    Here we go again: does this slap at Knobe have anything to do with evaluating the merits of Haber's statements? Let's stay focused.

    And me, running for AG? Unlikely, now that Kurt Evans is.

  21. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.29

    [Aw, come on, "Beth"—play nice and share a real e-mail address with me. :-) ]

  22. Beth Sundewald 2014.07.29

    Who is Kurt Evans? Run Corey, let's all run! That is my email.

  23. lee schoenbeck 2014.07.29

    Cory, very well done - fascinating portrait of a narcissist

  24. larry kurtz 2014.07.29

    Why have there been no calls to impeach Marty?

  25. larry kurtz 2014.07.29

    If Lee Schoenbeck had any balls he'd sue Marty for all the reasons SDGOP wants to sue President Obama.

  26. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.29

    Beth, Kurt Evans ran for Senate as a Libertarian in 2002. He thought about trying that again this election, but then backed out. He's more of a Libertarian than anyone else under discussion here. [p.s.: I tried the e-mail you provided, and it returned an error twice. can you give me a shout via my contact form?]

  27. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.29

    Lee, thanks for noticing! Larry, I'll vote against Lee in favor of a Democrat if I get the chance, but throwing mud at him doesn't bear on Haber's unfitness for office any more than Beth's mud for Knobe.

  28. larry kurtz 2014.07.29

    Newland: think again.

  29. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.29

    Roger, I am happy to answer questions from folks in this comment section, from the press, and from other interested South Dakotans. I reserve the right to ignore propaganda ploys from paid hacks, jerks, and exploiters working for their own self-interest rather than the general welfare.

  30. lesliengland 2014.07.29

    larry, where can i read up on nps, buffs scenario in depth?

    heath tople?

  31. grainofsalt 2014.07.29

    A MOST entertaining interview. Wonder if he'll try press conferences, and if poor David Montgomery has the stamina listen to even more nonsense from Channette.

  32. Mike Henriksen 2014.07.29

    As Bill Murray's character said in "Kingpin" after winning a bowling tournament worth $1 million: "I am officially above the law!"

  33. Steve Sibson 2014.07.29

    Cory, I asked around about how Bosworth raised so much money and was told that most of the money raised had to be returned to the fundraiser. The whole purpose was to make a false impression as to Bosworth's popularity. Is that true?

  34. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.29

    Sibby, that's another really important element of explaining Haber's lie about his entrepreneurial skills. He didn't raise the money. He simply contracted with Base Connect, a direct-mail firm in Washington, D.C., that has a well-honed list of reliable (gullible?) donors, mostly older folks who write a check pretty much every time they get a scary letter about Barack Obama, socialism, threats to family values, etc. Base Connect wrote and sent those letters (basically, "Barack Obama and Harry Reid are destroying America! Help us send [enter candidate name here] to Washington to take our country back, before it's too late!"), Base Connect collected the money, and Base Connect and its affiliates kept the vast majority of the money. As of the pre-primary report, Base Connect and affiliates had received or were owed an amount equal to every penny raised by May 15.

    So it's a double whammy against the claim of entrepreneurial wizardry: Chad outsourced the main fundraising (their in-house South Dakota efforts were paltry), and that effort barely paid for itself.

    I would agree with what you've heard: the only reason to mount a fundraising effort with such weak profit margin would be to do exactly what Chad is trying to do: generate inflated numbers to support the claim that you're an awesome fundraiser.

  35. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.29

    Mike, great reference! (Any chance we could get Bill Murray to come and seek the SDLP nomination?)

  36. Mike Henriksen 2014.07.29

    Thanks. By the way, they did the same thing with their Facebook page. They posted memes that already had thousands of "likes" worldwide and certain news organizations reacted as if all the "likes" came from her post. Fraud can take on many forms.

Comments are closed.