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Jackley Recuses AG’s Office from Gaddy-Haber Ballot Dispute; DIY, Jason!

Aw, nertz! If Marty can't give Jason legal advice, who can?

I've been pinning my needles all day, waiting for the announcement Secretary of State Jason Gant said he would make this morning about the status of the Libertarian nominations of Ryan Gaddy and Chad Haber. There is now grave doubt about the validity of those nominations, since SDLP executive committee member Bob Newland says the two men handed him their voter registration applications on Saturday at convention, and Newland mailed those applications to the county auditor on Monday, meaning those applications had not been processed and Gaddy and Haber were not registered Libertarian voters at the time they were nominated, which state law requires they have been to be legally nominated.

Our grave doubts shall remain unsated for at least another day, maybe longer. Secretary Gant had turned to Attorney General Marty Jackley for a legal opinion on the situation. AG Jackley said, No way!

...[T]he question presents a potential conflict of interest. A ruling against Haber would remove Jackley's only opponent in the November election and give him a second full term unopposed.

Previously, Jackley said he was recusing himself from the question and leaving it in the hands of deputies under a "conflict wall."

"I'm not part of those discussions or that decision-making," Jackley said Thursday afternoon. "I'm not overseeing any advice that is given in relation to that issue."

But discussions had been underway for days about a more radical solution: removing Jackley's office from the picture entirely.

By late Thursday, Jackley said, "everyone was comfortable with it and agreed to it" and Gant announced attorney general's office would remove itself entirely [David Montgomery, "Gant: AG Office Removing Itself from Haber Decision," that Sioux Falls paper, 2014.08.14].

So to whom does Gant turn for legal advice? An attorney general from another state? (Oh, I bet Utah is out.) A U.S. Attorney? (Again, more conflicts.) Hire a private lawyer? (Uh oh: not Brandon Taliaferro! Not Joel Arends!)

Jeepers, Jason: instead of trying to find a lawyer not somehow tainted by Haber's scams, it might be quicker to just use the brains whatever God you believe in gave you and that the voters charged you with using, read statute and your predecessor's very clear precedential statements, and call Gaddy and Haber's nominations what they are: illegal.


  1. Roger Cornelius 2014.08.14

    This is Thursday, Jackley should of recused himself on Monday, why did he wait so long.

    Anybody believing that Jackley is not providing legal advice to Gant must also believe Chad Haber would make an excellent attorney general.

  2. Rocky Racoon 2014.08.14

    This is exactly the kind of situation that Haber would have no clue how to handle if it were him in office, since he, you know, isn't a lawyer.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.14

    Oh ye, Roger, of little faith! I find it perfectly plausible that Jackley would have looked at Gant's request and said, "No way am I giving anyone that excuse for another smokescreen."

    Of course, I find it perfectly plausible that he also would have asked a deputy to highlight the relevant sections of statute and place them on Gant's desk.

    Rocky, if Chad were offering legal advice, I would take a page from his playbook on taking advice and do the exact opposite.

    And no more anonymous, unverifiable commenters. You tell me your real name, you trust me with your name as I trust you with mine, or you do not participate in this conversation.

  4. Roger Cornelius 2014.08.14

    Welcome home Cory and am looking forward to seeing you at Rickstock.
    No, I don't have much faith in what Jackley says or what Chad's mouthpiece says. Kinda of sad, huh?
    Jackley knew that voter registration would be an issue at the time of the convention and had from than until he recused himself to lay out the plan for Gant.
    Regardless, any rulings will still come from the AG's office.

  5. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.14

    Roger, at peril of revealing my secret GOP insider status, permit me to suggest this generous and non-conspiratorial scenario:

    Jackley sees this coming. He knows full well the SDLP broke the law and spoiled its nominations. He knows exactly which statutes will disqualify his challenger. And he knows that if he intervenes in any way, he only feeds the trolls.

    Jackley thus observes protocol. He doesn't initiate any controversy. He waits for the SOS to receive the nominee certification from the SDLP, before which point there is no violation of state law. He says and does nothing until SOS Gant contacts him for advice, before which point this election issue is none of the AG's business. And when Gant opens that conversation, AG Jackley recuses himself and eventually his whole office. Perfectly logical and professional.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.14

    Oh! And thank you, Roger, for the welcome! I'm utterly thrilled to be here. Maybe Jason can have me stop by on my way across the state to help him find the relevant statutes. (Or he could just read the blog. :-) )

  7. Roger Cornelius 2014.08.14

    Okay Cory, I understand your scenario, but only because it is you. I'll always be suspect of Jackley and his motivations, kind of hard to believe he is being ethical.

    Someone in Jason's office could use some legal assistance, the statutes you have posted makes all pretty clear. There are times that it appears you are doing his legal work for him.

    By the way, on the related blog of yours it was mentioned that Lee stated that Chad changed his voter registration twice, one at the DMV and then with Bob Newland, is that even legal?

  8. lesliengland 2014.08.14

    twice? prolly suspenders and a belt.

  9. Dave Baumeister 2014.08.14

    If Haber really did change his party registration at the DMV a week or so before the convention, there would be a paper trail to follow. I was just THINKING about attending the convention, and I went to the auditor's office to change my registration. Why wouldn't a person seeking the party's nomination do the same thing? Any non-stupid person would make SURE he was registered in the proper political party. Of course, this is all explained by his ongoing belief that laws don't apply to him. I wish someone would finally arrest him, because up to now, it seems like Chad's assessment is correct. If one openly and repeatedly breaks the law (or the "rules") and is never punished, it is pretty easy to get that sense of impunity.

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.14

    Roger, I'm always happy to serve.

    I don't think it's illegal to register, then register again. The auditor will probably look at the record, see that the person is already on file, and simply update info, if there is any change.

    Dave, you're right: just more narcissist rule-breaking.

  11. lesliengland 2014.08.15

    the "untouchables", a new comedy series on channels 3, 7 and 12

  12. Bob Newland 2014.08.15

    Chad Haber said more than once that he would withdraw from consideration for the SDLP nomination for Atty Genl if a qualified attorney would run. Two attorneys in Sioux Falls said they were considering it. They both finally decided not to, because, in the words of one of them, "Marty Jackley will be in office in SD for at least the next 12 years, if things go the way he plans. He will have a long time to punish me if I challenge him on the ballot as a LIbertarian."

    Haber told me the morning of the SDLP convention that he had registered L at the DMV the day before. I said that since there was no way to verify that, it would be necessary for him to fill out another change-of-party registration at the convention.

    Assuming the DMV papers get to the auditor's office, and assuming the registration I submitted Monday get to the auditor, neither cancels the other; the auditor will simply file one or both and place Chad on the L list.

    Normally a person seeking the nomination of a party to an office would register with that party as soon as possible, and why Haber would want to be a Republican anyway is a mystery to me, but none of that negates his ability to change party every day if he wants to.

    About 25 people registered L at the convention. Chad and Ryan Gaddy were two of them. We nominated them to the ballot for statewide races. Their intent, as stated on their registration forms, was clear. The Secretary of State historically has followed the will of the voter when that is clear, and when no damage is done to anyone else by doing so. I can see no damage in allowing their registrations to stand, and allowing their nominations to be validated.

  13. Roger Cornelius 2014.08.15

    On the SDLP Convention Facebook page, in the discussion I had with Lee, he never mentioned that Chad had also changed his registration through you the day of the convention. Do you know why he didn't bring that crucial issue up in that conversation.

    By all appearances, it seems that Lee simply made up the story about the DMV because Chad had not changed his registration before the convention.

    It does seem odd that someone would feel the necessity to change their registration twice within days of each other.

  14. Kurt Evans 2014.08.15

    Roger Cornelius wrote:
    >"On the SDLP Convention Facebook page, in the discussion I had with Lee, he never mentioned that Chad had also changed his registration through you the day of the convention. Do you know why he didn't bring that crucial issue up in that conversation."

    That Facebook discussion was the day before the convention, Roger:

    By the way, could someone please follow that link without logging in, expand all comments and "see-mores" and do a screen capture of the whole discussion? Then email it to Thanks.

  15. Lynn 2014.08.15

    Roger I just went to the SDLP facebook page where Chad posted this and never answered what he said he would address and stay on topic.

    "Let's talk about my "scandals."

    I've been subjected to over a year of smears, especially from the two main political blogs in South Dakota.
    Let's clear the air. If you have any questions, please ask them and let me tell you this side of the story that you haven't been hearing."

  16. Roger Cornelius 2014.08.15

    The Rapid City Journal is reporting that not only has Marty Jackley recused himself from ruling on Haber and Gaddy, the entire attorney general's office has recused itself. Interesting.

    Kurt, you absolutely correct on the date of the discussion I had with Lee, please forgive my faulty memory. That does not change my original question as to why Chad and Lee would find it necessary to register twice within a day of each other.

    Lynn, I listened to the audio of the Stranahan/Haber interview on Chad's scandals and learned nothing except the fine art of Lee doing the two-step for Chad. Lee explained the scandals and Chad merely agreed with him.
    Lee insist that you can comment of his site, but I have yet been able to do so.

  17. 96 Tears 2014.08.15

    Stonewalling by the South Dakota Attorney General when it serves the interests of the GOP State Central Committee is nothing new. Having said that, I have no sympathies for Haber. However, this reminds me of the clever foot dragging and heavy-handed way Jackley ignored pretty clear reasons why the Bosworth nomination should have been nixed when Cory provided all the evidence that was needed and in a timely manner. Bob Newland's last paragraph is how judges have ruled in past contested issues like this.

  18. lesliengland 2014.08.15

    sd law of ethics requires jackley et al. to do so.

  19. 96 Tears 2014.08.16

    Can citizens or the Libertarian Party file suit against the entire legal staff in the S.D. Attorney General's office to compel them to do their jobs?

  20. Tara Volesky 2014.08.16

    I believe so 96 Tears, and they should sue them. I am hoping the we can overcome fear and intimidation. It's time to rise up and not fall for distracting voters from voting anti-establishment.

  21. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.17

    Gaddy and Haber should sue Gant and Jackley, Tara? Boo hoo. That's standard Haber-Bosworth practice: flagrantly disregard the rules, lie to everyone (Haber swore he was a Libertarian, legally registered), and then drag everyone to court hoping they'll get tired of litigating and let them get by with their lies. Their fatal error here is that they aren't dealing with isolated individuals who don't have the time or money to wage a legal battle unscrupulously drawn out by specious tactics. They are up against the state of South Dakota, which for all of its flaws is still bigger, badder, and more right than Team Haber-Bosworth.

  22. Tara Volesky 2014.08.17

    Sorry Cory, I believe Haber on this one. Kurt Evans said he probably would have contested Haber if he thought he didn't follow the law. The buck stops with Gant and Jackley, and we'll also see what happens tomorrow with Myers case. What a waste of time and money. This is all about power, control and keeping numbers on the ballot low and keeping voter turnout low. The 2 main parties don't want anybody interfering with the duopoly.

  23. Lynn 2014.08.17

    Tara how much is Mike's campaign spending to fight this legally? It's frustrating to read in Mike's case when it should not be happening in the first place.

  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.17

    Believing Chad Haber is always an error. He said he was legally registered. He was not. Lie.

    The Myers case is an entirely separate issue. Myers attempted to follow the law; unfortunately, there is a gap in statute that Secretary Gant could easily span but lazily and unfairly declines to span.

    For Myers's sake, do not intertwine his fate or his legitimate legal arguments with Haber's. Myers's ideas are too valuable to public discourse to have them drowned in someone else's vindictive, money-grubbing scam.

  25. Tara Volesky 2014.08.17

    Thank you Lynn, Mike paid Mr. Welch $250 for a fee to try the case and then a believe he paid a filing fee. He doesn't recall how much it was. I am sure you can find out at the Court House. The state may end up paying Mr. Welch's attorney fees if we win. If the judge rules against us, Mr. Welch is out since he was kind enough to take the case pro-bono. Maybe we can sue JG and MJ for punitive damages, such as pain and suffering. lol

  26. Lynn 2014.08.17

    Tara, Cory

    I specifically focused on Meyer's case since I believe it is unfortunately justified. It's a minimal legal fee compared to what legal fees could be and that's great Mr. Welch is helping. That means a lot! Once Mike wins the case I do hope the state reimburses. Regardless of cost it's the point of it being wrong and unnecessary.

  27. Tara Volesky 2014.08.17

    Cory my discussion and opinions of the Haber case does not have anything to do with Mike Myers campaign. These are two separate issues. Only you or someone else can try and intertwine the two campaigns. For the record, we are are focusing on issues that affect people of SD.

  28. Tara Volesky 2014.08.17

    What makes me mad Lynn is, we the taxpayers will have to pay for it. MJ and JG should pay the bill.

  29. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.17

    Then why are we discussing Myers under a Haber-Gaddy post? You're the campaign manager who came here to say you believe Haber and believe he should sue. Why risk Myers's credibility by expressing solidarity with a con man? Get on message, separate Myers from Haber, and don't let others leech off your campaign as they leech off everyone else into whom they can get their fangs.

  30. Lynn 2014.08.17

    Tara it does hurt Meyer's campaign when you and Lora Hubble are posting on the Libertarian Party facebook page and other social media in support of Annette Bosworth, Chad Haber, Lee Stranahan and Ryan Gaddy. People will easily link all of you together. You claim Mike Meyers is Independent but your actions speak otherwise.

    Right now during this election cycle your official capacity is campaign manager for Mike Meyers so whatever you put out there represents him.

  31. Tara Volesky 2014.08.17

    Cory, Mike Myers is a credible candidate and his campaign has nothing to do with Haber or anybody else. Like I said above, only you or someone else will try and intertwine the two. Lynn, Lora and I have every right to express our opinions on the Libertarian fb page or any other blog. I think is good to discuss all candidates no matter what there party affiliation may be. That's part of the political process. Good luck keeping Lora quiet on the issues and talking about the Republican machine. It doesn't matter what we say, the two main parties are going to say what ever they want about us. Welcome to the world of politics. If someone asks a question, I try and answer them as honestly as I can. I have posted Susan Wismer's op-ed to my fb page. So far no one has interlinked the Myers, Wismer campaign together. When Hubbel ran against Daugaard, I posted some of her remarks too.

  32. Lynn 2014.08.17

    Tara you can certainly post whatever or wherever you choose but please keep in mind that as your role as campaign manager there may be consequences for your actions that will reflect badly and hurt the credibility of the Independent ticket. Lets face it Haber/Bosworth are toxic at the very least and more than likely if there is any indication of an association it will hurt the valuable message and support Mike would otherwise have.

    When you mentioned whomever tries to intertwine also consider that from the recent poll a large number of supporters out of that 7% showed that they support Meyers and are registered as Republican probably as a protest or alternative vote to the current administration.

    If you really feel strongly and are willing to risk the success of Meyer's campaign by you as campaign manager supporting Haber/Bosworth and the rest of that gang go ahead and do it and we can see what happens.

  33. Tara Volesky 2014.08.17

    Thanks Lynn, I guess we'll just see how the Haber lawsuit plays out, that's if he has filed a lawsuit. Mike will find out tomorrow how the judge rules. I hope Gaddy and Haber's situation gets resolved sooner than later. Hopefully than we will be able to talk about the issues that affect the people of SD. Right now, people don't seem to be very interested in the elections. Hopefully that will change this Wed at Dakota Fest where the Gubernatorial candidates will be facing off in their first debate.

  34. lesliengland 2014.08.19

    habers run appears reminiscent to kansas gov. brownback's unknown challenger. perhaps his model. last word, msnbc 8.07.14

  35. Tara Volesky 2014.08.19

    It will be interesting to see if Haber goes to the people instead of just talking policy issues. Like Joe Lowe always says, "it's about the people."

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