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Howie Company Sends Campaign E-Mails for Haber; Just Business, Says Howie

My inbox lights up with a campaign fundraising e-mail from fake Libertarian candidate for attorney general Chad Haber. Short form:

  1. Haber touts his wife's disastrous, money-gobbling, law-breaking Senate campaign as a reason to send him money.
  2. Haber shows his irrelevance to the GOED/NBP/EB-5 debate by treating as news the predictable excuses Northern Beef Packers lawyer Rory King gave to Bob Mercer back in December 2013 for Benda's diversion of Future Fund Grant #1434.
  3. Haber calls me (well, not personally, but the blogs and the press in general) lazy and afraid of the truth. (Lazy? Chad, remind who here has a job and who doesn't.)

The only part of Haber's pitch worth mentioning lies at the bottom. After Haber signs off with his beg line, the e-mail displays this footer:

Life and Liberty Group - 640 E. St. Patrick Street, PO Box 866, Rapid City, SD, 57709, United States

Life and Liberty Group... that's Gordon Howie's company!

I called Howie and asked what the presence of his company's name at the bottom of Haber's campaign e-mail means. According to Howie, Life and Liberty Group sent the campaign e-mail to addresses on its e-mail list at the request of someone promoting the Haber campaign, with a promise to pay Life and Liberty Group for that service. The e-mail does not say who is paying for it.* Howie did not name the client, but he says he is confident that Life and Liberty Group will receive payment for this service. The monetary value of that service will appear, of course, on Chad Haber's pre-general campaign finance report.

Howie said the Life and Liberty Group e-mail list is available for rent by almost anyone. Howie says his company has turned down some e-mails, but he is willing to do business with the Marty Jackley campaign and the Madville Times, not to mention far less shady characters.

Howie emphasized that the e-mail included and constitutes no endorsement of Haber by the Life and Liberty Group or by Howie's Independent Senate campaign. Howie says he does not plan to endorse any candidate in any race.

There have been prior inkles of collaboration between Haber and Howie. I asked Howie what relationship he has with Team Haber-Bosworth. "We are friends with a lot of people that frankly would amaze a lot of the public." Howie cites his own video series with me last spring as an example of his ability to build positive relationships with people of all sorts of worldviews (there's a campaign pitch in there somewhere).

Howie confirmed that his Senate campaign paid Haber-Bosworth's paid spokesman for some consultation and media production. However, Howie says that engagement was "terribly insignificant" and nowhere near the level of engagement between that spokesman and Bosworth and Haber. We will see that insignificant payment on Howie's Q3 FEC report.

Howie says his relationship with the Haber campaign is purely business, no different from the relationship demonstrated by the presence of ads from former Republican Senate candidate Stace Nelson and current Independent gubernatorial candidate Mike Myers on this liberal blog.

Now let's just hope Howie doesn't have to take Haber to court to get paid.

Update 17:23 CDT: No "Paid for by..." statement? That seems odd. The Secretary of State says all candidates are supposed to "Display or clearly speak the statement: 'Paid for by (Name of political action committee)' on any printed material or communication. This disclaimer is not required on buttons, balloons, pins, pens, matchbooks, clothing, or similar small items upon which the inclusion of the statement would be impracticable." Does printed material include e-mail?

If this e-mail was arranged by an independent expenditure promising to pay $100 or more (and Gordon, you're nuts if you didn't charge that much), the source may want to review the following part of state campaign finance law, which does not distinguish between print, electronic, or other communications:

Any person or organization that makes a payment or promise of payment totaling one hundred dollars or more, including an in-kind contribution, for a communication which expressly advocates for or against a candidate, public office holder, ballot question, or political party shall append to or include in each communication a disclaimer that clearly and forthrightly:

  1. Identifies the person or organization making the independent expenditure for that communication;
  2. States the address or website address of the person or organization;
  3. States that the communication is independently funded and not made in consultation with any candidate, political party, or political committee; and
  4. If the independent expenditure is undertaken by an organization not including a candidate, public office holder, political party, or political committee, then the following notation must also be included: "Top Five Contributors" followed by a listing of the names of the five persons making the largest contributions to an organization during the twelve months preceding that communication [South Dakota Codified Law 12-27-16].


  1. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.19

    From his Twitter account I see that Stranahan is off and about and ready to reveal the truth behind Benghazi.
    Apparently too busy for the Haber campaign, there hasn't been a post on his blog since Sept. 13.
    Stranahan is likely involved in the Howie campaign, he said as much at one point.
    Can't wait to see all the campaign finance reports for these guys.
    Tara Volesky, Libertarian insider and Myers campaign manager said on one of these threads that Haber was going to be like Myers and not do any fund raising.

  2. Tara Volesky 2014.09.19

    Roger, I didn't say that. Post what I said.

  3. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.19

    Save me some research time Tara, and tell me what you did post.

    Meanwhile, I'll see if can still find your comments.

  4. Tara Volesky 2014.09.19

    Roger, you are the one that made these accusations, so just post it. I refuse to play your game, that's why I don't post anything anymore. only unless I need to set the record straight.

  5. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.19

    But you haven't set the record straight Tara.
    I didn't make an accusation, I made a comment based on something I recall reading, no games.
    Perhaps it should have been in the form of a question.

  6. Tara Volesky 2014.09.19

    All I am saying is post what I said Roger. I am sure Cory can help you.

  7. jerry 2014.09.19

    Oh NO, on a Friday night yet. A, he said she said moment. Who would've thunk it.

  8. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.09.19

    Geez Tara. Please just tell us what you said. Thanks.

  9. jerry 2014.09.20

    What drama, it is thick while we wait..and wait..and wait

  10. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.20

    I'm not going to indulge in this any further. I'll eventually find what I'm talking about, until than the hell with it.

    Given we're talking about Haber (3%) and Myers (5%) it is pretty much an irrelevant discussion anyway.

    Sorry Madville regulars.

  11. Bob Mercer 2014.09.20


    I'm not certain what you mean by "predictable" regarding Rory King's comments. That story was the first to publicly tie together the grant to NBP, the diversion by NBP to SDRC for an EB-5 loan monitor for NBP, and Benda's employment by SDRC as an EB-5 loan monitor for NBP. King provided the key fact regarding why NBP gave the $550,000 to SDRC.

  12. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.20

    "Predictable" in that as Northern Beef Packers' lawyer, he would have an interest in covering up any errors or connection to illegal behavior related to his company and thus would be inclined to say that Richard Benda did nothing wrong.

    But the bigger point is that you did indeed break that important story and add it to our understanding of the money trail last December. Candidate Haber and his campaign staff did nothing to bring that news forward, and they misinterpret its significance.

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.20

    And Tara, I'm sorry to be late on this particular comment, but on September 4, you told us that the campaign event Chad Haber held in Brookings on September 3 was paid for not by Haber or by the Libertarian Party but by Dawn Van Ballegooyen. Let me verify: is that the case? Did Van Ballegooyen make an in-kind contribution to the Haber campaign?

  14. Tara Volesky 2014.09.20

    I am done with this, he said, she said, what, where, why, when and how BS. I only replied to Roger's BS comment which wasn't true AGAIN and he did not post my comment, because there was no such comment. Just another assumption. WHO CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cory call Chad and call Dawn. I only repeated what they told me, so I am done being the in between girl. They will now have to defend themselves. I have enough going on trying to help Mike and Lora get that 5%.

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.20

    Myers Campaign Manager Finds Focus, Realizes Haber Toxic—that's the Independent headline of the day. Thank you, Tara. I await Dawn's response to my e-mail inquiry, as well as Chad's campaign finance filing.

  16. jerry 2014.09.20

    What a blessing, today will start so fresh and clear knowing that all the dust has settled in Madville. Now, let us sharpen the wits and the pitchforks for the little weasel that has caused us all the heartburn and anguish, I speak of the little man, Rounds. I could and should bring up his sidekick, the arrogant schmoozer Daugaard. Both are in up to their eyeballs in corruption with the EB-5 and whatever racketeering venues they can find. Lets rid ourselves of both and find a way to provide the Medicaid Expansion to our working poor. We can also kick Rev. Hickey in the pants on this as well, what a dud regarding the poor. He shames his collar.

  17. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.20

    Agreed Jerry, the other little weasel in today's game is Haber and what Cory points out in his shoddy campaign, not knowing campaign finance laws and apparently abusing or neglecting them.
    Haber's boasting at the SDLP that he is an expert in raising campaign cash, the millions that Base Connect raised for his wife, again seems to be a distortion. How much has he actually raised?
    Also of interest to me is the role Stranahan is playing in the Howie/Haber campaigns and is he getting paid.

  18. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.20

    Since my memory is not as sharp as it once was, I'll make this comment in the form of a question.

    Is it true that Mike Myers does not support Chad Haber for attorney general?

Comments are closed.