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Elliott Perjury Complaint Status Uncertain; AG to Indict Thousands of Traveling RVers?

With Republicans Al Novstrup and Dan Kaiser victorious in the District 3 House race, we will not have the opportunity to test aspiring assistant majority leader Lee Schoenbeck's determination to veto the will of the people and refuse Democrat Burt Elliott a seat in the State House. 3,404 District 3 voters were undeterred by the well-publicized fact that Elliott only rents a basement in District 3 and likely keeps his main underwear drawer in District 2, but that wasn't enough to beat Kaiser's 3,709 or Novstrup's 3,931. (Fellow Democrat Pat Hale drew 2,778 votes.)

The voters have spared Elliott Schoenbeck's wrath, but perhaps not Marty Jackley's:

Brown County State's Attorney Larry Lovrien said Brown County is not looking into the matter, but it's his understanding that Secretary of State Jason Gant has asked Attorney General Marty Jackley to investigate the matter.

"It's the function of the attorney general to look into these things," Lovrien said.

At issue is a sworn statement signed by Elliott on his petition that says he is a resident of the district in which he is sought election. Lovrien said if that sworn statement is false, that's perjury, which is a felony offense [Elisa Sand, "AG Reportedly Asked to Look into Elliott Residency," Aberdeen American News, 2014.11.05].

Strangely, the AG's office says it knows nothing about any residency complaint:

Sara Raburn of the attorney general’s office said she checked with a couple of individuals within the office on Wednesday, and that they did not know anything about an investigation into Elliott’s residency [Elisa Sand, "South Dakota Attorney General Has Yet to Be Asked to Investigate Burt Elliott Residency," Aberdeen American News, 2014.11.06].

Demonstrating that he was more interested in electioneering than law, Representative-Elect Novstrup, who beat the drum hard against Elliott's fictitious residency during the campaign, tells Sand he suddenly "doesn't have an opinion" on the Elliott residency question:

“It’s completely out of my hands,” Novstrup said, passing on that determination to the Brown County’s state’s attorney or the attorney general’s office [Sand, 2014.11.06].

Perhaps Novstrup just wants to let bygones be bygones. Elliott says he thinks his election loss moots the question.

Elliott is mistaken. As we know from the Annette Bosworth and Clayton Walker cases, oaths matter. Petitions matter. Honest voter registration matters. If the Attorney General determines that any citizen has sworn a false statement, the Attorney General should hold that individual accountable.

But remember, the case Republicans have made against Elliott for perjury rests on this one sentence to which every South Dakota voter swears on the voter registration form:

I actually live at and have no present intention of leaving the above address.

If Attorney General Jackley decides that Elliott has committed perjury by declaring that he "actually lives" at his District 3 address, then Attorney General Jackley will find himself obliged to prosecute some 1,700 "residents" of 110 East Center Street, Madison, South Dakota, 57042 of perjury. That's about how many traveling RV owners have registered to vote at Not one of them "actually lives" at 110 East Center. The same will be true for thousands of other RVers registered at similar addresses in Hanson, Minnehaha, and Pennington counties.

AG Jackley, Republicans, are you ready to unleash that torrent of litigation?


  1. Nick Nemec 2014.11.06

    This RVer loophole needs to be closed, the Republican Party screams about voter fraud and makes it harder for actual residents to vote or register to vote yet turns a blind eye to these faux South Dakotans who have no intention to ever actually live in SD. The only reason these drop box addresses exist is to allow well to do RVers avoid income taxes in their home state, in return we collect a very meager license plate fee and allow them to skew our elections.

  2. Bill Fleming 2014.11.06

    And if they're diluting even the GOP vote so bad even our local Repubs can't get rid of a guy they can't stomach in a primary, there's real problem.

  3. Wayne pauli 2014.11.06

    I spend as much time as possible at Hart Ranch. I love my RV and Hart Ranch has been in the family since there we no trees on the prairie. I have met many really nice pseudo South Dakotans in their six figure, 44 ft RVs.they are using the mail forwarding services available, getting tgat cheap DL and auto insurance....oh, and laughing at us native South Dakotans. Even they know it is not right, but they will drink at the trough as long as they can.

  4. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.06

    With all due respect, do you really expect the SDGOP and Republican controlled legislature to actually do anything about the RV'ers that they rely on to finance campaigns and cast their ballots for them, to do anything to change the law?
    We cannot expect this legislature and Daugaard to do anything about voter suppression anymore that we can expect to put into place a high standard of ethics to govern state officials.

  5. Nick Nemec 2014.11.06

    No Roger, I'm jaded enough to realize how the game is played. The SDGOP will have some boiler plate talking point about protecting folks right to vote and nothing will be done.

  6. Bill Fleming 2014.11.06

    Nick, we need to raise hell about it anyway. Give them their own voting district or something.

  7. WayneF 2014.11.06

    "This RVer loophole needs to be closed, the Republican Party screams about voter fraud and makes it harder for actual residents to vote or register to vote yet turns a blind eye to these faux South Dakotans who have no intention to ever actually live in SD. The only reason these drop box addresses exist is to allow well to do RVers avoid income taxes in their home state, in return we collect a very meager license plate fee and allow them to skew our elections."

    Right on target, Nick Nemec! I met two RV owners when I was in Washington DC a year ago. I'm not sure they'd ever been to South Dakota, yet they enjoyed all the benefits of state citizenship, including as you site cheap drivers licenses and lower automobile insurance rates.

    Let's close that insurance and voter loophole! But don't count on newly elected state and federal legislators to do so.

  8. Thomas 2014.11.06

    This is great! More excuses why my now former party, cannot place candidates in all the races or win a statewide race. Yep, it's all the fault of the RVer's. "Don't you see? It's all Lloyd Braun's fault."

  9. grudznick 2014.11.06

    Most RVers are registered (D) and don't bother to vote in local elections. That's a fact, Jack.

  10. Les 2014.11.06

    Yep, run em out of SD, right after Weiland gets rid of the bombs and closes the base. They're all jaded by those crazy Texan hillbilly, racist, homophobe....blah blah blah, tax evading, motor camper bus driving losers anyway.
    Its a fact Jack, the only motor camper bus Ive ever seen a lib in is an old VW vanawagon, huh, Cheech?

  11. leslie 2014.11.06

    dontchu guys have anywhere tah go??

  12. jerry 2014.11.06

    RV'ers are just doing what everyone else does in looking for the best deals available, we should not fault them for that. As much as I dislike Walmart, Kmart and the rest of those scoundrels, I still find that I need some of the things there for some savings. Maybe we should have gone out and done some canvassing for Robin Page in her district instead of blaming the retired dudes and dudettes for the loss. I am speaking of folks like myself when I say this too. There is plenty of blame out there and good candidates like her need to have another shot at getting elected. I hope she goes for it.

  13. JeniW 2014.11.07

    Thomas, I can guarantee you the Republicans would be doing the same thing if the Democrats had won.

    Republicans are not pure innocent people who never do anything wrong. If you believe that they are, I have some land to sell just due west of Oregon. LOL

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.07

    Thomas, I take no position on whether RVers are swaying elections one way or another, at least not until I've gotten the addresses of every one of these RV address sites and checked the local voting records. But do you agree with my assessment that if Burt Elliott committed perjury, so have all of those RV voters?

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.07

    [And check your e-mail, Thomas]

  16. mike from iowa 2014.11.07

    Thomas @ 22:00 finally gets it. Those christian sharia whitey wingnut terrorists have to move mobile stoopid bombs some how so they can inflict/infect the populace with gross stoopidity. What better cover than a placid address in South Dakota. Truth be told,wingnuts can collect all the stoopid they'd ever need right in South Dakota. Why risk illegal alien contamination by spending your winters in Texas? Must be the watermelons.

  17. leslie 2014.11.07

    maybe, cory. these are important issues and this sheds light on what lee is up to for the SDGOP. residence is a fuzzy chameleon in the law, a product of political manipulation going way back in every state i would guess.

Comments are closed.