Stan Adelstein asks the AG to remove Pat Powers from his state employment

As you may or may not know, South DaCola broke the story on Pat Powers involvement with a consulting business while serving as the SOS’s Chief of Operations. Stan left these comments today on my site;

I hate even the whiff of “Chicago Politics.” When I saw the website for Powers, and for that matter Gant – I wondered who would not purchase their campaign stuff from the office that had final say in a close race, who had final say for campaigns, or campaign committees of their expenditures, disclaimers, filing data, reporting, etc, etc. On top of that the Secy’s office has final say in close races, and between candidates on close issues. Why was this Secretary the first one to endorse the power of Speaker of the State house over an excellent seated REPUBLICAN state senator?

 

Thanks everyone on this blog site. I agree, and as to Testor 15, I have asked the Attorney General to give us all those “invesigators” that you asked for. That is the advantage of being elected by people – who even when the disagree with me – think I care about the system that I love and gave me everything that I cherish. (despite Power’s comments about my social position, supposed wealth, more than one home — and unlike rest of SD, my religious faith)

And Testor 15 — finally getting the media attention — due to this letter to our Straight Arrow Attorney General:

Dear Attorney General Jackley

I request that you investigate the office of South Dakota Secretary of State. I am concerned about allegations of impropriety, conflict of interest, and possible illegal activity.

A political commercial enterprise “Dakota Campaign Store” solicits political consulting, and sale of campaign material. It appears that it may actually be operating out of the Secretary’s office – by Mr Pat Powers, who is an apparent full time employee of that office, and has primary responsibility, in that office, for some of the same IT services that he is advertising.

Does “DakotaCampaignStore.com,” use political filings from candidates to solicit business? It is obvious that Mr. Powers is the first to see any such filing – and with the new “assistance” program offered by his office has access to private information, not available to his competition.

I am concerned about the endorsement in a primary election, of the incumbent Speaker of the House of Representatives. Does that endorsement arise out of any financial arrangements with this “consulting”service? Were any of the campaign material used in that primary race purchased through or by that enterprise?

Does the Secretary himself directly or indirectly participate in earnings of this political operation? By indirectly, I mean discounts for material, utilization of services pro bono, etc.

Has the Secretary purchased, even at market value, campaign material from that enterprise for his re-election campaign, or made use of mailing lists, etc?

Has any of the business of this commercial service utilized State computers, office space, lists, office supplies, etc. in the conduct of it’s affairs.

Time may be of the essence! I went online at 12:40 mountain time, June 15 and perused in detail Mr Powers advertising on DakotaCampaignStore.com. Shortly thereafter I expressed my concern to most of my Senate Colleagues. Since my posting to them, that website has been taken down! Mr Powers, among other things, is well known as a computer Guru – and I fear that evidence of wrongdoing could be erased, revised or otherwise distorted.

If you establish apparent impropriety or misbehavior, I am also asking for your advice with regards two sections of Article XVI of the SD Constitution. Is it possible that Section 3 – “impeachment” – is something I should be seeking as a Senator or possible (and to my Engineers mind) more likely Section 4, “Removal from Office.” My education and background makes the distinction between the offences listed in each somewhat unclear.

Stanford M Adelstein State Senator, District 32

Some are crying sour grapes, ‘Troy’ who I would assume is ‘Troy Jones, a frequent contributor to Pat’s former site Dakota War College made this comment on Madville Times;

I agree Doug. In the end, this is just a personal vendetta against Pat as we all know there is no love lost between Stan and Pat.

Another commenter ‘Jane’ disagrees, and rightfully so;

Troy, I’m sure that the “Powers” that be want this to be dismissed as a personal issue between two feuding politicians. But that misses the entire point.

There are clearly two sets of rules, ethics, and professionalism in the Office of the Secretary of State. One for the favorites and one for the rest. Gant, Powers, Gosch, et al are all caught in the same web of sloppy, partisan arrogance.

One wonders if the AG and Judge Barnett might be caught in the partisan web as well.

The State Board of Elections might have a different view of the level of hackery taking place at the SOS’s office. That will be interesting to watch.

As I told someone today, ‘Would this have happened under Chris Nelson’s watch?’ Probably not. While I have my reservations about Nelson, I don’t think Nelson bungled as much as Gant has. It seems anytime Gant has to do something important (like running elections properly) he screws up. Could this be Gant or his staff.

There seems to be this attitude by some politicians in Pierre that once they get elected they can do what they want and they can ignore the public’s wishes and the rules. Sorry, but this South Dakotan as many others are fed up with this attitude. This is a democracy, elections should be fair and unencumbered.

 

 

 



47 comments ↓

#1 Detroit Lewis on 06.18.12 at 8:03 pm

http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/adelstein-call-for-investigation-into-sec-of-state-gant/article_1523854e-6922-5bff-911b-4d847afb69b2.html

#2 Bob Newland on 06.18.12 at 8:09 pm

Phat Phouch giggled publicly when I got popped for pot. He even wrote the judge and suggested I be sentenced to prison and treatment.

For his crimes against humanity, I suggest the Phat Phouch be sentenced to smoking a little cannabis every day for a year. He might then have a rudimentary understanding of…, uh, …, well, of the fact that it’s naughty to act like a criminal.

#3 l3wis on 06.18.12 at 8:23 pm

Just got a call from an unknown phone number, and when I answered they hung up. So I called back the number and a friendly Verizon operator said,”This number is no longer in service.”

#4 Testor15 on 06.18.12 at 8:27 pm

Thank you

#5 Pathloss on 06.18.12 at 8:46 pm

CNN did a survey of most corrupt states. South Dakota was 2nd behind Georgia with overall grade of F. Voters put the wrong people in but worse, voter turnout is sad.

#6 scott on 06.18.12 at 9:02 pm

On a different note, (or maybe not) what are the chances of Gant rejecting the teachers petition drive against HB 1234?

#7 hmr59 on 06.18.12 at 9:19 pm

I haven’t always agreed with Adelstein on some issues, but I give him full credit for always doing what he believes is right. Go get ’em, Stan – the people thank you!

#8 Detroit Lewis on 06.19.12 at 3:59 am

http://www.kdlt.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=18331&Itemid=57

#9 Testor15 on 06.19.12 at 7:51 am

Great job explaining your letter to FOX Rapid City: http://www.blackhillsfox.com/2012/06/18/A-State-Senator-is-calling-for-the-impeachment-of-a-SD-Secretary .

The video also shows a screenshot of l3wis’ site.

Thanks for your efforts Stan and l3wis!

#10 l3wis on 06.19.12 at 9:48 am

The Pitty Patt Posttcard business is just icing on the cake when you look several other things that need to be investigated;

– Davison County voting illegularities
– Shortage of Ballots in the municipal election
– Letting candidates notorize their own petitions
– Not having financial reports up on the SOS’s website
– Endorsing candidates.

And as for ‘taking the site down’ that’s kinda like getting pulled over for speeding, then when the officer comes up to your car you say, “You can’t give me a ticket, because I’m not speeding at the present moment.”

#11 Shrimp Taco on 06.19.12 at 10:15 am

I’m glad to see that KDLT and the RC Journal find this newsworthy. Kudos to Adelstein for calling out the SOS. But what gives with the self-proclaimed “news leaders” at the Argus and KELO – too busy doing self-promotion pieces to cover any real news?

#12 testor15 on 06.19.12 at 10:47 am

Stormland weather & sports service has now joined the hunt. http://www.keloland.com/NewsDetail6162.cfm/Campaign_Material_Business_In_SD_Questioned/?Id=133247

#13 Anooner on 06.19.12 at 12:03 pm

Powers appointment as deputy stunk from from the beginning. I’m little surprised at Troy Jones simply trying to pass this off as mere political vendetta. His positions are usually far more thoughtful than that. It appears Gant has been off the rails for some time now, but do any of us really expect Jackley do to anything? He is in a little bit of delicate spot politically: He doesn’t want to cause turmoil within his party, but I don’t think the voting public is going to like this thing being glossed over. He probably has staff working on it right now finding a way for both SOS and AG to save face. A little food for thought that I may have mentioned before: (Sec. Gant, SDCL title 3 is the section of our law that concerns public public officers and employees) SDCL 3-1-5 requires Gant to take an oath to, among other things, “…faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of his office…” SDCL 3-2-3 requires Deputies and Assistants to subscribe to the same oath, which is to be endorsed and filed with the dep or ass’s (believe PP is a dep not an ass) certificate of appointment. Wonder if that has been done? The problem I have with this whole thing is that from Powers seems to think from 8-5 he can play impartial deputy, than after hours serve as a partisan mercenary – all apparently with Gant’s blessing. Was Gant impartially discharging the duties of his office when he endorsed a candidate? Was he impartially discharging those duties when called out certain petitions but let others slide? Don’t think so.

Here is where Marty may have trouble soft selling the situation. 3-16-1 makes it a class 2 mis. every intentional omission to perform a duty – like being impartial, or invalidating some petitions, but letting others slide. 3-17 addresses removal from office for state officers not subject to impeachment. I think Gant would have to be impeached, but the Gov could seek to remove Powers.

My prediction is that nothing will come of this. Gant and Powers will be told they are not as clever as they thought. Gant will tell Powers no more consulting as to avoid any “distractions”. Gant will take the biggest hit due to this, and his overall appearance of incompetence. Marty and Dennis will take minor hits politically for looking the other way, but nowhere near enough to derail them. They probably risk more fallout from acting than from not.

#14 Maddy on 06.19.12 at 12:20 pm

I’ve been watching his actions for awhile and Gant is clearly incompetent and so is his staff. That is what happens when you clean house and fire all of the SOS employees who know what they are doing.
How many times can he screw something up and still keep his office? I hope the AG does the right thing.

#15 rufusx on 06.19.12 at 1:00 pm

Lewis – the certain “attitude” you refer to has a name. It is called “HUBRIS.”

#16 Anooner on 06.19.12 at 1:31 pm

Mercer blogs that Powers never registered his business with sec of state. Wonder how his sales tax got paid.

#17 Anne on 06.19.12 at 1:32 pm

Maddy makes a point that has been ignored. Nearly all the employees in the SOS office left or were fired. Initially an elections supervisor was named, but has never been heard of since. Hiring Pat Powers caused much consternation. It wasn’t the fact that Powers was a loyal partisan. It was that the blog he eventually vaporized was often devious, dishonest, and slanderous. On some things, he got caught and removed the offending posts or parts of them so there would not be record. In the last year or so of the blog, there was considerable evidence that Powers had made it the semi-official attack weapon of the South Dakota GOP, as the posts were carefully coordinated with the state party headquarters. People wondered how Gant would hire a person of such demonstrated low integrity, and were really puzzled when he became the face of the office and seemed to be involved in the purge of the employees who, for so many years, made it run efficiently and quietly with the policy of helping people do things right rather than hunting for errors that could give the office the pretext for exercising Powers (pun intended) over them.

#18 Anooner on 06.19.12 at 1:58 pm

If nothing else, maybe this will help those two sweat off a few lbs.

#19 Detroit Lewis on 06.19.12 at 2:01 pm

AL is on board now.

#20 Detroit Lewis on 06.19.12 at 2:02 pm

http://www.argusleader.com/viewart/20120619/NEWS/120619011/S-D-senator-seeks-secretary-state-investigation?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Home

#21 Detroit Lewis on 06.19.12 at 2:05 pm

KSFY: http://www.ksfy.com/story/18824911/state-senator-calls-for-investigation-of-secretary-of-states-office

#22 l3wis on 06.19.12 at 2:07 pm

I posted this story on May 9th, and media is finally doing something about it now that a state senator has filed a complaint. Dumb.

#23 l3wis on 06.19.12 at 2:11 pm

I could care less about Pat, it is Gant I worry about. He should be investigated for several situations, not just letting his employee running a consulting biz.

#24 Scott on 06.19.12 at 2:29 pm

Nobody has mentioned that Pat’s computer (or site) was hacked last week. My email is somehow still in his database, and I received some spam under his name. I can’t be the only one.

#25 Alice15 on 06.19.12 at 2:29 pm

Jason Gant and Bob Litz – now this is comforting.

#26 Stan Adelstein on 06.19.12 at 3:11 pm

If Sec’y Gant really cares about the “distraction” of Powers’ outside job(s) go to Powers Real Estate website.

Here he features a house at 378 West Lake Drive, Lake Norden, SD Goggle maps say to show it, Powers must go 186 mi, 3 hours 47 mins.

Let’s see how long after this posting Powers take this down. By the way is this house owned by anyone in politics?? I really did not take the time to check.

#27 l3wis on 06.19.12 at 3:41 pm

Scott, maybe the AG’s office had something to do with that? I still think Pat’s shananigans are minor compared to all the stuff the SOS’s office has been up to lately. he took down the site, which is good. But was he doing any business before that? I also agree that some silly little investigation will take place and the AG’s office will clear them of any wrongdoing.

#28 l3wis on 06.19.12 at 4:06 pm

This is getting more interesting by the day;

http://my605.com/pierrereview/?p=6159

“Gant allowed Powers to continue operating the business, under the theory that an employee can engage in other activities outside of the office, from January 2011 through May of this year. That’s 17 months. During that time Gant was made aware of the Dakota Campaign Store link remaining on the blog, but he chose to allow it to continue. (We know because we raised the question to Gant and the link stayed up for many months after.)”

17 months! Wow!

“Rausch confirmed to the Journal that he used Dakota Campaign Store for his 2010 campaign and again for his 2012 primary challenge to Sen. Tim Begalka of Clear Lake. ”

So he ‘WAS’ doing business, and not with just anyone, the guy who was endorsed by Gant.

“The other oddity in all of this is Powers evidently never registered his business with the secretary of state. A search of the office’s corporate database shows no filings.”

That’s just sloppy. Even the pure pittance of advertising I sell on this site I bill out under my FB Art business as advertising sales, and pay taxes on that income (advertising is exempt from sales taxes in SD).

“Assuming the senator has the time correct, this would have been just 55 minutes after the deadline for referendum petitions to have been filed with the Secretary of State office. How one gets from the second floor of the state Capitol in Pierre, to the senator’s office in Rapid City, in a mere 55 minutes is a very good question. Or perhaps Mr. Secretary of State was already on his way west well before the 5 p.m. CDT closing of his state office for the day. As a friend said today, paraphrasing some guy named Imus, “You cannot make this (expletive deleted) up.”

Maybe the ghost of Janklow drove him to RC?

#29 Testor15 on 06.19.12 at 4:12 pm

He took the verbiage off the site but the site is still there. I still ask the question, why is PP still playing games with the site and now sending it to Godaddy.com? If he is shutting it down, you pull all homepages down? Is he tracking who is visiting the site for future use? Is he using hidden pages for other purposes? The site is now under ‘private’ registry but dollars to donuts (or should I say BKs) PP still owns the site for some unpublished purpose.

#30 Testor15 on 06.19.12 at 4:42 pm

PP has taken down the offending sites including DakotaWarCollege.com as of 4:30pm or all the controvery has shutdown the hosting servers. The hosting servers at midphase.com are trying to connect with no luck.

#31 Mike on 06.19.12 at 4:55 pm

I remember a posting, long ago, where Lee Schoenbeck had a tee-shirt on that was made up for the state GOP Convention or something, on which was written “WWPPD?” (What would Pat Powers Do?).

We now have the answer; he would use his state job to commit class 2 misdamenors. This is so unsurprising from the “man” who endlessly gave Sandy Jerstad guff for a couple hundred dollars of damage to somebody’s bumper. What a (fat) ass.

#32 scott on 06.19.12 at 4:58 pm

This was not news until the argus leader reported it. Since they now have it, it is news. You get what you pay for, right Mr. Beck?

#33 fat powers on 06.19.12 at 6:41 pm

You guys have this wrong. You shouldn’t be blaming the election problems on Pat

Pat doesn’t work in elections. In fact he doesn’t do anything at all besides sit on his fat ass all day sleeping at his desk (people have caught him doing this) or clowning around with that tool Mike Lauritsen (who is clinically retarded and spends all day making inappropriate jokes while moonlighting as the HR representative).

#34 Testor15 on 06.19.12 at 8:46 pm

Scott, even if the Paywall Leader has to recycle an AP teletype transmission it at least is something on their site.

#35 Jackilope on 06.19.12 at 9:16 pm

Kudos to you for scooping this Scott.

DWC is up and running at this time. Was there some additional scrubbing going on while offline? I can’t stomach that place, but had to check and see if it was active.

#36 Detroit Lewis on 06.19.12 at 9:50 pm

chickens with their heads cut off . . .

#37 John on 06.19.12 at 10:24 pm

This sorry episode goes to show just the sorrier state of the SD main stream media which is almost entirely an apologist and propaganda wing for the SD republican party and the medias’ advertisers. These unprofessionals should have broken these stories 17 months to 6 weeks ago.

Thank goodness for l3wis, Cory, and the SD blogs. In the long run they just might save South Dakota from itself.

#38 l3wis on 06.19.12 at 11:33 pm

The crazy part is that this was pointed out 17 months ago to Gant BY THE MEDIA! and it took a couple of blogs and a state senator to get the ball rolling. I am baffled by the arrogance, that I am sure is influenced by flame-broiled flagelence (farty-mc-fartster).

#39 Observer on 06.20.12 at 9:32 am

The 2012 Katherine Harris Award for Fairness and Ethical Administration of Elections goes to…

#40 fat powers on 06.20.12 at 3:30 pm

I repeat, Powers does not work in elections. And his so called election business is a joke.

Is anyone suprised that Rausch lost after taking advice from a turd stain like Powers? The Dems should be encouraging candidates to go to Powers.

Pat is just a tub of lard who was hired because he was friends with Gant. He doesn’t actually do anything but sit in Gant’s office with the other tards making jokes and deciding what to eat for lunch.

#41 WOW! on 06.20.12 at 3:38 pm

Reading all of this has made it clear the real problem in the SOS office is Gant. Aaron Lorenzen is not qualified to be Elections supervisor for the state of SD. Ask anyone in the Capitol and off the record they will tell you that. (most of the top people in the capitol are not qualified to be in the capitol doing what they are doing. It’s purely political appointments not qualifications) So it’s hard to just pick on him.

And in all honesty who in the world could screw any of these jobs up? If Chris Nelson can do it then so should Gant.

Adelstein has become the SDDP’s best friend. If Adelstein had a D next to his name the media would be snoozing. R’s eating each other alive!

#42 Testor15 on 06.20.12 at 3:53 pm

Dear fat powers,

You apparently have no idea what the SOS office does. There is a proper behavior required when performing the duties of the office. Pat and Gant have access to a great deal of confidential information. Plus consider the rules, procedures and approvals which when improperly tampered with destroy lives.

As outlined through this series, the criminal nature of the offenses is just a start. Lapses in judgement bordering on law breaking are not to be taken lightly.

By just being in the office, these people are able to access data, remove data, alter data, and more. These two have already proven to be good at playing with data for their benefit.

#43 fat powers on 06.20.12 at 4:07 pm

Calm down vanilla face.

Pat has done things which look bad from the outside, but to accuse him of tampering with data is too give him too much credit.

He doesn’t do anything but design the website and sleep at his desk.

#44 Observer on 06.20.12 at 6:32 pm

If post 42 (“fat powers”) is true, (referring to sleeping on the job), there should be an investigation on that, regardless what the other issues are.

#45 Stan Adelstein on 06.20.12 at 7:21 pm

I wish that Ben Franklin could have seen these days of written confrontation, of the use of unfettered public discourse. My efforts started with something I read in a blog, in keeping with what I learned in the joy/pain of 10 sessions of legislative debate, caucus, insults and caring friendships.

I am tempted to keep speaking on the SOS, or answering the questions like the one about the number of fellow legislators and legislative candidates that have written positively – and the total absence of negative e-mails from that group.

I think, though, that I would do better in preparing to myself as a freely elected delegate to the Republican Convention, to nominate the next President of the United States; to continue my discussions of legislation that I will propose next year. Both arise out of the joy of election – for which people are begging at the cost of their lives!! – at this very moment that I sit in an air-conditioned office typing.

The next steps are in the hands of a freely elected Attorney General. A man I know, a man who will disregard political considerations – much talked of above – because like his
Father, is committed to the rule of law, fairly administered – as long as that special flag flies outside of his office.

As my role in this ends, I cannot but take pleasure in the exercise. Appreciation for the thoughtful support of today’s “Ben’s” – and the challenging opposition as well. In fair honesty I am not downhearted to see a hateful, dishonest, bigoted blog closed.

South Dakota is a nearly invisible dot on a World Globe and Kadoka merely dust – but to this minority believer, yet freely elected office holder — this is where the majority truly lives by the words that George Washington wrote to the Turo Synagogue in August 233 years ago: “to bigotry no sanction, to prejudice no assistance!”

Stan Adelstein

#46 l3wis on 06.20.12 at 10:14 pm

Stan, I would agree, let justice take it’s course.

#47 l3wis on 06.21.12 at 6:15 am

I see the SD Democratic party did respond;

Ben Nesselhuf, chairman of the South Dakota Democratic Party, said an election official endorsing a candidate is troubling, and an elections staff member operating a campaign store in his or her off time also is troubling.

“You put all of that together, and none of it really passes the smell test,” Nesselhuf said. “It’s inconceivable that they did not look at this and see a conflict of the public trust.”

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