UPDATED: As I suspected, Powers resigns

I still hope the investigation continues in the SOS’s office, as many people have pointed out, these are mostly Gant’s mishaps, not Pat’s. If this is some game to stop the investigation, I hope the AG isn’t tricked so easily;

Embattled Secretary of State employee Pat Powers has resigned.

Powers, who worked on online and technological innovations for Secretary of State Jason Gant, had been criticized for allegedly continuing private, election-related business activities at the same time as he was employed by Gant.

At the request of state Sen. Stan Adelstein, R-Rapid City, Attorney General Marty Jackley is investigating accusations that Powers behaved improperly in the Secretary of State’s office, as well as other accusations against Gant.

Before working for Gant, Powers ran a popular conservative blog, the South Dakota War College.

In a statement, Gant thanked Powers for “his efforts in helping modernize this office and advancing the common goal of making it more transparent.”

Gant said Powers was resigning to “spend more time with his children and pursue business opportunities in the private sector.”

UPDATED: It seems the spin doctors are already hard at work;

Joel Rosenthal, a former head of the South Dakota Republican Party who also blogs about politics, said Powers’ time on that feisty, combative blog might be behind some of the criticism he received working for Gant.

“It seems that Sen. Adelstein has other motives that allegedly go back to what he feels the War College blog (attacked) him some years ago,” Rosenthal said. “This is maybe some kind of payback, vendetta.

Adelstein insisted that his complaints aren’t about vengeance.

Last I checked Joel, vengeance is about spite and being intentionally hurtful to others. This sometimes includes saying things about people that are not truthful. Stan simply pointed out the truth about Powers. Pat WAS running a campaign consulting business while working for Gant and Pat DID sell campaign materials to a candidate that Gant endorsed in the primaries. How is pointing something out like this being ‘intentionally spiteful’?

Joel obviously comes from the ‘When you point out the truth, and it is ugly, you are being negative’ crowd. I get so sick of that boloney. Lying and lacking integrity is NEVER positive. Stan pointed out the truth, and it stung.

 

 

53 comments ↓

#1 Testor15 on 07.06.12 at 11:10 am

Notice another Republicant resigning saying “Gant said Powers was resigning to: spend more time with his children and pursue business opportunities in the private sector.”

#2 Testor15 on 07.06.12 at 11:14 am

This must mean there is probably more to the story with PP resigning to protect Gant.

#3 Pathloss on 07.06.12 at 11:22 am

Jackley has proven to be a good attorney general. I wish he’d take a look at Sioux Falls city government. In particular, the public funds fraud associated with events center bond money. Huether has become a multi-millionaire and it’s not because he’s an executive in the private sector.

#4 WOW! on 07.06.12 at 11:56 am

Gant needs to be taken to the woodshed. He is now not only a terrible secretary of state but he is also a chicken who is not loyal to his crew.

I bet he has been really sweating this looking for a fall guy.

#5 WOW! on 07.06.12 at 12:01 pm

PP shoudln’t have been running a campaign store while working for the SOS office. It just looks bad.

But Gant has used his position to endorse, hire unqualified staff, play partisan politics with notary signatures, kick democrats off ballots for reasons he allowed Republicans to stay on. Chair a presidential campaign. And endorse a candidate his senior staffer was selling material too.

#6 Testor15 on 07.06.12 at 12:04 pm

Did a state trooper watch him fill his pockets then escort him from office?

#7 Anne on 07.06.12 at 12:15 pm

You don’t have to read between the lines. Reading the lines makes it clear enough.

Powers was given unusual authority in the SOS. Today’s press release announcing his resignation was the first one from that office that was not sent out under his name. Gant and Powers were partners who thought they had a great power scheme going.

Yes, there should be an investigation. The new computer programs in the office did not really work all that well, and there is the question of why the mass resignations and firings when Gant took office. What happened to the job of elections supervisor once presided over so capably by Kea Warne?

There are many people out there beside Stan Adelstein who find Powers a menace.

#8 Testor15 on 07.06.12 at 12:21 pm

We’re still investigating so PP / Gant shouldn’t't get to comfortable.

#9 WOW! on 07.06.12 at 12:23 pm

Gant hired a whiz kid to run the elections. He’s like 23 and stupid. Ask our local county auditors if he is competent or not. They will tell you no.

I’ve heard Kea wanted to be his deputy but Gant shot her down and then she resigned.

#10 Testor15 on 07.06.12 at 12:41 pm

The smartest guys in the room don’t want intelligence competing or questioning. So a 23yo kid can be manipulated.

#11 Craig on 07.06.12 at 1:37 pm

I disagree with Pathloss regarding Jackley – I actually feel Jackley has been extremely partisan and has wasted resources fighting against federal legislation when he could have been paying closer attention to matters at home (like what has or has not been happening in Gant’s office).

Also, once again Pathloss is making wild accusations that I’m 100% positive he cannot support with any evidence or resemblance of fact. Huether was a multi-millionaire long before he was elected Mayor, and he will be a multi-millionaire long after he leaves. If you think he wanted to hold public office to line his own pockets, you clearly aren’t paying attention. It isn’t about the money for Huether, it is about his ego and the power that comes from having a title that can impress people. I might not be a fan of Mayor Mike, but I’m not going to call him a crook because the guy gives away more money in a year than the city pays him.

I also agree with l3wis that the issues in Gant’s office were Gant’s… not Pat’s. The fact that Gant puts out a statement about making his office more transparent is almost comical. Unfortunately Gant spents far too much time trying to make backroom deals and massaging the egos of those who got him elected so there isn’t much time for him to pay attention to those pesky details that we like to call “elections”. Just ask the fine folks over in Mitchell how well organized Gant’s office is.

#12 Helga on 07.06.12 at 2:28 pm

Cool. LOL typical republican reason, he quit to spend more time with his family. What a laugh.

#13 Guest Poster on 07.06.12 at 2:40 pm

Maybe he needs to go home and spend more time with his family before he joins the Granite City Jaycees?

#14 thc on 07.06.12 at 3:10 pm

It’s really not a matter of the AG being fooled by Powers’ swan dive onto a sword to save Gant. It a question of whether Jackley will use this political seppuku as an excuse to soft-pedal an investigation into Gant’s office. You can just feel the party functionaries drawing the wagons into a tight circle to protect their own – even if their own is inherently corrupt.

#15 Testor15 on 07.06.12 at 3:19 pm

A somewhat competent replacement will be put in OPs spot by party to lessen heat.

#16 WOW! on 07.06.12 at 3:21 pm

Gant is out on a limb. People in the capitol do not like him very much. Everyone knows he’s a disaster waiting to happen and he’s been a joke since his first days on the trail. He is only SOS because there wasn’t a better alternative. Maybe that is Chris Nelson’s fault for hiring Teresa Bray to be his deputy instead of Kea Warne. Everyone likes Kea. No one likes Teresa.

Gant has lost trust since his first day in office and he didn’t have much trust to lose.

The problem for Gant is “He’s not made of teflon. He’s a gummy bear in the hot sun.”

#17 Al Dane on 07.06.12 at 3:51 pm

Goodbye Bill Clay, welcome back Pat Powers. It’s like you’ve never left.

#18 Guest Poster on 07.06.12 at 5:28 pm

“He’s not made of teflon. He’s a gummy bear in the hot sun.” WOW! you got it! FOTFL

#19 Anooner on 07.06.12 at 6:01 pm

Maybe now we’ll see an improvement over at the Bore College. That thing has become a real snooze.

#20 Big Guy on 07.06.12 at 7:52 pm

http://www.keloland.com/NewsDetail6162.cfm/Embattled_Secretary_Of_State_Employee_Resigns/?Id=134082

“In his statement announcing Powers’ resignation, Gant thanked Powers for helping to modernize the secretary of state’s office and making it more transparent.”

Transparent?… WTF???

I’m glad he is gone. Gant better be next.

#21 Guest Poster on 07.06.12 at 9:46 pm

“Transparent?… WTF???”

Classic Orwellian doublespeak language from 1984.

#22 Detroit Lewis on 07.06.12 at 10:04 pm

BG – I had to laugh about that one to.

Love what Stan has dug up;

http://madvilletimes.com/2012/07/senator-adelstein-presses-for-investigation-and-removal-of-secretary-gant/

We may not have to wait for impeachment;

3-17-1. Removal of constitutional state officers by Governor–Grounds–Notice and hearing. All constitutional state officers not liable to impeachment may be removed by the Governor, after notice and hearing, for crimes, misconduct, or malfeasance in office or for drunkenness or gross incompetency.
Source: SL 1901, ch 192, § 1; RPolC 1903, § 1804; RC 1919, § 7009; SDC 1939, § 48.0201.

#23 WOW! on 07.06.12 at 10:18 pm

That is a big stretch. Adelstein is going all out but the odds of this happening are one in a million.

#24 Testor15 on 07.06.12 at 10:21 pm

I believe if we keep up the pressure with the Senator, we may help Bk pack up the house and move out of Pierre… Does anyone know if this would be the first forced removal of a SD Constitutional officer?

#25 WOW! on 07.06.12 at 10:21 pm

When session hits Gant will have senators rally around him to take out Adelstein’s punch. Adelstein might be 2013′s Stace Nelson…

Anyone who is hoping something serious will come out of Adelstein’s allegations is dreaming. Jackley will be fair but he will also look at the basic facts that Adelstein is jumping the shark.

#26 WOW! on 07.06.12 at 10:25 pm

That said they have acted stupidly in the office and don’t deserve a second term but what have they actually done that is “illegal?”

#27 Detroit Lewis on 07.06.12 at 10:28 pm

WOW – I got an email from someone high up in the governor’s office the other day (after I contacted them). While they didn’t say anything about being involved in the AG’s investigation, they did make a curious statement about the investigation;

“There are a lot of moving parts to this deal (as you well know), so it’s best not to rush to judgment. ”

The key words are ‘moving parts’.

#28 Testor15 on 07.06.12 at 10:46 pm

I guess when L3wis started this there were many who said nothing would come of it and look what has developed as of now. I find the process facinating.

#29 l3wis on 07.06.12 at 11:13 pm

I am befuddled to. When Guest Poster sent me that link to the campaign products website, I never thought anything about it, I especially would have never suspected all of this ‘shit’ being unearthed.

#30 Detroit Lewis on 07.06.12 at 11:17 pm

I want to dedicate this song to PP today;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJU81OBkFPk

#31 WOW! on 07.07.12 at 12:58 am

Southdacola deserves the credit for this issue. It was wrong and it was dumb.

The SOS getting so much attention is not solely because of the campaign store it has to do with many different and odd combination of mistakes. I would not have predicted how crazy and intertwined this stuff is 6 months ago.

For one the campaign store was a bad move but then Gant getting out and endorsing candidates was what blew the lid off. He went against the fired up tea party fringe of the party and endorsed one of their most hated rivals Val Rausch. Later it turned out PP was selling stuff to Rausch… Hmmm….

But then all of the partisan notary issues in court began to build up over the same period.

And when Adelstein entered the arena (I’m not convinced PP won’t come after him in court) the whole issue went to another level because he is an incumbent R with with no political future, a big wallet and a grudge to settle. Great theatre.

I’m sure I’m missing some big deal issues from these guys but the point I’m trying to make is that for the Governor to get involved in this he better have some serious facts to back it up and the legislature would also need to see those facts. Gant might not be popular but to impeach an elected official would require serious evidence of wrong doing not just an assumption.

I’ll also say that I am stunned PP through in the towel so early in this fight. I expected him to last through session or maybe until Gant lost reelection. PP was supposed to be the everlasting opperative that would not give in. Turned out he was pretty thin skinned. Or Gant threw him under the bus.

Whoever becomes the new director of opperations in the SOS office is going to be in for a rough two years dealing with these shenanigans…

#32 thc on 07.07.12 at 5:43 am

Note the latest sign of wagons circling – Joel Rosenthal in the morning paper points at Adelstein and says its all revenge stemming from the relentless attacks PP made on him during his SDWC heyday. Of course PP has destroyed the evidence. And a Repub has to be protected by his fellow Repubs – no matter how odious. Why trust Jackley? Because he can look you in the eye and tell you he’ll be thorough? I have some bottom land along the Missouri I’d like to sell you – and it’s flood-free.

#33 Guest Poster on 07.07.12 at 7:29 am

Destroying evidence to hide their activities, especially AFTER the AG has started a potential criminal investigation is a FELONY.

If PP and/or Gant have erased evidence, they will go to jail. If the destruction is done separately or as a team it is conspiracy to commit.

Remember, the fundamental lesson learned by Richard Nixon, the cover-up was worse than the crime.

#34 Detroit Lewis on 07.07.12 at 7:38 am

While it pains me to say this, I am willing to hold steady until Jackley completes his investigation.

I don’t want to speculate anymore on this issue, it just makes my head spin.

#35 Guest Poster on 07.07.12 at 7:50 am

Jackley and his investigators have to secure the evidence. Click Rain in Sioux Falls, the webmasters in Utah, SOS office staff could be touched, other constitutional offices and anyone else who assisted in this process becomes part of the conspiracy web.

This has the potential to take down a big part of the establishment GOP in South Dakota. Think of all the connections to PP in the AG office.

Once this type of activity starts to see light, where do the investigators stop their searches. Think Ken Star in the 1990′s. It started with a minor investigation and ended with Clinton’s impeachment trial in the Senate.

#36 Guest Poster on 07.07.12 at 8:05 am

I am not speculating, in these types of investigations, a judge could really drop the hammer on many people. Does anyone know if South Dakota has an independent prosecutor provision or do we have to go to Grand Jury?

The only way this will be investigated properly and fully is by public pressure on all parties to come clean.

We will now have Joel types doing the classic “move along people, there is nothing to see” in order to save their self interests.

#37 John on 07.07.12 at 9:00 am

It is likely the peoples’ confidence is so shaken by these escapades and the analysis-paralysis coming from the governor’s and attorney generals offices that the way to guarantee an honest investigation and accounting is to appoint a retired federal or state justice or judge to oversee the investigation and make recommendations.

Watching these events at a distance reminds one of watching the Jim Crow south investigate itself. And folks wondered why and challenged the national assertion that South Dakota has one of the more corrupt state governments. Mr. Rosenthal may not know good government if it whacked him on the nose with a two-by-four.

#38 Testor15 on 07.07.12 at 9:21 am

Oh crap…

#39 Detroit Lewis on 07.07.12 at 11:18 am

John – funny you bring up 2×4′s. I’m enjoying the Republicans beat each other over the head on this issue. But hey, cleansing always should start from within.

#40 Stan Adelstein on 07.07.12 at 1:23 pm

By the way, anyone who has copy of the DWC blog asking for donations to “Gant for Secretary State” would help establishing what I carefully called “allegations.” A copy to me at sdsenstan@gmail.com and a copy to the Attorney General would be appreciated.

Stan Adelstein

#41 Jackilope on 07.07.12 at 2:13 pm

I am really hoping for honest investigation and not Good Ol’ Party loyalty here — and actually wish there was outside and independent investigation, as my level of trust in Pierre isn’t real high.

#42 l3wis on 07.07.12 at 2:17 pm

Mercer wrote a good story about the resignation today, he provided a timeline;

http://www.aberdeennews.com/news/aan-secretary-of-state-announces-operations-directors-resignation-20120706,0,5844452.story

Had to laugh about this;

“One day later, everything that Powers had ever written on Dakota War College was gone.

The day after that, Powers was spotted lunching with Gant at Burger King in Pierre.”

Get outta here!

#43 Testor15 on 07.07.12 at 2:41 pm

Aberdeen’s Mercer did a nice basic summary. it also is a reminder of all the empty slots needing closure. Our big city paper has totally ignored the story.

#44 scott on 07.07.12 at 3:18 pm

The argus isn’t interested in selling papers anymore, they are only interested in selling advertising.

#45 l3wis on 07.07.12 at 10:28 pm

Cory and I had an interesting conversation today about this topic, and Cory had a ‘theory’ as to why Powers resigned. And if this ‘theory’ proves to be true, Pat may come out of this smelling like roses.

There is one thing I have learned about covering local politicians and politics, they are very predictable, and Cory may not be to far off the mark on his theory. While I will let Cory share his theory himself, I will say this much, expect the investigation to wrap up SOONER, rather then LATER. The SD GOP probably doesn’t want any lingering talk about the SOS’s office f’ng up in October. They want to seal this casket as soon as they can, the question is, who is going to be in that casket?

#46 Helga on 07.08.12 at 2:10 am

Bite you tongue Lewis. And of course Doogard doesn’t want this to go on and on because it makes him look bad. But for the audience it is more fun if everything hits the fan, then bring popcorn and beer, let the games begin.

#47 Dukembe on 07.08.12 at 9:45 am

Kinda funny how SDWC is on an extended radio silence…

#48 WOW! on 07.08.12 at 10:00 am

I don’t know how Powers comes out smelling like roses in any of this and I don’t think he’s done anything illegal.

These guys had a bad image before Adelstien ever entered the picture but Stan needs to becareful not to overplay his hand by setting expectations too high.

#49 Detroit Lewis on 07.08.12 at 10:39 am

“I don’t think he’s done anything illegal”

Exactly. Just think about that for a moment . . .

#50 Guest Poster on 07.08.12 at 11:10 am

The Senator so far is handling this issue properly. He is an elected official of the State of South Dakota asking questions in his oversight role of another elected official. A state senator is a people’s representative, in a position of responsibility to ask for information and demand answers.

He is asking the AG to do his job. It will be Stan’s job when the answers come back to perform his job to unite a majority of the other 104 representatives to demand changes.

We have a crony system of government being abused by a few for their friends. PP and Gant are small fries in this process. They were in it to get their share by whatever means they could get by with. Their greed put themselves in the sunshine to get caught. Many will say, as they have even here, “I don’t think he’s done anything illegal”. If you have to rationalize their actions through rose colored glasses, there is a problem.

In the 2010 election season I tried to help several people running for office trying to educate them on the abuses. No one, not one, candidate or their teams of advisers wanted to fully comprehend these issues.

The corruption in this state is so massive thanks to 34 years of strong one party rule, it is almost too hard to comprehend.

With the interconnected web of corruptions happening at the state level, we have a local government trying to catch up. Once again thank you L3wis for giving me a place to get this across.

#51 EggBert on 07.08.12 at 10:49 pm

Dear fellow smoggers:

Aunt Bertha Bullroar told me to leave you all this message: “ONE DAY SOON YOU’LL ALL BE KISSIN’ PATTY POWERFUL’S ASS-AREA WHEN HE’S ELECTED THE NEXT SOUTH DAKOTALAND GOVERNOR (OF COURSE, after DENNY DOORIGHT DEEPTHROATS DAKOTA) – YOU’LL SEE, YOU PATHETIC BUTTON-BURNING PACK OF POWERLESS, PANTLESS AND PRETTY PINK PAJAMA POCKET OF POSEY PUSSYFILLED PANSIES!!!”

Sincerely,

EggBert AND family – except Uncle Rusty and Gramps Grump, who think Aunt Bertha should keep her old crusty, combed-over female-flap (self-named by Bertha as “Beatrice Under My Dress”) in her panties so as to quit trying to hump anything bloggin’ and sellin’ buttons on a website – it seems to happen all the time and it needs to stop because the boys are worried some day she’s going to catch a contagious “Conservative Computer Clap Canker”!

#52 Anooner on 07.09.12 at 8:43 am

Eggbert, you sound remotely like Sibby’s identical twin cousin. What was his name…Sobby? I miss that guy.

#53 Detroit Lewis on 07.09.12 at 9:50 am

I heard you get Clap Cankers from eating to much BK.

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