If Pat Powers wasn’t doing anything wrong, why did he resign?

I would assume that Pat will get his job back now that it was found he didn’t do anything illegal;

Attorney General Marty Jackley says he has found no evidence that Secretary of State Jason Gant or former employee Pat Powers violated state law.

Sen. Stan Adelstein asked Jackley to review the activities of Gant and Powers for any “impropriety, conflict of interest and possibly illegal activity.”

Jackley issued his response this afternoon, saying he agreed with the Division of Criminal Investigation, which found no evidence of a crime while interviewing witnesses and reviewing more than 60,000 emails and 150,000 Internet usage entries from the Secretary of State’s office.

Jackley concluded as follows:

“Based upon witness information and document review, I concur with DCI’s determination that there exists no evidence of state criminal violations within the scope of this investigation. The voluminous emails, internet usage and computer files provided no evidence that the activities of Secretary Gant, Mr. Powers or “Dakota Campaign Store” were in violation of state criminal statutes.”

I knew all along in my heart of hearts, this is how it would turnout. When you have a Republican AG investigate a Republican SOS, we know the results. I will be interested to see if Powers shows back up at his old job come Monday. You have been cleared of wrongdoing Pat, go back to work.



#1 Guest Poster on 07.17.12 at 4:01 pm

Let’s get the party started.

#2 l3wis on 07.17.12 at 4:04 pm

The chokehold Republicans have on voters in SD continues. Nothing to see here, move along.

#3 WOW! on 07.17.12 at 4:08 pm

I have always felt Adelstien went over the top in his allegations. He should have taken it to the legislature.

Now Gant can say he was vindicated.

#4 Craig on 07.17.12 at 4:24 pm

Wasn’t this “investigation” completed rather quickly? If they were seriously going to review more than 60,000 emails and 150,000 Internet usage entries, it could take months.

How about this – release those 60,000 emails to the press and see how long it takes them to find any dirt that might exist. Kelo surely has some interns with nothing better to do that read 60,000 emails. We should have a breaking story explaining what they find just before Christmas.

The reality is – anyone who knows Jackley knew how this would end up even before he put on his dog and pony show. This would be like asking Rosco P. Coltrane to investigate Boss Hogg… we can’t expect fireworks.

#5 Justin on 07.17.12 at 4:44 pm

Jackley is the dirtiest guy around, if there was any wrongdoing he probably ordered it. It makes sense for him to find no wrongdoing and hope this goes away.

#6 grudznick on 07.17.12 at 5:13 pm

Young Mr. Gant is now vindicated. It would only be fair if Mr. Powers is welcomed back with open arms and back pay bonuses.

#7 Justin on 07.17.12 at 5:16 pm

Sure, and Nixon’s pardon vindicated him.

#8 Bentonite Bill on 07.17.12 at 6:11 pm

A republican investigating a republican finds nothing wrong. Sounds about right.

#9 Alice15 on 07.17.12 at 6:58 pm

Jackley is the dirtiest guy around? Good grief – your experience and knowledge of the public servants past and present must be pretty limited.

#10 Justin on 07.17.12 at 7:24 pm

Yeah we have had some gems but we are currently ranked as the second most corrupt state government and have never ranked higher. I guess the Governor is worthy of a nomination too.

#11 grudznick on 07.17.12 at 7:46 pm

ranked by what? Mr. Ellis?

#12 Justin on 07.17.12 at 7:56 pm

By a nonpartisan group that has sued both W and Obama.


#13 grudznick on 07.17.12 at 8:33 pm

That says “Risk for Corruption.” Not “most corrupt.”
I think if you are going to misstate things, Mr. Justin, you should take into account my nonpartisan study which is available on paper in your local library that ranks South Dakota as the 46th most corrupt state. Not potential corruption but real corruption. You’re waiving around more meaningless banter, sir. I could go to Mr. Randazzo’s website and provide a link to all sorts of stuff but just ’cause it’s on the web don’t make it true.

***grudznick is a nationally syndicated author featured on most local cable stations in South Dakota where he debunks stupidity of Gordontic proportions. ***

#14 Justin on 07.17.12 at 8:47 pm

Yeah I read that in Jonathan Ellis’ article. When you design a study to have a specific result more often than not you get that result.

#15 Justin on 07.17.12 at 8:50 pm

I don’t know of any “local cable stations”. Did BET move here?

#16 Justin on 07.17.12 at 9:01 pm

Corey wrote an excellent article on his blog in March noting that another study done by Governing examined actual corruption convictions. Only Louisiana and Kentucky have a higher per public employee conviction rate than SD. I guess risk for corruption can actually result in convictions.

#17 Justin on 07.17.12 at 9:08 pm

No I’ve never heard of you. I always get a kick out of “libertatians” that oppose Choice and gay marriage thought.

#18 Justin on 07.17.12 at 9:09 pm

Sorry posting from my phone and got “corrected”.

#19 grudznick on 07.17.12 at 11:12 pm

grudznick wins, 8-3

#20 Justin on 07.17.12 at 11:16 pm

No I think Ed Randazzo the guitar player scored more points than you.

#21 Mike on 07.18.12 at 12:48 am

If you read the statement, it says that he did nothing criminally wrong, but just because it was not criminally wrong, doesn’t mean what he was doing was unethical and damaging. There are lots of examples that actions are wrong, but not criminal.

#22 Anooner on 07.18.12 at 9:12 am

Marty couldn’t find otherwise without fracturing some of his support base.

Wonder if he is going to sign his name to an AG opinion that says SOS and staff can openly engage in partisian activities without violating their statutory oath to act impartially.

The thing still stinks, Marty just decided to hold his nose.

#23 larry kurtz on 07.18.12 at 9:41 am

Calling Mr. Epp.

#24 WOW! on 07.18.12 at 10:01 am

I have to believe the real problem was Adelstien’s claims rather than the AG’s office.

#25 l3wis on 07.18.12 at 10:17 am

I still want to know why Pat resigned? If he was doing nothing wrong, why leave the office? The AG just cleared him. I guess Pierre will just have to remain partisan forever.

#26 Stan Adelstein on 07.19.12 at 4:46 pm

Attorney General Jackley told me that the investigation which I requested could only look for provable criminal activity. He made it clear that impropriety; inappropriate or other non-criminal activity could not and would not be researched.

As a consequence, I believe that his report was all that I expected of him, and has no – repeat no – political overtones!

As a consequence, I do not believe that the Secretary of State can be removed by impeachment. In any case that is not my decision, but rather the decision of the members of the State House of Representatives.

I would prefer that the Secretary of State resigned, given the clearly articulated mismanagement and incompetence . In my opinion, Secretary Gant has no shame, and probably could not do as well in the private sector. Therefore he is unlikey to so. His behavior assures that he could not be reelected – or even renominated.

During the next session I will be introducing specific legislation that I believe will improve that office, and, hopefully, ensure that no one with Secretary Gant’s predilections will never again hold that office.

1. The 1st bill will provide the same prohibitions regarding political office by the Secretary of State or employees of that office that are now required by the “Hatch Act,” of federal employees. That act has been effective for sufficient time to make me think that there is no constitutional conflict.

2. The next bill will require that the Secretary of State will no longer be nominated by party Convention, but rather by primary vote as are the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General. The present method is based on communications and availability of information from the last century. This office because of its political sensitivity should not be filled by a small number of party members attending a State convention

3. I will offer legislation that will make changes in some of the arbitrary decisions in the current SOS procedures,
• The office will be prohibited from collecting detailed financial information from candidates for office, candidate committees, political action committees, etc. without specific direction from the legislature
• the SOS may not require digital information that has previously been submitted on forms unless specifically required to do so by the legislature.
• The office of the SOS must adopt a personnel policy prohibiting conflict of interest, particularly in the area of candidate recruitment, selling of political paraphernalia, or political consulting to candidates for public office at any level in the state of South Dakota. (I am sure that I will have some more conditions suggested by my colleagues before that legislation is finalized.)
I will support a motion for censure of Secretary Gant, if one is offered. While I have had numerous expressions of support by colleagues – I think it time that I step away from initiation of such action.

SD State Senator Stan Adelstein

#27 anon on 07.19.12 at 7:32 pm

Well here goes nothing. PP knew the game when he started in years ago with his playground attitude and scortched earth “quasi reporting” methods. He impaled people and issues with relish. When a crowd turned out to gawk, he stood there proudly beaming. His blog was interesting, topical , controversial, accurate, and at times inaccurate. And all the while, shamelessly partisian.

He was good at it, and he got off on the hardcore faithful licking his boots, begging for more. We all wanted to read what would he come up with next. What would he reveal, what would he opine? Many played in the mud right along with him. Was his stuff true, was he full of shit? Whatever it was, he took on some tough stuff and it was usually at least interesting. It wasn’t your standard weather report. His readers were interesting also. I’m guessing a few years back, if PP walked into Bob’s Lounge, all eyes turned. His stuff was gossipy, but no doubt it shaped discussions and probably even policy. Problem was, he couldn’t quite ever decide what he wanted to be when he grew up. How do you define the PP experience? What is he? Journalist, editorialist, shill, techie, idealogue, realator, father, egotist, servant, angry, nice, Catholic, consultant, special projects guy, failed compaign manager, bobcat, governor, jackass, Director of Ops? What is it, what is he? Maybe all those things. Maybe only some.

Whatever he is, he was a bad hire at the SOS, and Gant was either dumb, arrogant, or both. Maybe just naive. Note to Jason: Dear Mr. Secretary, some of us may live out in the county, but we south dakotans just aren’t that fucking stupid. Can’t believe either one of them, given their inclinations, thought this PP hire was gonna play out well. Gant must have thought with enough smoke and mirrors he could create the illusion PP wasn’t just a Karl Rove with an extra chin.

Anyone doubt Pat can still access most any file at the SOS office? Should that give us pause, despite Marty saying “no problem here”? And Marty, you didn’t give us crap with that press release. ‘we reviewed emails…blah, blah blah…” Whole thing is a sham, and you should be ashamed, outside of your politically deft side step. Congratulations, you are now a truly a politician after 10 years, despite only being elected once.

Will the R’s in this state please get someone in the SOS office that is competent or at least appears so? What will Pat do now? Drink martini’s and watch the sunrise? Maybe he’ll go off to work at Sanford.

Did anybody check to make sure Pat didn’t delete all his work over the last 18 months? He is kinda known for that.

And Marty, did anyone actually interview Gant? PP? other deputies? Use Grand jury? Look at meaningful, after hours access and exchanges? laptop? home computer? texts? The actual consult work that occurred? Review the statutory requirement that Gant and his deputies swear an oath that they carry out their duties of office impartially? Anything other than the 60,000 times Pat asked Gant to Burger King?

If anything good comes of this, maybe at least Pat can restore some level of interest in DWC. War College has been adrift since he jumped ship and swam for the green pastures.

Bill Clay gums a few issues like a heel hound up from an afternoon nap. If blather was puddles, he should be swatted with a magazine. That BS site has zero credibility until it addresses this issue. If Bill Clay can’t somehow at least try and spin this thing, that site should permanently be shut down along with rest of the stuff PP previously scrubbed.

Because we aren’t picking an chosing versions of the facts and history, correct?

#28 l3wis on 07.19.12 at 9:50 pm

“Did anybody check to make sure Pat didn’t delete all his work over the last 18 months? He is kinda known for that.”


“Anything other than the 60,000 times Pat asked Gant to Burger King?”


Stan – thanks for the clarification. I will say this much, and leave it at this. There is a reason why Pat resigned. If the AG can’t figure it out, or give us that information, maybe someone else will have to dig it up . . .

#29 Testor15 on 07.20.12 at 5:10 pm

Anon, words of a champ wordsmith.

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