Not sure when this article was written (somewhere between 2002-2009?) because there is no published date or author, but it is an intriguing interview with the last Democratic Treasurer, his take on secrecy and corruption in Pierre, and how the media contributed (ignored) the secrecy;
Since serving as Treasurer of South Dakota, Dick Butler has overhauled banking practices, overhauled primary banking contracts of colleges and universities, overhauled collateralization of public deposits and in six years returned unclaimed properties accounts that totaled more than 500% of what had been returned to citizens during the previous 20 years combined. Millions of dollars have been returned to South Dakota citizens through his efforts.
During the time Butler has been Treasurer his actions have been the impetus for the creation of a gag law intended to silence his efforts. The Commissioner of Banking in South Dakota, Richard Duncan, wrote a memo to all state banks in South Dakota advising them not to give information to Butler regarding executive accounts, and a bill was proposed that was intended to strip the State Treasurer of his banking authority for colleges and universities.
The controversial gag law, spurred by Janklow, was passed in 1996. It closed some corporate records and prohibited state officials from discussing information on investigations into the actions of corporations.
Isn’t it ironic that Butler rightfully performed his job, and what does the GOP do? Pass a law preventing him from doing so. Fast forward to 2013, where are current governor is bragging about all this money the state is receiving in unclaimed property. Why does the governor have this money? Because the state treasurers since Butler have made ZERO effort to return it.
I also find it ironic that Butler calls out Mercer for not reporting any of this while it was happening, fast forward again to 2013 where Mercer is crying to AG Jackboots for not giving him information on Benda’s death. Geez, Bob, are you surprised? Oh that’s right, when Janklow’s administration did these things, you turned the other way . . .
And here is another classic from 2009, about the secrecy of ‘The Governor’s Club’. Same cast of characters protecting the past while securing the secrecy and money of the future;
The Governor’s Club has been a discrete part of political fundraising in South Dakota for more than 30 years. For a $1,000 donation, contributors buy a place at the table – and a position of potential influence – with South Dakota’s governor at club events that are not open to the general public.
Lucas Lentsch, executive director for the South Dakota Republican Party in Pierre, said it would be wrong to presume that $1,000 club members get “perks or additional access” to the governor.
Oh Lucas Losemylunch, you are a funny one;
And there are state contract holders on the Governor’s Club list. They include former state Attorney General Roger Tellinghuisen, a Spearfish lawyer with $75,000 legal services contract; Dr. Michael Rost of Sioux Falls, whose company has about $400,000 in contracts; Tom Adam of Pierre, a partner in a Pierre law firm with a $350,000 in contract; and Sioux Falls lawyer Doug Hajek, a member of the Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith firm, which holds a $700,000 state contract.
Knudson is with Davenport, Evans, too. But he says the corporate structure is designed so that he doesn’t benefit financially from the state contracts.
Maybe so, Hauffe said, but the whole mix of money, personal connections and no-bid contracts is more proof that the public needs more details on how where the money starts, how it flows, and where it ends up.
Now we are here, 4 years later, the same corruption, secrecy, back door deals and same old characters involved. Here’s the deal folks, Janklow is dead, we don’t need to be scared of the man anymore (like we should have when he was alive), one of his appointees is dead (Benda), it’s time to blow the lid off of the SD GOP and their destruction of this state for their financial gain.