The source of the accusation that Scotland-bound Rev. Rep. Steve Hickey committed Bosworthian fraud on his 2012 nominating petition is Hickey’s former District 9 Republican ticket-mate and seat-mate Bob Deelstra.
In a rare useful turn, Gordon Howie reveals Deelstra’s name by publishing the sworn complaint by another 2012 District 9 Republican Legislative candidate, Lora Hubbel. In her June 26, 2015, affidavit, Hubbel says Deelstra spilled the beans:
A few weeks ago, Bob Deelstra showed me a copy of the petition on which he, himself gathered signatures for Rep Steve Hickey in March of 2012. It was his understanding that if Hickey had enough signatures he would not have to use the ones he (Deelstra) obtained. Bob Deelstra told me that he collected the signatures at the March, 2012, Hartford City Council meeting (see enclosure). As you can see, many of the signature’s [sic] do belong to Hartford City Council members who have said publically that Steve Hickey was not at the meeting and that Bob Deelstra was the petition carrier…even though Rep Hickey did indeed sign the petition’s “oath” pledging that he had witnessed their signatures. In doing so he violated SDCL 28-11-28.1 by filing a false instrument [Lora Hubbel, affidavit, published by Gordon Howie, “Affidavit Filed on Hickey Petitions,” The Right Side, 2015.07.09].
Note that Hubbel’s statement would be inadmissible in court, since it consists entirely of hearsay. She says she heard Bob Deelstra say Hickey did not circulate the petition sheet he swore he circulated. For the charge of petition fraud to stick, Bob Deelstra will have to come forward and say, under oath, what Hubbel says he said.
Note further that Hubbel, like the reporter who opened up this story, Jonathan Ellis, overstates the statements of Hartford City Council members. Only one Hartford City Council member, Mark Monahan, said “absolutely” that Hickey did not circulate the petition he signed. The other signatories’ statements are qualified with “don’t know”s and “do not recall”s that make for good blogging but don’t convict anyone of a felony.
Note finally that Hubbel feels compelled to put “oath” in mock quotation marks. In her defense of convicted felon Annette Bosworth, Hubbel has taken the position that nominating petitions carry no oath to violate:
Note nowhere does it say she must WITNESS the signatures. She must verify it, a significantly lower bar.
Note it says carriers (more than one) must sign the petition (singular)…yet there is only one place for one carrier to sign.
Note the law says “under Oath” yet there is no oath anywhere on the petition for a notary to administer before they sign…AND NOTARIES CANNOT ADMINISTER OATHS…JUDGES DO [Lora Hubbel, Facebook post, 2015.06.05].
I, under oath, state that I circulated the above petition, that each signer personally signed this petition in my presence, and that either the signer or I added the printed name, the residence address of the signer, the date of signing, and the county of voter registration [SDAR 05:02:08:00.03].
That oath is exactly what Hubbel says it isn’t. But such are the Twister-like contortions Hubbel and other Bosworth cultists must undertake to cling to their spots on the game mat. Hubbel and Bosworth don’t think oaths matter; they are interested in revenge against anyone who helped bring Bosworth to justice.
But what does Bob Deelstra want? Deelstra squeaked into his District 9 House seat in 2010 behind Hickey, winning just 48 more votes than third-place Democratic candidate Trudi Hatch. In 2012, Deelstra lost his seat to Democratic candidate Paula Hawks by 82 votes, as voters went with that Sioux Falls paper’s endorsement of Hickey and Hawks rather than with the unusual bipartisan flyer urging voters to pick Hawks and Deelstra as a team. Deelstra tried again in 2014, but Hawks put him down by 8 votes, while Hickey again won first place, in part by pitching to Democrats.
Contrary to reporter Stu Whitney’s snarky speculation and loan shark Chuck Brennan’s outright jerkery, Hickey is leaving the House for to study Bonhoeffer, not to dodge Deelstra’s charge (and AG Jackley can still press charges against Hickey and drag him back from Scotland if necessary). But Hickey’s resignation gives Governor Dennis Daugaard a chance to pick a replacement. As usual, the most logical choice, absent a special election, is the runner-up in the last election. Deelstra has shown he wants the job in the last three elections. He got it the first time and came awfully close the second and third times. Did he finally decide to use the Bosworth-Hickey petition conflict to regain his seat in the South Dakota Legislature… and if he did, would it be cool for Governor Daugaard to appoint him to that seat?