Secretary Krebs Receives Challenge to Furlong’s Fake 18% Rate Cap Petition

Jeepers creepers! Select Management Resources, parent company of North American Title Loans, spends $1,735,416.90, including $1,553,405.58 on deceptive petition circulating company Silver Bullet, to trick South Dakotans into placing their fake 18% rate cap amendment on the 2016 ballot. What’s a believer in the integrity of petitions and the ballot initiative process going to do?

Nothing big—just file a challenge to knock Amendment Usury right back off the ballot:

Affidavit Challenging Furlong Petition per SDCL 12-1-13

I, Cory Allen Heidelberger, resident and registered voter of Brown County, South Dakota, swear that the following statements are, to the best of my knowledge as of Wednesday, February 3, 2016, true and accurate. I offer these statements as a formal challenge, per South Dakota Codified Law 12-1-13, to the initiated constitutional amendment petition (“Furlong Petition”) submitted by sponsor Lisa Furlong, chair of the ballot question committee South Dakotans for Fair Lending, to the office of the South Dakota Secretary of State (“Secretary”) on November 5, 2015, and certified on January 4, 2016, for placement on the 2016 general election ballot as Constitutional Amendment U.

  1. On January 28 and 29, 2016, I reviewed the original Furlong Petition on file at the Secretary’s office in Pierre, South Dakota. During those two days, I reviewed a substantial portion of the approximately 4,800 sheets constituting the Furlong Petition, but I did not review every sheet.
  2. Each sheet bore a computer-generated number printed vertically on the right-hand side of the front or occasionally the back of the sheet. All sheet numbers herein refer to those sheet numbers generated and printed on the Furlong Petition sheets by the Secretary.
  3. The Secretary presented the Furlong Petition to me in two boxes: one containing the first approximately 3,500 sheets, the other containing the remaining approximately 1,300 sheets. The following observations are based on my recollection of information gathered during this visual inspection of the Furlong Petition, as well as notes and photographs taken during that inspection.
  4. During my review, I found the following apparent violations and other deficiencies that render the Furlong Petition invalid.

Antonio Puga III

  1. Antonio J. Puga III is a notary public in the State of South Dakota. According to the Secretary’s online notary database, Puga’s commission expires on October 1, 2021. Given that South Dakota notaries receive six-year commissions, Puga apparently received his commission on October 1, 2015.
  2. The Secretary’s online notary database lists Puga’s address as 2100 W. 41st Street, Sioux Falls. According to the most recent information available online, North American Title Loans lists that address for one of its Sioux Falls storefront locations.
  3. Puga notarized at least 50 Furlong Petition sheets on October 4, 2015, including sheets #3939, 3940, 3976, 3977, 4032, 4058, 4059, 4060, 4103, 4138, 4139, 4140, 4141, 4142, 4143, 4144, 4194, 4197, 4199, 4227, 4229, 4306, 4307, 4308, 4329, 4330, 4345, 4346, 4366, 4385, 4463, 4464, 4465, 4466, 4467, 4468, 4469, 4470, 4471, 4472, 4473, 4474, 4475, 4476, 4672, 4692, 4693, 4742, 4743, and 4747.
  4. The circulators of the 50 listed sheets notarized by Puga include Phil Olson, Rose Lehrkamp, Kimberly Lysne, Jacob Adams, Kyle Bonrud, Carrie Lape, Josh Stefani, Michael Nisbet, Rebecca Pelzel, Buck Frankmen, Gina Wiseman, Michael Beaudion, Cassandra Hoyme, Tony Anthony Day, and Craig S. Olson.
  5. On the sheets I reviewed, the signatures on the sheets Puga notarized on October 4, 2015, are dated after October 4.
  6. This evidence suggests that Puga notarized blank Furlong Petition sheets and released them to circulators who subsequently collected signatures.
  7. This evidence suggests that Puga misused his notary seal in support of the Furlong Petition, casting doubt on the validity of all Furlong Petition sheets notarized by Puga. All sheets notarized by Puga (including sheets on which signer and notary dates appear to be in order—for example, sheets 279, 2860, 2885, 4104, 4105, and 4694) and signatures on those sheets should be rejected.
  8. This evidence suggests that circulators of sheets Puga notarized on October 4, 2015, collected signatures for the Furlong Petition on sheets that already bore a notary seal. Such post-notarization collection of signatures violates the petition instructions written on each sheet and specified by South Dakota Administrative Rule 05:02:08:07. Such post-notarization signature collection also violates the requirement of South Dakota Codified Law 2-1-10 that circulators secure a notary public’s witness and seal to their signature after circulation as verification of their legitimate petitioning efforts.
  9. The circulators named in Paragraph 8 of this affidavit and any others who circulated sheets after Puga notarized them on October 4 appear to have violated both Administrative Rule and Codified Law in circulating the Furlong Petition, requiring the rejection of the petition sheets itemized here, the rejection of all similar sheets that those circulators may have illegally circulated, and the rejection of any other sheets submitted by those circulators as unreliable.
Attack of the Payday Lenders: Erin Ageton, VP Select Management Resources
Erin Ageton, VP Select Management Resources—don’t we know you from somewhere?

Erin Ageton

  1. Erin Ageton is a notary public in the State of South Dakota. According to the Secretary’s online notary database, Ageton’s commission expires on March 18, 2016.
  2. The Secretary’s online notary database lists Ageton’s address as 1212 E. 10th St. According to the most recent information available online, North American Title Loans lists that address for another of its Sioux Falls storefront locations.
  3. Ageton notarized numerous Furlong Petition sheets and signed as the circulator of many other Furlong Petition sheets.
  4. Erin Ageton signed the circulator’s oath on sheet 279.
  5. Sheet 279 bears 19 signatures, all dated October 12, 2015.
  6. On sheet 279, the address, city, date, and county on signature lines 4–8, 10–14, and 17 appear to be written in the same penmanship. This penmanship does not match the penmanship of the signatories of those lines, nor does it match the distinctive penmanship that Erin Ageton has displayed on the circulator’s line and on several other sheets (see, for example, sheet 2885) where Ageton as circulator appears to have completed signatories’ information in her own hand, with dramatically wider, more vertical letters than those appearing on the above cited lines on sheet 279.
  7. ARSD 5:02:08:00(3) allows the circulator to add address and date information to the petition for signers. State law and administrative rules authorize no one other than the signer or the circulator to add that information. Because neither the signers nor the circulator of sheet 279 appears to have written that information, sheet 279 circulated by Ageton is invalid.
  8. Ageton appears to have sworn a false oath in signing the circulator’s oath on sheet 279, an oath in which Ageton swears 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.”
  9. Erin Ageton notarized sheet 277, which lists Richard L. Jennings as circulator. Sheet 277 bears 19 signatures, all dated October 12, 2015.
  10. On sheet 277, lines 2–7 and 9–20 show address, city, date, and county for each signatory entered in distinctive, wide-lettered, vertical penmanship that looks nothing like the penmanship of the signatories or of the circulator but which closely matches the penmanship of the individual who notarized sheet 277, Erin Ageton.
  11. This evidence suggests that Erin Ageton notarized the circulator’s oath signed by Richard L. Jennings knowing that it was false—i.e., knowing that neither the signers nor Jennings had “added the printed name, the residence address of the signer, the date of singing, and the county of voter registration” and had either already entered that information herself or intended to do so after notarizing sheet 277.
  12. A similar pattern appears on sheets 368, 509, and 3861: Richard L. Jennings signs as circulator, Erin Ageton notarizes, but multiple signers’ addresses, towns, dates of signing, and counties of registration are written in Ageton’s penmanship, not in the signers’ or the sworn circulator’s.
  13. Erin Ageton notarized sheets 480, 3724, 3725, and 3726 for circulator Michael Jones.
  14. Lines 1–9 of sheets 480, lines 1–9 and 14–20 of sheet 3724, lines 1–11 and 13-20 of sheet 3725, and lines 1–20 of 3726 show signer information entered in consistent penmanship that matches neither the signers’ penmanship nor that of the sworn circulator Michael Jones.
  15. Erin Ageton notarized sheet 2439 for circulator Brad Austin.
  16. Lines 8–9 of sheet 2439 show signer information entered in consistent penmanship that matches neither the signers’ penmanship nor that of the sworn circulator Brad Austin.
  17. Erin Ageton notarized sheet 2438 for circulator Laine Derry.
  18. Lines 1–2 of sheet 2438 show signer information entered in consistent penmanship that matches neither the signers’ penmanship nor that of the sworn circulator Laine Derry.
  19. Erin Ageton’s notary seal thus appears on multiple sheets from multiple circulators that show evidence of violation of the circulator’s oath.
  20. Erin Ageton’s failure to follow petition rules and her failure to ensure the integrity of her notary seal require the rejection of all signatures on the above-listed sheets, as well as the rejection of all other sheets bearing Erin Ageton’s name as circulator or notary public as unreliable.

Gary Robinson

  1. Gary Robinson circulated and submitted numerous sheets of the Furlong Petition.
  2. Sheet 4081 bears Robinson’s name as circulator.
  3. On sheet 4081, the address, city, date, and county on signature lines 1–7 and 9–12 appear to be written in the same penmanship. This penmanship does not match the penmanship of the signatories of those lines, nor does it match the penmanship exhibited on the ciruclator’s line by Gary Robinson.
  4. Again, according to ARSD 5:02:08:00(3), because neither the signers nor the circulator of sheet 4081 appear to have written the information about the specified signers, those signature lines on sheet 4081 are invalid.

Zach Conner/Edward King

  1. The name Zach Conner appears on the line marked “Print name of the circulator” on several Furlong Petition sheets notarized by Traci A. Scholl, including sheets 3749, 3760, 3766–3768, 3770–3774, and 3801–3811. This circulator name was accompanied by at least two different addresses on different sheets: 1210 S Cathy St (possibly 1270) and 500 S Kiwanis Ave (the latter address accompanied once by “Apt 317”).
  2. Every sheet that I reviewed that listed Zach Conner as the circulator bore in the “Signature of Circulator” blank a signature that appeared to read “Edward King.”
  3. This mismatch of circulator name and signature makes it impossible to determine who actually circulated those sheets and thus invalidates all signatures on sheets bearing the name of Zach Conner and signature of Edward King as circulator.

Supporting Evidence from Glodt Petition

  1. Following my review of the Furlong Petition, I reviewed the original initiated constitutional amendment petition submitted by Jason Glodt (“Glodt Petition”) to the Secretary on November 3, 2015, and certified by the Secretary on December 21, 2015. I reviewed the Glodt Petition at the Secretary’s office in Pierre, South Dakota. I reviewed a substantial portion of the approximately 6,400 sheets constituting the Glodt Petition, but I did not review every sheet.
  2. As with the Furlong Petition, each sheet of the Glodt Petition bore a computer-generated number printed vertically on the right-hand side of the front or occasionally the back of the sheet. All sheet numbers herein refer to those sheet numbers generated and printed on the Glodt Petition sheets by the Secretary.
  3. A majority of the circulators and notaries public on the Glodt Petition sheets that I reviewed also appeared as circulators and notaries public on the Furlong Petition sheets. (For example, see Glodt Petition sheet 5178, circulated by Erin Ageton, notarized by Antonio Puga III.) This observation conforms to published media reports from 2015 indicating that circulators were frequently collecting signatures for the Glodt Petition and the Furlong Petition simultaneously.
  4. Many Glodt Petition sheets evidence the same sorts of violations documented above on the Furlong Petition. For example:
    1. The Zach Conner/Edward King mismatch, circulator printed name not matching circulator signature, appears on at least 44 Glodt Petition sheets (between 1511 to 5726, inclusive).
    2. The Gary Robinson anomaly of penmanship of signer information not matching the penmanship of the signers or the circulator, appears on at least 63 Glodt Petition sheets (between 82 to 1589, inclusive) bearing Gary Robinson’s signature as circulator.
    3. A similar penmanship mismatch appears on at least 37 Glodt Petition sheets (between 169 to 2156, inclusive) bearing the signature of Gina Wiseman as circulator. Gina Wiseman also signed numerous Furlong Petition sheets as circulator.
    4. A similar penmanship mismatch appears on at least 27 Glodt Petition sheets (between 77 and 1556, inclusive) bearing the signature of Monte Hunter as circulator. Monte Hunter also signed numerous Furlong Petition sheets as circulator.
    5. A similar penmanship mismatch appears on at least one Glodt Petition sheet (1108) bearing the signature of Rose Anna Lehrkamp as circulator. Rose Anna Lehrkamp also signed numerous Furlong Petition sheets as circulator.
    6. A similar penmanship mismatch appears on at least 7 Glodt Petition sheets (1441–1444, 1446–1448) bearing the signature of Jacob Adams as circulator. For example, Glodt Petition sheets 1442 (all signatures dated Octboer 30, 2015), 1443 (all signatures dated November 1, 2015), and 1444 (all signatures dated October 31, 2015) each have ten signatures with residence, town, date, and county all entered in the same penmanship. Each sheet has its own distinct penmanship, but that penmanship differs among sheets 1442, 1443, and 1444, suggesting that each sheet was completed by a different person with distinct penmanship. Jacob Adams’s penmanship may indeed match the penmanship exhibited on one of those sheets, but Jacob Adams’s penmanship cannot match all three styles exhibited on these sheets. Jacob Adams also signed numerous Furlong Petition sheets as circulator.
  5. The circulator’s oath exists to provide accountability in the petition process, to deter individuals from breaking the law to access the ballot. For instance, accurate completion of the oath makes it possible to verify that circulators are not sex offenders (SDCL 12-1-32) and that they are adult residents of South Dakota (SDCL 12-1-3).
  6. The mismatches in penmanship identified above cast doubt on who actually circulated each petition sheet and thus make it impossible to verify that the actual circulator was legally qualified to circulate a petition in South Dakota and followed all laws while circulating.
  7. The prevalence of obvious violations on the Glodt Petition, coupled with the substantial number of Glodt Petition circulators who also circulated the Furlong Petition, casts the reliability of circulator information on Furlong Petition sheets and the legitimacy of the entire Furlong Petition into even greater doubt.

Necessary Actions

  1. Because the violations outlined above indicate not mere random error but a pattern of deliberate, systematic violation of petition rules to gain access to the ballot, threatening the integrity of petitions, notary seals, ballots, and the electoral process; and,
  2. Because erosion of public trust in the integrity of the petition process specifically undermines the ability of the people of South Dakota to exercise via initiative and referendum the legislative power guaranteed them by Article 3, Section 1 of the South Dakota Constitution; and,
  3. Because the Secretary of State has a duty to nurture and maintain the public trust in the integrity of petitions, notary seals, ballots, and the electoral process,
  4. I hereby request that the Secretary of State take the following actions:
    1. Suspend the certification of Lisa Furlong’s initiated constitutional amendment Petition;
    2. Review all sheets and signature lines in the Furlong Petition to verify the above documented violations of petition rule, notary rules, and state law and identify further violations on other sheets not enumerated herein;
    3. Disqualify all deficient signatures and sheets identified herein and any other deficient signatures and sheets that the Secretary’s scrutiny of the Furlong Petition may uncover;
    4. Remove Antonio Puga III and Erin Ageton from the office of notary public for their failure to “faithfully and impartially perform the duties of a NOTARY PUBLIC within and for the State of South Dakota according to the law” as specified by the notary public oath (ARSD 5:04:03:01); and,
    5. Forward this affidavit to the South Dakota Attorney General and the States Attorneys of those counties in which the enumerated petition violations appear to have been committed and request that those officials investigate the evidence outlined herein and the Furlong Petition in full for violations of state law pertaining to petitions, elections, and the integrity of the notary seal.

[links and photo added for online version; Cory Allen Heidelberger, affidavit, submitted to South Dakota Secretary of State, 2016.02.03]

I haven’t officially tallied up what it cost to compose this petition challenge… but I’m pretty sure it was less than $1.7 million.


66 Responses to Secretary Krebs Receives Challenge to Furlong’s Fake 18% Rate Cap Petition

  1. Jeepers Creepers Cory, that is a beautiful sculpted piece of work. Well done and well researched.

  2. larry kurtz

    Steve Hildebrand brought this up yesterday on one of the Argus Leader’s interactive video shows. Furlong and her benefactors are slime balls.

  3. Steve Hickey

    we all thank you. And bestow on you sainthood.

  4. David Newquist

    It takes a super human to catch and throw back a silver bullet.

  5. Applause. But Steve, can we bestow something on Cory that doesn’t require him to be dead?

  6. Richard Schriever

    Insert smiley face here.

  7. Nick Nemec

    I’m going to bestow a little gas money in the tip jar. Good work Cory, and thank you.

  8. bearcreekbat

    That is some truly inspiring and amazing work! That is one pair of cojones.

  9. owen reitzel

    well done Cory.

  10. Bill Fleming

    Heidelberger rocks.

  11. Ben Cerwinske

    …in full for violations of state law pertaining to petitions, elections, and the integrity of the notary seal.

    *drops mike*

  12. Jason Sebern

    Thank you so much Cory! Awesome job!!!

  13. I’m dubious. The robber barons are insidiously resourceful. What happens if both of the cap limits, the 18% cap and the 36% cap are declared illegal?

  14. Frank James

    I’m with Nemec. Thanks for this great piece of work.

  15. owen reitzel

    A question Cory. How come Krebs and here people didn’t find what you did? I’m curious

  16. Reynold Nesiba

    Thank you for doing this!

  17. Mr. reitzel, I think I read once where Mr. H explained the duties of the State Secretary and how it is not their job to cast judgement upon handwriting but only to count signatures in some illogical manner prescribed by the laws. I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t see all the same nonsense and call Mr. H to come in and shine the light of day into these boxes.

  18. Tiffany Campbell

    Cory, you are amazing, I can’t imagine the patience and dedication it took to spend two days going through all that paperwork. Well done and THANK YOU!!

  19. Owen, good question [which Grudz answered reasonably well while I was typing! :-) ]. The Secretary’s team did find some of these errors in their random 5% sample. However, the Secretary strictly interprets the rules for validating petitions. They don’t look beyond what those rules specify. We thus have to use the challenge process to get them to look harder.

    As I note in the affidavit, if the Secretary’s office either won’t or statutorily can’t look harder, the Attorney General should.

  20. Douglas Wiken

    Thanks for the hard work. You must have a ton of patience to plod through this stuff.

  21. Sarah Olson

    This is beyond awesome. Thank you.

  22. You rock, Heidelberger! Hey South Dakota, Cory did this for you!

  23. I don’t know where the bills you wrote are in the legislatures Mr. H but maybe you could hog house one of them to change these petition rules that seem insaner than most. Make the State Secretary’s employees do all that same work that one fellow from Aberdeen with a couple of free days on his hands can do. If they have 10 people in that office they could have done the same thing for every box of petitions shipped to them in the same 2 days.

  24. Great work. You deserve a lot of credit for all of the hard work. The river of corruption in the payday lending industry runs deep and long. There are far more “donors” and organizers involved than the one title company. I hope someone shines a light on these other predators. Unfortunately, there are probably too many persons on the payday lending payoff list to ever get the legislation needed to protect the constituents of S. Dakota. The greatest lie the owners love to perpetuate with their media friends is how they are so generous and giving to the communities they prey upon. Sioux Falls in particular. Please continue to let them know that good reputations can not be purchased, they must be earned with moral character and genuine kindness; not token cash donations made to stroke their own oversized egos.

  25. Erin, meet Annette, you two will be very happy together.

    High 5 superman!

  26. Roger Cornelius

    I’m with Nick, and will hit the tip jar.

    When can we anticipate an answer from Krebs and Jackley?

  27. Thank you for all the hard work in mounting this difficult challenge.

    This will be a very interesting case

    Once again thank you

  28. Bob Newland

    The SoDak SOS has certain statutory duties. They don’t include analyzing handwriting. That’s what the challenge process is for. It appears that Cory has, once again, done work, for no remuneration, that would make a private investigator proud of hisself.

  29. Mr. H is like Spencer, and you are like Hawk, Bob.

  30. Roger, good question. The Secretary has no statutory deadline to review and respond to this challenge. Recall that in 2014, Sec. Gant responded to my challenge of Annette Bosworth’s petition within five days, largely because he needed to print primary ballots within a couple weeks. Sec. Krebs doesn’t have to determine whether this petition passes muster for the ballot until August…. although she likely would want to get this monster out of the way before the candidate petitions really start rolling in during March and give time for court challenges, if necessary (not that she’s obliged).

    Remember also that the Bosworth candidacy petition had about 2,800 signatures on about 230 sheets. The Furlong initiative petition has over 60,000 signatures on about 4,800 sheets. A comprehensive review of the Furlong petition would take much longer than a review of the Bosworth petition.

    But if the Attorney General is watching, if he is alerted to possible illegal activity, nothing stops him from beginning his own investigation.

  31. Bob Newland

    Cory, why do you let that stupid f— post as grudznick? He/she is an internet stalker and adds nothing to the conversation. Ever.

    [CAH: let’s stay focused here. We have petition fraud of a scale perhaps greater than Bosworth’s, backed by an industry willing to spend real money to abuse the process and anyone who gets in the way of their exploitation.]

  32. Meanwhile, Pat Powers dismisses the above affidavit as “hysterical and screechy.” Hmm… did we all miss that in my tone?

    Drawn to my own distractions, I notice Pat tries to make up for his harsh words by flattering me with a 15-year-old photo that shows my whiskers before they turned grey. Not that I mind my grey, but thanks for trying, Pat. ;-)

  33. I like that picture of you Mr. H. If you ever write a manifesto you should use that one in the dust cover.

  34. Phil Schreck

    You are THE MAN!

  35. Thank you Cory for your conviction and diligence putting this together. I was getting worried the payday loan industries’ wealth was too much to overcome, especially after they challenged the real 36% measure. Your hard work gives me hope…all is not lost yet. It makes me feel good knowing in South Dakota money can’t buy our votes and change our laws. I cannot wait to help get out the vote for the “Vote YES for 36% rate cap” initiative.

  36. John Fiksdal

    Outstanding journalism, Cory. A very exciting read.

  37. Donald Pay

    Cory, I can now say that there is someone who is better than I at “guerilla research.” Your eyes must be shot after staring at all those signatures. Great, fabulous job.

  38. Standing ovation! Great job, Cory!! (clap, clap, clap, clap)

  39. John K Claussen

    Thank you Cory!

  40. Fantastic job! Thank you for your efforts.

  41. Nick Nemec

    Powers on the other bench reacting to the opposing team’s point guard making a reverse slam dunk layup, “he’s got scuff marks on his shoes.”

  42. I just read Cory’s comment about Powers’ whining, so I visited the War Toilet to check it out, and had to scroll past two canned news releases to read about Cory … only to discover that Powers’ reporting of Cory’s challenge is really not reporting at all … PP simply copied and pasted a press release from Shantel, and added a paragraph of his own snark. If I put in as little effort in my job as Powers puts into the War Toilet, I’d be fired. One reason corruption is so rampant in this state is there are too many people like Powers who simply ignore it, or play a role in it. Powers, in his vocal support for the payday industry, shows he’s not for we South Dakotans who like to see some measures of reform enacted so that people aren’t taken advantage of; Powers is, rather against us. Cory indeed rocks, and Dakota Free Press is the #1 political blog in the region, by far.

  43. Eileen Van Soest

    Thanks, Cory for your hard work, commitment to what is right, and for being you.

  44. pp isn’t even on a bench.

    high praise, well placed, don!

    cory is doing lawyers work. hard stuff.

  45. Friends, thank you for your support and for recognizing the value of this work.

    Donald uses the term “guerrilla research”. That’s a very important term in the context of CraigSk’s comment about feeling like the payday lenders are too big and too rich for us to beat. Unless T. Denny Sanford decides to redirect his money from vanity projects to fighting directly for the political and economic justice that his old industry is trying to protect with this amendment, we won’t outspend Rod Aycox, Erin Ageton, and Select Management Resources. We can’t use their shock-and-awe tactics. We have to gun and run with our peashooters, set ambushes and boobytraps, and be the mosquitoes and gadflies who drive them nuts. The payday lenders are the Soviets and Cubans in Red Dawn; we have to be Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, and the Wolverines.

    Of course, the Wolverines got killed. Maybe that’s not the total metaphor I want… ;-)

  46. barry freed

    Atta Boy!

    Just donated to a blog for the first time. Not wealthy, but there’s more where that came from if the paydayers come at you legally.

    How long would it have taken to run those sheets through a copier/scanner and post on the Internet? …as the Secretary should do. In this day and age, I would like to hear one good reason why EVERY piece of paper generated by Government shouldn’t be online.

  47. mike from iowa

    Barbara-we could bestow upon Master Cory a Gatorade shower which does not require him to be dead,but dead he might be if he catches pneumonia from it.

    Jackley prolly won’t initiate any investigation of moneyed men in an election year.

  48. Barry, thank you. I like your suggestion that every document generated by state government be placed online where everyone can it for free. Naturally there would be some common-sense exceptions—HIPAA, FERPA, etc.—but when it comes to petitions, I would support posting them all electronically to facilitate public review and challenge. (Adopting electronic petitioning would help!)

    Actual cost for posting? I could ask at the UPS Store. They scanned my seven-sheet affidavit into a PDF for $1.50 yesterday. Rates are likely different for larger documents, but let’s assume actual operating cost of five cents per page. The 18% petition is about 4,800 sheets, two-sided (lots of sheets submitted with just one or two signatures, but we still have to scan them completely). 9,600 scans—$480. The machine cost may be less, because we aren’t making paper; we’re just using electrons. But adding to that cost would be the human time of feeding all those papers, then splitting the PDF into manageable chunks—if one page is 50KB, then all 9,600 pages could be 480MB.

    But the blog ethos of “see for yourself” ought to apply to petitions and as many other public documents as possible. Transparency makes for better government.

  49. Mike, I take my Gatorade strictly internally. :-)

  50. Eve Fisher

    Does Pat Powers even have a functioning brain cell? If the notaries aren’t valid, that invalidates all the signatures. But he can’t grasp that, because… well… His only purpose in life is to stand, like Kevin Bacon’s character in Animal House, in front of the rushing crowd saying, “All is well! All is well!”

    Seriously, great work, Cory.

  51. Seems that poor pat powers (PPP) can only get traffic to his press release outlet, formerly a blog but no longer, by trying to lure your many readers with occasionally provocative nonsense. You are the doer, Cory. While PPP is posting press releases and focusing the bulk of his time trolling E-Bay for political trinkets you’re out there doing real reporting and even making the news.

  52. The sound of PPP’s yippy bark as he strains against his chain towards a passing Democrat pleases his masters.

  53. Porter Lansing

    Heh,heh ho … War Toilet

  54. Nicely done Cory! I am very proud of all of your hard work. *standing ovation*

  55. Exceptional work, Cory! Seriously, when are you going to run for office?

  56. SD has the Bosworth precedent which should make for exciting times ahead. Thanks for your efforts, Cory. It should be hard to believe the undertow of money in SD government wouldn’t be that apparent. I guess it is why we all should appreciate Sanders and Trump. They have the institutional candidates up in arms!

  57. Jim, thanks for the vote of confidence, but seriously, if I’m busy reading petitions, when am I going to find time to run for office? :-)

    Ror, your image of PP as dog yipping on leash for his minders’ praise is one of the best bits of comment-section literature I’ve read this week. Thank you.

    Les, that’s a very important precedent to keep in mind.

    And again, all, thank you for your kind words and support.

  58. “If we don’t fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don’t really stand for them.”
    – Paul Wellstone

    Cory, you are probably one of the few (if not the only one) that has fought hard, really hard, for SDs working class and keeping the Democrat Party alive in SD! (MNs DFLers would be proud!)

  59. I have no idea if this will be enough to invalidate their entire petition (as I’m sure the SOS won’t agree with all of your findings) but it certainly displays your dedication and attention to detail.

    Who else in South Dakota would be willing to do this? Amazing Job Cory – I salute you.

  60. Roger Cornelius

    I held my nose and went over to the Powers Dump Site and found that along with congratulating Cory, we should also congratulate Hickey. He has the only two, Porter has good comments too, intelligent comments in response to Powers. The rest of the comments are, well you know …………

    For those of you that aren’t banned by Powers, like I am, hopefully you’ll add your comments to Powers. He’ll probably take them down, but what the hell.

    Powers isn’t capable of doing the kind of research Cory can do, the best we ever get from him is cut and paste and threads that are often two sentences long. And like Hickey, I wonder how much Furlong et.al are paying him to keep corruption alive and well in South Dakota.

  61. larry kurtz

    Why Porter and Steve Hickey give Pat any clicks at all remains a mystery.

  62. Craig, we never know until we try. And Jenny, I believe Senator Wellstone would agree with me that we must try.

  63. I went over to the War Toilet last night and was really surprised with the lack of comments on there. It has really gone downhill! There used to be a few loyal commenters on there usually. I do give Powers credit, he has to have one of the most boring political blogs around.

    Face it SD GOP, Cory’s DFP is a LOT more interesting and exciting! We have all kinds of different personalities here and there is never a dull moment!

  64. How about that KELO. An Aberdeen man challenged…. Why not Cory Allen Heidelbger, Dakota Free Press? You don’t quote measure up to their standards of Press, Cory!

  65. They just can’t handle the competition Les. The last thing that they want is free thinking people, they want to spoon feed you their indoctrination from corporate.

  66. Hang in there, Les! KELO-TV sent its Aberdeen reporter, Erich Schaffhauser, over this p.m. to talk about the challenge. He said the story might make tonight’s 10 p.m. broadcast. Stay tuned!