Jackley Demands Stronger State Laws to Fight Corruption

The foxes have been guarding the henhouse for forty years. Now the foxes are offering corruption reform plans. What’s wrong with this picture?

Jackley said he plans to work with legislators on a set of bills for next year that will bring harsher penalties for those who benefit from conflicts of interest. He said he hoped new conflict laws would require felony charges for those who benefit from conflicts of interest, could increase the likelihood of jail time on those charges and would require reporting those conflicts to the attorney general’s office.

None of the four people facing criminal charges in connection with an embezzling scheme at a Platte educational cooperative or the state’s investment-for-visa program will see conflict of interest charges, Jackley said, because existing policies “don’t have any teeth” [Dana Ferguson, “Jackley Calls for More Info on Conflicts, Deflects Criticism, Conspiracy Theories,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.04.08].

Before Jackley goes campaigning complaining about the need for new policies to let him go after corruption, maybe he should explain why hasn’t gone after EB-5 czar Joop Bollen for all the other existing rules and laws that he’s broken. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right, Marty?

Fellow foxes Mickelson and Tidemann seem to agree with me:

Two legislators who worked to draft current conflict of interest legislation said they’d work with the attorney general on the bills, but weren’t sure that they were necessary.

“If you can prove theft or fraud, you face a felony charge,” Rep. Mark Mickelson, R-Sioux Falls, said. “I’m not opposed to considering it, but I feel like there are fact patterns where they’d face felony charges already.”

Sen. Larry Tidemann, R-Brookings, said he’d also sit down with Jackley to consider the legislation, but he felt existing legislation equips the state to deal with conflicts.

“We’ve made some big steps toward rectifying things,” Tidemann said. “But we can look at taking more steps to bring more answers” [Ferguson, 2016.04.08].

I feel like Luke Blogwalker trying to turn Darth Marty away from the Dark Side. Emperor Mickeltine is blowing blue lightning out their fingertips to crush our anti-corruption rebellion, and Darth Marty is looking back and forth, signaling he just might join our pitiful little band.

Marty Jackley, trapped in my mixed metaphor.
Darth Marty, trapped in my mixed metaphor.

I don’t think we’re going to save Marty’s soul. I think it’s much more likely that the Dark Side is telling him to use corruption as a gubernatorial campaign club. But A.G. Jackley’s willingness to at least say that we need to “bring back the integrity of state government” supports what I’ve been saying to Democratic candidates for months: concern about corruption has reached a critical mass in the South Dakota electorate. People are ready to vote on corruption, and that’s why Jackley and Mickelson are willing to publicly fight about it.

Fellow Democrats, we Jedi chickens (I know, branding) can’t let Darth Marty and the foxes keep pretending to guard the henhouse. They are the real chickens, who haven’t done anything to stop the corruption that is now leaking from every rickety gap in the coop. And if we keep electing the same people and the same party, we’ll get the same results.

But keep talking, Marty—you’ll help me make my point. (See? My Jedi mind trick is working!)

15 Responses to Jackley Demands Stronger State Laws to Fight Corruption

  1. Jackley’s as convincing as Pontius Pilate. It’s shocking how dumb reporters are to this cheap gimmick.

    It’s too late for Jackley’s striptease of truthiness when you consider how conniving he was throughout Mike Rounds’ EB-5 scandal, even hiding the fact for a year that he had prepared three felony charges and hotwired a grand jury against R. Benda waaaaaaay back in September 2013.

    If I were one of his gubernatorial opponents, I’d develop legal remedies for an Attorney General who plays heavy handed politics with his office and make Marty explain his footdragging to bring even the mildest charges against Joop Bollen and the leeches at MCEC in a timely manner.

  2. One more note about Pontius Jackley. I recall reading about Democrat legislators introducing so-called whistleblower legislation only to have it gunned down on party-line votes. Yet, Jackley’s boss Mike Rounds is chiefly responsible for passing the state’s gag law to punish state officials for blowing the whistle on ripoffs by the corporate overlords. That was back when Mikey was the senate majority leader taking his orders from then-Gov. Bill Janklow and Citibank’s lobbyists.

  3. Thanks for that historical context, 96. We have to remind the voters that we Democrats have been trying for years to get much tougher reforms to fight corruption, only to see those proposals killed by the very Republicans who now step forward with weaker reforms to quell voter rebellion.

  4. In today’s blog quality review, compare my article above to Pat Powers’s angle on Marty’s big double-dip coverage in today’s paper:


    Even though fighting corruption is central to both articles, Pat doesn’t use the word corruption once. He ignores the Ferguson article, quotes only the Whitney article, and addresses only the political inside baseball aspect of the story, not the substantive policy issue that affects all South Dakotans and is the real driver of the baseball moves. Pat’s just talking about the game; I’m talking about what’s motivating the game, what’s at stake in the game, and why we have to win so that we can restore integrity to South Dakota government.

    Integrity—there’s another word not appearing in Pat’s coverage.

  5. Marty still needs to explain why he covered up the existence of a rogue police force in Flandreau and didn’t prosecute the crooked cops. Without the illicit release of DCI’s file we would never have known about this coverup. How many more coverups has Jackley orchestrated that we haven’t found out about yet?

  6. mike from iowa

    Jackley’s just jaw jacking. Anyone who has ever raised chickens knows that you can’t put a fox in charge because wingnut crony coyotes will eat the fox AND the chickens. Jackley has had plenty of time to raise awareness of lack of teeth. Why now? Is it because he wants to run for Guv? He hasn’t sincerely shown any real gumption to prosecute violators, imho. I really can’t believe he can’t act if no one brings questionable activities to his attention. Consider my mind boggled.

  7. I imagine pp sees individual criminality and not statewide political corruption.

    as we dems take them on we should be sure we are not wolf criers.

    if courts don’t say corruption, voters won’t buy it, imo.

  8. it sounds like only now has marty actually looked deeply, at these tragedys, to prosecute them to their full extent. that’ll never happen this late. I am certain LEOs, AGs, and the governor’s political structure in the state are behind illegal cover-up for political purposes. imo

  9. Roger Elgersma

    Every time they present a law it has more to do with fooling the public that they are addressing the issue rather than solidly closing the hole. Now they say they have made big differences. That is obviously from someone who is more interested in making us think they did their job than some one who is ready to do the job.

    Sad it took Marty till this late in life to realize the fiasco and start doing his job but now that he seems to be, he is now realizing what it is like to be a democrat and get run down for trying to do what is right. But I still have to compliment him on progress. Thanks for starting to move Marty.

  10. WOW! Marty primping for a gubernatorial run? Who saw that coming????

  11. John Kennedy Claussen

    A corruption which is fought when it is politically timely, instead of when it becomes initially apparent, is a corruption which is guaranteed to return sooner than later….

  12. Paul Seamans

    Humorous blog Cory. Not the subject matter but how you and the commentors are discussing it.

  13. Marty Jackley knew things were going awry in EB-5 back in 2009, when Rounds appointed him AG and he inherited the mess Bollen created with the Darley litigation. As Bob Mercer notes in his weekend column, Mercer himself alerted Jackley to fishy business at Mid-Central in May 2015.

  14. mike from iowa

    leslie- FYI-Leos are rush linebackers in the NFL. They are designated pass rushers. The Will lb is the weakside backer-the side away from the tight end. The SAM backer covers the strongside of the formation and covers the tight end on passing downs. The Mike Backer is the middle linebacker. Leo is also part of the Latin name for lions. :)

  15. thx mfi, but don’t tell stace. :)

    oh, lottsa late night press on jackley last night. boy is he concerned. I suppose for people who can’t follow this stuff, it’ll be adequate for his purposes.