Graeff Pushing Ballot Measures, Calling for Schopp to Resign over GEAR UP

My friend Russell Graeff is working hard to beat Stace Nelson in the District 19 Senate race. He continues to work the ballot measures for Election Day synergy by joining Bon Homme County Democratic Party chair Frank Kloucek for three public fora on our initiatives and referenda on Friday:

  1. 9 a.m.: Recreation Bar, Scotland
  2. 10:30 a.m.: Main Stop C Store, Scotland
  3. 2:00 p.m.: The Keg, Tabor

Candidate Graeff is also reminding us that we still haven’t held anyone in Pierre accountable for the deadly GEAR UP scandal. He calls for Secretary of Education Melody Schopp to resign immediately:

Little has happened to hold accountable those individuals tasked with oversight of the Gear Up program. Obviously the South Dakota Department of Education needs new leadership. We also need to recover those missing/misappropriated federal funds. Sad to say those lives lost won’t be able to be recovered.

…Schopp dropped the ball on the whole Gear Up program. Her lack of oversight, accountability, and responsibility has left another black mark on South Dakota.

…The lack of oversight, including the accounting firm who did the annual Mid Central Education Cooperative audits, should be thoroughly investigated as well [Russell Graeff, campaign press release, 2016.11.02].

That last note about the accounting firm is a cross-ticket shot at reëlection-seeking Republican Rep. Kyle Schoenfish, whose Parkston accounting firm Schoenfish and Company conducted those audits and somehow failed to notice Scott Westerhuis’s multi-million-dollar shell game, evidenced by financial discrepancies that a casual blogging review of Mid-Central financial reports made obvious.

Graeff evidently understands that ballot measures and corruption are key Democratic issues. We’ll see how well those issues stack up against Stace Nelson’s name recognition and noisy conservatism on Tuesday.

Update 2016.11.04 08:15 CDT: Democratic District 19 House candidate Melissa Mentele informs me that, after a family-related absence from the campaign trail, she’s jumping back on the horse and coming to today’s ballot question fora as well!