Campaign Email Indicates Powers Handling Johnson Campaign Online Tech

Making the Internet rounds this week is an e-mail that, according to multiple sources, comes from Republican Dusty Johnson drumming up cash and word-of-mouth for his freshly announced U.S. House candidacy. Perhaps dampening some of that support will be his mention of who’s handling his online tech needs:

There is a lot to do, much more than I am capable of handling on my own. Dakota Wesleyan student Amanda Halsey has agreed to handle some finance and administrative tasks, attorney Reid LeBeau is handling campaign finance filings, Pat Powers has handled initial email and domain set-up, Kelsey (Webb) Smith (a leader of the “Johnson for PUC” and “Daugaard for Governor” campaigns) will eventually help in a senior position, and a number of others are serving as advisers [Dusty Johnson, campaign e-mail, 2016.11.16].

Pat Powers—isn’t that the guy who resigned from the Secretary of State’s office after dragging the integrity of our state elections office into question by running a political consulting business on the side while having free access to the office’s records thanks to then-Secretary Jason Gant’s patronage?

Hmmm… looks like we’d better take any blog coverage from Powers on Johnson’s run as Lauck-Thune-esque astroturf rather than objective coverage. And if Johnson really is positioning himself for a House race against the current, reasonably effective and scandal-free Secretary of State Shantel Krebs, he might want to reconsider tying himself to the partisan bumbling of her disgraced predecessor Jason Gant.

13 Responses to Campaign Email Indicates Powers Handling Johnson Campaign Online Tech

  1. rick sterling

    Crossed paths yesterday in Casa Grande, Arizona with a gentleman in a bright red 2015 Corvette. Noticed this shiny sports car had Lake County, South Dakota license plates with only two numbers difference. As the owner was putting something in the trunk of the car, I asked him about Madison. He told me he was an attorney who had never been to Madison, nor any other place in South Dakota for that matter. Rather, he has a motorhome he and his wife share in Arizona. He told me that he has been a South Dakota resident for the past 7 years. He further informed me that in the paperwork he completed to become a SD resident, he and his wife were the 2672nd household in Lake County South Dakota that had no actual physical presence in South Dakota. That was 7 years ago. After looking at the election results from Lake County, I wonder how many out-of-state residents voted for candidates that have absolutely no affect on their lives??

  2. Wow. Not sure which is more disturbing. Pat Powers, the shameless and shallow shill of the GOP, trumping his candidate as the show or that Dusty would sink so low to align himself with someone like Pat to champion himself as someone who could represent everyone of South Dakota.

    Good luck Dusty, you have aspired to being a politician since you were young TARP. I hope you have grown up enough to realize this isn’t a game and are ready to represent all of South Dakota and not just your benefactors.

    Just my perception, but Dusty has never been anything but a player and an ideologue who uses the party and the system for his own benefit. Not exactly my idea of a public servant.

  3. Is a two year campaign for a two year job really necessary? If that’s the case, Brendan Johnson needs to start right now. In two years, we won’t know one Johnson from another or even care. One thing they both will agree on is they’re replacing a two year lame duck.

  4. Perhaps this is just Mr. Dusty buying the best guy out there. I’m just sayin…

  5. Porter Lansing

    Pat Powers is no one’s “best guy”. Pat Powers works for the Koch Brothers. They pay him to attend national conferences, they have ads all over his blog and he gets paid to do what they want done in Eastern South Dakota. The Koch Brothers are pissed at Pat Powers. The Koch Brothers are pollution producers. They own all the coal. They give excessive campaign donations to politicians who work to deny global warming so their dirty coal won’t become just another fossil. Pat Powers job was to stop IM22. IM22 limits how much “thank-you money” can be given to lawmakers from the Koch Brothers. Now Pat Powers is frantic to do anything to stop the new anti-corruption law which the people want. Step one is to invent a crisis. Sound like Pat Powers is now using the Saul Alinsky playbook ? Yes, it does.

  6. Okay, per Rick’s note above, can someone tell me if the guy that he mentioned that became a ‘resident’ in SD but not living there – are they able to vote?
    Do South Dakota republicans find this even a bit disturbing, that the wealthy take advantage of SDs lax tax laws? How is this an advantage for SD when the wealthy are just using the system? Are they contributing to SD GOP candidates?

  7. Are these out of state smoochers able to vote in SD elections?

  8. mike from iowa

    Ever hear of the rv voters, Jenny? South Dakotistan is famous for them.

    Read it and weep.

  9. rick sterling

    Jenny, the answer to your question is “YES.” As residents of South Dakota people can vote in all national AND local elections (county of their residence). The point of my telling this story is to point out the high number of people who have never been to South Dakota who are “technically” residents of the state. I have met at least 50 people who hold this resident status, but could care less about South Dakota. When I have asked about their voting history, without exception, these residents tell me they vote for the “status quo” as they fear any change could jeopardize their ability to avoid taxes and get cheap vehicle license and registration. The numbers of people who hold this status is significant, in my judgment.

  10. Greg Deplorable

    Dusty is a great campaigner, fundraiser and adept at policy. No doubt about it he will be formidable.
    Good luck to all.

  11. Darin Larson

    Now is Dusty actually running for the House to serve the full 2 year term or is he going to run, get elected and then resign shortly thereafter for greener pastures? Maybe he will promise, if elected, not to serve more than two months before he takes his next appointment?

    2 years ago he quit the Daugaard administration to go to work in the private sector. He was interviewed by the Argus Leader at the time:

    “Johnson has worked in government for more than a decade, as a PUC commissioner, chief of staff and policy adviser to the governor. He’s been touted as a possible candidate for higher office in the future. On Wednesday, Johnson said he isn’t likely to run for office “in the near future.”

    “Running for office seems about as far away now as it ever has,” Johnson said. “I’ve got a great opp here, both to do something with Vantage Point and to be a little more present with my family.”

    But he added he does “like public service.”

    “I feel like it’s a noble calling,” he said. “There might be a time down the road where I’d be willing to consider serving, certainly.”

    Well, that private sector gig lasted two years before Dusty decided it was time to run for office again.

  12. [We’re off-topic, but Rick, yes, such sway is possible. Scott Parsley lost District 8 to Jordan Youngberg by 94 votes. Parsley lost Madison Ward 1, which includes the 1,000+ voters of at 110 E. Center, by 183 votes.]

  13. Mr. Larson, in defense of Dusty, you have to go where the money is. You can only make so much here in the way state government is geared towards the owners. Washington is where the great riches are. The theft of Medicare and Social Security will being a tidy sum for those who get to sit behind the big chairs. NOem is leaving because she already has made hers and will bring it back here to spend like crazy and pocket the rest. These are good grifts if you can get in.