Dan Lederman’s pal, political crony, and sometime bail bonds employee Pat Powers seems to think Lederman’s effort to oust Pam Roberts from the SDGOP chair is newsworthy. The Iowa businessman’s effort to take over the South Dakota Republican Party is getting almost as much ink as Powers’s sponsors’ press releases.
Maybe Pat’s pal’s putsch matters. If it does, then Lederman’s recent side jobs matter. Consider this document Lederman filed with the U.S. Department of Justice last October to register as a foreign agent:
At the end of September, Congress dealt President Obama his only veto override and enacted the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which allows victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for its connections to the 9/11 attackers. Saudi Arabia has been lobbying to weaken that law. The above document shows Saudi Arabia paid Dan Lederman $8,500 as part of that lobbying. Lederman’s application describes the support he rendered in support of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia as “Outreach to media, influencers, and state and federal elected officials regarding the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.”
I myself have described JASTA as “a toothless show-pony 9/11 lawsuits bill that could still provoke diplomatic and economic retaliation against the U.S.,” so if Lederman thinks JASTA is bad policy, or at least is willing to take Saudi money to tell people it’s bad policy, I lose no sleep.
But I’m not voting for Republican chair; Republicans are. And all three Republicans representing South Dakota in Congress voted for JASTA. The Republican President voiced unequivocal support for JASTA back in September. And the guy running for SDGOP chair is taking money from the Saudis to persuade lawmakers to make it harder for victims of radical Islamic terrorism to get justice.
I’ll let my Republicans friends hash that one out. Of greater interest to a broader audience should be the fact that Lederman appears to have lied on his foreign agent registration. The final question, #15, asks, “During the period beginning 60 days prior to the date of your obligation to register to the time of filing this statement, did you make any contributions of money or other things of value from your own funds or possessions and on your own behalf in connection with any election to political office or in connection with any primary election, convention, or caucus held to select candidates for any political office?”
Lederman checked No.
Lederman evidently forgot the $500 he gave Iowa Congressman Steve King on September 13, 2016:
Making a false statement of a material fact or omitting any material fact required in a Foreign Agents Registration Act registration statement has committed a crime and may face up to a $10,000 fine and five years in prison.
Well, I think Lederman has Larry Rhoden’s vote.