In the John Wayne Toilet Paper department, Senator Stace Nelson tells his Republican colleague Senator Deb Peters that he will fulfill her request that he provide evidence on what he knows about the GEAR UP/Mid-Central scandal to their Government Operations and Audit Committee next week. However, it’s going to take staff, subpoenas, and several days in Vermillion:
I will require at least 10 hours time on the GOAC schedule at the Vermillion map, and I will need the assistance in serving witness summons on at least 6 people.
In that Senator Peter’s letter is an official letter to me as a SD Senator & member of the GOAC, I request the appropriate staffing and support to provide a thorough response for the record.
Please make an impartial attorney available, two staff members to help prepare, and logistical support and approval for meeting with those persons to compile my official testimonial & documentary response.
Since it is impossible to transfer the entirety of the research material available to Pierre, we will need to meet in Vermillion for several days to prepare and for the GOAC inquisition on what myself and others know about the corruption Senator Peters is attempting to distract from and run “interference” for [Senator Stace Nelson, e-mail to Department of Legislative Audit et al., 2017.08.23].
The “Vermillion map” to which Senator Nelson refers is the wall-spanning project Marshall Damgaard’s political science students at USD created in spring 2016 to visualize all of the financial connections in the GEAR UP/Mid-Central scandal.
Senator Nelson e-mailed this request this morning to Auditor General Marty Guindon, DLA audit manager Tim Flannery, Attorney General Marty Jackley, and Legislative Research Council exec Jason Hancock. Senator Nelson cc’s this e-mail to GOAC chair Peters, GOAC vice-chair Rep. Jean Hunhoff, Senate President Pro Tempore Brock Greenfield, his occasional colleagues in GOP rump rebellion Senator Lance Russell and Rep. Elizabeth May, and members of the press.
Just to make clear he’s not gladly responding to the request for his testimony, Senator Nelson mans the guns and asks Pro-Tem Greenfield to kick Senator Peters off GOAC:
Senator Greenfield, I renew my request for you to remove Senator Peters from the GOAC. With her efforts to illegally trade votes to have me removed for my January email asking questions of Rep. Schoenfish’s involvement in GOAC; her recent Op Ed claiming nothing is amiss (before we even got the answers back from preliminary witnesses?!); and now her abuse of her position as chairwoman serving letters on committee members who are not material witnesses in attempt to intimidate and distract from the corruption at hand; she has demonstrated (as astutely pointed out by Representative May) that Sen Peters is NOT running an impartial legislative investigation into this ugly public corruption scandal, but “running interference” for her patron benefactor’s administration.
Please provide the requested assistance immediately [Nelson to DLA, 2017.08.23].
One could argue that Senator Peters has simply requested that Senator Nelson present information, and that he could respectfully decline that request with no consequences, as did the four people GOAC invited to testify about GEAR UP next week. Instead, Senator Nelson is treating Senator Peters’s letter as a official request—note his use of the word serving in that last paragraph—and threatening to knock her out of her committee seat before she can knock him out of his Senate seat.