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Melmer Drew Six Figures for Services for Audited Educational Cooperative

Let Pat piddle around with the Ashley Madison database—if you want to crunch some real numbers and names of public interest, dig through the minutes of Mid-Central Educational Cooperative, the Platte organization that lost its 4.3-million-dollar contract with the state Department of Education last week, then  lost its business manager in what Attorney General Marty Jackley now says was a murder-suicide.

Rick Melmer
Rick Melmer

Let’s look at just one friend of the GOP establishment, Dr. Rick Melmer. Then-Governor M. Michael Rounds appointed Melmer Secretary of Education in June 2003. Melmer held that post until 2008, then moved to another plum state job, dean of education at USD.

Ten months before stepping down from his USD job in June 2013, Melmer began collecting a monthly check from MCEC. On August 14, 2012, MCEC cut check #137581 for $1,000 to Rick Melmer for “GEAR UP Committee.” GEAR UP—Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program—is the federal college prep program that MCEC was running for the state Department of Education. On September 13, 2012, MCEC approved a contract to pay Melmer $1,000 a month for his services as a GEAR UP committee member.

The subsequent MCEC minutes specifically report eight more $1,000 monthly stipend payments to Melmer through June 2013. After that, MCEC financials mention no further monthly checks but do list payments for travel, supplies, and office rental totaling $4,323.86.

Date Check Number Vendor Description Amount
08/14/12 137581 Melmer, Rick GEAR UP COMMITTEE $1,000.00
10/09/12 140600 Melmer, Rick GEAR UP STIPEND $1,000.00
11/12/12 140807 Melmer, Rick GEAR UP STIPEND $1,000.00
12/11/12 141039 Melmer, Rick GEAR UP STIPEND $1,000.00
02/12/13 141430 Melmer, Rick GEAR UP GRANT COMMITTEE STIPEND $1,000.00
03/12/13 141643 Melmer, Rick GEAR UP STIPEND $1,000.00
04/11/13 141811 Melmer, Rick GEAR UP STIPEND $1,000.00
05/09/13 142076 Melmer, Rick GEAR UP STIPEND $1,000.00
06/10/13 142328 Melmer, Rick GEAR UP STIPEND $1,000.00
08/12/13 142747 Melmer, Rick GEAR UP TRAVEL $470.48
08/12/13 142747 Melmer, Rick GEAR UP SUPPLIES $25.00
07/26/13 3630 Div of Criminal Investigation Finger Prints – Melmer $43.25
02/10/14 144012 Voyager Fleet Systems, Inc. RICK MELMER TRAVEL $85.20
(reported March 6, 2014) Voyager Fleet Systems, Inc. MELMER/MOORE GAS CARD $86.50
(reported May 8, 2014) SD Public Universities and Research Center RICK MELMER OFFICE AND SUPPLIES $985.85
06/12/14 144611 TIRES PLUS RICK MELMER TRAVEL; #31 $47.49
06/12/14 144618 Voyager Fleet Systems, Inc. R MELMER GAS $48.61
(reported September 4, 2014) TIRES PLUS RICK MELMER TRAVEL #31 $105.48
(reported September 4, 2014) SD Public Universities and Research Center RICK MELMER OFFICE RENT APRIL-JUNE $287.50
02/12/15 145944 SD Public Universities and Research Center RICK MELMER OFFICE RENTAL $287.50
02/12/15 145944 SD Public Universities and Research Center RICK MELMER OFFICE PHONE $75.00
(reported March 5, 2015) TIRES PLUS RICK MELMER TRAVEL $795.41
05/13/15 146561 SD Public Universities and Research Center RICK MELMER OFFICE EXPENSES $362.50
05/13/15 146599 Voyager Fleet Systems, Inc. RICK MELMER TRAVEL $50.28
06/03/15 146784 Voyager Fleet Systems, Inc. RICK MELMER TRAVEL $60.56
07/07/15 147026 SD Public Universities and Research Center RICK MELMER OFFICE RENT $362.50
07/07/15 147062 Voyager Fleet Systems, Inc. RICK MELMER TRAVEL $66.80
(reported August 13, 2015) 7471 Melmer, Rick GEAR UP TRAVEL $77.95
Total: $13,323.86

These figures appear to be hors d’œurves. On June 13, 2013, MCEC approved to approve a contract with Melmer “contingent upon secured funding from additional revenue sources.” The minutes specify $185,000 for Melmer, to be funded by the South Dakota Board of Regents and the Council of Chief State School Officers, which paid Melmer to promote the Common Core standards.

On July 11, 2013, Melmer attended the MCEC meeting to see them finally approve a contract with CCSSO for his work for $110,000. On September 12, 2013, MCEC approved a contract with the Board of Regents for Melmer’s work for $49,500.

On February 13, 2014, MCEC approved a new CCSSO contract for Melmer’s work for $150,000. On March 6, 2014, MCEC approved a supplemental budget that included a contract for “Rick Melmer Services” for $241,000, financed by “State of SD & CCSSO Revenue.” On July 10, 2014, MCEC approved a contract with the Board of Regents  for “Rick Melmer Services” for $49,500.

On April 10, 2014, the monthly cash receipts reports begin to reflect a line item titled “Fund 13 – AIII/BW/Melmer.” (“Fund 13″—who writes this stuff?) AIII is the American Indian Institute of Innovation, one of the nonprofits Scott Westerhuis created to handle GEAR UP dollars. BW escapes me. Here are the cash receipts for Fund 13 from all available MCEC meeting documents since the April 2014 minutes:

Date Amount
MAR 2014 $224,560.98
APR 2014 $50,902.08
MAY 2014 $155,604.66
JUN 2014 $17,079.80
JUL 2014 $3,102.43
AUG 2014 $163,001.15
SEP 2014 $49,474.33
OCT 2014 $52,948.86
NOV 2014 $89,308.47
DEC 2014 $34,005.05
JAN 2015 $117,075.00
FEB 2015 $151,088.22
MAR 2015 $184,424.12
APR 2015 $210,811.59
MAY 2015 $49,875.00
JUN 2015 $204,590.36
JUL 2015 $50,175.00
AUG 2015 $900.00
TOTAL $1,808,927.10

Rick Melmer resigned from MCEC on July 9, 2015. We’ll see if Fund 13 continues in future MCEC cash receipts reports.

It’s tough to tell what portion of the Fund 13 dollars actually went to Melmer, what portion is simply listing amounts provided in the contracts listed above, and which contracts above are redundant revisions and which represent unique dollars. But according to the MCEC minutes, over the last three years, MCEC helped Melmer get at least $9,000 in monthly stipends and $300,000 in contracts.

And that work and that pay exist for this friend of South Dakota’s conservative Republican establishment entirely because of liberal government funding, at least some of it intended to help low-income Americans get into college.


  1. jerry 2015-09-23 14:05

    It all fits the same pattern as the Joop and his pals Rounds and Benda’s schemes. The only thing missing is the Chinese. We have murder and intrigue and more corruption from the republican regime.

  2. Angie 2015-09-23 14:07

    Check into Stacy Phelps too!!!

  3. Donald Pay 2015-09-23 14:34

    This sort of Republican churning of federal dollars through quasi-governmental agencies and laundering it through non-profits to consultants and thence to the Republican Party was pioneered during the old days, when water development districts were doing the same thing. Really, when it comes to Republican graft, it’s just a variation on a similar theme. There’s a constant flow of new agencies and new strategies to siphon money meant for the people into the wealthy and thence to the Party bosses, but it hasn’t changed a lot in forty years.

    Back in the day, there used to be some effort to churn money through some bought-off Democrats as well. Maybe you’ll dig some up, if you keep searching, though I guess there’s no need to buy off Democrats as long as they are powerless.

    Well, Cory, you’ve got to follow this one out to its conclusion, but I want to make a suggestion that people be aware of the next one coming along. I suspect Grudz probably knows about it, since it involves nuclear waste.

  4. Jenny 2015-09-23 15:10

    Gee, talk about welfare queens. The SD GOP oligarchy can take the prize for that.

  5. Jenny 2015-09-23 15:22

    Heeeeheeee, so Phil Jensen- staunch family values anti-gay preacher was caught in the Ashley Madison scandal. ROFL!!

  6. Disgusted Dakotan 2015-09-23 15:35

    Whoa! “Conservative Republicans?” Come on! Their actions are not conservative!

    Call them what they are, a corrupt political machine.

  7. 96Tears 2015-09-23 16:02

    This is another example why it’s important to keep a database on these clowns that cycle in and out and back in through state agencies, as well as their friends who are lobbyists and consultants in the family we call the SDGOP. It’s huge! It constantly rains money for these people. And the money comes from government and sweetheart private deal sources.

    Meanwhile, South Dakota working people are the worst paid in the nation and teacher pay is a national joke. If you’re rich or well connected in the Pierre hierarchy, you do great in South Dakota and can even get away with high crimes, thanks to a toothless, blind and well-fed law enforcement system from the top down. You’re in the protected class.

    If you’re like the rest of us, you’re on your own until you step out of line.

  8. rwb 2015-09-23 16:35

    Jenny, I think Jensen is involved to the extent of accidentally sending the list to the wrong recipient.

    Don’t know if it goes any deeper than that. But over at the toxic waste dump they’re talking about a big Democrat who is entangled.

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, please.

  9. Roger Cornelius 2015-09-23 17:15

    This may seem like a stupid question, but what the hell did Rick Melmer do and accomplish for that kind of money? Anything?

  10. Disgusted Dakotan 2015-09-23 17:23

    Family dead under suspicious circumstances, corruption evident.. Big news, a couple idiots allegedly signed up on a dating site.

    Who commits suicide and trys to destroy the crime scene?

  11. larry kurtz 2015-09-23 17:32

    Melmer is a Future Fund recipient who gave money to both Rounds and Daugaard. Viewpoint University just tweeted that technical schools thrive in a state without a community college system. This RCJ story caught my eye. It struck me that technical schools tend to produce Republicans who tend to stay in the state while liberal arts and professional schools send Democrat-leaning graduates out of state.

    Social engineering breeding hybrid earth haters: the Republican long game.

  12. Greg 2015-09-23 17:32

    Dr. Rick Melmer, the man we trusted our kids education to now is shown to be one of the Crooked Bastards. I guess we should have known , he worked under Rounds. Shame on you Dr. Melmer, we expected more.

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-23 17:39

    Roger, you have asked the most relevant question. Did Rick Melmer add $309,000 of value, maybe more, to Mid-Central’s operations?

    Larry, your analysis of the social-engineering long game may not be far off. I would like to see some data on political affiliation of vo-tech grads vs. liberal arts grads. But I think that kets us into another post….

  14. Donald Pay 2015-09-23 17:56

    I’d hope we won’t get to the point where we politically pigeon-hole and disparage people based on what institution they went to and what they study in school. That seems to be a Republican tactic—divide and conquer. Vo-tech students and graduates, I suspect, tend to lean Republican or Democrat based on a lot of factors. I think a lot depends on the political setting, the era, etc. In South Dakota they may lean one way, in Minnesota they may lean another way.

  15. Spike 2015-09-23 18:07

    The absolute destruction of 5 lives came as a direct result of the state’s ineptitude at administering this funding. I found it odd that this “cooperative” was administering big dollar programs from Platte . It was just too easy for Westerhuis to make this thing morph into a hog trough for some greedy people. The story is not over. N somehow the “pierre” circle will remain untouched. SD republicans will still vote for the same old same old and nothing will change. Daugaard should resign. N Rounds too. Thune n Noem are just puppets of the big machine n are not doing anything for SD. God help us.

  16. Jenny 2015-09-23 18:17

    Alright, who are the big Dem names the War Toilet is talking about? I’m sorry Cory, but what do you make of it?
    Never a dull moment in SD politics (and they say MN politics is amusing.)

  17. Jenny 2015-09-23 18:19

    I agree we need to go slow on the Ashley Madison news. I don’t want to hear about any more suicides, and men are killing themselves from getting caught.

  18. owen reitzel 2015-09-23 18:21

    dumb question Cory. In the end will any of this be illegal? Unethical-sure.

  19. Porter Lansing 2015-09-23 18:53

    Fund 13 – AIII/by way of/Melmer? (Powers had a mildly entertaining and contrasting blog until he cut off comments from those who contradict his opinions. [i.e. – “me” … lol ~ “I’m always polite”. ?] Now it’s very dry and snarky. He’s just doesn’t seem to be capable or interested or willing to do the investigative work necessary to present the compelling copy we read here, daily. I’ll wager more capital C conservatives read The Free Press than his stuff, anymore. hmmm?)

  20. grudznick 2015-09-23 19:33

    It may be that all the undue criticism and mean name calling from some libbies has driven Mr. PP into a more jaded, hardened individual. A hardened husk without a heart, were it. Similar things have made a few of my friends become jaded, hardened and mean individuals, and they’re Libertarians.

  21. Porter Lansing 2015-09-23 19:46

    “jaded, hardened and mean individuals?” … and from what I’ve read from Mr. Grudz, that’s high praise. PS – a libertarian is just a Republican that wants to eat pain pills and chase other’s wives.

  22. grudznick 2015-09-23 19:53

    Mr. Lansing, on the first item it is my understanding that Mr. PP used to be a more thoughtful, less press-releasy, fellow who was actually quite soft and sensitive, and maybe even a little bit naive in some areas. Then he fell into the wrong circles and got a crust over him, and a bit of a blackened nose from repeated verbal beatings. I can understand how he grew a tougher shell.

    As to the second item, perhaps that is true. I wonder what my Libertarian friends think.

  23. Jason Sebern 2015-09-23 19:56

    One party rule has produced horrific results.

  24. BOHICA 2015-09-23 20:07

    What is the hub-bub all about here? Isn’t the amount Melmer received about the same compensation paid to teachers…who are responsible for educating our children, our most valuable assets?

    Sorry…my tongue just bruised my cheek….

  25. Porter Lansing 2015-09-23 20:10

    Mr. G – My research shows Powers was a volunteer campus cop with “undercover investigative tendencies” towards fellow students at SDSU. That’s where the sensitive softies gravitate, huh? Like the winner of the “biggest douche” in CO award. – Dog the Bounty Hunter. lol PS – the Sodak winner is Brock Lesnar. But, let’s’ stay on this compelling topic. It’s got legs like nobody’ business.

  26. daleb 2015-09-23 20:11

    Is there anyway to find out how many people have died by shotgun blasts in SD… And how many accountants or fund managers or business managers have died via suspicious circumstances.

    The interesting thing about shotguns, there are no bullets, they cant be traced very easily. Wont be too much longer and the GOP will be out of businessmen to manage their shady corporations.

  27. owen reitzel 2015-09-23 20:41

    actually BOHICA I think that’s what Melmer was compensation for being a basketball referee (for those who remember).

    Now it’s my tongue hitting up hard against my cheek.

  28. grudznick 2015-09-23 20:44

    Apparently suicide by shotgun is more common than many would have though just a year or so ago. It is a very, very sad deal. I can’t imagine how their community, their school, their extended family must be feeling.

    grudznick wishes them all well.

  29. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-09-23 20:54

    Oh this just keeps getting uglier and uglier. The level of depravity of that cabal gets worse and worse. First it was one man. Now it’s an entire family?! My god.

  30. larry kurtz 2015-09-23 21:03

    Drop the hammer, Cory.

  31. Spike 2015-09-23 21:59

    The SD Republican cronyism coming out if Pierre is just amazing. SD took all the Stimulus money it could grab. Federal dollars flow into conservative bank accounts daily. Yet Dennis, Mike, John n Kristi cry wolf. Wow.
    People we missed an opportunity when we cast Joe Lowe aside. He would have taken off the gloves n really mixed it up. Susan apologized for being a democrat, complained the campaign cut into her accounting business n generally was a disappointment. Joe’s been here 13 years and chose to live here. Has a tremendous background , but, because he was not “Born” here he lost. He’s also been a capable city mayor.
    He would be professional but direct in Pierre. He could hold his own with this situation. He’s a good person. He would have had support in Pennington county n other west river areas.
    I don’t know the answer , 40 more years of this?
    We have to get tough, erase the line between west n east river Democrats and develop a real strategy for change. You know which line Corey, that one by Iona?

  32. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-23 22:14

    Owen, illegal or unethical? Very good question. I’m going to see a lot more documents before I can offer an answer. Cronyism doesn’t violate laws unless we can show no-bid contracts for more than $50K (does that threshold only apply to state contracts?). Move decisions from the state DOE to a local education co-op to an array of private corporations (shades of Joop/SDRC Inc.!), and we hit a wall of non-transparency. Let’s keep looking….

    Spike, I would certainly like to see what Governor Joe Lowe is doing in the alternate universe where he won in June and November 2014 and now is being presented with the information we’re finding about MCEC.

  33. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-23 22:15

    Checks and balances, Jason. That’s what we need; that’s what an effective opposition party provides. The guys in power must always be afraid of the credible threat that their opponents might take over in the next election and find out about previous monkeyshines.

  34. Clarity 2015-09-23 22:29

    BW= big waste

  35. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-23 22:35

    Hee hee! Nice try, Clarity. But I’m sure it’s something obvious, and that I was just so focused on RM that I didn’t catch the person or program BW represents. Who can find it?

  36. Spike 2015-09-23 23:32

    Yes Corey it’s good to dream sometimes . Joe has spent more time wondering n walking the hills, mountains, streams and streets of South Dakota than most of the Pierreites combined.
    Let’s not forget Mr. Gants illustrious career removing electronic records from the public domain…

    It’s hard to keep up.

    I am speaking out because this is just too much. Innocents murdered by greed. Children crying for help on the reservations. And a guy running native programs funded by the state from his million dollar home..
    Resign governor!

  37. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-24 07:17

    Spike, I won’t call for the Governor’s resignation. But perhaps it is time for the Governor to speak up, and time for the Legislature to demand an immediate audit of every dollar, state and federal, moving through the Department of Education. With the Blue Ribbon K-12 Panel moving toward a proposal to raise teacher pay (come on, what other proposal could you people even think of?), legislators may be keenly interested in rooting out waste and corruption in the Department of Education to cushion any hit taxpayers may take to fund increased teacher salaries.

  38. Craig Guymon 2015-09-24 07:35

    Good morning,

    Gut-checks asking, what else is being cloaked by the Machine’s Joe-Crow intimidating coercion and police-state protocols? Smell-tests asking, what else have the Regime’s false nice-guys withheld from full public disclosure? Corruption sensors pegged out asking, did sugary-sweet, well-connected, well-oiled cowards (a person lacking the courage to do what is right and to reject what is wrong even when no one else will know he or she did so) crank up the public official propaganda machine with it now running at 5,000 rpms insulating and protecting crony backsides and the Old Guard’s public image once again duping the public in order retain the trust and confidence of voters too busy with daily life to sense the aroma of what the Pack of Cowards is cooking up again in order to retain power, control and influence w/o a checks and balance system present in SD governance.

    Read the news reports sharing Platte community members statements – friends who knew the hometown parents for decades; friends who knew the children for many years; MCEC supervisor/co-workers; and the family’s attorney. Consider the family’s reported financial position. Weigh all of these factors against the AG’s initial murder-suicide speculative conclusion that was first shared by the AG in a news release statement sent by email to the media after 10 p.m.

    Within 4-days after the embers of the fire had been extinguished with almost nothing remaining of a 7,600 square foot home; with human remains located using dogs; with no public disclosure of a witness, audio/video recording or suicide note; and with merely a preponderance of circumstantial evidence (not beyond a shadow of doubt), the AG decrees murder-suicide citing his sincere concerns and desires to put people’s minds at ease by reassuring everyone that it was an isolated incident thus restoring public confidence and civil order. What does your common-sense say? Do the math? Does it all add up?

    Given the public official corruption facts that have remained covered up surrounding incidents we have been sitting on since the spring of 2012, my wife is packing with a concealed firearms permit. In the past, due to “Open Carry”, I never felt I needed a concealed firearms permit. But, given the location of our remote residence along the MO River with people dying from shotgun blasts with no witness here in Charles Mix County, my CFP perception has changed – guess I also need to get a CFP and start carrying.

    Badger, Out!

  39. Jenny 2015-09-24 09:03

    Trust me, people in a small town talk when there are families that are living well beyond their means. I’m sure there were Platte residents wondering how a family with regular jobs could afford all the materialism.
    I’m still unwilling to get that route, Craig.

  40. Jenny 2015-09-24 09:04

    to ‘go’ that route.

  41. crossgrain 2015-09-24 11:11

    BW? BW Insurance? Bank of the West?

  42. Jenny 2015-09-24 12:27

    Why haven’t the SD GOP ‘family values’ leader sent any public condolences? Huge loss in a tiny state, people are hurting, and the leaders say nothing.

  43. sally 2015-09-24 14:05

    BW is Brian Wagner

  44. Paladn 2015-09-24 14:29

    Audit of the Dept of Ed? Agree necessary; however, by whom? Members of the Pierre fraternity? Where is the AG?

  45. Roger Cornelius 2015-09-24 16:42

    There was a time when the federal government monitored and did annual audits of any and all federal funds coming out of D.C. What happened to that oversight?
    Is this type of federal oversight and regulation Noem has been fighting against?
    South Dakota government is not going to lift a finger to investigate this disaster because they know the money trail and where it will lead.
    It’s time to call John “where’s the camera’ Thune, Mike Rounds, and Kristi Noem and ask them if the financial practices of Indian education dollars are being used wisely in our state.

  46. David Newquist 2015-09-24 17:03

    There are still audit requirements for federal funds:

    However, it seems like the organizations themselves initiate the audit. The Dept of Education allegedly canceled the contract on the basis of an audit, but where does the required federal audit fit into all of this. When I have submitted records to the auditors, which were routine, for organizations such as the Dakota Writing Project, we had to specify exactly what payees did for the fees disbursed. With this organization, there is an indication that little of the money trickled down to direct educational activity for the kids it is intended to serve. And when you browse the web pages of the organizations involved, you have to be sure you have a tight seal on the old sphincter or you’ll get a blast of sand that could take out your lower colon.

    After what happened to the federal investigation of the EB-5 fraud, one would be foolish indeed to think a federal investigation will come to the aid of honesty and efficiency. But I still question how a federal audit gets triggered and if the public can possibly learn how its money is being handled.

  47. sally 2015-09-24 17:25

    Yes, that is the Brian Wagner who was also a director of the Oceti Sakowin Education Consortium that Scott was an executive of.

  48. Baby Moon 2015-09-24 19:01

    After reading all this bullshit I could really use a medical marijuana cookie (or a baker’s dozen) about now. Depressing, people, depressing.

  49. Roger Cornelius 2015-09-25 20:20

    What happened to the comment by Morgan, Melmer’s daughter?

  50. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-27 08:00

    Roger, Megan decided her entry into this conversation would not be constructive.

  51. owen reitzel 2015-09-28 17:51

    “Whoa! “Conservative Republicans?” Come on! Their actions are not conservative!

    Call them what they are, a corrupt political machine.”

    There’s a difference?

  52. Disgusted Dakotan 2015-09-28 19:15

    @Owen You assured me that the Democratic Party has evolved and yet you consistently stereo type and malign a broad section of the populace in such a fashion that would indicate the lack of evolution. There are actual conservative Republicans in this state who have done more to stand up against corruption than anyone else and yet you would ignorantly lump them in with the moderate establishment political machine “Republicans” they have diligently oppose? Do you think such juvenile comments entice conservative Republicans to consider voting for Democratic candidates? Do you think such juvenile comments endear Democrats to the many honest people who do not deserve such ignorant insults?

  53. owen reitzel 2015-09-28 19:33

    Ignorant insults? Now who’s ignorant. I mean no disrespect to moderate Republicans. Those Republicans have elected McGovern, Daschle, Johnson and so on.

    The only ones throwing out insults are the Tea Party conservatives of the Republican Party. Calling moderate Republicans RINOS because they go along with Democrats.

    There is corruption in this state and it starts with the Republicans who control this state. Not Democrats.

    Finally name conservatives who have stood up against the corruption? Hunt, Ledermann?

  54. Disgusted Dakotan 2015-09-28 20:01

    @Owen You confuse Republican voters and politicians, they are not the same. YOU were the one insulting conservative Republicans, which the majority of registered Republicans identify as.

    When “Republican” politicians go against core Republican Party platform planks? What should they be called? You don’t like when Bob Ellis and Steve Sibson call them Democrats. How are they in fact NOT “Republicans In Name Only?

    What about the former “Democrats” that registered as “Republicans” that ran the legislature for the majority of recent history? Knudson, Rhoden, Cutler, Lederman, Rausch, just to name a few.

    Lederman is an establishment crony not a conservative and Hunt is conservative only on some social issues.

    Rep Lance Russell, former Rep Stace Nelson, Rep Liz May, Rep Dan Kaiser, etc.

  55. owen reitzel 2015-09-28 20:39

    When Republicans don’t agree with the planks it just means they disagree. It doesn’t make them Democrats. I’m sure there are Democrats who don’t agree with everything on the party’s platform. It sure doesn’t make them Republicans.
    I think we’re sounding like little kids DD but when the far right of your party starts using the name RINO then YOU are the ones insulting the moderate Republicans.

    Are you saying Lederman is a Democrat?

  56. Lora Hubbel 2015-09-28 21:45

    Far Right is Daugaard et al. He carries the party so far right it lands on the Fascist scale – no morals – only money matters and the way to further that end is Crony-capitalism. I, on the other hand, am a conservative Republican…not far right. Please try to understand the difference between far-right and conservative. Far-Right Fascist Crony Capitalists are the ones who hate our Conservative Repubican Party Platform.

  57. grudznick 2015-09-28 21:58

    Babies sleeping on their back government mind control. Billboards doing retinal scans. Black helicopters flying over Mr. Nelson’s far to spy on his pigs. Vaccines being delivered by the government in order to destroy the citizenry. Vast, elaborate conspiracies, all just to thwart you and a few of your friends.

    No, Ms. Hubbel, you are not conservative. You are insaner than most.

  58. Disgusted Dakotan 2015-09-28 22:04

    @Owen What do you call a politician who believes in more government? More taxes? Bailouts? Obamacare? Abortion? Yeah, that’s not a Republican no matter what they register as to get elected. Calling a duck a duck? That’s just stating the obvious, calling a RINO a RINO? Same thing.

    You complain about Republicans calling RINOs RINOs while you call all Republicans corrupt? Seems like one of those “hey look over there” debate tactics.

    Ledermans are in fact long time Democrats in Iowa and have been known prominent Democratic Party supporters there.

  59. Lora Hubbel 2015-09-28 22:21

    Grudznick….why don’t you just have a cup of coffee with me once instead of throwing barbs at me then hiding behind the teacher’s dress? Signs with retinal scans is wrong…its facial regognition and is quite common place…not everyone is as dumb as you are….many advances have taken place since you were cowering in your teacher’s skirt.

  60. grudznick 2015-09-28 22:31

    A full-on breakfast with you, Ms. Hubbel, would probably be the highlight of this old fellow’s month. Sausages, taters and gravy, coffee, and maybe some french toast, while you tell me all of your ideas.

  61. Lora Hubbel 2015-09-28 22:36

    Grudznick…name your time…Ill be there. We’ll go Dutch…your breakfast sounds rather expensive. Im sure you are nice in real life…so am I.

  62. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-29 07:21

    Opportunists, crony capitalists, statists… we can come up with all sorts of labels that describe the corruption that allows Rick Melmer to profit at the state teat without misusing party labels. Let’s keep it simple on this story, DD and LH: The South Dakota Republican Party has run the state mostly unchecked for forty years. That unchecked power has led to rampant corruption, and neither the South Dakota Democratic Party nor certain factions within the South Dakota Republican Party have been able to stop that corruption. Saying “Those corrupt individuals are really Democrats” is both incorrect and distracting from what we must do: throw all the bums out and elect new legislators and state officials.

    [And Lora, your last comment was off-topic libel. Thank me for deleting it.]

  63. Dana P 2015-09-29 09:01

    KELO did an interview with Melmer and it is posted on their website. There were many eye popping things that came out of the interview (or as KELO says, it raises more questions). But this exerpt really got my attention:

    “I just feel like it’s been mischaracterized that we took money–that we did something we weren’t supposed to do, when in fact, we weren’t even informed we were supposed to document our effort,” Melmer said.

    Melmer says he retroactively documented three months’ worth of missing time cards and turned them in at Mid Central’s request.

    What? retroactively doing timecards…… “weren’t even informed we were supposed to document our effort”. Huh?

    Here is the link from KELO’s site:

  64. Dr. Math 2015-09-29 09:08

    Also, notice in the interview that Melmer should have read Cory’s blog. He made it sound like he didn’t even know he was getting paid $1000 each month from MCEC.

  65. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-29 09:33

    That interview with Melmer is remarkable. I generally don’t forget when someone writes me nine $1000 checks.

    Melmer’s statements seem to lead to certain logical possibilities (which I may have to write up in a separate post):

    1. He’s lying.
    2. He forgot.
    3. The MCEC minutes erred nine times (Bueller!), listing payments that never happened.
    4. The MCEC minutes deceive, listing Melmer as the recipient of payments that really went to someone else.
    5. Melmer is technically correct: when Angela Kennecke asks, “So you weren’t working for them in 2012?” and he replies, “No,” he means he was not doing any work for MCEC but was simply getting money for nothing.

    Your conclusions, readers?

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