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Gant Admits But Minimizes Mistakes; Krebs Needs Democratic Backup in Pierre

Republican Secretary of State Shantel Krebs previews (pre-empts?) the campaign message you’ll hear from South Dakota Democrats in every campaign in 2016:

“I’d heard from bankers, I’d heard from individuals, constituents, saying there’s something going on, something needs to happen and that’s the first order of business.  There needs to be some accountability here and there needs to be oversight and transparency,” Krebs said [Angela Kennecke, “Gant Admits to ‘Mistakes’ While in Office,” KELO-TV, 2015.10.29].

Secretary Krebs is discussing the errors revealed in an Auditor General’s investigation of the mess her predecessor Jason Gant made in the office, including leaving a bank account over $43,000 short of what the in-house books said, losing three iPad Minis out of thirty purchased for his over-hyped military voting program, misappropriating tens of thousands of federal Help America Vote Act dollars, failing his statutory duty to print a legislative manual, and letting an employee walk off with a historic state flag.

Gant concedes every one of these charges. He tells Angela Kennecke that his people were just too busy with other projects to get to reconciling the bank accounts. He says that his staff were too busy to turn in invoices relating to the federal HAVA money. Of the iPads, he says, “Unfortunately, three of them were misplaced or left at one of the facilities.” Naturally, if a guy is too busy to inventory expensive tablets, he’s too busy to follow-up on an old flag he stuck in a closet:

He says his office took it off a flag pole because it was ripping. He says he put it in an office closet with the intention of putting it in a case to preserve it.

Angela Kennecke: “As you were leaving office you could have given it to the archives.”
Gant: “Yes I could have, but I didn’t. I didn’t even check when I left if it was still on the shelf” [Kennecke, 2015.10.29].

Gant tries to minimize his errors and says he’s glad the audit found them:

“I think it’s wonderful information. I wish I’d had this before I’d left office so those accounting errors could be fixed,” Gant said [Dana Ferguson and Jonathan Ellis, “Gant Defends Himself After Audit: ‘I’m Telling the Truth’,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2015.10.29].

Fixed—yeah, that’s the word.

Krebs says fixing Gant’s errors could cost the state $100,000. South Dakota could lose even more if the feds  follow the route they have laid out for our EB-5 program and decide South Dakota state government is too inept or too corrupt to receive HAVA funds or GEAR UP money.

Secretary of State Shantel Krebs must now scramble to demonstrate that South Dakotans can trust a Republican to clean up the corruption and incompetence that has blossomed like algae under two generations of one-party rule. But as sloppy accounting, theft, financial misconduct, cronyism, and crime pile up, South Dakotans may finally reach a critical mass of disgust and recognition that the oversight and transparency Secretary Krebs says we’ve been lacking will require more than one good Republican apple in the Pierre barrel; it will require overturning the Republican Legislature in 2016, the Republican Executive in 2018, and the Republican-appointed long-time staff who fill state government and fear to tread on the corruption we’re finding in department after department.

26 Comments

  1. Sick of the B.S. 2015-10-30

    EB-5… MCEC… SOS… ___…(Fill in the blank. What’s next?) I am sick and tired of all these people saying “Oops I just made a mistake.” NO you didn’t! You broke laws and the trust that you would take care of your state and your constituents. These people are not toddlers. Making them say you’re sorry and then go hug the person (state) you wronged is not justice when you are an adult! I agree everyone makes mistakes, but clearly the pattern of corruption that keeps reappearing by those in Pierre, and those connected with them show they have no remorse for their actions. What kind of message are sending to our children… the world? They need to be held accountable for their actions and dereliction of duties. They need to pay back the “missing” money and do jail time. If Marty Jackley and the government audit teams can’t figure this out and sweep it under the rug, they just as well be in the cell next to all these scandalous people!!

    For crying out loud, I think they would sell their soul to the devil if they could make a buck…oh wait, they already have.

  2. mike from iowa 2015-10-30

    What would the state look like if you could get surprise,independent audits of every part of the gubmint? I’m curious to see just how deep the corruption is spread and if you have to destroy the state to save it.

  3. Dana P 2015-10-30

    Gawd, this guy was the Secretary of State? Seriously? Put the flag in a closet because it was tearing? Didn’t have enough time to account for thousands of dollars? Too busy? Dog ate my homework?

    Thank goodness Ms Krebs got in there and is cleaning up. But wow, Jason. Ms Krebs has time to dig in and clean up your mess AND do her job? The “we were too busy” excuse doesn’t wash. (is anyone out there in South Dakota land even buying that?) Not one bit. Then again, having to clean up messes is more than likely requiring Krebs to re-prioritize things – putting some things on the back burner because they need to get crap cleaned up before they can do some of what the job requires.

    I’d say that this is unbelievable……..but after problem after problem keeps coming up, nothing is unbelievable anymore. What will it take to get South Dakota voters to wake up and use their vote to put a stop to this pattern of behavior?

  4. mike from iowa 2015-10-30

    Corexit, anyone? Made to disperse oil spills. Wonder how it works on disgusting right wing,oily pols?

  5. Jim 2015-10-30

    During a food coma he thought someone said it was federal Gant money…

  6. Craig & Ronette Guymon 2015-10-30

    Jason Gant is a bulls— artist with a line for every inept and corrupt decision and action he made while holding office. Neither incompetence nor laziness were at the heart of what was orchestrated, launched, coordinated and promoted by former SD SOS Gant surrounding the Davison County June 5, 2012 primary election from June 6, 2012 thru Sept 15, 2012. What Gant aimed was laced with criminal intent given the information given to this SD SOS that was contained in the Election Systems Software June 27, 2012 findings due to the Davison County ES&S M650 ballot scanner’s internal audit log having been tapped and evaluated by ES&S under cloaked secrecy. The time imposed by statute of limitations has not passed – Oct 7, 2015 we submitted a 9-page letter to SD SOS Krebs addressing the election rigging and cover-up acts that surrounded the June 5, 2012 Davison County primary election; in the letter, we respectfully asked SOS Krebs to request AG Jackley conduct an thorough investigation into these matters.

    Apparently our request fell on deaf attorney general ears. As defined by “one-party rule top-echelon public officials”: Gant’s cover-up ruse/corruption surrounding the Davison County June 5, 2012 primary election; ballot compromising decisions; on-line GOP campaign business operations managed by Pat Powers/partisan politicking inside SD SOS Office; theft of historical state flag; three unaccounted for missing i-pad mini’s; $43,000+ non-reconciled cash shortage; $12,000 federal grant funds misappropriated expenditure; $100,000+ in expenditures with no supporting invoice documentation – are all just “honest mistakes due to Gant’s ineptness, laziness and/or incompetence – Just trust us we are all honorable South Dakotans – there was no criminal intent on Gant’s or our part”.

    SOS Just Another Day Here in the “Most Inept and Corrupt State in the Union”!

    Team Guymon, Out!

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-10-30

    As Jason Gant leaps to the ranks of Joop Bollen and Rick Melmer as poster boys for GOP corruption, former Gant employee Pat Powers decides the most urgent story he has to write this morning is a reminder that the Democrat who ran economic development under Richard Kneip in the 1970s had two wives.

  8. mike from iowa 2015-10-30

    Or Maybe he thought he was Ulysses Simpson Gant,the 18th Potus who fiddled while his cronies stole America blind.

  9. 96Tears 2015-10-30

    PP has such a little mind. We don’t have turn back the clock 40 years. His political hero was GOP Rep. Ted Klaudt, whose perversions with girls in his personal care set new standards for the family values to which PP and other SDGOP apologists prescribe.

  10. Bill Dithmer 2015-10-30

    Even when your as far away as Missouri its possible to both see and smell the curuption that continues to be South Dakota. From the governor on down it looks more like a Cheech and Chong movie then state government, but then thats what people vote for so they dont have anyone to cuss but themselves.

    Two thoughts come to mind here, https://open.spotify.com/track/3B4Jgc32pCxuxZp9nCXMCS and also this, https://open.spotify.com/track/6GpV7GFYKCJAF2iLkEsZDs.

    Yes its me. Still morally curupt, still mentally incompetent, and still less then 25% politically correct. I’m still half blind so if you see me driving, take the appropriate evasive action to avoid you running into me.

    For those of you hoping that I would expire on the table, no such luck. The only thing that is slowing me up is that they had to scrape my retina, that’ll piss you off some when its your turn.

    See ya in a few days again.

    The Blindman

  11. jerry 2015-10-30

    Welcome back Blindman, good to hear you are doing better. I liked the one Jim posted about the gant money. That beats my gnat stuff. Seriously, is this the best this turd could come up with and is it the best way to not really respond to his confession as a what the hell, everyone does it, it was just a mistake kind of explanation. The man is clearly not inept for the job he had, he was clearly in charge and knows exactly where the funds went. How do I know this? He quickly located the flags that he did not know were missing. How can that be?

  12. Porter Lansing 2015-10-30

    @Pat “CoyWolf the Bounty Hunter” Powers … It’s closing in on ‘ya, pilgrim.

  13. Joe 2015-10-30

    Gant should have never been elected Secretary of State, he wasn’t qualified to do so, and once in it was pretty obvious he wasn’t competent. But I look at this, and say its a system that allows for this. Mistakes happen all the time in Pierre, most of them from these departments, many times the Governors office and Attorney Generals office is involved as well.

    And what happens? I don’t see jail times being handed out, I don’t see corrective measures, I don’t see anything happening during the time.

    What seems to happen is after they are gone, or after they have died, the public becomes alert to this (Generally because no one was watching what was going on while they were in charge), stuff looks fishy, its generally blamed on 1 or 2 people (many times dead or out of the state by then) and then we don’t hear anything about it.

  14. larry kurtz 2015-10-30

    Gant was electioneered into the post to bring a hacker like Powers into the SOS office to wreak havoc with the state’s records in an effort to obstruct justice. Anyone who believes Gant wouldn’t fall on his sword for the SDGOP is an idiot. Expect PP to throw him under the bus any minute now.

  15. Eve Fisher 2015-10-30

    Gant looked pretty spooked in the photo the Argus ran this morning: and he has good reason. He’s been nailed, and probably will be nailed even further, perhaps even for a few things he didn’t do. I’d advise him to not go hunting alone.

  16. Roger Cornelius 2015-10-30

    How’d the GOAC meeting in Pierre turn out today?
    More justified corruption and cover up?

  17. Jeff Barth 2015-10-30

    Gant’s best shot is to enter a treatment program.

  18. larry kurtz 2015-10-30

    Krebs Anonymous.

  19. Craig & Ronette Guymon 2015-10-30

    Cory, we missed your request in the prior Gant discussions; been busy chasing our tails serving customer needs. 2015-10-29 at 08:35 you posted: “… can you draw any solid connection between your repeated accusations of election monkeyshines in Davison County, your conviction for deliberate voter fraud, and the specific irregularities identified by Auditor General Guindon …”

    In reverse order, I will address the lack of integrity, honor, candor and courage with which one-party rule power, control, influence and public deception continues to be entangled around and within state (executive, legislative and judicial), county, municipal and public school standard operating practices and procedures (SOP&P) throughout South Dakota:

    (A) With regards to the “irregularities” identified in the auditor general’s 5-page letter to SOS Krebs and the corresponding possible causative factors (incompetency, laziness, corruption and/or other criminal intent), similar orchestrated and rehearsed “Honest Mistake” and “Absolute Truth” swill was spewed by Gant from June 2012 thru Sept 2012 (see Daily Republic, Capital Journal and other published reports). Watching KELOLAND and KSFY interview Gant last night was like watching a re-run of the Three Stooges — seeing and listening to “Mo” flap his jaw which the rest of the “one-party ruled stooges” will undoubtedly confirm in a submissive and obedient manner that what “Mo” addressed as being an “Honest Mistake” was an “Absolute Truth”. Given the power, control, influence and public deception surrounding all aspects of one-party rule, combined with the need to protect the image of the Regime in order to secure voter confidence and their support on Election Day, the “attorney-general stooge” will not thoroughly investigate these “irregularities”; and will not file appropriate criminal charge(s) against former SOS Gant.

    (B) With regards to my deliberate act of voter fraud, our grave marker will read, “If someone else had been present to man our office on Election Day, “Badger” and “The Irish” would have each cast a second ballot at the courthouse with the best interests of the next generations on our minds and in our hearts!” In the winter of 2013, an election statute with a July 2013 effective date was enacted prohibiting voters in future elections from casting an absentee ballot on Election Day prior to 3 p.m. in a county auditor’s office. In a standalone Mitchell school election, on June 4, 2013 Badger’s first ballot was cast at the poll in the morning; and his second ballot was cast in the presence of the county auditor in the courthouse by absentee ballot during the same afternoon before 3:00 pm on Election Day by simply asking, “The sign says vote here. Can I vote here today?” Badger being allowed to do so, documented for eternity:(1) One-party rule had for decades failed to do everything possible to strengthen the system of internal controls to the “Nth Degree” to protect the integrity of the election process and the validity of election results guaranteeing with as much certainty as humanly possible that each vote cast carries equal weight; and (2) Publicly objected to the “irregularities” (incompetency, voting rigging acts, cover-up corruption and denial of right to an expeditiously scheduled election contest hearing) that surrounded the Davison County June 5, 2012 primary election.

    (C) With regards to the Davison County June 5, 2012 primary election, in Sept 2012 former SOS Gant compiled facts and findings contained in the 2012 Davison County Ballot Counting Task Force Report. The facts and findings contained in this task force report have never been shared in an honorable manner with all of the citizens of this state. The incompetency, election rigging acts and cover-up corruption documented by the facts and findings contained in this task force report provide a “noose” none of the participating “one-party rule stooges” would be able to wiggle out of before an honorable court and impartial jury.

    Team-Guymon, Out!

  20. Craig & Ronette Guymon 2015-10-30

    We have received an initial response to our Oct 7, 2015 9-page letter that was sent to SOS Krebs that in a very detailed manner addressed our June 5, 2012 Davison County primary election concerns with regards to incompetency, election rigging acts and orchestrated cover-up corruption. At 8:15 pm on Friday Oct 9, 2015 at the start of the 3-day holiday weekend, we received an email from Jason Williams, SD SOS Office. Based on the content in the three attachments to Mr. William’s email, he is not the “Night Sanitary Engineer” for the SOS Office.

    Cory, ponder the following question, what caused Mr. Williams, who we do not know, to work overtime on a 3-day holiday weekend in responding to our Oct 7, 2015 request that SOS Krebs formally request that the attorney general’s office conduct a thorough investigation of the items of concern we addressed in our 9-page letter? Just asking? If you want to see more facts, send us an email indicating where you want our confidential information to be sent.

    Team-Guymon, Out!

  21. Bob Newland 2015-10-30

    Corruption? Stealing a flag, and maybe three iPads, and maybe $43 grand, is not corruption. It is fumbling bumbling juvenility. Rounds and Bollen and Daugaard, et. al., hope it will be accepted as corruption, because recognizing it as such makes recognizing theirs somewhat more difficult. There are more dots to connect, and the DCI is only capable of connecting two, sometimes.

  22. Roger Cornelius 2015-10-30

    “Suddenly, I’m a crime reporter”, Bob Mercer on Pure Prairie Politics reporting on the GOAC hearing today.

  23. Craig & Ronette Guymon 2015-10-31

    Posted on December 31, 2014 by @SoDakCampaigns … Secretary of State Shantel Krebs … confirmed … that Rounds for Senate Coalitions Director Jason Williams was going to be working for the Secretary of State’s office … Williams will be serving as her Public Information Officer (PIO) as well as working on Special Projects for the office. According to his bio when he was working for the Rounds campaign, Jason has been active in statewide campaigns for nearly a decade … Coalitions Director for Kristi Noem for Congress (2010) … Statewide Campaign Coordinator for Steve Barnett for South Dakota State Auditor (2010) … South Dakota Republican Party Victory Operation (2004, 2008) … Three terms as Brown County Republican Party Chairman.

    Have never met Krebs or her mouth organ Willaims; never had the opportunity to read body language with regards to what was “not spoken or written” by either of them in drawing a perception concerning their integrity, honor, candor and courage with regards to placing all of the facts face up on top of the table.

    Given the one-party rule club members both have rubbed shoulders with over the past decade in promoting political agendas, common sense says need to read between every word and sentence spoken and written by both asking what was not shared covering up “Hidden Special Interest Agenda” and/or “Even Uglier Facts”.

    Team-Guymon Out!

  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-10-31

    Bob, the incompetence of the Gant office is a product of the one-party corruption that fails to hold Republicans accountable. Calling Gant’s errors corruption won’t let the sins of EB-5 go unnoticed; it will actually help draw more people’s attention to all Pierre corruption and make voters more willing to accept and act on each new story of corruption that we can reveal.

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-10-31

    (Craig, you can see my contact button at the top of the page, right? Click that, send me a note, and you’ll get my e-mail address for those documents.)

  26. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-10-31

    Dithmer! How’s that eye feeling? No matter what happens to your eyes, at least you can still smell South Dakota corruption. ;-)

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