There’s a lot to read this weekend about the corruption and incompetence running rampant in South Dakota government. Among the minor threads is the tale of former Secretary of State Jason Gant’s failure to fulfill his statutory duty to print the 2013 Legislative Manual—the “Blue Book“—in 2013. According to Auditor General Marty Guindon, the publication that usually appears in July of each odd-numbered year didn’t issue forth from Gant’s office until December 2014.
Then-Secretary Gant blamed the printer, Rushmore Productions, declared they had broken their contract, and demanded in this Halloween 2014 letter that Rushmore Productions honcho Matthew Samp send back the over $10,000 the state had already paid for the tardy Blue Book:
Matthew Samp… isn’t his dad Rollyn Samp, veteran Sioux Falls lawyer and long-time South Dakota Republican advisor?
“[D]ecide whether the state really wants to litigate this”—that’s how Rollyn Samp challenges you to a duel.
Attorney Samp follows up on December 4, 2014, with this letter to Jackley (not to Gant) explaining that Rushmore Productions faithfully executed the Blue Book contract to the best of its ability but was fouled at every turn by Team Gant’s incompetence:
Wrong file formats, wrong photos, too many changes from too many cooks in Gant’s office—don’t blame us, says Rushmore Productions, blame Jason Gant! We’ll keep our $10K and take another $28,512.93 for services rendered, thank you.
The Secretary of State’s office is not aware of any further payments issued to Rushmore Productions since that unpleasant correspondence. I’ll keep checking to find out how this matter was settled.
But given all sloppy management that Jason Gant has admitted plagued his office, whose story here do you believe?