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Hubbel Seeks Campaign Contributions to Hire Detective to Investigate Westerhuis Murders

As a Senate candidate, I’m telling my District 3 neighbors that I will fight corruption by being a watchdog, just as I do here on the blog, asking questions, finding and reporting real data, and speaking truth to power.

Potential Senate candidate Lora Hubbel (she’s not on the official list yet, but she swears on Facebook that she sent her District 9 petition in yesterday) says she’ll fight corruption right now by hiring Magnum PI to get to “the real story” behind the deaths of GEAR UP scandal king- and queen-pins Scott and Nicole Westerhuis and their children last September in Platte:

Lora Hubbel, campaign finance pitch letter, 2016.03.23, pp.1–2.
Lora Hubbel, campaign finance pitch letter, 2016.03.23, pp.1–2.
Lora Hubbel, campaign finance pitch letter, 2016.03.23, p. 3.
Lora Hubbel, campaign finance pitch letter, 2016.03.23, p. 3.

It’s a free country, and in South Dakota, we candidates are freer than most to spend our campaign contributions however we see fit. But I think I’ll spend my $15,000 to $20,000 on print ads and parade shirts before I hire a detective to try to prove that Attorney General Marty Jackley is lying to us.

But Lora, if your P.I. finds anything, let us know. If you make it to the Senate with me, I’ll be glad to have your help rooting out corruption.


  1. Lora 2016-03-30

    While (if) you knock on doors in district 3, you will find the same intensity for truth on this matter among your voters also…let me know what YOU are going to do about it. Maybe we can compare notes…

  2. 96Tears 2016-03-30

    When God talks through Jackley at his politicized press conference or when God talks through Hubbel through her political fundraising letter, which God should I believe?

  3. Brett 2016-03-30

    $20,000 retainer! Man, I’m in the wrong racket.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-03-30

    “(if)”? “(if)”?!? Grrrr….

    I will ask DOE to show me the e-mails from 2010 and 2011 warning them of misconduct in MCEC finances.

    I will speak at length with the director of the Office of Indian Education and ask if they are being given real funding and authority. I will also ask that director to assess the educational situation on all of the reservations.

    I’ll ask DOE and BOR for a complete list of all personnel receiving GEAR UP money and a complete accounting of all reported conflicts of interest.

    I’ll bring back HB 1220, provide every penny of state matching funds from the GOED budget, and demand accountability for distribution of those GEAR UP scholarships from BOR and OIE. If that scholarship program increases Native American enrollment and graduation from college, I’ll consider transferring the entire GOED budget to Native American scholarships.

    And maybe we can come up with some legislation forbidding the use of tax dollars to hire consultants to choose candidates for administration and teaching positions.

    I’m sure we can come up with more ideas to benefit Native American students and reduce corruption.

  5. Craig 2016-03-30

    If there is political drama, you can rest assured Lora Hubble will attempt to capitalize upon it. Whether it involves re-enacting a suicide, calling for a boycott of a restaurant, claiming a fake Senate candidate who forged nominating petitions is being unfairly targeted, believing some mythical link between vaccines and autism exists, or using a tragedy such as the murders of an entire family in an attempt to gain political favor… she is there front and center.

    I’m not sure she has ever found a conspiracy she didn’t believe in. What an embarrassment.

    That said, I have enjoyed the little personal war she has waged against Steve Hickey. I’m not sure what he ever did to upset her, but clearly he found the magic frequency that drives her (more) insane.

  6. Lora 2016-03-30

    Cory…you realize I have to get under your skin somehow to get you to answer me…so it worked. GOOD FOR YOU! I’m with you on all of the above and more. Of course there is a lot we don’t agree on, but we both have that desire for justice and fairness.

  7. Lora 2016-03-30

    scheesch….just when I think I should like you again you go for the pitiful argument that I’m insane. You know better….it just makes your political theater more colorful

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-03-30

    Lora, I’m glad we can find some agreement on this issue. Now, how about a business arrangement: hire me as your P.I. $10,000, plus expenses, and I’ll give you 200 hours of work on the Westerhuis case. I’ll go to Platte, interview witnesses and sources, pull documents at the courthouse, recheck my leads and follow up on your leads. And I’ll submit a final report by July 1, because I’ll need to get my can back to District 3 to focus on my campaign. Deal?

  9. Lora 2016-03-30

    send me your PI resume

  10. Lora 2016-03-30

    your….not you

  11. Jeff Endrizzi 2016-03-30

    This was a horrible family tragedy. I want to laugh at her letter, because she is so far out in space on this one….but out of respect for the family, I won’t. This is a foolish waste of time.

  12. Jenny 2016-03-30

    Actually, Cory, hiring an independent PI doesn’t sound like that goofy of an idea (if one could afford it). South Dakotans would all like to know the truth. I’m more interested in the missing EB5 millions.
    How much does a good reputable PI charge per hour?
    Then again though, this PI would be going up against the South Dakota Good Ol’ Boy Mafia, and that’s well you know….

  13. Jenny 2016-03-30

    Hire an Erin Brockovich kind of woman to shake her way into the good’ ol’ boy club. Then you might find a few answers.

  14. Craig 2016-03-30

    Well truthfully Lora I’m not qualified to diagnose your mental state – it is merely a figure of speech. Besides, I don’t think “bat$hit crazy” is a legitimate diagnoses in the DSM V.

  15. Lora 2016-03-30

    Cory, PM all that you know about the murder-suicide aspect of this case (not the money issue) and I will see if it comes close to what I know about it….if Im just going to give you all my information that would be very one-sided, Or…how about a coffee date?

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-03-30

    Résumé? My blog is my résumé, the work that I can do just working on tips. And I found your letter, didn’t I?

    We’re not trading information here. I’m offering my services. You pay me to do a job, and I’ll do the job. You write me the PI check, and you can provide me with whatever information you think will help me deliver value for your money. We can even work an intellectual property rights and confidentiality agreement into our contract.

  17. M.K. 2016-03-30

    Our taxes are already paying to keep South Dakota AG and investigators to be our watch-dogs for corruption. That is working so well. Now, we need to pay someone else more money to do what we are already paying for that is not working?

  18. crossgrain 2016-03-30

    Shaggy and Scooby would have done it for a couple of Scooby Snacks.

  19. Lora 2016-03-30

    …..thinking about it…gosh I wish I could trust you

  20. Joe K 2016-03-30

    I heard that Cory fellow can do amazing research. I once heard a tale of how he broke into a non-existent desk and found all sorts of things!

  21. oldguy7850 2016-03-30

    Lora I find CAH to be very trustworthy even when I don’t agree with him. I have been following his investigating on his blog for years and believe him to be the best of all I have read or even seen on TV, Mercer is second. He is a winner…

  22. Jenny 2016-03-30

    I would trust Cory too. He’s awfully bright, and works tirelessly keeping us aware of all the latest political scandals. It seems like everytime you turn around there is a new scandal brewing somewhere.

  23. Rorschach 2016-03-30

    I’m not a private investigator, but I think Craig is onto something here.

  24. grudznick 2016-03-30

    Ms. Hubbel is very entertaining, and much of what makes her such an attractive young woman is that she is insaner than most. Absolutely guano.

    Back in my day Ms. Hubbel, a good PI worked for $200 a day plus expenses. I would think Mr. H could easily get by on less than that. That’s much more than a good teacher makes.

  25. Rorschach 2016-03-30

    Raising money for a PI is the main thing. We’re distracting Ms. Hubbel from the main thing. Once she raises $15,000 for the PI then she can turn her attention to other things. Like raising money for her campaign. And learning how to google the driver license office. And getting SD to secede from the union.

  26. grudznick 2016-03-30

    You are righter than right, Mr. Rorschach. Ms. Hubbel has a lot of time to interview prospective private eyes and gumshoes. She can be doing that as the $15,000 is rolling in and be able to pick the very best one.

  27. Lora 2016-03-30

    Cory, I may be willing to give you my State check if I win the Senate…I may just sign “pay to the order of Cory Heidelberger”, endorse it and hand it over to you for $10,000. BUT you need to take a pre-employment test…you need to find out what I know of the Benda case and Westerhuis case to prove you can gather evidence from obvious sources first. Let me know what you find out and we will talk.

  28. Lora 2016-03-30

    …get the death certificates and the autopsies and then call me

  29. owen reitzel 2016-03-30

    How about you show them to us Lora

  30. little house on the praire 2016-03-30

    We received one of your letters? How did we make the list? Our name? Our family business? Our political party? We are curious why you selected us? We were one of 38 letters sent out in the Platte area. Since we do not have a reputation for even talking about this Gear Up /Westerhus case. We are seriously too busy “taking care of (our)business”, that keeps SD going with our sales tax revenue. Girl,you need to get a real job and leave the hunt for an investigation to a television show, maybe Keloland would be interested. We are NOT interested to contribute to your “campaign” donation at our local bank or anywhere else.

  31. private richard 2016-03-30

    i’m for hire, but i can’t find my car keys.

  32. leslie 2016-03-30

    what if they (18:18) don’t show anything? what then?

    pr-that is funi. I relate imow.

    “Absolutely guano” for the 1st time grud is funy

    jeff e.-I tried last time but there is no way to keep this blog’s conspiracy theorists away from hurting innocent people.

  33. grudznick 2016-03-30

    Mr. H, it seems you have been proffered the challenge to enter the secret circle. You need to accept, and take pictures of the initiation ceremony. Take the pictures early, before you become insaner than most as the kool-aid seeps into your tissues.

  34. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-03-31

    Lora, I offer you résumé and multiple references. Will you be subjecting other PI applicants to the same pre-employment test? “find out what I know of the Benda case and Westerhuis case” sounds like a trick, asking me to do work and turn over my findings to you for free… or a convenient rhetorical excuse to rationalize not taking me up on a genuine offer of service for fee.

    If you can’t trust me, how can you trust some PI you’ve just met? On trust, tell me when I’ve ever lied about the Benda or Westerhuis cases.

  35. Bill Dithmer 2016-03-31

    You dont even need a degree in criminal justice in South Dakota so its a go for anyone that wants a license. It looks like the only way to keep your money in case of being sued is to incorporate.

    I know two pis in SD that got the snot beat out of them for asking the wrong questions at the wrong time. One in Wanblee, and one in RC. I know both of these people, neither is a pi anymore.

    The Blindman

  36. Lora 2016-03-31

    Couldn’t do it, could you? Actually Cory, the PI I have talked to DID have the answers to the “pre-employment quiz” I asked you (in fact more than one had the answers). That is why I wanted them on the case. Plus the reason I trust the guy I picked over you is that he doesn’t draw me in with good ideas and then call me crazy every other time we visit. Come on, Cory, how many times have you set me up and then smacked me with untrue insults? And you ask me to trust you? You are good at what you do, but for you to feign trustworthiness from me isn’t gonna fly.

  37. MC 2016-03-31

    Just because the Attorney General isn’t reporting directly to Cory on a daily basis doesn’t mean he isn’t doing his job. Let him do his job, and see what shakes out. Not everything is politically motivated. It could just be some bad guys, or good guys who made some some mistakes.

  38. Kal Lis 2016-03-31

    Ms. Hubbel seems to be suffering from confirmation bias. From

    Confirmation bias
    In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias (or confirmatory bias) is a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions, leading to statistical errors.

    Confirmation bias is a type of cognitive bias and represents an error of inductive inference toward confirmation of the hypothesis under study.

    Confirmation bias is a phenomenon wherein decision makers have been shown to actively seek out and assign more weight to evidence that confirms their hypothesis, and ignore or underweigh evidence that could disconfirm their hypothesis.

    As such, it can be thought of as a form of selection bias in collecting evidence.

  39. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-03-31

    No, Lora, just not going to do work for you for free and turn over my own confidential information. Have fun funneling your constituent dollars to your new contractor. I look forward to hearing your PI’s findings.

  40. John Wrede 2016-03-31

    If all manner of dependent and independent investigation didn’t uncover any wrong doing by government in the EB-5 scandal, what makes any of us think that further investigation by anyone, independent or government, will uncover some sort of smoking gun that points to criminal liability of any person in government connected to Westerhuis’ fate. In this old LE guy’s purview, if there is anything in this Westerhuis or Gear Up case that smells, there has been more than enough time and opportunity for it to be buried so deep and sanitized that it will never see the light of day…. From a political standpoint, some of us said that all the hollering and clamoring for transparency and government accountability in the EB-5 mess was a waste of time, money and energy that wouldn’t make one bit of difference in the campaign between Weiland and Rounds……… That prediction held up big time…… I suggest the same outcome in this push to learn the truth about Westerhuis and Gear Up.. It’s a waste of time and effort and it’s throwing good money after bad. Fighting graft, corruption and nefarious leadership and self dealing is one thing……. Fighting over the story in a book that has already been written is quite another and it won’t expose future corruption or patterns of government corruption, Even if it could, vindication isn’t an honorable avenue to a seat in the House or Senate Chambers… Kicking a dead horse is an emotional dead end.. We don’t need emotional dead ends in politics in this state…….. We need leadership with an honest vision and plan to move South Dakota to a greater awareness of who we are and the qualities of life we are losing. We need legislative leadership that refuses to dwell in the past but also refuses to commit the same follies that have been repeated in politics for some 40 years.

  41. Roger Cornelius 2016-03-31

    Obviously John Wrede posted his comment before Marty Jackley arrested Joop Bollen today for crimes dating back to 2013.
    Sometimes it does take time to uncover the truth, who knows what else is going on with the Westerhuis and Gear Up cases.

  42. John Wrede 2016-03-31

    Roger: You will note that I said “wrong doing by government” Joop Bollen was a private contractor to government and not any elected official of which we presently project our collective disdain for things like corruption and cover up. There is an equal amount of time available to maneuver through the legal process and “manage” heresay” and biased evidence out of discovery. Obviously, specific use of language escaped your critical review. You might also note that under 5th Amendment protections, Bollen is under no obligation to “spill the beans” on anyone else. Are we that naive to think that Jackley and Company, in concert with State Government, haven’t already satisfied themselves that Bollen will not be put into a position to incriminate others that may or may not have been involved and some conspiracy or cover up. I’d be willing to bet that there has been plea bargain talk already precisely to limit expansion of the investigation.

  43. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-03-31

    Roger, it does take time to find the truth. I recall a number of conversations in 2013 and 2014 in which my interlocutors and I said we’d be digging through the EB-5 rubble for years.

    But sometimes it just takes time for certain individuals to make up their minds about their political intentions, to determine what actions they need to take to shore up those ambitions, and to determine when they can safely and effectively take those actions. Jackley didn’t need to shore up his reputation to win his reëlection in 2014. He did more good for his party by making Richard Benda the fall guy and helping the GOP fog machine poo-poo EB-5 concerns. Now we’re far enough out from that fracas and close enough to the 2018 election that Jackley benefits by putting some corruption prosecutions in motion against people who may not be in a position to take anyone higher up the ladder down (I’m still wondering about Joop). Neither Thune nor Noem is endangered much by these scandals (not the way Rounds was in 2014). Jackley can plow some ground now, then clear the decks to campaign in 2018.

    Of course, if Lora’s PI ends up dead in a Charles Mix cornfield, then all bets are off.

  44. Lora 2016-03-31

    Hmmm…still thinking…but need a question answered to see where your loyalties lay…who paid you for ALLLLLLL the months of work you did on the Bosworth case? you spend the equivalent of a full time job on that one… who kept your pockets full on that escapade?

  45. Roger Cornelius 2016-03-31

    I paid Cory for all the months of the Bosworth fiasco along with many other Dakota Free Press regulars that hit the tip jar.
    Have you hit Cory’s tip jar lately?

  46. Roger Cornelius 2016-03-31

    What did you get in a twist about, I simply asked a question that didn’t refer to any politicians, just the status of two different investigations.
    Surely you agree that fraud and corruption can often take years to conclude one way or another.

  47. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-03-31

    Lora, you’re barking up the wrong tree there. No one paid me to investigate Bosworth. No one buys blog coverage. People buy ads, not coverage. The tips I receive in the tip jar are not story- or viewpoint specific; they buy no editorial power.

    But let’s analyze the merits of your question. Are you requiring your PI to tell you the names of all of your PI’s previous clients and the amounts they paid that PI? Would your PI tell you his (her?) client list if you asked? And if I were so buyable, how would that affect your decision to hire me? Wouldn’t that actually make me more trustworthy in this situation? You pay my way, I do your work—if I’m buyable, Don’t worry about who else has bought me; just buy me, right? ;-)

    Again, I had no clients who hired me to write about Bosworth. Such an arrangement has never taken place on any story on Madville Times or Dakota Free Press. No such arrangement exists now. No such arrangement will exist. I write what I write; if people like what they read, they ring the tip jar. My editorial decisions come first; other people’s decision to send money happens later.

    My coverage of Bosworth was no “escapade.” It was an honest effort by a concerned amateur journalist to expose a United States Senate candidate as a fraud.

    Either way, Lora, you’d do better hiring me to conduct your investigation (and now we’re talking about a different job, not blogging, but research). If I’m the venal scum you think I am, then you just need to write the check. But I think you expect more than that. You don’t want an investigator who will just do whatever you say for money. You want a person of principle. You could also use someone who’s already into the story as much as you are and understands what’s at stake. That’s me.

    But hey, we’re all just having a good time here. None of this is real until you raise your $10,000 (again, I’m the lowest bidder, right?) and write the check. That will take you some time, I’m sure.

  48. John Wrede 2016-03-31

    Roger: Sorry for the terse rebuttal but the point of the entire post was intended to demonstrate the absolute futility of trying to unearth fraud, corruption and conspiracy amongst the political infrastructure this late in the ball game. From a retired LE/Investigators point of view, cases go stale, leads dry up, information sources forget, and old evidence becomes irrelevant. A smart attorney can make a lot of that happen more quickly that it would otherwise. And they can do it within the brackets of ethical behavior. Yes, it can take years if not decades to expose the relevant details and inner spin of stuff like this but it can also be said with accuracy that we absolutely will never discover the truth, if we haven’t already; at least in part. It is said that the law makes no pretense of the truth and in circumstances like this, the axiom if pretty appropriate. That is the most likely scenario in my experience with State Government. There should be little doubt in anyone’s mind that the prevailing political machine in South Dakota, which includes Jackley, has used that power, influence and legal craftsmanship to either bury or effectively dilute evidence sufficiently that it can be easily brushed off. If, as the years pass, and as you speculate, someone uncovers either parole testimony or physical evidence that links public officials to either the EB-5 mess or the Westerhuis fatality, the impact won’t tip the balance of somebody’s campaign then or now nor will it serve to hasten the instant need for daylight in government and ridding ourselves of corrupt, self dealing politicians. My point during the last campaign is the same as it is now; spending time, money and energy on something that won’t influence the vote or improve the transparency in government is a cause without legs. One has to ask the question, why are some folks so hung up on this conspiracy and allegations of fraud that they are willing to devote austere resources, money, and limited political horsepower to an issue that can’t possibly lead to any desired change in a timely manner? I think we have to face the reality of the situation and that is that the current political power base has control and as long as they have control, it seems the opposition is going to expend whatever minimal resources it has digging up dirt rather than planting flowers. It is my contention that planting flowers has a great deal more value in achieving change.

  49. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-04-01

    I understand the frustration you feel, John. We need to watch closely to see if the Bollen prosecution and the Phelps/Guericke/Hubers prosecutions are treated as conclusions or beginnings.

    Digging up dirt vs. planting flowers—splendid metaphor! May I try to do both? I’m planting a garden (encouraging candidates to run, putting measures on the ballot), but I’m also pulling weeds. :-)

  50. grudznick 2016-04-04

    grudznick prediction: When young Ms. Hubbel gets no or very little money in response to her letters to hire a Private Eye, she will claim people are afraid of the vast conspiracy and then use those funds to print some Hubbel for Legislature signs.

  51. Brenda Bossly 2016-04-04

    I will donate money for this and would like to tell you what I know!

Comments are closed.