Attorney General Marty Jackley’s appearance this morning in the initial hearing on Joop Bollen’s charges is not completely out of the blue. A.G. Jackley stayed overnight after emceeing the Brown County Republicans’ Lincoln Day Dinner last night. He introduced keynote speaker Secretary of State Shantel Krebs, who, like Jackley, came to Aberdeen to assure an audience beyond the 200-some party faithful at the Dakota Event Center last night that the GOP powers that be are righting the wrongs of their predecessors:
Her approach during the past 15 months in office has been to look at the way the office operates and set the budget according to what the office needs. Krebs noted the “crisis situation” when she first arrived in the office, with business filings and permit applications weeks behind schedule [Elisa Sand, “Krebs to Brown County Republicans: ‘Crisis Situation’ in Secretary of State’s Office Is Over,” Aberdeen American News, 2016.04.01].
Secretary Krebs’s comments mirror those she made at a Brown County GOP luncheon last November, when she said the man she replaced, disgraced Secretary Jason Gant, left the office in a shambles and that she and her experienced team have cleaned it up. In addition to letting petition and business documents go unfiled, Secretary Gant oversaw a shoddy office that lost iPads, didn’t keep the books updated, and let an original state flag get stolen.
Secretary Krebs herself now has some catching up to do. She has three petition challenges sitting on her desk: the payday lenders’ challenge filed at the end of January to the real-36%-rate-cap petition, my challenge filed at the beginning of February to Lisa Furlong’s fake-18%-rate-cap petition, and Melissa Mentele’s challenge filed at the beginning of March to overturn the Secretary’s rejection of her medical cannabis petition. Last night, she said that once all the new candidate petitions are processed, she plans to turn to those challenges and process them by the end of April.