“Gant Scam Continues!” hoots an eager reader in my inbox.
Why, yes, it does. Along with drafting reforms (and a couple deforms) to election and petition law, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs had the unpleasant duty Thursday of informing the Board of Elections that her predecessor Jason Gant’s contemptible mismanagement of the office is still causing trouble for the state, now in the form of a federal audit that is asking questions she can’t answer, due to Gant’s failure to keep records:
The audit is looking at how South Dakota had used hundreds of thousands of dollars received through the federal Help America Vote Act program that was established after the 2000 presidential election.
Documents from the past needed for the audit aren’t available in some instances, and some past spending is under question whether it was allowable, according to Krebs [Bob Mercer, “State Elections Office Struggling to Find Records for Federal Audit,” Rapid City Journal, 2016.10.15].
Secretary Krebs also reminded the board that the one program that might have redeemed Gant’s otherwise pathetic record of failures, his iOASIS overseas military absentee voting scheme, was itself a financial boondoggle:
Krebs said the Federal Voting Assistance Program paid for the Gant-era iOASIS program that he rolled into service in March 2014. Krebs shut it down last year.
She said the last submission for payment to the federal agency was denied and her staff is working on it.
Krebs said the substantiation of iOASIS expenses was questionable and there are questions whether the expenses were allowable.
She said South Dakota received a $648,000 grant for iOASIS and 27 military men and women used the program.
Krebs said the office is seeking more documentation for $43,000. “The state would need to be reimbursed for that,” Krebs said.
That expense left Viken flabbergasted.
“So we spent $648,000 for 27 people?” she asked Krebs.
“That is correct,” Krebs replied [Mercer, 2016.10.15].
Pat Powers, an integral part of Gant’s crony-driven failure, spends his weekend trying to make us think that Steve Hildebrand’s unsolicited advice to the Clinton campaign is somehow news. (He crafts his headline to suggest Hildebrand was anti-Sanders and thus pry Sanders voters away from Clinton and maybe from Hildebrand’s 36% payday-loan rate cap, but all Hildebrand says about Sanders is that he believes Clinton is “making a mistake by attacking Sanders in a personal way.”) Powers has predictable said nothing about the ongoing damage that he and Gant did to the integrity of the Secretary of State’s office.