The Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office and the Division of Criminal Investigation are investigating mayoral candidate Jolene Loetscher’s complaint of hacking against her online campaign resources. Loetcher’s opponent, Paul TenHaken, a social media guru with a proven record of engaging in dirty tricks online to challenge political opponents, denies that he was involved, but his denial is darned peculiar:
At their mayoral debate Monday at the Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary Club, Paul TenHaken strongly denied he has hacked Jolene Loetscher’s campaign.
Loetscher reminded him that he once left her a voice mail, claiming he had the tools to do it.
“That is not what I would have expected of you, to say that and to do that. So I just stand here, saying these are the facts.”
TenHaken acknowledged that he has the skills to do it, but is against negative campaigning.
“When I talk about tools in the toolbox, what I mean is, negative campaign tools. I had dirt on every single candidate, all seven candidates. I don’t do that” [Mark Russo, “TenHaken Denies Hacking Loetscher Campaign,” KELO Radio, 2018.04.23].
The story may not be the hacking—we can let law enforcement study the evidence and present its conclusions. The story may be TenHaken’s weird and disingenuous response. His supporters are out there swinging away at Loetscher, calling her “desperate,” “anti-business,” and unsuccessful, so he must not mind negative attacks that much. Apparently he was willing to threaten Loetscher himself on the phone—did you notice he didn’t deny recording that voicemail to her?—with negative attacks. In yesterday’s denial, he tries to have his goody-two-shoes cake and eat it, too, claiming he doesn’t throw dirt but openly bragging about the piles of dirt he has collected on all of his opponents and could throw if he weren’t such a righteous dude.
Scott Ehrisman throws the BS flag at that sleazy ploy:
But what was more revealing during the exchange was when Paul said, “I have dirt on all seven of the mayoral candidates, but I’m not going to go there, it’s not my style.”
Then why do you have this ‘dirt’?
As I have told people in the past, I get tons of tips about the candidates running for office, and I have been very impressed that I have not heard ONE negative thing about Jo, except the fact that she is a strong outspoken woman, and IMO that is an asset. All we have to look towards is other local female politicians with strong personalities that have done superb jobs like Loila Hunking, Anne Hajek, Pam Nelson, Karen Soli, Theresa Stehly and soon to be councilor Janet Brekke. We expect this from a leader, and today Jolene showed just what kind of leader she would be. Bravo [Scott Ehrisman, “‘You May Say It’s Negative, But I Call It the Truth.’ Loetscher,” South DaCola, 2018.04.23].
TenHaken sounds a lot like my neighbor and District 3 Senate opponent Al Novstrup. Criticize their policies or public statements, and they play Mr. Clean and try deriding such honest criticism as “negative campaigning.” But they do not restrain themselves or their supporters from personally intimidating their opponents and launching personal attacks on the good people who stand between them and power.