Yesterday, attorney general candidate Randy Seiler complained that the appearance of his opponent, Jason Ravnsborg, as a candidate at an official law enforcement event at the State Fair Sunday was both illegal and unethical. Department of Public Safety Secretary Trevor Jones appears to agree that allowing Ravnsborg to campaign was a bad idea:
Trevor Jones, secretary of the DPS, issued a written apology Tuesday after the Rapid City Journal sought comment from a department spokesman.
On Sunday, at Jones’ invitation, Republican attorney general nominee Jason Ravnsborg introduced a Highway Patrol event at the State Fair in Huron. The Highway Patrol is part of the Department of Public Safety.
“Last Sunday at the State Fair, I ran into a candidate for Attorney General and on the spur-of-the-moment, invited him to introduce the Highway Patrol canine demonstration,” said Jones’ statement. “It was a lapse in judgment on my part and I apologize. It was not intended to demonstrate support for any particular candidate and should not reflect on the hard-working employees of the Department of Public Safety” [Seth Tupper, “State Official Apologizes for Politicizing Event at Fair,” Rapid City Journal, 2018.09.04].
Jones acknowledges that he allowed Ravnsborg to politicize a public enforcement event. He acknowledges that allowing Ravnsborg to do so was wrong. If you want more confirmation, State Fair visitor Doug Sombke says he witnessed the DPS event in question and heard Ravnsborg use the opportunity for politicking:
Randy Seiler recognized right away that politicizing this police event was wrong. Secretary Jones was able to acknowledge the error of his ways within 24 hours of Seiler’s complaint. Candidate Ravnsborg has yet to acknowledge his error and withdraw his exploitative photos of this unethical campaign appearance.
That Ravnsborg made this error in the first place demonstrates his lack of judgment and his unfitness to serve as Attorney General. Ravnsborg’s continuing refusal to acknowledge his error (he hasn’t returned Tupper’s calls yet) underscores the lack of ethics and accountability Ravnsborg would bring to the office of Attorney General if voters make the error of electing him instead of Randy Seiler, the only qualified candidate on the Attorney General ballot.