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DPS Secretary Apologizes for Letting Ravnsborg Politicize Cop Event; Will Ravnsborg Admit Mistake?

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:

Doug Sombke, Tweet reply toCAH/DFP, 2018.09.03.
Doug Sombke, Tweet reply toCAH/DFP, 2018.09.03.

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.


  1. owen reitzel 2018-09-04

    I hear people say they vote for the person and not the party. Seiler should win in a landslide. If Ravnsborg wins I don’t want to hear that argument again.

  2. Kelly 2018-09-04

    Ravnsborg is in hiding. He’s dodging debate requests too I hear. Where are the Fat Powers stories on this?

  3. mike from iowa 2018-09-04

    Illegal and unethical? Tell that to ????? and see what that gets you.

    It is too close to the election and I don’t want to appear to take sides and boost the wingnu….I mean either candidate. How unseemly would that be?

    Take an aspirin and call me tomorrow if symptoms persist, kay?

  4. Kelly 2018-09-04

    Mike for Iowa is a “friend” of Ravnsborg. Ravnsborg is over his head. Trevor Jones should resign. End the corruption vote Seiler.

  5. mike from iowa 2018-09-04

    Pardon me, how did I get to be a friend of Ravnsborg? Inquiring iowan would like to know.

  6. mike from iowa 2018-09-04

    Kelly, that hurt!

  7. Paul 2018-09-04

    Nice apology but what about the illegality of it and will there be a punishment for that? Jason, you need to debate. I cannot vote for someone who will not debate. One cannot know how a person will act/react in office without some discourse against your opponent. Please give me a reason to vote for you, right now I have ZERO reasons.

  8. Debbo 2018-09-04

    Didn’t righties have a fit about reservation safety people with blue fly swatters? Didn’t they say something about it being a matter of law? So where are you now righties? We have a matter of law here!

  9. OldSarg 2018-09-05

    Right here Debbo, I called it out and I would call this one out as well. That being said it appears, in this case, the police officer did not know the politician would take advantage of the event for his own benefit. In this case the officer says “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.”.

    Ther fact the politician took advantage of the situation is one issue. An apparent error in judgement, readily admitted too, is much different than standing there like a bunch of Lunkheads holding up political signs.

    Did you see the news Trump got another trade deal? “Washington, DC – Today, the Office of the United States Trade Representative and Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy published the agreed outcomes of the negotiations to amend and modify the U.S.-Korea (KORUS) Free Trade Agreement.”

    As much as you may hate him he sure is doing a lot of winning. Between the democrats behavior yesterday at the Kavanaugh hearings and your cop hater working for Nike the new trade deal got passed over in the news but the people know and the wave just keeps building. The wave isn’t blue nationally and not is this state, in which you don’t live. We need to change your name to Buttoutski.

  10. mike from iowa 2018-09-05

    From the Heritage Foundation April 3, 2018-

    On March 28, 2018, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer and Republic of Korea Minister for Trade Hyun Chong Kim announced that the two countries had reached an agreement in principle on the renegotiation of the U.S.–Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS). The Trump Administration is hailing the renegotiation as a “historic” development in U.S. trade policy, however, the agreement is far from revolutionary. In trade negotiations, the Trump Administration should concentrate on achieving objectives that will truly advance trade opportunities for American businesses and consumers rather than polluting agreements with protectionist policies. As the U.S. moves forward with finalizing KORUS, and works on other free trade agreements, the focus should be to lower tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade and investment on all sides, which will increase the freedom to trade for all Americans.

    OldSquirelly wet his britches over nothing much, again.

  11. OldSarg 2018-09-05

    mike from idiocy~ I give you the direct link to the government website and you give us that trash from a purely biased opinion piece?

    Seriously, are you this freaking stupid? Hell, I know you are that freaking stupid. The world knows you are that freaking stupid. That is the whole folly of even responding to you; it will just bounce off your iron from brain head and not even make a dent. It is honestly as if you get up ever morning and douse yourself from the stupidity fountain. I truly understand why you no longer live in South Dakota but I have not spent the time to find the law that specifically banned your form of stupidity from the entire state. I would like to know which police force has the responsibility to keep you the hell out of this state just so I can provide them free donuts as thanks for the fine work they are doing. Hell, if your mother lived here my bet is she would lie to you about that just to keep her embarrassment to a minimum. I am sure the shame of even breeding someone of your stupidity level has her walking through life with her head hung in shame.

    Boy, Cory is going to delete that post.. . .

  12. mike from iowa 2018-09-05

    OldSquirellyfromSquirreldumb, I stand by my post. There was nothing wrong with the old agreement except the fact that Obama renegotiated it. It was working just fine.

    Korea isn’t the problem. It is the no brain, orange jackass and his big mouth with no brain behind it that makes every minor problem, yooge. Oh, and you as well.

    Neither Drumpf or you could negotiate an agreement if your family’s life depended on it. Stoopid!

  13. OldSarg 2018-09-05

    Hell, I know you stand by it. You’re so stupid you don’t even realize what you posted: “There was nothing wrong with the old agreement except the fact that Obama renegotiated it.” Now you’re blaming Obama. . .

    We could hire you out as a fence post.

  14. mike from iowa 2018-09-05

    Treaty was originally signed in 2007. Obama redid the deal in 2011.

    Drumpf messed up the entire world in 2018. Facts, stoopid.

  15. OldSarg 2018-09-05

    “Drumpf messed up the entire world in 2018. Facts, stooped” said Stupid

  16. Debbo 2018-09-05

    Oh. He apologized so it’s okay because he didn’t realize allowing a political candidate to speak at the height of a political election season would be used for political purposes.
    So a Democrat does it and it’s terrible. A Pootiepublican does it and it’s an innocent mistake.

  17. Jason 2018-09-05

    Tax cuts and higher federal spending boosted domestic demand while a cooling economy overseas hampered exports

    Economists say recent U.S. policies could be helping to make the deficit larger. The fiscal stimulus passed by congressional Republicans late last year has fueled strong domestic demand, which is being partly met by increased imports. The Trump administration’s confrontational trade rhetoric and policies, meanwhile, has rattled foreign currencies as investors are spooked by rising U.S. interest rates and financial crises in Turkey and Argentina.

    Porter always leaves out the good stuff.

    It’s now up to Americans to buy American made products even if they cost more.

    Poor Mike loses again.

  18. mike from iowa 2018-09-05

    It’s now up to Americans to buy American made products even if they cost more.

    Poor Mike loses again.

    Thing is millions of us can’t afford to buy American. We don’t have the money because korporat amerika buys congress to keep wages low.

    Meanwhile stoopid wingnuts have run the deficits back to a trillion bucks and more because they couldn’t wait to heap taxcuts on the wealthy and have another round or two planned for this month.

    And remember, the orange animal in the Kremlin Annex nixed government colas because of deficits caused by taxcuts for the koch bros. Even though they knew in advance the deficits would sky, they cut taxes and lied about economic performance because of the cuts.

    Jason sure hangs around with a flock of liars.

  19. Darin Larson 2018-09-05

    This has to be the quote of the day from OS:

    “That being said it appears, in this case, the police officer did not know the politician would take advantage of the event for his own benefit.”

    Gee, who would think a politician out campaigning would keep campaigning when asked to appear in front of the public at the fair? We are little more than 2 months away from the general election and the politicians are out in full force at the state fair campaigning, but you think Trevor Jones did not realize that Ravnsborg would make the DPS event part of his campaign? Really?

    Why was Ravnsborg offered the opportunity to speak at the DPS event? Wasn’t it precisely because he was the Republican AG candidate and he has connections to Jones?

    My guess is that Jones has had the current SD attorney general appear at DPS events at the fair in the past and that they were viewed as serving the public mission of the DPS. This would partially explain his thought process in bringing in Ravnsborg but for the obvious problem that Ravnsborg isn’t the AG–he is a candidate for the office.

    As a citizen of this state, I appreciate Jones’ apology for his mistake. In the age of Trump, a proper apology seems to be rarer by the second. At least Jones recognizes the error, even if it is hard to believe his explanation that “It was not intended to demonstrate support for any particular candidate.”

    Still, at the very least, I see Jones’ mistake as a symptom of the establishment mindset of the Republican party in SD that does not take into account that there are people of other parties in this state and that they also have rights. Once in office, state government employees are supposed to function as public servants–not party loyalists. They are supposed to work for and represent all South Dakotans–not just politically connected Republicans.

  20. OldSarg 2018-09-05

    “Thing is millions of us can’t afford to buy American. We don’t have the money because korporat amerika buys congress to keep wages low.”

    GREAT INSIGHT ALERT: mike you do not work so you don’t have “wages”. It’s not the “korporat”s. You don’t have a job. The “korporat’s don’t owe you anything if you do no (as they say on Okinawa) “no worky worky”.

  21. mike from iowa 2018-09-05

    Good one OldStoopid. i say millions of us can’t afford to pay extravagant prices for American made products and you decide to make it all about me.

    You are one sick twisted imbecile, just like yer cosmic orange other half in the Kremlin Annex. You no worky worky, you just jaw jacky jacky, stoopid.

  22. leslie 2018-09-05

    Dept of Pub Safety SECRETARY didn’t know he was politicizing when he personally invited JASON R.? There is not a Croney Republican appointment that tells the truth.

  23. mike from iowa 2018-09-05

    Hey OldStoopid- here is a link to any number of sites that will explain in easy to understand gaga language why millions of people like me can’t afford to retire or buy expensive made in America stuff. I shortened the url to fit yer attention and literacy span.

  24. Jake Kammerer 2018-09-05

    Reubs in SD quite frequently believe that when they get caught in the act they act all ‘shucky-darn–I’m sorry”!!! and expect it to work as it usually does.

  25. Jake Kammerer 2018-09-05

    Repubs; sorry

  26. Porter Lansing 2018-09-05

    There is no “Made in America” stuff, anymore. Back in the ’70’s USA was so polluted something had to be done. (Just like Obamacare, when something HAS to be done, America does it.) Environmental laws were passed and factory owners chose to move to China and pollute that country instead of upgrade their factories within the new USA EPA regulations.
    Odds are that once Trump irritates China a little more, China will expel American factories and there will be nothing to buy, at any price.

  27. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-05

    Kelly, the silence of the GOP spin blog on this matter is significant. Since the Ravnsborg violation Sunday, Pat Powers has run a guest column with no commentary, a two-month-old letter from Rep. Lee Qualm, an obit for Gypsy Hines, and a press release from SD Right to Life. This kind of story is right up Powers’s alley—campaign finance law, rank political maneuvering, no deep public policy to analyze. Powers could easily work up a rebuttal, hanging Sec. Jones out to dry, saying Ravnsborg accepted the invitation out of pure politeness and respect of police, blaming Seiler for whining (mewling, Powers would say). It’s a fight Powers and the GOP could win… if their candidate had merit. Instead, they’re stuck with the schlump of the year, Jason Ravnsborg. They know he screwed up. They know he laid bare typical craven GOP cronyism. They know Ravnsborg can’t think fast enough to wage a good defense, let alone any good offense. They know that the more people who hear about this error, the more people will take “vote for the person, not the party” seriously and give Seiler the 80% tally he deserves.

  28. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-05

    Friends, many of you are really bad at allowing OS to achieve his objective and keep us from clearly denouncing the Republican corruption that Jason Ravnsborg embodies.

    Darin is right, right, and right. Jones deserves some credit for his apology. It’s very anti-Trump. It’s swiftness shows that Jones was acting from the inertia he’s learned from the GOP establishment but perhaps not from orders from the Lederman machine. But it’s still a mindset of corruption that we need to break up. Ravnsborg showed he’s in the corruption mindset. It didn’t occur to him to take the principled stand and say, “No, this K9 demonstration is a public function hosted by a state agency, and I cannot in good conscience co-opt it for campaign exposure.” Seiler showed he recognized the impropriety of the event right away, thanks to his moral compass and his decades of experience dealing with the far stricter federal Hatch Act and the demands of keeping politics out of the U.S. Attorney’s office.

    Seiler can do the job of Attorney General and bring the honest, principled, anti-corruption mindset that South Dakota needs more than anything right now. Ravnsborg’s actions and his failure to apologize show he cannot.

  29. Minority Woman 2018-10-01

    Hey Old Sarg on 8-5-18 at 4:49
    Would it make a difference if Jason was the emcee at not just one but two K9 presentations? Let’s say that during K9 demo one he took the mic – did his campaign stump and then came back later and did a repeat performance at a second demo?

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