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Lincoln County Elects Trump’s Partner in Shady Fundraising to Commission

Joel Arends, Commissioner-Elect, Lincoln County
Joel Arends, Commissioner-Elect, Lincoln County. Screen cap from FB

I don’t know how I missed the fact that Annette Bosworth’s former spinster turned quasi-fink Joel Arends won a seat on the Lincoln County Commission last month. Seriously, Lincoln County, are you that short on talent? But seeing Arends prepping to work in government reminds me of the last time we talked about the Sioux Falls lawyer, when he used his fake veterans group in September 2015 to help Donald Trump get elected. Republicans who usually support veterans ignored Arends’s and Trump’s exploitation of veterans for his personal and political gain.

Might true supporters of veterans take more notice of Trump’s scammery now that the New York Attorney General has successfully pressed the Trumps to dissolve Donald’s faux foundation?

Let’s rewind to January 2016, when Trump was skipping a GOP debate in Iowa to make money off veterans:

Given what we, and now you, know about the pervasiveness of veteran charity scams, we dug into the spending and expense history of his charity, the Donald J. Trump Foundation. In particular, we questioned whether Trump’s political motives and false rhetoric about veterans truly set him apart at all from the various charity scams. Perhaps unbeknownst to his supporters and eager donors who ventured to his event last night, Donald Trump’s charity has donated virtually nothing to veterans’ charities.

Most tellingly, according to the available 990s from 2009 to 2014of the more than $5 million the foundation has donated in gifts and grants to nearly 300 charities, only seven of those organizations were related to veterans issues. According to these documents, he has not donated to any veterans’ charities in the past three years. In total, these seven organizations have only received $57,000.

(Update: According to the Federalist, the proceeds from last night’s events are not going directly to any veteran charities, rather they will be funneled into Trump’s foundation. If true, it has yet to be seen how or whether those donations will be delivered to veterans’ charities, the delivery of which is at the discretion of the foundation [Shafaq Hasan, “Did Trump Exploit Veterans Again in Event to Draw Supporters, Candidates Away from GOP Debate?Nonprofit Quarterly, 2016.01.29].

That Des Moines Trump event was part of the New York A.G.’s suit that brought down the Trump Foundation:

According to the petition, the event generated about $5.6 million in tax-free donations, and of that, $2.823 million was contributed to the Trump Foundation. The remainder was given directly by private donors to veterans’ charity groups and was not funneled through the foundation.

The lawsuit says that after the fundraiser, the Trump Foundation “ceded control over the charitable funds it raised to senior Trump campaign staff, who dictated the manner in which the Foundation would disburse those proceeds, directing the timing, amounts and recipients of the grants” [Brianne Pfannenstiel, “Des Moines Fundraiser at Center of New York Lawsuit Against Donald Trump, His Foundation,” Des Moines Register, 2018.06.14].

Trump supposedly helped Arends raise money for his fake non-profit at the USS Iowa sideshow in 2015. How much of that haul actually went to veterans, and how much went into the pockets of the showrunners, including Lincoln County Commissioner-Elect Joel Arends?


  1. jerry 2018-12-19 21:40

    Wow, Great work Cory. I think this information should be forwarded to outside investigators as South Dakota has no law enforcement for these kinds of scams. Joop and company, should be putting on their warm-up’s to get ready for some more big time scams. The corruption never ends in South Dakota and trumpian republicans want to keep it that way to.

    “You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.” Gene Wilder to Cleavon Little in “Blazing Saddles”. South Dakota is a parody of itself.

  2. Roger Cornelius 2018-12-19 21:42

    Apparently Joel made enough off of the Trump Foundation or something spooked him and he got out.
    It is hard to imagine that a Lincoln County commissioner is the best gig Joel could score from the Trump administration (I know, Lincoln County is not a part of the Trump administration).

  3. jerry 2018-12-19 22:32

    True that Roger, from the link, Joel has been doing this for some time. Wonder if he ever worked with Erickson, probably did, as all these crooks and liars seem to be like a can of worms.

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-20 05:51

    Arends and Erickson—wouldn’t it be fun to connect those dots?

  5. mike from iowa 2018-12-20 06:52

    Where is your proof Dems scammed veteran’s charities in special election, Troll? Wasn’t that the subject?

    Yer DailyLiar garbage will turn out to be garbage, like usual.

  6. 96Tears 2018-12-20 07:29

    Paul Erickson and Joel Arends. Wow! Got a sleazy deal? Shop for your next Republican political consultant from the SDGOP catalog!

    This New York Attorney General investigation appears dialed in to Arends’ role in the Trump Foundation. Sad for Joel that Trump can’t pardon him if he gets indicted. Any word if Barbara Underwood’s office has talked with Arends yet?

  7. Porter Lansing 2018-12-20 10:54

    Jason … Did you think we were just going to let it go? More to come. You know what paybacks are. Same thing you are.

  8. Roger Cornelius 2018-12-20 13:01

    And Jason continues to distract.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-20 20:13

    Jason admits that Trump’s and Arends’s exploitation of veterans groups for their personal gain is bad. Point made.

  10. Jason 2018-12-20 20:17

    I made no such claim Cory. I have claimed in the past that the Clinton foundation is just a piggy bank for the Clinton’s.

  11. Roger Cornelius 2018-12-20 21:16

    Jason continues to distract.

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