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Schoenbeck: Non-Residency Argument Against Pourier & Foster “Stupid”; Challengers’ Own Documents Agree

Shad Olson’s attempt to deny two legally elected Lakota women their seats in the Legislature and disenfranchise Native American voters in District 27 has taken on a fake name and more fake arguments.

On Thursday, an e-mail from “Native Integrity” but not signed by any identifiable individual went out to all South Dakota legislators recycling Shad Olson’s thus-far tractionless claim that Senator-Elect Red Dawn Foster and Representative-Elect Peri Pourier—both Lakota women, both Democrats, both from Pine Ridge—have not been residents of South Dakota long enough to qualify to serve in the Legislature.

Recall that Shad Olson’s argument hinges on Article 3 Section 3 of the South Dakota Constitution, which states that legislators must have been “a resident of the state for two years next preceding election.”

Senator-Elect Lee Schoenbeck (R-5/Watertown), whose long experience in the Legislature should carry some weight, says “This is stupid. Election is over.”

Schoenbeck is right: Olson’s attack on these elected Lakota women and District 27 is stupid. None of the documents presented by the pseudonymous cowards e-mailing legislators establishes that either Foster or Pourier has not been a resident of South Dakota since November 2016.

One document actually contradicts Olson’s claim against Pourier. Look at this voter registration acknowledgment notice from Oglala Lakota County Auditor Sue Ganje to Pourier, dated October 30, 2017, but marked returned and received November 6, 2017:

Voter registration acknowledgment notice, sent from Sue Ganje to Peri Pourier 2017.10.30, returned and received 2017.11.07.
Voter registration acknowledgment notice, sent from Sue Ganje to Peri Pourier 2017.10.30, returned and received 2017.11.07.

Notice that the United States Postal Service stamped on this card as the reason for returning to sender “TEMPORARILY AWAY.”

The only relevant statute on South Dakota’s very squishy definition of residency, SDCL 12-1-4, says, “A person who has left home and gone into another state or territory or county of this state for a temporary purpose only has not changed his or her residence.”

Shad Olson and whoever else is behind Native Integrity have just handed every member of the House a document from the United States Postal Service certifying that Pourier was away from South Dakota for a temporary purpose, which means, by statute, she had not changed her residence from South Dakota in 2017. Pourier won the 2018 election and is qualified to take her seat in the 2019 Legislature.

The Foster dossier includes a document establishing that Red Dawn Foster was a registered voter in South Dakota as of March 10, 2016:

Red Dawn Foster voter registration form, submitted 2016.03.10.
Red Dawn Foster voter registration form, submitted 2016.03.10.

Now the fact that Foster was registered to vote in Colorado prior to March 2016 could have been a problem in her bid to win a District 27 House seat in 2016, but she didn’t win that election, and as we keep having to remind Trumpists like Shad Olson, it’s not 2016 anymore. Foster was a registered voter in South Dakota in 2016. Olson’s own documents say so, and no other documents say that legal voting residence changed afterward. Foster won the 2018 election and is qualified to take her seat in the 2019 Legislature.

Yeah, I guess if I’d just knocked the legs out from under my own argument, I’d be embarrassed to sign my name to my e-mail, too, because one of the last things I want is to give Lee Schoenbeck good reason to call me stupid.

Olson does drum up a couple of white Republican ranchers, Republican campaign donor Kenny L. Fox of Belvidere and incoming Bennett County Commissioner Judd W. Schomp of Martin, to submit documents supporting the disenfranchisement of their Native neighbors:

Kenny L. Fox, affidavit, complaint against Peri Pourier, 2018.12.20, p. 1.
Kenny L. Fox, affidavit, complaint against Peri Pourier, 2018.12.20, p. 1.
Kenny L. Fox, affidavit, complaint against Peri Pourier, 2018.12.20, p. 2.
Kenny L. Fox, affidavit, complaint against Peri Pourier, 2018.12.20, p. 2.
Judd W. Schomp, affidavit, complaint against Peri Pourier, 2018.12.20, p. 1.
Judd W. Schomp, affidavit, complaint against Peri Pourier, 2018.12.20, p. 1.
Judd W. Schomp, Affidavit, complaint against Peri Pourier, 2018.12.20, p. 2.
Judd W. Schomp, Affidavit, complaint against Peri Pourier, 2018.12.20, p. 2.
Kenny L. Fox, "Plea for Relief," complaint against Red Dawn Foster, 2018.12.21, p. 1.
Kenny L. Fox, “Plea for Relief,” complaint against Red Dawn Foster, 2018.12.21, p. 1.
Kenny L. Fox, "Plea for Relief," complaint against Red Dawn Foster, 2018.12.21, p. 2.
Kenny L. Fox, “Plea for Relief,” complaint against Red Dawn Foster, 2018.12.21, p. 2.
Judd W. Schomp, "Plea for Relief," complaint against Red Dawn Foster, 2018.12.21, p. 1.
Judd W. Schomp, “Plea for Relief,” complaint against Red Dawn Foster, 2018.12.21, p. 1.
Judd W. Schomp, "plea for relief," affidavit, complaint against Red Dawn Foster, 2018.12.21, p. 2.
Judd W. Schomp, “Plea for Relief,” complaint against Red Dawn Foster, 2018.12.21, p. 2.

These documents add no evidence to the record. Fox and Schmop swear to hearsay based on documents they’ve apparently been handed by Olson or some other “Native Integrity” operative. They complain and pray for relief, but the documents they parrot not only provide no legal grounds for not seating either legislator but also actively disprove their claims and establish that Pourier and Foster satisfy the legal residency requirements of Article 3 Section 3.

Of course, documentary evidence, burden of proof, and the courts don’t matter in this fuss. Even though Schomp’s and Fox’s documents are marked Sixth Circuit Court, the courts are in no position to offer relief. As we know from the Gutzler 1977 precedent, the courts have no authority over which duly elected officials take seats in the Legislature. Article 3 Section 9 of the South Dakota Constitution puts that plenary authority over Legislative membership in the hands of each chamber of the Legislature, and when the Legislature exercised that authority in the Gutzler case in 1977, it chose to respect the will of the voters, even though Gutzler, unlike Pourier or Foster, was clearly, by evidence and by his own admission, not a resident of South Dakota two years prior to his 1976 election.

Senator-Elect Schoenbeck recognizes the baselessness and pettiness of this challenge. Let’s hope his colleagues in the Senate and across the hall in the House share his clarity of vision and waste no time with this groundless complaint when the Legislature begins its work on January 8. The election is over. District 27 chose Pourier and Foster. Respect precedent, facts, and the will of the voters. Seat all elected legislators and get to work.

44 Comments

  1. D 2018-12-29 13:34

    If a complaint is registered to the Sixth Judicial Circuit, isn’t it required to show a receipt stamp by the clerk of courts to be an official complaint? And then either rejected or otherwise responded to by a judge of that circuit? This looks like a case of bamboozlement in which the complainants hope to catch legislators in a state of ignorance.

  2. Stanford Adelstein 2018-12-29 13:57

    Unsigned letter to legislators? We used to throw that kind of garbage in the wastebasket. Something so patently false, unacknowledged, from an unknown sender — and this is supposed to be the basis for a legislative investigation??

    My personal conflicts with the good Senator aside, no one can question his legal ability — or understanding of the South Dakota legislative process. (after all, he is a former President Pro Tem of our State Senate!)

    Stanford Adelstein, State Senator (ret) District 32, South Dakota

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-29 14:11

    Former Senator Adelstein makes an excellent point: why the Legislature would take any action on an unsigned message is utterly beyond me.

    D, I’m not sure why the statements from Schomp and Fox say Sixth Judicial Circuit on top. I suppose they could have drafted and notarized them in preparation for filing them at the Hughes County Courthouse right before the Legislature convenes (although, again, the court has no say on this issue). I am not aware of any actual court case being filed yet, although if any readers know a case number, please let me know!

    I agree that there is some level of bamboozlement going on here; that’s why I’m glad sources have shared these documents with me so we can study them, study the law, and realize that these documents don’t actually prove anything that would justify overturning the November 6 election.

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-29 14:14

    Another key point from Senator Adelstein: Senator-Elect Schoenbeck is a lawyer as well as an experienced legislator. If anyone can give us an accurate read of this case, it’s Schoenbeck.

    Alas, the House leadership isn’t that smart. I’ve heard from two sources that while the Senate is not aroused, the House GOP wants to take some kind of action on these weak allegations against Pourier.

  5. grudznick 2018-12-29 14:31

    Mr. Stan is often righter than right, but there are those on the higher side of the legislatures who are aroused, one could probably assume. Just not the fellows Mr. H is hearing from. It is all much ado about nothing. These fellows have important commemorations to write speeches about.

  6. David Newquist 2018-12-29 14:41

    Those complaints use the phrase “after first being sworn and deposes,” which indicates that someone is copying the format of a deposition to create what is supposed to look like a judicial document. It raises the question of who administered the oath and who conducted the deposition. I assume that if a violation of the Constitutional requirement for residency appears to be violated, there is some rubric of law which indicates to whom such a complaint is submitted and what standards of evidence are required to support the complaint. In a word, these documents appear fraudulent. I was some members of the bar would address the matter.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-29 14:43

    Well, Grudz, the fellows that Dakota War College hears from have shared the Mailchimp version of the e-mail and directed GOP propagandist Pat Powers to point out that the anonymous fakers behind “Native Integrity” lack the integrity to give their actual address. According to Powers, the Olson front lists its mailing address as 1200 N. Lacrosse in Rapid City… site of a Walmart Supercenter. In “Native Integrity”/Shad Olson’s allegations, says Powers “there’s not much substance. And a bit of bull####.”

    In Powers’s post this afternoon, we see the Noem/Lederman establishment signaling its members not to give Shad Olson this stage and to focus their energies elsewhere.

  8. Jason 2018-12-29 14:46

    Have the two women came out and said they have lived in SD for two years?

  9. grudznick 2018-12-29 15:00

    I will have to go read Mr. PP’s bloggings on the matter. I have been by there when going up to the Cheesesteak sandwich shop before it moved, and it is possible some people live at that Walmart up there on Lacrosse, but unlikely.

  10. jerry 2018-12-29 15:03

    Mr. Fox is a not so sly one. He is a fat trumpian republican. Call him and ask him what he thinks of the “New NAFTA”, that should be good for a laugh. Ask him if his kids will now come back to the place and ranch with the high cost of grazing ground around his parts, without going on the reservation to lease ground from those hated Natives. Take a look at the pictures here and you will see the Big White River. On one side, deeded ground, the other side, reservation ground. https://www.pri.org/stories/2018-06-19/two-south-dakota-cattle-ranchers-two-opinions-nafta

    The new boss is the same as the old boss, but dummies like Mr. Fox keep getting hoodwinked by the sparkle of the dumb party.

  11. Rorschach 2018-12-29 15:28

    Something tells me this is about Elizabeth May trying to overturn the results of the election. She wants to get the house to seat her instead of Pourier.

  12. jerry 2018-12-29 15:32

    Bah zing! Nailed it Mr. Rorschach. The Fox doesn’t live too far from the hen house.

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-29 15:35

    Jason, have you come out and said you’ve stopped beating your wife?

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-29 15:39

    From Jerry’s excellent find (keep ’em coming, Jerry!) about Kenny Fox’s Trumpism: Fox says, “I feel that [Trump] has done more in the short time he’s been there than any president that I know of in my lifetime.”

    Fox is clearly immune to facts and wants government to protect him from the free market, while the other SD rancher in the story, Eric Jennings, simply sharpened his business skills and made free trade work. It seems there may be an analogy there to approaches to elections: we Democrats just want everyone to vote, and we’ll take the results. Fox wants to annul an election that left his gal Liz (Ror is onto something there) out in the cold.

  15. mike from iowa 2018-12-29 16:14

    The heck with Nafta, why aren’t wingnuts demanding Drumpf repatriate all his business dealings???? Wouldn’t a real leader have done that already?

  16. grudgenutz 2018-12-29 16:15

    I have stopped beating my wife. However, I wouldn’t mind beating grudznick until my fist hit dirt.

  17. jerry 2018-12-29 16:30

    Let the dumbness continue, “so to speak”. Call the dummy and ask him how the “New Nafta” has changed for him. When are his kids coming back to buy a place and put a hundred head on for a cow calf operation? When these fossils die out, no one can afford their places but some well heeled operation that is not even a neighbor. No wonder he hates Natives, gotta have someone to blame, can’t look in the mirror.

    “White River, South Dakota rancher and R-CALF-USA committee chair Kenny Fox, says President Trump’s tariff strategy has brought the U.S.’s trading partners to the table, so to speak.

    “He throws those tariffs out there and he gets them to the bargaining table.”

    Fox also said that the United States doesn’t need Canadian products bad enough to justify the country kowtowing to its neighbors to the north. “If Canada wants to play that game, maybe we should put tariffs or quotas on their products. Anytime the U.S. cattle market gets strong, they flood our market with cattle and beef, and down our market goes.”

    Fox said the futures market has been strong since the tariff announcement so he doesn’t fear the tariffs will harm the U.S. cattle market in a serious way.” https://www.tsln.com/news/canada-slaps-tariffs-on-us-beef/

    Clearly Fox is clueless on what the trade war and the tariff’s are all about, kind of like the dummy in the White House. NOem must’ve promised these guys something and they need to seat the old gang back to get it.

  18. o 2018-12-29 16:51

    Odd, the GOP has been so vocal in their concerns about voter fraud, yet so obvious in the sheer audacity of their work toward election fraud. The GOP motto of “go big (crime) or go home” seems to ring out in elections as much as it does finance.

  19. Donald Pay 2018-12-29 16:55

    How about Noem? She lived in DC. She was not a resident. Oh, she may claim residency, but did she live in South Dakota, Jason? Do Republicans want to open that can of worms, because there are hell of a lot more Republicans who live outside the state for part of the year.

  20. grudznick 2018-12-29 17:34

    Now, now, Bob. ‘Tis the season to be jolly! Breakfast at Campbell Street tomorrow? My treat. I will let you proffer the Wise Words to open the meeting.

  21. Porter Lansing 2018-12-29 18:03

    grudzie … Are you saying grudznutz is herding goats on your “new land”?

  22. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-29 19:09

    Donald shows us the path this could go down. Let’s demand of legislators the same thing they are demanding of petition circulators: produce proof of residency, plus information about their last two residences. In particular, let’s ask them to itemize nights spent at their claimed addresses and nights spent at addresses outside their districts. I’ll bet Foster and Pourier spent more time in District 27 this year than Al Novstrup spent in District 3.

    Ah yes, and Al’s a Senator, and the Senate appears not to be pressing this issue. Shall we dance?

  23. Porter Lansing 2018-12-29 19:21

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls is why Pierre needs Cory. Superior analyzation skills on top of a warm, welcoming and winning personality.

  24. jerry 2018-12-29 20:03

    Mr. Fox seems a socialist, which is true to form for trumpian kool aid drinkers. $58,000.00 last year was clearly enough to be able to contribute to campaign’s for fellow grifters.

    https://farm.ewg.org/persondetail.php?custnumber=B06996476 The more you know about these guys, the more you have to shake your head and ask yourself, why am I supporting these phony baloney’s.

  25. Stanford Adelstein 2018-12-29 21:27

    Cmon now friend Cory and you too Donald. The key is the intent not to return your home district.

    As Senator Schoenbeck made clear “The only relevant statute on South Dakota’s very squishy definition of residency, SDCL 12-1-4, says, “A person who has left home and gone into another state or territory or county of this state for a temporary purpose only has not changed his or her residence.”

    Having served long with Al Novstrup, for him to ever intend to leave District 3, would only when someone buries him outside. As to you Donald Rep Noem always came back to the State, as did every other Congress member or US Senator.

    Stan Adelstein

  26. Donald Pay 2018-12-29 22:01

    Well, I agree with you, Sen. Adelstein, but I also agree with Cory. Let’s not single one race of people out to disqualify based on residency, while others slide through on white privilege. If anyone can prove residency back even farther than the Pays and Adelstein’s in South Dakota it ought to the Pourier’s. I’ve heard that name since I was a kid.

  27. Adam 2018-12-29 22:10

    And to think that some South Dakota legislators refuse to live in their very own home towns, with the people who elected them, during the legislative session in Pierre.

    Oh my God – it’s so offensive! It’s a slap to the face of our entire state government, every time a legislator rents space in Pierre to live in.

    South Dakota is locked into far too many dysfunctional distractionary dialogues. It’s almost like people out in the middle of nowhere don’t understand which priorities should be in order.

  28. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-30 07:14

    Senator Adelstein is right about the absurdity of interrogating every legislator’s daily whereabouts. Donald is right about the ugly racist tinge of Shad Olson’s attack on two specific legislators. Behold even the cultural co-optation going on, a gaggle of white guys calling themselves “Native Integrity” and splashing Native American imagery across their Facebook page:

    Images used by white guys to make their fake 'Native Integrity' Facebook page look like it's actually run by a Native American group.

  29. Dana P 2018-12-30 08:38

    The new birther-ism —— it’s called, “residency-ism”. This is ridiculous.

    Hey Jason — how many white, SD legislators, have “come out” and said they lived in SD for two years?

  30. leslie 2018-12-31 00:39

    Atlantic Mag, G. Packer 12.14.18 describes this as the Republican insurgency strategy from Goldwater 1964 through Gingrich/Reagan to the Tea Party culminating in Trump. SDGOP tried to prevent Democrats from competing in the most recent election, as well.

    Read this chilling article which explains the use of racism, McConnell’s denial of Obama’s SCOTUS nomination, and every other tactic accruing right wing power.

  31. Jason 2018-12-31 07:27

    Dana,

    I wasn’t aware there were allegations made for a legislature not being a resident in the past.

    If there was, I would expect them to address the allegations.

  32. Maggie 2018-12-31 08:46

    The two that could put thisvto rest are Peri and Red Dawn. I appreciate the election process and am very disappointed at this point. District 27 deserve honest leadership and both should speak up and put this to rest instead of allowing this to go on and on and on.

  33. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-31 10:02

    Jason, the fact that you weren’t aware shows you haven’t been paying attention to what I wrote in the original posts on this topic. Read the Gutzler 1977 case, linked and discussed on both of my posts on this issue.

  34. jerry 2018-12-31 10:14

    “white-winger Jordan Mason” Bah Zing!! Good one Cory!

  35. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-31 10:58

    Given that Shad Olson and Jordan Mason have not met any burden of proof, are Pourier and Foster obligated to say anything?

  36. jerry 2018-12-31 11:33

    Good point Cory, why would they need to address these racists. Let them blather in their echo chambers.

  37. Stanford Adelstein 2018-12-31 13:36

    Jason – You are absolutely in error. Certified, Elected (and in this case very competent) Legislators should say nothing. It is up to the process and the rest of us to make clear the lies and bigotry that are afoot.

    For either of them to say a word reminds me of this truth — “getting into a pissing contest with a skunk, leaves some moisture on yourself” — and to that, let me add EVEN IF YOU ARE RIGHT and win!

    Stan Adelstein

  38. Stan Adelstein 2018-12-31 13:49

    Also, please do not forget, these two skunks have been seeking contests with other competent people for a long time. After some time at their non scent se they REALLY do smell putrid. Those that they seek out, best hold your nose and let someone else get them out of your yard.

    From what I hear, my friend and former Senate Colleague Dan Lederman seems to have taken on the unpleasant job of driving the rabid animal truck. All of us should thank him.

    Stan Adelstein

  39. mike from iowa 2018-12-31 13:50

    With some Trolls, even if the skunk wins, it loses.

    So I don’t forget, Happy New Year to one and most of you.

  40. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-31 14:11

    Senator Adelstein, I am intrigued by your former colleague, now SDGOP leader Dan Lederman’s silence on this matter. Lederman was quick this year to jump on and mock any little procedural failing by Democrats to deride and humiliate his political nemeses. Does his thus-far silence signal that he sees no merit in the charges Olson and Mason are peddling?

  41. grudznick 2018-12-31 14:50

    Mr. Lederman sees no merit in the charges those fellows, who are insaner than most, are peddling.

  42. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-12-31 18:31

    Grudz, have you spoken to Mr. Lederman? Can we get his statement on the record?

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