Jason Ravnsborg’s only real skill is butt-kissing, not butt-kicking. But could blatant corruption in the office of the Governor seeking to sack him be motivating our Attorney General to turn over a tougher leaf?
South Dakota’s attorney general said Tuesday he is reviewing concerns from state lawmakers over a meeting Gov. Kristi Noem held last year that included both her daughter and a state employee who was overseeing her daughter’s application to become a certified real estate appraiser.
“I have been contacted by concerned citizens and legislators,” Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg said in a statement. “I am actively reviewing their concerns and I will be following the steps prescribed in codified law in relation to those questions” [Stephen Groves, “South Dakota AG Reviewing Noem’s Meeting with Daughter,” AP, 2021.09.29].
Even if our Attorney General had any legal competence, Governor Noem might not need to worry. The Republican Legislature has refused to pass anti-nepotism laws. No law prevents the Governor from assembling her staff to bully some bureaucrat who, in responsibly carrying out her duties, has crossed the Governor’s kin.
But this is South Dakota—never mind the law. Jason Ravnsborg occupies a unique and arguably enviable position: he is a powerful elected official with absolutely nothing to lose. He burned up all of his political currency the night he killed Joe Boever. He adds no value to any candidate’s campaign appearance. His predecessor Marty Jackley is a shoe-in for the nomination in 2022. Nothing Ravnsborg does now can damage his political career, because his political career is over.
But no one can remove him from office until November 9, when the Legislature plans to convene to consider impeaching him. If the House does impeach him, Ravnsborg will be suspended from duty until and unless the Senate acquits him. Jason Ravnsborg thus has six weeks during which he could use the unfettered authority of the Office of the Attorney General to unearth and release all the information he can find about corruption in state government. EB-5, GEAR UP, use of state planes and state employees for campaign purposes… all the skeletons are right there, Jason, in closets that the Attorney General can unlock and lay bare for everyone, maybe not for prosecutors but certainly for an eager press.
Digging up and releasing all that information won’t save your political career, Jason. You killed a man, everyone knows it, and no one wants you to serve another term as Attorney General. But documenting and publicizing the Governor’s nepotism, as well as dumping documentation on previous and ongoing corruption that we may or may not know about, could give you the satisfaction of, for the first time in your stunted political career, effectively serving the public interest… not to mention taking down with you some of the bastards who are casting you aside.
If you need some help going through those skeletons, Jason, give me a call. I’d be happy to help.