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Crabtree Says Castleberry’s Alleged Misconduct “Serious”—Time to Resign, Jessica?

"Love My Gov! Grateful for a Governor that trusted the people and respected our rights!" Senator Jessica Castleberry, FB post, 2020.09.17.
“Love My Gov! Grateful for a Governor that trusted the people and respected our rights!”—Expect to see this t-shirt in the Rapid City landfill shortly. Senator Jessica Castleberry, FB post, 2020.09.17.

Now that Governor Kristi Noem has ratted her out for illegally taking $603,000 in coronavirus relief funds for her Little Nest Preschool, Senator Jessica Castleberry (R-35/Rapid City) has announced she won’t run for reëlection in 2024. However, she has not announced that she will resign from the post to which Noem appointed her back in 2019. Nor has she said she will pay the money back by the August 7 deadline that Attorney General Marty Jackley imposed last week to avoid going to court.

But now the poor (I don’t think she has $603K on hand) woman has her Senate Majority Leader Casey Crabtree (R-8/Madison) suggesting she might want to move up her Senate exit date:

The leader of the Senate’s Republican caucus said the allegations against Castleberry are serious.

“South Dakotans expect their lawmakers to follow the letter of the law, especially when it comes to taxpayer dollars,” Casey Crabtree, R-Madison, said. “I have full faith in [Attorney General] Marty Jackley and his team to investigate the matter” [Lee Strubinger, “Senate Leader Concerned with Castleberry Conduct,” SDPB Radio, 2023.07.31].

Crabtree, another Noem appointee, supported the suspension and censure of Senator Julie Frye-Mueller (R-30/Rapid City) last winter after Frye-Mueller’s unprofessional harassment of a Legislative Research Council staffperson. Crabtree could easily argue that Castleberry’s violation of the South Dakota Constitution’s prohibition on legislators’ taking state money is an even greater violation of the public trust than Frye-Mueller’s indecorum. And Crabtree’s public weigh-in on the issue suggests that, even if Noem’s public crucifixion of the generally leadership pliant and untroublesome Castleberry stems from some as yet unknown personal or political motive, it has legs among the Republican leadership.

Noem handed Castleberry her seat four years ago to replace Lynne DiSanto, who quit the Senate after disgracing the body with a variety of questionable conduct. Even if she can’t immediately hand back her illegal $603K grant, she should take Senator Crabtree’s hint and hand back her Senate seat so the Governor can appoint someone else who won’t be a liability to the Senate and the Republican party heading into the 2024 Session and election.

Thanks for getting me into this mess—Senator Jessica Castleberry and Governor Kristi Noem dressed up as cowgirls, from campaign video posted by Sen. Castleberry to YouTube, 2021.
Thanks for getting me into this mess—Senator Jessica Castleberry and Governor Kristi Noem dressed up as cowgirls, from campaign video posted by Sen. Castleberry to YouTube, 2021.

55 Comments

  1. sx123 2023-08-01

    Don’t know her but highly doubt she’s the only one in this situation across the US.

    All that free money flying around.

  2. Donald Pay 2023-08-01

    sx123 is correct. Numerous Wisconsin Republican legislators opposed all that covid money going to us normal folks, but they sure as heck had their mitts in the till for their businesses.

  3. P. Aitch 2023-08-01

    @BearCreekBat – Should she resign and move out of South Dakota does Jackley still have standing to pursue reimbursement? She broke no Federal law that I can see.

  4. 96Tears 2023-08-01

    “Public crucifixion” is correct. Governor Pontius Noem is swatting this fly with a sledge hammer … after … all … that (sniff, sob) sweet little Senator Jessie Castleberry has done for Miss Snow Queen 1990. Yet, facts are stubborn things when you place them on a timeline:

    – Noem appointed Castleberry in 2019. All legislators get schooled on S.D. Const. Art. I, § 12 when they swear an oath to support the constitution, if not, sooner. Ignorance of this law doesn’t happen.

    – The CARES Act was enacted on March 27, 2020, to drop $150 billion across the nation. Castleberry wasted little time to jump on that meat wagon.

    – Here we are, three years later, and after Castleberry voted on numerous appropriations bills that sent numerous payments totaling $603,000 into her pockets, somebody in authority just recently noticed something was amiss. Hmmm.

    – And as Cory indicated, the awareness of conflicts with the CARES Act money and state legislators was a common topic of discussion among legislators in the last few years. Yet, little Jessie did all she could to keep those checks rolling into her business’ bank account.

    – So now, as Centurion Marty Jacklius prepares the hammer and nails to fix Miss Jessie to that old rugged cross, Jessie claims that she openly consulted with DSS staff “upon several occasions” and apparently got no pushback. She also now claims her legal counsel says she violated no laws. Hmmm.

    Say what? Was DSS staff “directly and transparently” consulted several times for the last few years? Specifically who at DSS? Does Miss Jessie have copies or records of these public correspondences? Why do Jackley and Noem act as though this is all recent? Who dropped the ball again and again? What does the GOP Senate leadership know and when did they learn about it? (I mean, just look at that innocent face at the top. Cute and sweet, huh?)

    C’mon, $603,000 paid out over a few years to bail out a Senator’s business must have had somebody’s attention longer than a month or two ago! This smells like a much larger story.

  5. P. Aitch 2023-08-01

    Bankruptcy attorneys are always an option for legal advice.
    PS … Lets guess how much Pat Powers took in Covid relief aid.

  6. scott 2023-08-01

    My guess is this was a diversion tactic by Noem. She certainly did not just come to the realization that Castleberry was in the wrong. I understand some “R’s” were not happy with her recent freedom commercials and with her upcoming NASCAR driver sponsorship, she was getting worried about more negative responses from the “R’s”. So, she had this in her back pocket and through this out there to make it look like she is a law-and-order governor, that is on the job working for SD.

  7. Mike Zitterich 2023-08-01

    S.D Senator, Jessica Castleberry DID NOT violate Article 3, Section 12 – Please take the time to ‘read’ the provision very carefully, it says:

    No member of the Legislature shall:

    1-be appointed or elected to any civil office in the state which shall have been created,
    2-no emoluments of which shall have been increased during the term for which he was elected,
    3-no member may receive any civil appointment from the Governor, the Senate, the Legislature (all appoints shall be void),
    4-no member of the Legislature during the term for which he or she shall have been elected, or within one year thereafter, be interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract with the state or any county thereof

    Jessica Castleberry was NOT ELECTED until November 2020. She was appointed on December 31, 2019 in the middle of Senators Lynn Disantos’s term of which allowed her to serve on the Legislative Sessions January 15 to March 15 terms of 2019 and 2020.

    The wording of Article 3, Section 12 is quite clearly only placing ‘restrictions’ on Elected Persons, of which Jessica was NOT…

    I would question the motive behind Governor Noem’s intent here, let alone the involvement of Attorney General Marty Jackley and Senate Pro-Temp Lee Schoenbeck as the District #35 Rep sits on the committees – Education, Transportation, and Local Government.

    Something does not add up, just 3 years ago, Kristi Noem supported Jessica, but all of a sudden, she does not? What changed?

    For more of my opinion, please click https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vThtiO0VGZpvaejtkDORLvpG8KfYD39urutf6T-D3-A-N_KtLSeTux76jF3ePvocHc_oUZysti6qkDp/pub?urp=gmail_link – Prove to me where I am wrong…

  8. e platypus onion 2023-08-01

    What’s the current cost of advertising here at DFP? Certain parties seem to believe personal advertising is free and wanted. Johnny Rabbit Hole Refugee comes immediately to mind.

  9. Arlo Blundt 2023-08-01

    I still believe the whole brouhaha was caused by sloppy oversight of the COVID grant process by the Noem Administration.

  10. P. Aitch 2023-08-01

    Mike Zitterich – “Welcome to LoserVille… population YOU!”
    South Dakota Constitution
    Article 21 – Miscellaneous.
    § 3 Oath of office.
    § 3. Oath of office. Every person elected or appointed to any office in this state, except such inferior offices as may be by law exempted, shall, before entering upon the duties thereof, take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States and of this state, and faithfully to discharge the duties of his office.

  11. bearcreekbat 2023-08-01

    P., I do not believe simply resigning and leaving the State would affect Jackley’s ability to seek reimbursement through a SD civil action, nor affect his ability to file criminal charges if merited. The acts complained of apparently all happened in SD, which would mean SD has jurisdiction over the actor regardless of where the actor flees to. Indeed, if the actor flees in a civil action it is a pretty simple matter to obtain a default judgment for damages, which is normally enforceable in all states. As for criminal charges, typically SD could seek extradition from all other states, although to suceed the other states would have to take steps to complete the process. I recall California refused to extradicte Dennis Banks to SD for prosecution a few years back, which is an interesting story in itself.

  12. larry kurtz 2023-08-01

    With such rancor inside the dysfunctional SDGOP romper room how can that organization keep from flinging apart?

  13. Mike Lee Zitterich 2023-08-01

    Article 21 is nothing more than an “OATH”, has no bearing over the provisions of Article 3. Article 3, Section 12 is and is the noticed provision being highlighted. Again, “The provision” does NOT apply to any non-elected person. Therefore it does NOT apply to Jessica. You can call me every name in the book, insult me any which way you want, however, the wording of Article 3, Section 12 is quite clear, imposed on those individuals ELECTED by the people. Jessica was NOT elected, she was a temporary fill in to give eyes and voice to the people of District 35. There was NO intention at the time of the voters putting her in that seat in 2019, and therefore, she was NOT bound to the wording of that provision…That being said, at the time, she was more than likely worried more about her business than spending time in Pierre for those 30 days. I dont even beleive she casted many votes during that specific time period..Now, I will sit back and wait for next person to try to attack me, calling me names, something that you all do quite well on these progressive message blogs. I will sit back and enjoy the responses.

  14. Dougy 2023-08-01

    Castleberry is not the only legislator. Keep digging.

  15. P. Aitch 2023-08-01

    Dear Mike Zitterich,
    I hope this message finds you well. I would like to address a matter that has come to my attention, and I want to emphasize that my intention is not to offend, insult, or demean your personality in any way.

    I’ve noticed that you have a tendency to assert statements as factual while not conducting adequate research to support them. I understand that you may be trying to grab attention or make a point, but this approach may not be beneficial for your credibility or self-esteem in the long run.

    My purpose in pointing this out is to encourage you to consider adopting a more informed and researched approach when making statements or engaging in discussions. By doing so, you can enhance your credibility and contribute to more meaningful conversations.

    Once again, my aim is not to undermine your abilities or belittle you, but rather to help you refine your approach for better intellectual discourse. I hope you take this message in the spirit of constructive criticism and use it as an opportunity for growth.

    Thank you for your understanding and willingness to consider my perspective.

    Sincerely,
    P. Aitch

  16. P. Aitch 2023-08-01

    Thank you, BCB. I’m glad you don’t send invoices although your answers are certainly worthy.

  17. P. Aitch 2023-08-01

    PS to Mike Zitterich – Article 21 clearly states that appointees are held in the same regard and must follow the same laws as actual elected officials.

  18. e platypus onion 2023-08-01

    and faithfully to discharge the duties of his office.

    Doesn’t apply to women.

  19. P. Aitch 2023-08-01

    Good one, platypus. 😁

  20. bearcreekbat 2023-08-01

    It seems important to know the exact dates and terms of Castleberry’s contract. In my view, based upon a strict reading of the actual language of section 12, Mike Z’s argument that Caslteberry was appointed, rather than elected prior to November 2020, theoretically could be found by the SD Supreme Court to be a valid defense to a claim of full reimbursement. But the viability of such an unusual defense would depend upon several factors.

    If the contract was entered into prior to November 2020, then how long was the full term of the contract? If the term extended beyond November, then it would be clear Castleberry could no longer enjoy any interest or benefit from the contract after Novemeber since she had become an “elected” legislator. Likewise, when were funds distributed under the contract and on what dates did Castleberry document receiving or using any portions of the funds from the contract according to the terms of that contract. If any funds were distributed to Castleberry or used by her after November 2020, then Castleberry would seemingly be on the hook for reimbursement of that money. But if the terms of the contract were completed and all funds distributed and accounted for before November 2020 when Castleberry became an offically “elected” member of the legislature, then the Mike Z argument could actually have legs under a strict interpretation of the language of Section 12. (I note that Mike Z’s post left out some important language from his quoting or paraphrasing section 12, but a reading of the actual provisions does seem to support his theory in this instance).

  21. Mike Zitterich 2023-08-01

    Thank You Bearcreekbat,

    It is in fact the ‘language’ of the provision that matters most, ‘words’ do mean something, and when used in a very specific manner, they point to the direction of which the restriction is being formatted.

    For instance, take the 14th Amendment Section 3, of which some Democrats are trying to use against Donald Trump to get him removed from office, however, no where in the Section 3 does it pertain to the “president” himself…It simply speaks of the fact:

    No person shall be a: Senator, a Representative in Congress, an Elector for President or Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, of who has taken an “oath” to the United States Constitution prior to doing so:

    Americans of whom are restricted from becoming one of the afforemented people in government are anyone BUT the President…

    Meaning, the ‘section’ blocks any Ameriacn who has engaged in insurrection, rebellion, or given aid an confort to any such enemy…

    The particular ‘section’ does NOT pertain to those PEOPLE who have already become a Senator, Representative, an Elector, or any such Officer Holder. This could not be used against TRUMP, not even Joe Biden. You would have to place them on TRIAL for Impeachment and then Remove them, thus convicting them from ever holding “Political Office” by a vote of Congress and/or the U.S Army by means of Martial Law (court).

    Section 3 of the 14th Amendment only was codified to STOP any such “Confederate Public Officer Holder” from every becoming a U.S Senator, REpresentative, or Elector for President – was not to stop anyone from becoming President oneself. “THEY” the 1868 Congress was attempting to block any Confederate from holding any Office of Public Trust in the “Government” where previously convicted of a ‘war’ crime’.

    The S.D Constitution Article 3, Section 12 is that type of ‘catch all” – it only relates to “ELECTED PERSONS” in the Legislature. No One Else.

  22. Linda 2023-08-01

    Here is the link for the PPP loans in South Dakota.

    https://ppp-loan.info/location/SD

    I posted this a few days ago, but I am listing it again.

    I think it should be understood how much this program was abused. There are many farmers/ranchers who manipulated it so multiple family members received funds. This was intended for business that were forced to close, due to Covid. But a large percentage of checks went out to ‘businesses’ who were not affected by closures.

  23. Algebra 2023-08-01

    Think of how much trouble she could have avoided if she had resigned from the Senate before she applied for the grant.

  24. P. Aitch 2023-08-01

    PPP LOAN – ZITTERICH AUTO REPAIR & SALES. Location. SIOUX FALLS, SD. Loan Status. Forgiven as of March 17, 2021. Loan Amount. $16,900. Date Approved. April 28, 2020.

    If you use your loan for anything other than approved payroll costs, mortgage, rent, and utilities, expect to pay back at least that portion of your loan.

    SBA OIG has investigated over 1,000 cases since March 2020. We have about 570 open investigations, and as of May 2023, our oversight and investigative work related to COVID-19 EIDLs and PPP loans has resulted in 1,011 indictments, 803 arrests, and 529 convictions.Jun 27, 2023

  25. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-08-01

    I want to give Mike Z credit for reading Article 3 Section1 2 closely. Reading DFP evidently is making him smarter.

    However, the SD Supreme Court response to Noem’s request for opinion on this matter back in October 2020 does not appear to distinguish elected legislators from appointed legislators. Citing its Pitts v Larson 2001 decision, the court says Art. 3 Sec. 12 exists “preclude the possibility of any member deriving, directly or indirectly, any pecuniary benefit from legislation enacted by the legislature of which he is a member…. It is intended to remove any suspicion which might otherwise attach to the motives of the members who advocate the creation of new offices or the expenditure of public funds.” Any member, the Court says. The Court does not envision appointed members being immune to concerns about or guardrails against conflicts of interest and self-dealing that could undermine the integrity of the Legislature. I suspect the Court would say that “elected” in this case encompasses “appointed”, as it would be ridiculous to allow appointed members to engage in blatant corruption that is expressly forbidden to elected members. Arguably, it would be more important to apply such safeguards to appointed members, who are beholden only to the Governor, than to elected members, who must answer to their voters.

    That said, check out Article 3 Section 29: it uses “election” and “appointment” in the same sentence, suggesting “election” does not encompass “appointment”. Words do matter.

  26. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-08-01

    But whatever might happen if Castleberry can’t pay up or chooses not to pay up and fights in court, the big question, as 96 aptly points out, is why Noem has so publicly prompted this fight.

    I’m not convinced by Scott’s hypothesis that Noem is throwing this out as a distraction from her NASCAR foible. Why sacrifice a reasonably loyal Senator, not to mention one Noem herself appointed to the Senate, just for PR purposes? There are far better ways to establish law-and-order cred. Noem wouldn’t go after a specific Senator unless that specific Senator did something that torqued Noem off. What has Castleberry been up to that might have incurred the Governor’s betrayal?

  27. P. Aitch 2023-08-01

    The reason Cory’s and BCB’s opinions are respected is because Cory and BCB label their assertions as speculative. The reason Mike Zitterich’s opinions are disregarded is because Mike Zitterich labels his assertions as facts. That and the fact that Zitterich lies about his white supremacist views among other things.

  28. P. Aitch 2023-08-01

    Question ~ Does Senator Al Novstrup have to repay Thunder Road – Watertown PPP loan?

    Since opening in August 1994, Thunder Road has expanded to Sioux Falls and Watertown. Co-owners David and Holly Novstrup and Al and Kathy Novstrup are also opening Allevity Entertainment, an indoor family fun center, north of Aberdeen Mall in 2020.

    PPP Loan Data — Thunder Road Of Watertown, Watertown, SD

    Thunder Road Of Watertown
    Entity: Corporation
    Industry: All Other Amusement and Recreation Industries
    Location: Watertown, SD

    Thunder Road Of Watertown is a corporation located at 825 3rd St Sw in Watertown, South Dakota that received a Coronavirus-related PPP loan from the SBA of $32,820.00 in February, 2021.
    The company has reported itself as a White male owned business, and employed at least six people during the applicable loan loan period.

  29. P. Aitch 2023-08-01

    Or THUNDER ROAD SIOUX FALLS PPP LOAN?

    THUNDER ROAD OF SIOUX FALLS INC.

    The Small Business Administration has released a list of businesses that have received emergency pandemic loans. Use our searchable database to see who in South Dakota received funds.
    Search Paycheck Protection Program Loans

    Business Detail
    Name THUNDER ROAD OF SIOUX FALLS INC.
    Address 201 N Kiwanis Ave
    City Sioux Falls
    State South Dakota
    ZIP Code 57104-2516
    Rural/Urban Urban
    Hubzone Yes
    Labor Market Information (LMI) Yes
    Business Age Description Existing or more than 2 years old
    Jobs Reported 24
    NAICS 713990: All Other Amusement and Recreation Industries
    Business Type Corporation
    Race/Ethnicity Unanswered
    Gender Male Owned
    Veteran Non-Veteran
    Loan Detail
    Loan Number 7618688402
    Date Approved Feb. 12, 2021
    Loan Status Paid in Full
    Loan Status Date Sept. 29, 2021
    Term 60 Months
    Lender The First National Bank in Sioux Falls
    Initial Approval Amount 125,798.42
    Current Approval Amount 125,798.42
    Utilities Proceed 1.00
    Payroll Proceed 125,796.42
    Loan Forgiveness Date Aug. 27, 2021
    Forgiveness Amount 126,436.03

  30. grudznick 2023-08-01

    Messrs. Zitterich and P.h, I am certainly enjoying your tight, yet corkscrew logic and ignorance on this issue. You are entertaining grudznick, so you may continue.

  31. grudznick 2023-08-01

    Mr. H, I suspect that Ms. Noem is probably 5 or 6 steps ahead of the rest of us who just sit back and speculate, with our pants unzipped and a tupperware container half filled with now room temperature deviled eggs on the coffee table, probably going bad.

  32. Mike Zitterich 2023-08-01

    Care Act Funds were NOT necessarily for businesses that were closed due to COVID, they were for ANYONE who was financially hit by COVID. Kristi Noem’s executive orders hit our businesses veyr hard, many restaurants, banks, used car dealerships, and bars were either closed, or restricted, and that made it hard to do business, yet alone maintain sufficient revenues to pay bills. The money was for Rents, Utilities, Payroll, Loan Payments, etc things of which to maintain revenuies to keep your doors open. They were given to Government Agencies, Corporations, Local Govt’s, Businesses, all of whom struggled.

    Article 3, Section 29 has nothing to do with contracts – only Article 3, Section 12 deals with “legislators” of whom were elected prior to the contract. The provision was put in, so you cannot get yourself Elected, with the goal to influence legislation to provide yourself an income directly or indirectly based on the laws you help get enacted. You could not benefit from the contract, during yoru term, let alone 1 year after you leave.

    NO where in Article 3, Section 12 restricted those legislators of whom are appointed to fill a vacancy, since they may have already benefited from a contract prior to, or in the present time.

    Article 3, Section 29 deals mostly with the Continuence of Government, in order to to KEEP programs going, to maintain, and keep the economy moving along, and creates the procedures necessary to maintain the government services on through the “Emergency”

    Yes, Words matter, and no where in Article 3, Section 12 restricted Jessica’s ability to manage her company through her temporary stay in the legislature, of which it was most to her to keep her doors open providing care to thousands of children. She was NOT yet elected.

  33. grudznick 2023-08-01

    You are starting to get a little loose there, Mr. Zitterich, with your bloggings. Tighten up a bit. Just grab ahold of yourownself a little bit.

    So, you are saying this Ms. Castleberry took, in your words

    Care Act Funds

    Do continue, on that line. Please. But leave us with your “legal opinions” aside, as they are very insaner than most. Words matter, and you are calling these

    Care Act Funds

    Now, we don’t know from whence these funds came that Ms. Castleberry allegedly used for broccoli and heating bills, but you should read this publicly available information. I did not even use Mr. P.h’s AssTaint to find this, I used the Googles.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CARES_Act

  34. P. Aitch 2023-08-02

    Here’s another (third) Senator Al Novstrup business that took and didn’t have to pay back a PPP loan in violation of South Dakota law.
    Allevity Entertainment, LLC
    ABERDEEN
    SD
    57401
    $113,700
    Amusement Arcades
    Allevity Entertainment LLC
    ABERDEEN
    SD
    57401
    $68,943
    9
    Amusement and Theme Parks
    https://www.federalpay.org/paycheck-protection-program/sd

  35. Lee Schoenbeck 2023-08-02

    There’s an important distinction that is easy to miss on these federal-sourced funds related to Covid. PPP is a federal program that did not pass through the state appropriations process. That’s why Sen Novstrup’s PPP loans would not involve the SD Constant provision.

  36. jerry 2023-08-02

    Great humor Mr. Lee. Watch your back from carrying the water for your bro, Moe. One thing about Novstrup that makes me smile, is his haircut. How the hell did they get that salad bowl just the right size for that Woonsocket melon.

  37. P. Aitch 2023-08-02

    Okay, Lee. Than what’s the difference between Novstrup’s and Castleberry’s PPP loans?

  38. tara volesky 2023-08-02

    Check this out Cory…RACOTA VALLEY RANCH PARTNERSHIP 63630 First Dakota National Bank
    RACOTA VALLEY RANCH PARTNERSHIP 47800 First Dakota National Bank

  39. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-08-02

    Check what out, Tara? Please explain the reference, the numbers, and the source.

    P, the legal difference is that the PPP loans didn’t come from state appropriations. Noem isn’t challenging any PPP loan that Castleberry took; a PPP loan wouldn’t have been a state contract. Castleberry took an illegal covid grant from the state.

  40. P. Aitch 2023-08-02

    Thank you, Cory. I wasn’t aware that the state, whose Governor claimed not to have shut down anything, gave grants to a situation that posed such a low level of risk.
    Seems like a disconnect between policy and national presentation of misrepresentation. But, oh well. Consider the source and consider her audience. My friends and business acquaintances in SD reliably said what I’ve maintained all along.

    “Governor Noem didn’t know what to do about Covid so she did nothing and labeled it supporting “small government””

  41. tara volesky 2023-08-02

    OK Cory, I guess I got confused with the various funds. I believe the loopholes some of these politicians used were their spouse, kids or siblings. Maybe Jessica’s husband should have applied instead of her. Total scamdemic money for big corporations. It should have been distributed from the bottom up. That money did not trickle down. The problem I have is the hypocrisy from the ruling class……less government…..conservative… freedom…..lol…what a joke and so fake, but that’s how they get elected.

  42. Al Novstrup 2023-08-02

    P. Aitch,
    Fire, Aim, Ready

  43. Dicta 2023-08-02

    Does everyone remember the legislator whose kid, claiming to be a South Dakota business out of the Elk Point-Jefferson area, withdrew funds while his spouse did the same for the business in Texas? I recall after the report the legislator’s son came back to South Dakota to begin work on a facility that was clearly abandoned, likely in attempt to stave off fraud claims. Whatever happened to that?

  44. P. Aitch 2023-08-02

    Are you okay, Senator Novstrup?

  45. Jenny 2023-08-02

    Is anyone really surprised, this is just your typical common SD corruption scandal.
    The SD pub legislature would never have just given its frontline workers during the pandemic a bonus check with the covid money they got, like MN did. Less loopholes for corruption then.

  46. Al Novstrup 2023-08-02

    P. Aitch
    Let me slow down and explain my comment. “Fire, Air, Ready”
    My point is when you made an criminal accusation before you understand the issue, then you are likely to miss the target.
    Target missed.
    You accused me of committing a crime with the following quote, ” Here’s another (third) Senator Al Novstrup business that took and didn’t have to pay back a PPP loan in violation of South Dakota law.”
    If you had integrity, you would admit your mistake and apologize.

  47. Mike Zitterich 2023-08-02

    The “Care Act” funds were Federal Grants that were appropriated by the U.S Congress, of which allowed the “States” to put in a request for, and apply for. Their goal was to give to the “States” the ability to sustain their individual statewide economies. They were, as I stated earlier, a form of “formula grant” regulated, and managed by federal laws to be used as “free money” so long as they were utilized in specific manners, or were treated as loans if they were used in the incorrect manner. Their job was to keep the ‘economy’ moving through the pandemic.

    The Governor requested and received $1,200,000,000 billion from the Federal Government which was to he paid to the State over a two year period (2020 and 2021) of which were to be appropriated and managed by the S.D Legislature under Kristi Noem’s Emergency Management of which she enacted the first few days of April…

    I believe, many of these “funds” were given back to the Federal Govt by 2022-23 cause there was a balance of funds left…while the PPP funds were ‘grants’ issued by the Federal Govt, directly to Banks, of whom managed the funds, and gave them to Businesses who applied for, and requested to utilize them. They to, were treated as “grants” so long as the expenses were used in such manner as intended…

    Jessica Castleberry’s company – Little Nest Preschool applied for, and requested funding under the Care Act Funds in 2020. She was NOT yet an elected member of the legslature, she was only an appointed member filling an empty seat to provide a voice on behalf of District 35. Therefore, Article 3, Section 12 does not apply to her in the same manner as it applied to someone like Lee Schoenbeck and Al Novstrup.

    Later on, in 2021 and 2022 – the PPP funds became available to any “Business” who applied for them, and because the “State” was not directly involved in managing the funds, any “Legislator” could apply for them, let alone utilize them to help cover business expenses during that period.

    Lee Schoenbeck is correct when he says you have to understand the difference between the Care Act Monies vs PPP monies.

    Neither Jessica Castleberry nor Al Novstrup have done anything wrong, nor violated any provision of the State Constitution. I question Kristi Noem and Marty Jackley’s legal opinion more than anythning, and several legslators who are aligning with that opinion, cause Article 3, Sectiokn 12 only restricts “Elected Members” of the Legislature from entering into a direct or indirect contract with the State….Jessica was NOT elected at the time, nor would she become elected until November 2020…this is a far reach by the Governor and some Members of the Legislature.

    This seems to be political to some members, due to the fact that Jessica Castleberry has since been elected twice, and has aligned herself with several members of the County and Precinct Committees of whom are directly at odds with the “estasblishment” in South Dakota today. She had opposed S.B 40 of which was supported by the likes of Lee Schoenbeck and Mr. Crabtree, as well as she has broken away from some of their agenda…this is just my opinion, and you may not agree with me, but I am sticking to my interpretations.

  48. larry kurtz 2023-08-02

    Does Mr. Novstrup realize the closure of Presentation College is Mrs. Noem’s doing?

    In my home state of South Dakota the Republican governor chose to infect thousands (some reports say millions) with the Trump Virus putting its entire population at risk. Kristi Noem’s biological war on her own constituents created dire circumstances sending nurses out of state, forcing people over 65 into the workplace and driving the closure of nursing homes.

    Without butts in the pews the Rapid City Diocese even received almost $400,000 in aid from the Trump Organization but it was too little, too late according to President Paula Langteau at Presentation College in Aberdeen.

    “We streamlined leadership, renegotiated vendor contracts, reduced operating budgets, really brought down our budgets to about two and a half million dollars – and things were starting to look better, our accounts payable was up to date. Things were turning around,” Langteau said. “At that time, as you know, COVID hit. That was the spring of 2020. That has been devastating for our institution.” [Bill Janklow’s idea of public radio]

  49. All Mammal 2023-08-02

    My initial suspicion for why KN is publicly shaming her minion goes directly to those checks KN signed in the late night hours and claimed to have already mailed off before the legislature had any oversight. Those checks maxed out the entire federal covid funds intended for childcare and were in the mahillions of dollars. Poof. All gone overnight and only KN knows where to.

    Since Ms. Castleberry owns a daycare, I assume some of that pot went into her bank account. Large amounts of free, federal, no-strings-attached cash will put this kind of damper on a girlfriendship. KN is a thick plot in and of her ownself, so my inkling needs no huge stretch of imagination.

  50. P. Aitch 2023-08-02

    Senator Novstrup – Excuse my pause between comments. I’m at the Rockies vs Padres game enjoying the Philly cheesesteak I made this morning and brought with.
    I’m honored that a public official is interested and asking for an apology from a liberal guy in Colorado. It is note worthy just who reads The Free Press, when they read it, and what it takes to get through the crowds vying for their attention.
    – I apologize for any mistakes I may have made. As a policy and procedure professional I strive to provide accurate and helpful information, but I am not flawless. If there’s another specific error or misunderstanding I can assist you with, please let me know and I’ll do my best to help sooth your suffering and unruffle your pin feathers.
    Yours sincerely,
    P. Aitch 🎩😎⚾️

  51. e platypus onion 2023-08-02

    Put a full roll of tee pee in a three pound coffee can, fill it near the top of the roll of toilet paper, and light it and have a smokeless flame to singe pin hairs off disgruntled ducks, chickens and loco pols. Makes a nifty hand warmer for duck blinds, too, I hear.

  52. grudznick 2023-08-02

    Fill it with what, Mr. Onion? What? Hand sanitizer? Boiling oil? Bacardi 151? grudznick must know! This sounds like a fun toy.

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