Chasing Murderers? Nah. Going after Drug Dealers? Nope. The Pennington County State's Attorney is chasing... Unintentional Oath violations

KNBN-TV is reporting tonight that Pennington County States Attorney Glen Brenner is going after his big case to make his name on a statewide basis... Or not. He's spending man-hours and taxpayer dollars going after GOP Senate Candidate Dennis Schmidt for a clerical error:
The Pennington County State's Attorney's Office says they are looking further into allegations that the Republican candidate for the District 33 Senate seat lied under oath. Dennis Schmidt swore under oath when he declared his candidacy that he was a member of the Republican Party. It wasn't until five days later that he officially registered with the GOP.

Schmidt says the registration problem was a mere oversight that he quickly corrected.

Pennington County State's Attorney Glen Brenner says he has contacted Sheriff Don Holloway to assign an investigator to look into the perjury allegations, but before they can do that Holloway says they needed more information regarding the state's statute.

You have got to be kidding me. If you're not too incredulous after reading that part, go check out the rest here.

Uh, HELLO! I think the Secretary of State already addressed this one in the Rapid City Journal Article that first spoke to the question:
Schmidt’s sworn statement on the nominating petition appears to violate provisions in South Dakota statute that state, under 12-6-3.2, that “No person may sign a declaration of candidacy or be nominated as a political candidate for a party unless that person is a registered voter with that party affiliation.”

But there is no penalty in law for violating that statute, said Kea Warne, elections supervisor for the South Dakota secretary of state. And because the issue wasn’t raised before Schmidt’s primary victory, he will remain on the ballot for the general election.
Read that again here. The Secretary of State's office - you know, the ones who over see elections - are saying, there's no penalty. But State's Attorney Brenner is in effect saying NO, I must pursue it to the end of the earth... in some sort of brain-damaged "Dudley Do-right" fashion.

Even Sheriff Holloway seems to be trying to get away from being stuck with this turkey of a case by noting that they "needed more information regarding the state's statute."

Why do I think this is all taking place? Here's my cynical conspiracy theory: It's my understanding that it is documented that Mainstream Coalition founder Stan Adelstein is and has been a supporter of Glen Brenner. And that's in both his initial run for State's Attorney in the primary when he first took office, and in his ill fated attempt to run for AG in 2002.

And who did Schmidt beat in the election? Fellow Mainstream coalition founding member J. P. Duniphan.

I mean, sure. It's easy to point the finger and call it revenge of the sour grapes, and it might seem a bit silly. But, who was the first one to scream about this to the media? J.P. was right in the thick of complaining about it, and she was the one who lost the election. The Mainstream Coalition is seriously smarting with several founders being tossed out because of their continual blasting of the GOP and it's members.

So, what better way for them to exact revenge on one of the people who had beaten them.

Seem crazy? Maybe. But then again, I would have told you the Republican primary loser coming out and supporting the Democrat as Stan did would seem equally as crazy.

So is this payback on behalf of a political ally? Possibly. The jury is out at the moment, but I think some more information needs to be gathered. Who filed the complaint with the S.A. office , if one was filed. And how much has Stan given to Glen over the years?

With the Secretary of State saying there's no penalty, and the Sheriff trying to back away from a garbage case like this, if someone was to ask me if this prosecution were political - at this writing, I think my answer would be "yes."


johnnie w. said…
PP, you think that's crazy??

What about the idea of prosecuting people with cancer and MS who smoke cannabis for medicinal purposes?

On another note, did you take the opportunity to listen to the SD Forum on public radio today? What did you think of it? I was totally unaware that marijuana provides relief for ALS aka Lou Gehrigs Disease. Just another benefit of cannabis...

Gary Ellenbold (sp?) the program's moderator, seemed frustrated that the opponents of Initative Measure 4 wouldn't stay on point in talking about the issue at hand. Does that remind you of anybody?
Anonymous said…
PP have you hit your head again.
Brenner has always been glory hound. This isn't payback, this a chance to make headlines.

Kea is a nice person and very smart regarding elections. However, this does not make her or her boss the only authority on election laws. In fact, weren't they wrong earlier this year.

Hollaway would rather investigage murders than perjury. Requesting more information is just part of the process.

Do you really buy the "unintentional" oversight? That is just as absurd as Clinton saying it depends on what the meaning of is is.

This post is just another one of your wacked out conspiracy theories regarding the Mainstream Coalition and Stan Adelstein. Just let it go. Adstein lost.
PP said…
Eddie - not staying "on point in talking about the issue at hand" - that reminds me of the medical marijuana proponents. Because MM has nothing to do with this.

And anon - I don't know. I did talk to at least one prosecutor who thought it was a BS prosecution.

I mean - he's seriously going to go after this?
johnnie w. said…
I know I'm rarely ever "on point" in my comments to your blog. I am a faithful reader, however. Just tryin' to generate some readership to our blog about Initative Measure 4 given your astonishing numbers of late.

You are the one blogger in South Dakota that has at least addressed the issue of medical marijuana. Hopefully you'll continue to give the issue further discussion as we get closer to November 7th.
Anonymous said…
I don't know anything about the parties involved, but how could the man not realize he wasn't registered as a Republican? If he can't remember something as basic as that, does he have any business holding office?

He took an oath that wasn't the truth. Either the guy had a serious memory lapse or he didn't take the oath seriously.
I doubt that this warrants prosecution, but there should be some kind of consequences for what he did.

If you can't remember how you registered to vote and you swore to an oath that isn't true, you don't deserve to run for office - at least not this time around.

The appropriate thing would be for the guy to withdraw his name.
Anonymous said…
Perjury is a different statute than the one you cited. If there is a criminal charge, it will be for a violation of the perjury statute.

How could Schmidt not know he was registered as an Independent? Had he never tried to vote in a Republican primary and been turned away? If his memory is really so poor, and his attention to detail is so low, how could he actually do the job he's running for?

While we're asking questions, how did Schmidt learn 5 days later that he needed to re-register, and who covered this up for him until recently?

Schmidt obviously knew 5 days after taking out his petitions that he had a problem. He knew at the time he re-registered that the oath was false at the time he signed it. Yet Schmidt did nothing to correct the false oath.

Schmidt would have to be a COMPLETE IDIOT not to rip up the petitions with the false oath and take out new ones after re-registering. This was all in January and he had over 2 months left to do it.

And you want this dumb*** to be a Senator??
Anonymous said…
Brenner is a joke, Rapid city had a pyramid scheme come thru a few years back, he plucked all the public school teachers, elected officials and well knowns out of a list of hundreds of suspects to prosecute,,,,

He was also backed for this job (states attorney) by Sen. Adelstein, I also am under the impression he is related in some way to Sen Adelstein by marriage. My guess is Adelstein supports the Dem for this race or is mad that Schmidt beat Duniphan, so Brenner is being the gopher for Adelstein on this, in my humble opinion.
oldguy said…
and school kids get killed... come on people... just don't vote for the guy as he is a lair plain and simple.
Anonymous said…
I've been involved in campaigns in another state. There, the "error" would have been caught by the elections office in charge of verifying candidates' petitions. The first thing they would do is verify the candidate and his/her party, residence, etc. And the perjury involved in the "oversight" would have been dealt with.
Anonymous said…
pp - Let's get real. At the least, Schmidt is a dolt because he can't remember which political party he was registered with. At the most, he's a liar who doesn't take a legal oath seriously.
Do you really think we need someone like that in the state senate? Would you be taking this stand if he was a Democrat?
I don't think so.
Anonymous said…
Why would a state's attorney run to the press and alert the public of an impending investigation? I would think he would allow the investigation to go forward quietly for strategic purposes. Then, after he has been able to stealthfully obtain the evidence, charge the crime.

This is sad. It appears to be less about an investigation and prosecution and much more about liberal republicans trying to exact revenge on the winners, conservatives.

Shame on you Glenn!
Anonymous said…
Anon 10:18 - Good point. Even when there really is a problem, if they blow it up in public you know there is a secondary motive.
Anonymous said…
Schmidt's excuse is B.S. How many of you don't know with which party you are registered? And you probably aren't even a candidate for public office.

If Schmidt can't keep these simple details straight, how on earth is he qualified to draft laws that we all will have to live by?
Anonymous said…
So what if Schmidt lied or forgot or whatever. The best part about this deal is that it outs certain Republicans who are not faithful to the party dogma.

JP Duniphan needed to go. She was rock weighing down the party in its ability to move forward.

As for Brenner, he will never be attorney general. He will never ever be able to get the delegate vote, not because of his prosecutorial schenanigans but because is not a faithful Republican.
Anonymous said…
Unfortunately there is no competency test to run for public office.

Maybe PP can develop one and do all of us a favor.
Boy, talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Some of you bloggers are as big a liars as you claim Schmidt is.
You will say anything true or not and then hide behind the name Anonymous.
Dennis Schmidt is a fine upstanding man who has done more for society than half of you bloggers put together.
Glenn Brenner's sister is married to Adelstien's son.
Anon 12:04 pretty much got it right.
Anon 10:18 is right on.
I suppose some of you have perfect memories, and have never made a mistake. It is apparent Dennis hasn't voted in a primary in quite awhile. This sure doesn't make him bad, or a criminal.
Bottom line, he was a better candidate, he beat Doniphan soundly. The people spoke very clearly. Dennis Schmidt is the candidate and I am proud to support him. He will make a fine Conservative Senator.
Anonymous said…
KOTA TV in Rapid City is reporting that Chris Nelson admits he screwed up when validating the petitions. You can access the report at their website. (I also posted Anon 9:10 about how other states would have checked the candidate before they did anything.) I voted for Dennis and hate to see this happen, especially because of incompetence like this.

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