Transitions...

(I'm sure that someone will correct me if I'm grossly wrong, but) I'm told several people are involved with the the Jarrod Johnson School and Lands transition team. I think we can expect that many of the same faces will likely find themselves in that office after the dust settles in January.

Aside from Jarrod himself, Jennifer Giannonatti, who had early on been part of the campaign, has been taking part. Add to that list Mike Mehlhaff Jr., a GOP activist who had been a paid staffer during the waning months of the campaign.

Tom Leckey, former Deputy Secretary of State under Joyce Hazeltine and Secretary of the State GOP, has been mentioned as part of the transition, as well as an aunt of Jarrod's who has been in on discussions taking place in the S&L office.

The big question for me is "who will end up as the deputy" as that topic has been pretty quiet at this point. Will it be Jennifer? Will it be Tom? Will it be one of the others, or will Jarrod bring in additional outside expertise as he forms his staff?

As one of three in the PUC office, it's my understanding that new PUC Commissioner Steve Kolbeck may get one position he gets to fill of his own volition, but being the Democrat on a majority Republican panel, that's going to be about it.

As reported previously in the mainstream media, at the Gubernatorial level, Department Secretaries Gabriel (Ag), Viken (Revenue) and Cooper (GF&P) will all be stepping down shortly.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Giannonatti is in the GOED...and I have heard she is doing well there.....may not want to leave...Mike Mehloff = waterhead....former member of thune's army of doorknockers.
The kid is just plane lazy....
Leckey is probably the best of the names mentioned....but
Jarrod knows alot of good people....I would not hold my breath on who he chooses.
Anonymous said…
I heard Johnson is going to can everyone over at school and public lands. Not smart for a guy who has no experience. And, frankly, rumor has it he is making less-than-stellar impressions in his short time in Pierre.

Seriously... who brings his aunt to serve in office with him? Good god.
Anonymous said…
who is his aunt?
Anonymous said…
Do you need to wear a cowboy hat to apply?
Anonymous said…
I don't trust much of anything involving Giannonatti or any of the other misdemeanants from the 2004 Republican notary debacle.
Anonymous said…
Giannonatti? Isn't she the one convicted of fraudulently notarizing ballot requests for thune? Just what we need in state government is more criminals and fraud purveyors.

She can't notarize documentsanymore. Do we really want her in charge of managing public property and school funds?
Anonymous said…
Giannonatti would also be barred from working at any financial institution in the country due to the nature of her criminal record.

But she's good enough for our GOP state government. whoop!
Anonymous said…
you anonymous ass*****. Stop trashing Jen. You're only doing it to her because you know she has a bright future.

Keep it up, and you might find that Dems live in a glass house as well.

It's my understanding that it wasn't that many years ago, and you had an attorney general candidate who injured a cop during an arrest when he was about the same age as Jen. Or a Daschle staffer who was arrested for urinating in the street (at the time he was on the daschle payroll) at a similar point in his life. Or a statewide elected official who was arrested for open container.

Puts things in perspective, doesn't it?
Anonymous said…
who was/is Healy's Deputy?
Anonymous said…
9:42 you ass****. Everything 9:14, 9:18, and 9:20 about giannonatti is true. She is a crook and a fraud who doesn't belong in state government. Some of us expect minimum ethical standards of our public servants.

And urinating in the street, you can put in the category of "big deal". It doesn't even compare to election fraud.
Anonymous said…
Do any of you even know these individuals or are you just going on what you once read in the Argus Leader?
Anonymous said…
There was no election fraud. Nothing Jen G did involved ballots.

It involved the improper registration of otherwise eligible voters.

Dave Nelson didn't even want to press charges but he got political heat from the D party.

Improper notarization happens in banks across this state and the us everyday. It's never considered a big deal because all parties have consented to notarization process.

This would have been a big deal if it involved fake names or non existent people but Jen G was registering voters, real people who wanted to be registered.

Completely different from Maka Dutu and her exploits.
VJ said…
"Improper notarization happens in banks across this state and the us everyday."

Well, that sure doesn't speak very well of our highly respected banking institution does it!
PP said…
Please... a little civility. Some of this is getting harsh.
Anonymous said…
The problem is that giannonatti wasn't registering voters. She was notarizing signatures of people she never met and never saw sign their names. That, by any definition is fraud. She was convicted and stripped of her notary designation.

What does the GOP do with a person like that? Give them a job. sickening!
Anonymous said…
The fact is that any trouble Jen got in in '04 was the result of good intentions and bad instruction. She got stung on a technicality she was not aware of. There was no intent of breaking the law, and she made an honest mistake, as a freshman? sophomore? 18/19? year old in college.

Give her a break.

Lay off the Kool-Aid...
nonnie said…
All of you who are demanding such high ethics in this case are probably Dems, right? What do you think then of your esteemed leader Pelosi and who she is planning on putting in charge of some high gov't committees? Murtha for one. Hastings for a second (convicted and disbarred actually). Yep, setting a high bar there! Do you get as steamed up about that?
oldguy said…
How many people does he need on a transition team. I mean what are there like 10 people in the whole office, How tough can it be?
Anonymous said…
All I can say, is Jarrod would be an even bigger idiot than most people think he is now, if he named Melhoff anything other than an "ex-campaign staffer." That guy is a drain on society.
Anonymous said…
Now if we are going to talk about those urinating in public, we need not forget about the Dem who had to clean up cars (due to some material deposited on them) in a Vermillion alley with his own shirt, or get arrested one evening.
Anonymous said…
Oh no, 12:05. You say "good intentions and bad instructions". You're not rewriting history on this one.

Every notary is receives instructions and legal requirements from the Secretary of State's office. Nothing wrong with those instructions. Giannonatti didn't follow the WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS the secretary of state's office gave her. Obviously she hadn't been a notary long, and the instructions were fresh in her mind. She knew what she was doing was wrong and did it anyway.

Notarizing signatures of people she never met is not some "technicality". Witnessing signatures is the entire purpose of being a notary. Her actions were illegal, unethical, dishonest, and show contempt for the election process.
Anonymous said…
Wow. The lack of support for Johnson on this blog is astounding.

I've heard some silly things about Johnson - most recently that he's promised to double output from school and public lands. I also heard that he was telling school kids in Sioux Falls that he was going to raise teacher salaries.

Either way... the guy sounds like he doesn't have a damn clue how to run the office.

And... by the way... when Kranz mentioned him as having a bright future in politics, I thought to myself, "Oh please oh please oh please."

Jokes and jokes and jokes.
Anonymous said…
The Secretary of State's webiste contains the same information that notaries are given in writing, including the "self test" and the "dos and don'ts".

Giannonatti notarizing signatures she didn't witness is not some innocent mistake, it's directly contrary to the written instructions from the secretary of state, and directly contrary to what every notary knows is the notary's sole function: to be an eyewitness to people signing documents.

She was part of Larry Russell's fraud factory - trying to win Thune's election at any cost even if it took breaking the law. They had a whole system set up to violate the notary laws, and giannonatti, as the notary, was the key person in the scheme.
Anonymous said…
I could only hope that those of you trashing Giannonatti will grow up to be half as honest and responsible as this young lady is. Now why don't you young Democrats go back to class and try to raise your IQ enough that by the time you are old enough to vote, you will understand the process.
Anonymous said…
1:18 Has anyone said anything about giannonatti that's not true? It seems they have a pretty good handle on the process.

Honest and responsible are not words most people use to describe someone who did what she did.

And for you to call people who ARE telling the truth juvenile and stupid, as you defend a criminal is just plain insulting. Maybe you need to grow up!
Anonymous said…
Again, Giannonatti committed a misdemeanor involving dishonesty and breach of trust - she would not be allowed to work in this capacity in any private business.

Only in state government. Only with the Republicans.
Anonymous said…
I would like everyone to take a second and think about the things that you did when you were a 20 years old. I'm sure we all did somethings we are not so proud of.

Jen G is a bright, hardworking and politically savy individual.

The rising stars always get beat up on this blog.

Let's add to her accomplishments her ability to help a virtually unknown politician beat an incumbent constitutional officer.

She has already been prosecuted once. Does she really need to be put on trial here?
Anonymous said…
Giannonatti is just lucky she got the plea deal she got where she pled guilty to one count instead of multiple counts.

But she protected her higher ups in the GOP, so they're rewarding her with jobs and defending her here on this blog.

Way to circle the wagons boys! Let the taxpayers fork over the payola to keep her quiet.
Anonymous said…
So is Giannonatti bright and savvy as some of her defenders claim?

Or is she a dullard with good intentions as other defenders say?

She can't be both. Bright and savvy means she violated the laws intentionally, and shouldn't be resting her arse in a government chair. Stupid and well meaning means she shouldn't be on the public dole even if she were honest.

How do you defend the indefensible? I suspect we'll have more attempts on this thread.
Douglas said…
I heard some rather nasty rumors about Johnson prior to the election..something to the effect of people in the area wondering if they should vote for the a****** to get him out of the area, or vote against him to keep him from screwing up a state agency.

I took all that with a grain of salt, but perhaps comments here suggest the rumors had some validity.

Who are all those Democrats who did all those terrible things? I haven't heard any of that gossip.
Got names that go with the events?

Anybody have an explanation of why Kolbeck for the PUC and Johnson won for S&PL? I was supporting Kolbeck, but his win compared to other elections is still a bit of a mystery to me.
Anonymous said…
10:48 -

It was the volume over which Giannonatti misused her notary. One or two might be understandable. I am GOP and demand more accountability.

12:05 -

There is no excuse for not following simple law found in the instruction packet or on the web. If Giannonatti is bright then ignorance can not be a defense.

12:53 -

I support Johnson and that is why I bother with this.

1:29 -

Two years is not a lot of time to gain maturity. She avoided written legal directives merely two years ago. Not enought time to gain my confidence. Johnson needs more than ambition helping him.
Anonymous said…
Jen Giannonatti is smarter, harder working, and more dedicated to this state than all of you put together. While you were busy slamming her for something that happened when she was 20 years old, maybe she was actually working on something productive for South Dakota, which is significantly less than any of you can say for yourselves. I am a Democrat. I did not vote for Jarrod Johnson. But I know Jen Giannonatti and if Johnson is smart enough to ask someone of her caliber to joind his team, well then maybe I will have to think about voting for hime next time.
Anonymous said…
Hey Dems - maybe you should do a little bit more work and less talk, that is...if you have jobs. It seems to me you don't have time to work, but you have time to gossip about everyone else.
Real mature.
Anonymous said…
She's just not bondable nor trustworthy, huh?

If giannonatti was dedicated to this state, she wouldn't have been out trying to circumvent election laws and abusing her notary commission only a couple short years ago. We don't need her on the public payroll.
Anonymous said…
5:04,

You want to talk about public records. Miss Giannonattie is the least of Jarrod's concerns. Rumor has it that there is something very recent and very damaging in Jarrod's record. I don't think you want to pick that fight with the Demcocrats.
PP said…
okay, time to play referee.

5:04, unless you can produce proof, it's going and staying gone.

Otherwise, what is turning this into a hatefest?
Anonymous said…
There's no hatefest, PP.

Now is the time to expect ethics and integrity from people in government. We should expect people of both parties to behave ethically.

To reward someone who recently committed crimes against the public trust by giving them a state job, and hoping the public forgets, is just not acceptable. It is not acceptable if Democrats did it, and it is not acceptable if Republicans did it.
Anonymous said…
Jen G will be an excellent assistant SPL. It's the GOED's loss. A great hire by Jarrod.
Anonymous said…
Does Jarrod really want to start out with everybody questioning his decisionmaking? This is the press no new officeholder needs. His honeymoon may be the shortest in recorded history.
Anonymous said…
Any one game for a change of subject?

Who is going to replace Gabriel, Cooper and Viken? I say we demand that all the new people have to be South Dakota residents.

There are a lot of us who have had a belly full of out of state jerks like Cooper. Surely there must be some one in our state smart enough to run GFP?
PP said…
6:45 - again, absent proof, please don't post stuff like that.
Mimi said…
So, if I wear a cowboy hat, use the toilet and work at a bank, that makes me qualified? Seriously, folks, it's a wonder anyone goes into public service with all this nasty bashing!
Anonymous said…
Anon 6:19 says "We should expect people of both parties to behave ethically."

....unless, of course, they are of the same party as the brood of vipers who are calling for certain R's heads, while giving certain D's free passes.
Anonymous said…
Jen Giannonatti rocks the house!
Anonymous said…
About the poop on the hood of the car incident, let's not say any names. Let's JuSt stick to initials.
Anonymous said…
Jarrod Johnson just busted his butt to mount a successful campaign against a very strong and likeable Democrat. Apparently JJ is more credible than some of you would like to let on. If he wasn't, it really wouldn't speak well for the person he beat, would it. Can't have it both ways. So, what's it going to be? Are we going to give credit where credit is due, or are we going to whine that the voters are just too stupid to know any better? If that's the case, the Republicans should be calling Steve Kolbeck names and saying how much better we'd be if the stupid voters would have elected John Koskan.

Jarrod, I tip my (non-cowboy) hat to you. If you believe Jen G. is the best person for the job, hire her. Because of your work to get elected, you've earned the right to determine who gets to step onto your playing field. Trust your judgment & pay no mind to the sour grapes losers.
Anonymous said…
Come on you guys! Let's talk about who is going to replace Gabriel, Cooper and Viken. Can someone answer 7:27? Let's at least talk about something worthwhile here.
VJ said…
The notary's sole function: to be an eyewitness to people signing documents.

What is so difficult to understand about that?

Except when your 19 or 20 years old you just do a lot of things without thinking. Heck, even President Bush will tell you that and I guess Bill Clinton would probably have a few stories to tell wouldn't he!

But you know, that was over two years ago. She paid the price and I guess still is. Let her go on with her life.

Worse things have happened to a lot of us and we all seemed to have turned out OK!
Anonymous said…
The Envelope please. The award goes to Anon # 8:25 p

Can you hear the crowd roar....
Anonymous said…
7:27,

Indeed good questions. Perhaps those jobs could go to Giannonatti, Mike Jr and Tom Lecky. According to 8:17 Jarrod is a political genius and doesn't need their help. Oh, yes, with that cast of characters heading up the GF&P, Revenue and Department of Ag all South Dakotans could sleep well at night.

But here is a silly question, SPL has what four or five people working there yet it is taking three people plus Jarrod, plus his aunt to help with the "transition." He isn't taking over the governor's office for pete's sake.
Anonymous said…
Was not it a former governors son now a famous lawyer who urinated on a fire hydrant at USD?
Anonymous said…
As for Jarod using several people for transition. . . I would prefer it be done right. Imagine if the entire staff of Cortrust Bank in Tabor was going to be turned over. It would be rediculous for one person to try and figure out what had been going on at that bank for the last four years.

Besides this office has relationships to maintain. Lets not get sportsman and land users pissed off because Jarod should only have one person helping him make this transition.

Looks to me like a lot of people have a lot to say about an office they just do NOT understand.
Anonymous said…
I've heard from a fairly reliable source that Randy Frederick will replace Gabreil
Anonymous said…
Jim Lintz or his cousin Ted Klaudt should replace Cooper.
Anonymous said…
As I can see from this blog, Bryce Healy appears to be quite bitter about his loss.
Bryce Healy said…
Two points for the last comment. You can ask PP about this but the rare times I have ever commented I have used my name. So none of the above comments are mine. Secondly, I have nothing to be bitter about. Jarrod Johnson ran a good campaign and received more votes than I did.
Anonymous said…
Bryce, way to clear things up!
All the back and forth stuff was ridiculous!
Thank you!:)
Anonymous said…
Jen G is a great gal and a hard worker. Fantacstic campaign worker!

However, all the Thune folks, Russell, Schlekeway, Ferendorf, Jen G, Alec, etc... have to understand that regardless of their political talents, they committed an act which at the minimum was illegal and invovles voter registration.

It's no surprise that there is such venom out there for them. Johnson would be wise to avoid the taint of hiring those who have such backgrounds regardless of talent levels.

Face it Thune folks, you screwed up and have drawn fire. Now you have to prove that you have overcome it or continue to take it up the shorts regardless of your skills.
Anonymous said…
This topic should be called the "Skeleton Closet"

pp, some of us can prove the stuff you deleted. We have the reciepts!
Anonymous said…
"Was not it a former governors son now a famous lawyer who urinated on a fire hydrant at USD?" --anon 11:10

Well, as long as we're getting specific, was not it an Executive Director of a certain minority political party who defecated on a car in Vermillion?
Anonymous said…
Is it not the governor who defecates on taxpayers as he uses the state plane for personal trips and paid a portion of the actual cost back only AFTER he got caught?

Was it not Jennifer Giannonatti who defecated on election laws and her notary commission?

Was it not Lee Schoenbeck who defecated on Dan Sutton's due process rights by demanding a resignation long before anything has been proven?

There's so much defecating going on that the GOP is up to its eyeballs in it.
Anonymous said…
Another liberal who is so blind that he/she can see no wrong done by his/her party. Tell me again, what is the difference between Mark Foley and Dan Sutton? Why is Foley to blame for his own actions, and Schoenbeck to blame Sutton's?
Anonymous said…
What's the difference between Foley and Sutton? I'm trying to decide if that is a serious question. If it is, then somebody must have defecation for brains.

Foley: written evidence (e-mails), mulitple witnesses, swept under the rug rather than investigated

Sutton: no written evidence, no evidence of any kind produced so far, no witnesses who have spoken publicly, thoroughly investigated by Republican AG but no action taken 9 months later

But maybe you just didn't understand the 5:46 comment. In addition to your inability to see the differences between Foley and Sutton, you also were unable to see that 5:46 wasn't blaming Schoenbeck for Sutton's actions. He/she was blaming Schoenbeck for Schoenbeck's actions.

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