Monday, November 4, 2013

Benda-gate bending Brendan's career path

Update, 6 November, 10:00 MST: interesting view from the right wing of Richard Benda's death here.

If Governor Daugaard was a Democrat Republicans in South Dakota would be having a cow.

Update, 5 November: Bob Mercer piece here, David Montgomery here. Bankers want to end tax breaks for some lenders but state law isn't intended to regulate loans between friends.

The whole thing stinks.

Probing the undercurrent tying the death of South Dakota apparatchik Richard Benda with his past has become the preferred pastime for political junkies following the state's current affairs. Something stuck out from David Montgomery's memorable parable from about a week ago:
A brief historical note dug up recently by historian and Sen. John Thune aide Jon Lauck and Rapid City lobbyist Jeremiah M. Murphy....
Recall my post from 8 February of this year:
Former Governor Mike Rounds and current office-holder Dennis Daugaard, both members of the earth hater party, have broken federal law.
Democrat and US Attorney for South Dakota, Brendan Johnson has vacated a position on the Native American Issues Council while his father, Senator Tim Johnson sits on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. The elder Johnson is a Democrat, too; he a respected lawmaker, an awesome fundraiser and represents the somewhat-closeted moderate voice in Congress.
When Attorney General Eric Holder came to South Dakota for a tribal summit and was snubbed by both governors and their party, the handwriting appeared on the wall.
It’s only a matter of moments until the feds crawl into the colon of this red state with microscopes then subpoena the players: suffice it to say that SDGOP is destined for a lousy couple of years.
Those developments project former US Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin to run for governor. Long overdue from this roost.
One glitch in my premise is that South Dakotans tend not to vote for losers more than once: if SHS is to assume the mantle she may have to defeat the inept Noem to regain the respect she forfeited when she lost to a mere show horse. And...why any Democrat would want to live in Pierre Fucking South Dakota escapes this interested party.
Hardly surprising is that the younger Johnson is starting to sound like a candidate as evidenced in an interview with a local teevee station: "Brendan Johnson: 'Well, I am limited in what I can tell you. A big part of my concern when it comes to agro-terrorism is that in South Dakota we would have a foreign virus intentionally ....for example... introduced into a feed lot.' What he does say is that it wouldn't take very many head of cattle to get sick...to shut down the entire industry."
Bob Mercer reminded readers that there is little money in one apparently legitimate business:
There was another rule I kept in mind, though. Bill Janklow told it to me one time. He said he was taught it by a top executive in the meat-packing industry: “Sometimes the only profit is the ears.” In other words, it’s a damn tough competition with deadly thin margins. [The Benda Rule, Mercer, Pure Pierre Politics]
Intersecting an investigation reportedly begun early this year is Brendan Johnson's near-crusade against human trafficking and his close friendship with South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley. Jackley insists there is no criminal investigation being conducted by his office of US Senate candidate, former SD governor Mike Rounds, one of the principals in the Benda-gate scandal. Johnson's commitment to investigating likely federal crimes would certainly explain his not entering a statewide political race. Jackley and South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, Lieutenant Governor under Rounds, are Republicans.
Daugaard referred all further questions to Attorney General Marty Jackley and U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson. Jackley acknowledged the investigation but declined to release any details. Johnson said he “can’t confirm or deny the existence of any federal investigation” even after Daugaard and Jackley said it exists, citing his office’s policies and ethical guidelines. [David Montgomery, Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
Deadwood is home to a significant number of service workers from outside the US including the Philippines: Filipino is the largest detailed Asian group in South Dakota. One of the players in the Benda affair, Joop Bollen, has holdings in Deadwood and features one Charisse (Oliveras) Bollen on his Facebook page.




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