“The announcer also said that for such a conviction, there is usually no jail time. Then the station showed a clip of S.D. Attorney General Marty Jackley saying that regarding sentencing — that would depend on what was said and done between the conviction and sentencing. That statement sounded like a “not so veiled” threat to Bosworth. Does Jackley’s comment mean that if Dr. Bosworth says or does anything Jackley does not like, her sentence will be harsher?
Considering that the sentencing phase is more than a month away and that Dr. Bosworth has been subjected to a media blitz since Election Day, all media will try to interview her. And, isn’t she entitled to her opinions?
In addition, I hope that the Clay guy who used names of dead people, celebrities, and non-existing people — will be given as much publicity and as big headlines as Dr. Bosworth.”
Sioux Falls, SD
Letter to the Editor, Argus Leader June 11, 2015
South Dakota’s Attorney General, Marty Jackley, the President-Elect of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) said in a statement he released only to conservative blogger Pat Powers at DakotaWarCollege.com, “Before bringing any charges I consulted with my colleague state attorneys general and there are several cases of similar type petition violations such as the Butch Morgan’s case out of Indiana.”
Jackley’s assertion that Morgan and Bosworth’s actions were the same left many uncomfortable.
Butch Morgan was the former chairman of the St. Joseph County’s Democratic Party who, “allegedly gave orders that others followed out of a fear that they would lose their jobs. Morgan and three others were convicted of forging names on petitions needed to get Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the 2008 Primary Election ballot,” according to WNDX.com.
Bosworth was charged with signing six petitions she circulated at several Hutterite colonies, and not being present during the signing. The signatures were all real people and Bosworth forged none, nor did she ask others to do so.
Bosworth openly posted on her Facebook account that she out of the country on a mission trip during the time the petitions were signed. Based on South Dakota law on petitions, Bosworth was only required to “verify” the signatures:
SDCL 12-6-8 – The petition shall be verified under oath by the persons circulating the petition. The verification by the person circulating the petition may not be notarized by the candidate whom the petition is nominating.
She certainly verified them. The pages in question were signed and returned by the president of one of the Hutterite colonies. If you can’t trust the Hutterites, a devoutly religious group that works toward the betterment of all, well you know the rest.
Unfortunately for Bosworth, you can’t actually trust the Hutterites or at the lead minster for the Millderdale Colony. According to the CapJournal, During Bosworth’s trial, Leonard Waldner, “lead minister” for the Hutterite Millerdale colony testified, “He looked up colony members who were registered Republicans, printed their names and addresses, and in about 11 cases, also signed their names on the petitions,”
Waldner said. “I did it in good faith of my people,” he said. He also gave the petitions to others to sign their own names and the petition from is colony shown in court Thursday had 20 names on it.
Bosworth was not present at the colony when the petitions were signed: Although the petition states:
I, under oath, state that I circulated the above petition, that each signer personally signed this petition in my presence, and that either the signer or I added the printed name, the residence address of the signer, the date of signing, and the county of voter registration.
The law does not require it. In fact, she was never charged with election fraud as the papers are reporting because the names on the petitions were obtained in good faith and are legitimate.
Bosworth was charged with SDCL 22-11-28.1 Offering false or forged instrument for filing, registering, or recording–Felony, but SDCL 22-11-28.1 actually read until recently: Section 225. That § 22-11-28 be amended to read as follows:
22-11-28. Any person who offers a counterfeit lien for filing, registering, or recording in a public office knowing or having reason to know that the lien is counterfeit is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent conviction for a violation of this section is a Class 6 felony. Lack of belief in the jurisdiction or authority of the state or of the United States is no defense to a prosecution under this section.
Section 226. The code counsel shall renumber § 22-11-23.1 as § 22-11-28.1 and adjust all appropriate cross references. Updated 2005.
I have not been able to find when the legislature edited out the word “lien,” especially given that the law without the word is ambiguous and could be used for several alleged infractions.
Under cross-examination by Bosworth’s attorney, Robert Van Norman, Waldner said he had been the minister and corporation president of the colony for 30 years, which is why his people trusted him to sign for the petitions. Waldner also acknowledged to Van Norman he has been granted immunity from prosecution by Attorney General Marty Jackley for forging other people’s names on the Bosworth nominating petitions, something Bosworth was not a party to and was unaware.
“Dr. Annette Bosworth didn’t ask you to sign someone else’s name, did she?” Van Norman asked.
“No, she didn’t,” Waldner said.
Questions arose about the Attorney General’s handling of the Annette Bosworth investigation from the beginning. In a letter to supporters, Bosworth claimed agents from South Dakota’s Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI) descended on the Hutterite community in an effort to intimidate the colony.
According to KELO-TV, Bosworth sent a pamphlet to supporters claiming “DCI agents in ‘government-looking’ black vans [went] to the homes of preachers who signed her petitions. Bosworth says the DCI officers then ‘interrogated’ those preachers in their churches in front of members of the congregation. Bosworth says the questions included how long the preachers had known her and how long those preachers have had their tax-exempt status.”
“But Attorney General Marty Jackley tells us [KELO-TV] that Bosworth has had trouble with the facts in this case. Jackley says the DCI does not have any vans, let alone black vans, in its entire fleet of vehicles,” says the KELO-TV article.
But in the affidavit filed by Bryan Gortmaker, an Agent with the Division of Criminal Investigation, (DCI), Office of Attorney General, the facts appear to at least favor Bosworth’s account:
Your affiant [Agent Gortmaker] and other agents went to 40361 200th Street, Huron, SD on 4-10-2014. We did visit with many members of this colony that signed one ( 1) nominating petition for Dr. Bosworth for U.S. Senate.
Your affiant [Agent Gortmaker] and other agents went to 42021 268th Street, Parkston, SD on 4-11-2014. We did visit with many members of this colony that signed the two (2) nominating petitions for Dr. Bosworth for U.S. Senate. One of the signatories we interviewed signed it front of Dr. Bosworth, the rest had not signed it in front of Dr. Bosworth as verified from our interviews and most had never met Dr. Bosworth.
Your affiant went to 35350 206th Street, Miller, SD on 4-14-2014 with Sheriff Doug DeBoer. This Colony had been contacted by phone by Dr. Bosworth and one (1) nominating petition came to them by mail, asking that he petition be signed and she would take care of the rest.
Agent Brian Schnabel spoke with an individual living at 1320 Lincoln Street in Vermillion, SD and asked about one (1) nominating petition that she had signed on 1-7-2014. This individual initially stated that she had signed the nominating petition in front of Dr. Bosworth, indicating that she thought the date was correct, but couldn’t remember the location where she had signed it. She further stated that she knew Dr. Bosworth personally. This individual later contacted Agent Schnabel and stated that she in fact did not sign it in front of Dr. Bosworth.
Agent Dave Stephan spoke with five individuals that signed one (1) nominating petition in question. Four of them had signed this nominating petition in question on 1-5-2014 during a National Guard drill weekend when it was passed around. Dr. Annette Bosworth was not there to see them sign the nominating petition. The fifth individual received the nominating petition from his brother and signed it on 1-28-2014, Dr. Bosworth was not present.
In addition to half a dozen agents, Agent Gortmaker also met with one colony with the Miller Sheriff in tow. Additionally, Facebook was served a search warrant and Bosworth’s passport was verified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Agent Troy Boone further identified a Twitter Account under the name Annette Bosworth, with posting dated January 8, 2014, that also contains scenery that appears to be from a tropical location.
A Search Warrant was prepared and served upon Facebook for these accounts referred to above. Facebook did comply and provided the DCI with verified copies of these Facebook pages, to include data of Internet Provider addresses from some of the images posted.
The U.S. Custom and Border Protection verified for this affiant that a passport assigned to Annette Bosworth shows confirmed travel records from Manilla to Guam to Honolulu on 1-14-2014.
In the days that followed Bosworth’s conviction, Jackley’s behavior was even more bizarre as news pundits and people from around the country argued that his behavior was not only extreme, his comments to the press appeared to be the rantings of a guilty person and not the AG of a U.S. State. He first release a statement to a conservative blogger which included a banner with he and his family.
The statement did not get posted on his official AG site, making his comments more personal than professional: “While the state does not usually discuss plea negotiations,” he began, based upon the continued misrepresentations of both law and fact by Mrs. Bosworth and the Bosworth campaign representatives I will generally confirm:
1) Jackley does not provide any additional information.
2) What is not included in the AG’s statement is that HIS OFFICE counsels the Medical Board.
3) (see above) on Butch Morgan’s case.
4) Every U.S. Citizen is provided with a court case in front of a jury of their peers.
Jackley made several public statements regarding Bosworth’s sentence leading up to the sentencing phase. He spoke to Jack Taylor at KELO radio “South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says there are a number of factors that will go into his sentencing recommendation including how Bosworth will demonstrate an acceptance of responsibility. He’ll keep an eye on Bosworth’s conduct over the next few weeks leading up to sentencing.”