Looking at the Bosworth case from a different angle. What do the signers have to say?

As you might note from the story below, including the comment section, the Bosworth post-election team has moved on from the campaign, into full PR mode, primarily aimed at attacking her detractors, and those who are pursuing a criminal case against her.

If you’re playing catch up at this point, here’s the pertinent portion of the press release that was sent out the day after the election:

bosworthAttorney General Marty Jackley announces that two separate Complaints have been filed charging Annette Bosworth, 42 , Sioux Falls and Clayton Walker, 33, Rapid City with election law violations. The Complaints have been filed in Hughes County where the nominating petitions were filed and are accompanied with a Probable Cause Affidavit setting forth the investigation conducted by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation. Counts 1A- 1-F of both Complaints charge offering false or forged instrument for filing and constitute Class 6 felonies each punishable maximum sentence of two years imprisonment and/or $4,000 fine. Counts 2A-2F of both Complaints charge perjury and constitute Class 6 felonies each punishable maximum sentence of two years imprisonment and/or $4,000 fine.

Read it all here.

According to various news sources, the charges on Bosworth were mainly directed at the petitions that were circulated and had signatures collected while she was on a medical mission in the Philippines.

With the arraignment taking place yesterday, I’d written a piece on some of the other inconsistencies that seem to be evident on Bosworth’s petitions, such as a series of signatories on one petition being from Minnehaha County, and another collected on the same day being from Pennington County.  And there was also the one with Minnehaha & Lincoln county signatories signing on, when she was documented by her own website to be in Pennington & Meade counties.

I noted yesterday, these weren’t impossible to explain, but they looked as if they could be of concern.

Predictably, the Bosworth people, such as Lee Stranahan disagreed, and left numerous comments, tweets, etc., disagreeing. And that’s fine, I’m here to engender discussion.

But I was pecking through her petitions, I saw several names I recognized, such as former State Rep Mark Venner. He signed her petitions at the Hughes County Lincoln Day dinner, one where she and Joel Arends joined me at the table I was at. She had her clipboard in hand, and was collecting them as she could.  I remember it vividly, as it was funny, with Venner being a Stace Nelson supporter and all.

But what about the other names I recognized? There were three of them from vastly different walks of life. I’m friendly enough with all of them to contact them and ask them a very simple question about the circumstances of when they signed the signature. And who was present.

I was a bit stunned at the response I received, to say the least.

“A*.” (*abbreviated for privacy) who I’ve known for many years, is a young mother & small businesswoman who signed Annette’s petition, right above her mother’s name.  It stuck out like a sore thumb, as I didn’t know her to be as political as her mom could be, but there was her name on a petition.

So, I asked “A” - I see from looking at a petition that you & your mom signed a nominating petition for Annette Bosworth. You don’t happen to recall if she was the one passing the petition around, or was it someone else?

A.’s response? “It was someone else and not her.” (her, as in Annette was not the one who had her sign.) But, looking at this page of the petition, appearing as the person attesting that they had witnessed A’s signature was signed “Annette Bosworth.

That brought me to “J*,” a young farmer in South Central South Dakota. “J” has a political pedigree, and forgive my memory, but may have been a TAR at one time. So, he’s very aware of his candidates.

And I posed the same question to him – J, you (or someone with the same name) signed a petition for Annette Bosworth. Was she the one circulating it? And if she wasn’t, do you recall who was?

The reply? “It was at the outdoor show down in sf. Not sure who the people were, they were set up a couple booths away from… the booth for Rounds.

Just to be sure of his response, I pressed J – “Do you recall if it was Annette herself? I ask because she’s the one who signed off as having circulated it directly.

His reply? He very distinctly replied “No it was not.”

At this point, two out of two said they signed, but she wasn’t there.

Yet Annette Bosworth’s name appeared at the bottom signing off stating “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 signing and the county of the voter registration.”

But “J,” just like “A” said Annette was not the person who witnessed their signature.

Finally (and that’s because it took longer to get in touch with them), I spoke with “C,” a very busy businessperson in Minnehaha County. “C” is in the thick of the political know, and very familiar with the politics and the personalities of Sioux Falls.

And I asked “C,” very frankly, “Did Annette have you sign her petition?”

“C” flat out told me “No. She was not present when I signed, and she was not the person circulating the petition.

Wow. Three people. All in different parts of the state. All signing three completely different petitions.

All signers of them giving first hand accounts that despite the oath appearing at the bottom of the page being signed by Annette Bosworth, none of them were in her presence when they signed.

Speaking of the oath, on the three separate petitions involved with the A, J, and C – the people kind enough to give their personal accounts of signing the petitions to me? There were two different notaries who witnessed and attested Bosworth’s oath on each. Two had the oath witnessed by Joel Arends.

The other was witnessed and signed by Rodney E. Fitts, Notary Public.

Which doesn’t exactly help her narrative of blaming attorney Joel Arends for all of her legal woes.  If it does anything, it brings the entire Bosworth PR narrative seriously into question.  Because if the narrative they’re trying to press – “that it was Joel’s fault” that she signed petitions she didn’t circulate – isn’t accurate, it leaves one wondering which version of the story IS the accurate one.

But that’s not for us to decide.  Annette should have ample opportunity to discuss the matter before a jury of her peers.

43 thoughts on “Looking at the Bosworth case from a different angle. What do the signers have to say?”

  1. Like most of what Bozworth puts out there it looks good but doesnt pass the smell test. Nothing she does passes a rigorous examination.

      1. Lets start at all those films you promised to make but never did but took money for them… Lee you dont have any room to talk here. Go back to your home with your wife and children, SD has enough shysters.

        1. There are no such films. I have a couple of films that aren’t finished yet that I’m working on.

          And you are not the boss of me, anonymous troll who has accomplished nothing in their life, ever.

      2. Lee Stranahan did Dr. Bosworth have clipboards with petitions for patients to sign at her medical office where the receptionist is at?

        1. Stranahan will not answer direct question like this. He likes to distract from Boz’s charges.

  2. You know, Lee Stranahan always claims to ONLY report the truth. I wonder if absolute, 100% factual evidence, such as both of your articles on this blog about this matter as of late relate, will give Lee pause and make him consider that maybe he was wrong to have trusted her. I know I was angry and backed away from her and warned others of the tangled web she weaves as soon as it became evident that she was not honest. I sure wouldn’t want to be a reporter who sang her praises after having unequivocal truth that she is not to be praised. It would surely ruin ones credibility.

    1. There’s nothing in this article that shows Annette Bosworth isn’t honest.

      You, WestRiver — you aren’t honest.

      You seem to know Bosworth. So why the fake name?

      Who are you?

    2. It usually takes her “helpers” getting thrown under the bus a few times before they figure it out.

  3. So, this article is more proof that Annette Bosworth is being prosecuted for submitting real signatures of real people.

    That is completely unprecedented.

    It’s analogous to Marty Jackley trying to prosecute people for suborning perjury and witness tampering in a case of child rape where Jackley knew that the accused child rapist was guilty.

    You see, ‘signature fraud’ usually involves getting FALSE signatures or FAKE people.

    Pat Powers talked to people, all of whom said they DID sign the petition.

    Huh.

    Some people will jump in and say that the law broken was that she didn’t SEE the person sign the petition.

    Well, that’s an interesting legal theory. But it’s not proven.

    Why? Because I haven’t ever heard of a case where someone was successfully prosecuted for that.

    Can you, Pat? Can any of you?

    Can anyone point me to a case, ever in the history of South Dakota, where someone was charged with not seeing the person sign a petition?

    I’m not trying the legal case. YOU people are. So, make your case. Where’s the precedent?

    Now, it’s true that Joel Arends is the person who gave her the legal advice to submit the signatures.

    He gave her an explanation as to why, too.

    You’ll note that I haven’t ever said what that explanation was because it’s not part of the public record. As I’ve said many many times, I’m not trying the legal case. So, the details of what happen will remain for the courtroom.

    The reason the press conference we did had to happen was that Joel Arends pressured Annette Bosworth into releasing a false statement on April 18th. It was a statement that Arends knew to be untrue and only served his interests.

    So, now the record is fixed. And Joel Arends continues to hide like a scared puppy.

    1. You know, I don’t know that I recall that anyone HAS been prosecuted for signing off on a petition they are alleged to have not been the one to circulate in the 25-26 years I’ve been kicking around.

      But, there’s a first time for everything.

    2. She not being charged for ” signature fraud”… She is not being charged with not seeing the person sign a petition….. She is being charged with perjury and filing false documents……..

      1. Lee…… Strawmen may work in the blogosphere but the flying monkeys will rip them apart in court…….

    3. One again you are deliberately misrepresenting the rape case. Mr. Taliaferro was not charged in connection with the prosecution of the convicted rapist. That person pled guilty and is in prison. Taliaferro was fired and charged with tampering in the case against the wife, who faced abuse and neglect charges but no sex offenses.

      Your continued assertions that Jackley prosecuted Taliaferro for going after a child rapist are a lie.

    4. Lee,

      Have you ever heard the term “precedent setting case”?

      Simply because a precedent hasn’t been established doesn’t mean a law has not been broken.

      Bosworth and truth should never be used in the same sentence.

    5. Stranahan and Boz were meant for each other. Both are grifters with serious personality disorders. I hope they are happy together.

  4. Just to make sure I understand the process because I have never circulated a nominating petition. I have signed them and never really thought much of it. A person comes around and hands me a petition. That person is not the candidate. That person is supposed to sign the bottom in front of a notary stating that he/she is the one who circulated the petition. Am I right so far? So Annette allegedly signed some petitions circulated by other people. First question is why would she need to do that? She has someone who circulated the petition. Why didn’t that person sign it? Second question is if it says I circulated this petition, how hard is that to understand? I can see a reason for the law, I just do not see a reason to break it. Does Annette claim to have circulated those petitions or not? I am not seeing her defense unless it is everybody else does it.

    1. You’re asking good questions.

      But there’s no ‘law’, right?

      In other words, there isn’t a specific statute that says ‘A candidate must watch as a person signs’ or anything. Correct?

      So, when people say she broke the law, that’s not really accurate.

      And — still waiting — where has anyone in the history of South Dakota even been even CHARGED with perjury for getting real signatures?

      Not convicted, mind you. Charged.

      Anyone have a cite?

      1. The actual breaking of the signers oath is a misdemeanor in SD which gives very specific instructions to the petition circulator that they have to physically with their own eyes witness an actual human being sign their signature to the petition with the signers own hand. If a person took a “petition for partisan election” form that contained signatures that the petition circulator who was also the candidate-nominee did not personally witness, and walked them into the SOS and then filed them it became filing a false legal instrument, and the candidates signature on the circulators oath became perjury.

      2. 12-6-8. Time and manner of signing petition–Declaration of candidate–Verification–Signing for independent or nonpolitical candidate.

        ………..The petition shall be verified under oath by the persons circulating the petition. ………..

          1. Where has it been done where is extremely easy to prove that she did not witness the petition being signed? Really, you need to take a step back and look at it from all sides. Proving that she didnt witness the signatures is easy, both by her social media, and later on with her own admission. Jackley has no choice in this matter. Prosecute, or have it used against him knowing that a crime was committed and he didn’t pursue. In an election year, that just would not be wise on his part to turn the cheek. Facts are facts, and to claim that you are a journalist and ignore these facts – well, there goes all your credibility.

          2. It probably hasn’t because it is too easy of a law to follow… Until the very friendly yet mentally unstable doctor now.

  5. I don’t like the Boz but I did personally wittiness her and her husband at her booth at two different home / outdoor shows in Sioux Falls , very close to Rounds, circulating petitions… Doesn’t mean they didn’t step away while someone else continued to circulate the same petition.

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again now, the circulator should sign before circulating. That way when John Doe comes up to Jane Doe on the street or at an outdoor show with a signature Jane can flip the petition over and see John’s name and ask, ‘hey are John?’

    What I have personally witnessed at home shows and Benson’s Flea Market (where one mans treasure is…) is people working on Sioux Falls ballot questions working together to circulate the same petition sheet. I did speak with the SF City Clerk about this.

    Full circle: Boz broke the law, and that’s all that matters. I don’t care about her excuses. Her excuses make it worse! And this Lee S. fellow isn’t helping, he’s making it worse with the unrelated distractions. South Dakotans are smarter than Lee S. gives us credit for…

  6. Wow, Lee S. you need to move on. All my nominating petitions were tossed out a couple elections ago because I didn’t have a “6” in a date. I didn’t whine about being persecuted. I went and got new signatures. And you are apparently new to this because is “101 petition circulating” that the collectors get a notary to sign off on petitions they’ve circulated. It’s black and white in the law. It’s not that hard. Like everything else with them, the Boz signature drive was a free for all. It’s illegal and for good reason.

    Here you pick on PP for a couple posts on this topic. Fact is, he gave her every benefit of the doubt the entire campaign. She should thank him.

    Lee, open your eyes to a pattern here. Everyone in their lives get used, taken advantage of and then thrown under the bus; employees, family, business associates, lawyer, campaign staff and campaign manager, etc. and you think you will be different? You are being used, brother.

  7. Spoxman’s argument summed up another way: since no one in South Dakota has ever, ever, ever been indicted for, lets say a Madoff-type ponzi scheme (wait for it) well then shucks it’s “unprecedented” so it must not be a felony in South Dakota!

    Oooookay…

  8. Just so Lee doesn’t miss it in my above comment, look up ‘precedent setting case’.

  9. Lee S. seems to be interested in one thing only… getting his name in front of people. (Google the guy and read up on his background). Lee, maybe you should go home to your wife and kids, two months away is a long time. You’re digging for gold in a pile of worthless pyrite.

  10. Lee Stranahan are you going to make a documentary from your experience here in South Dakota? If so, what will it cover? The persecution and making of a martyr Annette Bosworth for the Annette Bosworth/Chad Haber Facebook Church of blind followers?

    Will the documentary cover South Dakota corruption?

  11. I signed a petition for Rounds, but Rounds was not present…not sure who signed off at the bottom…I see this whole case as, Boz recieved bad advice and “she believed” she had to sign every petition circulation because that was what someone on her team said that she trusted and because of that bad advice she is now the sacrificial lamb being led to the slaughter…

  12. While it is wholly possible this entire fight by Bosworth is irrational, I assume it is rational.

    So, why would she so vociferously fight this petition matter leaving no ground to back up when a very clear “mea culpa” would probably result in a minor conviction and likely a suspended imposition of sentence?

    The only thing that makes sense is the first legal battle for which the consequences are more dire.

    1. Troy –
      That’s something that has had me scratching my head since the the warrant was issued.
      Had she done a ‘I got bad advice, but I should have know better. I made the mistake and I will take the blame for it’ and simply taken her lumps, it would have been plead down to a misdemeanor, a slap on her wrist and maybe a small fine. Now there will be a felony conviction and she’ll lose her medical license.
      I’d almost feel sorry for her, but she’s done everything she can to escalate the situation. Maybe she’s trying to make it so they can’t find 12 eligible jurors in the state who are not familiar with the case?

  13. Anthony,

    I hear you but even that doesn’t make sense to me (12 eligible jurors) because the risk/reward ratio is out of whack.

    One of my maxims is “If it doesn’t make sense, I don’t know enough. There is more out there. Keep digging.”

    You are the lawyer. I assume that a conviction on a minor matter is considered with regard to subsequent convictions (i.e. no longer a first time offender, etc). So, all that makes sense to me is that she knows there is more to come so she has to fight them all lest the consequences not be cumulative but possibly exponential.

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