Release: GEAR UP Trial Lawyers Donate $11,000 to Sutton

GEAR UP Trial Lawyers Donate $11,000 to Sutton

The GEAR UP case was a tragedy in Billie Sutton’s backyard, devastating a community in his own district. Despite that, GEAR UP criminal defense attorneys padded Sutton’s campaign account with $11,000 in contributions, including $7,000 in 2017 –  the same year in which Sutton’s committee, the Government Operations and Audit Committee, was involved in the GEAR UP deliberations.

“Billie Sutton had a responsibility to uncover what happened with GEAR UP, but he chose to pad his political pocketbook instead,” said Justin Brasell, Kristi for Governor Campaign Manager. “How can anyone trust he will end corruption in Pierre when rather than fighting for accountability, Billie Sutton is funded by the criminal defense attorneys in one of the most tragic scandals in South Dakota history?”

  • $4,000 from lawyer Clint Sargent, who at the time was a criminal defense attorney for Stephanie Hubers in the GEAR UP case. (2017)

  • $3,000 from trial lawyer Clint Sargent (2018)

  • $3,000 from attorney Michael Butler, a defense attorney representing Dan Guericke (who just pleaded guilty) in the GEAR UP case (2017)

  • $1,000 from attorney Michael Butler (2018)

60 thoughts on “Release: GEAR UP Trial Lawyers Donate $11,000 to Sutton”

    1. Why so negative? Is this a close race? I think Kristi should be more positive and win on her outstanding record.

      She will win by 25-30% anyway.

      After a bruising primary and general she will need to govern. Her positives need to be higher.

  1. Mierhenry is also supporting Sutton and Seiler…not surprising really …never was a conservative

    Mierhenry is in the same firm as sargent.

    1. Mierhenry might carry weight in an ad for Sutton as a former GOP AG.

      I’m surprised we haven’t seen Seiler use Mierhenry and Tellinghuizen in ads supporting him. Maybe they don’t but I figured they would.

        1. Larry, we’re excited for you to provide names of those Liberal Democrats that Sutton is on board with.

  2. Is Noem trying to win the Dem vote? The Dems tried and failed using this line of attack to win voters over.

    1. So frustrated with his she is campaigning this year. Against Jackley and now Sutton, her adds have been missing what I’ve been looking for.

      1. I loved the Jackley ad: Can ride a horse, shoot a gun AND balance the budget.

        Politics are tough. Both candidates were great, there had to be a looser. We were a Jackley house and now are riding with Noem.

        1. Noem had substantially better ads than Jackley. Marty’s ad team cost him the race. They never told us anything about him as a man.

          Noem and Sutton’s ads are excellent when they are positive.

          1. I won’t take your word on ads being excellent, they’re subjective. I don’t have an opinion on the TV ads, we don’t watch TV.

    2. Reasonable Dems are embarrassed with their party and now this. She may be trying to win the Dem vote, but I don’t think Dems are going to even get out and vote.

  3. Earlier today Billie Sutton attacked Noem for receiving donations from Rick Melmer and Keith Moore, neither of whom have been charged with any crime, because of their ties to GEAR UP.

    I assume this is meant to respond by pointing out Sutton has taken GEAR UP-related donations as well.

    You can’t really criticize Noem for this one. It’s tit-for-tat and Sutton started it. Frankly I’ve been kind of surprised that Sutton has been so quick to throw mud. I’d have thought he’d try to stay on the high road.

    1. Eric Holder says, “When they go low, we kick them.”

      Clinton says, “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for”

      Obama says that when it comes to Republicans, you need to “argue and get in their face”

      Watters says, “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them! And you tell them that they are not welcome, anymore, anywhere.”

      Is Sutton jumping on board with other Democrats?

        1. Above, there are 4 examples of Democrat leaders making comments that seem to be inciting violence. Did you know an ethics complaint was filed against Waters (D-CA). The DNC’s chair, Perez, made a comment that there are no moderate Democrats left. Is he lying?

          You give zero names. Which other Liberal Democrats is Sutton on board with?

          1. Check out what Sen. Rand Paul revealed in his interview with Fox&Friends about the violent rhetoric coming from the political Left and Dem party.

  4. I find this fascinating per both Sutton and Noem ads. So, you have a number of lawyers and/or prominent (or, let’s say. . .well-known) individuals that donated to either campaign. I’m not sure how this is out of the norm? Oh, some of the individuals may have a connection or name recognition to Gear-Up. Point being? I’m sure if we looked at the contribution history of named individuals on both sides that it would be completely normal. As individuals, is this not our civic right? And, as for the candidates, do we really want to go down the contribution lists and see what connections we could make? Last time I checked, we live in South Dakota–it happens, it has always happened and will continue to happen. We do want and enjoy our constitutional rights to make the decision to contribute to campaigns, right? I surely do. My hopes for the next few weeks consist of the candidates actually debating the several critical issues we face in this state and provide SD citizens the opportunity to make informed decisions with independent thought and civic confidence. Having the RIGHT to even vote is such a precious opportunity that I will never take for granted.

    1. I agree, it’s their money so they can donate to whomever they want. I don’t get all ruffled when out-of-state money comes in either. That being said, it is telling when we see who and what organizations are donating to candidates. If PParenthood donated to Noem’s campaign and she didn’t deny it, I’d be suspicious of her pro-life stance. Similar to if we find out Soros groups are donating to Sutton’s campaign or if the ACLU only donates to one candidate.

      As a woman, I certainly enjoy my constitutional rights and in the current environment, we have what some are calling female privilege. I couldn’t imagine living in Iran or Iraq where young women are being killed for what American women get paid millions to do.

      My hopes are similar to yours, there can be great take-away from the debates. Well, that’s when they’re actually debates and not a Q&A session.

  5. So is Noem’s campaign saying she doesn’t believe in due process and the presumption of innocent until proven guilty? I think the bigger question is why didn’t Kristi show up for the State Fair debate. Why didn’t Kristi Serve on the Ag Committee coming from a strong Ag state? I supported Marty in the primary, but her negative ads on him really soured me on her. It is sad that she has continued that trend in the general election. I am a republican and I am pretty sure I am leaning towards voting for Billie.

    1. Sutton thought Hillary should be the President of the United States. What shape would the country be in today if she had won? Ask yourself that, and if you think we’d be in better shape, move to Europe or Venezuela, but is you think we’d be in worse shape you should vote for Kristi.

  6. Blake,
    How did you draw that conclusion that due to this article, you think her campaign does not support due process?

    1. He’s reaching and should be embarrassed.

      Why isn’t she on the Ag committee… boo-hoo. There are many Ag states and only a certain amount of seats available. If they actually knew politics, they’d know that. That’s the first give away they’re here to try and troll.

      What do people think is going to happen when they say – I’m a Rep, but will be voting for Sutton? So, you’re going to vote for a Democrat? Haven’t they noticed what Dems are doing to our country, our state? They’re not changing anyone’s mind, they do look stupid though.

      1. Pretty tough talk for anonymous posting. Kristi chose to get off of the Ag committee. She likes to talk her farming and ranching background but then steps down from the Ag committee? I have seen what radical democrats and radical republicans have done to our country. Nobody seems to be moderate or middle of the road anymore. I think that is a sad thing for our country. I am not reaching and am not embarrassed on my stance. From what I’ve seen in talking with several people who are strong republicans and supported Jackley who are having a hard time supporting Noem. Noem alienated a lot of Jackley supporters specifically in law enforcement. Sutton seems to be pulling in support from those Jackley supporters.

        I was probably mistaken in my assumption in the fact that the Noem campaign does not believe in due process. From the press release the tone, to me made it sound like the fact that these trial defense attorneys were guilty because they were representing people on trial in the gear up scandal.

        1. Blake W. is anonymous too, let me search Blake W. and see how many options I get.

          I can say the exact opposite of you about the Jackley/Noem battle, but what will you do with that info, nothing. The people in my political circles, who voted for Jackley, know politics and know what could happen if a Dem is elected. They’re not taking the primary to heart and are rallying behind Kristi. Some are even volunteering for her.

          Okay, you’re upset she stepped away from the Ag committee, so what. There are other options in WH, maybe she stepped down so someone else could step up.

          You’re not paying attention if you can’t find a middle of the road R. There’s a Republican in my district who often votes against pro-life bills. Dig deeper.

          1. I never said that there aren’t middle of the road republicans. I believe South Dakota is full of them.

              1. It was more of a reference into the political climate of the nation right now, I should have clarified better. It seems like all the candidate that either go farther left or farther right on the spectrum to pander votes. Thankfully this doesn’t seem to have hit South Dakota as much as other states. Thankfully South Dakota has two really effective Senators in Thune and Rounds and hopefully an effective member of the House in Dusty Johnson.

  7. The only criteria in any election should be the policies the candidate espouses. In this case, out is pretty clear. We have one candidate who, regardless of whether he is nice or has a compelling history, whose policies are those of Hillary; and we have another candidate who has business experience running her own businesses, serving as a national legislator, and whose political philosophy is conservative.

  8. And also, I dont think Noem ever agreed to the state fair debate. She had already previously agreed to two debates prior to the state fair. How could she be a “no show” when it was never scheduled to begin with? And maybe just maybe.. she had other things that she was doing. She does have older kids and the state fair does run during in school season. Just saying. Just cause Billie has all the time in the workd to dink around. Must be nice not ever really needing to work and support yourself. In reality, as long as hes in the spotlight and he can play King of Burke.. thats all that matters. Its an ego thing for him anyway.

    1. “dink around”, “King of Burke”… funny!

      It’s an ego thing for many in his campaign. Maybe they’ll be Project Veritas’d? Phil Bredesen’s staffers were exposed for the liars they and Phil really are. Wouldn’t that be something, Jonathan Ellis should take notes on how to be an investigative journalist.

      1. There was a debate scheduled for the State fair, but Noem would not commit to it so they cancelled it the day of announcing the cancelation over the state fair loud speakers. I sure hope you’re not implying that because Billie is in a wheelchair that he sits around and does nothing all day. He works for a bank and raises a son with his wife.

        1. Ahhhhh, trying to find a way to take offense; straight out of the Democrat playbook. I am not the poster of Anonymous 10:33 am, by the way, just another person who likes to point out attempts to demonize someone by a false accusation.

        2. B.s….. that is a sham job and everybody knows it his in-laws on the bank and he doesn’t come in at all hardly everybody’s talking about that but I’ve talked to

  9. “Just cause Billie has all the time in the workd to dink around. Must be nice not ever really needing to work and support yourself.” So what was the poster trying to insinuate with this line?

    1. That Sutton has more free time to campaign than Kristi does. He’s provided financial support all the while putting up a front that he’s some hard-working cowboy.

      How will you spin it.

  10. I am anonymous that posted the above comment. Billie does not have to work at all. Heck neither does his wife. And to be completely honest, I do not care if hes in a wheelchair or not. Stop using that as a crutch. Cause thats exactly what is going on with his campaign. I have never heard anything about how he is going to fix all these problems he says we have. Ever. He talks in circles. Yet by darn, we all know about his accident and his wheelchair. I have no doubt that was difficult. Of course it is. But good grief.. stop using that as your central point. Everyone wants to be treating equally and fairly till they use something like that to “promote” themselves.

  11. Desperate attacks against a good man and his wife. Billie Sutton is ahead in the race and Noems campaign is not turning out to be the Coronation she had hoped to be. The voters are tired of economic and legislative stagnation in the state with all the scandals and can getting kicked down the road in regards to long standing issues. Time for change! Sutton, Seiler and send Tim Bjorkman to Congress. All good public servants.

  12. Oh and a man and his wife who not only support the lovely Hillary Clinton but who support abortio thenselves are no “good” people.

      1. Yeah they do. Look at suttons voting record. And His wife is 100% for abortion. Ask anyone that knows her.

        1. We don’t have to ask anyone, we can ask her directly at the ‘Powerful Women’s Rally”.

          I’ll be wearing my pink pussyhat.

  13. Keep beating that Hillary Clinton drum in the Noem ads. Last time I checked, she isn’t on any ballot, nor will she be ever again (Obama either). Campaign tactics that keep the focus on those two names lack much real substance. If you can’t get at a moderate Democrat, then link them to the evil Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. After all, in name alone, the candidate’s views are absolutely aligned with every single policy of the national candidates. Really doubtful, cheap and mud-throwing at its best (or worst).

    1. Awwww.. does it make you mad hat someone says something you dont like about Sutton? Why do you follow this page you moderate Democrat you? You wanna believe the “oh poor me” and “good ole cowboy” routine go ahead. Its funny. Its also funny that you get so mad when someone brings Hillarys name up in talking about Billy. Must touch a nerve huh?

    2. Clinton & Obama seem to think they’re on the ballot. They are endorsing candidates across the country.

      Democrats don’t think focusing on those two names lack substance, some are inviting them to their events and revealing in the fact they’ve been endorsed by HC and BO.

      Something is wrong with the way you view politics.

  14. It is relevant it is Suttons judgement Hillary would have been a good President for anyone but herself, the most corrupt pokiticuan in my lifetime.

    It is also relevant to know what Billie has ever done that tells you he ciuld run a Burger King much less all of state government. And marrying the granddaughter of their dead sugardaddy is not an accomplishment.

  15. I would like Sutton to expand on his duties are the bank. Has he analyzed financial statements, made loans, managed loans, worked out personnel issues, dealt with difficult clients, etc? Has he actually been in charge of anything? Apparently not or he would be touting his business experience, and that is what the state government is, just a large business, and it demands business expertise.

    Kristi on the other hand, has all the above qualifications.

    1. He passed the series 7 exam which is required for investment brokers. That test is not easy. He helps his customers with their investment portfolio and financial needs.

      1. I would be seriously concerned if Billie was talking freely about his bank business given the confidentiality that is warranted in banking. He passed his series 7 which is a very difficult test to pass.

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