Sen. Lederman on CSG Sponsored Legislative Exchange in China

If you haven’t been following his tweets the last couple of days, in his latest, State Senator Dan Lederman dropped a note from the Great Wall of China, where he’s been on a Council for State Governments sponsored trade exchange, which is particularly important for South Dakota:

The group who will be travelling, myself, Representative Matt Hatchett of Georgia, Senator James Overbey of Tennessee, Representative Jack Williams of Alabama and Andy Karellas, the CSG Director of Federal Affairs, Washington DC, in about a weeks’ time will be arriving in Beijing, China.

It’s an important point in time between our nations. U.S.-China total trade has risen from $2 billion in 1979 to $562 billion in 2013. Both of our countries collaborate on many issues ranging from tariff-rate reduction to climate change mitigation. We can seek areas of mutual cooperation, and through that, seek partnerships through exchanges such as this, as opposed to conflict.

China is hungry for American products. Particularly for South Dakota, one of the 5 major categories of imports for the Chinese are agricultural products, something that South Dakota has in abundance. In 2013, China imported 18.9 billion (with a ‘b’) in agricultural products from the Unites States, second only to the transportation equipment among the top 5 US-China imports.

For South Dakota specifically, China is South Dakota’s fourth-largest export market. The state of South Dakota has increased exports to China six-fold since the year 2000, rising from about $6.5 million to nearly $50 million in 2013. In 2013, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard invited local businesses in the state to travel with him to participate in a trade mission to China. South Dakota’ industry priorities include bioscience, financial services, professional business services, oil and gas, and value-added agriculture.

Read it all here.

Rushmore PAC takes aim at #SDSEN Stace Nelson.

Just caught this on the twitter feed:


And it’s safe to say that few punches were pulled, as Dan Lederman, through the Rushmore PAC, took aim at Stace Nelson, whom they have a pending lawsuit against:

We believe we need bravery in government, to require our elected officials to take the tough stances in Washington. That is why we believe that regardless of who you choose, you should be aware of Nelson’s propensity to avoid certain votes.

In the interest of education, we here at Rushmore PAC have produced the following commercial:

Go read the entire story here.

The Rushmore PAC is soliciting donations to run the 1 minute commercial on television during these few days before the election.

Could this cause some headache for Stace Nelson’s aspirations?

Rushmore PAC sets the record straight – They’ve maxed out to Rounds for both the primary & general.

There have been a couple of anonymous comments in the SDWC comment section alleging that the Rushmore PAC, as chaired by State Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dan Lederman, was allegedly backing off of support from US Senate Candidate Mike Rounds.

Anonymous comments are one thing, but this morning, in his typical under-researched and over-hyped style, Madville Times author Cory Heidelberger fabricated a story from those loose collection of anonymous comments. And whiffed the ball miserably in the process.

And just as he vowed to get to the bottom of Stace Nelson’s role in the robocall saga yesterday, Today Dan Lederman is laying down the law on Madville Times:


Dan Lederman File Photo 2012Just wanted to share this from the FEC website. It shows that the Rushmore PAC gave the maximum amount it could legally give to the Rounds for Senate campaign. $5000 for the primary and $5000 for the general. See attached.

Cory is trying to say that Rushmore PAC hasn’t spent any money on Rounds this year and is backing away from supporting him. The truth is that Rushmore PAC is not allowed to give more money to Rounds. Rushmore PAC is also committed to supporting Mike Rounds for the duration of this race until he is elected as the next US Senator from South Dakota.

This is just another example of poor reporting on Madville Times.


And as for backing away? Someone made an assumption based off the last report, and didn’t bother to do a basic donor search:

Rushmore-PAC-Maxed-Out-to-RoundsIf $10,000 of support as funded by from conservative South Dakotans is backing away, Democrats would really hate to see what actively supporting is.

Lederman/Rushmore PAC declares “No more hiding for US Senate Candidate Stace Nelson.”

Just caught this at the top of my feed.

As I was noting David Montgomery’s story on Willard & Nelson suing Gary Dykstra, Dan Lederman was talking about this week’s letter from Judge Foley,at the home website of his PAC, Rushmore PAC, and putting Stace Nelson on notice that there is “no more hiding:”

Willard was found guilty. But US Senate Candidate Stace Nelson has so far managed to avoid being held accountable for his role. Rushmore PAC has stepped in to demand the real story behind the anonymous attacks which violated South Dakota campaign laws.

Robocaller Daniel Willard’s own attorney stated in court in Willard’s defense that Stace Nelson could have been the one behind it all. However, every time the spotlight is shined on his role in the matter, Stace Nelson has fled.


Our court action will finally force Nelson to testify, under oath, as to his role in the anonymous attacks and campaign finance fiasco.

We here at the Rushmore PAC believe that voters need to educate themselves and to be very wary of candidates who won’t play by the rules for lower level state legislative races. Because if they can’t play by the rules in Pierre, how are they going to behave in Washington?

Read it all here.

I’m getting the impression that Dan isn’t going to be voting for Stace next June.

Argus covers Robocall legal sanctions, attorneys tussle.

David Montgomery covers my recent court victory in an article today, and also covers a little back and forth from the attorneys, who are both also involved in the civil trial:

In a ruling filed Monday, Foley determined that Willard subpoenaed the two men “at least in part as a means of punishing (individuals) who have filed a civil suit against Willard and with whom Willard may disagree politically.”

Willard was ordered to pay $250 each to Powers and Lederman. Willard’s lawyer, R. Shawn Tornow, was not sanctioned.


“My client felt that Lederman’s and Powers’ request for approximately $21,000 was excessive,” Tornow said. “However, he is also concerned about any sanctions being awarded (against him) and wants to further review that as part of his decision to appeal.”

Arends said his clients are content with the $500 in total penalties Willard was charged and glad Willard was found to have acted improperly.

“These guys all think they’re tough guys when they hide behind these anonymous attacks, but when you call them out on it … what we saw is how desperate these guys were to cover their own asses and exact revenge on their political opponents,” Arends said.

Read it all here.

Daniel Willard sanctioned by the court for abusive subpoenas. I win a moral victory, if not a monetary one.

“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need”
  – Rolling Stones

Well, I won.

What did I win? The court case to defend my reporter’s privilege, in the face of those who wished to use the courts to harass me because I write South Dakota’s #1 political website. As much as I’ve wanted to cheer on it, I’ve been patiently waiting while the court decide what to do about it. And how much of my attorney’s fees that Mr Willard would be paying.

What case am I referring to? The Robocall Criminal case where defendant Daniel Willard was found guilty of paying for robocalls without having the proper disclosures. As part of the trial, myself and Dan Lederman (who is suing Willard & US Senate Candidate Stace Nelson among others civilly) found ourselves subpoenaed.

What was their reasoning for dragging me into the circus? They wanted to pick my brain to see if things had been leaked to me, and – this is no lie – to see if I had used my magical technical powers to track phone calls. Which was, and remains, an idiotic presumption.

So, I fought it, and I won. I just had to hang tight so see to what degree I’d won.

This has been a long time in coming, so, what did Judge Foley have to say about it? Here’s my copy of it, in black & white:

Judge Foley’s Ruling on Subpoenas by Pat Powers

So, what were the highlights?   From page 2:

“Petitioners Powers and Lederman seek sanctions in the form of attorney’s fees and costs and in their brief claim they incurred $10,600.00 in fees to confer with counsel, research,draft, and argue all pleadings and motions in this case as it pertains to them..”

We asked for $10,600 in legal fees…..   From Page 5:

In this particular case, Mr. Arends is a veteran of the legal profession and a solo practitioner. The fees of $200.00 an hour for his work are reasonable. After a careful review of the work necessary to argue the motions and pleadings, the Court finds the hours worked on this issue to be reasonable. In fact, the Court would like to commend Mr. Arends on the fine legal work he displayed in this matter.

Judge Foley was complimentary to the thoroughness of our attorney’s work, but….

Further, as described in Guthrie, “a lessor amount of terms will still serve to send a message … and prevent further abuses.”

The Judge thought messages are more important than amounts… Wait, What? From page 6:

While the Court is sensitive to the actual attorney’s fees Mr. Arends accumulated on behalf of his clients, those fees must be weighed against the equities of the particular facts in this case. The argument that Willard should have to pay the price of forcing Lederman and Powers to go through this ordeal is strong. But the more compelling aspect of this issue is the need to impose “punitive” terms upon Willard for issuing abusive subpoenas, not necessarily making Mr. Arends’ clients whole. Mr. Arends’ work must be deemed successful; his clients paid to have their subpoenas quashed . The Court feels that success should come at a price to Mr. Arends’ clients themselves, not just Willard.

Aw, darn it. If we wanted to contest the subpoena, we had to pay for a big chunk of the privilege of doing so. Again, page 6:

As mentioned, the Court has already determined there was bad faith involved in the issuance of the two subpoenas at issue. The Court has taken the position that the issuance was done, at least in part, as a means of punishing an individual who have filed a civil suit against Willard and with whom Willard may disagree politically.

Yes, the judge recognizes that they were being jerky to us, hence the “bad faith” involved in the issuance of the two subpeonas. And the end result:

CONCLUSION: After careful consideration of the four factors provided by the South Dakota Supreme Court in Guthrie, the Court finds reasonable the imposition of sanctions in the amount of $250.00 for issuing the subpoena to Mr. Powers in bad faith, and $250.00 for issuing the subpoena to Mr. Lederman in bad faith. The Court imposes terms equaling a total of $500.00 against the defendant, Daniel Willard.

As a result of all of this, the court set the precedent that some bloggers, in this case, specifically me, are Journalists in the eyes of the law. And, that Daniel Willard was pursuing this matter against me in bad faith.

And so, I’ll just cue up the Rolling Stones on my jukebox to remind myself that “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you just might find, you get what you need.”

US Senate forum in Iowa

Dan Lederman has a big event happening in Sioux City today, through one of the groups he works with, the Republican Jewish Coalition:
iowa_forumI’ve been to a couple of his events for the RJC, and they’re typically top shelf.

In addition to the Iowa US Senate candidates, I’m told Dr. Annette Bosworth from the US Senate race is going to be in attendance.

State Senate Assistant Majority Leader chimes in on public facilities being used for hate speech

State Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dan Lederman also has a piece on his website about the group bringing the woman to SD to talk about Israelis murdering Palestinians to steal their organs.

Read it here: A stain on our civil South Dakota society: South Dakota Universities and Democrats should not host vicious anti-Semitic speaker