By Kealey Bultena
A South Dakota lawmaker wants to know whether it’s illegal to run a personal campaign business when you’re day job is in the Secretary of State’s office. This after he learned Director of Operations Pat Powers – until recently – ran Dakota Campaign Store. The business offered political materials like signs and campaign strategy.
State Senator Stan Adelstein says he first discovered Pat Powers ran a personal business related to campaigning when he was reading online. Then Adelstein says he emailed 35 or 40 fellow public servants about the potential conflict of interest. Adelstein says the next time he went to access Dakota Campaign Store’s website, it was gone. Now that he’s asked the Attorney General to investigate, Adelstein says he wishes he had proof – like the website – but he’s satisfied with his course of action.
"I think it was the most honest way, because I went public with my concerns, at least limited public with my colleagues in the Senate, before I did anything, and then frankly I telephoned the Attorney General telling him of my concerns," Adelstein says.
The Attorney General’s office confirms Adelstein’s letter of concern made it to Pierre. It’s under review.
South Dakota Public Broadcasting contacted Secretary of State Jason Gant. He hasn’t yet returned our call.
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