South Dakota GOP: Dems Must Prove Lawmakers Are Legal Residents
South Dakota Republican leadership has given Democrats in that state ten days to produce definitive evidence that two recently elected state house candidates are indeed residents of South Dakota in compliance with the state constitution, or face having them blocked from taking the oath of office on January 5th.
South Dakota Republican State Representative, Lee Qualm, delivered that message in the wake of an independent investigation alleging that two Democrat legislators-elect do not meet eligibility guidelines for state office under state law and may be guilty of the practice known as, “carpetbagging.” South Dakota’s Constitution stipulates that all candidates for state office must reside within state boundaries for two years prior to running for office. Evidence gathered appears to show that Democrats Peri Pourier and Red Dawn Foster were until very recently, residents of Nebraska and Colorado respectively and do not fulfill residency requirements under Article III of the South Dakota Constitution.
“We are not going to let this rest,” Republican Lee Qualm said. “We’ve given Democrat leadership the evidence turned up by the investigation and very simply offered them the opportunity to prove that the two candidates in question are actually residents of this state. Where it goes now is up to them, but we will take appropriate action to make sure that state law is upheld in this matter.”
In a national election cycle rife with fraud, harvested ballots and inconsistencies in largely Democrat districts, South Dakota election officials must now decide what to do after the emergence of evidence showing two recently elected Democrat members of the South Dakota legislature were actually residents of Nebraska and Colorado just prior to their candidate filings for state office, in alleged violation of state campaign law.
An independent investigation by South Dakota Emmy-winning investigative reporter and radio talk host Shad Olson, showed evidence supporting allegations that State Senator-Elect Red Dawn Foster and Representative-elect Peri Pourier did not meet South Dakota constitutional stipulations regarding in-state residency for prospective statewide office holders requiring two years of uninterrupted residency within state boundaries to be eligible to run.
Pourier and Foster, who both claimed in sworn candidate petition filings to be residents of South Dakota’s poverty-stricken Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, now face affidavit challenge of their swearing in when South Dakota’s bicameral legislature convenes in early January.
Democrat Senator-Elect Foster filed candidate documents claiming an address in Pine Ridge, South Dakota that corresponds to a municipal park that is not the location of any known inhabitable dwelling. She also provided a mailing address that state voting records show her sharing with 27 other registered voters in South Dakota.
While it’s not uncommon for residents of one of the nation’s poorest zip codes to share mailing addresses or post office boxes between multiple individuals and families, a search of vital records and easily obtained online contact information seem to indicate Foster is a longtime resident of the state of Colorado, residing at an address in the Denver suburb of Thornton, Colorado between 2005 and December, 2018. Both landline and mobile phone records show Red Dawn Foster maintaining a total of five Colorado telephone numbers in just over five years.
Meanwhile, Colorado property tax assessments for 2017 show Foster as the owner of a house at the corresponding Thornton, Colorado address while additional contact information searches are also consistent with her apparent Colorado residency until December of this year.
If proven accurate, such evidence blatantly contradicts Foster’s sworn compliance with legal eligibility as part of her South Dakota candidate filing application and precludes any ability to have fulfilled the two year residency requirement as provided in the state constitution.
The other candidate, Democrat Representative-Elect Peri Pourier also provided a physical address on the Pine Ridge that doesn’t seem to correspond with any known inhabitable human dwelling. Vital records searches for Pourier indicate she was a resident of Rushville, Nebraska from late 2016 until January of 2018. A rental agreement and termination notice obtained by investigation shows Pourier vacated a rental apartment in Rushville, Nebraska in January of 2018. Her physical address from then until South Dakota’s November election could not be established. Pourier was elected State Representative for South Dakota’s 27th legislative district.
“Given the evidence gathered, there is every reason to suspect that these individuals engaged in a deliberate effort to mislead state officials, voters and their fellow legislators that they were legally qualified to run for state office in South Dakota, when documentation shows otherwise,” Shad Olson said.
Under established case law in South Dakota, the appearance of fraudulent candidacy justifies an effort to bar both candidates from being seated in the upcoming South Dakota legislature when it convenes on January 8, 2019. All evidence has been submitted to appropriate authorities for confirmation of findings and appropriate action.
“Election integrity must remain a matter of great concern for Americans in states across this nation where the laws governing fair, equitable and honest voting practice and candidacy are being openly flouted by the Democrat Party, both in how they collect, harvest and count their ballots and in some cases, how they select and portray their candidates for elected office,” Olson said.
“As in Arizona and California and Florida and so many other places, it’s now up to the elected leadership of South Dakota to decide whether the rule of law is enforced in the qualifying of candidates and whether election process conforms to the laws of our state.”