News You Can Use Digest - October 8, 2021 - State and Federal Communications

October 8, 2021  •  

News You Can Use Digest – October 8, 2021


Court Orders FEC to Rule on Complaints Against NRA’s Alleged Campaign Coordination Scheme
MSN – Soo Rin Kim (ABC News) | Published: 10/1/2021

A federal court ordered the FEC to rule on pending complaints that allege the National Rifle Association (NRA) used shell entities to illegally coordinate campaign spending with federal candidates, including with the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump. In a 2019 lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged the NRA used a “network of shell corporations” to circumvent contribution limits and coordinate approximately $35 million in ad spending with the campaigns of at least seven Republican candidates over the last three election cycles.

False Election Claims Undermine Efforts to Increase Security
MSN – Maggie Miller (The Hill) | Published: 10/2/2021

Officials say the biggest threat facing U.S. elections is not Russian hacking or domestic voter fraud but disinformation and misinformation increasingly undermining the public’s perception of voting security. Since the 2016 vote, Congress has allocated millions of dollars to states to shore up cybersecurity and replace outdated, vulnerable voting machines, but even as improvements are made, faith in the system is being eroded.

Fed Says Trading Activity by Top Officials Under Independent Review
MSN – Rachel Siegel (Washington Post) | Published: 10/4/2021

The Federal Reserve released a rare public statement revealing an independent review by the Office of Inspector General for the Federal Reserve Board, over whether trading activity by top Fed officials “was in compliance with both the relevant ethics rules and the law.” Leaders had previously announced the Fed’s own internal ethics review of financial trading rules for top officials, and Fed Chairperson Jerome Powell said there would be changes to existing guidance. But the latest statement reflected a more concerted focus on the legality of the trades themselves.

Group Files Complaint with California Bar Association Against John Eastman, Lawyer Who Advised Trump on Election Challenges
MSN – Tom Hamburger and Jacqueline Alemany (Washington Post) | Published: 10/4/2021

A bipartisan group of former officials and legal heavyweights, including two former federal judges, asked the California bar association to investigate the conduct of John Eastman, the adviser to then-President Trump who mapped out a legal strategy to overturn the 2020 election results. The complaint cites Eastman’s work in election challenges rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court and his speech at a January 6 rally in Washington before a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol. But the memo centers on Eastman’s alleged role in pressing Vice President Pence not to count electoral votes and certify President Biden as the winner.

Journalists Sue U.S. Broadcasting Arm for Wrongful Dismissal Under Trump
Yahoo News – Daniel Lippman (Politico) | Published: 10/4/2021

Seven foreign journalists working for the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) who were fired by the Trump administration have sued the agency for breach of contract and wrongful termination. The journalists argue their careers and livelihoods have been significantly hurt by being fired and are seeking back pay. The complaints note Michael Pack, a conservative filmmaker who was installed as chief executive of USAGM in June 2020, expressed his distrust of foreign journalists working for the various broadcast entities under the USAGM umbrella and refused to renew more than 30 of their visas, causing them to lose their jobs.

Koch-Backed Group Fuels Opposition to School Mask Mandates, Leaked Letter Shows
Seattle Times – Isaac Stanley-Becker (Washington Post) | Published: 10/1/2021

A letter made available to paying members of the Independent Women’s Forum that shows how people should protest mask mandates in schools was made possible through the largesse of Republican megadonors. The document offers a glimpse into the inner workings of a well-financed conservative campaign to undermine regulations that health authorities say are necessary to contain the coronavirus. As a nonprofit, Independent Women’s Forum is exempt from disclosing its donors and paying federal income taxes.

Lawmakers Seek Details on Accounting Firms After a New York Times Report
New York Times – Jesse Drucker | Published: 10/5/2021

Two Democratic lawmakers are seeking information from the country’s biggest accounting firms about the
“revolving door” between the firm’s tax departments and top positions at the Treasury Department. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal made the request after The New York Times detailed how multinational accounting firms effectively draft tax rules from inside the government that benefit their clients. The Times found at least 35 examples in which employees of big accounting firms left to join the Treasury’s tax policy office or other government positions and then returned to the same firm.

Once a Hero, Oregon Congressional Candidate Funds Questioned
ABC News – Brian Slodysko (Associated Press) | Published: 10/3/2021

Alek Skarlatos, a hero soldier-turned-Republican congressional candidate, started a nonprofit shortly after his 2020 defeat in an Oregon race, pledging to advocate for veterans “left high and dry” by the country “they put their lives on the line for.” The group, which Skarlatos seeded with $93,000 in leftover campaign funds, has done little since then to advance that cause. What it has nurtured, though, are Skarlatos’ political ambitions, providing $65,000 to his 2022 bid for a rematch with U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio. It is a seat that Republicans are targeting in their quest to win back the House.

Report Cites New Details of Trump Pressure on Justice Dept. Over Election
Yahoo News – Katie Benner (New York Times) | Published: 10/7/2021

An interim report by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee provides new details about Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department to do his bidding in the chaotic final weeks of his presidency. The report draws on documents, emails, and testimony from three top Justice Department officials. It provides the most complete account yet of Trump’s efforts to push the department to validate election fraud claims that had been disproved by the FBI and state investigators.

Sen. Grassley Congratulates Korean American Judge on Her Work Ethic. Some Asian Americans Say It Echoes Divisive Stereotypes.
MSN – Eugene Scott (Washington Post) | Published: 10/6/2021

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, congratulated a Korean American judicial nominee for the “hard work ethic” of “you and your people,” invoking a stereotype about Asian Americans. The senator, who is seeking reelection to another six-year term, praised Lucy Koh, a judge nominated by President Biden to the federal appeals court, during her confirmation hearing. U.S. Rep. Judy Chu, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said even if Grassley’s motives were well-intentioned, they came from a place of prejudicial views.

Special Report – How AT&T Helped Build Far-Right One America News
MSN – John Shiffman (Reuters) | Published: 10/6/2021

A review of court records shows the role AT&T played in creating and funding One America News (OAN), a far-right network that continues to spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic. OAN founder and chief executive Robert Herring Sr has testified the inspiration to launch OAN in 2013 came from AT&T executives. Since then, AT&T has been a crucial source of funds flowing into OAN, providing tens of millions of dollars in revenue. Ninety percent of OAN’s revenue came from a contract with AT&T-owned television platforms, including satellite broadcaster DirecTV.

U.S. Navy Hit by Another International Bribery Scandal
MSN – Craig Whitlock (Washington Post) | Published: 10/3/2021

U.S. Navy corruption case that has echoes of the “Fat Leonard” scandal with a defense contractor facing accusations he delivered cash bribes and bilked the Navy out of at least $50 million to service its ships in foreign ports. The Justice Department is trying to extradite the contractor – Frank Rafaraci, chief executive of Multinational Logistics Services (MLS) – from Malta. In one instance, when the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson visited Bahrain in January 2015, MLS billed the Navy for more than $231,000 in “port authority fees,” even though the port authority charged only $12,686.

Why Democrats See 3 Governor’s Races as a Sea Wall for Fair Elections
New York Times – Reid Epstein and Nick Corasaniti | Published: 10/6/2021

In three critical battleground states, Democratic governors have blocked efforts by Republican-controlled Legislatures to restrict voting rights and undermine the 2020 election. Now, the 2022 races for governor in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania – states that have long been vital to Democratic presidential victories – are taking on major new significance. At stake are how easy it is to vote, who controls the electoral system and, some Democrats worry, whether the results of federal, state, and local elections will be accepted no matter which party wins.

From the States and Municipalities

California S.F. Ethics Commission Finds ‘Problematic’ Gifting at City Departments
MSN – Lauren Hernández (San Francisco Chronicle) | Published: 10/1/2021

Several departments in San Francisco have accepted gifts from restricted organizations – groups with which the city does business – and distributed those gifts to city employees, actions that undermine rules regarding gifts, according to a new report by the city Ethics Commission. The report released details “problematic” conduct related to gifts, including the awarding of tickets to events such as concerts, and the receipt of benefits and funds to pay for private parties, dinners, and other celebrations.

Florida DeSantis Says He’s Running. Where Are the Documents?
MSN – Mary Ellen Klas (Miami Herald) | Published: 9/30/2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he is running for re-election, but he has filed no campaign documents, released no financial disclosures, reported no campaign expenditures, nor established a campaign treasurer – all required for candidates for statewide office in Florida. The governor’s political committee had raised more than $50 million this election cycle. “We allow potential candidates to have political committees where they can raise unlimited amounts of money … then when they become an official candidate, we put limits on what they can raise and direct into the campaign account,” said Integrity Florida President Ben Wilcox.

Florida Judge Revives Lawsuit Against Secretive Group That Paid for Ads in High-Stakes Senate Race
Orlando Sentinel – Jason Garcia and Annie Martin | Published: 10/6/2021

A lawmaker will get a second chance to force a secretive political group to reveal the donors who helped fund advertisements in a key Florida Senate race last year, after the media identified the possible leader of the group as Stephen Jones. A judge gave an extra 60 days for state Sen. Annette Taddeo to serve a lawsuit she filed against Floridians for Equality and Justice, which sent mailers last year attacking Democrat Patricia Sigman without disclosing its donors. Taddeo’s attorneys argued Jones “took steps to secret his true address in forming the political committee for the purpose of potentially avoiding responsibility for illegal acts.”

Georgia Giving Limit Rises to $7,600 for Georgia Political Donors
MSN – Associated Press | Published: 9/30/2021

Candidates for statewide offices in Georgia can now accept more from each donor. Individuals, corporations, political committees, and political party can give each candidate up to $7,600 for each primary and general election and $4,500 for each runoff. That is up from $7,000 for primary and general elections and $4,100 for runoffs.

Georgia Protection Against Violent Threats Could Be Legitimate Georgia Campaign Expense
Georgia Recorder – Jill Nolan | Published: 10/1/2021

The recent spate of violent threats against elected officials has the Georgia ethics commission rethinking its position on whether home security systems should qualify as a legitimate campaign-related expense. Seven years ago, the commission ruled candidates and officeholders could not use campaign funds to help secure their homes. But after a tumultuous last year, the current commissioners are on the verge of reversing course. The request comes from the Democratic Party of Georgia, but the escalation in threats toward public officials is a problem for both parties.

Idaho In Idaho, a Power Play While the Governor’s Away
MSN – Associated Press | Published: 10/5/2021

Idaho Gov. Brad Little said he will rescind an executive order involving Covid-19 vaccines by Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, and the commanding general of the Idaho National Guard also told McGeachin she cannot activate troops to send to the U.S.-Mexico border. Little was in Texas meeting with nine other Republican governors over concerns on how President Biden is handling border issues. McGeachin, a far-right Republican, is running for governor. In Idaho, the governor and lieutenant governor do not run on the same ticket.

Illinois Former City Club President in Texts to Mayor Lori Lightfoot: ‘ComEd duped me’ in bribery probe tied to Madigan
MSN – Gregory Pratt, Jason Meisner, and Ray Long (Chicago Tribune) | Published: 9/30/2021

Jay Doherty, former head of the City Club of Chicago who is under indictment, texted Mayor Lori Lightfoot that he had been misled by Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) and the utility’s alleged bribery of then-House Speaker Michael Madigan. The messages show Doherty tried to downplay his role in the probe to the mayor even after federal agents raided the City Club’s offices. The texts also show Lightfoot helped Doherty with a booking even after he was first publicly connected to the probe. Doherty was indicted in an alleged scheme to funnel money and jobs to Madigan loyalists in exchange for the speaker’s help with legislation ComEd wanted.

Indiana Indiana Casino Exec and Former Republican Lawmaker Faces New Tax Fraud Charges
MSN – Johnny Magdaleno (Indianapolis Star) | Published: 10/1/2021

A federal grand jury imposed additional charges on an Indiana casino executive with for his alleged role in as scheme to funnel casino cash into an ex-state senator’s failed campaign for Congress. John Keeler was already facing four federal charges for allegedly working with out-of-state political consultants to recruit straw donors. Those straw donors were reimbursed with funds from Keeler’s casino company, according to federal prosecutors. Now the Justice Department says Keeler tried to use those contributions to lower his company’s taxable income.

Kentucky Most KY State Workers Who Gamed the System to Collect Jobless Benefits Were Not Fired
Lexington Herald-Leader – John Cheves | Published: 10/6/2021

Of at least 19 state workers in Kentucky who participated in a scheme to improperly collect state and federal unemployment benefits during the spring of 2020, none were prosecuted while one was fired and eight were briefly suspended and then returned to their jobs. Gov. Andy Beshear had said the workers would be punished for their roles in a scheme to claim $54,232 in jobless benefits while still holding full-time state jobs. Some lied about lost part-time jobs to seem eligible; some used their official access to the state jobless benefits system to facilitate claims for themselves, colleagues, and friends.

Maine Maine Ethics Commission Orders Investigation into Conservative Group’s Software System
Government Technology – Scott Thistle (Portland Press Herald) | Published: 9/30/2021

The Maine ethics commission voted to investigate whether the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is illegally trying to influence elections by providing a software package to lawmakers. But the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices also voted to dismiss a complaint that two Republican state lawmakers violated campaign finance laws after it was determined they never used ALEC’s software for campaign purposes.

Maryland Baltimore County Issues Final Recommendations for Fair Public Election System in New Report
MSN – Emily Goodnight (Baltimore Sun) | Published: 10/5/2021

The Baltimore County Fair Election Fund Work Group released its final report to help create the county’s first public campaign financing system. The group has spent the past six months developing a comprehensive set of recommendations, detailing how the county’s public campaign fund will work, including how candidates can qualify for public funding, the limits and thresholds related to matching fund limits, and how much funding campaigns can receive from the program.

Maryland Former Hogan Chief of Staff Indicted on Charges of Secretly Recording Governor on Phone Calls, Embezzling Funds
MSN – Pamela Wood (Baltimore Sun) | Published: 10/5/2021

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s former chief of staff was indicted on charges he defrauded a state agency he led by inducing it to pay him nearly $280,000 in mostly severance pay before he moved to his post in the governor’s office. Roy McGrath also used funds from the Maryland Environmental Service to pay a personal pledge to a museum and got the agency to pay tuition expenses for a class after he left his job as executive director, according to the indictment. He also recorded conversations with senior state officials without their consent and faces state charges.

Michigan Gov. Whitmer Vetoes 4 Election Bills at NAACP Dinner, Says They Perpetuated ‘Big Lie’
MSN – Clara Hendrickson (Detroit Free Press) | Published: 10/4/2021

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed four election bills, the first of dozens expected to land on her desk following the contentious 2020 presidential election and the flurry of legislative activity it has prompted to overhaul voting laws across the country. The measures would have codified current election practices, required election challengers to undergo training, and expanded the types of places that could serve as polling locations.

Michigan Taylor Mayor Pocketed Campaign Cash, Lottery Tickets in Bribery Scandal, Feds Say
Detroit Free Press – Robert Snell | Published: 10/5/2021

Federal prosecutors leveled new allegations against Taylor Mayor Rick Sollars, accusing him of cashing campaign checks at a party store in exchange for cash and scratch-off lottery tickets while corrupting a city foreclosed property program. The allegations were contained in a new criminal case against an alleged co-conspirator as prosecutors signaled at least two people are expected to plead guilty in connection with the case. Sollars was indicted in December 2019 on federal bribery and wire fraud charges and accused of helping a man obtain city-owned properties in exchange for free work on his home and vacation chalet.

Mississippi Mississippi Aid Program Gave Little Help to Renters, but Millions to a Top Law Firm
MSN – Jonathan O’Connell and Yeganeh Torbati (Washington Post) | Published: 10/1/2021

More than seven months after Congress created the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, Mississippi had spent only 11 percent of $186.7 million in first-round funding, compared with a national average of 32 percent. Mississippians are clamoring for the funds: 9,000 people applied to the program in August. But tenants and advocates say it can take more than a month to get a response from the program, which is administered in part by Balch & Bingham, a politically connected law firm. Hired through a no-bid $3.8 million contract, the firm plays a key role in reviewing and scrutinizing aid applications, a process critics say leads to enormous delays.

Missouri Missouri Ethics Commission: Columbia Mayor Must Terminate Campaign Committee
Columbia Missourian – Stephanie Southey | Published: 10/1/2021

Columbia Mayor Brian Treece was ordered to terminate his campaign committee. The Missouri Ethics Commission issued the order and said Treece violated state law. The state law from 2016 requires registered lobbyists to dissolve their candidate committees and that the campaign money should be returned to donors or contributed to a nonprofit group or political party committee. Treece did not terminate his committee in 2016 before registering as a lobbyist in 2017, 2018, 2019, or 2020.

New Mexico Free Lunches Earn Business Access to New Mexico Lawmakers
MSN – Cedar Attanasio (Associated Press) | Published: 10/7/2021

As long as they are disclosed, it is legal for companies to buy New Mexico lawmakers lunches and give gifts. Sen. Gay Kernan said sponsored lunches have been common practice in her 19 years serving the Legislature, and that a sandwich cannot buy her vote. Former Rep. Jim Dines, who says he refused to accept as much as a bottle of water from lobbyists, believes there is a problem. “The appearance of impropriety is always there when you accept something [for] free. … Only the legislator themselves know whether … they’re being influenced,” said Dines.

New Mexico NM Ethics Agency Seeks Expanded Staff, Jurisdiction
Albuquerque Journal – Dan McKay | Published: 10/1/2021

The State Ethics Commission will ask New Mexico lawmakers next year to sharply increase its staff to ensure the agency can carry out its role as an independent watchdog. The agency also agreed to ask the Legislature to expand its jurisdiction to the parts of the state constitution that prohibit profiting from public office and ban lawmakers from having an interest in contracts authorized by bills passed during their term.

New York JCOPE Votes to Investigate Itself Over Cuomo Book Deal Approval
WXXI – Karen Dewitt | Published: 10/5/2021

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) voted to open an independent investigation of how the panel approved a $5 million book deal for former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to write a memoir about his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. The deal has been the subject of a probe by the state attorney general as well as federal investigators. Cuomo never submitted the book contract to the panel, and the full commission never voted to approve the arrangement. Several commissioners complained at the time they were shut out of the decisions.

New York Lovely Warren to Resign by Dec. 1 as Part of Plea Deal Over All Criminal Charges She Faces
MSN – Gary Craig and Brian Sharp (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle) | Published: 10/4/2021

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren admitted to violating the state’s election law and, as part of a plea agreement, will resign from office by December 1. The plea deal heads off what was expected to be a month-long trial, while also resolving weapons and child endangerment charges Warren confronted in a separate criminal case. The city’s first Black woman to be elected mayor, Warren’s tenure has been a roller coaster ride, highlighted by some successful commercial development throughout the community but marred by the criminal allegations that have now hounded her for a year.

New York Want to Be a City Commissioner? It Helps to Be Friendly with the Mayor.
New York Times – Dana Rubenstein | Published: 10/6/2021

Faced with half a dozen major vacancies during his eighth and final year in office, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had what appeared to be a simple choice: promote an experienced hand from within or persuade an outsider to sign on for what was likely to be a very temporary job. But in three of those instances, de Blasio chose a third option – he hired a loyalist. Each of the three has demonstrated long-term fidelity to the outgoing mayor, and he has reciprocated by putting them atop agencies of which they have varying levels of subject-matter expertise.

Ohio Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine Says He Won’t Recuse Himself from Redistricting Lawsuits Involving His Father, Gov. Mike DeWine
Cleveland Plain Dealer – Andrew Tobias | Published: 9/30/2021

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine says he does not plan to recuse himself from hearing a trio of lawsuits challenging new state House and Senate districts his father, Gov. Mike DeWine, voted to approve. Justice DeWine has recused himself at times from lawsuits involving decisions made by his father, including as recently as September, when, saying he wanted to “avoid the appearance of impropriety,” he withdrew from a case challenging Gov. DeWine’s decision to end enhanced federal unemployment benefits. In the redistricting cases, Justice DeWine noted his father was one of seven members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission, which approved the maps.

Ohio Ohio’s Medicaid Director Owns the Stock of Some Major Contractors, but Won’t Say How Much
Ohio Capital Journal – Marty Schladen | Published: 10/6/2021

Since she became director of the Ohio Department of Medicaid in January 2019, Maureen Corcoran has owned stock in some of the department’s biggest contractors. Given the size of those contracts, they could have increased the value of the stock Corcoran owned. But while she complied with one set of state disclosure requirements, Corcoran will not say just how much stock she owns in such companies as CVS Health, UnitedHealth Group, and Express Scripts, each of which has done billions of dollars’ worth of business with the Medicaid department since Corcoran started running it.

Oregon People for Portland Co-Founder Accused of Two-Timing Powerful Business Group
MSN – Shane Dixon Kavanaugh (Portland Oregonian) | Published: 9/30/2021

Lobbyist Dan Lavey ditched the Oregon Beer and Wine Distributors Association, an off-and-on client for years, after receiving a financial offer he “couldn’t refuse” from the Northwest Grocery Association, the beer and wine distributors allege. The two industry associations, among the most influential in Oregon, are frequent political opponents and are poised to square-off again over a possible ballot initiative next year that would privatize state liquor sales. “Reputation and relationships are all we have in this work [and] flagrantly flipping sides is not something we usually see in Oregon politics,” said Amy Ruiz, a senior vice president with Strategies 360.

Pennsylvania John Dougherty and Bobby Henon Bribery Trial: What you need to know
MSN – Oona Goodin-Smith (Philadelphia Inquirer) | Published: 10/4/2021

Union leader John Dougherty and Philadelphia City Councilperson Bobby Henon are now in court more than two years after they were charged in a federal bribery and corruption case. The outcome could shape the future of organized labor, politics, and public corruption investigations in the city for years to come. Federal prosecutors charged Dougherty, Henon, and six other Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers officials. But last year, a judge granted a defense request to split the case into two trials. The first trial is focused solely on charges tied to the relationship between Dougherty and Henon.

Pennsylvania South Fla. Pols Wondered Where Campaign Cash Came From. The Answer Led to a Beleaguered N.J. Developer
MSN – Jacob Adelman (Philadelphia Inquirer) | Published: 10/7/2021

National Realty Investment Advisors (NRIA) pitches outsized investor returns in television and radio ads from its development projects. Many of those projects have been in Philadelphia. NRIA is under investigation by the FBI and financial regulators, and a former executive has separately been charged with fraud. One of the major projects it is depending on to start generating profits is in Delray Beach, Florida. Three New Jersey companies contributed to Delray Beach politicians with a common link to the city: all were started by NRIA employees and NRIA needed officials’ approval for its $59 million apartment project there.

Rhode Island Senators Grill McKee Administration Over $5.2 Million Contract
MSN – Edward Fitzgerald (Boston Globe) | Published: 10/6/2021

The Senate oversight committee grilled officials in Rhode Island Gov. Daniel McKee’s administration over a $5.2-million contract awarded to ILO Group, a consulting firm that formed two days after McKee took office. The committee looked at a Zoom call that took place on March 5, one day after the ILO had formed. That meeting led to the state seeking proposals and awarding contracts to ILO and a lower bidder. The Zoom call included Mike Magee, one of McKee’s top campaign donors and the leader of Chiefs for Change, a network of state and district education chiefs. Senators noted ILO’s managing partner, Julia Rafal-Baer, worked for Chiefs for Change, and she had been invited to join that Zoom meeting.

South Dakota Did Kristi Noem Abuse Governor’s Office to Get Daughter Appraiser License? Accountability Panel Will Decide
MSN – Joe Sneve (Sioux Falls Argus Leader) | Published: 10/6/2021

A panel of South Dakota judges will review allegations about Gov. Kristi Noem abused her office to help her daughter obtain a state appraiser license. The attorney general’s office announced it was referring the complaint to the Government Accountability Board, which will investigate the matter and determine if any misconduct occurred. The allegations center around a meeting Noem had with officials with the Department of Labor and Regulation after the agency had recommended denying Noem’s daughter, Kassidy Peters, a real estate appraiser license.

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