The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I despise colored shirts with white cuffs and collars

In 1985, Kevin Schieffer was chief-of-staff for SD US Senator Larry Pressler. Since Pressler was at best incompetent and mentally vacant, Schieffer was acknowledged as a de facto US Senator from South Dakota for much of Pressler's career.

Around that time, Richard Battey, then either a prosecutor or circuit judge from Redfield SD, was nominated by Pressler's office for the position of US Circuit Court judge (a federal judge) in Rapid City. I believe that Battey had raised about $250,000 for Pressler's re-election campaign. I think he probably did it mostly legally, beating on doors and calling in markers. I think that explains why a little sociopathic judge from Redfield would be made one of the most powerful creatures in the world.

In 1991, or thereabouts, Schieffer gained a law degree from Georgetown and was immediately nominated to fill a vacancy in the US Attorney for South Dakota position. He took office in January of 1992, grandstanding with an editorial piece announcing his statewide pre-inaugural tour in a car, just like a common people, and making note of his assertion that he was going to make special efforts to connect with the Indian tribes in South Dakota, just like he had a clue.

On October 25, 1992, Schieffer orchestrated a rather overdramatic raid on the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in Hill City, which became known as the "Incident of the Dinosaur named Sue." Schieffer called the TV stations and told them where and when to be for this big bust, and he wore pancake make-up for his Eliot Ness-like appearance at the scene.

Schieffer then wrote an editorial that appeared in the Rapid City Journal defending his rather uncivilized behavior by referring to the "1906 Antiquities Act." Problem is, the 1906 AA is about archaeological items, evidence of human activity, not fossils, which had always been considered just rocks. If anything, fossils belonged to whomever owned the mineral rights of the land on which they resided. Oil and coal are presumed to be the remnants of prehistoric living matter, fossils of a sort.

The ink on Schieffer's law degree wasn't dry when he was made Acting US Attorney for South Dakota (he was never confirmed by Congress, which both knew him and knew that Bill Clinton would fire him and appoint a Democrat). Senator Pressler nominated him, and His First Big Case was in front of a federal judge who owed his $125000 a year job to Pressler via Kevin Schieffer.

Schieffer knew he had a short time in which to make a big splash. When Clinton appointed some lefty to the US Attorney's office, Schieffer moved on to a $500,000 a year job with DMandE Railroad.

After the bust at Hill City, Pressler showed up at the Holiday Inn in Spearfish to talk to a friendly crowd about his forest management policies. The floor was opened to questions and I asked him what Kevin Schieffer's qualifications were that made him a good candidate for US Attorney. Pressler first dressed me down for having mentioned the $Quarter Million bundled by Battey, then said he should sue me. I asked again, "What were Kevin Schieffer's qualifications to be the US Attorney for South Dakota.?"

Larry Pressler in blue shirt with white collar

Pressler replied, "He's a nice man. He's a very nice man." I think that made everyone in the room except me a potential nominee for US Attorney.

What brought this up was that I was browsing eBay for shirts and saw this one. Larry Pressler had a shirt like this and wore it often. I thought they were cool when they came out, but when I saw it on Pressler, I realized how dorky they are. Add to the the fact that Donald Trump wears them. The shirt below is a Donald Trump signature product.


The Black Hills Institute trial established Richard Battey as among the most incompetent and biased judges in the federal system. He's still puttin' folks in prison from the fort on 9th St. 

Schieffer is suing DM&E.


Wayne Gilbert said...

Those shirts are really despicable when they are monogrammed.

grudznick said...

This is one of your best posts in a long time, Bob. I hate both those bastards as bad as Umphrey's McGee. Almost seems like you did research on this or you kept a scrapbook on that rich slob Schieffer.

taco said...

Not disputing anything you wrote, but I know Schieffer fairly well and for what it's worth, he's super sharp and even interested, at least in his advanced age, to different, even libertarian ideas. And, yes, he's a nice guy.

Bob Newland said...

What Schieffer did in his prosecution of the Black Hills Institute was pure self-promotion. Smart? I suppose you could say that.

If he was a nice guy leaning to libertarian thought, he'd donate $20k to SoDakNORML.

larry kurtz said...


Bob Newland said...

Not likely, in my view, Larry.

grudznick said...

Schieffer's damn smart. Smart enough to promote his coal line and drive up the price so he could cash out with a golden zepplin and land in a castle in Europe for his wedding. He has bilked the public hog teat for more than any South Dakotan in 50 years.