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Jackley Says Ritesman Disclosure An Example Of Commitment To Transparency


Attorney General and Republican candidate for governor, Marty Jackley says his opponent is using Washington-style politics to smear his campaign.

Before a gubernatorial debate on SDPB last/Tuesday night, the Kristi Noem campaign drew connections between Jackley and a Sioux Falls businessman accused of wire and mail fraud.

In 2016, Global Aquaponics broke ground on a hydroponics farming facility just south of Brookings. The company planned on combining fish farming and growing plants in water.

Attorney General Jackley attended the ground breaking with public officials and city leaders. He says his attendance was to support economic development.
But the facility was never built despite CEO Tobias Ritesman raising money for this and other companies. Ritesman and his business partner are charged with over a dozen counts of fraud toward investors by misrepresenting the company.

Also in 2016, the “Friends of Marty Jackley” political action committee reported a $700 in-kind contribution from Tobias Ritesman for “Food and Location for event” on its 2016 pre-general fundraising report.

Jackley says that disclosure is an example of his commitment to transparency.

“It wasn’t a fundraiser for Marty Jackley, it was an event where there was food and stuff. And so out of an abundance of caution I always put down ‘in-kind’ that I was there. I was there to meet people, to meet folks in economic development. To, frankly, learn more about this concept of aquaponics.”

In-kind contributions are contributions of either goods or services, not outright cash.

Ritesman made an initial appearance in federal court in January. A plea deal is due by June 12. If no deal is reached, jury trial is set for June 26.