Updates from the RR research department:
- Conzet (nee Fischer) was acquainted with PP (of SDWC) in school; PP's assessment: "nice gal."
- Conzet was recently the executive director of Storybook Island as early as 2005, and made press in that position in this RCJ report on Storybook's celebrated 2008 Easter Egg hunt.
- Enquiring minds want to know: do the Pierre Fischer's have any relation to Bob the Rapid City furniture mogul/RCJ benefactor/anti-woman-anti-LGBT political activist? Or my friend David on the board of Equality South Dakota?
- Republicans are having a field day responding to questions of Conzet's qualifications to represent District 32 by (frankly) whining about the nomination (not appointment, nomination) of Sen Johnson's son Brendan for SD US Attorney. Note that Mr. Johnson was nominated after consultation with both parties (Former Rep. Bill Janklow endorsed the nomination), and Johnson is extremely qualified. It's not clear from reports that Rounds talked to anyone about this appointment, and did not disclose his long-time relationship with Conzet when he nominated her.
- Update: Epp noticed that this is a second Rounds appointment for Conzet.
(UPDATE (4/25/2010): Conzet sent me a note that this was not an appointment; she interviewed for this grant writing position several times and that connections had nothing to do with it. My response: (a) I would take this up with Epp -- (b) this is about perception not reality, sure, but why was this not mentioned to the press in December? It would have been good to know about this part of your background up front -- and it actually reflects well on what you offer as a legislator!)
- Conzet's father (a very close long-time business partner) and and mother have given thousands to Round's gubernatorial campaigns, according to reports filed with the Secretary of State. These folks are close business, family, and political associates.
The jury is out on Conzet and we'll learn more about her. Reports are she's planning on running for re-election in 2010 which means she will have to stand very soon, so it's not something the RR staff are upset about -- Rounds has this power and he used it; we just wish we knew more about our new Rep.