Yesterday I posted on how the two partisan blogs were reacting to the South Dakota Gun Owners pushing citizens to confront Governor Daugaard on his opposition to Constitutional carry. In 2012, Daugaard vetoed the bill and the House could not get enough votes to override the veto. Last September, Missouri Republicans did override the veto of a Democratic governor:
The Missouri House and Senate voted to override Democrat Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of Senate Bill 656 yesterday, making Missouri the 11th state to reassert the right of citizens to carry a firearm for self-defense without a permission slip from the government. The votes to institute so-called “constitutional carry” were not even close.
So what is wrong with South Dakota Republicans? Yesterday SDGOP Establishment blogger Pat Powers decided to use technicalities of campaign finance laws to retalitate against the SDGO for holding Governor Daugaard accountable on his liberal position regarding Constitutional carry:
You ever get a problem or question in your head you just have to solve? Courtesy of my insomnia, I had one of those. A 4am mystery that was picking at my brain, which I started to talk about in the previous post, more specifically the SD Taxpayers PAC.
The most likely scenario was some SDGOP Establishment types provided Powers with this:
If you start looking closely at the reports, the numbers, and where the money comes from, you’re left scratching your head over a bit of the mess. And that brings us to where we are today. At least on the surface, it appears that the organization(s) may have some issues to address.
Issue #1: So in what form did the June 2 donation take, and how was it applied? $4004.40 was counted as a donation from a sole entity on June 2, but in the report, $4410 was counted as coming from 2 entities (SDGO PAC and SDGO). And obviously, none of the numbers seem to add up.
Issue #2: South Dakota Gun Owners (Organization and PAC) are noted on the report as having paid for both the printing and the postage on mailings, which went out under SD Taxpayers. Here’s an example of at least one:
So, how exactly did they accomplish this? South Dakota Gun Owners Organization (they claim to be a non-profit) allegedly spent $3030 on a communication coming from SD Taxpayers, which were all candidate advocacy. It was counted as an in-kind contribution, but where’s the independent expenditure disclosure form for SD Gun Owners?
Independent Expenditures Statement – SDCL 12-27-16 states that any PERSON or ORGANIZATION that makes a payment or promise of payment totaling $100.00 or more, including an in-kind contribution, for a communication which expressly advocates for or against a candidate, public office holder, ballot question, or political party.
So, I have to do a form when I support Larry Tidemann on a postcard I send out for myself, but SDGO didn’t do one for a postcard that they bought and entirely financed for another PAC which seems to solely advocate against a candidate?
It all depends on your definition of advocacy. And there might be a problem with that.
Issue #2.5 – Can one PAC legally pay to print and mail materials for another PAC with no disclaimer of the first PAC, simply by calling it an in-kind donation? If so, that’s a new loophole I hadn’t heard about.
How many South Dakotans understand the above details? I would argue not many. Here is Pat's conclusion:
I’m sure I’m only scratching the surface, but it looks to me as if there’s a messy campaign finance report, two organizations entangled with each other, with both attacking Republicans, and some things on report form that aren’t all as they seem to be.
Campaign finance laws are suppose to provide the common citizen with transparency. Sadly the laws themselves are not all that transparent. It takes a team of lawyers and accountants to make sure everything is in order. That leaves the average citizen out of the equation. What the campaign finance laws do is provide the Establishment with ways to retaliate against conservatives for holding liberal Republicans accountable for their votes and vetoes by exposing technical errors in their attempts to comply with a very complicated series of campaign finance statutes.
Sadly, Powers considers such accountability by conservatives...attacks. And the media will help them out during the election cycles by calling such efforts "negative campaigning". This is how Pierre's system of legalized corruption is protected. The real impact of campaign finance laws is it's use as a means by crony capitalists to find out the identity of those who are a threat to their ability to use the power of government to fund certain special interests. And that goes with both parties.