Gun Owner group pumping out of State PAC dollars into campaigns. So, out of state is good, and in-state is bad?

Bob Mercer is reporting today on how the group calling itself the South Dakota Gun Owners (which is directed by a Colorado man) is pumping out-of-state dollars into several state legislative primary campaigns:

The Rapid City-based organization known as South Dakota Gun Owners, which is not the National Rifle Association, has put a total of $5,500 into eight primary contests for Republican nominations to seats in the South Dakota Legislature.

The group’s political action committee report filed May 27 shows $1,000 contributions to Sen. Phil Jensen, R-Rapid City; Rep. Lance Russell, R-Hot Springs; and House candidate Travis Lasseter, R-New Underwood.

The PAC also gave $500 apiece to Rep. Dan Kaiser, R-Aberdeen; House candidate Drew Dennert, R-Aberdeen; former Rep. Stace Nelson, R-Fulton, who is a state Senate candidate; House candidate Taffy Howard, R-Rapid City; and Senate candidate Tina Mulally, R-Rapid City.

The PAC run by Ray Lautenschlager of Rapid City has also spent nearly $3,200 for printing and postage. The report doesn’t identify whose legislative districts’ residents have been receiving the mailing.

Lautenschlager doesn’t identify the source of $10,000 his organization gave his PAC. He reports $8,000 from a Windsor, Colorado-based group, National Association for Gun Rights. He also reports that $6,000 is owed to a business known as Front Range Consulting but no other information is shown for that business.

Read it here.

This report comes at the same time that Mercer reports that Governor Daugaard has donated to candidates in several races, with candidates who didn’t get any money from him trying to complain about it in some instances, as noted by challenger Janet McIntyre on facebook:


Someone explain why exactly a straightforward donation from the Governor to a candidate he supports is bad, yet donations coming from out of state dollars, and via out of state mailings are good?

13 Replies to “Gun Owner group pumping out of State PAC dollars into campaigns. So, out of state is good, and in-state is bad?”

  1. Anonymous

    Don’t expect these nutcase candidates to make any sense, it’s not in their DNA to do so.

  2. Kelly Lieberg

    In 2012, Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s decision to endorse some Republican candidates over others in legislative races produced mixed results as three of the candidates he supported lost in their primary elections while two others won. 2016 is decidedly less establishment friendly. Be careful what you ask for…

  3. Springer

    The difference, and it is a big difference, is that Daugaard is the governor, and IMO should not be giving money to ANY candidate while in that office. It looks like buying votes, and in essence it is.

    1. Annon

      I agree completely. We have a system of government that provides a separation of powers. That separation between the Governors office and the Legislature has become pretty vague.

  4. Owen Meany

    The Lautenschlagers put the “ook” in “kook.”

    Say, wait a minute! You don’t suppose there is some connection between Ray Lautenschlager, Zach Lautenschlager, SDGO, and RMGO (and it’s Executive Director who is also President of NAGR)??? Hmmmmmmmm………

  5. Troy Jones

    Everyone (Lautenslager or the Governor) have a constitutional right to free speech and political donations are free speech.

    And the idea any of the recipients from either would sell out for $500 or $1,000 is ludicrous. The voters are free to decide if support from either affects their vote.

    1. Kelly Lieberg

      Sure, all rights reserved for all. But, he is also the head of the party and it’s the primary piece of the election process. I have no issue with donating to party represtative after the people have spoke. It just has a certain oder about it. Not a fan of the practice.

      1. anonymous

        Good point Kelly.

        Stating the obvious about free speech is just plain a waste of time. Thats not the topic.

        Its not about rights, its about a practice that may or may not be appropriate. It would be nice if responders could keep focused.

  6. Springer

    They won’t think of it as selling out, but they will remember that Daugaard supported their campaign, and it might (not necessarily will) affect how they vote on issues that are counter to what Daugaard wants. This is just human nature. Therefore whether it is free speech or not, it is questionably proper or ethical in the minds of many.

  7. Lee Schoenbeck

    Can’t speaker for everybody, but I think the correlation is more like this. People write checks to candidates that either they feel are aligned with their interests, or that they think will be good government (reasonable and rational) legislators.
    I don’t believe that legislators receive checks because of some expectation that it will steer a vote in some direction. Look at the reports, conflicting interests contributing to the same candidate. If that determined votes, the candidate would get dizzy spinning back and forth between check writers – doesn’t happen that way

  8. Springer

    According to the above article by Bob Mercer, “Campaign finance reports filed in recent days show that Governor Dennis Daugaard has pumped money into the campaigns of Republican primary candidates, backing many who supported his ambitious sales tax hike plan to boost teacher pay in South Dakota…Among those receiving money from the Republican governor’s campaign committee were….Tidemann, Peters, Rampelberg, Sly, Solano, Partridge, Haverly and Solum all voted in favor of the state sales-tax increase that takes effect Wednesday.”

    Seems that voting to raise taxes does benefit some people!

  9. Troy Jones

    From today’s Wall Street Journal by the Milton Friedman Freedom Award:

    “We eas­ily get into trou­ble if our de­fense of free speech is premised on whether it con­tributes to truth-seek­ing or not, or whether it serves democ­racy or not, whether it is blas­phe-mous or not, whether it of­fends or not, whether it un­der-mines the war ef­fort or not or, whether it is a threat to the com-mon good or not—all these ar­gu­ments are used every day to si­lence peo­ple all around the world. . . .Viewing free speech as an in­di­vidual right rather than a mech­a­nism to achieve a goal will lead to the con­clu­sion that there are too many re­straints on this lib­erty, while the “I am in fa­vor of free speech, but” point of view al­ways will be able to jus­tify fur­ther lim­i­ta­tions on speech (and ultimately its criminalization).”

    1. Kelly Lieberg

      We all get it, Troy. Open mouth, insert foot… Methinks one holds a cancelled check made out to the Governor ! Can I say that ?