According to their facebook page, the Prairie Country PAC has apparently sent out a postcard attacking Republican Leadership in the lead-up to tomorrow’s caucus elections:
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not sure what exactly this accomplishes.
First, given that several Senators, including President Pro Tempore Corey Brown have been termed out of office or resigned, such as Majority Leader Tim Rave and Assistant Majority Leader Dan Lederman both did in 2015, with a new crew of people after the election, the Senate Caucus is nearly starting from scratch in the elections.
The antagonistic nature of the card seems completely misplaced, as it attacks “Republican Leadership” on many measures while ignoring that these measures required a majority vote – and in some cases a 2/3 vote to pass. Effectively, they’re attacking everyone, while blaming leadership. And, of course, on the reverse side they’re asking people to vote for their favored candidates.
Just a bit of cognitive dissonance for legislators who will be asked to make a choice as to who their leadership would be.
Aside from that, we get into some of the technical aspects of the card. There’s a few problems with it that will probably cause Prairie Country PAC some headaches.
Mistake #1 – As I spoke with Senator Elect Lance Russell himself yesterday, he wasn’t running for Assistant Majority Leader, and was predisposed to defer to Senator-elect Ryan Maher, who was. So, here’s a card promoting someone for the office who didn’t ask for it, much less was actively running for it.
Mistake #2 – The address side of the card appropriates the SDGOP’s logo for a Political Action Committee’s independent mailing. A PAC which includes in it’s leadership Ken Santema, Chairman of the South Dakota Libertarian Party. I think it’s rather presumptuous for a PAC to appropriate the party’s logo for a piece of campaign literature attacking members of the party’s leadership.
Mistake #3 – Where exactly does it say “paid for by?”
12-27-15. Printed political communications to contain certain language–Exceptions–Violation as misdemeanor.Any printed material or communication made, purchased, paid for, or authorized by a candidate, political committee, or political party which expressly advocates for or against a candidate, public office holder, ballot question, or political party shall prominently display or clearly speak the statement: “Paid for by (Name of candidate, political committee, or political party).” This section does not apply to buttons, balloons, pins, pens, matchbooks, clothing, or similar small items upon which the inclusion of the statement would be impracticable. A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
I see a logo & return address for the PAC, but not the three magic words; “Paid,” “For” and “By.” Considering their omission carries criminal penalties, you’d think people would pay more attention to it.
Probably the worst thing of all is that I don’t believe this or the nonsense with Citizens for Liberty sending e-mails is being done on behalf of the candidates. If it was, you’d think they would have noted that they weren’t sure they were running before all the nonsense went out.
The danger it poses is that it could have the opposite effect on Senators who are deciding who they want to lead them for the next two years, and harden their hearts. Which would be unfortunate. I think Brock would do a good job as caucus leader, and shouldn’t be sandbagged by the misguided efforts of others.