The ever evolving $200,000 donation from Tim Johnson to the Democrats.

The $200,000 donation from Tim Johnson to South Dakota Democrats seems to prove the theory of evolution…. because like some mutation, in acceleration of Darwin’s theories, it keeps evolving by the hour.

First off, we had twitter reports about the donation:

and through the associated press:

The Yankton Press and Dakotan reports that Tim Johnson made the announcement at the State Democratic Convention in Yankton Friday night.

Johnson says he’ll be transferring the remaining funds from his Political Action Committee to the party.

Read it here.

And it percolated for a day or so, with David Montgomery initially reporting the AP story…. but then adding a new wrinkle:

The Associated Press says that this money isn’t coming from Tim Johnson’s personal campaign account. Rather, they say it’s coming from his leadership political action committee, the “South Dakota First” PAC.

and…

But I’m not sure if they can do this — a political action committee can give no more than $10,000 to a given state or local party (PDF). Only candidate committees can make unlimited donations to parties. I’ve reached out to try to clarify.

Read that here.

Oops!  Federal law could prohibit that donation?  Doh! Unfortunately, Monty took leave of his critical thinking skills, and after Tim Johnson’s staff has had sufficient time to attempt an odd if thinly plausible solution, we have an even more bizarre accounting of how they intend to give this cash….   and it was what they intended all along. Maybe:

FIRST: this gift isn’t going to do a thing to help South Dakota Democrats win in November.

“It’s not going to take place until Tim’s term has concluded,” wrote Drey Samuelson, Johnson’s chief of staff, in an email, about the $200,000 transfer.

That means January 2015 at the earliest, barring any unusual developments.

SECOND: The money is coming from Johnson’s PAC, but it’s probably not subject to federal campaign finance rules.

and…

THIRD: The lump sum of money isn’t intended to support an ad campaign, or an army of volunteers.

Most unusually of all, this $200,000 isn’t intended to be spent all at once — or even at all, really. Rather, Samuelson writes, the intent of the donation is to set up a sort of endowment that will give the party an annual income off the fund’s interest.

Read it all here.

Montgomery’s editors must have clipped off that part where he quotes himself saying “Gee Drey, that sounds like a whole lot of Bullsh!t.

So….. Tim Johnson isn’t really going to give $200,000 to support the party, he’s going to set up a ‘scholarship of awfulness’ for the Democrat Party and dribble it out $7,000 at a time?  And that was always the intention?

Sure it was.

Clearly, what happened is Johnson’s people made a promise to a very cash strapped Democratic Party, and found out that the mechanism for donating it was a little more complicated than they’d anticipated.

And they had to alter the deal.

Democrats should pray they don’t alter it further.

Bosworth arraigned today. And herein starts the Summer of Boz, which could drag on for a while.

Former US Senate Candidate Annette Bosworth was arraigned today, with her next court appearance taking place on July 15th.  Given at the pace things move in the legal world, herein starts the Summer of Boz, as there’s every possibility that this could drag out for months.

The South Dakota Attorney General’s Office says Bosworth signed as a circulator on some of her petitions to get on the ballot at a time when she wasn’t in the country.

Bosworth offered no comment after court Monday but said earlier this month that she didn’t ‘knowingly attempt to deceive anyone.’

Read it all here at KELOland.com.

Attorney General Marty Jackley will lay out his case, with Bosworth being forced to respond to the inconsistencies that have been chosen. And I use the word chosen because it appears that the prosecution has picked what some consider the most egregious cases involved in the petition matter.

But, that doesn’t preclude the possibility that there are more out there.  Or the possibility more charges could be added.

Because the longer people look, and the more people dig, there’s a possibility that there are more petition inconsistencies that might be difficult to explain.

For example, of you look at what’s been numbered as petitions 157, 50, 80 and 132, they were all collected in early February, and all were attested to by Bosworth that she observed the signatures being collected.

But if you start looking at dates, 50, 80 and 132 had a significant number of signatures being collected from Meade County and Pennington County residents, likely at the stock show on February 5th and 6th.  But petition 157 had a significant number collected on February 5th and 6th from Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties. Completely across the state on the same day.  Hmm.

So, a number of signatures collected from the Rapid City area on the 5th & 6th… and also a number of signatures collected from Minnehaha & Lincoln Counties on the 5th & 6th, all signed off on by Annette as having been the person circulating them.

You know, you want to be generous, but it’s a pretty long haul from Rapid City to Sioux Falls.  Again, potentially difficult to explain.

And there’s also petition #31:

boz31Petition #31 has a preponderance of names signing from the Minnehaha County area, which were signed off as being collected on 3/20, 3/21 & 3/22.

So, it’s a safe assumption that that’s the area they were collected in.

And herein lies another instance where it’s difficult to reconcile.

Because there seems to be a bit of contradictory information regarding Annette’s whereabouts during that time period.   On March 21st, according to KOTA TV, it sounds as if she was in Rapid City:

Bosworth campaigns in Rapid City for US Senate

Posted: Mar 21, 2014 8:42 PM CST
By Robyn Estabrook

Physician Annette Bosworth made a stop at the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, as part of her campaign for US Senate.

On Friday at a Chamber ribbon cutting ceremony, she told the group her number one priority is healthcare.

And according to her own facebook page, it seems as if she was in Sturgis on the 22nd:

So, how was it she collected a number of Minnehaha County names when it’s well documented she was out in the hills, including by her own facebook page?

There is an outside possibility that she could have driven back and forth from Pennington to Minnehaha county every night.  But, you have to admit that here’s another instance where it doesn’t look good.

With the next court appearance taking place on July 15th, the longer this drags out for Annette Bosworth, the greater that more inconsistencies and more charges could be heaped on her plate to try to reconcile.

And that could be a reconciliation that’s difficult to explain.

Thune Announces Communications Staff Changes

Thune Announces Communications Staff Changes

John_Thune_official_photoWASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) today announced that Rachel Millard has been promoted to communications director in his Washington, D.C. Senate and Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee offices. Millard replaces Andi Fouberg, who has been named President and CEO of the South Dakota State University Alumni Association.

“I’m pleased to have Rachel in this new role,” said Thune. “With strong South Dakota roots and both legislative and communication experience in the Senate, Rachel is well equipped to hit the ground running.”

Prior to becoming Senator Thune’s communications director, Millard served as Senator Thune’s press secretary after serving as an internal communications advisor and deputy press secretary at the Senate Republican Conference and a legislative aide in Senator Thune’s personal office.

Millard is originally from Chamberlain, South Dakota.

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Rounds on Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Ruling

Rounds on Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Ruling

roundsPierre, SD (June 30, 2014) – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike Rounds issued the following statement today regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case:

“Today’s ruling is a tremendous victory for business owners and for those who believe in religious freedom in America,” said Gov. Rounds.  “It’s encouraging to see that the Supreme Court agrees with our belief that this failed healthcare policy goes too far, and family business owners should not be forced to give up their constitutional liberties and religious freedom to comply with bad policy.”

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SOUTH DAKOTA REPUBLICAN PARTY HIRES DICK WADHAMS

SOUTH DAKOTA REPUBLICAN PARTY HIRES DICK WADHAMS
Wadhams will serve as Senior Political Consultant to South Dakota Republican Party’s Victory Program

Sioux Falls, SD – The South Dakota Republican Party announced today that Dick Wadhams has been hired to serve as Senior Political Consultant to the party through the November election.

Wadhams has been working as a consultant to the Mike Rounds for Senate campaign for the past year, but he will now assist the party’s Victory Program efforts to elect Rounds, Governor Dennis Daugaard, Congresswoman Kristi Noem, and the entire Republican slate during the 2014 General Election campaign.

Wadhams is a Denver, Colorado based Republican political consultant who is best known in South Dakota for managing Senator John Thune’s successful campaign in 2004. He also served as Colorado Republican state chairman and has managed several other campaigns for U.S. senator and governor. Dick Wadhams had the following to say in regards to joining the South Dakota Republican Party team:

“It was a privilege to work with Governor Mike Rounds, and his outstanding team, for the past year as he successfully won a highly contested nomination for the U.S. Senate. I look forward to continuing to work with the Rounds campaign along with Governor Daugaard, Congresswoman Noem, and the entire Republican ticket as South Dakota Republicans drive towards a historic victory this November.”

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Tim Johnson to follow Rick Weiland’s suggestion regarding 200K donation to SDDP…. and “Take it back?”

The headline today at Political Smokeout was  “Tim Johnson gives $200K to SDDP.”   But there’s a huge wrinkle that’s popped up.

The amount he can give Dems from the PAC may be capped at 10k. A long sight short of 200K:

The Associated Press says that this money isn’t coming from Tim Johnson’s personal campaign account. Rather, they say it’s coming from his leadership political action committee, the “South Dakota First” PAC. At the end of March, that PAC had $268,000 on hand. Johnson’s gift would thus be “the remaining funds from his political action committee.” But I’m not sure if they can do this — a political action committee can give no more than $10,000 to a given state or local party (PDF). Only candidate committees can make unlimited donations to parties. I’ve reached out to try to clarify.

Read it all here.

So, that offer of 200K might be far, far less, depending on what they can count as primary, and what they can count as general election funds. $5000 – 10k.

And Tim Johnson may be left following Rick Weiland’s suggestion about big money in politics…. leaving Johnson to “Take it back.”

United States Supreme Court Strikes Down Obamacare Contraceptive Mandate Under Freedom of Religion Challenge

United States Supreme Court Strikes Down Obamacare Contraceptive Mandate Under Freedom of Religion Challenge

Marty JackleyPIERRE, S.D – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that the United States Supreme Court struck down Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations imposing contraceptives mandates on closely held corporations when those mandates violate sincerely held religious beliefs. A divided Court held that HHS regulations imposing contraceptive mandates violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which prohibits the federal government from taking any action that substantially burdens the exercise of religion.

South Dakota had joined with 17 states as Amicus Curiae or “friend of the Court” in a brief challenging the Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which held that the employer contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act did not violate religious principles.

“There is a continued unease that the federal takeover of healthcare infringes upon our individual and state rights. Although a divided Supreme Court previously held the Individual Mandate was a Constitutional Tax, the Court has now struck down the Health and Human Services implementation of certain employee mandates that infringe upon Freedom of Religion,” said Jackley.

The Court held that HHS regulations substantially burden the exercise of religion. The Supreme Court recognized that Congress extended religious protections to corporations in order to protect the rights of people, including employees associated with the corporation.

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Thune Statement on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby SCOTUS Decision

Thune Statement on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby SCOTUS Decision

John_Thune_official_photoWASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) today released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the Obama administration’s attempt to restrict Americans’ religious freedom:

“Today’s decision is a victory for religious freedom. Religious freedom is one of our most basic principles and the very first right mentioned in the Bill of Rights. I am pleased that the Supreme Court has rejected the Obama administration’s attempt to limit this most fundamental of American liberties.”

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