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:
— SD Democratic Party (@SoDakDems) June 28, 2014
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.