Pro-Krebs Super PAC donors identified, general election donations must be repaid

The Rapid City Journal has an article today pointing out who was involved in the Super PAC advertisements smearing eventual GOP Congressional Nominee Dusty Johnson in the run up to the Congressional Primary last month:

The individual contributions to Hold Washington Accountable included two from the Black Hills: $10,000 from Larry Pillard, of Custer, the retired former chairman of the board of Tetra Laval Group, a multinational corporation focused on food production, packaging and distribution; and $8,000 from Pat Hall, a real-estate developer from Rapid City.

The other contributions were $25,000 from Herzog Contracting, of St. Joseph, Mo.; two contributions totaling $10,000 from William Metz, of Sioux City, Iowa; $5,000 from Greg Carmon, of Brandon; $5,000 from Mark Nylen, of North Sioux City; and $4,000 from Louis George, of Sioux Falls.


During the campaign, a spokesperson for the Krebs campaign denied any coordination with Hold Washington Accountable, despite connections revealed in public documents.

One connection is Robert Phillips III, aka Rob Phillips, of Dublin, Ohio, who is the treasurer of Hold Washington Accountable. Phillips is also the chief operating officer of Axiom Strategies, a national political consulting firm that received nearly $110,000 in payments while working for Krebs’ campaign committee, according to FEC reports.

Another connection — revealed in the July quarterly report to the FEC from Hold Washington Accountable — is Louis “Lou” George, of Sioux Falls. George gave $4,000 to Hold Washington Accountable while also serving as the treasurer of Krebs’ campaign committee.


And the super PAC wasn’t the only method used by some Krebs donors to get around the $2,700 limit.

Larry Pillard, for example, gave $5,400 to the Krebs campaign committee by earmarking half of the money for the primary election and the other half for the general election, while his wife, Deborah, did the same thing. Larry Pillard also gave $10,000 to Hold Washington Accountable, bringing the total amount of contributions from the Pillards to $20,800.

An FEC spokeswoman told the Rapid City Journal on Friday that a candidate who accepts general-election contributions before the primary and then loses the primary must typically refund the general-election contributions within 60 days of the primary. An exception allows general-election contributions to be used before the primary, the spokeswoman said, for deposits or advance payments on goods and services to be provided after the primary.

Read it all here.

So despite denials of involvement with the shadowy Super PAC, Krebs for Congress shared treasurers with the group? Interesting.

Even more interesting is that it sounds like the campaign might have to send some money back.

25 thoughts on “Pro-Krebs Super PAC donors identified, general election donations must be repaid”

  1. Krebs attacked Johnson. Unfortunate. Politics should be positive.

    Kristi smeared Jackley. Her ad was forced off the air by Kelo. Where is the outrage over that. I hope it’s not just because one won so we can’t criticize them. Politics needs to take a higher road.

    1. Look at the ads on the right side of this page. That will tell you why there is going to be no criticism of do-nothing-noem. This site only criticizes those who don’t pay the hush money.

      1. And now the Koch Bros / Americans for Prosperity are threatening to support Democrats. When does Pat return the check ?

    2. that’s ridiculous to accuse Pat of this. You owe him an apology. Seriously.

  2. Krebs doesn’t think the rules apply to her. Consequences be damned for short term gain. The problem is she doesn’t think about long term reputation. I wonder if those giving her the money even knew what it was for or saw the ad?

    I hope Barnett clears out the 3 deputy system.

    1. Indeed, people with 3 deputies probably aren’t doing enough to warrant the job themselves. Young Mr. Barnett will probably go with 0 deputies.

        1. is there a place to find out how much all these deputies make for a salary in each office?

  3. Unlike super PACs, which have to disclose donors’ identities, a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization (sometimes referred to as “dark money” groups, don’t have to disclose. This is the case with, which is related to the super PAC Citizens for a Strong America, a generally anti-GOP group that opposed Shantel Krebs.

    For more on 501(c)(4) money and how donors’ identities may be concealed, see: Darker than Dark Money Targets GOP House Candidates:

    1. MW,

      You are correct. The 3 people running for Congress were 3 people who have obsessed with the idea of running for higher office for decades (their entire adult lives). It was a hard decision.

  4. Now we understand more fully why Shantel didn’t run for SOS at the convention this year. This is scandalous and would have cost her the election in the Fall! And maybe now she will reflect on how corrupt she really is and stop hammering on Jason Gant.

    1. What if they bring Mr. Gant back as a special Secretary to resolve these issues? That could be interesting.

  5. And Powers can start selling his political items out of the SOS office again.

  6. This behavior is from the Secretary of State who should follow both the letter and spirit of election law.

  7. 3 deputies, blah, blah… There’s nothing inherently wrong with multiple deputies. There is no inherent pay raise with that title either. It just enables that person to sign on behalf of the SOS when he or she isn’t available. I could be wrong but I believe in the past the Administrative Assistant has been a deputy because that person is more likely than any other person to be in the office at all times. Those 3 deputies are real people, real public servants who care about the office and the people of the state. Additionally since the office is so clearly split between to primary functions; business services and elections, it makes sense to have at least 2 deputies. Blame for any perceived failures should go to the SOS not the staff / deputies…

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