American Liberty Network group funneling money into SD races through another PAC

Speaking of the American Liberty Network, which is operating out of a UPS store mailbox, apparently they’re also using another state political action committee besides Chip Campbell’s to try to influence elections:

The group has filed papers in the state:

Sd Liberty network PAC by Pat Powers on Scribd

…where it appears they’re also putting money into the Russell AG Campaign.

Given the fluorescent postcard MO, I would not find myself shocked if they were affiliated with the SD Gun Owners group.

Chip Campbell PAC took 10,000 from sketchy Washington DC Group to take over committeeman races.

I received a text this morning:

I just received a slickly produced campaign piece soliciting my vote for (my committeeman opponent). It was paid for by Republican Direction PAC!  Since when does GOP get involved in primaries?

I verified, and had to let my correspondent know it’s not a Republican PAC.  And I’m sure the confusion is only starting.  Outgoing Republican State Representative Chip Campbell has apparently formed a political action committee and has called it the deceptively named “Republican Direction PAC” which has jumped into the GOP’s State Committeeman and Committeewoman races:

CHIP_PAC by Pat Powers on Scribd

Campbell’s group has jumped into over 50 delegate, precinct committeeman & committeewoman elections, and according to the campaign finance disclosure is sending out postcards, such as this one with Campbell endorsing a candidate:

(I might dispute the slickly produced comment. But it takes an even more bizarre turn from here.

Apparently, at least one of the people on the list being supported (last two pages of the pdf, btw) received the card endorsing them, and had never had any communication with the group.  And whomever produced a misspelled mail piece & took the person’s photo off of their Facebook page without permission!

Noticing that at least one of the photos on the piece is a SD Tourism photo being used without the required SD Tourism photo credit, I’m not surprised.

But getting back to Campbell’s group that’s trying to appropriate the Republican name.. where did Campbell get the money to blast mail out to 50+ precinct races?  According to the PAC filing, he’s raked in $10,000 for his purposes from a Washington DC group, similar to how Rick Weiland’s organization pulls in money for ballot measures:

The American Liberty Network seems to be a recently formed organization that claims non-profit status for itself.  In case you’d like to visit the American Liberty Network office building at 611 Pennsylvania Ave SE…

Yep. The Washington DC non-profit that sent Chip $10,000 to take over South Dakota precinct people positions? The donor operates out of a mailbox at the UPS Store in DC.

In fact, if you try to do a search for this group which claims non-profit status at the Guidestar website.. you come up with a big goose egg.   I suspect it’s simply new enough that they haven’t filed with the IRS. But, it still leaves us with more questions than answers in terms of campaign finance disclosure.

What don’t we know? Who is actually behind the curtain of the “American Liberty Network” and feels so strongly in Washington DC that they’ve kicked in $10,000 to providing the funding behind the bizarre election effort for South Dakota precinct committee people that some of them probably didn’t ask for in the first place.

Stay tuned for more.

Release: Noem Supports Trump’s Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood 

Noem Supports Trump’s Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Kristi Noem yesterday spoke on the House Floor in support of President Trump’s proposal to end family planning funding for abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, and redirect those resources into health centers that do not promote or perform abortions.

“There is nothing more fundamental to our society than our kids,” said Noem. “Our founding documents speak on behalf of ‘us and our posterity.’ The American Dream itself rests on the idea that our children will have more opportunity than we do. That is how America works. And no matter how small they are, whether born or unborn, we should never stop passionately arguing for their life and their liberty.”

President Trump’s announcement builds on Noem’s work earlier this Congress to overturn an Obama-era rule that forced states to give Title X family planning dollars to organizations that commit abortions. Noem helped lead the House in passing H.J.Res.43, which President Trump signed into law, to overturn President Obama’s rule and give states more flexibility to defund Planned Parenthood.

Lance Russell for Attorney General Pre-Primary Report – $10K raised, $16K spent, $8k Cash on Hand

The Lance Russell for Attorney General campaign has filed a pre-primary campaign finance report:

Russell for Attorney General Pre-Primary Report by Pat Powers on Scribd

After starting with $13.6K in the bank, they supplemented it with an additional $10.5K, spent $16k, and are sitting on another $8.1K going into the month before the GOP State Convention.

As before, the Gun Owners group is all-in for the Russell campaign with an additional $3,000 from the National Gun Owners group, and a $200 donation from Dudley Brown, who is president of the affiliated group, National Association for Gun Rights. Russell also received donations from former Senator Betty Olson & Senator Brock Greenfield, as well as an in-kind donation from Senator Stace Nelson.

Jackley for Governor Pre-Primary Finance Report: $532K raised, $1.5 Million spent, $570K Cash on hand

And we’re starting to see what candidates have been spending in pursuit of the big char of State Government. The Marty Jackley for Governor campaign has their pre-primary Campaign finance report filed with the Secretary of State:

Jackley_PrePrimary Campaign Finance Report by Pat Powers on Scribd

After starting with $1,552,944, since the last report, the Jackley for Governor campaign has raised an additional $530,984. They’ve also spent $1,513,600.84, leaving them with $570,328.03 to take them through the last 2 weeks.

Check out the report above, which you can scroll through in it’s entirety, and let us know what you think!


Jackley for Governor in mailboxes on topic of abortion with new mail piece

I should have brought this to you yesterday, but I’m just trying to keep my tail out of the alligators, because with 2 weeks to go until election day, it is definitely crunch time.

Anyway, Attorney Jackley Marty Jackley in his pursuit of Governor has a new postcard in mailboxes as of yesterday talking about his views on abortion:

Pet peeve time. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems this year that the candidate logos are too damn small. Aren’t they spending all that money to advertise the candidate?

And it’s absolutely not just Marty, many of them are guilty of it this year. There was a Dusty piece that was out a while back that didn’t even have his logo on it, just his name. Candidates – if all the time you get with a voter is that 5 or 10 seconds between the mail and the trash, you need to make it loud, proud and recognizable.  Get that branding in their face!   (okay, I’m off my soapbox now).

Release – BY THE NUMBERS: Listening Shouldn’t Come with a Price Tag

Listening Shouldn’t Come with a Price Tag
Boards, Commissions, and Blue Ribbon Task Forces Cost Taxpayers Thousands; Noem Refuses to Add More

Each year, South Dakota taxpayers spend thousands of dollars on 134 boards, commissions, blue ribbon task forces, and similar bureaucracies, which have increased taxes and expanded government. Kristi Noem, who is committed to reducing the size and scope of government, does not believe more government is needed for people to engage with their state government.


134: Number of existing authorities, boards, commissions, councils, groups, panels, and task forces

$0.42/mile: Mileage reimbursement

$70/day: Summer hotel reimbursement; $55 for the rest of the year

$32/day: Meal stipend

$60/day: Per day per diem (although some entities offer a per diem as high as $75)

$1+ million/year: Very conservative estimate of the annual cost to taxpayers for 130+ boards, commissions, etc.

This is a key differentiator in the June 5 gubernatorial primary: “The Republican candidates for South Dakota governor take opposite sides over creating more state government boards, commissions and task forces. State Attorney General Marty Jackley plans to use them while U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem rejects them.” (Capital Journal, 4/29/18)

“Only a lawyer who’s been stuck in government for most of his career would think you can only connect with South Dakotans through another government board,” said Justin Brasell, Kristi for Governor Campaign Manager. “Kristi is not going to hide behind a board to get things done.”

As a part of her plan for South Dakota, Kristi has committed to protect South Dakota from government growth and pledged “no new boards, no new commissions, and no new blue ribbon task forces.”  Read that part of the Plan here.

Release: Judge Restrains IM26 From Placement on Ballot Pending August 1 Hearing

Judge Restrains IM26 From Placement on Ballot Pending August 1 Hearing

Sioux Falls, SD (May 21, 2018) – In a filing in South Dakota Circuit Court, South Dakotans Against the Deceptive Rx Ballot Issue challenged whether proponents of Initiated Measure (IM) 26 had submitted a sufficient number of valid signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot. Following the filing, Judge Patricia DeVaney entered an order restraining the Secretary of State from placing the measure on the ballot and required the Secretary of State to show cause why the order should not be absolute in a hearing scheduled for August 1 and 2, 2018. If the Judge’s order becomes permanent, IM26 will not appear before voters in the November 2018 General Election.

The primary focus of the challenge centers on the proponents’ use of petition circulators who were not South Dakota residents or who used false addresses in declaring their residency on the petitions. South Dakota law requires that circulators of petitions be residents of South Dakota. A review of the petitions submitted on IM26 revealed that some circulators either did not list a valid address or were not residents, which means the signatures they gathered should not be considered valid.

A further review of signatures submitted on the IM26 petitions revealed additional signatures that fail to qualify as valid, because the signers were not registered voters at the time they signed the petition or for other reasons that would routinely disqualify their validity. Overall, sponsors may have submitted only 8,959 valid signatures, far below the 13,871 needed to qualify this measure for the ballot.

“If the proponents of IM26 had followed South Dakota law when collecting signatures, this measure would never have qualified for the ballot,” said Sherry Kurtz-Anderson, Spokesperson for South Dakotans Against the Deceptive Rx Ballot Issue.

The South Dakota Secretary of State is directed under the law to only check a random sample of signatures for validity and her process would not have uncovered every invalid signature submitted on IM26. South Dakotans Against the Deceptive Rx Ballot Issue felt the additional review of the signatures and circulators was warranted following the Secretary of State’s determination that several other ballot issues proposed for the 2018 ballot failed to have enough valid signatures to qualify. The petitions submitted on IM26 had similar problems to other measures that had insufficient valid signatures to qualify.

Affidavits included in the court filing were provided by investigators who conducted research to determine whether the circulators in question were qualified residents or used false addresses in their circulation efforts. The filing also includes an affidavit describing the process used to compare each individual signature submitted to the registered voter file.

A complete copy of the court filing and the Judge’s order, including a list of the number of invalid signatures in each category is attached. Also attached is an explanation of the signature challenge process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

Conservative scorecard sponsors rank lower than most liberal Senator on own cherry-picked benchmark

The annual scorecard from the Rapid City group Citizens for Liberty, which one conservative Legislator has previously referred to as “extremely distorted” has made it’s return before the primary.  And as usual, it’s a bag of cherry-picked silliness.

Why do I say this? Because while they’re claiming these were THE conservative issues Legislators should be scored on, the Citizens for Liberty group was busy failing their own test.  While they ranked Senators based on Senate Bill 200, on the resettlement of refugees…

… curiously, they were nowhere to be found.

And when it came time to weigh in on the abortion issue they ranked Senators on…

It looks like everyone but Citizens for Liberty were there defending the rights of the unborn….

How about the freedom of speech at Universities?

Nope. Another big fat goose egg for the Citizens for Liberty.

In fact, I found that they thought only 3 of the 26 bills were used on the card important enough to show up and testify on.

(While they didn’t show up for Immigration, Abortion or Freedom of Speech, Senate Bill 150 was important enough for them to have two people there on.)

Which if I’m catching them all.. if we rank them on showing up, they’ve got a score of about 11.5% for their own scorecard, ranking them lower than the lowest ranked Senator.

Not that such hypocrisy is uncommon for Citizens for Liberty.

And lest we forget that members of the conservative group were part of the signature gathering team to place the ballot measure for the increase in cigarette taxes to fund tech schools on the ballot this past year:

Hmm… Failing their own scorecard and working to increasing taxes. They should probably pick their issues a little better next year.

And bother to show up, if they’re going to claim to set the benchmark for conservatism.