2q FEC Reports – US Senator Mike Rounds $190k raised, $134k spent, $1.6M cash on hand

Senator Mike Rounds has never had the focus on off-year fundraising that his fellow members of the Washington delegation have found necessary for preparing for the blocking and tackling of the campaign cycle. However, Rounds has been able to raise what he’s needed to get the job done.

But fast-forward to this latest FEC report, and Senator Rounds has $1.6 million in the bank two years ahead of any potential primary contest campaign. That does not sound like anyone who plans to walk away from politics anytime soon. It sounds like someone who is quietly putting the capital together to wage an election.

Rounds for Senate 2024 2q FEC by Pat Powers on Scribd

Detail on the numbers?  $190,405.65 in total reciepts, against $134,758.64 in total disbursements.

Leaving the Senator with $1,619,386.09 to build on for an election two years away, whether it’s a race to return to the US Senate, or something closer to home.

2q FEC Reports – US Senator John Thune raises $350k, spends $165k, left with $18.5M cash on hand

South Dakota US Senator John Thune continues to be the king of South Dakota fundraising in his latest FEC Report:

John Thune 2q 2024 FEC by Pat Powers on Scribd

Senator Thune is reporting this afternoon that in this last quarter, he raised $349,905.48, against $164,772.43 in expenses. Also, $76,600.00 came in from another committee with his account helped along by earning $173,582.63 in interest. Leaving the Senator with $18,518,497.66 in his campaign account as we roll into the fall election season.

And if all goes well this fall, we may be looking at Senator Thune as the next US Senate Majority Leader.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Judge in Life Defense Fund lawsuit: SOS only one who can provide relief

Interesting result in the Life Defense Fund lawsuit, as the judge in the matter has ruled that since the petitions were validated, only the Secretary of State can provide relief at this point:

Pekas ruled that since Dakotans for Health is no longer in control of the ballot measure after the Secretary of State’s Office validated it, the relief that the Life Defense Fund sought — removing the measure from the November ballot — should have been sought from the Secretary of State’s Office, not solely from Dakotans for Health.


“Let the people vote, let the people decide,” Dakotans for Health attorney Jim Leach told reporters after the hearing.

Read that all here.

Life Defense fund had it’s own thoughts in the matter in a release sent today, as Leslee Unruh offered her own legal opinion:

There are no legal grounds for this dismissal as Life Defense Fund clearly followed the appropriate procedures. This unexpected dismissal further plays into their motive to delay our case and refuse to answer our documented allegations. We will follow the judge’s invitation to appeal this case.

Obviously, the judge disagreed.

2q FEC Reports – Dusty Johnson puts up $232k raised, against $71k spent, giving him $4.6M cash on hand for fall election

Dusty Johnson’s campaign is raising big cash in preparation for the fall election against Democrat Sheryl Johnson.

Dusty Johnson 2q 2024 FEC by Pat Powers on Scribd

Dusty filed his FEC report today showing $232,162.19 raised against only $71,148.41 in expenses, allowing him to report cash on hand of $4,665,427.25 as he prepares for his fall contest. Thats not counting another $90,924.99 he raised through his Dakota Leadership PAC, which Johnson is also using to support candidates in North Dakota, Iowa and other states.

Dem Sheryl Johnson has not reported her most recent fundraising period, but at last report showed $30,617.20 cash on hand.

South Dakota Ends Fiscal Year with $80 Million Surplus

South Dakota Ends Fiscal Year with $80 Million Surplus 

PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem announced that South Dakota closed the 2024 budget year with a surplus of $80.7 million. As she did last year, Governor Noem announced her intention to set aside the surplus to offset the cost of prison construction.

“South Dakota makes common sense decisions based on small government, low taxes, and spending within our means. We don’t just talk about fiscal responsibility – we follow through!” said Governor Noem. “We will continue to budget responsibly for the people, and we will avoid unnecessary debt by using this surplus for prison construction costs. This will help South Dakotans keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets.”

State government spent $56.4 million less than appropriated in fiscal year 2024, with the total revenue finishing above the legislative adopted forecast by $24.3 million.

South Dakota maintains a AAA credit rating and is one of the only states with a fully-funded pension. South Dakota also has the lowest unemployment rate in America.

By law, the fiscal year 2024 surplus was transferred to the state’s budget reserves. The state’s reserves now total $322.8 million or 13.3% of the fiscal year 2025 general fund budget.


Sioux Falls School District fires employee over assassination related facebook post

KELOland is reporting that someone’s social media ranting cost them their job with the Sioux Falls School District today.

“The staff member’s statement does not align with the School District’s values and was not condoned in any way. The individual is no longer employed by the Sioux Falls School District,” the statement by the school district said. “We remain committed to fostering a safe, respectful learning environment for all students and staff and upholding the values of our community.”

Read that here. 

I’ll let them get to the details, but I believe that this was the post that quite a few people were justifiably offended by:

It’s a free country, but even alluding to violence against political candidates being acceptable crosses a line which should not be crossed.   And kudos to the school district for addressing it immediately.

New proposal coming for home rule charter for Minnehaha County; would combine Auditor/Reg of Deeds/Treasurer into one department

I had heard that this might be percolating, and it seems that it is finally moving forward, where Minnehaha County is going to move to bring more professionalism into some of their elected offices related to county services, and combine some offices, as well as to have a County Manager to help run the day to day business for the largest county in the state:

Kippley said that under a home rule charter, the county administrator position would be adjusted to a county manager position that would be appointed or removed by the commission.

But that’s not what’s likely to bring the most opposition to the home rule charter proposal, he acknowledges. Rather, doing away with the auditor, treasurer, and register of deeds positions and replacing them with a single chief financial officer will be the toughest sell.


Kippley said depending on whether a majority of the commission supports the proposal, a vote by the full county commission to refer the question of home rule charter to the fall ballot could happen in early August.

Read the entire story here.

Providing better service, AND ridding themselves of their train wreck of a county auditor? Sounds like a win-win to me.