How many lawyers does it take to file a campaign finance report on time?

How many lawyers does it take to file a campaign finance report on time?

I don't know, but it must be one more than Judge AP "Pete" Fuller is using in his election campaign. Because none of the two or three on his campaign committee managed to get it done.

In this article that appeared on the front of the Rapid City Journal's local section this past Saturday, and was featured prominently on their website on Saturday, Judge Fuller got zinged by his opponent Lance Russell (Disclosure: yes, Lance is a friend of mine). Upstart challenger Russell had the audacity to question why his opponent was not following the financial reporting statute. The reply from Judge Fuller: "I forgot."

That, despite being informed of the deadline at the time petitions were taken out. And again at the time shortly before the campaign finance reports are due.

AND while not mentioned in the article, I'm told they were also reminded of this at the mandatory campaign training that all judicial candidates were required to attend a month or so back. I haven't heard if Judge Fuller attended this or not (I'll have to do some checking if it's public information) but one would wonder if "he forgot" this mandatory procedure as well.

One thing a lawyer friend mentioned to me - supposedly there's a codicil or something in the judicial code of ethics which expressly mandates that judges follow financial reporting laws. If that's true, it possibly makes this more than a simple matter of not following the financial disclosure laws. (Any SD attorneys out there able to confirm this, or is someone blowing smoke at me?)

In the "J.A.I.L. charged" atmosphere of this election season, it boggles my mind that someone running for that office would give that movement of anti-judicial paranoids any ammunition. Even a small breach of this nature is not a good thing.

Over at Mt. Blogmore, this whole debate is starting to fire up. Check out the comments under this post:
The law Fuller violated is a misdemeanor. I wonder what Fuller would do if someone forgot to file their state sales tax return? Oh, that’s OK, even though you were warned about how to comply several times. How many defendants use the forgetfullness excuse?

This debate is sure to continue to rage - we even might see it become *the* major issue in a campaign which would normally be a simple name ID race.

And on a final note on the topic - On Saturday, the article was at the top of the Rapid City Journal webpage. Today, it's gone. No archives, no nothing. It has been pulled from the website completely. I just posted the following message to the comment section of Mt. Blogmore In the Fuller/Russell thread in an attempt to get an answer:
Why is the Russell/Judge Fuller article titled "Judge forgets to file" now completely removed from the Rapid City Journal Website? It was there yesterday, now, it's not even archived.
That's why you see the clip at the top of my page, as opposed to a snippet of text with a link back to the full article as I prefer. Hopefully I can update you in a later post.


Anonymous said…
Fuller must have some real pull or some nasty friends to get that story pulled. Sounds clintonesque. Maybe he should go back to selling brushes.
Anonymous said…
Pete Fuller will do anything and say anything to win. This is the same guy who was on the front end of a movement to end elections of judges in 2004. He doesn't believe that he should be accountable to the voters. I supported Roetzel in round 1, but I will definitely be supporting Russell in the fall.
Anonymous said…
PP are you saying that the Journal pulled the story? that's incredible. I didn't believe you at first, but I can't find the story either. Does anyone have the direct URL/Web link?
PP said…
If it's there, I wish someone would get me the link. I searched, and tried to get it from my cache of the article, but no go.
Anonymous said…
"(I'll have to do some checking if it's public information)"

Unless it is in Rounds' office, it is probably public information.

But really, PP, don't you have anything substantial to criticize Fuller for?
Anonymous said…
That is a pretty minor thing to get so hot and bothered about. Every election cycle several candidates end up filing late. Shouldn't the race be about what the candidates will do on the bench in their 8-year $95,000/year term instead of who made a technical mistake? I bet Russell has never made a mistake - has he?
Anonymous said…
Did Russell not make it out of USDs "summer bummer" law program and have to go to another law school before coming back to USD to graduate? How long has he been out of LSchool? How many felony trials has he had?
Anonymous said…
anon 9:18

If those are credible criticisms, what do you think of Tice ?

It is my understanding Tice was elected judge right out of law school, or as a clerk. Apparently almost no legal experience whatsoever.
Anonymous said…
So, is someone going to question Bob Fischer's illegal campaign expenditures on behalf of Ellie or is ok when one of your friends violate the law? Where is some of that "old time religion" when we need it?
Anonymous said…
With all the talk about how bad Amendment E is, how come there's no link to the opponents?
PP said…
Because I haven't gotten around to it yet. I have some updates planned including that one

(A guy has to eat and sleep too).
feasant said…
Do you know what they call a senile attorney?


If you take all the liberal judges and put them together, they still don't have as much common sense as Russell.
Anonymous said…

There aren't many liberal judges in south dakota. Of 38 circuit judges you can count the democrats on one hand. The one thing all 38 circuit judges have in common is they all have a great deal more experience than Russell.

We don't need ideologues pushing their agenda on the bench either. Russell would be one of a kind in that respect.
Anonymous said…
It is only June and Fuller has resorted to name-calling without any proof or justification. That is both desperate and pathetic.

It didn't work for Daschle in 2004 nor Adelstein in 2006.

Face it, Pete, you violated the law. It was stupid. It was a misdemeanor.

All of the name-calling and Clintonesque minimizing isn't going to change the fact you and Clinton broke the law.

Prediction: Pete, like any other liberal, will next claim a vast right-wing conspiracy got him, in addition to the argument that it is just a minor (lie) law he broke. Everyone breaks it, right Pete? Even inept Judges.
Anonymous said…
How would the Judicial Qualifications Commission (that endorsed Fuller) think about his campaign deflection techniques here at dakotawarcollege? I wonder if they ever thought that such a "distinguished" member of the bar would resort to such distasteful tactics?
Anonymous said…
Judge Tice graduated from the law school in 1969 and was a magistrate judge in 1973.

Judge Davis graduated from the law school in 1973 and was a circuit court judge in 1979.

I would guess that no one would question Davis' abilities as a judge.

Quite to the contrary, though, I don't think that 35+ years of experience has made much of a difference in Fuller's judicial abilities. In another 35 years he will still be surpressing all the pot he can and still won't be able to manage his calendar.
Anonymous said…
What's new, Everyone in power keeps power through abuse. What's good for Rounds, Long, and Nelson is also good for Fuller. That is if your truely not a hypocrite Mr. PP. Don't think I haven't noticed you lack of blogs on the abuse that the Big Government Republicans have been giving to the Joe Schmo voters like myself. When 800 government jobs come into jeopardy Mr. Long declares the initiative illegal. Illegal of what? Ha Ha! The Big Republican Government is going Down!! Do you feel the squeeze yet?
Anonymous said…
Fuller needs to go.
Anonymous said…
Let’s leave Fuller out of this discussion. And the concern about the pot that you John Ashcroft? Lance Russell is probably the 132nd most qualified and skilled attorney W. of the river for this slot. He wants it, fine. He and some of this party friends think it a standard political campaign, fine. Hopefully this doesn't spin out of control like other judges races...spend some time in Texas during such races, makes Daschle-Thune seem like a tea party.

Again, ask practicing attorney who they want to be in front of. Not because of suppressed pot (interesting thought), that's not just a red herring its ridiculous. A judge needs to have the temperament and ability to understand complex issues and see both sides of an issue-not just one. Geez, I feel like I'm having this conversation w/Apa. My way or the highway is not a judicial temperament that will serve the voters of Western South Dakota, the civil plaintiffs and defendant in front of the bench as well as the pot smokers, who last I checked, still possessed some rights in this county...even in Fall River County.

And please stop with the "common sense" skills that Russell has. Sounds like a job skills requirement for a cashier.
Anonymous said…
What is this about "name calling"? When has Fuller ever mentioned anything about Russell except comparing qualifications side-by-side?
Anonymous said…
I don't see Fuller doing anything but accepting responsibility for missing the deadline. He didn't blame anyone on his campaign... he didn't try to get out of it... he took full responsibility.

More importantly, this is NOT a political race... in fact it is unethical to make it one... What is Russell doing? I noticed his expenses were postage... is he only sending information to Republicans? If that isn't against the spirit of the law I don't know what is.
mjb said…
Are you living in a rose-colored world? It is a campaign for offie. It is political by every definition of the word.

Anon 6:16, you note that all Fuller has done has been to compare qualifications side-by-side. Well, isn't that what Lance is doing? Fuller violated the law, and HE didn't.
Anonymous said…
mjb -

It is NOT a political office and if a canidate makes it so he/she is in violation of the Judical Cannons and the law.

My question was: "When did Fuller do any name calling?" I still haven't seen it...
Anonymous said…
Fuller is the only one to violate a Judicial Canon. Look at Canon 5 C (2). Now, that's black-letter even Fuller can comprehend.

Calling Russell an extremist is name-calling. That's a reach. Just because Russell is a conservative republican doesn't mean he's an extremist, except to liberal democrats like Fuller.

Fuller is a worthless Judge. Breaking the law is Exhibit A. That is why he was challenged by two prosecutors. None of the other judges of the seventh circuit had any competition. That is no coincidence.

What is Fuller's experience anyway. Defense attorney and tort lawyer. Is that the type of "experience" we want on the bench? I guess it depends on your perspective. The plaintiff and defense attorney would probably say yes. But I think the average citizen would probably say no. Who's side are you on?
Anonymous said…
pp -- are you going to give Lance the same "top-notch" advice you gave "Starmo?" The best politician, doesn't mean they would be the best judge. Who would you rather have: Polished politician Bill Clinton, or gifted jurist Antonin Scalia? Who do you think would win the election? That is Russell v. Fuller. Jurist v. politician.
PP said…
Somebody on the quest network out of Hartford is snippy tonight.
Anonymous said…
If Fuller is considered a jurist then I'll take the politician.
TC said…
not even the best campaign manager in the world could help Fuller. (aside from the fact that Fuller currently is running a lousy campaign). Never, ever run an ad that says "Ask your lawyer" how to vote.

The bottom line is that Fuller is unelectable, and nothing can help him.

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