Secretary of State to Dems: You thought that one got by me, didn't you? Wrong.
The secretary of state's office has forwarded possible evidence to Attorney General Larry Long that at least two Democratic political action committees failed to report $55,000 in contributions from an out-of-state donor.Read it all here.
"We have turned all of that over to the AG," Secretary of State Chris Nelson said.
Long said last week he can't confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.
But Nelson said his office forwarded items to the attorney general indicating that South Dakota PACs might have violated the state's campaign-finance law by not reporting the contributions.
Nelson didn't name the PACs, but he did say they are related to a controversy surrounding contributions made by the wife of a prominent Democratic politician in Minnesota.
The PACs didn't report the checks in their year-end reports. Elofson did not return a call left at the party's office in Sioux Falls on Wednesday.
Healy said the checks were deposited into a separate account and reported on another PAC report.
"It's much ado about nothing," he said.
When asked how checks written to two PACs ended up in the account of a third PAC, Healy said, "The reality is, if you go deposit something at a bank, it processes pretty easily."
Actually, I'd mentioned much of this about the money shuffle about a month ago here:
And as I noted back then, I thought there was likely to be little that happens on this, aside from a minor violation. What's more likely to happen is that this will be used to beat the Democrats about the head and shoulders, and that it will spur some needed reform about campaign finance and reporting.
Now, I don't want to one to cast dispersions here, but I have one question that maybe someone can help me with.
Why are the checks written out to these political action committees, when neither one can be found anywhere in any of their PAC Reports?
Because the next time you see any evidence of this money is not in either of these committees.
The next time you find evidence of this money is directly in the SD Democratic State House Fund.
Pardon my asking, but can PAC's endorse over checks to a third PAC without a paper trail being reported on the financial reports?
The days of massive unreported/poorly reported campaign transfers are probably at an end with this election, and that's ok. This is a perfect example of why more transparency is needed within South Dakota campaigns..
*Update* - SD Progressive weighs in on the issue here from the Democrat's point of view, in a thoughtful post.