Healy revises financial reports for his old job. Does that make it all better?

In an article by Johnathan Ellis, today's Sioux Falls Argus Leader has former State Dem director Brett Healy talking about three campaign finance reports that he's filed revisions for. Nearly three years after the fact:
The former executive director of the South Dakota Democratic Party has amended two campaign finance reports after admitting to "bookkeeping errors" by misreporting two contributions from a wealthy Minnesota activist.

Bret Healy, who served as the party's executive director three years ago, filed amended finance reports for two political action committees he oversaw in 2003. An amended report is also being prepared for a third Democratic PAC.

Healy filed the reports last week with the secretary of state's office after questions arose about what happened to two checks written in early 2003 by Lois Quam, the wife of a prominent Minnesota politician.

The checks totaled $55,000, and were not included on the finance reports of the two PACs.


Nelson determined that Quam's contributions weren't on the PAC reports and forwarded that information to Attorney General Larry Long.

Healy said last week that Quam's checks were deposited in the account of a third PAC rather than the two she wrote them to.

"I was responsible for all three committees at that time," he said.
Read it all here.

Brett is admitting to "Bookkeeping errors" and is filing amended reports three years later. But is that all there is going to be on this? Probably. Does it make it all better? Under the set of laws we operate under at this point, it is going to have to.

When the attorney general states that "he didn't know at the moment whether any (penalties for violations) have ever been levied" as he did in the article, it's partially a testament to the honesty of our politicians.

But, it's also partially a testament to the realization that our campaign finance laws aren't terribly firm. And I'll be the first to admit that in South Dakota, our campaign finance reporting laws are probably due for some reform.

The big question is whether or not we inject additional bureaucracy into the process, or do we continue to rely on self-reporting? I'd be against more bureaucracy. But we probably need to strengthen the laws on an incremental basis.

As we see obvious abuses such as this one, we should address them, and move on.


Anonymous said…
I’m sorry PP. I don’t see the abuse. The money was reported. Not in the PAC where the checks were written but rather reported in the PAC where the money ended up. I think, in order to be abuse, there has to be something gained by the action. This looks like a simple oversight and not a deal to funnel any money.
Anonymous said…
This is virtually identical to the Gov going back and refunding the state for his airplane joyrides years after the fact.
Anonymous said…
The Dems have done exactly what they accussed Tom DeLay of doing. Moving money from one type of political organization in one state to another p.o. in another state in order to get around campaign finance requirements.

In the process they fail to report because they are sloppy, hardly beleivable, or they wanted to gamble and avoid showing the money movements by committing a crime they knew either is not prosecutable or is a simple misdemeanor with a $50 fine.

Either way you cut it I don't want this kind of irresponsiblity and arrogance that the Democrat Party openly embraces to have a say in how my state is run.

In reponse to anon 9:00 there was something gained: invisibility. The PACs did not want to have to be open and honest with the state in which the accounts sat, thereby depriving the voters and citizens of an open, transperant process by which campaigns are funded. The very things that Democrats are screaming for. The hypocrisy is shameful.

I hope some laws were broken so we can ride this political gravy train into November.
nonnie said…
If this wasn't presumably illegal, it would have been done in the light of day. Just another example of the misuse of private monies in campaigns by people determined to win one way or another. And I too hope this negatively resonates loudly with voters until November. Another reason for short, cheaper campaigns and a FIRM limit to the amount of money a person can contribute and the amount of money that can be used in a campaign.
Anonymous said…
There is a Healy campaign sign attached to a Wall Drug billboard on 1-29 about halfway between Sioux Falls and Sioux City. Wonder if the Husteds know about that? :-)

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