One error leads to another. And it's the difference between Midwest and Midstates

I had a call tonight from someone who was following up on a story I did recently on campaign finance. Remember the post I did on the group of interests who funded attack ads including the group "Vision South Dakota?" Among the people funding Vision South Dakota was a group called the Midwest Coalition for Progress:

And as I looked at it, part of my research pointed to a citation in a Rapid City Journal article with an organization of the same name:
In googling the name, the result quickly comes up. It should draw the attention of statewide reporters, because they're covering this group on another issue. The DM&E rail fight. That's right. As you can see as identified in this article from the Rapid City Journal, the Midwest Coalition for Progress is an anti-DM&E Railroad expansion group:
In one letter to land owners, DM&E’s agent tells them that DM&E has “enough certainty” to start the land acquisition process. A landowner advisory group formed several years ago, but it’s unclear if it remains active.

Nancy Darnell, who ranches with her husband, Donley Darnell, near Newcastle, said it’s much too soon to talk about land acquisition. The Darnells belong to the Midwest Coalition for Progress, an opposition group. And the railroad would cross their land.

“I think they’re trying to rush people with this letter,” she said in a recent interview.
Read that here.
Of course, I come to find out that there was just one teensy problem with my research. The Rapid City Journal Article was wrong.

The RCJ article referred to the group contesting the DM&E expansion as the "Midwest Coalition for Progress." As I'm finding out tonight, the problem is, that's not actually their name. The group contesting the DM&E expansion is called the "Midstates Coalition for Progress."

And it makes sense, because if you look, you find a great number of references to the Midstates Coalition for Progress contesting DM&E actions:
Nancy Darnell, a Newcastle, Wyo., rancher and member of the Midstates Coalition for Progress (my emphasis - pp), cited her group’s landowner survey this summer that showed 10 percent have a deal with the railroad.

Of the remaining 90 percent, Darnell said she believes most are against the project. “I don’t see hardly any fence-sitters,” she said.
It's the same article author, and one of the same commentators as the article I cited. And the name of the organization was screwed up.

Dammit. Aside from the embarrassment of citing a trusted news source, the Rapid City Journal, who gets it wrong, I'm back to square one on trying to figure out who the Midwest Coalition for Progress is.

What do we know? Well, for starters, they have money. They dropped $30,000 into Vision South Dakota. And they share a post office box with the group funding Daniel Brendtro's Forward South Dakota Anti-video lottery effort, the South Dakota Association....
where someone with the same address dropped better than $414,000 into that effort. PO Box 1401 in Sioux Falls would seem to be the key to both groups. And the trail runs cold there.

Anyone have any information on this group or who might own this PO Box? E-mail me here as the mystery deepens.


Anonymous said…
Two words, indian tribes
Anonymous said…
PP = take down all those political ads - the election is over!
PP said…
Actually, it's on my "to do" list this weekend.
Anonymous said…
At least you do your research, PP. Keep it up.
Anonymous said…
Hey Two words,

Check out the voting on the reservations. They supported keeping video lottery. Just check the votes.

This make sence since many tribal members frequent video lottery establishments beasue they can't bet in their own casinos.

Also let me refresh your memory, the tribal chaimen all met and decided to stay neutral.
Anonymous said…
Two words, indian tribes
Anonymous said…
Keep on top of this one PP. It's smelling fishy politically.
Anonymous said…
Anon 1:32 what do you mean Indians can't bet in their own casinos? That is a load of crap and would violate the Constitution (equal protection under the law).
Anonymous said…
To be more specific some tribal casnios have policies prohibiting their emplyees from betting in their own casinos - tribal members or not.

I presume this is for security reasons to reduce the potential for an inside job.
Anonymous said…
When do the amended reports come out so we can see if any more of this funny money surfaces at the close of the campaign. All of the ballot issues and candidates seemed to have plenty of money on November 6th so I expect to see more of these "interesting" contributions surface.

Also will the legislature really do anything this session on campaign finance reform? The republicans are in control and if you look at where most of the PAC money goes in this state it seems to benefit Rs more than Ds.

I don't think the Rs will have the stomach for reform.
Dave said…
I hope the Secretary of State and Attorny General look into the groups that don't file reports or file false reports. They should enforce any laws that are broken. It would be easy for them to let it all slide by.
Brendtro knows who wrote him the check. Isn't it funny, not one other person supported Forward South Dakota with a donation?

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