AG Long and Roger Hunt are going toe to toe on the $750,000 donation to Yes on 6

I would have written on it yesterday, but the Argus only had the story in it's dead tree edition.

Today in the Rapid City Journal, the Associated Press has the tale of how Attorney General Larry Long believes Roger violated campaign finance laws in not disclosing the name of the donor. Of course, Roger disagrees:
State Rep. Roger Hunt, R-Brandon, violated campaign finance laws by not identifying the person who gave $750,000 to a group supporting the recently defeated abortion ban, Attorney General Larry Long said.

Long said in a story in Sunday's Argus Leader that he is investigating his options but would not say what step he will take next.

"That disagreement is going to have to be resolved," Long told the Sioux Falls newspaper.

and...

Long could negotiate with Hunt, prosecute him for failing to comply with campaign finance laws or ask a judge to decide whether he must identify the donor. Failure to comply with campaign finance laws is a misdemeanor punishable by as much as 30 days in jail and a $200 fine.

State Sen. Tom Dempster, R-Sioux Falls, and Sen. Scott Heidempriem, D-Sioux Falls, said Hunt should reveal the donor.

"Roger has an obligation to disclose that information, and I think it's embarrassing that he hasn't done it," Heidempriem, the state Senate's Democratic leader, said.

Hunt did not talk at length about the donation but said he is following state laws and will stand his ground.

He questions whether a corporation, which is legally considered a person, meets the definition of a ballot question committee.

Read it all here. And that's a good question - how does a corporation fit into this? Depending on your point of view, either it was a master stroke of maneuvering, or such a blatant dodge of the laws that the AG can't allow it to stand.

I'm just going to stand back now. Please keep it civil.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Once again, before the rumors fly, I for one, anon, an attorney in private practice, can not believe that Steve Kirby or the diocese would hire Roger Hunt to do anything much less attempt to subvert campaign finance laws in this state. This has got to be out of state money brought in by Leslee Unruh. I'm hoping it's Dominos Pizza money myself.
Anonymous said…
Oh yeah, is it an S corp? Did Roger so elect? Was it a tax free incorporation? Was the money income coming in? Did the money come from an individual or another entity? Great stuff. Did anyone deduct anything at any time?
Anonymous said…
A related problem Hunt has, as an attorney, is his invocation of the attorney-client privilege when asked to report who donated the money. News reports indicated that Hunt invoked the attorney-client privilege as the donor feared retribution and possible harm. The attorney-client privilege of course has no applicability in that situation as it only applies during the seeking and giving of legal advice.

Also, Hunt has serious conflicts of interest as well. Who does he represent? The corporation that he is president of, or the donor? Given the problems with the reporting obligations, I don't think he can represent both. It appears that, by hiding the identity of the donor, he is representing the donor, all to the detriment of the corporation.

Hunt, therefore, may have other important questions he needs to answer.
Anonymous said…
Now that the attorney general has concluded that Hunt violated the law, why isn't the legislature going to meet in a special session to pass on whether Hunt should be expelled or not? At least with Hunt we know that the attorney general believes the law has been broken. With Sutton, we have no idea what the attorney general believes despite the investigation of many months. For the republicans to have any consistency they must call for a special session to make such an investigation into Hunt. Otherwise they will just continue to be the hypocrits that we have come to appreicate them for.
Anonymous said…
I like Roger, but I think he way out on a limb on this one. The AG will be forced to act.
Anonymous said…
Has anybody contacted the State Bar Ethics Commission?
Anonymous said…
Are they going after the "secret donor" to the Yes on 7 (Video Lottery) campaign as well? Seems like there was $50G or so unaccounted for there as well.
Anonymous said…
Seriously, with everything that Hunt has admitted so far:

* Setting up a dummy corporation for the sole purpose of laundering campaign money.

* Establishing the pretense of attorney-client privilege as part of the set-up with the dummy corporation to cover up financial activities and participants.

* Offering the use of the corporation to others as a vehicle to break laws.

* Completing the act of laundering money to make illegal contributions.

* Refusing to comply with orders of law enforcement authorities seeking to make the campaign contributions transparent.

It looks like racketeering and conspiracy to me. What about you? Long should be throwing the book at Hunt.

I just hope this isn't Hunt's way of becoming a religious/political martyr, because rational people won't see it that way. They'll think of him as a kook and a crook. I hope he backs off of this now before Long and the IRS have to be considering felonies instead of a hand-spanking class 2 misdemeanor.

If Leslee or other third parties are involved, they better come clean right away or get trapped in the same net. When the House meets to reprimand Hunt in special session, could Leslee and other possible conspirators be put under oath and will the testimony be public?
Anonymous said…
Isn't it odd, pp, that when you post something about Sutton, you get all kinds of people calling for his head, but when a republican is in the hot water, your blog is quite quiet. Double standard? Hmmmmm.
Anonymous said…
2:51, people have been calling for Sutton's head? Funny! All I've seen is liberals trying to pass the buck and suggest that it's somebody else's fault.

12:54, news reports have consistently pointed out that both democrats and republicans called for the Sutton special session.

The two of you should get together. Misery loves company.
Anonymous said…
South Dakota Politics blog will call it...

Hunt Gate.

Oh, there are sooo original over there.
Anonymous said…
Speaking of the SD Politics blogsite, why is it that PP is the only conservative blog site that allows people to post comments? Are the rest afraid to have people refute their arguments? I know the two Northern professors are entirely against anyone having a different opinion then theirs.

Thanks PP for letting everyone voice their opinions.
Anonymous said…
Roger Hunt should lose his House seat and his law license for this. Mr Moral Integrity has acted very unethical. Further, since the election is over and nobody has died, it is time to fess up.
Anonymous said…
what ethical or legal rule did roger violate? I thought heidepreim wanted people to take a breath and get the facts--Is it possible the statutes are deficient in this regard? Is this why the AG and sec of State are talking of improving the election laws with amendments?

Just because we would all like to know who the donor is or are doesn't mean Roger broke the law
Anonymous said…
Roger broke the law but it's ok because he has God on his side.
Anonymous said…
Anon 6:41 you are only part right. God hates perverts but liars are okay.

Anon 6:00 Your real name must be Tom DeLay.

Roger needs to come clean on this one.
Anonymous said…
I too think it is great that PP allows comments on his blog. Thanks.

I do think Hunt needs to come clean. It is funny how he talks to the media and tells them the corporation was created to financially support his cause. He should've invoked attorney-client privilege with that questin!
Anonymous said…
Hunt didn't break any laws. The campaign laws in SD are pretty lax and should be looked in to. Who cares who gave the money--and if we go that route then who gave the money for the video lottery--where exactly did all of Adelstein's money go and---other questions that our current laws don't cover. They don't cover this situation--yet--but perhaps they should.

Whether Sutton broke any laws or not he may well have broken rules governing the SD Senate. They are two different things. That line continually seems to get forgotten or blurred.
Anonymous said…
Come on Roger- do Tell!
What lies beneath?
Anonymous said…
This toe to toe battle, I guess the winner would depend on the type of combat.

Is it sumo wrestling? Put your money on Hunt.

Is it a gunfight? The smart money is on Long.

Is it a cockfight? Neither one of them has a rooster.

I predict detente. Long won't do anything with it. Then later he can put the cold case unit to work.
Anonymous said…
To anon 4:20: SD Politics does have an e-mail address on the site. I have debated the professors via e-mail on a couple of topics. They would welcome your e-mail just like they did mine, even if your opinion does differ from theirs.
Anonymous said…
Planned Parenthood reportedly raised over $600,000 for the fight in South Dakota. Why doesn't the Argus do a story on that? Until they release the names of all their "private donors" no one else should either.

It's complete crap that planned parenthood can give a huge amount and the Argus doesn't say a word about it. Let's see the Argus pull a story about them shall we???

BTW, does the Argus really have nothing better to write about?
Are they that hard up for news?
Sounds like the Argus should get a better staff that can come up with more than 3 news articles in 4 months time.

The Argus continues to lose more credibility with every article.
Anonymous said…
Hunt's real problem is his loss of credibility over the hidden donation. His word will no longer be his bond on matters of trust. That is an unenviable position to be in, not only as a legislator, but as a human being. Welcome to the jungle Roger.
Anonymous said…
Hmm...Hunt is willing to break the law for abortion ban, but refuses to name donor. What about truth, honor, and integrity? Oh yeah, he's a GOPer.

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