The Stan Adelstein PAC money shuffle is touching a lot of primary candidates that you might want to know about

Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive”.
- Sir Walter Scott.

As I do my review of the pre-primary Political Action Committee Reports, the Stan Adelstein money shuffle is getting more and more interesting this election. As you will note in the post below, he put 50k into a political action committee called “All South Dakota PAC.” While two others put in a little (so it didn't quite look so bad) Stan's 50k+ outweighs them by leaps and bounds.
The "All South Dakota" PAC is one of the political action committees headquartered out of his office that he uses to get around campaign finance requirements, allowing him to infuse massive amounts of cash into his pet races without such pesky oversight such as campaign finance laws. If he was writing a personal check, he’d be limited to a $250 personal donation to legislative candidates. Not in this case.

Anyway, as mentioned previously, this All South Dakota PAC, sent money to Clarence Kooistra and Ken Wetz. I'm sure it's a sign of solidarity for Kooistra, and less a show of support for Wetz as much as a backhanded slap at his conservative opponent, Ted Klaudt. And that's the tip of the iceberg. The real PAC shuffle hasn't begun yet.

I'd documented earlier some of where the PAC money has gone - but let's take a closer look at the PACs that this PAC is sending money to.

(From All South Dakota PAC)

$15,000 of it’s money went to a PAC called “The People’s PAC," which lists Jan Nicolay, spokesperson for the Campaign for Healthy Families, the group fighting the abortion measure HB 1215, as it’s head.

So, this PAC gets $15,000 from the PAC that Senator Stan Adelstein runs out of his office, and what does it do with it? It turns around and sends it out to political candidates. In addition to Stan Adelstein's money, Jan Nicolay kicked in $200. What really suprised me was the identity of another donor - Long-time Daschle Democrat, consultant Steve Hildebrand. Steve also kicked in $200.

So who got all of this money from Planned Parenthood award recipient Stan Adelstein, Campaign for Health Families Spokeswoman Jan Nicolay and a high profile Democratic activist who has vowed to defeat pro-life candidates? A bunch of Republican legislative candidates: Claire Konold, Clarence Kooistra, and Duane Sutton were all beneficiaries of this PAC to the tune of $2000 each.

With the prior donation, this brings Clarence's total from Stan up to $4000. $4000 from one person when under personal guidelines, he's be limited to $250. The big question Clarence's constituents should be asking? What is the quid pro quo expected to be?

Sorry. Did I leave a special someone out? In a race I've been following closely, I also notice that Brock Greenfield’s opponent, Republican Jim Holbeck, got a nice chunk of change from this clearly pro-choice Stan Adelstein funded PAC.

Wait a minute? I seem to recall from ads and the newspapers that "the moderate choice" Jim Holbeck has been calling himself "personally pro-life." But here he is taking thousands of dollars for his campaign from a easily identifiable Pro-choice PAC.

Jim Holbeck say's he's "personally pro-life." The funding would appear to say he's not. Make up your own mind, but I'd tell people to follow the money. At the very least, he's been bought and paid for by Stan Adelstein.

Think it ends there? Not a chance. Another report has been filed, this time from the Rapid City Action Committee.

This one is spearheaded by Alan Hanks of Rapid City. But it’s only donor is Stan Adelstein’s All South Dakota PAC to the tune of $6000. (Amazingly enough, Alan happens to be from the same legislative District as Stan.)

This political action committee is kicking out money from Stan’s kitty to people in the Rapid City (Hills) area, such as Mark Kirkeby, Betty Olson and Alan Hanks himself to the tune of $1000 each. It must be nice to have the ability to give yourself $1000 donations with other people's money.
But then this Rapid City Action Committee also throws in big fat checks for $1000 each to Republicans Paul Nelson and Kristi Noem, who are both running in the primary in District 6. What does the "Rapid City Action Committee" have to do with people across the state? And why would Stan want to fund their campaigns? In these races, Stan's using the PAC shuffle to bypass financial contribution limits to the tune of $750.

In this case as well, both of these self annointed pro-life candidates are taking money at one thousand dollars a pop from Stan Adelstein. The question their voters need to ask - what is Stan buying with his money? What loyalty is he going to expect? Because when you're giving that kind of cash, there's certain to be expectations.

Money shifted from Stan's deep pockets, to one PAC. Then from that Political Action Committee to two others. Why the deception?

If he wanted to simply ignore the limits, under current campaign laws Stan also has the ability to put unlimited money into his campaign account and to write checks without limit to other candidates. But that's not what he's doing. In an elaborate shuffle it's going from him to one PAC and then another before it hits someone else's campaign.

And it all begs the question - why?


Anonymous said…
Thank you for your research PP. This is as disgusting a perversion of campaign finance laws as I have seen. I bet Abramoff would have liked to operate in South Dakota's political money system.

This corruption should be stopped, but I doubt it will as the money flows right to the top. What a disgusting little political culture we have in this state. It is time for a change.
Anonymous said…
Why, because they are free to donate to whomever they choose. God Bless America.
Anonymous said…
This is the same "disgusting little political culture" which has funded Rounds. And actually the same people who have funded Rounds.

It looks to me like PP has found religion after he's been sinning right along with the rest of us.

Too bad the Governor won't let us all look at his "governor's club" as readily as PP can look at this.

Who is he taking money from that he wants to hide?
Anonymous said…
Anonymous at 1:09pm hits the nail on the head. PP has done some great research and raises some good questions about quid pro quo, but at least reports are filed and PP can do the research and ask the questions. What I find much more disturbing is Round’s governor’s club. Not only is it unregulated and unreported but it is entirely for personal use. This creates a system that is absolutely ripe for abuse. This should be a much larger concern then a few thousand dollars put into primaries. I’m curious if PP would like to defend these actions.
Anonymous said…
looks like Stan is trying to buy City Hall in Rapid City. 13k to Tom Hennies?


From what I gather, Sam Kooiker isn't afraid to take a stand, and now it appears Tom Hennies isn't afraid to take from Stan.
Anonymous said…
Stan's involvement in the Ward 2 City Council race could really hurt him in those precincts.
Anonymous said…
It is important to note that Stan is acting completely within the law; there is simply a flaw in the campaign finance law that allows him to do this.

I think it is also unfair to say that a candidate who receives money from Stan must therefore be pro-choice. Stan is not a single-issue candidate; I assume he gives money to people who he regards and good legislators (or potential legislators).

As for the governor's club, the fact is that those donations ARE reported - as donations to the Republican Party. All that is unreported is whether the money was used, within the part, for the governor's club or for another use. The governor's club is nothing more than a marketing mechanism by the state GOP.
Anonymous said…
This just allows Stan to bypass current laws for contributions to a campaign. And, as it stands, Stan is the 'poster-Senator' for Pro-Choice in South Dakota. Is he going to go back and explain that these (potential) legislators need to vote on an issue (such as abortion) his way because of the money he provided??
Anonymous said…
So the Governor’s club is reported? Ok….I’ll buy you a steak if you can tell me how much money the governor’s club raised and spent last year. It is easy to find out that info on every other fund in the state. Why the secrecy by the governor?
Anonymous said…
Stan Adelstein is hopelessly corrupted, and so is Tom Hennies
Anonymous said…
Wow. You guys are morons. Why does Adelstein's money imply a quid pro quo? According to you guys, political contributions should be banned. I prefer my freedom of speech, thank you very much. I thought you republicans were for against government restrictions of individual liberty. I guess I was wrong.
Anonymous said…
"The governor's club is nothing more than a marketing mechanism for the GOP"

That's exactly the point. They are marketing access, delivering favors to their friends, while keeping this program cloaked in secrecy.

Does the fact that Stan contributed substantially to the new Pierre White House mean he has purchased favor with the governor?
Anonymous said…
anon, you are accusing me of being a republican? shame on you. I'm proud to be a democrat, but sad that my party can't find its rear end with a flashlight with both hands. The issue of corruption is a problem with both parties, particularly the GOP. Adelstein and hennies don't care about ideology. Their only ideology is power at any price.
PP said…
Anon 8:54, don't get me wrong. I like political contributions. 've even had a couple of "my candidates" be on the receiving end of one of those big fat checks.

But that doesn't mean it doesn't leave an icky feeling.

It's that he's using the PAC process to get around the campaign finance limits because he's of considerable financial means.

AND it's that he's going to great lengths to conceal it. Like I said, he can cut a check that clearly identifies him as the donor - but that's not what he's doing.
Anonymous said…
If the GOP is so intent on purging itself of its biggest donor just because he's a moderate, then by all means do so. I don't want to hear any whining when the money dries up for the GOP and starts financing moderates in the Democratic party.

The lack of loyalty from Gov. Rounds for Sen. Adelstein is sickening. Here is Rounds' biggest contributor in a time of need. Adelstein was there for Rounds. But when Adelstein needs a friend as he's being dogpiled, Rounds demands to be taken out of Stan's commercial. If Rounds doesn't want to be associated with Sen. Adelstein he should give back all of the money Adelstein gave him for his 2002 campaign. Your governor has no class - he's a backstabber.

By the way, Rounds is proof that candidates benefiting from Sen. Adelstein's money aren't promising a quid pro quo on abortion.
Anonymous said…
This was a rather shocking post for me to read! I'm Betty Olson and it seems that I have unwittingly been funded by Stan Adelstein? I find this absolutely incredible, to say the least!!!

When Alan Hanks called to ask how my campaign was coming along, he inferred that he and members of his group wanted to assure that South Dakota continued to have strong conservative Republicans in office and wondered if I could use a $1000 to fund my rather modest campaign.

During the course of a rather lengthy conversation, I told him my negative views of both Adelstein and Hennies and praised Sam Kooiker, the very nice young man Hennies is running against. In spite of what I had said, a few days later I got a check from the Rapid City Action Committee, an organization I’d never heard of until Hanks called, and I used it to pay for campaign literature promoting my conservative, smaller government, right-to-life views. I wonder if Hanks knew where the money came from?

Now, what should I do about this? Send the money back, or use Stan’s money against his liberal agenda?

What say you?
Anonymous said…
Well Betty, it all comes down to integrity. We're all waiting to see what you decide. Can you make your own decisions, or do you have to be told what to do?
Anonymous said…
Betty should call Stan and ask for directions! Noem, Nelson, Holbeck and Konold should also contact their sweet cherry lolipop Stan for directions also. All 4 have been ever so quite over the taking of Stan's money. Where are they? We need them to do some explaining, now!
Anonymous said…
anon 1:34

It's clear you don't like Adelstein, but why don't you level the same criticism toward Rounds or Thune. The Gov has receieved more money from Adelstein then anyone else, or do you think that you can pick and choose who takes the brunt of your criticism.
Anonymous said…
Did anybody hear the AM Radio in Watertown this morning??
Anonymous said…
Sure did listen to What's Up radio this Morning!! Sure was an eye opener and it sure made my decision on how to vote Tuesday a no brainer. Anyone that takes Adlestein money, won't get my vote. That leaves me voting for Stormo and Greenfield. They have not been bought out with slime money. Come November Rounds will be another one my list, not getting my vote.

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