I enjoy watching Republicans trying to rationalize their primary picks, especially when it contradicts the statements they make to bring down other candidates.
If burning through cash faster than it comes in is an “apocalyptic sign” for a campaign, then Caleb Finck must be doomed. According to his pre-primary campaign finance report, the young Republican candidate for District 19 Senate has raised $6,640 but has spent $7,031.58. Finck has balanced his campaign checkbook only by loaning himself $5,000. (According to an amendment filed right after his pre-primary report, Finck kicked in another $400 of his own money for travel.)
If the talk in Bon Homme County coffee shops is that the intervention of outside political actors on behalf of Stace Nelson isn’t good for Nelson, then Finck is again in peril. Prairie Country PAC, an Aberdeen-based group that backed Nelson with a postcard showing Finck in drag last week, reported $1,907.65 in pre-primary expenditures as of Friday, May 27. Caleb Finck received $2,200—76% of his individual contributions—from five people who don’t live in his district:
He received direct contributions from eleven Sioux Falls- and Pierre-based PACs totaling $2,650:
Best of all, Finck received the blessing of Governor Dennis Daugaard (who comes from District 25, not District 19) in the form of a $1,000 donation from the Daugaard for South Dakota campaign committee. Finck is the only non-incumbent out of nine mainstream Republican candidates receiving primary help from the Governor against cranky conservatives.
Finally, Finck’s friends tout National Rifle Association ratings as a good way to pick candidates. Finck’s own postcard includes “Gun Rights” as one of his slogans, yet the NRA gives Stace Nelson an A and Caleb Finck a D-. So apparently, when Republicans try gunny-sacking me with whatever poor letter grade the NRA gives me this fall, I can just write “Gun Rights” on my postcards and make all that NRA chatter go away. Nice!
There may be reasons to vote for Caleb Finck over Stace Nelson (like the fact that Finck is apparently fiscally conservative enough to graduate from college with over $5,000 in his pocket that he can afford to spend on a primary campaign!). But the political baseball reasons I hear his primary partisans throwing around only cook Finck in the same goose-gander sauce as other candidates his backers want to baste.
p.s.: Stace Nelson’s pre-primary report isn’t posted yet. Speed it up, Stace!