Swanson Picks Business over City Council; Rushmore PAC Support Wasted

Last year, Dan Lederman claimed that his Rushmore PAC had scored a great victory for conservatism by backing an Aberdeen City Council member in a one-person race. Now it turns out Lederman’s $1,000 investment was mostly wasted—after serving less than a year of her new term, Councillor Laure Swanson is resigning:

The city’s conflict-of-interest policy has a $5,000 limit on the amount of business that can be conducted between the city and a business owned by members of the City Council. Bids must be sought for work once this limit is reached.

Swanson said this policy limits the amount of business Swanson Electric can do with the city, and she felt it was simply time to step down.

“I enjoyed working with the city,” Swanson said [Elisa Sand, “Swanson Resigns Seat on Aberdeen City Council,” Aberdeen American News, 2016.06.14].

Then-Councilwoman Laure Swanson and then-Bruce/now-Caitlyn Jenner at Aberdeen Boys & Girls Club Fundraiser, 2012; posted by Laure Swanson, Facebook, 2015.04.25.
Then-Councilwoman Laure Swanson and then-Bruce/now-Caitlyn Jenner at Aberdeen Boys & Girls Club Fundraiser, 2012; posted by Laure Swanson, Facebook, 2015.04.25.

Rushmore PAC didn’t get much conservatism out of those last eleven months: during Swanson’s service, Aberdeen has pursued a progressive agenda that includes spending big money on a new library, intervening in the free market with 26 tax increment financing districts, and rejecting the conservative effort to undermine the minimum wage.

Between throwing his PAC money at short-lived progressive candidates and paying his bail bondsmen so little they have to moonlight as PIs for the payday lending industry, I’m starting to wonder if Lederman has trouble managing his money for optimum return.

16 Responses to Swanson Picks Business over City Council; Rushmore PAC Support Wasted

  1. It wasn’t a one person race until about 2 weeks before the election! Must we remind the readers that you were a candidate in that race and quit the race b/c you were moving!

  2. Mrs. Nelson

    At least she was smart enough to realize.

    Now what about the others…

  3. Remind readers—that’s why I include hyperlinks, DR.

    But notice, DR, you don’t change the fact of what I said: when the vote happened, it was a one-person race. I quit the race when it became clear I would be unable to serve. I distributed no campaign flyers. I bought no ads. I did no campaign door-to-door other than circulating my petition at the end of March, before the house we ultimately bought came on the market. Rushmore PAC claimed to win an election for an incumbent who went practically unchallenged. Swanson quit a bit under a year into the job. Rushmore PAC’s money goes for naught.

    Now, what was your point again? ;-)

  4. Mrs. Nelson, on the good side, the electrical business must be picking up to finally push the Swansons’ business up above the $5,000 conflict-of-interest threshold.

  5. mike from iowa

    Now she is no longer with the city,does she have a built in advantage of having once worked for the city? Does that open any doors for the company?

  6. Eh Fair points.

    BUT did Rushmore’s Money come in before or after you conceded the race. I also heard rumblings that she was going to return the money, I do not know if that was the case tho.

    It brings me to a different point though, I do not like PAC’s in local races. If you cannot raise the money on your own to go to Pierre, then you probably shouldn’t be running. For example, Stace Nelson and the Prairie Country PAC’s ad on Mr Finck.

  7. mikeyc, that's me!

    Which one is Bruce Jenner?

  8. Your dislike of PACs in local elections would fit with my business point, DR. Rushmore PAC exists to elect conservatives. Rushmore PAC used its conservative donors’ money to invest in a race that had little to do with promoting conservative values. The candidate backed by Rushmore PAC had little to no apparent conservative record and, following the donation, did little to nothing new to advance the conservative agenda. As a city council member, little if anything that the councilwoman had a chance to vote on would make much if any difference in the conservative agenda. And then the PAC-backed candidate left office just a year after the election. Rushmore PAC made a bad business decision with donors’ money, and then compounded their error with the lie that its money won the election. Rushmore PAC lacks rigorous business sense and credibility.

    So DR, would you recommend my Aberdeen neighbors at Prairie Country PAC stay out of all Legislative races this fall? Would you publicly denounce any attacks akin to their Finck postcard that they make on Legislative candidates this fall?

  9. Mikeyc—be nice.

    Bruce in on the right in the photo. Caitlyn appears to be on the Right politically:


    Maybe that’s what drew the Rushmore PAC endorsement.

  10. Roger Elgersma

    That picture is an example that in this world we are all in it together if we like it or not and if we like eachother or not. We have to learn to get along and if we do not we might get closer to eachother than we might have planned anyways. So we might as well just decide to get along with people with other opinions in the first place.

  11. CH, I believe I would.

  12. Then keep your eyes open, and be ready to put your words to the test come November 7, the day before the election.

  13. Mr. H; I think Mr. Lederman gets a win over you in this one. If the other team doesn’t show up, it’s still a win. You might have rolled over but Mr. Lederman’s woman scored the win.

  14. Liberty Dick

    Was that a city policy or state law that forced the move?

  15. Grudz, you miss the point. If all Lederman got for his money was the chance to pretend that his money beat me, then he’s really aiming low. His $1,000 did not move a single vote, either by the voters in her favor or by Swanson in favor of his conservative agenda. What else is PAC money supposed to achieve?

  16. LibDick, AAN says it was “the city’s conflict of interest guidelines, which are patterned after state law.” I’m not clear on whether those guidelines are new and result from the conflict-of-interest legislation from this past session, but I don’t think that’s the case.