On November 4, in our only one-on-one public debate during our campaign for District 3 Senate, Al Novstrup bragged about spending less on his campaign than I had on my mine.
That statement was technically true on October 28, the date our pre-general campaign finance reports were due. However, with year-end campaign finance reports now in, we can see that Novstrup’s claim of frugality was a figment of delayed reporting. Novstrup raised nearly $30K for his campaign and spent over $28K; his Democratic challenger raised nearly $21K and spent nearly $20K:
Note here that I include contributions via ActBlue (which Democrats can continue to use to its fullest capacity now that Republicans have repealed IM 22) in my individual contributions rather than in my PAC contributions. ActBlue is a PAC, but it really function more like PayPal or MasterCard, simply processing contributions from identifiable and reportable individuals.
Note also that Novstrup’s pre-general and year-end reports list $8,734.14 in “in-kind contributions” from the South Dakota Republican Party in the form of postcards. Those would be the four waves of negative attack postcards the SDGOP sent to District 3 in October. Novstrup’s year-end report shows that he made an $8,000 contribution to the South Dakota Republican Party… which means that he paid for most of those postcards.
Novstrup’s campaign made only one other contribution to any political committee in 2016, and alas, that money went for naught:
Wollmann for District 8 House—ah, that would be Novstrup’s former House colleague Mathew Wollmann, who resigned two weeks ago after revealing that he spent much of his first term in the House having sex with interns. Wollmann’s sexual misconduct was common knowledge in the Legislature, the leadership of which took no action to stop or censure Wollmann’s wolfishness.
Novstrup’s $110 contribution to Wollmann must signal that Novstrup knew nothing about Wollmann’s sex with interns in the House, because surely if a legislator had known anything about such unethical behavior, that legislator would not have financially supported such a disgrace to the institution.