Rushmore PAC sure is proud of its partisan intervention in Watertown’s mayoral race. SDGOP chairman Dan Lederman’s personal political action committee posted this photo of the people it recruited to campaign around town for incumbent Mayor Steve Thorson Saturday:
Now I like kids getting involved in the political process—even though they can’t vote, they have to live with the decisions (and later clean up the messes) their elders make. But I see at least two people out front of the Cowboy Country Store—Dakota Dunes resident Dan Lederman in the middle of the back row, and next to him, Florence resident Fred Deutsch—who can’t vote because they don’t live in Watertown.
Of course, these two former Republican legislators (along with their fellow former GOP legislator from District 5 Ried Holien, next to Deutsch) are always proud, I guess, to come fight for a fellow Republican (the mayor’s race is supposed to be non-partisan, but Steve Thorson is a registered Republican, while his main opponent, Sarah Caron, is registered independent) who likes to keep taxes low. Unfortunately, Steve Thorson likes to keep his own taxes a little too low:
According to the Internal Revenue Service, from 2006 through 2008, before Steve Thorson moved from owning the Ace Hardware store and working as an investment executive for Feltl & Co. to serving on Watertown’s City Council, Thorson and his wife apparently took an $82,824.90 tax break that they shouldn’t have. In 2010 and 2011, the IRS said, “Pay us back.” These tax liens have not yet been released, according to the Codington County Register of Deeds… meaning that over a decade after first stiffing the IRS, Steve Thorson still owes the IRS—i.e., Uncle Sam—i.e., us, the taxpayers—over $2,000 more than one full year of his salary as mayor.
Just a little note to mayors: if you’re going to fight for federal tax dollars to fund your city’s amenities, like subsidized air service, you may want to protect your moral authority to make such a call by paying your federal taxes.
And a little note to the party of extreme vetting: if you’re going to make such a huge investment of partisan PAC resources in a simple nonpartisan mayor’s race, you may want to vet your chosen candidate.