That Sioux Falls paper gives SDGOP chair Dan Lederman a chance to respond to the brouhaha about his holding an active registration as a Democratic voter in Iowa. While Lederman likens himself to former Democrat Ronald Reagan and smartly exploits the free press to recruit for his party, he says nothing about the salient legal issue: why, as of July of this year, was he registered to vote in both Iowa and South Dakota?
An astute reader finds an Iowa statute (636.11) that says, “An agent for a company authorized to engage in the business of becoming surety upon bonds must be a resident of this state for the purpose of acting on behalf of the surety company with respect to any bond or bail in criminal cases.” That statute suggests that, when Lederman moved to South Dakota in 1996, he would have lost the ability to serve as an agent in his own bail bondsman company. Keeping his Iowa voter registration might have kept Lederman freer all these years to conduct business activities in Iowa.
Of course, if voter registration were sufficient to retain residency status for Lederman’s business purposes, might that not also mean he retained residency status for Iowa state income tax purposes? Another Iowa statute (38.17(2)) includes voter registration as one of the criteria for establishing “domicile” for income tax purposes:
There is a rebuttable presumption that an individual is domiciled in Iowa if the individual meets the following factors:
(1) Maintains a residence or place of abode in Iowa, whether owned, rented, or occupied, even if the individual is in Iowa less than 183 days of the tax year, and either
(2) Claims a homestead credit or military tax exemption on a home in Iowa, or
(3) Is registered to vote in Iowa, or
(4) Maintains an Iowa driver’s license, or
(5) Does not reside in an abode in any other state for more days of the tax year than the individual resides in Iowa.
Even if Lederman sleeps most nights at his golf course villa just across the river, keeping a flop in Newton, Iowa and calling it his residence for voter registration purposes could be enough to subject his bountiful income to the Iowa taxman’s consideration.
So Dan Lederman really is like Ronald Reagan: he’s very good at avoiding questions. Sioux Falls paper, you’d better invite Lederman back and ask him again about his curious dual voter registration.