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Repeat Offender Larry Rhoden Still Not Arrested

Once again, Representative Larry Rhoden breaks the law and faces no apparent risk of punishment.

Seth Tupper reports that Larry Rhoden waited over two months after Kristi Noem picked him to be her hunky ticket honey to file his organizing papers for his lieutenant governor campaign committee. State law (SDCL 12-27-3) and the letter Secretary of State Shantel Krebs sent Rhoden just two days after his nomination—a letter just like the one Rhoden and every other then-declared Legislative candidate received back in spring—say Rhoden had to file that statement of organization no later than fifteen days after he became a candidate. That due date would have been July 9.

Rhoden filed his statement of organization on August 29.

Signature section, statement of organization, Rhoden for Lt. Governor, filed 2018.08.29.
Signature section, statement of organization, Rhoden for Lt. Governor, filed illegally, 51 days late, on August 29, 2018.

This violation of state campaign finance law doesn’t invalidate Rhoden’s candidacy. It does carry a maximum $500 fine and 30 days in county jail.

Lock him up!

Larry Rhoden and Kristi Noem in prison stripes.

Kristi Noem didn’t do anything wrong here, but neither did Hillary Clinton, and Kristi just looks great next Larry in outfit, so lock her up, too!

But we can’t count on the state to enforce the law on Rhoden for his campaign finance gaffe any more than we could count on the police to bust Rhoden’s chops for pulling a false alarm in the Capitol last year. Rhoden has undeniably broken the law, but no one’s going to arrest him:

Krebs said her office has no authority to file a criminal complaint, but she said a citizen or the state’s attorney of Hughes County — which is home to the capital city of Pierre — could do so.

Hughes County State’s Attorney Roxanne Hammond said she generally does not file complaints herself without an investigation by law enforcement. She said any citizen could file a complaint with a law enforcement agency such as the Pierre Police Department or Hughes County Sheriff’s Office, which could then investigate and send a report for her consideration [Seth Tupper, “Noem’s Running Mate Violated Campaign Finance Law,” Rapid City Journal, 2018.08.31].

This big galoot keeps breaking the law, but hey, he’s an important Republican, so no cuffin’ or stuffin’.

But as a man of conscience, Rhoden could make this up to all of us. When he joins Noem for their special Trumpa-palooza in Sioux Falls next Friday, he could open the event to the public and pay for the first 50 photos with the Kristi-Don! That’s only a quarter-million; Kristi’s PAC could spot him that cash!

Or Larry could just agree to open every campaign event with his Johnny Cash impression.


  1. Porter Lansing 2018-08-31 20:01

    Pulling a fire alarm? Forgetting important jobs? Might be early onset. A voluntary disclosure of medical records and a statement from a non partisan physician could be in order.

  2. Rhonda Schrader 2018-08-31 20:05

    I thought this was a real story, but after reading it, I realize it is some far left writers attempt at propaganda in the style of the Daily Mail. Please hire some real journalists!

  3. Kurt Evans 2018-08-31 20:16

    Cory writes:

    This violation of state campaign finance law doesn’t invalidate Rhoden’s candidacy.

    But the entire Constitution Party of South Dakota can be obliterated because Joel Bergan mistakenly had Lora Hubbel file its convention notice rather than filing it himself.

    If the Libertarian candidate for lieutenant governor had committed Rhoden’s oversight, Republican state chair and notorious legal bully Dan Lederman would have seen to it that his absolute minimum penalty was getting pounded into the ground with attorney fees.

  4. owen reitzel 2018-08-31 20:22

    lock them up, lock them up, lock them up, lock them up, lock them up, lock them up, lock them up, lock them up, lock them up, lock them up, lock them up, lock them up,lock them up, lock them up, lock them up, lock them up, lock them up, lock them up, lock them up, lock them up, lock them up, lock them up, lock them up, lock them up,

  5. jerry 2018-08-31 20:36

    So, how do you file a complaint?

  6. Anne Beal 2018-08-31 21:06

    Or he could pay the $500 fine.

  7. Paul 2018-08-31 22:12

    Cannot fix stupid and hopefully, not a lot will vote for stupidity

  8. Debbo 2018-08-31 22:46

    Larry and Lederman apparently have Russpublican immunity in SoDak. Pootie takes care of his boys. (But not his girls, Buttina)

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-01 07:45

    I’m sorry, Rhonda. Please point out which statements I made that are false, and I will correct them.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-01 07:46

    $500 fine? Not good enough, Anne. A campaign that can get $5,000 for one measly picture won’t feel that punishment. A few days in jail, taking the candidate off the campaign trail, would be felt much more keenly and make clear that South Dakota takes campaign finance seriously.

    South Dakota takes campaign finance law seriously—now there’s some propaganda fitting Rhonda’s fake-news bill!

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-01 08:20

    [Oh, darn: too bad “Rhonda” included a fake e-mail address with “her” comment. “She” must not have wanted to stick around and engage in an honest conversation. “She” just wanted to drop in a drive-by “fake-news” allegation near the top of the thread to sow disagreement and undermined public trust in factual reporting… a standard tactic, it seems, of the Trump/Putin trolls.

    “Rhonda” won’t do it, but I invite anyone else here to point to any statement in the original post that is inaccurate.

  12. jerry 2018-09-01 08:53

    Russian/republican bots go to great lengths to bring chaos to accurate reporting. Seth Tupper at the Rapid City Journal had a great piece on this as you do Cory. Putin hates Democracy while he lines his pockets from it.

  13. Porter Lansing 2018-09-01 09:00

    They scoffed when we said South Dakota is full of Russian influencers. Who’s laughing now, Dusty Johnson?

  14. Dana P 2018-09-01 09:15

    Republicans seems to think that laws don’t apply to them. Due dates don’t matter. That talking the talk, and walking the walk —- is just a theory.

    If this is how they perform on the minor things, then we are getting a preview of how they will behave on other things.

    This is a pattern of behavior. Corruption continuing in Pierre because they aren’t held accountable. Because this state is one party rule and people haven’t held those folks accountable, is the reason this type of behavior continues. South Dakotans can make a change in this cycle of corruption, and stop the hamster wheel from rotating.

  15. Jake Kammerer 2018-09-01 13:42

    Did all the decent Republicans capable of admiration of adherence to principle die with John McCain? I used to think we had some in this state of SD that had backbone to do the ‘right thing’ not ‘party thing’ and had a quest for truth and fair play–but I am not seeing any now! Rhoden needs to be locked up; full 29 days (i day off good behavior) to get their attention…

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-01 13:49

    Jake, I’m afraid they did. If you want decency in government, this year, you vote Democratic.

  17. Rorschach 2018-09-01 16:26

    It seems silly to me that a Lt. Gov. candidate has to file organizing papers separate from the Gov. candidate. The #2 person doesn’t run separately or independently from the top of the ticket. There’s one law that maybe should be changed to put the onus on the Governor candidate’s campaign to file whatever paperwork is necessary for his/her running mate.

  18. Kurt Evans 2018-09-01 22:48

    This post could use a copy editor, but the content itself is great:

    The campaign of Democrat Billie Sutton, running for Governor of South Dakota, has taken a swipe at Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate Larry Rhoden for a campaign finance violation. They have him dead to rights, but who cares?

    Recently, Dan Lederman, GOP State Chairman said that laws matter. [He said if] political parties don’t have their ducks in a row they shouldn’t be allowed to put candidates on the ballot. He took it upon himself to make the Democrats have a “do over” for their convention. He also filed [for] a Writ of Prohibition to keep Constitution Party candidates off of the ballot…

    It has never been more evident that the rules only apply to a few. They apply to the Democrats, they apply to the Libertarians, they apply to the Constitution Party but they do NOT apply to all Republicans equally. The state GOP has the funds to file lawsuits [and] continues to prevail.

    What should concern all South Dakotans of every political party is that these very laws are written by Republicans who do not enforce them consistently and who do not always obey them.

  19. marvin kammerer 2018-09-02 07:56

    how did russell get back on the ballot ?shame on sd.

  20. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-02 10:38

    Ror makes a reasonable point. LG is not a separate campaign from the Big G. All this campaign finance quirk does is allow gubernatorial campaigns to effectively double the caps on contributions to a gubernatorial campaign. Donors who’ve already given Kristi to $4K max this year can now dump another $4K max on Larry, even though Kristi’s campaign and Larry’s campaign are one and the same.

    But I’m curious, Ror: how would we write that concept into statute? Rhoden is a candidate for a separate office. Would we have to write an exception, saying that other CF statutes don’t apply to nominees for LG and that contributions to an LG candidate count toward the Big G’s caps? Would we need any special language to govern independent communications attacking an LG candidate?

  21. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-02 10:39

    Kurt, that’s a really good point about SDGOP Chairman Dan Lederman’s statement that “laws matter.” You should remind voters of that statement at every campaign stop you make.

  22. Darrell Solberg 2018-09-02 10:55

    Another one hundred reasons we need to vote for Amendment “W” in November. We need an Independent Ethics Commission; we need campaign reform; we need Government to be more open and transparent; we need State Government that is by the people, for the people, and of the people. I AM GETTING TIRED OF THE PERPETRATOR’S INVESTIGATING (I mean protecting themselves & those perpetrators) themselves and sweeping all of their illegal actions under the rug. POWER CORRUPTS AND ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY. It is hard to believe the people of S.D. stand idly by to these questionable actions. LOOK WHAT THE MAJORITY PARTY DID TO ANNETTE BOSWORTH, which pales their own actions.

  23. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-02 11:25

    We can make the case for passing Amendment W without minimizing Annette Bosworth’s felonies, lies, and Trumpism.

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