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Failure to Timely File Invalidates Rhoden’s Run for Lt. Gov.?

I initially thought Larry Rhoden’s failure to timely file the statement of organization for his campaign for lieutenant governor only subjected him to the possibility of a $500 fine and 30 days in jail. Then I read SDCL 12-27-29.3, which suggests his violation of campaign finance law invalidates his place on the ballot next to Kristi Noem:

No candidate who is listed on a statement of organization for a candidate campaign committee pursuant to §§ 12-27-3 and 12-27-6 may be certified as a candidate for office unless the treasurer of the candidate campaign committee for which the candidate is listed has:

  1. Filed all statements, documents, and information required under this title; or
  2. Paid each civil penalty assessed pursuant to § 12-27-29.1, or any other penalty imposed pursuant to this chapter against the candidate or the treasurer [SDCL 12-27-29.3].
Kristi Noem, Larry Rhoden, dude in costume, Sioux Empire Fair, from Noem campaign Facebook page, 2018.08.08
Kristi might have to replace Larry with the foam utility dude after all….

That restriction was enacted in 2013, courtesy of 2013 House Bill 1209, which then Senator Rhoden voted for alongside a unanimous Senate.

Before Team Sutton sues to remove Rhoden from the ballot (which, yes, yes, Pat, is already being printed), let’s consider the possible loophole. SDCL 12-27-29.3 says failure to file “all statements, documents, and information required” under Title 12 prevents certification of a candidate. But it refers only to candidates “listed on a statement of organization.” When Secretary of State Shantel Krebs certified Rhoden as a candidate for lieutenant governor on June 25, Rhoden’s name did not appear on any statement of organization for the office of lieutenant governor. Therefore, Team Rhoden could argue that SDCL 12-27-29.3 could not prevent his certification as a candidate.

That sounds silly, but the state has allowed illegal candidates onto the ballot for so many silly, contradictory reasons this summer that I’m not sure anything in election law means anything any more.

But one could also play the silly game and counter that Rhoden’s name did appear on a statement of organization when Secretary Krebs certified his candidacy for lieutenant governor: the statement of organization for “Larry Rhoden for South Dakota,” his legislative campaign committee, last updated October 19, 2016, and still not terminated. On June 25, Rhoden’s name was “listed on a statement of organization for a candidate campaign committee.” As of June 25, Rhoden’s treasurer, Ted Hustead, had not “filed all statements, documents, and information required under this title.” Thus, on June 25, Rhoden could not be certified as a candidate for office.

Go for it, Team Sutton! Sue to remove this illegal candidate from the ballot!

Whether or not Rhoden’s late filing invalidates his candidacy, he could face a $200 fine from the Secretary of State. While everyone in officialdom waits for a civilian to file a civil action against Rhoden to lift a finger against Rhoden’s crime, SDCL 12-27-29.1 authorizes the Secretary of State to levy a civil penalty of $200 against any person who fails to timely file any state campaign finance statement.


  1. Kurt Evans 2018-09-04 22:14

    Cory writes:

    Go for it, Team Sutton! Sue to remove this illegal candidate from the ballot!

    It’s a little sad to see you stooping to Dan Lederman’s level, Cory, but unlike his targets, at least the Republican Party can afford plenty of lawyers to defend itself.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-05 19:47

    Goose and gander, Kurt. Lederman is the one who said “laws matter.” I will gladly club Lederman and his tools with his own specious pronouncements as gladly as I will pound PAC-happy Republicans with the donations of groups who want to support me and my message of honesty and democracy.

  3. Kurt Evans 2018-09-05 22:29

    This is a little sideways from the topic, but Pat Powers allowed these remarks on his blog:

    Dan [Lederman] moved to SD and has stayed a Republican… he hasn’t resigned from his chair to join another party or race. so you can try to make it about him to divert attention away from these facts… no 30 day notice [for the 2018 Constitution Party convention] was ever given as state business by the sos cannot be done on Sunday by law… I think lora [Hubbel] should be brought up on charges for filling false legal instruments, and be sued for slandering Dan.

    Powers removed the following remarks:

    Dan Lederman quit the legislature in the middle of his term after the 2015 session saying, “Sometime in the future when my children are older, I may find the spark is still there and might consider offering my name as a candidate again, but right now my wife and children are a far greater priority to me …” By the end of 2016, Lederman was ready to “offer his name” as a candidate for party chair. To be fair, his children were slightly older.

    The state Constitution Party … filed its 2018 convention notice on July13, which was 32 days before the August 14 convention and wasn’t a Sunday.

    It’s hardly surprising that a Lederman acolyte like you would be calling for more litigation and criminal charges.

    Part of me wants to see Lederman and Powers get a taste of their own medicine, Cory. I’m just not sure it’s the most noble part. :-)

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-09 17:18

    “my wife and children are a far greater priority to me”—say, I’ve heard Dan Lederman got divorced. Did that happen? When did it happen?

  5. Kurt Evans 2018-09-09 22:14

    A little over three weeks ago, Dan Lederman issued a carefully-worded prepared statement that included this:

    “We brought the action to prevent the placement of those claiming to be candidates on the ballot because laws matter. And in a civilized society, you don’t just get to say that you’re a candidate without following state law.”

    Has anyone ever walked deeper into his own duplicitous mouth? #DoubleStandards #Hypocrisy

  6. grudznick 2018-09-09 22:18

    Mr. Evan’s said:

    Has anyone ever walked deeper into his own duplicitous mouth? #DoubleStandards #Hypocrisy

    Nobody cared.

  7. Kurt Evans 2018-09-09 22:23

    “grudznick” writes:

    Nobody cared.

    Few people have even heard what happened. Yet.

  8. grudznick 2018-09-09 22:41

    grudznick wrote (not writes, as I am done typing it):

    …and the band marched on, despite the mouse screaming from the bottom of the elephant’s Trader Joe shopping bag, which was filled with stuffed olives and fancy cheeses, and some of those craft beers the yuppies like.

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