Not that ignorance of the law is any excuse, but don’t let Larry Rhoden feign ignorance of the campaign finance statute he violated by failing to timely file his statement of organization to run as Kristi Noem’s mate. As a legislator, Rhoden has laid eyes and ayes on SDCL 12-27-3 multiple times, including its original form.
- In 2007, Representative Rhoden chaired the House State Affairs Committee that hoghoused 2007 House Bill 1048 into the 42-section bill that created the 15-day deadline for statements of organization. Rhoden voted for 2007 HB 1048 three times. (Rep. Noem voted for it, too!)
- In 2008, Rep. Rhoden voted twice for 2008 Senate Bill 4, which clarified the requirement that Rhoden violated this summer. (Rep. Noem backed 2008 SB 4, too!)
- In 2010, Senator Rhoden voted for certain controversial amendments to SDCL 12-27-3 and other campaign finance statutes in 2010 HB 1053. (So did Rep. Noem!)
- In 2012, Sen. Rhoden voted for 2012 SB 70, which dealt with ballot question committees and tweaked SDCL 12-27-3.
- In 2013, Sen. Rhoden co-sponsored, steered through Senate State Affairs, and thrice voted for 2013 SB 200, which allowed candidates to file their statements of organization electronically.
- In 2017, in the Republican rush to pretend they cared about campaign finance reform after repealing the reform we citizens approved in Initiated Measure 22, Rep. Rhoden dealt with 2017 SB 54, a monster bill that didn’t affect the 15-day deadline for statements of organization. Rep. Rhoden voted twice for 2017 SB 54 before casting one of six House nays on the conference committee version.
- In 2018, Rep. Rhoden got to cast his ayes on the statement of organization statute one more time with 2018 HB 1002.
Larry Rhoden helped write SDCL 12-27-3 before he broke it this summer. His failure to pay attention to a law on which he has voted and with which he has complied multiple times over eleven years demonstrates a Novstrupian inattention to his Legislative votes. If his inattentive lawbreaking doesn’t legally invalidate his candidacy, it should at least give voters interested in honest government pause about casting their votes for him and his running mate this fall.