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Rhoden Helped Write the Campaign Finance Law He Broke

Sen. Larry Rhoden, SD Legislative Blue Book, 2011, p. 91.
Maybe if I grow the mustache back, everyone will forget about SDCL 12-27-3… just like I did!

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.


  1. Dana P 2018-09-04 07:59

    Gawd, the corruption in this state is unreal. I hope South Dakotans are waking up to this b.s. and are figuring out the way to start getting rid of this is to vote for people like Sutton, Bjorkman, Seiler, Heidleberger, etc……. Quit voting against their own interests.

  2. Donald Pay 2018-09-04 09:06

    The laws are meant for you and me, not for Legislators behind the tree.

  3. Rorschach 2018-09-04 10:20

    He may have been there, but don’t think for a moment he wrote anything. He’s not that sharp. Somebody else wrote it and told him how to vote. He and Noem probably didn’t even read it.

  4. Debbo 2018-09-05 00:15

    Ror, I imagine ALEC handed it to him.

    I agree with Dana P about the corruption in SD.

  5. John W 2018-09-10 11:48

    I’m going to ask an honest and pointed question and I want an honest and pointed answer. Has anyone with a spine and sense of civic duty and responsibility gone to the Hughe’s County State’s Attorney and asked to sign a complaint against Rhoden’s behavior in this matter? Did anyone sign a complaint against Rhoden when he punched the alarm button in the hearing room just to see how long it would take for law enforcement to repond? An unmistakable and intentional violation of statute law prohibiting false reporting of an emergency………… I honestly want to know. Because if nobody has, I’m getting into my truck, driving to Pierre, to talk to as many people as it takes to get Law Enforcement going. If we require mandatory citizen reporting of child abuse and neglect, we should also require mandatory citizen reporting of political abuse of statute law.

  6. mike from iowa 2018-09-10 12:17

    John W, good for you, Sir. I wonder, from what I have seen, heard and read from afar if there is any wingnut in Pierre with the guts to charge another wingnut with a crime. Don’t expect the present AG to make waves.

    Your state and citizens deserve so much better than an inbred single party will bother to deliver when there is little chance of being ousted.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-10 13:39

    Yes, John W, someone did file a complaint over that false alarm. That complainant got no action from Hughes County law enforcement.

  8. John W 2018-09-10 21:35

    Cory: I visited with the current Hughes County States Attorney today by phone.. If I understand her correctly, law enforcement did it’s job in that inquiry as they are legally mandated to do. Where the train derailed is with the previous state’s attorney who exercised “prosecutorial discretion” and arranged a “deferred prosecution” with Rhoden, as apposed to a non-prosecution agreement. The deferred prosecution agreement essentially lets Rhoden off the hook but stipulates compliance with “certain conditions.” I don’t know what those conditions were or even if there are any and I don’t know positively this is fact but base my remarks soley on the basis of what the SA’s office told me….. It would be absolutely wonderful if there were stipulations in that agreement and one of them was that any future violation of state statute or regulation would result in conversion of the deferment into an active prosecution. I’m also advised that the Hughes County State’s Attorney’s office is not aware of any complaint to law enforcement about this campaign organization violation. Interesting, in two other blogs, I was assured by knowledgeable pundits that “the violation was being taken care of”. I knew better than to believe that deception………. And somebody said that Noem was all hat and no cows.

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