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District 7 House Candidate Kovach Breaks Law Again, Hides Campaign Finance Before Election

I was hoping to compare the money raised by the five candidates for District 7 House. However, two weeks after the submission deadline, one of those candidates, Democrat Zach Kovach, still has not filed the pre-general campaign finance report required by law.

Candidate Reported (as of October 17, plus supps)
Bill Adamson (D) $8,170
Cory Ann Ellis (I) $8,832
Zachary Kovach (D)
Doug Post (R) $12,300
Tim Reid (R) $13,962

The Republicans, predictably, are ahead, but not by much. Independent Cory Ann Ellis has raised $8,832, 63% of top fundraiser incumbent Rep. Tim Reid and 72% of what right-wing extremist Doug Post has reported. She has also managed to raise 8% more than the only Democrat reporting on time, Bill Adamson.

Adamson has, at least, learned from his petition failure last spring and decided following the law is the best course of action for a candidate. Zach Kovach apparently hasn’t figured out how to do any of the legal parts of Legislative candidacy right. Alas, Kovach has now compounded the illegitimacy of his candidacy by failing to report to the voters the sources of his campaign cash before the election. Failing to satisfy that basic legal level of financial transparency puts Kovach on a level with Chad Haber, the scamster candidate he pretended to run for Attorney General in 2014 and never filed a campaign finance report before the election.*

Worth noting: 63% of Ellis’s money ($5,000) comes from Colorado PAC Unite America, which Open Secrets says has spent over three quarters of a million dollars backing independent candidates and ballot measures around the United States and running its office. Ellis is one of 24 state legislative candidates nationwide and the only one in South Dakota earning Unite America’s endorsement.

63% of Adamson’s campaign cash comes from individual donors and darn little from donations larger than $100. The Brookings County Democrats handed $1,500, SDEA gave the good professor $1,000, and retiring Rep. Spence Hawley gave Adamson $500.

That donor list helps us figure out a little of the money Kovach has broken the law in failing to report. Hawley’s campaign fund gave Kovach $750, more than he gave to any candidate other than Billie Sutton. The Brookings Dems matched their Adamson support with $1,500 to “Zach Kovich for State Representative.” SDEA reports no money to Kovach. Kovach thus appears to have failed to report at least $2,250 in campaign finance.

Tim Reid got $250 from SDEA, plus another $6,200+ from 23 other PACs

Doug Post got $2,500 from the House GOP PAC… which I suppose we could take as a sign that post signed the Republican Caucus secret loyalty oath. Party first, right, Doug?

*The Secretary of State does have six 2014 campaign finance reports for Haber on file, none dated, none signed, all showing zero campaign finance income or expense… which is likely a false statement, since the food Haber provided at a Brookings campaign event in September 2014 had to be paid for by somebody.


  1. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-11-06 12:40

    One and the same, Kurt! Good job explaining to Post his erroneous read of history… and good job of pointing out Post’s apparent fear that Kristi Noem is in such bad shape that your Libertarian candidacy may peel more precious votes away from her.

    You did not cost Thune the 2002 election. I prefer to hope that Sutton has laid out such a positive, inclusive vision for South Dakota and that Noem has run such a lazy, bitter, lying campaign that your 2.51% of the vote will be smaller than the margin by which Sutton will win.

    But I do hope that all sorts of Republicans who hate Kristi but can’t bring themselves to mark the D will consider you as an acceptable alternative.

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