As we wait for Rep. Scyller Borglum (R-32/Rapid City) to give us the full Monty today with her well-teased U.S. Senate campaign announcement, let’s glance back at her 2018 campaign finance reports to see which big donors helped her climb the first rung of her political ladder and who will surely be getting nastygrams from incumbent Republican Senator Mike Rounds telling them not to toss any more dollars her way.
Borglum started off as her own biggest donor, loaning her fledgling $4,050 in spring 2018 to get things going. Her first itemizable individual donations included $250 from prominent Republican lawyer and down-standing legislator David Lust and $250 from establishment fixture Rexford Hagg. Borglum also took out-of-state money (meaning she’s evil and not to be trusted, right, Jon Hansen?):
Also helping Borglum in the primary:
- South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations: $100
- SD Chiropractic PAC: $200
- Solano for Senate: $500
- Partridge for District 34: $100
The biggest check pre-primary came on May 26, $1,000 from Stanford Adelstein’s “A Better South Dakota” PAC. The well-known and well-off former Rapid City legislator made Mike Rounds governor in 2002 with his primary support. He backed Rounds’s Senate bid in 2014. Will the Better South Dakota PAC change allegiances next spring and undo Rounds in favor of a newcomer with a degree in Adelstein’s field of expertise?
Borglum’s pre-general cash consisted mostly of the usual assortment of blind influence buying from big business PACs making sure they’re on the right side of the political monolith. Borglum’s biggest money came from the House GOP PAC ($2,500) and from Dennis Daugaard’s campaign kitty, ($1,000). She also got $500 from Regents chair Kevin Schieffer, before whom she testified last week about the counterproductivity of the House GOP’s war against real campus diversity. That testimony is just one straw guaranteeing Borglum won’t get money from the House GOP PAC ever again if she primaries Rounds… but what about Schieffer? He’s an establishment critter whose pourage into the Republican Party includes $5,000 to Rounds in 2012. But he threw even more money behind his old boss and pal Larry Pressler’s independent campaign against Rounds in 2014.
Borglum finished the 2018 campaign season with just $435 cash on hand, with no sign that she repaid herself for her loan to the campaign. So if she is going after Mike Rounds, she’s going to need much more outside help to build up that campaign kitty. And of the handful of donors who helped her win her South Dakota House seat, Kevin Schieffer could be the only one with a remote likelihood of helping her mix things up with the establishment incumbent.