First inattentive Kristi Noem sees her transgender-hate website turned into a promo for Jamie Smith’s Democratic gubernatorial campaign; now Noem’s Republican Party finds online tricksters clogging up their convention registration website:
South Dakota Republican Party officials were made aware that hundreds of fake names occupied their list of attending individuals, including the 28 spots reserved for media representatives. If the cyber attack had gone undetected, the convention’s attendance would have been slim. Officials have since removed the fake reservations.
In an attempt to avoid the same sort of attack, the registration page is now requesting a payment of $1. The money will be reimbursed to the participants when they appear in person at the convention since the party cannot legally charge money for such an event [Kesia Cameron, “Hackers Add Fake Names, Prevent Press Registration for SD Republican Party Convention,” KOTA-TV, 2022.06.10].
The dollar trickster-checker fee applies only to the Standard Delegate package, which gets voting delegates on the floor for actual nominating business on Saturday, June 25, at the Watertown Ramkota. The SDGOP is charging $150 for admission to the Thursday night BBQ with Governor Noem and Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, the Friday night hospitality suites, and the Saturday box lunch. For $300 delegates can get all that plus Friday lunch with Senator John Thune, Friday social hour and dinner with Gov. Noem, Saturday breakfast with Congressman Dusty Johnson, and a special pre-release signed copy of Noem’s book (crayons for coloring not included).
But, boy, it’s sure a good thing Republicans noticed all those fake delegates and stopped them from upsetting the normal order of business at their convention. Organizing fake delegates to overturn the will of Republican voters would be almost as bad as organizing fake electors to overturn the will of voters nationwide.
Perhaps more remarkable than the fact that jokers submitted fake names to the Republican convention is that (a) the Republicans are limiting the number of real journalists who can attend and (b) those press passes are now listed as “Sold Out” on the ticket website. I’m not sure there are 28 journalists left in South Dakota, let alone 28 reporters who would find the SDGOP convention interesting enough to attend. Maybe some of those press passes have been scooped up by fake journalists from Breitbart and American Greatness hoping to get pix of Kristi Noem with her reinstated campaign advisor Corey Lewandowski.
But whatever may be happening with the press passes, we should note that, while SDGOP chair Dan Lederman tries to make it sound like the tricksters are trying to prevent the press from having access to the Republican convention, it’s the Republican Party that set a cap on press registrations and is thus preventing more reporters from signing up to attend the event. Would the Republicans really turn away reporters who show up at the Ramkota two weeks from now to record and broadcast to the world the stirring rhetoric of South Dakota’s Republican leaders?
South Dakota Democrats are reporting no such tomfoolery affecting their convention, planned for July 8 and 9 at Drifters in Fort Pierre. Delegates will work on platform Friday afternoon and Saturday, enjoy a candidate reception Friday evening, and nominate candidates Saturday afternoon before their Saturday evening banquet. Delegates don’t have to sign up online; they just register at the event. The SDDP encourages attendees to sign up online for their Feeding South Dakota volunteer event Friday and asks reporters to fill out an online form.