The properly chagrined Jamie Smith campaign has swiftly corrected the gross error on his pre-general campaign finance report. 23 hours after filing a list of over 1,500 donors who each contributed over $100 dollars to the Sioux Falls Democrat’s gubernatorial campaign that included only names and dollar figures, Smith’s treasurer Spencer Hawley submitted the right spreadsheet out his computer and filed an amended report with the legally required addresses for each donor.
Kristi Noem’s campaign and the South Dakota Republican Party are still trying to make hay from this properly corrected error:
The South Dakota Republican Party has filed a complaint with the South Dakota Secretary of State over Democrat Jamie Smith.
…“We had [an] accounting error, a column got left off,” Smith told KELOLAND News on Tuesday afternoon. “It’s being rectified as we speak, if it isn’t already done. So, it’s an accounting error. That’s it.”
Ian Fury with Kristi for Governor said via email quote “If it’s a basic ‘accounting error,’ then it should have been remedied as soon as the Secretary of State’s office opened this morning.”
GOP chairman Dan Lederman said the violations are a criminal act and is calling on the Division of Criminal Investigation to investigate.
“Given the importance of guaranteeing integrity in our constitutional election process, we are requesting immediate relief,” Lederman said in a statement to KELOLAND News [Jazzmine Jackson, “GOP Files Complaint Against Jamie Smith over Campaign Finances,” KELO-TV, 2022.10.25].
Dan, the law does not require “immediate relief”. Ian, the law does not require that accounting errors be remedied as soon as the Secretary of State’s office opens in the morning. As I explained yesterday, South Dakota campaign finance law gives campaigns seven days after discovering an error in a campaign finance report to submit an amendment. The grace period gives campaigns a chance to do the double- and triple-checking that they should have done before they screwed up the first submission.
The fact that Smith’s treasurer submitted the amended report in the afternoon rather than at the crack of dawn suggests that Hawley did exactly that, pulling up the correct data, then emailing or Slacking or Google-Driving his redo to the campaign team to give folks a chance to confirm that all the addresses are included and scan for any other glaring omissions.
Ian and Dan have expressed no comparable concern about their gal Kristi, whose campaign has filed 13 amendments to her campaign finance reports since 2018. She filed two amendments this year that came over a month after the deadline for year-end filings. In winter 2020, the Noem campaign filed amendments to reports from 2017 and 2018. Democrats didn’t file complaints after those amendments demanding criminal investigations and “immediate relief” because Team Noem discovered errors and complied with the law as written, just like Team Smith did yesterday.
So, Dan and Ian, if you really want to call the cops over candidates who correct errors on the campaign finance report, you tell us where we should start: Jamie Smith’s single swiftly fixed error, or Kristi Noem’s 13 campaign finance boo-boos?