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Smith Swiftly Corrects Campaign Finance Report; Noem Has Had to Fix Filings 13 Times

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?


  1. Bill 2022-10-26 07:01

    Are there no serious political issues within South Dakota? Is there no debate over solutions to problems facing the people of Dakota? Why would someone vote for a candidate for governor who is so picky-picky?
    Anyone who can use a computer can find a donor’s address.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-10-26 07:14

    Yup, there sure are important political issues. Campaign finance law is one of them. We need campaign finance law to reinforce transparency in government. Campaign finance law does not place the burden of identifying donors on the public; the law places that burden on candidates and committees seeking to influence the public.

    Smith has properly fixed his gross error because he recognizes the importance of transparency and following the law. If we try to minimize, excuse, or ignore our own candidates’ legal errors, we lose our moral authority to criticize other candidates’ errors and violations.

  3. Ed 2022-10-26 07:33

    Dan Lederman, the registered foreign agent for Saudi Arabia and chief lobbyist for Summit Carbon Solutions, is worried about legality and ethics? Give me a break! Lederman is being paid 10,000 dollars a month by the Saudi government, an adversary of our country, and to lobby on behalf of Summit Carbon Solutions, a private for profit company that is trying to use eminent domain against South Dakota landowners to take their property for their own personal greed. He’s got a lot of nerve questioning somebody else’s actions. Is Kristi Noem now letting a Saudi Arabian foreign agent do her dirty work? Shouldn’t she be asked about this?

  4. P. Aitch 2022-10-26 07:42

    That the issue took Fury and Lederman off their game for a day is highly beneficial to the people of South Dakota.
    The MAGA Method of Delay – Derail – Deny – Drag Your Feet and Delay Some More is useful for both sides, Leder/Fury.

  5. Patricia Bilek 2022-10-26 11:40

    Rules for thee but not for me.

  6. DaveFN 2022-10-26 12:23

    So, Noem in her self-righteous Fury is taking Smith to task for lacking her greater experience in making the same errors.

    “Tic toc the games is locked,
    Nobody else can play but us.
    If they do we’ll take our shoe
    And beat them black and blue.”

    How puerile. How frivolous. How expected.

  7. All Mammal 2022-10-26 13:22

    Ian Fury sounds like an insolent child. It isn’t difficult to picture him as a cupcake in jester regalia.

    Thank you for demonstrating the ability to hold all state candidates accountable, Mr. H. Not everyone with a keyboard and public forum is able to do so. The Jacobite, Ian Fury is so quick to squeal and tattle while he forgets he is on the side of the devil. His snotty comments are too easy to attribute to his own camp. Rep. Smith is too classy to demand an apology from, and I’m being jocular when I say, our governor’s official campaign professional.

  8. Arlo Blundt 2022-10-26 21:41

    There are some very interesting people on the list of donors to the Smith campaign. Experienced Republican Party leaders, like Dave Volk and Judy Meierhenry who choose at this point in their lives to support a Democrat, probably for the first time in their lives. There are people who worked in the Executive branch in several Republican administrations and folks I used to consider Republican Party stalwarts. Obviously, they have had it with the direction Governor Noem and her minions have taken the Party. Another term by Noem and her administration of amateurs may splinter the Party for good.

  9. grudznick 2022-10-26 21:45

    Mr. Volk was an avowed libbie. Justice Meierhenry is a sane lady, but remember, she wasn’t really political but her spouse was.

    There are a few fellows who have names on that list who are cashing in. Done. Because they knew they had no future after that. I’m not talking about my good friend Mr. Stan, who has long been on the GOP list of disgruntlers, plus Mr. Stan has his big house on the hill to fall back to.

  10. Arlo Blundt 2022-10-26 22:29

    Grudz–so why are they contributing money to Smith for Governor…they know it is not confidential. They are willing to put their reputation on the line. They are “good government people” and people of good will. As far as being ‘washed up”, we’re all washed up, present company included. If we weren’t we wouldn’t be contributing to this blog.

  11. All Mammal 2022-10-27 00:31

    Heyy. I resemble that remark, Mr. Blundt. I, for one, don’t wash, yet am still on the list and be a bloggin like a kung fu legend in my own right Ü

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-10-27 04:50

    All Mammal gets me thinking about the difference between Republicans and Democrats in how they speak publicly about their opponents. The Republicans default setting is attack. They are always looking for ways to badmouth Democrats—not just critique their policies, but emit personal attacks in the harshest terms possible. They get off on bullying. Insults come to their mind and their lips immediately, instinctively. Democrats—South Dakota Democrats in particular, Jamie Smith especially—don’t have the same go-for-the-jugular instinct. We tend to talk about facts and policy. Jamie Smith in particular looks for ways to find common ground and build pragmatic agreement, as evidenced by Speaker Gosch’s complimentary words about Smith’s ability to get along with folks on both sides of the aisle.

    Note that Noem carries the attack model (in which Corey Lewandowski has coached her well) into her interactions with her own party. She can’t just change her mind to support the food tax repeal and discuss the policy merits of it; she has to gaslight her way out of explaining her very recent opposition to the plan by casting Lee Schoenbeck as the bad guy who actually opposed the tax cut.

    This difference shows itself pretty clearly in this campaign finance ruckus. Hand Ian Fury one blunder, and he goes stratospheric, pressing the personal attack even after Smith has fixed it. I offer Smith the evidence that Noem has committed 13 times as many comparable errors, and Smith just plays cool and keeps talking facts.

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