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District 8 Campaign Finance: Olson Raises $72K, Parsley $27K, Heinemann $23K

Friday, October 26 was the deadline for all South Dakota candidates to submit their pre-general election campaign finance reports to the Secretary of State's office. Here's the data for the District 8 Senate and House candidates:

District 8 Pre-general campaign finance 2012
(click to enlarge!)

The Senate race is a swamper: Heartland Consumer Power District's permanent lobbyist Russell Olson outpaces farmer Charlie Johnson 13 to 1 in campaign contributions, 6 to 1 in ad spending, 9 to 1 in total expenditures, and 104 to 1 in cash on hand. Charlie, you have a lot of knocking and handshaking to do this week!

The House race is tighter in dollar terms. I can't give a complete report yet, since Roy Lindsay's report is not yet available (there's a paper copy in the mail, right, Roy?). I'll update that as soon as Sec. Gant does. But from the reports in the hopper, we see that while Scott Parsley has raised $4,800 more than Leslie Heinemann, Heinemann has out-advertised Parsley by $12,800. Yet Parsley's cash-on-hand advantage is just $2,600.

Where has Parsley's money gone? In a sign of either Democrat selflessness or self-confidence, Parsley has given $14,100 to other candidates around South Dakota, $4,000 more than he has spent on himself:

Campaign/Committee receiving donations from Parsley for House campaign Date Amount Type
BILL ANTONIDES FOR HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 10/01/2012 $500.00 SD House of Representatives
HAUSMAN FOR HOUSE 10/01/2012 $500.00 SD House of Representatives
HAWKS FOR HOUSE 10/01/2012 $750.00 SD House of Representatives
KLOUCEK FOR SENATE COMMITTEE 10/01/2012 $100.00 SD Senate
MAYNARD J. KONECHNE 10/01/2012 $500.00 SD House of Representatives
SOUTH DAKOTA DEMOCRATIC PARTY 10/01/2012 $11,750.90 Political Party

Meanwhile, Heinemann has kicked a hundred bucks toward 8-mate Kroger's campaign.

While raising just 38% of Senator Olson's obscene haul, Parsley has spread 58% more green love to his party and fellow candidates. Here's how Olson has thrown his love around so far this fall:

Campaign/Committee receiving contributions from Olson for Senate campaign Date Amount Type
CHICOINE FOR SENATE 10/04/2012 $500.00 SD Senate
CHRISTINE ERICKSON FOR HOUSE 06/14/2012 $250.00 SD House of Representatives
FRIENDS OF DAN LEDERMAN 10/04/2012 $1,000.00 SD Senate
FRIENDS OF KENT JUHNKE 10/04/2012 $1,000.00 SD Senate
GENE KROGER FOR HOUSE 09/18/2012 $500.00 SD House of Representatives
JOHN S MEYER FOR SENATE DIST 21 10/04/2012 $500.00 SD Senate
OMDAHL FOR STATE SENATE 09/17/2012 $500.00 SD Senate
OTTEN FOR SENATE 09/17/2012 $500.00 SD Senate
ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT, INC. 09/25/2012 $1,000.00 Other Committees
RUSHMORE PAC 10/04/2012 $500.00 Political Action Committee
RUSHMORE PAC 10/13/2011 $50.00 Other Committees
SHANTEL KREBS FOR SENATE 10/04/2012 $500.00 SD Senate
SOHOLT FOR DISTRICT 14 SENATE 09/17/2012 $500.00 SD Senate
SOUTH DAKOTA RETAILERS ASSOCIATION PAC 09/28/2012 $125.00 Political Action Committee
VAN GERPEN FOR STATE SENATE 10/04/2012 $1,000.00 SD Senate
VOTERS FOR MILES 10/04/2012 $500.00 SD Senate

Both Parsley and Olson are working to build their party as well as their own political fortunes. But the amount Olson is spending on himself suggests that he perceives a much greater threat to his continued grip on power than Charlie Johnson's bankroll would suggest.

But wait! Russell Olson makes up that love-spreading gap with his Leading South Dakota PAC. Check out these contributions:

Campaign/Committee receiving contributions from Russell Olson's PAC Date Amount Type
CHRIS NELSON FOR PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION 09/01/2012 $250.00 Public Utilities Commission
DEB PETERS FOR SENATE 05/21/2012 $1,000.00 SD Senate
FRIENDS OF BRUCE RAMPELBERG FOR SENATE 05/21/2012 $1,000.00 Political Action Committee
GENE KROGER FOR HOUSE 09/01/2012 $500.00 SD House of Representatives
HEINEMANN FOR SD HOUSE 10/01/2012 $500.00 SD House of Representatives
KRISTI FOR CONGRESS 09/01/2012 $500.00 Other Committees
KRISTIE FIEGEN FOR SOUTH DAKOTA 09/01/2012 $250.00 Public Utilities Commission
MARK JOHNSTON FOR DISTRICT 12 SENATE 05/21/2012 $1,000.00 SD Senate
MICKELSON FOR DISTRICT 13 HOUSE 06/01/2012 $250.00 SD House of Representatives
PETER NORBECK PAC 09/01/2012 $5,000.00 Political Action Committee
SOHOLT FOR DISTRICT 14 SENATE 09/01/2012 $500.00 SD Senate
TOM NELSON CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE 05/21/2012 $1,000.00 SD Senate
WESTRA FOR DISTRICT 13 HOUSE 10/12/2012 $250.00 SD House of Representatives

The $5000 contribution to Mike Rounds's Peter Norbeck PAC gets me scratching my head. Mike Rounds gave Olson's PAC $1,000 last December; his PAC gave RussPAC another $3,000 in August. I'm sure this money-go-round makes sense to someone in Russ's office... but maybe such bookkeeping machinations are why Russ has burned up $2200 in mere administrative expenses.


  1. mike 2012.10.28

    Great post Cory!

    Skjonsberg was Russ' treasurer once upon a time. I'm sure this is a way for Russ to quietly say "I'm on Rounds' team" to Noem's people. Just like Shantel signing up to be on the exploratory committee.

    As I've said before most legislators do not like Kristi Noem behind the scenes.

  2. Testor15 2012.10.28

    The money going back and forth through the campaigns is a money cleaning method from the days of Maurice Stans and the Nixon campaigns of old. You find someone close to the spending limits, either legal or imagined, then put the money into a different committee to have them contribute. No head scratching there, just a matter of having the decent website and paperwork to tie the pieces together.

  3. Fred Deutsch 2012.10.28

    I'm a rookie at this political stuff but my guess is Mr. Parsley's $11,750.90 contribution to the SD Democratic Party is actually printing and postage expenses. What has me scratching my head is that when I click on your link to the SD Democratic Party, I don't see Mr. Parsley's name listed on their report. What am I missing? Same thing when I look at the report of one of the individuals I am running against in District 4, Jim Peterson. The SOS report shows he contributed $4,000 to the SD Democratic Party, but his contribution doesn't show up on the SD Democratic Party's report. Again, I'm new. Corey, be an unbiased investigative snooper and get to the bottom of things. Are there other candidates that have contributed to the party but don't show up on the party report?

  4. Fred Deutsch 2012.10.28

    A few more minutes of searching and I answered my own question. Everything shows up on the scanned pre-general report.

  5. JoeBoo 2012.10.28

    Mike- I wouldn't say most legislatures don't like Kristi, more like the GOP establishment/Rounds crew doesn't like Kristi, they thought it should have been Nelson's and were upset when she got into the mix. They are also behind Rounds all day, Rounds could become a Democrat, they would support him, he could announce that he is a Communist move to Russia and many of them would follow. (ok, maybe not, but you get the point)

    Kristi Noem's 100K donation to the state GOP in interesting, I'm wondering if she wasn't being pressured that if she didn't shape up she would be getting a solid primary challenge in 14 if she survives.

  6. Rorschach 2012.10.28

    One used to be able to go to the Secretary of State's website and see the whole report of a candidate. Now the only thing apparent is this partial summary listing itemized contributions but not showing the total raised, the total spent, what it's spent on, and how much is left. Is there some kind of secret password or magic trick needed to get the rest of the information? Gant has made campaign finance much less transparent by either publishing less information, or making it difficult to find information.

  7. grudznick 2012.10.28

    Mr. Gant is working as hard as he can to improve things and we have to understand his ways. If we all got to choose the ways he puts things on the webs then it would be chaotic. Imagine if Mr. Fleming, Mr. Newland, myself and the rest of our old breakfast group were allowed to arrange the books in the library. I would be moving books from where Bill put them while Bob was busy rearranging my books. See? Mr. Gant is doing something structured and not chaotic. Those of us who don't like it should apply for a job with Mr. Gant to fix it better. I'm just sayin...

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.10.28

    Grudz, I'd apply for a job with Mr. Gant if (a) I thought I stood a chance of Mr. Gant seriously considering my application and (b) it didn't require working for an incompetent boss who'd probably create a black mark on my résumé. I think I'd have a better chance of doing some good if I just applied for Mr. Gant's job.

    Fred: bingo! I'm sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, but I'm glad you found it. To get all of the information, you have to go back and forth between scanned images and the database. Even in the online records, I see that the individual itemized contributions don't show up on the candidates' electronic pre-general reports; I have to go back to their search results to see the individuals. I like being able to search individual donors, but we need to unify the data display.

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