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Hey, AG Jackley! New PAC Breaks Disclosure Law with Attack Ad on Rep. Tyler

Last updated on 2014.10.25

The Republican spin machine eagerly rebroadcasts an attack ad aired on KMSD Radio against Rep. Kathy Tyler (D-4/Big Stone City). Here's the text:

Being a state legislator has gone to Kathy Tyler's head. A small business man in Rapid City won a lawsuit against a customer that owed him money, but Kathy Tyler called and tried to overrule the judge. Kathy Tyler said she disagreed with the judge. She said she was a legislature [sic] and knew better. I don't know who she thinks she is trying to bully a small businessman. Kathy Tyler is a bully who misused her office. Please do not send Kathy Tyler back to Pierre. Give the little guy a break. Paid for by East River Concerned Citizens [political communication, transcribed from audio posted by Pat Powers, "Kathy Tyler Must Have Made the Wrong Small Businessman in Rapid City Mad," Dakota War College, 2014.10.22].

According to Rep. Tyler, East River Concerned Citizens has spent over $1,000 to broadcast this attack. East River Concerned Citizens is a PAC formed by Spencer Cody, vice president and assistant treasurer of South Dakota Right to Life. Cody attacked Rep. Tyler during the 2014 Legislative session, calling her a liar for opposing an abortion restriction that conservative Reps. Scott Munsterman (R-7/Brookings) and Steve Hickey (R-9/Sioux Falls) voted against.

East River Concerned Citizens is breaking state law. Governor Dennis Daugaard, Attorney General Marty Jackley, and the Republican spin machine eagerly roasted Dan Willard for violating this statute with robocalls against sitting Republican legislators in 2012. SDCL 12-27-16 requires the following of ads like Cody's:

(1) Any person or organization that makes a payment or promise of payment totaling one hundred dollars or more, including an in-kind contribution, for a communication which expressly advocates for or against a candidate, public office holder, ballot question, or political party shall append to or include in each communication a disclaimer that clearly and forthrightly:

  1. Identifies the person or organization making the independent expenditure for that communication;
  2. States the address or website address of the person or organization;
  3. States that the communication is independently funded and not made in consultation with any candidate, political party, or political committee; and
  4. If the independent expenditure is undertaken by an organization not including a candidate, public office holder, political party, or political committee, then the following notation must also be included: "Top Five Contributors" followed by a listing of the names of the five persons making the largest contributions to an organization during the twelve months preceding that communication.

A violation of this subdivision is a Class 1 misdemeanor... [SDCL 12-27-16].

The ad gives the PAC name, but it gives no physical or web address for contacting the organization. The ad does not include the "independently funded and not made in consultation" disclaimer. If I get ambitious and look up their statement of organization filed with the Secretary of State on September 14, 2014, I still can't send the PAC a letter, because Cody omitted the city and state, which is sloppy if not illegal.

Cody asks his Facebook followers for more money to expand his attacks to "the district 8 Senate race, district 26 Senate race, district 33 Senate, district 2 house, district 3 house, district 9 house, and district 15 house." He might want to save his money for a lawyer: surely the Governor and Attorney General will find this violation of campaign finance law just two weeks before an election on a hotly contested district as egregious as they found Dan Willard's robocalls two months before an election in which many of the targeted legislators faced no challengers.

Update 06:20 CDT: Funny that the ad pretends to defend "the little guy." As I understand from sources, "the little guy" appears to be the customer who paid a Rapid City business $1,600 and never received the merchandise he ordered. I'm working on that angle of the story....


  1. Bill Fleming 2014.10.23

    Cory, as far as the full disclaimer goes, it's not really practical to squeeze that all into a :30 second radio spot, and most if not all advertisers don't. Check with the radio stations for the rules on that. They are the most vulnerable since they can lose their license if they don't make their clients follow the law. That said, the lack of city and state on the organization statement is troublesome. Who dropped that ball?

  2. Disgusted Dakotan 2014.10.23

    Mr Fleming appears to be missing the forest for the trees.

    Jackley and Daugaard held press conferences and launched a massive state wide witch hunt to go after political opponents of some of their establishment cronies for failing to include a website or mailing address on their robocalls. The robocalls rightly called out Republicans who had voted to cut a National Guard education program while those soldiers were overseas in combat. They then went all out to publicly prosecute Mr Willard, a disabled veteran, for this never before enforced statute.

    Powers over at the War Toilet screamed bloody murder and vilified those they thought might even have a remote link to the robocalls. He stomped his little feet and went on and on about how it was so terrible of a crime for the calls to not have had the website or mailing address on them.

    The selective outrage and enforcement of this statute, now that a Democrat is a target, is further symptomatic of the corruption that is within our state government and the SDGOP.

  3. Bill Fleming 2014.10.23

    Not missing the point at all. Just saying the form of the disclaimer varies from medium to medium. See for yourself:

    I understand your indignance, but it's best not to go off half-cocked if you aim to fire a big gun.

  4. Bill Fleming 2014.10.23

    Excerpt from above:

    'Radio and Television Messages Not Authorized by the Candidate


    The disclaimer notice must include the name of the political committee or person responsible for the communication and any connected organization. Example, "ABC is responsible for the content of this advertising." 11 CFR 110.11(c)(4).'

  5. Steve Sibson 2014.10.23

    'Funny that the ad pretends to defend "the little guy."'

    Well Cory, the little guys are not the ones that use campaign finance reports to find out who is corrupt. Campaign finance laws are used by the corrupt to keep track of what us little guys are doing. Cory's actions on this post is an example, just like Daugaard's hit job on the robo calls. And again we have an example of how the original Constitution (First Amendment) is set aside so that tyranny can take its place. And both parties are doing it.

  6. 96Tears 2014.10.23

    No doubt "the little guy" Spencer Cody wants protected is his little johnson.

  7. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.23

    As I have watched from the sidelines on the posts that Ms Tyler has on Facebook, and the outstanding work she is doing for her constituents, and in fact for all of us, when you consider her attempts to get an EB-5 investigation started a year ago, I wondered how long it was going to take before the hits on her started coming. To me she has proven that she is the outstanding Democratic legislator in the State.

  8. Steve Sibson 2014.10.23

    Lanny, sounds like you Democrats don't want legislative accountability any more than the Republicans. That is why both South Dakota parties protected the Pierre's system of legal corruption in 2008.

  9. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.23

    First of all Sibby, I am a Republican. Secondly how can you say that I don't want legislative accountability, when I compliment the only legislator who wanted to take the Republican administration to task with an investigation into the goings on in EB-5? Had it been done when she brought it to the legislature, more than likely the Republicans would have elected a different candidate in the primary, and the once thought "safe" South Dakota Senate seat and the balance in the US Senate would still be in the Republican hands.

    If the Republicans lose control of the US Senate over this debacle, they have no one to blame but the SDGOP.

  10. Steve Sibson 2014.10.23

    Lanny, thanks for correcting me on your party affiliation. Second point, is Tyler willing to allow the same treatment to herself that she performed on Rounds?

    "If the Republicans lose control of the US Senate over this debacle, they have no one to blame but the SDGOP."

    Yes, for calling the system of legal corruption conservative. Both parties had a chance to fix it in 2008 and instead decided to keep it.

  11. Steve Sibson 2014.10.23

    "Steve, your paranoia is showing"

    You mean about thinking South Dakota hates women?

  12. leslie 2014.10.23

    which (SDGOP HINT) party knew anything about the fraud in 2008?

  13. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.23

    Steve S, I don't recall Ms Tyler singling out Rounds for the EB-5 corruption. She only suggested to her fellow legislators (and none of them including the Democrats) paid any attention, that there needed to be an investigation into EB-5 and in particular the bankruptcy of the NBP.

  14. Owen reitzel 2014.10.23

    Kind of hard to blame Democrats when they have absolutely no power

  15. Steve Sibson 2014.10.23

    Owen, the Democrats are at fault because they are not bringing solutions. Instead they only want the reins of power the other party currently have.

    Lanny, the investigation would be holding the Rounds and Daugaard administrations accountable. What is good for the goose...

  16. mike from iowa 2014.10.23

    Maybe Dems can fillibuster wingnuts in Pierre. Do you think?

  17. Sam 2 2014.10.23

    I agree with the ad do please do not send Tyler back to Pierre. When whe taught me english 40 years ago papers were graded on her own personal prejudices. She is not a nice person and in my opinion needs to be voted out ASAP.

    Bettter to have a repbulican elected than a bulley.

  18. leslie 2014.10.23

    repub afraid of strong dem so he goes back 40 years to jr. high? that would be like me attacking wes storm for too may situps!

  19. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.23

    Paybacks are hell!

    Call it what it is, this attack on Tyler is for outing the Republicans on Joop Bollen's immigration fee scam that Mike Rounds allowed by letting Bollen privatize the EB-5 program.

    Kathy Tyler has been trying to talk about that missing $120-140 million for sometime now, it she was finally heard.

  20. leslie 2014.10.23

    list rounds lies:
    1. weiland kills BIB/EAFB
    2.. 8 investigations (EXCEPT FBI) prove EB5 sound

  21. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.23

    Sibson, the SDGOP attack on Tyler is further evidence that state Republicans hate women.
    Heck, Powers on the Dump Site hates one of his own, Lora Hubble.

  22. Shirley Moore 2014.10.23

    Wait a minute. Maybe the guy has a point. I've had to put up with Kathy Tyler's insinuations before and I wasn't impressed. It was at the Brookings County Dems' St. Patrick Day gathering. Would I vote for Kathy Tyler? Nope.

  23. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.23

    Shirley, is Kathy Tyler a candidate in your voting district?

  24. Sam 2 2014.10.23


    Leopards do not change the color of their spots. Tyler has always abused her power evern as Jr. High English teacher. She would scream at sudents at the top of her lungs, into's world she would fired as abusive.

    She can not accept the fact that the hog farm in near her residence has met all the requirments and has been uo heald in a court of law.

    Tyler is not a nice person and is down right nasty at times.

    I beleive these ad's are fact nit fiction. I have delt with this power hungry animal many time over the years.

    She will never get my vote. We do not need her type in Pierre.

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.23

    Sam 2, seriously? You want to hide behind a pseudonymn and complain a junior high teacher who was probably just laying down the law and not taking kids' bad behavior? You really want to determine a Legislative vote over sour grapes over a bad grade? The attack is entirely unfair, because Tyler can do nothing to defend herself against. The academic records are all properly off limits to public scrutiny. She can't talk about what specific students to warrant low grades or scoldings or other things that the flunkers and scolded would characterize as oppression.

    So let me stick with the facts we do have available, not the long-shaded impression of a disgruntled junior high child.

    Is Kathy Tyler tough? Will she chew out folks who misbehave? Will she hold people accountable? Will she shout about abuses of power? Is she not as nice (quiet? acquiescent? complacent?) as Republicans want Democrats to be? That sounds like exactly the type we need in Pierre.

  26. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.23

    Shirley, what? Your comment is the insinuation here. Tyler may be the toughest, most vocal Democrat in the Legislature. What's the problem?

  27. Bill Fleming 2014.10.23

    From the way Sam2 writes, one can see why an English teacher might scold him. :-)

  28. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.23

    Note also that Sam 2's and Shirley's vague complaints say nothing about the substance of this post:

    1. The ad breaks campaign finance law.
    2. The AG and Governor demonstrate their political favoritism by not attacking this illegal ad with the same immediate fervor they exhibited against Dan Willard's robocalls.

  29. JeniW 2014.10.23

    Sam 2, it is your right for you to dislike Tyler, and not vote for her.

    I dislike Rounds for abusing his powers, we do not need anyone his as a Senator, and I will never vote for him.

  30. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.10.24

    As a former junior high teacher myself, I have two thoughts.

    1. It's true that one's judgment and memories from the ages of 12-14 can be distorted.

    2. Sometimes I think about Pam. She was a good kid in my 8th grade civics class. She was quiet, studious and awkward. I wish I'd been nicer to her. She just bugged me and I was abrupt and critical to her. She probably still thinks I was a lousy jackass of a teacher and she would be right. At that time and place, I was. I'm much different now.

  31. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.24

    Thanks Deb, Those were my thoughts exactly. I would hate to be judged today on who I was at 22.

  32. JLB 2014.10.24

    A PAC is not a "person or organization" as defined by SDCL 12-27-1. Rather, it is a "Political Committee." SDCL 12-27-16 doesn't apply to this situation.

  33. lesliengland 2014.10.25

    grudz-as u can see or will notice (sorry;) at 13:13, 10.23.14 above, i have first use common law copyrights! i think it may have been cory's inspiration.

  34. lesliengland 2014.10.25

    jlb- doesn't (1)(d) cover it?

  35. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.25

    Wait a minute, JLB: are PACs exempt from the requirements of Chapter 12-27? What disclosure requirements apply to PACs?

  36. JLB 2014.10.25

    SDCL ch. 12-27, as a whole, certainly has application to PAC's (for an example, see SDCL 12-27-22). Just not this specific statute (SDCL 12-27-16)

  37. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.25

    Mind-boggling: why would state law provide an easy mechanism by which individuals and organizations could avoid the disclosure requirements of SDCL 12-27-16?

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