The city clerk’s new decision making aid

Curious story in the AL today about campaign finance disclosures;

City Clerk Lorie Hogstad said there’s no penalty for errors in the disclosure form as long as they’re not intentional. Candidates can file updates that are placed online alongside the originals, Hogstad said by email.

So Lorie, please explain how you know if it is intentional or not? Did you use a magic 8-Ball? So you are telling me, let’s take the mayor for example, that a man who marketed a subprime credit card doesn’t understand disclosures? There are pages and pages of disclosures on those applications. He clearly understands them, and not listing his revenue was very INTENTIONAL.

Now let’s compare him to a candidate who did file their disclosures;

State law requires all candidates to disclose any enterprise that provided at least $2,000 in income or more than 10 percent of their family income during the past year.

On one end of that spectrum, Schwan included a three-page list of 57 different individual municipal bonds she owns. On the other end is Huether, who listed general categories of investments: “mutual funds, stocks, bonds, investment property, ethanol, municipal bonds, money markets, annuities, IRAs.” In each of those, Huether said he is a “common shareholder” with no “advisory, consulting or voting role.”

Schwan asked Hogstad for guidance and was told she should list each bond. Gathering all that took several days.

“I wanted to make sure I was in complete compliance with the statement of financial interest,” Schwan said.

I know for a fact that Schwan’s question about what to disclose was probably brought before the city attorney. So why wasn’t this same advice granted to Huether, the city attorney’s boss? And if it was, why did it differ from what Schwan was told. Apparently if you ‘Play Stupid’ you don’t have to comply with the rules. Ignorance of the law is not excuse, and I am sure any judge in this county would agree with me.

I will give Schwan props for following the rules and for having the common sense to know ignorance, or pretend ignorance is no excuse. The mayor, not so much.

13 Thoughts on “So now our city clerk is the judge of what is ‘intentional’ or ‘unintentional’?

  1. hornguy on March 22, 2014 at 12:58 pm said:

    Either way, isn’t it great to live in a city filled with serfs but governed by a bunch of people who live off passively-earned income? I mean, isn’t *that* the real takeaway from this story?

  2. Sammy on March 22, 2014 at 1:09 pm said:

    Some of these things that go on are very discouraging. A person has expectations that there will be a level playing field, and it “just ain’t so.”

  3. l3wis on March 22, 2014 at 4:46 pm said:

    Horndog, I would agree. The regular guy just doesn’t have a chance. And for Michelle to claim she doesn’t have any investments. C’mon. You are telling me that you and your husband have no 401K, mutual funds, bonds, stocks, CD’s, IRA’s? Heck, I’m poor and even have some of those investments. She makes it sound like her and her husband live paycheck to paycheck and invest no money.

  4. Central District Resident on March 22, 2014 at 5:06 pm said:

    Steve Erpenbach, Michelle’s husband, is President and CEO of SDSU Foundation.

    He’s the guy in charge of raising millions of dollars to support SDSU causes.

    And, we as her constituents are to believe they have NO personal investments….something doesn’t smell right here!!!

  5. Testor15 on March 22, 2014 at 5:18 pm said:

    Let’s understand this. The spouse of the person running one of the largest investment foundations in SD lives paycheck to paycheck and must have her 1pm to 3pm job writing the newsletter to make ends meet? Or since she is a writer, she doesn’t understand how to read and answer questions?

  6. teatime on March 22, 2014 at 6:47 pm said:

    No, the real take away from this story is that one candidate follows the rules to the letter and one is allowed to gloss over them. If integrity means anything to anyone, guess which candidate did it right. Bonita Schwan for city council! Greg Jamison for mayor!

  7. teatime on March 22, 2014 at 6:48 pm said:

    Maybe Michele and spouse have everything in a trust so technically they don’t “own” anything.

  8. Testor15 on March 22, 2014 at 10:11 pm said:

    Just like the mayor’s multimillion dollar 501c3 trust?

  9. OldSlewFoot on March 23, 2014 at 8:24 am said:

    I was wondering the same about Jamision. No investment income at all? Seemed pretty strange.

  10. Taxpayer-Voter on March 23, 2014 at 11:19 am said:

    In addition to what has been posted here, Jennnifer Holsen has also asked the same question on her blog at,

    “It seems like no one is minding the store when it comes to election compliance.”

  11. Dan Daily on March 23, 2014 at 10:01 pm said:

    Lorie Hogstad likes to practice law without a license. Debra Owen (former city clerk) was a lawyer and therefore qualified to state requirements. The city attorney exempts Huether. Schwan complies and then some. No doubt there’s a double standard but then that’s expected from unconstitutional city government.

  12. pathloss on March 23, 2014 at 10:06 pm said:

    Al Capone didn’t have any income.

  13. LINDA on March 4, 2018 at 2:42 pm said:

    Isnt that like the union between Hillary and Bill ?And wont it be like if you get one you then you get the other who is really ruling the show ?

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