As I mentioned yesterday, the city put this press release out rebuffing TenHaken’s 100 day strategy. Since this press release came from the city, is it a violation of state law?;
12-27-20. Expenditure of public funds to influence election outcome prohibited. The state, an agency of the state, and the governing body of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state may not expend or permit the expenditure of public funds for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of any candidate, or for the petitioning of a ballot question on the ballot or the adoption or defeat of any ballot question. This section may not be construed to limit the freedom of speech of any officer or employee of the state or such political subdivisions in his or her personal capacity. This section does not prohibit the state, its agencies, or the governing body of any political subdivision of the state from presenting factual information solely for the purpose of educating the voters on a ballot question.
Source: SL 2007, ch 80, Â§ 20.
The city cleverly will point to the last sentence;
presenting factual information solely for the purpose of educating the voters on a ballot question
But is a ‘CANDIDATE’ the same as a ‘BALLOT QUESTION’? I think not. I hope someone holds the mayor accountable for once.
Ironically, TenHaken accepting donations from minors is within the letter of the law;
The children, ranging from ages 6 to 15, each contributed the maximum yearly contribution of $1,000. McDonald, who created the medical software company in downtown Sioux Falls in 2000, also gave the maximum amount.
Those contributions don’t break any laws, city officials said, but they do point to the way savvy supporters can lend a little extra help to political candidates, especially if the kids are on board.
“They’re technically not signers on the account, but there (were) six separate checks with a memo with their name on it to keep it clear,” McDonald said.
But is it ethical?
Jon Schaff, a political science professor at Northern State University, said contribution limits are intended to limit the influence a single individual can have on candidates and elections. But when someone is politically savvy and invested in a candidate, they’ll almost always find a way around those limits.
“For better or worse, that’s the idea,” he said. “So when people are using children,Â there’s a possibility that people are avoiding the intention of the law â€“ even if it’s not technically illegal.”
Yeah, Savvy. LOL.