Cameraman Bruce on the Paul Erickson media tour

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Bruce continues his media tour on KELO AM;

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. ( — Democratic activist Bruce Danielson and Republican activist Paul Erickson–who is now tangled in a drama with accused Russian spy Maria Butina–shared a love of politics and the Farber Center at the University of South Dakota.

Danielson, who is frequently involved in civic issues in Sioux Falls, says he’s known Erickson, a Sioux Falls businessman, since the late 1970s through events with the late political science icon, Dr. W.O. Farber.

Even back in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Danielson says Erickson was a schmoozer.

“Paul was one of those people who always tried to stay connected with people of all different sorts and types,” Danielson said. “He was always trying to get hooked into you somehow so he could always come back and talk to you again. He always wanted to be a mover and a shaker.”

Danielson never talked about Russia with Erickson or about Erickson’s former girlfriend, the federally indicted Butina.

“He’s always been a very interesting character,” Danielson said. “I just found that as time went on, it was better to just keep things on a real level field. I’ve always kind of steered clear of political activists like him.”

But the two did share an appreciation for both politics and Farber.

“We met down at Dr. Farber’s house in Vermillion,” Danielson said. “Dr. Farber was the political science guru based out of USD.”

Danielson said he knew Erickson had worked to try to defeat South Dakota Democratic U.S. Senators Tim Johnson in 2002 and Tom Daschle in 2004.

Thus, he said he avoided talking politics with Erickson because “no matter where I was at, he was going to have an opposite direction.”

Erickson formed an LLC with Butina in June. National media outlets suspect Erickson as “U.S. Person 1” in the indictment against Butina. The federal indictment claims that Butina utilized her personal relationship with Erickson to use his connections to infiltrate Republican and conservative groups.


#1 JKC on 07.24.18 at 1:35 am

In June of 1978, here in South Dakota, Erickson was elected governor of Boys State. He defeated Jeff Hayzlett in that race – a once South Dakota Democratic Party activist – who later in life went on to make an appearance on ‘The Apprentice’ with DJT (2006); and its my understanding that Hayzlett is still a friend of DJT’s too….. Although, not caught up in any of DJT’s controversies, however….


Having been in Farber’s American Government Honors class with Erickson in the fall of ’79, I witnessed Erickson give a speech to the class in the presentation of his semester term paper, where he continued to click his right hand as he spoke, which was somewhat annoying at the time. However, in the conclusion of his speech, he told us that each of those clicks of his fingers represented an other missile being added to the Soviet arsenal. Later, in private, Farber called Erickson a “professional” to me because of that speech…. Now speed forward some 40 years later and the “professional” is apparently friends with a “Russian sparrow”, who is working for a former Soviet KGB agent named Putin….



#2 D@ily Spin on 07.24.18 at 1:59 pm

Erickson is getting the attention he craves. I just don’t see he and Butina a couple without there being some sort of conspiracy. This will never be a James Bond movie. Either is having their minute of fame. They’re enjoying it but it’ll not last long. Deport her and put him on the TSA strip search list?

#3 teatime on 07.26.18 at 10:18 pm

I must have missed part of this story. What exactly did this woman do? What information did she pass on?