SIOUX FALLS - Congresswoman Kristi Noem, in the race of her political career against former professional rodeo standout Billie Sutton, has called in help from Washington to raise money for her campaign for Governor in a closed-door, big-money event that violates the Congresswoman’s own pledge to not take money from committees intended to circumvent campaign finance limits.
In response to Noem violating her own campaign finance pledge to voters, Sutton for South Dakota campaign manager Suzanne Jones Pranger said,
“The minute Congresswoman Noem realized her political career is in danger– in true Washington DC fashion– she calls in help from Washington and breaks the campaign promise she made to South Dakota by using a loophole to fund her campaign with big-money contributions most South Dakotans can’t afford. We can’t trust the Congresswoman to clean up what’s wrong in Pierre when she has already proven we can’t trust her to keep her word.”
In an invitation to a Noem event offering a photo with the President in exchange for a contribution of $5,000, Noem raises money through a campaign finance loophole that will allow her campaign coffers, her running mate’s coffers, the state party’s, and a political action committee called “KRISTI PAC” to raise well beyond the $4,000 individual contribution limit in state law.
Raising money through the joint fundraising committee and a PAC bearing the Congresswoman’s name violates the pledge on Noem’s website which states, “I have not and will not … take funds from Political Action Committees that were established with the intent to circumvent individual contribution limits.” Noem further calls such practice a “loophole.”
This isn’t the first time Noem has used a loophole to fund her campaign with big money donations. Within a week of the last election, Noem used a loophole to funnel out-of-state money into her governor's campaign – even though South Dakota voters passed a law to prevent that.
She also picked Larry Rhoden, the politician who led the effort to overturn the will of voters after South Dakotans passed the anti-corruption law to get special interest money out of politics, as her running mate. In fact, her running mate’s campaign committee, which was only filed yesterday, had been in violation of a state campaign finance law for over 50 days. Violation of this law is a criminal offense in South Dakota.