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Nelson Says Hunt Improperly Filed Report

November 6, 2006, 10:09 PM by Lou Raguse

Roger Hunt
Roger Hunt

The Secretary of State is convinced the name of the $750,000 campaign contributor should be released. 

When Representative Roger Hunt filed his corporation's campaign finance report Friday it was three days late, and also did not have the information Secretary of State Chris Nelson expected to find. 

Today, Nelson took a closer look at the report and a letter Hunt included and says the information can't be withheld. 

According to South Dakota law, ballot question committees have to file campaign finance reports listing the money's source and where it goes out. Those committees are defined as any two or more people who cooperate for the purpose of raising, collecting or dispersing money to influence the outcome of an election. 

But Hunt insists Promising Future doesn't fall under that category. So we'll walk you through that claim with the information we've learned so far.

When we first asked Roger Hunt about Promising Future, Inc. Thursday, he explained its purpose. 

KELOLAND NEWS: You did create it because of Referred Law 6? 
HUNT:That was one of the reasons. 

If that counts as "influencing the outcome of an election," then Promising Future fits part of the definition of a Ballot Question Committee. The other part is whether the corporation is considered "two or more people." 

Hunt says as a lawyer, he started the corporation with one client. He says that one person provided all the money which was then donated to Vote Yes For Life. 

"He's of the opinion that since it's one person, that they and the corporation are essentially the same," Nelson says.

But Nelson points out that the money has still changed hands from the donor to the corporation, even if it is, in some way, the donor's corporation. 

"My position is it needs to be reported," Nelson says.

In his letter to the Secretary of State, Hunt wrote that the statutes do not clarify how corporations fit into Ballot  Question Committees. Nelson says he still hopes Hunt re-files the finance report properly. 

"We obviously want campaign finance reports to be filed correctly. Yes. Failure to file a correct report is a Class-2 Misdemeanor," Nelson says.

Also today the state Democratic party gave Attorney General Larry Long a letter asking him to investigate Hunt. Hunt is up for re-election in District 10.

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