One week from Friday, President Donald Trump will make his first visit to South Dakota. He will be in Sioux Falls next Friday for a campaign fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate Kristi Noem. This will be President’s first visit to South Dakota since he announced his bid for presidency. But not everyone will be able to see him — unless you’re willing to pay.
In seven days, President Donald Trump will be making a visit to Sioux Falls.
“The president offered to come to South Dakota and help our governor’s campaign, so we’re excited he’s coming, it’s a great opportunity for him to visit with people in this state and we appreciate the support,” Kristi Noem said.
It’s part of a campaign fundraiser for Noem. According to an invitation, it will cost $500 per person to attend the general reception and presidential remarks. A $5,000 donation gets you a photo with the president and entrances to the reception for two people.
“Regular people are not going to be able to afford that or support that, but I think that shows you where they’re preferences are,” South Dakota voter, Charlene Lund said.
Some South Dakota voters have mixed reactions to the president’s first visit to the Rushmore state.
“Any time you can get a president to come to our state, no matter what political party he’s affiliated with is to our benefit, because we have problems that are unique to our state and we can elevate when they’re here, so I think it’s a good thing,” South Dakota voter, Lyle Perman said.
“No interest in it at all, he’s caused lots of problems I believe, the farm economy in South Dakota is something we need to be serious about and get fixed,” Lund said.
And a lot of details of Trump’s visit to the state are still unclear.
“We aren’t really in control of the details of this event, a lot of the presidents schedule is being run by secret service and it’s obviously pretty fluid as well,” Noem said.
KELOLAND News reached out to the democratic gubernatorial candidate, Billie Sutton, to speak about Trump’s visit. While he was unable to do an on camera interview, his campaign did provide us with a statement:
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.