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Sunday, October 24, 2010

District 8 Campaign Finance: Russell Olson Backs Jason Bjorklund

In the South Dakota pre-general campaign finance reports were due in Secretary of State Chris Nelson's office Friday. I turn first to District 8 State Senator Russell Olson's filing and find he's backing "Independent" District 8 State House candidate Jason Bjorklund. Olson's treasurer Scott Delzer apparently doesn't know how to spell Bjorklund: line 7 of the list of contributions to other candidates reads "Bjorkland for House."

I checked: I don't see any Bjorkland running for state house.

The $300 donation from the Olson campaign to the Bjorklund campaign, along with comparable contributions from notable Madison Republicans Jerry Prostrollo and DeLon Mork, supports Patricia Stricherz's contention that the Independent candidate isn't as Independent as he might claim. Strizherz is the only official Republican on the District 8 House ballot. Stricherz has received no money from fellow Republican Olson. (Sec. Nelson has not yet posted Stricherz's pre-general filing.)

Update 2010.10.25 17:43 CDT: Candidate Stricherz informs me that she has received $565 in contributions: $150 from the Lake County GOP, $100 from the Olson campaign, $100 from the Dan Lederman campaign, and the rest from family and 2 PACs. Neither Olson's nor Lederman's filings record these contributions yet.
Update 2010.10.30: Filing received on the 28th confirms Russ's and Dan's donations. Note: Russ gives three times more to the "Independent" than to the official Republican.
Bjorklund has also received money from notable Madison Republicans Jerry Prostrollo and DeLon Mork.

Olson's $300 for Bjorklund exceeds the $250 contributions Olson gave to some of his Senate colleagues and the $150 he tossed Dusty Johnson's way. Perhaps Olson and Bjorklund share a love of Glenn Beck. (But hey: Stricherz loves Glenn Beck, too.)

So here's a question for the candidates' forum on Thursday: let's ask the District 8 Senate candidates which District 8 House candidates they support and why. Let's ask the House candidates the same thing about their pick for Senate.

Alas for the local economy: Russell Olson is only raising and spending about half what he did in 2008. Jon Hunter must be disappointed. The other candidates aren't packing big balances, either. The figures for our District 8 candidates:

NameContributionsExpendituresCash on Hand
Sen. Russell Olson
Clark Schmidtke
Rep. Mitch Fargen
Rep. Gerald Lange
Jason Bjorklund
Patricia Stricherz

I'm still investigating the criminal records of both of District 8's State Senate candidates, Russell Olson and Clark Schmidtke. Stay tuned... we may need a write-in campaign! Update: Got that taken care of.


  1. Why on earth would you take it upon yourself to investigate the criminal record of ANY candidate? Just because some possible history has come up involving your man, Schmidtke, doesn't mean every candidate, including incumbent Russ Olson, has courtroom history. This isn't a criminal contest. It's an election. That statement on your blog makes you appear foolish. You're smarter than that, Cory.

  2. A fellow blogger has raised the criminal record of one of our candidates as a matter that should concern our District 8 voters. If, as you say, such matters are irrelevant to the election, then I hope you will vociferously defend any candidates subjected to such negative press. If such matters are relevant—and I think they are, as demonstrated by my coverage of Kristi Noem's unapoligetic lawbreaking—then we need to have a full conversation about the records of all candidates.

    But I'm still reading....


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