The South Dakota Democratic Party is shuttering its office locations in the state due to a lack of funds caused by “extreme mismanagement and lack of oversight.”
The Argus Leader reported the party will close its offices in Sioux Falls and Rapid City at the end of September and its staff will work remotely, according to SDDP chairwoman Paula Hawks.
She said no layoffs related to the party’s financial woes have taken place.
The SDDP is also canceling a fundraising event scheduled for next month.
“The SDDP started the month of July, the most recent reporting period, with $31,267 in the bank and ended the month with $3,181, according to the Federal Elections Commission,” the Argus Leader reported.
“The party’s finances have been on a downward trend this year from $88,127 in cash on hand at the start of the year. The party also receives at least $10,000 monthly from the Democratic National Party, according to FEC reports,” the news outlet added.
The announced office closures come following a draft audit report by the FEC showing the party understated disbursements by $2.5 million and failed to disclose nearly $47,000 in obligations to vendors during the 2015-16 election cycle.
Hawks — who was elected SDDP chairwoman in March — conceded there has been “extreme mismanagement and lack of oversight” in her party’s apparatus.
“Our current financial situation is really unfortunate and truly very unexpected to me and to Stacey Burnette, our new executive director,” Hawks said. “We both kind of stumbled into this and discovered some things that we didn’t realize were going on, so now we’re cleaning it up.”
President Donald Trump carried the Mount Rushmore State in 2016 by 30 percentage points.
Noem’s margin of victory was a narrow 3 percentage points over former Democratic state Senate minority leader and professional bronc rider Billie Sutton.
The current party breakdown in the state Senate is 30-5 in favor of Republicans, while the GOP holds a 59-11 advantage in the House.
South Dakota is one of 22 states where the Republicans enjoy a trifecta of controlling the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature, according to Ballotpedia.org.
The Democrats have 14 trifectas, and there are 14 states with divided government.
OpenSecrets.org reported the Republican Party nationwide is outpacing the Democratic Party in fundraising for the 2020 election cycle by over $30 million.
The greatest disparity is found with the respective parties’ national committees.
The RNC has raised approximately $118 million to date versus $52 million for the DNC.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.