The South Dakota legislature is eyeing a restriction on left-over campaign cash that is long overdue.
It’s no secret running for office is expensive. The first time I ran for office I didn’t have to ask what to do with leftover campaign donations because I didn’t have any. I spent more than people donated, meaning I paid for part of the campaign out of my pocket.
But that changed with my second campaign. I funded everything I needed to and had money left over. I didn’t know what regulations were in place, so I called the Secretary of State. What I was told surprised me. In essence, I was told South Dakota has no regulations. Candidates can do whatever they want with leftover campaign contributions.
This needs to change – and I hope it changes this year.
If a candidate plans to run again, it’s fully appropriate to hold leftover money for the next campaign. But if not, the candidate needs to give the money away to a charity or political group/candidate. It’s not appropriate to spent the money for personal expenses.
When the campaign is over, the money should be too.