Bjorkman: No PAC or special interest money; just people serving people

Bjorkman: No PAC or special interest money; just people serving people

I’ve pledged to run a campaign free of special interest political action committees (PACs), corporate and national party money. Unlike me, Dusty has taken over $221,000 of PAC dollars. On the other hand, I’ve lived up to the exact promise I made to voters – at significant sacrifice to our fundraising. 
That’s OK, because individuals made up the difference.
During last night’s SDPB Congressional Forum, Dusty showed he’s willing to distort truth in order to divert attention from how he’s sold out to special interest PACs and corporate PACs. So much for Dusty’s clean campaign pledges. Now, it’s obvious that Dusty pored through our more than 5000 individual donations in this campaign, and couldn’t find a single PAC or national party donation among them. None.
So what’s left for him other than explaining why he took all that money? Distort the truth.
He did just that by claiming donations from six individuals — two-thirds of it from former Sen. Tom Daschle – is special interest money. That isn’t truthful. Each of those individuals made individual gifts out of their own pockets,  not on behalf of any special interest.
I’m proud to have Sen. Daschle’s support and that of the other donors – either South Dakota natives, former workers for Sen. Tim Johnson, or in one case a former North Dakota congressman. They believe in my message of reform and gave out of their own pockets to help a reformer.
Our campaign has received the vast majority of it’s donations – most of them relatively small – from South Dakotans. I’m honored and humbled by the trust and confidence every one of these as well as each of our thousands of donors has placed in our joint cause to reform Congress.
Does Dusty feel similarly proud to have accepted money from the 90 or so special interest PACs who gave him over $220,000? Those groups, like the Koch Brothers aren’t giving him money because they believe he’ll be a great congressman for South Dakota, but because they want him to be the next congressman for Koch Brothers.
I’m glad Dusty has raised this distortion, because he’s not only acknowledging that he feels the heat in this campaign, but more importantly, he acknowledges what I’ve been saying all along: the central theme of this election should be special interest PAC money — and Super PAC dark ads — and their harmful impact on the democratic process.
I will be a voice for all the people in Congress, not just the PACs who control Washington, and that includes not spinning the truth to try to make political points.
Finally, rather than doing as promised and publishing the amounts they gave, Dusty just published names leaving the opportunity to further distort. So I’ll include them here:
Name Relation to the Campaign  Amount to Date  Contribution Dates
Dwight Fettig South Dakotan  $500.00 3/30/18 – $500
Haroon Khan Former Tim Johnson Staffer, Friend of adviser Drey Samuelson  $500.00 12/31/17 – $500
Earl Pomeroy Former North Dakota Congressman  $500.00 3/31/18 – $500
Tom Daschle Former South Dakota Senator  $5,400.00 2/14/18 – $2700, 6/27/18 – $2700
Greg Billings Father of a Campaign Intern  $250.00 8/31/18 – $250
Nikki Heidepriem South Dakotan  $500.00 8/31/18 – $500
Total Given:  $7,650.00
The Contrast Between the Tim Bjorkman and Dusty Johnson Campaigns is Striking

The Contrast Between the Tim Bjorkman and Dusty Johnson Campaigns is Striking

CANISTOTA—Both the Tim Bjorkman and Dusty Johnson congressional campaigns released their FEC reports today, “and the contrast between the two couldn’t be more striking,” Bjorkman communications director Tom Lawrence said.
“Many more South Dakotans contributed to Bjorkman’s campaign than Johnson’s, with 1,880 South Dakotans contributing unitemized contributions (under $200) to Bjorkman, and only 510 unitemized contributions for Johnson,” Lawrence said. “Bjorkman’s average donation was $126; Johnson’s was around $500.
“South Dakotans are responding to our campaign far more than Dusty’s,” he said. “It’s the well-off and well-connected who are responding to Johnson. It’s the everyday people of South Dakota who are responding to Tim.”
Bjorkman raised $261,442.69 during the third quarter of this year, according to a report released Monday. His primary opponent, Dusty Johnson had half as many donations.
Johnson did raise more money in the third quarter — more than $540,000 — by relying on larger donations from fewer people, and $143,000 in PAC contributions, which Bjorkman refuses to take.
“The reason that Tim refuses to take PAC contributions is because he knows that it comes with strings attached,” Lawrence said. “The special interests that have given Dusty over $200,000 in PAC money aren’t giving to him for any other reason than they want to whisper in his ear their instructions about how they want him to vote. This is the reason why healthcare is unaffordable for so many South Dakota families, why pharmaceutical prices are up to 10 times what citizens in other countries pay for them, and why our government in general favors the wealthy and well-connected over everyday South Dakotans.
“South Dakotans will have a real choice to make on November 6th, whether to send someone to Washington who will fit right in with the corrupt, failed status quo in Congress, or send someone who will fight to reform the system which so clearly doesn’t work for so many of us,” Lawrence said.
Bjorkman, a fifth-generation South Dakotan who lives in Canistota, is a former circuit court judge in his first race for a partisan office.