As I had mentioned last month, Republican Senate candidate Dennis Schmidt’s "oversight" of being a registered Independent when he declared his candidacy as a Republican in the primary just isn’t going away. At the time I pretty much left the story alone but more information is coming out and the Rapid City Journal picks up on the story this morning with a few more comments on the situation including some from Schmidt himself.
“It was just an oversight,” Schmidt said. “As soon as I discovered it, I ran down and got it taken care of. This is like the last century, and they’re trying to make hay on this thing. And it’s just an oversight.”
Schmidt, who coincidently is now saying he is a lifelong Republican whom has always voted Republican, happens to be running in a district that is 2-1 Republican but for some reason he didn’t feel that it was important enough to be affiliated with the party he says he was supposedly so loyal to until after he decided to run for office.
“This was all before the (June primary) election and all that,” he said. “At the time they voted, I was an absolute Republican. I’ve been a Republican all my life, and I’ve never voted anything other than Republican.”
PP over at SDWC has his perspective on this issue and thinks that even with all the latest on this, Schmidt should still win in November and that it amounts to nothing more than an embarrassing lesson though some of his commentators think that Schmidt should be prosecuted.
On the prosecuting note, the RCJ does touch on the fact that he appears to have actually broken the law by making a false sworn statement.
Schmidt’s sworn statement on the nominating petition appears to violate provisions in South Dakota statute that state, under 12-6-3.2, that “No person may sign a declaration of candidacy or be nominated as a political candidate for a party unless that person is a registered voter with that party affiliation.”
But even though some think he should be prosecuted, the law that Schmidt would
have broken by making the false statement has no penalty listed in the statute so
this issue will likely never see a courthouse
Putting this all into perspective, forgetting to pick up a loaf of bread at the grocery store is an "oversight" but Schmidt would like the District 33 voters to believe that somehow forgetting to change his registration before filing his paperwork is just an honest mistake? I really wonder what else his constituents will discover about him once he does end up in Pierre, like maybe he isn’t as Republican as they might believe? Democrats in our state would know the feeling on that note after what happened during the last legislative session...