Jeff Barth claims opponent’s campaign signs are ‘illegal,’ Nelson disagrees

Formal Campaign Complaint from Jeff Barth for PUC claiming illegal signage
Formal Campaign Complaint from Jeff Barth for PUC claiming illegal signage(Jeff Barth)
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 5:14 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth wrote a letter to the Secretary of State Steve Barnett, claiming that the campaign signs displayed by Barth’s opponent, PUC Chairman Chris Nelson, are illegal.

Commissioner Barth sent the letter around 3 p.m. on Tuesday, claiming the signs posted by his opponent Chairman Nelson violate law 12-27-15, which states any campaign material that spreads information concerning a candidate must clearly display or speak the statement: “Paid for by (name of candidate or political committee).”

Barth said in the letter, “I can find no disclaimers whatsoever on these campaign signs,” and requested Nelson’s campaign remove the signs immediately. Commissioner Barth went on to say, “If this does not occur in a timely fashion—within the next 7 days—my campaign will have no choice but to seek legal action.”

According to the letter, a violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor and a subsequent offense within a calendar year is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Sign saying 'Chris Nelson Experience for PUC'
Sign saying 'Chris Nelson Experience for PUC'(Jeff Barth)
Chris Nelson’s response

Chris Nelson provided his response to the letter with the following statement and photo attached.

Every sign had a disclaimer like you see here when they were installed. I’ll agree with Jeff on one point, the signs are from my campaign - and I’m proud of the work my volunteers put in to create them and help put them up and appreciate my wife making the required disclaimers which are attached to each sign.

PUC Chairman Chris Nelson
Chris Nelson's response to Jeff Barth's letter complaining his signage was illegal without the...
Chris Nelson's response to Jeff Barth's letter complaining his signage was illegal without the disclaimer visible.(Chris Nelson)

Dakota News Now will update this story if Secretary Barnett responds to us with his statement.

Jeff Barth’s letter can be viewed below.