Democratic executive director quits, accuses chair of mismanaging party
Dan Ahlers accuses Democratic chair of being hostile, violating party rules and FEC regulations
The South Dakota Democratic Party’s executive director is out after fewer than three months on the job.
Dan Ahlers last week submitted his resignation to the Democratic Party State Executive Committee after being hired in May to lead day-to-day operations for South Dakota’s minority political party. And his decision to step down from the position stems from what he said was mismanagement of the party by South Dakota Democratic Party Chairwoman Jennifer Slaight-Hansen, including allegations of a hostile work environment and violating campaign finance and party bylaws.
“When I try to advise the chair on these matters, she becomes angry and reminds me that I work for her,” Ahlers wrote in an email Friday to the party’s State Central Committee members informing them of his resignation. “This party is not about one person. It is about a team.”
Ahlers declined to comment when contacted by The Dakota Scout Wednesday, saying the email was an internal party communication.
In it, Ahlers alleges that Slaight-Hansen, elected chair of the party in February, uses “demeaning and foul language” when dealing with party staff, and violated the South Dakota Democratic Party constitution by making hires without approval from the party’s Executive Board. He also asserts that “she has asked us to perform tasks regarding fundraising that could result in FEC (Federal Election Commission) violations.”