Jesse L. Jackson will be on the ballot in the South Dakota primary after all, thanks to a last-minute decision by the state's Democratic Party chairman to finesse the party rules. South Dakota rules say a candidate must be certified to receive federal matching funds before Dec. 29 to be eligible for the ballot, and Jackson's application was not approved by the Federal Election Commission before the deadline.
But Gene Mahan, the South Dakota party chairman, said late Tuesday that Jackson's name will be included on the ballot for the Feb. 23 primary anyway. The Associated Press quoted Mahan as saying, "As long as he's qualified and his name will be certified by the FEC, I see no reason he shouldn't be on the ballot."
At the FEC, meanwhile, Jackson's matching-funds application was still pending yesterday because of questions about bounced checks. Jackson aides said additional information sought by FEC auditors was being flown to Washington yesterday, but it did not arrive at the FEC by the close of business.
Jackson's monthly campaign spending report did arrive at the FEC yesterday. It showed that Jackson collected $293,286 in donations during November, more than 90 percent of them in amounts less than $200. In October, he received $368,000.
To date Jackson has raised almost $1.7 million in donations. He reported that as of Nov. 30 he had $100,000 in cash and had debts of nearly $371,000. Two of the biggest creditors are a direct-mail firm and a travel agency.
On another front, Jackson received a letter yesterday from University of Illinois President Stanley O. Ikenberry stating that Jackson's permanent academic record contains "no notation regarding any disciplinary action. . . . " The letter was prompted by a report last week in the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette that Jackson was disciplined for plagiarism while at the university.