Santema Sees Nothing Good About Referred Law 19

Blogging through all ten ballot measures, Ken Santema of SoDakLiberty finds no redeeming qualities in Referred Law 19, the Incumbent Protection Plan. The Libertarian Santema agrees with little old Democratic me that RL19, née 2015 Senate Bill 69, originated in the good intentions of the Board of Elections and the Secretary of State but became nothing but partisan power-grabbing by the Legislature. Often a cautious writer, Santema rebuffs RL 19 in blunt language:

  • “…SB 69 was destroyed by the legislative process.”
  • “SB 69 just took a bad ballot access statute and made it worse.”
  • “This is one of the few ballot questions post[s] I can’t really write a pro section for….”
  • “Basically RL 19 would make it harder for candidates not a part of a major political party to get on the ballot. It looks like an attempt by a party that enjoys a super-majority in Pierre to keep power for years to come.”

Santema does not foresee any proponents exerting themselves to win votes for Referred Law 19. As of this morning, the Secretary of State lists no ballot question committee formed to advocate RL 19 (and several other committees have formed this summer to wage war on other ballot questions—stay tuned for an update!). Far more likely to speak up about Referred Law 19 are smart Legislative candidates seeking ballot question synergy who will point out that their incumbent opponents voted for the Incumbent Protection Plan to take power away from voters (for example, my opponent in the District 3 Senate Race, Rep. Al Novstrup, voted to keep SB 69 alive four times) and will challenge those incumbents to explain why they supported a bill that is nothing but bad for voter rights and democracy.