Update 2015.09.15 10:19: The original August 9 version of this story reported 20 committees, with no opposition to 19, 20, R, or S. Since that time, two more committees have filed statements of organization, including one to oppose S. I leave the main text of the original article below unchanged, but I have added the new committees to the list at the bottom.
This year’s ten ballot questions have so far drawn the attention of twenty active ballot question committees. Nine are sponsoring committees that placed their measures on the ballot (the tenth measure, Amendment R, was placed on the ballot by the Legislature). Three committees have arisen to support sponsors of various measures. Eight committees have sprouted to fight the sponsors of various measures.
By committee count, the ballot question drawing the most opposition is Initiated Measure 23, the fair-share dues provision. Three anti-labor/pro-business committees have organized to fight IM 13 in the last couple weeks.
We could argue that even less popular are Referred Laws 19 and 20, the Incumbent Protection Plan and the Youth Minimum Wage Cut. The Republican majority passed those two laws last year, but since I stopped them with my referendum petitions last summer, no one has raised a peep, let alone a committee, to defend the Legislature’s two serious foul-ups. Amendment R, the vo-tech management plan, has drawn no formal fire. Amendment S, Jason Glodt’s astroturf crime victims bill, has no opposing committee, but with the level of opposition expressed by South Dakota lawyers for S and its “delusional” California billionaire backer, I’d expect a committee to pop up pretty soon.
The committee rosters show a lot of double duty. I am two committees. Cathy Brechtelsbauer and Sister Gabriella Crowley had to form two separate committees for their efforts against the exploitative payday lending industry, one to support the real 36% rate cap of IM 21 and another to oppose the payday lenders’ decoy Amendment U. Rick Weiland and Dan Foley are the prime movers of IM 22 and Amendment V. The Con committee on IM 21 and the Pro committee on Amendment U are both just fronts for Georgia loan shark Rod Aycox. Competing with Aycox for the title of ickiest multi-committee are Jason Ravnsborg and David Roetman, who are swinging against IM 23 and Amendment T (really, Jason and David? You oppose labor rights but support gerrymandering? Come on!).
Below is the full list of active committees working on 2016 ballot measures as of 09:30 CDT today. I list committee names with links to campaign websites if available, followed by named committee leaders, then organization date with links to the official committee campaign finance reports on the SOS website.
*Update: I added recently formed committees on 2016.09.15.
Referred and Initiated Measures:
- Referred Law 19: Incumbent Protection Act
- PRO: none!
- CON/sponsor: South Dakotans for Fair Elections, Cory Allen Heidelberger
- Referred Law 20: Youth Minimum Wage
- PRO: none!
- CON/sponsor: SD Voice, Cory Allen Heidelberger
- Initiated Measure 21: 36% Payday Loan Rate Cap
- Initiated Measure 22: Anti-Corruption Act
- Initiated Measure 23: “Fair Share” Union Dues
- PRO/sponsor: South Dakotans for Fairness, Scott Niles and Will Thomssen, organized 2015.09.17
- CON: South Dakotans for Freedom and Jobs, Richard Hilgemann and Robert Beiswenger, organized 2016.07.27
- CON: Defending Workers Rights South Dakota, Jason Ravnsborg and David Roetman, organized 2016.07.27
- CON: No on 23, David Owen and Rusty Fiegen, organized 2016.08.03
- Amendment R: Regents/vo-tech authority split (proposed by Legislature 2015)
- Amendment S: Glodt’s crime victims bill of rights
- Amendment T: Independent Redistricting Commission—YES
- Amendment U: Usury! Payday Lender Protection Clause
- Amendment V: Open Nonpartisan Primary—YES