…but IM 22 will make ballot question finance more quickly transparent!
If Reps. Don Haggar and Jim Bolin were really worried about the influence of out-of-state money on our initiative and referendum process (they’re not, but let’s pursue the notion to its logical conclusion)…
- …they would ban South Dakota legislators (including Don’s own daughter Jenna) from traveling to ALEC meetings to be indoctrinated by corporate raiders and peddle their Putin-oligarch deregulatory model legislation in Pierre;
- …they would reject the big-money interference of the restaurant, hotel, alcohol, and tobacco lobby that sends DC lobbyist Michael Saltsman to testify in favor of overturning the will of South Dakota voters;
- …they will ignore the pleas of the Arizona-based Alliance for Defending Freedom when they come around trying to trick them again into passing bigoted anti-transgender legislation that will land us in an expensive heap of court trouble. (And yes, Reps. Haggar and Bolin voted to do the Arizona culure-warriors’ bidding in committee, in the first House vote, and in the unsuccessful veto override for Fred Deutsch’s paranoid potty bill.)
If Reps. Haggar and Bolin are really concerned about out-of-state big money in our politics, they should not only embrace but augment the requirements of Initiated Measure 22, the Anti-Corruption Act that their party fought with Koch Brothers’ money but which the people of South Dakota saw fit to enact. The Anti-Corruption Act doesn’t lay much new law on ballot question committees—no new caps on contributions to ballot question committees as are imposed on statewide, legislative, and county candidates. It does, however, require (see Section 23) that ballot question committees (along with candidate committees, party committees, and PACs) file “timely contribution disclosure statements” within five days of receiving $500 or more from any one donor. Each TCDS must include an individual donor’s name, residence address, occupation, and name of employer or, in the case of party or PAC donors, name and registered street address. That won’t stop money from coming in from out of state (and constitutionally, can you, Don? Jim?), but it will allow us to track that money as it comes in from the high rollers more immediately, in time for all the ad-donorem attacks that Don and Jim and the rest of us may want to use when arguing the merits of the ballot measures just isn’t enough.
Assuming, of course, that Don and Jim the rest of their caucus really care about protecting the integrity of South Dakota’s initiative and referendum and aren’t just getting ready to attack to the people’s check on the Legislature’s arrogant one-party rule.