Hey! I may finally get to meet Lisa Furlong on Wednesday!
The Legislature’s Initiative and Referendum Task Force meets this week Tuesday and Wednesday. While the panel, by the design of House Bill 1141 and contrary to the claim of its sponsor, Rep. David Lust (R-34/Rapid City), the I&R task force remains stacked against supporters of ballot measures by including no sponsors of recent initiatives or referenda.
However, non-legislator chair Dr. Emily Wanless, poli-sci prof at Augustana has made one small atonement for that exclusion. She has directed the Legislative Research Council to invite “individuals who have participated in the process in one of the recent election cycles to be among the members of the public who provide input and feedback to the task force members during the public testimony period.” Hence, the letter above.
I sponsored two referenda in the 2016 cycle, the successful reversals of the Legislature’s devious Incumbent Protection Plan (Referred Law 19) and David Novstrup’s youth minimum wage (Referred Law 20). I thank Dr. Wanless for her invitation to address the task force and answer their questions about direct democracy.
I also look forward to meeting Lisa Furlong, the sponsor of the failed Amendment U that she sponsored on behalf of Rod Aycox and the payday lending industry. Furlong proved remarkably reclusive for a public political figure in the 2016 election cycle, refusing to make any public appearances to advocate her fake 18% rate cap. Wednesday morning’s public testimony period would be the perfect opportunity for Furlong to break her silence and explain exactly how corporate interests exploited her to tell lies, violate petition and notary laws, and attempted to hijack the state constitution.
Furlong failed to heed calls for atonement during the petition process as surely as she refused interviews with the press. Furlong could seek some atonement now by speaking to the Legislature about her funders’ real abuses of the ballot question process and helping legislators respond with reforms directed specifically at those abuses.