• Tag Archives initiative
  • Deutsch: Nothing Dignified About Legalizing Suicide

    Conservative Republican and former legislator Fred Deutsch says the “Death with Dignity” ballot measure is all death and no dignity. Rejecting the petitioners’ preferred terminology and claims of compassion, Deutsch says that legalizing assisted suicide is really about “killing Granny”:

    The idea that assisting a suicide shows compassion is misguided. Suicide eliminates the person, and results in suffering for those left behind—grieving families and friends, and other vulnerable people who may be influenced by this event to see death as an escape.

    True compassion doesn’t put lethal drugs in a sick person’s hands and abandon them to suicidal impulses or to self-serving motives of others who may want them dead. True compassion helps vulnerable people with their problems, instead of treating them as the problem.

    If you oppose legalizing suicide, the simplest solution is not to sign the petition to put the measure on the ballot. That will kill the measure, which I believe is much better than killing people [Fred Deutsch, “Ballot Measure to Legalize Killing Granny Coming to South Dakota,” Dr. Fred’s Place, 2017.04.21].

    Deutsch’s opposition, which he promises to write more on in the coming weeks, foreshadows the tone South Dakota’s religious right will take in opposing this measure.



  • Represent SD Offers Four Drafts, May Avoid Conflict with Voter Initiative Protection

    The Legislative Executive Board’s memo on pending initiatives indicates that ballot question committees Represent South Dakota and South Dakota Voter Protection may avoid circulating competing ballot measures.

    As I reported last week, SD Voter Protection submitted three drafts of their Voter Initiative Protection (VIP) Amendment to the Legislative Research Council. Those three VIP drafts focus on limiting the ability of the Legislature to infringe on voter rights and mess with ballot measures. Those protections overlap with portions of Represent SD’s proposed Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption (VPAC) Amendment targeting Legislative monkeyshines with ballot measures. Having two amendments on the ballot addressing the same issue could create confusion for voters… not to mention the fun of figuring out which measure takes priority if both happened to pass.

    However, according to the E-Board/LRC memo, Rapid City attorney Jim Leach submitted four drafts of the VPAC Amendment, two of which could avoid conflict with the VIP Amendment:

    Drafts #1 & #2

    These drafts deal with the issues of bribery, campaign fundraising and limits, regulation of gifts, nullification of the legislatively-created State Government Accountability Board, and creation of a new State Government Accountability Board, with extensive powers. They also provide that initiated measures take effect 60 days after approval, and all legislation that repeals, amends, or frustrates an initiated measure, or makes changes to the initiative and referendum process or requirements, is automatically referred, and cannot go into effect unless approved by the people.

    Drafts #3 & #4

    These drafts include the same issues as the first sentence of #1 and #2, above [Legislative Research Council, “Initiated Measures & Constitutional Amendments Received by LRC,” submitted to Executive Board, posted 2017.04.18].

    Circulating VPAC draft #3 or #4 alongside the VIP Amendment strikes me as the best option for both sides and for voters. Let VPAC serve as the strict “IM22 Replacement,” as LRC labels all of the VPAC drafts, offering voters the chance to discuss whether the Legislature did the right thing in repealing Initiated Measure 22 and substituting its own statutes on campaign finance, lobbying, gifts, and corruption. Let VIP address the related but distinct “meta-issue” of how we conduct initiatives and referenda.

    Let each issue stand on its own, without overlap, and Represent SD and SD Voter Protection will be able to focus on advocating for their issues without worrying about competing with each other. Voters will hear clearer messages, enjoy clearer conversations, and have a better chance of getting everything they want when they vote in November 2018.



  • Spearfish Man Offers Second Initiative to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

    The Legislature’s Executive Board spent some time yesterday talking about the greatest threat to their club, initiative and referendum. A Legislative Research Council brief on initiatives submitted for review gives some details on a marijuana legalization measure that hasn’t received much public attention.

    John Dale strumming and marching in Swarm Days Parade. Photo from John Dale, PlainsTribune.com.
    John Dale strumming and marching in Swarm Days Parade. Photo from John Dale, PlainsTribune.com.

    John Dale of Spearfish, who maintains a webpage titled “Cannabis Consumers for Liberty,” has submitted an initiated measure to decriminalize cannabis. Dale’s first draft caught heck from LRC for all-caps, incomplete sentences, and too many powerless declarations and findings. Dale’s second draft hews closer to standard South Dakota initiative format. It appears to remove all legal penalties for possession, sale, or use of marijuana. Among items that will kill that second draft in my book are Section 17, which declares April 20 “Cannabis Day” in South Dakota; Section 20, which strikes SDHSAA penalties for students who use marijuana; Sections 37, 39, and 40, which remove the restriction on driving under the influence of marijuana; Sections 47 and 48, which makes the same unwise error of allowing boaters to use marijuana; and several sections that appear to remove abuse of marijuana from considerations of custody and parental rights but not abuse of alcohol. On the latter, I would contend that if the state can deem a person too drunk to parent, the state should also be able to deem a person too stoned to parent.

    On the good side, Dale’s Section 39 includes a repeal of the state’s torturous practice of forced catheterization. Section 39 would amend SDCL 32-23-10, which currently deems operating a motor vehicle as giving consent to “to the withdrawal of blood or other bodily substance and chemical analysis of the person’s blood, breath, or other bodily substance” to test for intoxicants, to allow only “external capture of urine and any chemical analysis of the person’s breath, hair, fecal matter, or urine.” No forced drawing of urine or blood—John Dale! Drop everything else and circulate a petition just for that section!

    Dale’s proposal does not appear to go into the same detail on licensing and taxing marijuana production and sales as the cannabis regulation initiative proposed by New Approach South Dakota. The New Approach initiative imposes excise taxes and distributes revenue by specific percentages to education, health, law enforcement, and the general fund. Dale’s proposal specifies no licensing or taxation scheme, but Section 12 grants whatever revenues may come from the proposal to small farmers for “early-stage, high-risk local agriculture, new venture, and research and development.” None of those terms are defined.

    Dale offers a series of nicely guitar-backed podcasts on PlainsTribune.com  (“broadcasting live from the corner of Canyon and Jackson”—with a great view of Lookout Mountain!). In an April 4 podcast, Dale says he hopes be ready to circulate petitions by July 4. He’ll be a couple months behind his competition: New Approach is officially kicking off its recreational cannabis petition drive this Saturday in Sioux Falls and gathering signatures at the Earth Day Festival in Rapid City.



  • Belfrage Still Grouchy About IM22 & Represent SD… But What About the New Amendment?

    Greg Belfrage went to town on Represent South Dakota and their proposed Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption Amendment on his KELO Radio show this morning. Belfrage doesn’t seem to have an argument with the actual content of VPAC—Belfrage doesn’t cite, let alone criticize, any specific provision from the draft amendment. Instead, he focuses his morning criticism on VPAC’s lineage—its descent from Initiated Measure 22, which Belfrage loathes; and its sponsorship by Represent South Dakota, which Belfrage denigrates.

    In small ball, Belfrage laments that VPAC, like last year’s Initiated Measure 22, is “pages long.” Pages?! Egads!

    For the record, in its current form, VPAC runs 3,401 words across six pages of the PDF I received. IM22 ran over 15,000 words. Except for Section 3, which amends current constitutional language on initiative and referendum, VPAC is written without overstrikes and insertions; instead, it is straightforward language, relatively easy to read, added to the constitution. IM22 was riddled with technical amending language, making it difficult for lay readers to decipher. VPAC is far shorter and simpler than IM22.

    Branding VPAC as the spawn of IM22, Belfrage exaggerated the flaws of IM22, calling it “horribly conceived, horribly drafted.” He said he’s not convinced that Represent South Dakota wouldn’t serve up another constitutional mess like IM22.

    I would simply point out that since VPAC is a constitutional amendment, it cannot be judged unconstitutional by any of the state constitutional arguments that Judge Barnett reached for in his December injunction against IM22.

    Belfrage asks if there is a need for a ballot measure on ethics reform after the Legislature “took extensive action” in the 2017 Session and is promising to do more in 2018. Sure, the Legislature could do more in 2018, but (a) the Legislature can’t put any reforms into the constitution as VPAC proposes, and (b) concerned citizens can’t wait for 2018 to do a ballot measure. State law requires that we submit initiative petitions one full year before the general election—that deadline is November 6, 2017. If we wait to see what the 2018 Legislature does, we can’t put the things the Legislature misses up for a public vote until 2020. (Hey, Greg! How about this reform: move the deadline for submitting initiative petitions back to July 15 before the general election?)

    Belfrage adopted a trope frequently cited by legislators fending off crackerbarrel criticism for their repeal of IM22: legislators, said Belfrage, are “part-time” lawmakers and “everyday South Dakotans.” They aren’t “meddling” in the process; they are our elected representatives, said Belfrage, not Represent South Dakota.

    I would remind Belfrage that no matter how “everyday” legislators may act when they are back home, they think of themselves as a pretty elite “club” in Pierre, entitled to all that free food and booze from lobbyists.

    Belfrage expresses a clear distrust of democracy. He says we don’t need continued end-runs around the Legislature (but we should express no outrage at Legislative end-runs around a vote of the people? That’s thin ice, Greg!). “Our system by design is not pure democracy,” says Belfrage. “It’s a representative republic…. Pure democracies do not work.”

    I would ask Belfrage to offer an example of a pure democracy. I reject the notion that Represent South Dakota or any other initiative sponsor has asked for pure democracy. Citizens using the initiative and referendum process placed nine measures on the ballot in the 2016 election cycle. Compare that to the Legislature, which in 2015 and 2016 proposed 848 bills. One ballot measure for every 94 Legislative proposals falls far short of pure democracy supplanting representative republicanism.

    Belfrage says our “Land of Nice” attitude leads a lot of people to sign petitions just because they feel obligated to do so. Funny—that’s not the attitude I’ve encountered with any petition I’ve circulated.

    Belfrage urges people not to sign any petition for a ballot measure they don’t understand. I agree completely: read the petition, read the proposal, get information from the circulator. If you sense any evasiveness from the circulator, do not sign (but do take a picture, or a video, so we can keep track of which circulators are trying fill us full of bull).

    But don’t discourage people from signing the VPAC petition just because you don’t like the organization sponsoring it or the ballot measure that preceded. Study the Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption Act. Decide whether the policy works on balance or not. Then argue, advocate, and sign as you see fit.



  • LRC Gets Three Drafts of Voter Initiative Protection Amendment

    Here’s a twist: Roxanne Weber and Nicholas Rasmussen of South Dakota Voter Protection did not submit one draft of an initiated constitutional amendment to protect the initiative and referendum process Friday. They submitted three.

    The three drafts are similar, so one may guess that perhaps the sponsors are testing which receive the most favorable response from the Legislative Research Council and, if they do the same at the next review level, the Attorney General.

    Here are the three versions of the Voter Initiative Protection (VIP) Amendment, followed by the initiative and referendum portion of the Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption (VPAC) Amendment proposed last week by Represent South Dakota:

    VIP Draft #1

    Section 1: That Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota be amended to read as follows:

    Ҥ1. The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a Legislature which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives. However, the people expressly reserve to themselves the right to propose measures, which shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of the state, and also the right to require that any laws which the Legislature may have enacted shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of the state before going into effect, except such laws as may be. A law enacted by the Legislature that is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions may be referred to a vote of the electors of the state within ninety days of the law going into effect. Any such emergency law shall remain in effect until the law is voted upon by the people. If an emergency law is rejected by a majority vote in a general or special election open to the electors of the state, the law is repealed. Not more than five percent of the qualified electors of the state shall be required to invoke either the initiative or the referendum.

    If a majority of votes cast upon an initiated or a referred measure are affirmative, the measure shall be enacted. An initiated or referred measure which is approved shall become law thirty days after the election. If conflicting measures are approved, the measure receiving the highest number of affirmative votes shall be law. A measure approved by the electors may not be repealed or amended by the Legislature for seven years from its effective date, except by a two-thirds vote of the members elected to each house.

    “This section shall not be construed so as to deprive the Legislature or any member thereof of the right to propose any measure. The veto power of the Executive shall not be exercised as to measures referred to a vote of the people. This section shall apply to municipalities. The enacting clause of all laws approved by vote of the electors of the state shall be: “Be it enacted by the people of South Dakota.” The Legislature shall make suitable provisions for carrying into effect the provisions of this section.”

    Section 2: That Article III of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota be amended by adding a new section to read as follows:

    The Legislature must refer to a vote of the electors of the state any law effectively changing the number of electors required to submit initiated measures, referred laws, or constitutional amendments to a public vote; the time available for electors to circulate initiative, referendum, or constitutional amendment petitions; the number of electors who must vote to pass an initiated measure, referred law, or constitutional amendment; or the enactment date of measures submitted to a vote of the electors of the state. No law changing the criteria enumerated in this section takes effect until after that law has received a majority vote in a general or special election open to the electors of the state.

    Section 3: That Article XXIII, Section 1 of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota be amended to read as follows:

    “§1. Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by initiative or by a majority vote of all members of each house of the Legislature. An amendment proposed by initiative shall require a petition signed by qualified voters equal in number to at least not more than ten percent of the total votes cast for Governor in the last gubernatorial election. The petition containing the text of the proposed amendment and the names and addresses of its sponsors shall be filed at least one year before the next general election at which the proposed amendment is submitted to the voters. A proposed amendment may amend one or more articles and related subject matter in other articles as necessary to accomplish the objectives of the amendment.”

    VIP Draft #2:

    Section 1: That Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota be amended to read as follows:

    Ҥ1. The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a Legislature which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives. However, the people expressly reserve to themselves the right to propose measures, which shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of the state, and also the right to require that any laws which the Legislature may have enacted shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of the state before going into effect, except such laws as may be. A law enacted by the Legislature that is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions may be referred to a vote of the electors of the state within ninety days of the law going into effect. Any such emergency law shall remain in effect until the law is voted upon by the people. If an emergency law is rejected by a majority vote in a general or special election open to the electors of the state, the law is repealed. Not more than five percent of the qualified electors of the state shall be required to invoke either the initiative or the referendum.

    If a majority of votes cast upon an initiated or a referred measure are affirmative, the measure shall be enacted. An initiated or referred measure which is approved shall become law thirty days after the election. If conflicting measures are approved, the measure receiving the highest number of affirmative votes shall be law. A measure approved by the electors may not be repealed or amended by the Legislature for seven years from its effective date, except by a two-thirds vote of the members elected to each house.

    This section shall not be construed so as to deprive the Legislature or any member thereof of the right to propose any measure. The veto power of the Executive shall not be exercised as to measures referred to a vote of the people. This section shall apply to municipalities. The enacting clause of all laws approved by vote of the electors of the state shall be: “Be it enacted by the people of South Dakota.” The Legislature shall make suitable provisions for carrying into effect the provisions of this section.”

    VIP Draft #3:

    Section 1: That Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota be amended to read as follows:

    §1. The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a Legislature which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives. However, the people expressly reserve to themselves the right to propose measures, which shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of the state, and also the right to require that any laws which the Legislature may have enacted shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of the state before going into effect, except such laws as may be. A law enacted by the Legislature that is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions may be referred to a vote of the electors of the state within ninety days of the law going into effect. Any such emergency law shall remain in effect until the law is voted upon by the people. If an emergency law is rejected by a majority vote in a general or special election open to the electors of the state, the law is repealed. If the emergency law repeals or amends an initiated measure, it shall only be enacted by a three-fourths vote of all the members of each house of the Legislature. Not more than five percent of the qualified electors of the state shall be required to invoke either the initiative or the referendum.

    This section shall not be construed so as to deprive the legislature or any member thereof the right to propose any measure. However, the Legislature may repeal or amend an initiated measure only by a two-thirds vote of all the members of each house of the Legislature; the repeal or amendment of the initiated measure will remain in effect until a vote of the electors of the state at the next general or special election. The veto power of the Executive shall not be exercised as to measures referred to a vote of the people. This section shall apply to municipalities. The enacting clause of all laws approved by vote of the electors of the state shall be: “Be it enacted by the people of South Dakota.” The Legislature shall make suitable provisions for carrying into effect the provisions of this section.

    VPAC I&R Provision (Section 3):

    Section 3. That Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution of South Dakota be amended to read as follows:

    The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a Legislature which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives. However, the people expressly reserve to themselves the right to propose measures, which shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of the state, and. Such measures, if approved by a simple majority of those voting on the measure, shall become effective sixty days after approval. Legislation or other action that repeals, amends, or otherwise frustrates the effectuation or implementation of any such measure shall not go into effect until submitted to a vote of the electors of the state and approved by a simple majority of those voting on the question.

    The people also expressly reserve the right to require that any laws which the Legislature may have enacted shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of the state and approved by a simple majority of those voting on the question before going into effect, except such laws as may be necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, support of the state government and its existing public institutions, for which the Legislature shall state specific facts evidencing such necessity.

    No law substantively changing the rules, requirements, or criteria governing the initiative or referenda process shall take effect until after that law has been submitted to a vote of the electors of the state and approved by a simple majority of those voting on the question. Not more than five percent of the qualified electors of the state shall be required to invoke either the initiative or the referendum.

    This section shall not be construed so as to deprive the Legislature or any member thereof of the right to propose any measure. The veto power of the Executive shall not be exercised as to measuresan initiated measure approved by the people or a measure referred to a vote of the people. This section shall apply to municipalities. The enacting clause of all laws approved by vote of the electors of the state shall be: “Be it enacted by the people of South Dakota.” The Legislature shall make suitable provisions for carrying into effect the provisions of this section.

    To summarize the main changes of each:

    VIP Draft #1:

    1. Allow referral of emergency legislation.
    2. If referred, emergency legislation remains in effect until and unless majority votes it down.
    3. Approved initiatives and referred laws become law 30 days after election.
    4. When measures conflict, measure with higher vote total becomes law.
    5. For seven years after enactment, initiatives and referred laws can’t be repealed or amended by Legislature without two-thirds vote.
    6. Legislature must refer to public vote any measure changing number of signatures, time for circulating petitions, votes required for passage at election, or enactment date of initiatives and referred laws.
    7. Change 10% of voters from minimum to maximum signatures required for initiated constitutional amendment petition.

    VIP Draft #2:

    1. Allow referral of emergency legislation.
    2. If referred, emergency legislation remains in effect until majority votes it down.
    3. Approved initiatives and referred laws become law 30 days after election.
    4. When measures conflict, measure with higher vote total becomes law.
    5. For seven years after enactment, initiatives and referred laws can’t be repealed or amended by Legislature without two-thirds vote.

    VIP Draft #3:

    1. Allow referral of emergency legislation.
    2. If referred, emergency legislation remains in effect until majority votes it down.
    3. Emergency law repealing or amending initiative requires three-quarters vote of each chamber of Legislature.
    4. Initiatives can’t be repealed or amended by Legislature without two-thirds vote.

    VPAC I&R Provision:

    1. Approved initiatives become law 60 days after election.
    2. Action that “repeals, amends, or otherwise frustrates” initiated measure must be referred to public vote and win majority at statewide election.
    3. Clarifies that initiative and referendum pass by simple majority vote.
    4. Legislature must give facts justifying use of emergency clause on legislation.
    5. Any substantive change to initiative and referendum process must be referred to public vote and win majority at statewide election.
    6. Clarifies that Governor can’t veto initiatives.

    At the moment, I’d prefer VIP #1 or the VPAC provision. Both do more to check the Legislature’s infringement of our rights to initiate and refer laws. Both address enactment date, and both protect signature counts and other criteria that the Legislature could inflate to make the process harder for us to use.

    I welcome your analysis of the above drafts to determine which would be best for the initiative and referendum process!



  • Second Group Proposes Constitutional Amendment Focusing on Protecting Initiative and Referendum

    A second initiated amendment is afoot!

    A new website, SDVoterProtection.info, which appears to have been published just yesterday, says that Roxanne Weber of Pierre and Nicholas Rasmussen of Sioux Falls are sponsoring the “South Dakota Voter Initiative Protection Amendment” (VIP) to give voters “a simple, clean, and effective way to preserve voter initiative efforts in this state.” The website is branded as “The Only Truly Grassroots Effort meant to protect the South Dakota Initiative Process in 2018.”

    Those two lines appear to critique the Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption Act (VPAC) announced yesterday by Represent South Dakota. VIP deals only with protecting initiative and referendum from Legislative tinkering, while VPAC tackles initiative and referendum, campaign finance lobbying, and a statewide ethics commission.

    Exact amendment text is not available on the VIP website; however, Weber and Rasmussen signal they will offer a half-page amendment.

    If both measures circulate, voters will need to review the details of both measures closely and ask these questions:

    1. Does each measure offer positive, practical changes?
    2. Does having both measures on the ballot create confusion that could harm each measure’s chance of passage?
    3. If the measures conflict, which would be better to have on the ballot, the narrower or the broader?
    4. If both get on the ballot, and if both pass, and if they conflicting provisions, which one takes precedence?

    Stay tuned—I’m working on getting text of the amendments so we can dig in to see what may be coming to petitions on your favorite street corner!



  • Exclusive: Text of Proposed Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption Amendment!

    Yesterday Represent South Dakota submitted a constitutional amendment to the Legislative Research Council for review. Here’s the full text of that amendment for our review. I intersperse my explanations and commentary:

    Section 1. This amendment shall be known as the South Dakota Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption Amendment.

    Section 2. That Article XXX of the Constitution of South Dakota be created by adding new sections to read as follows:

    §1 Whereas the motto of the state of South Dakota is “Under God the People Rule” and whereas the Legislature inherently derives its power from the consent of the people, the people of South Dakota hereby find and declare that in order to protect the public trust:

    1. Public officials, candidates, and lobbyists must be subject to robust ethics, conflict-of-interest, and anti-corruption laws;
    2. A strong and independent citizen ethics commission is necessary to oversee and enforce those laws in the name of the people of South Dakota; and
    3. The will of the people, especially when voiced to ensure the integrity, honesty, and accountability of their government, must be respected.

    §2 The offenses of bribery and corrupt solicitation described in Article III, Section 28 shall be Class 4 felonies.

    §3 A lobbyist may not knowingly give or offer a gift to an individual who they know or should know is a senior public servant. This prohibition does not apply if the lobbyist is the spouse, fiancée, or fiancé, or is, whether by blood or by marriage, a child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew of the senior public servant. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    The latter item seeks to toughen up the lobbyist gift ban passed in House Bill 1073. But I wonder: would this language prevent the Legislature from continuing to exempt food and drink from the definition of “gift”?

    §4 No public official may knowingly use state resources for improper personal gain. Any public official who violates this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, but a public official who knowingly uses state resources for improper personal gain in a way that is significantly exploitative of the state shall be guilty of a Class 2 felony.

    This item cranks up Marty Jackley’s Senate Bill 27, which would define such misuse of state resources as theft and subject misusers to penalties ranging from Class 6 felony only up to Class 3 felony. This item’s Class 2 felony punishment is up to 25 years and $50,000.

    §5 A foreign government, foreign corporation, foreign political party, or foreign national may not make a contribution or expenditure in connection with any state or local candidate or ballot-issue election.

    §6 A candidate or person holding elected office may not knowingly use a campaign contribution for personal use. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony.

    This item amps up Bille Sutton’s amendment to Senate Bill 54, Section 41, which bans conversion of campaign funds to personal use but specifies no penalty.

    §7 A labor union or corporation may not, directly or through an intermediary, make a campaign contribution to a candidate or political party.

    There’s the undoing of the big, sneaky, yucky part of SB 54 that lets more big money into state politics. Yay, Item #7!

    §8 A candidate may not knowingly solicit, accept, or receive a campaign contribution within the South Dakota capitol building. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    §9 A senior public servant may not become a lobbyist, other than a public lobbyist for state or local government, while they are a senior public servant and for a period of two years after they cease to be a senior public servant. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    The two-year revolving-door provision was in Initiated Measure 22; the Legislature enacted it in Senate Bill 131. This item thus represents the main thesis of this amendment that we can’t trust the Legislature to leave in statute the protections against corruption that we want and that to make those protections stick, we must write them into the state constitution, which only the people can change.

    §10 A lobbyist may not knowingly deliver a campaign contribution made by another individual or entity. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    As used in this section, “deliver” means to transport, carry, transfer, or otherwise transmit, either physically or electronically. The prohibition in this section does not apply when a person delivers a campaign contribution to his or her own campaign, or to the campaign of his or her immediate family member, and shall not be interpreted to prohibit any person from making a campaign contribution or from encouraging others to make campaign contributions or otherwise support or oppose a candidate.

    §11 A judge shall avoid the appearance of bias, and shall disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding where monetary or in-kind support related to the judge’s election or retention creates an appearance of bias to a reasonable person.

    Judges! That’s a new item compared to the provisions of IM 22. I wonder if Judge Mark Barnett, who helped his Republican pals throw out IM 22, raised Represent South Dakota’s hackles.

    §12 A candidate may not accept campaign contributions from a single source that, in total and per election cycle for the office sought, exceed:

    1. $500 for the office of member of the South Dakota house of representatives, or for any other local, non-statewide elected office other than member of the South Dakota senate, including, but not limited to, county, municipal, and school board office;
    2. $750 for the office of member of the South Dakota senate;
    3. $1,500 for the office of attorney general, lieutenant governor, commissioner of school and public lands, auditor, treasurer, and secretary of state, or for any other statewide elected office other than Governor; and
    4. $4,000 for the office of Governor.

    The limits prescribed in this section do not apply to contributions made by a political party, or to contributions made by the candidate or the candidate’s spouse to the candidate’s own campaign. The dollar amounts in this section shall be adjusted for inflation by the secretary of state after each general election.

    §13 A political party may not accept campaign contributions from a single source that, in total and per calendar year, exceed $5,000. For the purposes of this section, a state party and its affiliated local committees and/or subdivisions shall be treated as a single political party recipient. The dollar amounts in this section shall be adjusted for inflation by the secretary of state after each general election.

    Specific dollar limits seem like policy nitty gritty better left to statute… but again, this amendment’s point appears to be that if we leave campaign finance limits in the hands of campaigners, we’ll never get good limits. Notice that the above two items relieve us of the burden of amending the constitution every decade or two to adjust to economic realities by directing the Secretary of State to adjust these amounts by inflation after every election.

    §14 The Legislature shall regulate persons who are employed or otherwise gainfully compensated to act as a lobbyist to influence in any manner legislative, executive, or administrative action, and shall ensure that such persons promptly register with the state as lobbyists and disclose information pertinent to the public interest.

    §15 (1) The people of South Dakota find and declare that the Legislature’s State Government Accountability Board did not fully respond to the people’s demand for strong and accountable ethics oversight, in that:

    1. The Legislature exempted itself from oversight by that board; and
    2. The oversight authority of that board was inadequate to protect the public trust.

    Therefore, the people of South Dakota find and declare that they are best suited to create an ethics commission that can adequately protect the public trust, and hereby nullify the State Government Accountability Board created by the Legislature in 2017 in House Bill 1076 and in its place create a new State Government Accountability Board to serve as an independent citizen ethics commission.

    Repeal and replace the Legislature’s GAB? There’s some sweet revenge there. Let’s hope the Democratic sponsors of HB 1076 don’t take this measure personally.

    The State Government Accountability Board shall serve as an independent entity, notwithstanding any other provision of the Constitution of South Dakota, including Article II, and shall conduct itself in a nonpartisan manner with integrity, honesty, and fairness. All rules adopted, investigations conducted, and sanctions imposed by the board are subject to judicial review consistent with the Constitution.

    (2) All South Dakota registered voters are eligible to apply for membership on the board. Only registered voters may be members. The board shall be directed by seven members appointed from those who have applied as follows:

    1. Two members appointed by the South Dakota Supreme Court, each of whom shall be a former or retired judge, and each of whom shall be registered with a different major political party;
    2. One member appointed by the Governor from a list of at least three registered voters provided by the speaker of the house of representatives;
    3. One member appointed by the Governor from a list of at least three registered voters provided by the minority leader of the house of representatives; and
    4. Three members, at least two of whom shall be nonlawyers, each appointed by majority vote of the four other members.

    I’m a bit uneasy that this item gives members of the two major political parties (see definition below in §16) places of privilege on the committee. But one could argue that this provision avoids the partisan gambit Al Novstrup used to argue against Amendment T last year, the notion that Republicans could still capture an independent board by appointing the maximum number of Republicans, friendly Independents and Libertarians, and no Democrats. Checking one major political party may require ensuring that they are balanced by members of the other major political party.

    No member may be registered as a lobbyist or may hold other local, state, or federal public office or political party office while a member. Each member shall have been continuously registered with the same political party, or continuously registered as unaffiliated with any political party, for the two years immediately preceding appointment. Each member shall serve for a period of four years, except that after the initial appointments are made, the secretary of state shall select, in a random public drawing, one member to serve a one-year term and two members each to serve two-year, three-year, and four-year terms, respectively, for their first term only, to achieve staggered ending dates. Members shall not serve more than two terms. Service of a term means service of more than two years of a term. Any vacancy shall be filled within seventy-five days in the manner in which that position was originally filled. If a vacancy is not filled within seventy-five days, the Supreme Court shall fill the vacancy within an additional sixty days. Initial members shall be appointed by September 1, 2019. If all seven initial members are not appointed by this date, the Supreme Court shall appoint the remaining members by November 1, 2019. The secretary of state shall impartially facilitate the member appointment process.

    Members may be removed by the Governor, with the concurrence of the senate, only for substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of office, after written notice and an opportunity for response.

    (3) The board shall have the power, notwithstanding any other provision of the Constitution, to:

    1. Investigate allegations of bribery, theft, or embezzlement of public funds, or any other violations of this Article, ethics rules, or state law related to government ethics, campaign finance, lobbying, government contracts, or corruption by any elected or appointed official, judge, or employee of any state or local government, and to issue subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses or the production of books, records, documents, or other evidence relevant to an investigation;
    2. Adopt ethics rules, subject to rulemaking procedures as defined by law, including, but not limited to, provisions on campaign finance, conflicts of interest, confidential information, use of position, contracts with government agencies, legislative recusal, and financial interest disclosure, to which all elected or appointed officials, judges, and employees of state or local government shall be subject. The process for adopting ethics rules shall include opportunities for public input and public participation. Nothing in this Article shall prohibit the Legislature from enacting laws that are not inconsistent with, or contradictory to, the ethics rules adopted by the board;
    3. Issue advisory opinions, which may be relied upon by any person involved in the specific transaction or activity with respect to which such advisory opinion is rendered, and by any person involved in any specific transaction or activity which is indistinguishable in all its material aspects from the transaction or activity with respect to which such advisory opinion is rendered. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, any person who relies upon any provision or finding of an advisory opinion in this regard and who acts in good faith in accordance with the provisions and findings of such advisory opinion shall not, as a result of any such act, be subject to any sanction provided by this Article;
    4. Adopt rules of procedure for the board, including rules to prevent the abuse or overuse of the submission of complaints;
    5. Hire and supervise staff, including such legal, investigative, and administrative and clerical employees as are necessary to support the functions of the board;
    6. Conduct specific or random audits of disclosures required by state campaign finance, ethics, lobbying, and government contracting law;
    7. Impose sanctions on any elected or appointed officials, judges, or employees of state or local government, including the power to issue orders, impose fines, and commence administrative actions. The board shall issue written explanations justifying such sanctions;
    8. Refer information or complaints alleging violations of this Article, the board’s ethics rules, or state laws related to ethics, campaign finance, or corruption to the appropriate prosecutorial authority or to internal or outside counsel hired or selected by the board, before, during, or after an investigation;
    9. Conduct educational programs for the benefit of the public and those subject to this Article; and
    10. Exercise additional powers not inconsistent with this Article as may be conferred by law.

    (4) The board shall convene at least once every quarter. The assent of four members shall be required for the consideration and resolution of matters that involve the exercise of the board’s duties and powers under this Article, including the adoption or approval of all motions, procedures, provisions, and appeals, the hiring of staff, the issuance of advisory opinions, the referral to the appropriate prosecutorial authority of complaints alleging potential violations, and the imposition of sanctions, except that the assent of three members shall be required for the convening of meetings, the initiation and carrying out of investigations, including the issuance of subpoenas, the approval of public education materials, the approval of minutes of previous meetings, and actions related to board contracts.

    (5) Unless otherwise prohibited by federal or state law, any person acting in good faith may furnish information, or file a complaint, which may be anonymous, alleging a suspected, anticipated, or completed violation, and may request a status update to which the board shall respond in writing within sixty days. Any public employee may file a grievance with the Civil Service Commission, or other appropriate agency or entity, if the employee believes that there has been retaliation from his or her employer because of his or her reporting of a suspected, anticipated, or completed violation through the chain of command of the employee’s department, or to the board.

    (6) All final reports and findings shall be made available to the public within ten days of completion. The board shall annually report to the people on its activities. The report shall include comprehensive information concerning the board’s activities, including the number of complaints received, complaints filed by separate persons, investigations conducted, hearings held, sanctions imposed, and advisory opinions issued.

    (7) On an annual basis beginning in 2020, the board shall issue to the Legislature written recommendations for legislation that seeks to increase public trust, transparency, and accountability in government and elections and decrease the risk of corruption and conflicts of interest.

    (8) Members shall complete financial interest disclosure statements.  Any member who has a personal, private interest in a matter before the board, or with a direct and substantially related interest in a matter, must disclose the fact of such interest and must recuse himself or herself from working on the matter, unless their vote would be necessary to resolve the matter.

    (9) All provisions of this section shall be enforceable by any circuit court. The board may intervene as a matter of right in any civil action involving any government entity, agency, or instrumentality alleged to be in violation of any mandate or prohibition of this Article, and in any civil action relating to its powers or to the sufficiency of resources provided for the board’s implementation and operation.

    (10) On July 1, 2019, and on every July 1 thereafter, the state treasurer shall transfer from the state general fund three hundred and eighty-nine thousand dollars, indexed to inflation, to a separate constitutional Ethics Law Enforcement Fund to be administered solely by the board. This transfer shall occur notwithstanding any other provision of the Constitution. The Legislature shall ensure that this amount of money is available in the state general fund for the state treasurer to make such transfer. Only the board may authorize the spending or transfer of moneys from the Ethics Law Enforcement Fund. The Legislature may appropriate additional funds to the Ethics Law Enforcement Fund or another fund for use by the board for its various expenses. While serving on business of the board, members shall receive reasonable travel expenses and per diem compensation. This provision shall be self-executing.

    Recall that Judge Barnett said voters can’t appropriate money. The amendment here directs the Legislature to make money available. Constitutional scholars, is there a difference between appropriation by initiated law and appropriation by constitutional amendment?

    §16 Terms used in this Article have the following meanings:

    1. “Corporation,” any corporation, nonprofit corporation, company, limited liability company, limited partnership, business trust, business association, or other similar entity;
    2. “Elected office,” a non-federal office elected by South Dakota voters;
    3. “Gift,” any item, service, or thing of value not given for fair market consideration, but “gift” does not mean purely informational materials or campaign contributions;
    4. “Local,” any subdivision of the state for governmental, political, or related purposes, including, but not limited to, a county, municipal, town, local, or school board subdivision;
    5. “Major political party,” the two parties which polled for their respective candidates for the office of President of the United States the highest and the next highest number of votes at the last general election for such office;
    6. “Personal use,” to fulfill any commitment, obligation, or expense of a person that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s election campaign;
    7. “Senior public servant,” any person holding a non-federal office elected by South Dakota voters, or a non-elected individual who is an appointed officer, director, commissioner, head, or other executive or co-executive of a state agency, board, division, institution, or principal department, including, but not limited to, a member of the State Government Accountability Board and a gubernatorial cabinet member.

    §17 Each provision of this Article is intended to be independent and severable, and if any provision is held to be invalid, either on its face or as applied to any person, entity, or circumstance, the remaining provisions, and the application thereof to any person, entity, or circumstance other than those to which it is held invalid, shall not be affected thereby.

    LRC will say this severability clause is unnecessary. Judge Barnett said otherwise on IM 22, so Represent SD is using this clause to cover its bases.

    In any case of a conflict between any provision of this Article and any other provision contained in this Constitution, the provisions of this Article shall control.

    §18 This Article is self-executing and shall take effect sixty days after approval. Each provision shall be justiciable and enforceable by any circuit court. Laws may be enacted to facilitate, safeguard, or expand, but not to hamper, restrict, or impair, the powers this Article grants and the protections it establishes.

    This enactment trumps Senate Bill 59, which sets the enactment date of initiated measures as July 1 after the general election.

    Section 3. That Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution of South Dakota be amended to read as follows:

    The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a Legislature which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives. However, the people expressly reserve to themselves the right to propose measures, which shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of the state, and. Such measures, if approved by a simple majority of those voting on the measure, shall become effective sixty days after approval. Legislation or other action that repeals, amends, or otherwise frustrates the effectuation or implementation of any such measure shall not go into effect until submitted to a vote of the electors of the state and approved by a simple majority of those voting on the question.

    The people also expressly reserve the right to require that any laws which the Legislature may have enacted shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of the state and approved by a simple majority of those voting on the question before going into effect, except such laws as may be necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, support of the state government and its existing public institutions, for which the Legislature shall state specific facts evidencing such necessity.

    No law substantively changing the rules, requirements, or criteria governing the initiative or referenda process shall take effect until after that law has been submitted to a vote of the electors of the state and approved by a simple majority of those voting on the question. Not more than five percent of the qualified electors of the state shall be required to invoke either the initiative or the referendum.

    This section shall not be construed so as to deprive the Legislature or any member thereof of the right to propose any measure. The veto power of the Executive shall not be exercised as to measuresan initiated measure approved by the people or a measure referred to a vote of the people. This section shall apply to municipalities. The enacting clause of all laws approved by vote of the electors of the state shall be: “Be it enacted by the people of South Dakota.” The Legislature shall make suitable provisions for carrying into effect the provisions of this section.

    There’s our protection of initiative and referendum. Instead of being able to flat-out repeal a measure we voters have approved, legislators must kick their repeals and tinkerings and “otherwise frustrations” back to us for our approval.

    Section 4. Each provision of this Amendment is intended to be independent and severable, and if any provision is held to be invalid, either on its face or as applied to any person, entity, or circumstance, the remaining provisions, and the application thereof to any person, entity, or circumstance other than those to which it is held invalid, shall not be affected thereby.

    LRC will review this proposal and offer its recommendations on style, form, and substantive matters by April 21.



  • Represent SD Submits Initiated Amendment to Protect Ballot Measures and Restore Some of IM22

    Represent South Dakota wasn’t able to stop the Legislature from repealing Initiated Measure 22, the anti-corruption measure voters passed last November. Thus, they are proposing a constitutional amendment to restore some of what the Legislature took away, strengthen some of what the Legislature passed to “replace” IM22, and, in a reach beyond what IM22 did, protect the initiative and referendum process from Legislative meddling.

    Represent SD spokesman Doug Kronaizl of Vermillion says his group filed language for an initiated amendment with the Legislative Research Council this morning. Represent SD has not made that draft available for publication yet, but their press release summarizes the main provisions as follows:

    1. Protect voter-approved laws from legislative meddling. Prohibit the legislature from changing or repealing laws passed by the voters without going back to the voters for their approval.
    2. Ban lobbyist gifts to politicians. Close loopholes created by the legislature that currently allow lobbyists to provide politicians with lavish meals and alcohol.
    3. Ban foreign money in South Dakota elections.
    4. Ban union and corporate contributions to political candidates. Reinstate the longtime ban on contributions from labor unions and corporations to candidates quietly repealed by the legislature in 2017.
    5. Lower campaign contribution limits to ensure that large donors can’t buy South Dakota’s elections.
    6. Create an independent citizen ethics commission. After repealing IM-22’s ethics commission, the legislature offered the people a weak, toothless replacement, and then exempted themselves from its oversight. The amendment replaces it with an accountable, independent citizen ethics commission that has oversight over all three branches of government [Represent South Dakota, press release, 2017.04.06].

    Item #1 appears to be a “Don’t Mess with Us” amendment, akin to what I proposed in February. Imagine what would have happened if the Legislators would have had to submit their repeal of IM 22 to a vote of the people!

    Item #2 appears to pounce on the lobbyist-gift ban passed in House Bill 1073, which does indeed exempt wining and dining. (See what happens when you let legislators write laws to curb their own corruption?)

    Item #3 takes a step federal law already has, meaning I wouldn’t be able to ask my Canadian friends to contribute to my next campaign. (Send those loonies now!)

    Item #4 responds to one of the gravest errors of the 2017 Legislature, which went the opposite direction that voters signaled in IM 22 and opened the door for more big money in South Dakota campaigns instead of less.

    Item #5 would place in the Constitution the lower campaign contribution caps that our Legislature completely ignored in its reforms this year (but which Senator Brock Greenfield assures us he wants to take up in 2018—gee, Brock, maybe Represent SD is about to save you some work?).

    Finally, Item #6 challenges House Bill 1076, which creates the Government Accountability Board. Represent SD points out a remarkable fact about the GAB that our legislators said would replace the IM22 ethics commission: HB 1076 gives the GAB authority to “review and investigate any person holding a statewide office, as defined in § 12-27-1, and employees of the executive branch.” That scope conveniently leaves legislators outside the reach of their ethics commission.

    Hmm… after this Session, do we really believe the Legislature can get by without some external review? Again, do you see what happens when you let legislators write laws to curb their own corruption?

    Notice that these points do not mention public campaign finance, a key component of IM 22 that Republicans universally panned and refused to consider in their “replacement” legislation this year. I will wait to see a full draft to confirm that “Democracy Credits” are not part of this show.

    In submitting their draft to LRC, Represent SD starts a 15-day review period, by the end of which LRC must provide its comment on the amendment draft. Represent SD may then submit its draft to the Attorney General, who will have another 60 days to review and provide his public explanation. So by June 21, if government takes all time allotted and Represent SD moves with all possible alacrity, we could see petitions on the street for this Amendment. Represent SD will need to gather 27,742 signatures from registered South Dakota voters by November 6 to place this amendment on the 2018 ballot.



  • Don Briscoe Features Blogger on Legislative Session—Audio Now Online!

    Don Briscoe and Cory Allen Heidelberger in the KSDN studio (from our November 4 on-air visit)
    Don Briscoe and Cory Allen Heidelberger in the KSDN studio (from our November 4 on-air visit)

    Whoo-hoo! KSDN Radio posts Don Briscoe’s interview with me about the 2017 Legislative Session! We also discuss some upcoming ballot measures and even talk a little Trump budget.

    In Part 1 of the March 31 Don Briscoe Show, I note Sioux Falls Democratic Rep. Karen Soli’s successful House Bill 1076, creating the Government Accountability Board as a consolation prize for the the ethics commission we lost in the repeal of IM22. I give our hometown Republican Rep. Drew Dennert credit for working to pass Senate Bill 128, the alcohol-serving bill that Rep. Dennert explained on our March 29 DFP Podcast. I explain Veto Day, including the death-defying trick of introducing and passing a new bill in under an hour to act as a sort of line-item veto override and the irony (which Don Briscoe found hilariously incredible) of our Republican Governor vetoing a tax cut proposed by Democrats!

    In Part 2, Don and I discuss our Congressional delegation’s support for Essential Air Service, contra the Trump budget. Don turns us to the medical cannabis, recreational cannabis“death with dignity”/assisted suicide (note: Briscoe brings up Dr. Kevorkian, not me!), and transgender school bathroom/locker room ballot measures. Producer Scott asks about the vetoed gun measures and implications for the gubernatorial race. Don gives me a final shot to call for a “Don’t Mess with Us” Amendment.

    Don’t forget: I’m speaking Wednesday at the NSU Noon Forum, at the Beulah Williams Library, alongside Dr. Jon Schaff and lobbyist Julie Johnson on the effects of the 2016 election. Bring your questions!



  • Facebook Loves SD Marijuana Initiatives; Jackley Does Not

    With Attorney General Marty Jackley releasing his slanted explanations for New Approach South Dakota’s ballot measures on medical and recreational cannabis, KOTA-TV runs a poll on Facebook asking voters how they would vote on the two measures.

    KOTA cannabis ballot questions poll, Facebook, screen cap 2017.03.29 05:40 MDT.
    KOTA cannabis ballot questions poll, Facebook, screen cap 2017.03.29 05:40 MDT.

    If Shantel Krebs can look at 98 people clicking on an Aberdeen American News poll and call the 61% swinging her way a “commanding lead” for herself, then the new Approach ballot questioneers should be able to look at 5,700+ people giving recreational pot 76% approval and medical cannabis 91% approval and shout “Game over, Marty!” the moment they submit their completed petitions this fall.

    So we know how the Facebook crowd will vote… assuming the Facebook crowd realizes that real action requires voting, not just clicking.

    Capitalizing on that favorable sentiment will be crucial to New Approach’s movement, since Attorney General Jackley has crafted his “objective, clear, and simple summary” not so much to “educate the voters of the purpose and effect of the initiatives,” as required by statute, as to deter them from legalizing medical and recreational cannabis.

    Jackley’s explanation of the medical cannabis initiative is almost identical to the explanation he issued for the almost identical 2015 measure that New Approach failed to get on the ballot. A.G. Jackley adds just two words to the first line: instead of “The measure,” he opens with “This 95-section measure….” We all know that when Republicans don’t want us to support a plan, they moan, “Oh, it’s so long!” (Cue Michael Scott….)

    Jackley’s explanation of the recreational cannabis initiative does much more to sandbag the measure. First, despite his statutory mandate to provide a concise title (when statute demands “concise”, it’s o.k. to complain about length), Jackley ignores New Approach’s more concise 14-word title (“An Act to provide for the regulation and taxation of cannabis and cannabis products”) and goes for 23: “An initiated measure to legalize certain amounts of marijuana, drugs made from marijuana, and drug paraphernalia, and to regulate and tax marijuana establishments.”

    The recreational cannabis initiative refers to allowing possession of “cannabis paraphernalia”; Jackley says the initiative legalizes “drug paraphernalia.” The initiative refers to cannabis and cannabis products; Jackley says the initiative legalizes “trafficking”—a loaded word—”certain amounts of marijuana or some kinds of controlled substances.” The later overly broad term invites voters to speculate that this cannabis initiative legalizes totally different kinds of drugs—meth! crack! peyote! Dogs and cats living together!

    Jackley works in mention at the end that the recreational cannabis initiative has 35 sections. He asserts that “the acts described in the measure would remain illegal under State or Federal law.” I can buy Federal, but how can an initiative that becomes State law leave the actions it describes illegal under State law?

    Jackley then closes by saying the measure has “numerous conflicts with other State laws”—which one would think are dealt with by the Section 2 phrase Notwithstanding any other law—”and within the measure itself” and “A court may find portions of the measure unconstitutional.”

    Given that courts may find portions of any measure unconstitutional, it seems uninstructive to add that legal opinion to any ballot question explanation. A.G. Jackley didn’t use it in 2016 on Referred Law 19, a measure that raised clear Constitutional concerns but which his fellow Republicans supported. 2016’s Amendment S, the crime victims’ bill of rights, raises Constitutional concerns about due process and presumption of innocence, but since Amendment S was sponsored by a GOP consultant (and now Marty’s campaign manager), Jackley avoided the word “unconstitutional” and instead just said that “a court may determine that the defendant’s rights take priority.” But when Marty’s party doesn’t want anything related to marijuana passed, Jackley is far more inclined to stamp a ballot measure “unconstitutional.”

    Jackley’s sandbags may not be that heavy. If KOTA’s online poll gives any inkling of public sentiment, New Approach simply needs to tap existing enthusiasm for reforming marijuana laws to get the word out. Advertise like crazy, and people won’t even look at the Attorney General’s explanation on the ballot; they’ll just look for the numbers (IM 24 and 25?) that they’ve heard in every ad and Facebook Share from their friends and mark Yes and Yes.