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Mote/Plank: Powers Hypes Redistricting Explanation as Bogus, Ignores Fake 18% Rate-Cappers’ Deceit

Dakota War College alleges that a petition circulator at the State Fair might have inaccurately explained of the independent redistricting commission ballot measure:

Word I’m hearing is that one person out there allegedly explaining the redistricting panel petition explained their measure as something along the lines of “the people not being represented by the present system.

Uh… yeah. That would be one person’s opinion. Not a real explanation of a ballot measure [Pat Powers, “So, How Exactly Are They Explaining It? Fair Petitioner Possibly Not Exactly Being…. Exact,” Dakota War College, 2015.09.08].

Actually, saying that gerrymandering reduces the representative nature of government isn’t too bad of a summary of the harm of letting legislators rig the election map for their selfish partisan purposes. When the Legislature draws boundaries to cut a popular politician off from his natural, long-standing voter base (e.g., Bon Homme County and Frank Kloucek), voters lose the representation they really want. As Justice Ginsburg aptly reminded us this summer, “The core principle of republican government” is that “the voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.” One can say much more about gerrymandering (like how the law should never be crafted to forward personal or partisan interests and instead should treat all citizens fairly), but the statement Powers alleges came from one petition circulator (and again, notice how he takes one instance and inflates it in his headline to a plural—They?) correctly explains why taking the redistricting process out of the hands of legislators is a good idea.

But Pat Powers hears that a petition circulator might not have explained a ballot measure correctly, and he thinks he’s got news? Where, then, was Pat’s story on the ballot measure sponsor who lied to his face about the true import of her fake 18% rate cap?

[Powers]: What would your proposed measure do and how is it different from other payday lending measures being proposed?

[Lisa Furlong] Our measure strikes the right balance in protecting people from predatory lending and preserving free market principles to ensure their access to credit. In fact, many would say our measure goes even further than that of the proposed 36% cap. This is a constitutional amendment, so it will be harder for politicians to change down the road. It is also an 18% cap, which is half of what the other proposal is asking for. I think it is very important to point out that the 36% cap proposal is a change in state statutes, which the legislature can overturn. However, our measure places greater protections for borrowers in South Dakota by putting an 18% cap on interest rates right in the constitution – making it much more difficult for special interests and politicians to undermine or weaken it. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the 36% cap [Pat Powers, “Five Questions with…… Lisa Furlong, Chair of South Dakotan’s {sic} for Fair Lending,” Dakota War College, 2015.08.13].

Powers portrayed this interview as a big scoop, but he didn’t dig:

  1. It is also an 18% cap… which only applies to verbal agreements, not any loan involving a written contract.
  2. Our measure places greater protections for borrowers in South Dakota… utterly false: given that payday loans always involve signing some piece of paper, borrowers from payday lenders get no greater protection.
  3. Putting an 18% cap on interest rates in the constitution makes it much more difficult for special interests and politicians to undermine or weaken it… and also for the pending, genuine 36% rate cap to provide borrowers more protection. The obvious intent of Furlong’s fake 18% rate cap is to prohibit the Legislature or the people of South Dakota from passing any real rate cap.

It’s not just sponsor Lisa Furlong telling these lies. She’s instructing her circulators to do the same:

Fake 18% rate cap talking points, obtained early September 2015
Fake 18% rate cap talking points, obtained early September 2015

The above information sheet came from a table set up on public property last week. Interestingly, the circulator was working both the fake 18% rate cap petition and the “Marsy’s Law” petition brought by out-of-state operatives. The fact that circulators would peddle the big lie of the fake 18% rate cap, as documented (documented, Pat, documented) by the above talking points calls into question the honesty of the Marsy’s Law petition as well.


  1. W R Old Guy 2015-09-09 09:59

    They were probably paid circulators. I posted this ad from Craig’s List in your piece about Payday Lender Caps Reduce Liquor Sales sales on 9-3-15.

    Drivers/Petitioners to Help Cap Payday Loans Needed (10 positions) (Rapid City)
    compensation: $15/hr + production bonus incentives
    employment type: employee’s choice

    Encore Political Services, LLC is looking for 10 motivated workers to help get signatures for two ballot initiatives from South Dakota voters.

    One initiative is to cap Payday Lending loans at 18% maximum.
    The other is Marsy’s law, which requires victims to be notified when offenders of those same victims are released from prison.

    Pay starts at $15/hr, and bonus incentives are provided.

    Interviews start Weds, 9/2/15, at 10:00am. This is a time sensitive job, as our deadline for signatures is November 9th. Work same day as interview is available.
    Experience preferred, but not necessary.

    Please call or text Hiram at (605) 545-2304
    •Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
    •do NOT contact us with unsolicited services or offers

    ” Work the same day and experience is preferred but not necessary”. In other words read from the script.

  2. leslie 2015-09-09 17:15

    Who are these people? Why do they want these laws?? How long did it take PP to come up with this incisive piece of investigative journalism??? Where the hell is grudz????

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-09 19:30

    WR! Thanks! I’m sorry I didn’t catch it sooner. That’s exactly the linkage we need, in print, between Marsy’s Law and the fake rate cap. Now, who hired Encore Political Services?

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