Ballot Question Pamphlet Gives Wrong URL for IM 22 Proponents

In today’s minutiae, I notice one tiny error on the official 2016 Ballot Question Pamphlet that’s got to be chafing the supporters of Initiated Measure 22, the Anti-Corruption Act.

Excerpt, Pro statement for IM 22, 2016 Ballot Question Pamphlet, issued August 2016.
Excerpt, Pro statement for IM 22, 2016 Ballot Question Pamphlet, issued August 2016.

See that link in Don Frankenfeld’s Pro statement on IM 22? It points to a subdomain of, which, as of this writing, has no content… though I fear its registrant, Ari Sher of Omnigen Corp. of Long Beach, New York, is about to get a nice offer from the Koch Brothers to buy that domain by the end of the day to post a trick site to reinforce their self-serving campaign against IM 22. says estimates the current value of to be $1,663.48; pegs it at $4,953. Both estimates are small change for the Kochs.

The actual website for South Dakotans for Integrity is, no dot between “Yes” and “22”. Larry Rhoden’s Con statement on IM 22 lists the correct URL for IM 22 opponents, Interestingly, the online PDF gives an active link to the incorrect Pro URL but not to the correct Con URL.

We can’t pin this error on the Secretary of State yet; the office prints proponent and opponent statements “as supplied by the writers, was not verified by the Secretary of State.” Regardless of how the error arose, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs tells me her office will fix the online PDF. Secretary Krebs also says only a few copies have been printed, so fixes to the PDF will also appear in paper form at your county courthouse. The Kochs can buy and get a little mileage by tricking early readers, but our fast-acting Secretary of State will prevent much further confusion. (The value of just dropped 50%.)

30 Responses to Ballot Question Pamphlet Gives Wrong URL for IM 22 Proponents

  1. Krebs should be the governor of this place, she clearly understands problems and she knows how to correct them.

  2. This is horrible. Just horrible. Should any of the legislatures ever put a period in the wrong spot I say we need an initiated measure to immediately disbar them. Maybe criminalize it. Force them to join that Mr. Nelson fellow’s ostricize caucus. “The Caucus of Ostricize for you,” the speaker will thunder down upon them, as the galleries laugh and all the Libbies point and snicker, as libbies are want to do.

  3. Good freakin Lord

  4. I got a call on the landline a few days ago about this… It was totally automated. I took the survey. Nice to see out of state people paying so much attention to our state.

  5. Thank you Cory for bringing this typo to our attention. Hopefully Ari Sher will promptly register the domain and forward it to the correct page.

  6. Secretary Krebs has revised the URL and posted a corrected PDF online.

    Chortle as you will, Grudz, but the incorrect URL was as serious an error as omitting a “not” from a key sentence in the description. It also created a genuine opportunity for mischief by the opposition.

  7. M86: on the good side, at least those out-of-state advertisers are spending some money in our state. On the bad side, we exempt advertising from sales tax, so these outside interlopers aren’t boosting our tax revenues.

    Alas, robocalls may not put one dollar in any SD company’s pocket and only create grit in our local productivity.

  8. I received an e-mail from Secretary Krebs yesterday morning at 8:24. The SOS checked the original Pro statement and found the sponsors had submitted it with the incorrect URL. The SOS says the office will check URLs in the future.

  9. It’s looking like the right site is coming up for me.

  10. Now that I look at this website, it is really lame. I hope it didn’t cost much to develop. It is composed of a home page with 4 slides and bullet points over farm pics and the Badlands. Then, a page to enter personal information, and another page to solicit donations. The site has no relevant content. Perhaps the website wasn’t finished when this conspiracy rant began? Just my 2 cents.

  11. “Conspiracy rant”? I pointed out that the original link was incorrect. I note above that the Secretary of State tells DFP that she found the sponsors submitted the incorrect URL in their original Pro statement. I note that the SOS fixed that error for them yesterday and posted the correct link that you clicked on this morning. I also noted that, if that error had stood, opponents would have had a good motive to buy that incorrect domain and put up some opposing content to sabotage the Pro campaign. Where’s the conspiracy or the rant?

    And “no relevant content”? Um, how about the link that provides the exact text of the measure, so voters can read it themselves? There’s no content more relevant than that.

  12. Donald Pay

    I’ve got lots of questions about all this. I have been one who has long questioned the AG’s statement, and how the pro and con statements are written. The pro and con statements are often just propaganda, and the AG’s opinion is little more than that, as well. People do have to realize that what they write in those statements may be twisted and viewed by the courts as proof one way or another of some sort of reason to nullify an initiative. I’m not going to go into the long history here. Let’s just say these statements need to be as carefully crafted as the language in an initiative.

  13. Donald, is there any entity we can entrust to write something other than self-interested propaganda about the ballot questions?

  14. Donald Pay


    I would have the Legislative Research Council write what is now the “AG’s Statement.” The LRC, at least in my experience, were professional, non-partisan and fair.

    The Pro and Con Statements have to be written by the people who write or oppose the legislation, but it has to be taken very seriously. Having a competent attorney look at it for any trip words that might get the thing looked at closely by a court of law would be wise. The Pro and Con statements are too often looked at as campaign propaganda, where folks want to state their best arguments to sway voters, Courts often do not take it that way. They view those statements often as determinative.

  15. The legislatures and their councils are bumbling drones and should not be writing things we entrust to put duely elected full time officials who are professional and competent. For this council of which you write one put astrology in a law bill and does the bidding of the chief speaker of the house.

  16. This whole problem is yet another example of the good guys in SD politics failing to properly leverage Internet and social media on their own behalf. They need to take a much closer look at how their equivalents in other states operate, and then execute the same or better online campaigns – or they’ll just keep loosing an ever increasing number of campaigns they take part in.

    After 11 years, I’m getting used to seeing this sad stuff.

    There is nothing “shareable” about the current website, and it looks like they got hooked into a Nation Builder mass email with included website system which is too costly and not functional enough to be worth it’s weight in salt – in SD. They need to hire a freelance expert to take it under their wing. I recommend someone from out of state with uber experience in Facebook advertising and a good web development background.

  17. Krebs is no more governor material, yet, than any one of us. she is merely a pretty republican who appears to be starting her new job out competently, rather than “big picture” governors rounds and daugaard. she has a staff lawyer who she apparently listens to. good for her. I don’t trust her to be more than a shill for her party, but remain open to be disproven.

  18. When Ms. leslie and grudznick are in agreement the rest of you can hang your hats on that hook and sleep soundly until you wake snuggled in your beds to the sound of bacon and eggs.

  19. not only are republican attorneys genral distrusted, “At the turn of the century…after the accounting scandals at Enron and WorldCom, … bankers and Wall Street financiers brought on the financial crisis and recession in 2008, [and]the rest of corporate America got tarred with the same brush. This June, Gallup’s annual survey found that, among all American institutions, only Congress is held in lower esteem than big business.” wapo today

    grudz you and I have NEVER agreed on anything

  20. Donald, I like the idea of having LRC write the explanations instead of the partisan attorney general. They review bills and initiatives before they are filed; they should be even more familiar with the language of these ballot questions than the attorney general.

    I am puzzled, Donald, on what basis a Pro or Con statement could serve as grounds to nullify an initiative. Please expand on that concern.

  21. Krebs similarities?

    Pam chaired Republica atty gen association (RAGA) but they recently changed their moniker.

    RAGA is pretty much in bed w/ fossil fuels. our ag jackley is a wanna be in the org. legal shills for the GOP with clout of thousands of state paid lawyers (a majority of states have red AGs. last I looked)

    bye now :)

  22. You must be a Gemini, Mr. H, as they are the insanest of all the Zodiac signs. I think that council of the Legislatures is populated with many such Geminis, and all are fans of the Zodiac.

  23. David Bergan

    By comparison, I think the SF Chamber did a good job of describing proponent and opponent positions accurately and objectively, especially on U/21.

    Kind regards,

  24. (No evidence, Leslie. I’ve heard of no Trump-Krebs connection.)

  25. (Grudz, Astrology is for moonbats and for Representative Kopp.)

  26. The Chamber, accurate and objective?! I need to read that to believe it….

  27. Donald Pay


    It’s very complex, but I’ll dumb it down. I did the research for the concept of the Solid Waste initiative in 1990. Without going into the details, the concept was constitutional. It was perfectly in sync with previous Supreme Court cases and EPA and South Dakota regulations. It went through my draft, Pat Duffy’s re-draft of my draft, and the final wording came from the LRC, which actually made great changes to Duffy’s re-draft.

    I always stressed that this initiative was not aimed specifically at the Lonetree Landfill. It was aimed generally to slightly modify South Dakota regulation on solid wastes by adding a step to the regulation to any landfill that disposed of waste volumes greater than 200,000 tons. That was soon to be the case for the Sioux Falls landfill, and one of the goals of the initiative was to encourage Sioux Falls to institute recycling in order to not go over that limit. But the major reason to limit waste volumes was to limit risk to the regionalizing landfills. Studies by EPA had showed increased risk of failure and increased costs with larger landfills. The least risk and least cost curves tended to bottom out at volumes between 200,000 and 300,000 tons. Legislative approval would be required for a large landfill because it would increase both costs and risks.

    So, that initiative passes. No one challenges the constitutionality of the 1990 initiative, and it goes into effect. It is used in the Lonetree Balefill approval by the Legislature, and that approval is referred. Up until then, there is no constitutional issue.

    In the referral vote the Con side (environmentalists) wrote that a No vote meant out-of-state waste would be kept out of South Dakota. Well, that was an emotional appeal that was both false and unconstitutional. Lonetree had a right to bring in out-of-state wastes if the Con side won. They just would have to limit it to 200,000 tons to meet our cost and safety laws. If the Pro side (Lonetree’s side) won, they could ship a million ton of waste.

    End of chapter one. More later.

  28. Donald Pay

    Chapter Next.

    So, then came the lawsuits, which all got tangled up with each other. There were lawsuits on the regulatory permit, and its issuance by the Board of Minerals and Environment. Then there were lawsuits brought on the referral vote. Pat Duffy did a lot of the attorney work on the regulatory lawsuits. He did it basically pro-bono, and it amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The AGs office handled most of the work on the suits against the referral vote.

    It came to the point where even Pat had trouble teasing out the strands of one lawsuit from the others, and if Pat couldn’t do it at the time, I sure can’t do it with the passage of time. Let’s just say there were a lot of reasons why SDDS didn’t have a valid permit from the state, but the one they won in federal court on was that South Dakota voters took their “property” by claiming that the Con statement on the Lonetree referendum in the Secretary of State’s pamphlet stated that the purpose was to prevent “out-of-state waste” from coming into South Dakota. That state’s couldn’t ban out of state waste had been decided years earlier by the US Supreme Court. Everyone knew that, but it was a powerful political argument which got placed in the Con statement, and had a boomerang effect.

    Now, there was a lot of stuff that I didn’t like about how the SD Attorney General didn’t handle the federal case SDDS brought. The AG’s office never talked to me about the research I did regarding the initiative on which the referral was based. That vote wasn’t primarily or tangentially aimed at “out-of-state waste.” But the Con statement, had that point in it. Had the state’s arguments been counterbalanced by the real purpose of the vote, it may have made a difference.

    Second, why the AG didn’t try to keep the ex-railroad attorney (Burlington Northern was actually a huge investor in and/or lender to SDDS) on the appeals court from hearing the case is beyond me. The guy wrote an opinion that was biased and lacked a complete factual base.

    At any rate, there were several years worth of additional suits dealing with what the actual value of SDDS’s “property” was worth. They claimed a ridiculous amount, the state fought for years. Finally, the case was settled in Governor Rounds administration. Rounds had been a staunch supporter of the Lonetree Balefill, partly because his sister was part of the SDDS’s PR operation. I’m not sure who all in SD got paid off from this settlement, but I expect BN got a chunk. I wonder if Michelle got any of your tax dollars from that settlement.

    Anyway, the solid waste initiative is still on the books, although it has been modified by the Legislature to provide certain loopholes. It was never found unconstitutional, but SDDS got $5 million your tax dollars not just because of a few words in a Con statement. It took gutlessness on the part of the DENR and the Board of Minerals and Environment, stupidity by the SD Legislature, more gutlessness by Governor Mickelson, some emotional wording in a Con statement, and a corrupt legal system.

  29. Fascinating. So SDDS squeezed a settlement out of the Rounds Administration. Was there any sign that the Con statement would have figured centrally in a favorable ruling for SDDS from the court, if the court had ruled? For that Con statement to figure into a ruling, wouldn’t SDDS have had to demonstrate that the Con statement had tipped the balance in favor of the vote that ultimately harmed their interest?

  30. I think the owners of the URL hadn’t launched the website. Then, they started adding content. Web sites are not static and are dynamic and can change.