Speaker G. Mark Mickelson (R-13/Sioux Falls) hates out-of-state money in ballot question campaigns so much that he collected 14,714 valid signatures to put a ban on out-of-state contributions to ballot question committees on the 2018 ballot.
“People in far away places who don’t live here and have no demonstrable business interest don’t have any business using our state as a test for their ideas,” Mickelson said. “It’s an abuse of the purpose of the initiated measure process” [Dana Ferguson, “Lawmaker Looks to Ban Out-of-State Money at the Ballot,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2017.06.20].
But at the same time that Mickelson is promoting his Initiated Measure 24, Mickelson is providing legal shelter for people in faraway places who don’t live here and have no demonstrable business interest in our state who are simply using our state as a test for their ideas. Witness the Statement of Organization for Marsy’s Law for South Dakota LLC, the ballot question committee organized April 9 to deceptively push Amendment Y, Marsy’s Fix:
The chair of this ballot question committee is Henry T. Nicholas of Aliso Viejo California. The treasurer of this ballot question committee is Chrissie Hastie of Las Vegas, Nevada. The telephone number of this ballot question committee rings a Las Vegas campaign finance consultant’s office. Yet the mailing address of this ballot question committee—101 N. Main Street #321, Sioux Falls, SD, 57104—is the office of Mickelson & Company LLC, G. Mark Mickelson, founder and owner.
G. Mark Mickelson says people like Nicholas and Hastie abuse our ballot measure process. Yet he’s willing to provide them the legal cover to establish a ballot question committee and, apparently, forward their mail, not to mention use his position as Speaker of the House to push their proposal onto a special primary ballot at the state’s expense. Perhaps the pre-primary campaign finance report from Nicholas and Hastie will tell us how much they had to pay Mickelson for this exception to his professed principles.