On my milk run to the corner Cenex last night, I found a “NO on IM 25” display on the counter with a whole packet of these tear-off clips for voters:
The same image and text appears front and back. Nowhere does the card say what IM 25 is. Specifically, nowhere does the card say that Initiated Measure 25 would increase the tobacco tax to fund our vo-tech schools. It just rolls our two generic talking points and shouts “NO”.
Funny that a campaign allegedly concerned about education would not actually provide any education on its flyer. I suspect the No on 25 campaign is more concerned about sales of the cigarettes just a few feet away from its campaign display.
Now if “Ignores other educational needs in South Dakota” and “Lacks taxpayer protections” are valid and sufficient reasons to oppose a ballot measure, I guess we could use them to justify a straight “NO” ticket on almost everything on the 2018 ballot.
- Initiated Measure 24, which tries to ban out-of-state money from ballot question campaigns, doesn’t address education and doesn’t protect taxpayers from the losing lawsuit that South Dakota will face if we pass this unconstitutional measure.
- Amendment Z, which would clutter our constitution with a lawyer-friendly anti-voter single-subject restriction on amendments, doesn’t promote education or taxpayer rights.
- Amendment X, another attack on voter rights in the form of a 55% requirement to pass amendments, would actually have gotten in the way of addressing educational needs by blocking Amendment R, the vo-tech governance reorganization we barely passed in 2016.
- Amendment W, the Anti-Corruption and Voter Protection Amendment, is the only 2018 ballot measure that can make even a stretched claim to beat the No on 25 criteria: W explicitly protects voter rights, thus protecting taxpayers’ ability to check the Legislature’s efforts to take more money out of our pockets, and W creates a statewide ethics board that would issue reports that might educate South Dakotans about corruption in government. Might.
And if those generic arguments work against ballot measures, maybe we can also use them against incumbents:
Hmm… maybe the NO on 25 tear slip isn’t that bad….
Now the NO on 25 flyer is only repeating main points that have been endorsed by the Republican and Democratic parties against IM 25. But Steve Westra’s anti-25 committee isn’t out to educate voters or protect taxpayers. They’re just out to foment negative vibes among a suspicious electorate and secure a “NO” on a measure that would cut into a few interested businesses’ profits.
Related Gas-Hopping: Team Westra is also advertising at the Wolf Stop gas station and casino in Aberdeen: