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Sioux Falls Paper Rejects All 5 Ballot Questions; Poll Shows Voters Might Pass W and 24

That Sioux Falls paper almost agrees with me, but they agree completely with one of my frequent Black Hills commenters: Vote NO on everything, says the Sioux Falls editorial board of our five ballot measures. In brief from our Sioux Falls media leaders:

  • NO on Amendment W (IM 22 2.0): “sprawling,” not “thoughtfully crafted” (though I’m trying to recall what position that Sioux Falls paper took on the more sprawling and similarly crafted IM 22 in 2016), and “best addressed by a legislature” (though, I would contend, not by this Legislature, whose Republican members repealed IM 22 and piled multiple laws onto the books and three measures onto the 2018 ballot to prevent anything IM 22 from ever making the ballot or passing again).
  • NO on Amendment X (55% vote to amend state constitution): “Paired with the proposed Amendment Z and IM 24, this amendment would erode the potential of direct democracy in the state.” Those are the three I was talking about. Nice to see that Sioux Falls paper acknowledge the Republican war on democracy in South Dakota.
  • NO on Amendment Z (single-subject rule for amendments): “unnecessarily hamstrings voters’ ability to effect change.”
  • NO on Initiated Measure 24 (ban out-of-state money from ballot question campaigns): “a limit on free speech expression and as a move by lawmakers to limit inconvenient voter-initiated measures.”
  • NO on Initiated Measure 25 (tobacco tax for vo-techs): “arbitrarily gifts” dwindling tobacco revenues to vo-techs instead of “broader educational needs” or “tobacco-use cessation and prevention efforts.”

That Sioux Falls paper’s own polling shows their recommendations have some work to do. While they ignored X and Z in their polling (funny: they poll the three most complicated measures and cut the two shortest and simplest), Mason-Dixon found W and 24 passing:

  • Am. W: 43% YES, 32% no, 25% undecided.
  • IM 24: 39% YES, 33% no, 28% undecided.
  • IM 25: 43% yes, 49% NO, 8% undecided.


  1. Donald Pay 2018-10-27 12:05

    The business people who largely control media operations have never been in favor of good government and less scandal. First and foremost, they have a stake in corruption. They make money from government ads, public notices, etc. They protect that through the very corrupt lobbying system that has been established in Pierre over decades.

    Second, they fear advertising boycotts from the wealthy and corporate elite. When the veggie disparagement bill was being considered in the 1990s, there was not one media person who testified about shackling the First Amendment. Why? They feared a boycott in advertising by Big Ag. Their money interests overpowered standing up for Constitutional rights.

    Third, people who advertise tend to have lots of money and be a part of the elite that funds the corrupted government. The big shots in media are part of the elite. During the Oahe Irrigation Project fight the Pierre Capital Journal was in the pocket of the corrupt because the owners were part of the business community that was push the project. Thus, media and the corrupters tend to have many interests in common.

    Fourth, people tend to buy the paper and subscribe when there are juicy corruption stories in the news pages every day. Corruption and the tragedy that comes out of them (dead children, for example) tend to push subscriptions up. It’s tough out there for a pimp.

    I wonder how much thought the Argus Leader has spent writing a proposal to get rid of the constant corruption. Not much, I bet. They’ve had decades to do it. They failed. It’s time for W. W is We the People.

  2. Debbo 2018-10-27 15:13

    Excellent comment Don. This is a great campaign slogan:

    “It’s time for W. W is We the People.”

  3. 96Tears 2018-10-27 20:49

    This is what helps sell ads. Don’t offend the business snobs who buy your ads. Offend the intelligence of your readers. They matter least.

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-10-27 23:08

    I know they were trying to keep the article tight, but did the Sioux Falls editors cite any examples of unthoughtfully crafted passages in W? My impression is that W’s authors thought pretty hard about IM 22 and how to change it to address the Legislature’s repeal in 2017.

  5. Darin Larson 2018-10-28 21:13

    I read a letter to the editor today that advocated voting against Amendment W on the basis that, among other things, it couldn’t be changed. Umm, sure it can be changed–by a vote of the people approving a constitutional amendment. The legislature can’t unilaterally change our state constitution, thankfully.

    The necessity of W was proven by the legislature’s swift demolition of IM22 after voters approved it. I am supremely disappointed that Representative Soli has lent her voice to those advocating against W in TV commercials. Though I appreciate her work on salvaging some of the pieces of IM22 in legislation, I also recognize how short those efforts fell from the breadth and scope of IM22. The fact that she apparently does not is frankly astounding. It appears she is being thrown out in front of the public as the point person for efforts by the legislature to maintain their overlord status. In short, she is being used.

  6. Debbo 2018-10-29 15:09

    Great link Mike. If SD, ND and Missouri succeed, I expect more states to join the efforts. Citizens actually prefer democracy over corrupt autocracy.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-10-29 21:27

    Darin, she is certainly one of the least attackable legislators. Recruiting her was a brilliant move on the part of W’s opponents.

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