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GOP, Chamber Not Using Ballot Question Committees for Amendment C

A couple of ballot question committees I thought might have thrown some weight in the Amendment C fight have remained quiet so far this spring.

The South Dakota Republican Party maintains a ballot question committee that works to oppose good ballot questions and support bad ones. In 2020, the SDRBQC supported Amendment X, Senator Jim Bolin’s (R-16/Canton) really bad idea to raise the vote threshold for amending the state constitution to 55% (a measure South Dakotans rejected, as they ought to reject Bolin and friends’ effort through Amendment C to raise the vote threshold for all fiscal initiatives to 60%). But now with the chance to more gravely sandbag democracy with Amendment C, the Republican ballot question committee reports zero fundraising and zero expenditures so far this year.

On the other side of Amendment C, the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce has a ballot question committee chaired by David Owen, the Chamber’s statewide chief. Owen is a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit to reject Amendment C on violation of the single-subject rule. The Chamber recognizes that it might occasionally want to support an initiative that would raise and/or spend money for economic development. Yet pre-primary, the Chamber’s ballot question committee reports no income and no outgo to support its sensible interest in resisting Amendment C.

The Republicans and the Chamber are engaged in other activities related to Amendment C (the Republicans wrote the darn thing and rigged the vote for the primary; the Sioux Falls Chamber is telling its members to vote No on C). But they aren’t yet spending money through their ballot question committees to influence our vote two weeks from today.

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