Representative Jon Hansen has a really hard time selling his Amendment C with an honest argument. With just five days to go until everyone gets to vote on the Legislature’s proposal to weaken the people’s power to pass fiscal initiatives by raising the vote threshold from simple majority to 60%, Hansen says that minority rule somehow gives voters more control:
“This Constitutional Amendment C is that,” Hanson says. “It’s a measure that requires just a little more agreement among the voters. Puts the taxpayers in just a little bit more control when it comes to raising taxes and big government spending” [Lee Strubinger, “Amendment C Asks Voters to Require 60 Percent Approval for Some Ballot Measures,” SDPB, 2022.06.01].
Hansen tells two fibs here. First, Amendment C doesn’t make passing ballot questions “just a little bit more” difficult. Since 2010, voters have approved 18 out of 33 initiatives and referenda. Only 8 of those measures have received at least 60% approval. Thus, from a purely mathematical perspective, Amendment C decreases the chances of passing a ballot measures from 55% to 24%. That’s no small change in the ability to pass measures; a 60% threshold makes it far harder to pass ballot questions.
That much greater difficulty points to Hansen’s second fib, his suggestion that Amendment C somehow gives voters more “control”. Control means being able to do what we want. Amendment C makes it harder for voters to do what they want in terms of raising and spending money for public purposes. Hansen isn’t trying to give taxpayers in general more control. Through Amendment C, Hansen wants to give more control to himself and a minority that wants to fight every investment in public goods and every effort to pay for such investments fairly and responsibly. Amendment C gives anti-government cheapskates a lot more control, but it takes a lot of control away from the majority of voters.
Amendment C is built on fibs like Hansen’s. Don’t vote for fibs, and don’t vote for minority rule. Vote NO on C!