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Initiated Measure 22: Anti-Corruption Act

Initiated Measure 22, known as the Anti-Corruption Act, is a massive proposal, 70 sections creating a state ethics commission, tightening lobbying and campaign finance rules, and establishing public financing for political campaigns. Democratic activist Rick Weiland and former Republican legislator Don Frankenfeld sponsor IM 22.

Key Provisions:

  1. IM 22 limits the amounts political parties and PACs can contribute to South Dakota candidates. Right now, parties and PACs can make unlimited contributions.
  2. IM 22 reduces the maximum amount that parties, PACs, and most candidates may accept from individual donors.
  3. IM 22 requires more frequent campaign finance reports and makes those reports available free online in a searchable database.
  4. IM 22 creates a public financing system for elections. Registered voters receive two $50 “Democracy Credits” to assign to the candidate or candidates of their choice. Candidates can receive Democracy Credits only if they agree not to take donations larger than $250 (for Legislature) or $500 (for statewide office).
  5. IM 22 expands the activities the require an individual to register as a lobbyist, increases the penalty for improper lobbying activity, expands “revolving door” restrictions to include appointed directors and top government staffers, and doubles the “revolving door” waiting period between leaving government to working as a paid lobbyist to two years.
  6. IM 22 creates a five-person state ethics commission to enforce all provisions of this law and to investigate and respond to other instances of corruption in state government.

Click for Full Text: Initiated Measure 22, “an Act to increase accountability to the people of South Dakota in electoral politics by revising certain provisions concerning campaign finance and lobbying, establishing an ethics commission, creating a democracy credit program, and making an appropriation therefor.”

Read More:

  1. Dakota Free Press coverage of Initiated Measure 22
  2. C.A. Heidelberger, “Public Campaign Finance Isn’t Graft; It’s Democracy,” Dakota Free Press, 2015.11.20