Letter: Articles give ‘insight’ re: IM 22 vote
Congratulations and thank you to Stu Whitney (Argus Leader/Dec. 6) and Doug Kronaizl (Argus Leader/Dec. 14) for their informative and insightful columns regarding Initiated Measure 22 and Gov. Dennis Daugaard and several legislators’ negative reactions to it. These two columns should be mandatory reading for state legislators and the executive branch, as it would give them some much needed insight into the thinking of voters.
While Governor Daugaard and several legislators are focused on (and railing about) the public financing portion of the measure, they have also chosen to demonize the portions of the measure that were important to voters: the ethics commission and campaign finance and lobbying portions. This measure was initiated because the legislature did not do its job. In spite of South Dakota being ranked as one of the most corrupt states and in spite of the EB-5 and Gear Up scandals, no ethics, or campaign financing, or lobbying legislation was passed or even deemed necessary by the legislature. In short, since the politicians – the people’s employees – ignored or minimized the concerns of the people, the people acted.
I am incensed and disappointed that the governor seems to think he has some special power that gives him insight into the minds of the voters. Frankly, he is the one who has it wrong when he professes that the voters were “hoodwinked” and/or didn’t know what we were voting for. But I am even more incensed that politicians who obviously don’t want campaign or lobbying reform have arrogantly vowed to veto or drastically modify IM 22 because they seem to think the are “enlightened” and know “what’s best” for us poor, ignorant voters. But more likely, they want to continue to enjoy the money flow from lobbyists and continue business as usual.
I implore the politicians to respect the will of the people and act to do only what may be needed to improve or clarify the bill, not veto or negate it. Keep in mind that when legislators deemed to change or meddle with other ballot measures, the voters have resoundingly vetoed their changes, as evidenced by 71 percent of the voters who rejected the legislature’s youth minimum wage change.
We voters will not hesitate to refer any changes the legislature makes or to re-initiate this much-needed campaign finance and lobbying reform. We know it is needed. Don’t underestimate the voice/power of the people.
P.S. The approximately $5 million that the governor refused to budget for the public financing in IM 22 would be readily available if the executive branch had not foolishly and irresponsibly outsourced the administration of the EB-5 program to an ethically challenged third party, rather than administering it within state government.
- South Dakota
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