Last fall in the November elections, Initiated Measure 22 was on our state ballot. More than 180,000 South Dakota voters passed this measure hoping to remove the secrecy that has surrounded our Capitol. Yes, there have been misdeeds and IM 22 was meant to make state government more transparent. Lifting and shining light into the areas to which only our governor and legislators were privy. The EB-5 and GearUp programs are some fine examples for the need for a more open government. Two reasons why I voted for it. It only made sense knowing who was getting and spending taxpayer money and for what reasons. “Just follow the money,” the saying goes.
Being the “country bumpkin” that I am, I had it all wrong. I was “hoodwinked,” says our governor. I didn’t know what I was voting for or what it was about. IM 22 was going to cost too much because it may or may not be unconstitutional. To this I say, it should be lawyers with expertise in constitutional law that should decide this question. Not the governor, nor his legislators. Yes, it may cost money to litigate this matter, but it may also recoup money in the long run. If it draws back the curtain of secrecy in Pierre, it will be money well spent. Win-win, right?
Now I see that Gov. Dennis Daugaard and his legislators are concerned about this measure. So much, that they are changing it for us. Tweaking and fine tuning it. You know, get it right. As one of the 180,850 citizens who voted for this measure, I thank them. I’m sure that by the time this measure is gutted and watered down by the very people that this measure was meant to clean up, it will make more sense to me.
On behalf of those that voted for IM 22, I would just like to say to them, “Shame, shame, shame on you.”
South Dakota voters were “hoodwinked” alright. “Hoodwinked thinking that voting on IM 22 would make a more “open” government in S.D. “Hoodwinked.” Yep, but not by the people who introduced this measure, by our own elected officials.
Next election, they can just mark my ballot anyway that they like – save the taxpayers’ election costs and my waiting in line to vote.
- South Dakota
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