December 8, 2016
Today, Judge Mark Barnett declared several parts of Initiated Measure 22 unconstitutional and issued a preliminary injunction against enforcing the measure. This measure was promoted as an anti-corruption effort for politicians. The most egregious part of IM22, in my opinion, is that it directed millions of state tax dollars to be given to candidates to run election campaigns. Our State Treasury certainly does not need to be used to pay for political advertising.
Under current state law:
- it is a felony for a legislator to accept a bribe, or for someone to attempt to bribe a legislator
- lobbyists must report their expenditures for legislative activity
- candidates must report their expenditures
- legislators must file statements of financial interest
If South Dakotans want additional reporting from candidates, or want additional restrictions on elected officials, I encourage them to come forward and tell the Legislature what additional laws they would like to have on the books.