For Immediate Release
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Contact: Adam Bozzi, [email protected]
Republican-led efforts protect lobbyists, special interests in South Dakota
The grassroots campaign finance reform group, End Citizens United, released the following statement on Republican-led efforts to repeal South Dakota’s voter-passed ethics and anti-corruption measure – Initiated Measure 22.
Last week, Republicans in the legislature introduced a repeal bill that declared a “state of emergency.” The “emergency” allows them to circumvent the democratic process of checks and balances by denying the citizens of South Dakota a chance to override their decision. After an uproar of opposition to these outrageous tactics, the vote in the State Senate was delayed. But today, these Republican lawmakers moved forward and passed the repeal measure, which now goes to Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s desk.
“This effort to undermine the democratic process is shameful,” said Tiffany Muller, Executive Director at End Citizens United. “IM-22 struck corruption at its core, which is why South Dakotans passed it in the first place. The Republican legislature must end their reliance on a rigged system that benefits lobbyists and Big Money at the expense of South Dakotans — and follow the will of their constituents by enacting each provision of IM-22 into law.”
IM-22 won in November due to the ambitious scope of its reform agenda: increasing donor transparency, creating a state ethics commission, banning unlimited lobbyist gifts to politicians, and empowering small donors. During the campaign, End Citizens United’s ‘Fight For Reform’ project connected IM-22 with thousands of grassroots donors who supported the initiative. The Fight For Reform project has also launched a petition calling on state legislators to abandon their attempt to repeal IM-22.