For Immediate Release
Monday, January 23, 2017
Contact: Adam Bozzi, [email protected]
Lawmakers abuse “State of Emergency” authority in abhorrent and unprecedented move to repeal voter-passed law to fight corruption
Deceitful tactic is designed to keep Big Money in power and undermine the will of the people
The grassroots campaign finance reform group, End Citizens United, released the following statement calling on South Dakota lawmakers to end their underhanded and unprecedented move to unwind a new voter-passed anti-corruption law. State lawmakers are declaring a “state of emergency,” allowing themselves to circumvent the democratic process and its checks and balances. The Republican-led legislature would then be able to rescind the measure without the possibility of voter override. Initiated Measure 22 (IM-22) was a locally-led, bipartisan initiative passed by a majority vote in November. It is designed to prevent corruption and increase accountability and transparency in South Dakotan elections.
“South Dakotans were loud and clear when they demanded more integrity in state government,” said Tiffany Muller, Executive Director at End Citizens United. “This is an outrageous move by the Republican legislature that demonstrates just how reliant they are on a rigged system. Proclaiming an emergency to gut an anti-corruption law passed by the will of the people, and to prevent them from fighting back, is a cynical abuse of power. They should immediately end this charade on behalf of lobbyists and Big Money, and instead side with the hardworking families of South Dakota.”
After facing tough opposition and smear campaigns from supporters of Big Money, including the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, 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 calls for repealing IM-22.