Ballot measure a check on lawmakers

I’m working to support a ballot initiative by circulating a petition. Our initiated measure is the Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption (VPAC) amendment. This amendment will reduce the influence on legislative decisions by deep-pocket donors. We say “never again” to what the Legislature did to IM-22. Repealing initiated measures shouldn’t be so easy.

In recent years, inattentive government management allowed millions of dollars to be lost to individual investors and to the state treasury. Those are just the known missteps. It’s also a fact that our politics is awash in money. Recognizing this effort to be a heavy lift, we reached out to a nonpartisan group in Florence, Massachusetts, called Represent.US. This organization is a 501c (4) nonprofit corporation. It was specifically created to build support for initiatives that overhaul lobbying, transparency and campaign finance laws. They don’t accept money from politically-associated groups or from corporations. Meanwhile, complaining lawmakers have access to hundreds of profit-motivated model bills from the corporate-supported ALEC organization. 

Several well-known constitutional scholars contributed to the authorship of our specific South Dakota amendment. The authors maintain that the provisions are fully constitutional and compatible with all federal court rulings. 

Dave Wegner

Sioux Falls

U.S. monuments belong to people

The federal government is about to try to pass off misinformation on the public again. They say that they want to shrink national monuments because the monuments were created as a part of a massive land grab by the federal government.  The federal government already was in control of the land so it is impossible to “grab” what is yours already. 

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The land is the property of the people of the U.S., purchased with the people’s taxes and maintained with those taxes.  The majority of people have already indicated they want the lands to remain open to their use.  The president plans to turn the land over to private profiteers that would exclude U.S. citizens from their right to use the land while failing to give those citizens any portion of the profit of whatever is taken from those citizen’s lands.  That would be both a land grab and theft by private industry.

The claim of this administration is this land grab will be good for the economy.  The question is, as always, “whose economy?  Will the average person on the street be enriched by turning his lands over to private industry or will he better off having the use of the land in perpetuity?

Eric Thompson

Bismarck, N.D. 

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