PIERRE, S.D. – On December 29th, the South Dakota Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption Amendment was certified as Amendment W for the November 2018 ballot by Secretary of State Shantel Krebs. This is a victory for the anti-corruption movement and South Dakotans who are fighting back, after the repeal of the South Dakota Anti-Corruption Act earlier this year.
In November 2016, South Dakota voters approved the Anti-Corruption Act, IM-22. In early 2017 the South Dakota Legislature repealed the act in a move that was nationally viewed as shockingly undemocratic.
In South Dakota, voters viewed the repeal as a slap in the face and an affront to the state’s motto, “Under God, the People Rule.”
Represent South Dakota, the grassroots, bipartisan group pushing for the amendment, says that establishment politicians and special interest lobbyists are scrambling to deny the will of the people once again.
South Dakota’s 2018 legislative session will convene in Pierre in January to consider several anti-voter proposals, including:
“The political establishment’s ongoing effort to undermine and disrespect South Dakota voters is appalling,” said Doug Kronaizl, a volunteer spokesperson for Represent South Dakota.
“After brazenly repealing our voter-approved law to protect South Dakota from corruption, they’re working tirelessly to chip away at the power of voters and the sanctity of our democracy. It has never been more obvious that we need a law like the South Dakota Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption Amendment. What began as anger and frustration over the legislature’s brazen repeal of IM-22 has become a rallying point for South Dakotans of all political stripes who demand a cleaner government that respects its voters.”
“When it comes to fighting corruption and holding our government accountable, it should be the voters, not the political insiders, who set the rules,” said Darrell Solberg, co-sponsor of the amendment and a former Democratic legislator.
“After consistently being ignored and disrespected, South Dakotans are fighting back to make our state a place where ‘Under God, the People Rule’. If the political establishment succeeds, and kills the South Dakota Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption Amendment in its cradle, we’ll have to change our state motto from ‘Under God, the People Rule’ to ‘Under God, Lobbyists and Establishment Politicians Rule’.”
“Let’s hope some common sense legislators find the courage to stop any lawsuits or rule changes before the vote,” said Mitch Richter, a co-sponsor of the amendment and a former Republican legislator.
“South Dakotans deserve a vote on this anti-corruption amendment to begin repairing the broken system and put an end to the corrupt culture. This amendment is a response to what the Legislature has done and failed to do; it bans foreign money in our elections, cracks down on lobbyist gift-giving and returns power to the people.”
About the South Dakota Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption Amendment:
National groups from across the political spectrum, Represent.Us, Take Back Our Republic and End Citizens United, support the effort to pass the South Dakota Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption Amendment.
“This campaign is a turning point in the American anti-corruption movement,” said Josh Silver, director of Represent.Us, the nation’s largest grassroots anti-corruption campaign. “The repeal of IM-22 was a catalyst that invigorated activists in South Dakota and around the country, and gave them the motivation to take back their government. Recent antics by the South Dakota Legislature are adding fuel to the fire.”
“Individual participation in the American political system is the only way to preserve and strengthen our liberty,” said John Pudner, director of Take Back our Republic, a conservative anti-corruption group. “We cannot have a healthy, thriving republic when the South Dakota Legislature fights to undermine the individual voters who are trying to participate in the democratic process.”
“The grassroots anti-corruption movement is ready to take on this fight and support the folks on the ground in South Dakota,” said Tiffany Muller, president and executive director of End Citizens United. “We cannot allow the power-hungry political establishment to continue to rig our political system against the people.”