Snake-oil salesman Rick Weiland can’t catch a break as he tries to wreck democracy in South Dakota, as three major groups have banded together to oppose his taxpayer-funded campaign measure being sold as “ethics reform.”
A national conservative organization is joining forces with two statewide business associations to defeat an initiated measure on November’s ballot.
Americans for Prosperity, the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the South Dakota Retailers Association will oppose Initiated Measure 22, which backers have dubbed as a set of good-government reforms aimed at preventing corruption in South Dakota government.
Ben Lee, the chairman of Defeat 22 and the state director for Americans for Prosperity, said the coalition planned to start an advertising blitz on Friday that included radio ads, mailers and door hangars to begin educating voters about the measure.
Chamber president David Owen said his members worry publicly financed campaigns will divert millions of dollars from basic government services. If each of the more than 520,000 registered voters assigned their democracy credits, it would mean $52 million.
“Even if it’s $9 million, that’s money that’s not going to go to paving roads, schools and locking criminals up,” Owen said.