Well, that’s one way to put it.
Initiated Measure 22 supporters have an op/Ed piece in the Rapid City Journal this weekend by Don Frankenfeld, who ran for Congress as a Republican in 1986 and 1990. Don tries to convince us somehow that by supporting the measure, we will take mysterious big donors out of the process.
(But of course, that money will be replaced with taxpayer dollars which would otherwise go to schools, roads, and social service programs.)
IM-22 puts tough new transparency rules on government, lobbyists and politicians. Of course, mega-donors would prefer to keep things the way they are.
And IM-22 introduces a new campaign finance system that enables regular South Dakotans to run for office without being indebted to large donors who may think they are buying influence. Who can be opposed to that? Answer: the large donors themselves and the politicians who are addicted to their succor.
For four decades, I’ve watched our political system decline, so that serving in public office is no longer seen as respectable. That reduces the incentive for well-qualified candidates to run. IM-22 offers a chance to make things right.
One significant problem about Don’s very weak thesis is as he raises the specter of the big out-of-state special interest boogeyman as a reason to pass this measure, you have to look at who was paying for this measure to be put on the ballot in the first place. Big, out of state special interests:
Wait? Is that a big goose-egg in the donations coming in as contributions from individuals? Nothing from Slick Rick, nothing from Don Frankenfeld or Dave Volk, who has joined Weiland in this crusade. Not even $1 in unitemized contributions.
Zero. Zip. Zilch. NOTHING.
Which begs the question, who is promoting the measure?
So, we have no South Dakota donors backing this measure, but an out of state organization is putting in $228,250 for it to be passed? Who are these guys?
At the onset, Don’s group promoting this measure was solely funded by an out of state special interest group pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into South Dakota to convince us that our system is broken and we need taxpayer funded campaigns to make it all better.
Perhaps he should look at his own organization to start ferreting out those special interest donors.
The other error in his logic? That whole taypayer funded campaign thing, which comprises 3/4 of the ballot measure. Trust me, I’ve read it. 3/4 of the measure has nothing to do with anything other than setting up a bureaucracy to funnel taxpayer dollars to politicians.
When Don claims “IM-22 offers a chance to make things right.” Aside from checking to see if you threw up in your mouth a little, the next action is to ask “Is he kidding?” As an economist, of all things, Don is actually trying to convince us that moving the financing of campaigns from the private sector to the public sector will magically make everything ok? Because everything is better when government pays for it?
What school of economics teaches that moving the means from the private sector to the public sector improves its overall effectiveness?
Initiated Measure 22 fails the smell test on many levels. But you hardly need to move past the portion of it providing taxpayer funded welfare for politicians to flatly put it in the rejection pile.
And it’s just a shame for people to otherwise sully their good name when, after using out of state dollars from special interest groups, they try to convince us that “IM-22 offers a chance to make things right” by stopping out of state dollars from special interest groups.