I had forgotten about the LRC review, but in a story at the Argus this evening by Johnathan Ellis, apparently the out-of-state authors of IM22 ignored multiple warnings of problems with their measure by the LRC and Attorney General. Problems that even the people who campaigned for it are left shrugging their shoulders with weak excuses and egg on their faces:
Jason Hancock, the director of the Legislative Research Council, wrote a letter to the proponents on July 29, 2015 outlining a number of concerns about what was then just a proposed ballot measure. Included in Hancock’s letter was a concern that the language appropriating money for the Democracy Credit program violated the state constitution.
Despite the warning, the language was not changed. The measure got enough signatures to qualify for the ballot and narrowly passed last week, surprising proponents and opponents alike, despite a warning from Attorney General Marty Jackley on his explanation that, “If approved, the measure may be challenged in court on constitutional grounds.”
Don Frankenfeld, a former lawmaker who was one of the sponsors, said he anticipated a court challenge regarding IM 22 and its interaction with the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, which allowed businesses to spend money in political campaigns. But the constitutionality of appropriating money for the Democracy Credit program was a different issue, and Frankenfeld said he needed to confer with legal experts who drafted the bill about why they thought it passed constitutional muster.
Regardless, Frankenfeld thought the sponsors heeded the Legislative Research Council’s concerns.
“It’s obviously an opinion that would have been taken seriously by us,” he said.
“I would have thought that, having been warned by the non-partisan Legislative Research Council, that IM 22 was unconstitutional, its proponents would have corrected those problems before putting it on the ballot,” Venhuizen said.
In fact, let me diagram how IM22’s backers intentionally deceived voters, by knowingly including language they had been warned was unconstitutional before they collected a single signature:
Despite the constitutional defects, the drafters chose to include the unconstitutional provision in the final version of IM22 that was filed with the Secretary of State.
A little deception, a million dollars of advertising. That’s apparently what it takes to pass a measure on the ballot according to Rick Weiland and his cohorts.
I’m hearing the lawsuits are going to come quick on this. And with good reason.