I have to say that I hadn’t caught this little detail in Slick Rick Weiland’s plan to put taxpayer money into political races. Apparently, Gubernatorial candidates could collect nearly 3/4 of a million dollars to campaign with from Weiland’s welfare for politicians program. All at taxpayer expense:
Voters who want to use the program could give “democracy credits” to political candidates who agree to campaign contribution and spending limits. Each election year, participating legislative candidates could receive up to $15,000 in democracy credit funds, while a gubernatorial candidate could collect up to $700,000, with varying amounts for other offices.
The credits could be given directly to the candidate, to their representative or to the ethics commission. They could be delivered in person, by mail or electronically through a system to be developed by the commission.
Ben Lee, chairman of an opposition group whose partners include Americans For Prosperity-South Dakota, the state Retailers Association and the state Chamber of Commerce and Industry, calls much of the measure “a complicated monstrosity of a muddy mess.”
“Everyone understands the idea of redirecting tax dollars to political campaigns, and they don’t like it,” said Lee…
$15k for legislative candidates and $700K for a statewide candidate isn’t actually chump change in South Dakota – Those are game changing, and across most of the state, candidates can easily run their entire race at taxpayer’s expense if that’s what they manage to harvest from taxpayers.
And somehow, I don’t think that’s been lost on Slick Rick. To the contrary, I think that’s been known the entire time.