Initiated Measure 22 could put 700K of taxpayer dollars into Gubernatorial candidate coffers.

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…

Read it all here.

$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.

46 thoughts on “Initiated Measure 22 could put 700K of taxpayer dollars into Gubernatorial candidate coffers.

  1. mhs

    Weiland could care less about the details of how the law works since he doesn’t want the law to pass in the first place. The initiative is a hodge podge of sound bites and talking points for future elections, nothing more. We can all see the ads it’s meant to endenger: “Republican _____ wants to sell the state to ______ (insert Dem boogeyman-of-the-week here) special interests” blah, blah, blah.

    He’s brought Washington wedge politics to SD, just months after running a campaign pledging to be different.

  2. Justin Smith

    IM 22 promises each registered voter $100 in “democracy credits” ($52 million) but is capped at funding for only one-fourth of registered voters ($12 million) (§§ 42 & 44).

    IM 22 promises a dedicated “democracy credit fund” capped at $12 million, but then only allows a total of $11.5 million to be spent in any given year (§ 60).

    IM 22 requires an annual appropriation from the general fund of up to $4.7 million for the “democracy credit” concept, with up to $12 million at a time in the “democracy credit fun” and unavailable for the public welfare (§ 68).

    IM 22 allows candidates running UNOPPOSED to collect these “democracy credits” (§ 42).

    IM 22 would allow candidates to directly help a voter to log into the state “democracy credit” site and assign the voter’s “democracy credits” to the candidate (even if that candidate is in a nursing home) (§48).

    IM 22 implements a massive amount of new bureaucratic infrastructure for multiple new databases, forms, ethic commission, etc., etc., and we have absolutely no idea the cost of all those components. (§§ 1-70).

    IM 22 is marketed as targeting “big money in politics,” but the proponent campaign has been funded exclusively by $250,000 in donations from a big, East-coast PAC (Sources: (1) https://goo.gl/P9nCb7 (2) https://goo.gl/gHiQP4).

    IM 22 would create a massive exception to our longstanding South Dakota law that says that no public monies shall be used to influence any election (§ 19).

    IM 22 would allow candidates to spend tax dollars (through “democracy credits”) on fundraisers, parties, golf outings, robo-calls, yard signs, billboards, staff retreats, plane tickets, etc., etc. In fact, there are very few limits of any kind on how “democracy credits” can be spent (See IM 22, § 61).

    IM 22 has a litany of other major flaws. I urge South Dakotans to read it, read it again, and educate their fellow South Dakotans on this offensive measure.

    1. Jaa Dee

      “allows candidates running UNOPPOSED to collect these “democracy credits”

      ‘ (even if that candidate is in a nursing home) “— Give the quotes from the measure where it specifically says either of those things….

      1. Justin Smith

        “allows candidates running UNOPPOSED to collect these “democracy credits”

        – See §§ 51-54 of IM 22 – summary of the qualifications required for a candidate to be certified as a “participating candidate.” There is nothing in these sections, or anywhere in IM 22, that requires a candidate to have an opponent in order to be a “participating candidate” and thereby obtain “democracy credits.”

        “(even if that candidate is in a nursing home)”

        – § 48: “A candidate or registered representative of the candidate may seek assignment in person, by mail (including by providing to voters prepaid and preaddressed envelopes through which to deliver voter’s assigned democracy credits), or by assisting a voter to access the secure online system implemented by the commission. A valid assignment is irrevocable.”

        – Under the plain text of IM 22, therefore, you can sit down with a voter at their computer and actively assist them to log into the system and assign their credit(s) to you (the candidate). Why couldn’t a candidate sit with an elderly voter in a nursing home?

        1. Jaa Dee

          I ask you sir, are the words “(even if that candidate is in a nursing home)”– in IM 22 ? If not WHY did you add them?

          “” There is nothing in these sections, or anywhere in IM 22, that requires a candidate to have an opponent in order to be a “participating candidate” and thereby obtain “democracy credits.” Is there anything THAT says a candidate running unopposed WILL get the credits?—- In your previous post you flatly stated — ” allows candidates running UNOPPOSED to collect these “democracy credits” — Is THAT stated in the text of IM 22?— No sir, it is not as with “(even if that candidate is in a nursing home)”— Why do you have to be dishonest to support your opinion? You have 7-8 other claims in your previous post, I will not waste time checking the accuracy of those but will assume you put your personal embellishments into those also……. I think this is a clear illustration of the sleazy tactics being used as fear-mongering by those opposing IM22. Those that have the most $ and influence to lose if it passes, the Koch’s using AFP as their mouth piece, PAC’s special interest groups and especially lobbyists like yourself. That is why the actual campaign finance reforms in the measure was not mentioned by you nor is it ever mentioned by others opposed to IM22 for purely political and monetary reasons….

          1. Spencer

            I would like to run for office and rack up democracy credits. I could then hire myself or a family member for consulting. I could easily put together an ad campaign that would be cheaper that the amount of money that I could get from democracy credits per voter. Whatever I do not spend would be profit for my consulting business.

  3. Porter Lansing

    It’s no coincidence that the groups against IM22 are groups that regularly give campaign cash to Republican candidates in return for legislative favors. e.g. Climate change denial, support for pollution pipelines, stagnant minimum wages, odorous confined feedlots and many other obstacles to growing the population and economy. A level political playing field is the first step towards breaking the back of the current Republican corruption . YES ON 22 … FOR THE GOOD OF ALL

    1. Justin Smith

      I have had people say the same thing to me repeatedly. “You’re a lobbyist and the fact that you oppose this measure only proves it’s great!” Really? Did you read my comment above? How do you defend a measure wherein all of those things are 100% true? I would welcome some friendly debate if you have viable arguments. Otherwise, you are distracting from the real issuess with ad hominem attacks. That is a logical fallacy. Where are your concrete arguments to defuse the attacks of the opposition? You are simply attacking your opponent personally while ignoring our well-reasoned arguments against the measure.

      1. Jaa Dee

        Why did you not post this?—-“This measure extensively revises State campaign finance laws. It requires additional disclosures and increased reporting. It lowers contribution amounts to political action committees; political parties; and candidates for statewide, legislative, or county office. It also imposes limits on contributions from candidate campaign committees, political action committees, and political parties.

        The measure creates a publicly funded campaign finance program for statewide and legislative candidates who choose to participate and agree to limits on campaign contributions and expenditures. Under the program, two $50 ‘credits’ are issued to each registered voter, who assigns them to participating candidates. The credits are redeemed from the program, which is funded by an annual State general-fund appropriation of $9 per registered voter. The program fund may not exceed $12 million at any time.

        The measure creates an appointed ethics commission to administer the credit program and to enforce campaign finance and lobbying laws.

        The measure prohibits certain State officials and high-level employees from lobbying until two years after leaving State government. It also places limitations on lobbyists’ gifts to certain state officials and staff members.”

        1. Justin Smith

          That appears to be the Attorney General’s summary of IM 22. You have now posted it here, so that takes care of that. Now – what about my comment (above), Jaa Dee? How can any responsible South Dakotan vote for a measure that implements all of those things? They are all contained in the plain text of the measure.

          1. Jaa Dee

            ” so that takes care of that.”?– Weelll, aren’t you just special…
            I asked you WHY did you not post this? __ I expect an answer.

            “They are all contained in the plain text of the measure.”— Nope, and you can respond to my post above after you explain why you did not mention the campaign finance reforms that are the purpose of IM22…

      2. Jaa Dee

        Your law firm description–(partial)- “He also acts as a government relations specialist and lobbyist, spending the South Dakota legislative session lobbying on behalf of firm clients.”— “lobbying on behalf of firm clients.”— I would think those “clients” would really not like to see IM22 pass, huh? Maybe if some of those “clients” lost their political influence if IM22 passes your law firm might lose some of those “clients”, Huh? You have made it clear in your total omission of the campaign finance reforms in IM22 that you and yours don’t want the citizens of S.D. to know about them
        This is not my first discussion with you and I have to wonder whom or what Org. is paying you to do the dishonest smear job on this issue.. Those bros. do have lots of money, huh?

        ” How do you defend a measure wherein all of those things are 100% true? ” No they are not.

        1. Justin Smith

          Just a few quick comments to respond to your multiple posts.

          1. You hide behind multiple fake on-line personas, jabbing at people from the shadows. Since you say we have argued about this before, I presume you are also behind the “Jim Posey” fake Facebook account. You go out and find any information you can about your opponents, then you twist that information into more jabs that are clearly inaccurate. All the while, you ignore your opponent’s arguments, choosing instead to fabricate insults and try to (in your own mind) nullify your opponent’s credibility.

          2. As you have already proven, my record is an open book, thanks to our rather transparent laws on lobbying in South Dakota. My client roster is publicly available every year, as are the rosters of every lobbyist. My lobbyist expenditures made to lobby legislators are open records, as are those of every lobbyist (mine have always been zero). Since I do not give “gifts” or make expenditures in order to lobby, I lose nothing on that front if IM 22 passes. In addition, I try to avoid talking about components of IM 22 on which others will claim I am “biased,” to wit, the one section of IM 22 that deals with lobbyists (§ 31).

          3. I have not received a dime for my opposition to IM 22 and the record shows I was tweeting in opposition to the measure six months before any other organizations decided to oppose.

          4. You claim that “Justin Smith does not want to talk about the elements of IM 22 that address campaign-finance reform and the ethics commission.” I continue to say this – I am happy to assume, at least for the sake of argument, that ALL of those components of IM 22 are great. There are still two MAJOR problems with the measure that make it anathema to responsible South Dakotans: (1) the taxpayer-funded welfare for politicians, and (2) no one, including the proponents, has any idea how much it will cost our state to implement all of the bureaucratic infrastructure necessary for all those items you laud. IM 22 could never have enough good components to overcome those two fundamental flaws. I have tweeted multiple times encouraging South Dakotans to read all 34 pages and 70 sections of IM 22 and I am one of the few who has directly linked the full text of the measure on many occasions (Twitter: https://goo.gl/wF7nh4). I have not made a “total omission of the campaign finance reforms in IM22,” but why are you so unwilling to engage on the harms in the publicly-funded campaigns piece? All of the proposed “campaign finance reforms in IM 22” are simply not enough to outweigh the major flaws I have outlined repeatedly in my comments.

          5. My clients have not taken any position on IM 22, although there are some understandable concerns about the state losing $12 million from the general fund ($4.7 mil annually) for the “democracy credits” alone. After all, some of my “clients” are non-profit organizations that receive reimbursement as Medicaid providers. When some legislators were looking for money this year to increase teacher pay, they looked at cutting Medicaid reimbursement levels. How is our legislature supposed to back-fill the hole created by IM 22’s “Democracy Credit Fund” and the cost of the bureaucratic infrastructure of the whole measure? The proponents of IM 22 have never engaged on that question.

          6. You keep going back to two of my items in the comment above – unopposed candidates getting credits and coaxing the elderly to assign credits. I cannot prove a negative – nothing in IM 22 prohibits unopposed candidates from receiving “democracy credits.” If John Smith is running unopposed, he would still fully qualify as a “participating candidate” under the sections I have cited. If I am wrong, prove it from the text – show me what would prevent an unopposed candidate from claiming credits. I have also cited (and quoted) the sections of IM 22 that blatantly allow candidates to directly assist voters in assigning their credits to that candidate. Again, I cannot prove a negative – there is nothing in IM 22 that would prevent the voter in question from being elderly (or in college or any other demographic). Does the text of IM 22 encourage candidates to directly assist voters in assigning their credits? Yes! Right in the quotes above! A voter is a voter, whether elderly or otherwise.

          7. I do not care if you want to engage in “ad hominem” argument, but it proves my point that you (and the other proponents) do not want to actually address the fundamental flaws in IM 22. For example, you have ignored 7 of the 9 problems I raised above, as have all the proponents. They are in the plain text of IM 22. As I told Mr. Lansing, I am willing to engage in friendly debate, but this has been neither friendly nor debate.

          1. Jaa Dee

            #1– Sir, with “respect”–Look at your first line—and you have the ignorant hypocritical gall to accuse somebody of ad hominem attacks? That is either pathetic or hilarious.

            Yes sir, I am Jim (fretwalker) Posey, and if I didn’t think you had reasons to remember me I would NOT have mentioned our discussion……. Then you were lying about $52mil. going out every year when the cap is $12mil. and you finally had to admit your lie….

            ” I do not care if you want to engage in “ad hominem” argument,– Quit the deflecting hypocritical whining…you make no sense..
            —————————
            Sir, with this post–“-I ask you sir, are the words “(even if that candidate is in a nursing home)”– in IM 22 ? If not WHY did you add them?

            “” There is nothing in these sections, or anywhere in IM 22, that requires a candidate to have an opponent in order to be a “participating candidate” and thereby obtain “democracy credits.” Is there anything THAT says a candidate running unopposed WILL get the credits?—- In your previous post you flatly stated — ” allows candidates running UNOPPOSED to collect these “democracy credits” — Is THAT stated in the text of IM 22?— No sir, it is not as with “(even if that candidate is in a nursing home)”— Why do you have to be dishonest to support your opinion? “—- I established what you are and you could NOT deny it —- I don’t give a d— about your deflections and whining I made my point— You are a prevaricator….There is No logical reason to believe any thing you say…… Why do you have to use dishonesty and omission to state your case? It is insulting.

            I did mention in a previous post the old saying “the stuck pig squeals”. hotdam boy you did a hellof job with that loud lengthy squeal.. I must admit my laughter at your childish attempt to justify your lies…..

            Last night I almost got a concrete connection between you and those that “don’t” pay for you doing this smear…. The next time we speak I will surprise you……………….You calm down Justin, if could be honest you wouldn’t get so rattled when your dishonesty is proven… Later, Lil Princess.

      3. Jaa Dee

        Folks that whine “ad hominen ” only prove that “the stuck pig squeals”… Character matters in a discussion and we have established what your “character consists of————-Mr. paid lobbyist.

  4. Anonymous

    Porter, aside from your ridiculous blather, you did have a nugget of accuracy (sort of like when i don’t get my little dog out in time)

    The measure is designed to help level the playing field, for crackpots no one wants to elect or donate money to. It’s an entitlement program for the disenfranchised. Disenfranchised politicians.

    Problem for them is, no one wants to subsidize their brand of stupid.

  5. Anonymous

    Copying from mr. Smith…

    IM 22 allows candidates running UNOPPOSED to collect these “democracy credits” (§ 42).

    Talk about a provision that could be abused…..they get the money and then shuffle it to another candidate…..wouldn’t that be possible under this “scheme”

    NO on 22!

  6. Porter Lansing

    Mr. Smith,
    Ad hominem? Check your definition, sir. You’re a lobbyist for corruption? Well, you’re in the right place.
    -IM 22 gets rid of loopholes that allow individuals and groups to skirt campaign finance limits by creating multiple committees (Section 10).
    -IM 22 requires political donors of more than $500 to provide their occupation and current employer for recipients to report (Section 12, Section 22.14).
    -IM 22 requires four new campaign finance reports, before and after the primary and general elections, to provide more timely information (Section 21).
    -IM 22 requires electronic submission and posting of campaign finance reports in “retrievable, downloadable, indexable, and electronically searchable” form free of charge to the public (Sections 28–30)
    (reprinted DFP blog)

    1. Justin Smith

      ad hominem: “attacking an opponent’s character rather than answering his argument.” That definition fits to a T. To wit, calling your debate opponent, “a lobbyist for corruption” while wholly ignoring his arguments.

      I admit that your items are all contained in IM 22. Of course, you have yet to present arguments that any of those items are meritorious, but let us assume for the moment that they are. You have again ignored my comment above. I have presented some serious flaws in IM 22 and I await your response. How can any responsible South Dakotan vote for a measure that implements those changes?

      1. Porter Lansing

        My opponents are Americans For Prosperity, a retail group and the highly partisan Chamber of Commerce who buy favors from Republican legislators.You’re just their paid lobbyist. This IM is fighting corruption and you are a lobbyist opposing it. Thus you are a lobbyist for corruption. There isn’t a valid reason to fluff and extrapolate my reasons because your mind is made up. I’m posting my support for IM22 for the benefit of the few “high value” voters that wander through here, once in a while, that haven’t made up their minds yet.?

        1. Pat Powers Post author

          Porter, on what date did you become a South Dakota voter? I thought you lived elsewhere.

          1. Porter Lansing

            Cut the innuendo, Mr. Powers. Are you banning me for my liberal commentary? My posts aren’t obscene, by accepted standards.
            PS … One doesn’t have to be a voter to own property in SoDak and have a stake in the choices made by politicians, sir.

        2. Justin Smith

          For the benefit of those “voters who haven’t made up their minds yet,” care to actually answer my points above? You are losing face here by consistently refusing to respond. Let me make it easier for you to find the points I would like you, as a firm proponent of IM 22, to address. I will even number them for you:

          1. IM 22 promises each registered voter $100 in “democracy credits” ($52 million) but is capped at funding for only one-fourth of registered voters ($12 million) (§§ 42 & 44).

          2. IM 22 promises a dedicated “democracy credit fund” capped at $12 million, but then only allows a total of $11.5 million to be spent in any given year (§ 60).

          3. IM 22 requires an annual appropriation from the general fund of up to $4.7 million for the “democracy credit” concept, with up to $12 million at a time in the “democracy credit fun” and unavailable for the public welfare (§ 68).

          4. IM 22 allows candidates running UNOPPOSED to collect these “democracy credits” (§ 42).

          5. IM 22 would allow candidates to directly help a voter to log into the state “democracy credit” site and assign the voter’s “democracy credits” to the candidate (even if that candidate is in a nursing home) (§48).

          6. IM 22 implements a massive amount of new bureaucratic infrastructure for multiple new databases, forms, ethic commission, etc., etc., and we have absolutely no idea the cost of all those components. (§§ 1-70).

          7. IM 22 is marketed as targeting “big money in politics,” but the proponent campaign has been funded exclusively by $360,000 in donations from a big, East-coast PAC (Sources: (1) https://goo.gl/P9nCb7 (2) https://goo.gl/gHiQP4).

          8. IM 22 would create a massive exception to our longstanding South Dakota law that says that no public monies shall be used to influence any election (§ 19).

          9. IM 22 would allow candidates to spend tax dollars (through “democracy credits”) on fundraisers, parties, golf outings, robo-calls, yard signs, billboards, staff retreats, plane tickets, etc., etc. In fact, there are very few limits of any kind on how “democracy credits” can be spent (See IM 22, § 61).

          QUESTION: How can any responsible South Dakotan vote for a measure that implements these items?

          [NOTE: I have edited Item 7 from my earlier comment in light of this article wherein Frankenfeld now states that the big, out-of-state PAC has actually contributed $360,000, not $250,000: http://goo.gl/C06mzq%5D

          1. Pat Powers Post author

            Justin – more than 2 links, and it’s automatically kicked to spam. It should be there now.

          2. Porter Lansing

            ANSWER: The benefits of reducing the campaign donations given in trade for political favors outweighs any perceived tweaks needed in the IM.

          3. Jaa Dee

            “This measure extensively revises State campaign finance laws. It requires additional disclosures and increased reporting. It lowers contribution amounts to political action committees; political parties; and candidates for statewide, legislative, or county office. It also imposes limits on contributions from candidate campaign committees, political action committees, and political parties.

            The measure creates a publicly funded campaign finance program for statewide and legislative candidates who choose to participate and agree to limits on campaign contributions and expenditures. Under the program, two $50 ‘credits’ are issued to each registered voter, who assigns them to participating candidates. The credits are redeemed from the program, which is funded by an annual State general-fund appropriation of $9 per registered voter. The program fund may not exceed $12 million at any time.

            The measure creates an appointed ethics commission to administer the credit program and to enforce campaign finance and lobbying laws.

            The measure prohibits certain State officials and high-level employees from lobbying until two years after leaving State government. It also places limitations on lobbyists’ gifts to certain state officials and staff members.”

          4. Jaa Dee

            Mr. paid lobbyist– again–

            I ask you sir, are the words “(even if that candidate is in a nursing home)”– in IM 22 ? If not WHY did you add them?

            “” There is nothing in these sections, or anywhere in IM 22, that requires a candidate to have an opponent in order to be a “participating candidate” and thereby obtain “democracy credits.” Is there anything THAT says a candidate running unopposed WILL get the credits?—- In your previous post you flatly stated — ” allows candidates running UNOPPOSED to collect these “democracy credits” — Is THAT stated in the text of IM 22?— No sir, it is not as with “(even if that candidate is in a nursing home)”— Why do you have to be dishonest to support your opinion? You have 7-8 other claims in your previous post, I will not waste time checking the accuracy of those but will assume you put your personal embellishments into those also……. I think this is a clear illustration of the sleazy tactics being used as fear-mongering by those opposing IM22. Those that have the most $ and influence to lose if it passes, the Koch’s using AFP as their mouth piece, PAC’s special interest groups and especially lobbyists like yourself. That is why the actual campaign finance reforms in the measure was not mentioned by you nor is it ever mentioned by others opposed to IM22 for purely political and monetary reasons….

  7. Anonymous

    So Porter or any other proponent of 22, what should be cut in the budget to make this a priority or what taxes would you want raised? Essentially how are we going to pay for this?

  8. Jaa Dee

    Speaking of lies, I just got a phone call claiming to be a poll—nope, an anti-22 smear….There is big bucks wanting the campaign finance reforms to fail…

    1. Porter Lansing

      Those are called “push polls” and they’re one of the most near-criminal acts in politics. It’s valid to ask strongly before any poll if this is a push poll and if you determine that it is, to tell the pollster you’ll hang up, immediately. Phone pollster usually don’t get paid for the call unless the entire poll is listened to by the voter.

      1. Jaa Dee

        I know, it wasn’t a real good time for a call like that as I was dealing with a shyster here, the neighbors probably heard me cursing the guy…

  9. mhs

    “reform”: that’s rich. The Limo Left abandoned working people a generation ago and lost the gravy train of union-dues-funded contributions that kept them competing in all states. Now they realize, no mater how many votes they rack up in California, there are 49 other states that elect Congress, too.

    Hence, public funding as a short cut to make them relevant again.

  10. Anonymous

    Rick Weiland, Jay Williams, Paula Hawks, et al. on the Loony Left cannot raise significant money because they are too radical for most South Dakotans. They and their supporters, therefore, want taxpayers to enable them to become relevant. Since they knew, however, that public funding of elections by itself would get about as much support as they, personally, have, they are trying to deceive the voters into thinking that IM 22 is about fighting corruption. It is the height of hypocrisy that they decry those whom they call “dishonest politicians” while being so dishonest themselves.

      1. Anonymous

        If the original poster doesn’t I do…….. look at Jay Williams campaign finance report…..

      2. Anonymous

        I cannot believe that I am wasting my time responding to such an asinine comment, but as the person who posted the original comments, I have to agree with the other response. The proof, Jaa Dee, is obvious. Look at who is pushing for the measure and look at their fundraising and electoral success. Anyone with a third-grader’s deductive-reasoning ability can figure that one out.

  11. Jaa Dee

    “Conservatives are also mobilizing against Rick Weiland’s other big ballot measure, Initiated Measure 22, the Anti-Corruption Act. Joining lobbyist Justin Smith in his lonely hashtag war against IM 22 is the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, whose South Dakota lead minion Ben Lee “

  12. Troy Jones

    Jaa Dee, your defense smacks of a guy who expects to directly benefit from the democracy credits. What is really funny is Justin seemed to anticipate your response in his first post and has been spinning you around ever since.

    MHS, you nailed it and the ilk who promote this type of legislation.

  13. Springer

    Just a question to Jaa Dee et al who think this is so great. Just where is the money for these “democracy credits” going to come from? Medicaid? Education funding? Roads and other infrastructure? Salaries of state employees? Oh yeah, I get it. The state will just HAVE to raise taxes to pay for so-called “democracy credits!” Maybe this is a back door idea for a state income tax? If you really want the people to donate to campaigns $50, then let the people donate their OWN money. It’s real easy to donate someone else’s money; and that’s right, these “credits” are somebody else’s money – yours and mine – and we would get no say in where our taxpayer money goes. Because the state doesn’t have any money of its own to spend; it spends money it gets from you and me. And that is the crux of the story!