Initiated Measure 22, Rick Weiland’s Politician Welfare act, helping to support those poor politicians by providing them taxpayer funded campaigns is not just a proposal in South Dakota. They have managed to pass taxpayer funded political campaigns in other areas.
So, what exactly would IM 22 bring South Dakotans political parties. But not the GOP/DEM type. The type with party beads, candy, and more. From the Maine Press-Herald:
“These may be legitimate campaign expenses, but it really doesn’t seem to be the best prioritization of taxpayer money to buy things like robocalls and junk mail,” Brakey said. He said that compared with traditionally financed candidates who collect most of their money from individual donors, those taking state funds for their campaigns can easily forget who is actually footing the bill.
Dunlap, a traditionally financed candidate, is running against Saviello again. She has raised just $750, with $700 of that coming from a donation she made to her own campaign. And according to Dunlap’s most recent campaign finance reports, she has spent just over $59 on supplies for a get-out-the-vote headquarters in Rangeley. That left her with $139 to spend as of Oct. 25.
Saviello, by contrast – and within the rules of the program – has collected $62,000 of public campaign cash, spending $43,083 on his campaign, including $213 for party beads to toss out during a parade and $88 for candy.
Saviello said Wednesday he follows the rules, and that he can’t take re-election for granted.
“The first time you make an assumption like that you’re dead in the water,” said Saviello, who is seeking a fourth term. He said he has always thrown out party beads during parades, and noted that other politicians give out little American flags that are often left behind on the ground after a parade. “And that doesn’t seem right to me, either,” he said.
Saviello also has used his public funds to equip a campaign office and staff it with volunteers, which he said he did to ensure he’s doing his homework and is prepared to counter any last-minute political maneuvers by his opponent or her supporters.
So, if you want taxpayers to foot the bill for tools, Chinese takeout, and party beads, by all means, pass IM 22.
If you think candidates can pay for themselves, then you should probably VOTE NO on the Politician Welfare Measure, IM 22.