Marty Jackley and the ethics commission. Would it serve a purpose?

Today, Marty Jackley was talking to the Sioux Falls Rotary club, proposing that maybe we do need another level of government in South Dakota in the form of an ethics commission. From the Argus Leader:

Attorney General Marty Jackley encouraged Sioux Falls Rotary Club members to support a proposed ethics commission, a provision of a ballot measure narrowly approved last month by voters.


“The voters of South Dakota spoke and they said there needs to be some level of change and I think that change ought to focus on an ethics commission,” Jackley said. “I don’t think we should necessarily be scared of that, we should embrace it.”


Another prominent Republican, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs on Monday said she’d also been working on a proposal to create an independent review or ethics commission to be managed by her office.

“You can count two Republicans in on this,” Krebs said. “You will hear me testifying in favor of some sort of ethics commission in South Dakota.”

Read it all here.

I don’t think it serves much purpose to grow government, and have a commission for the sake of having a commission, so we can go “Yay. We did something.”  But I also get the sense that given the turmoil over constant political accusations that have flown around the capitol for the past few years, that both Marty and the Secretary of State might have an interest in offloading those headaches to someone else.

Investigating charges of improper disclaimers, whether someone may or may not have actually circulated their petitions; Allegations over whether a donation was reported properly, or did so-and-so at that College turn in those voter registrations forms, and on and on…  now those types of issues might more properly find themselves housed with a group empaneled and charged with making a firm determination, and assessing a penalty when warranted.

This would be opposed to these matters bouncing around state government between one person who would like to spend more of their time prosecuting murderers and rapists, and another who would like to run elections. If investigating and adjudicating issues of that nature was the purpose and charge of an ethics panel, that might actually make a little sense.

But I’m very wary about spending hundreds of thousands, if not millions on a panel that operates with little to no oversight, with an ill-defined or useless mission.

If Marty wants to make that proposal, and have it serve a real purpose, that could make the difference between something useless, and something real.

Bridging that gap in reality? That could be the challenge.

44 Replies to “Marty Jackley and the ethics commission. Would it serve a purpose?”

    1. Anonymous

      The decision is up to the legislature and the courts and I’m quessing the suprem court will limit this measure. DD said the voters had been duped into IM22 and I agree. Jackley put his finger in the political wind and took a stand. If he believes so strongly in and ethics commission lets ask him about that $81, 000 question on Loren Pankratz son collects from the state

      1. Anonymous

        Voters were hoodwinked but Daugaard is someone that doesn’t listen to the voters. They knew they were voting for an ethics commission and it passed.

        Krebs is proving to be a very formidable person. Should she run for congress I would support her over Dusty. If she and Jackley team up I think they could defeat Noem.

        What I like about this is that neither of them are proving to be stale or predictable republicans.

        1. Anon

          Some would say not being “predictable Republicans” means not being “principled Republicans”. Both seem interested in the position they think puts them on the side of public opinion, whatever the public opinion happens to be at the time.

          1. Anonymous

            I like that they are not drones following the heard of Daugaard and venhuizen. I also appreciated that about Stace Nelson even though he was way out of line most of the time.

        2. Anonymous

          Hahahahah $1.6 of DD $$$$ determins this election. Matt Michels walks away with the election. He’s the current candidate accomplished enough to make a plea to the voters that will resonate to a vote.

          1. Anonymous

            I agree that Michels would be well liked and popular. Right now I lean Jackley but Michels would make me think twice.

            1. The Blogger Formerly Known as "Winston"

              If Michels enters the race, he will just take votes from Jackley to Noem’s gain. This 2018 Republican gubernatorial race reminds me of 1986. Heidepriem, Frankenfeld, or Volesky could have beat Johnson then, but Bell got the nomination due to better name ID. The same thing will happen in ’18. Jackley or Michels could beat Huether for governor, but Noem will most likely get the nod and then she will lose to “My Man Mike.”

          1. Anonymous

            I like Dusty and I don’t think Krebs will run against him and I still don’t think he wins the nomination.

            There are a lot of people who will run or look at it. Maybe Dennis Daugaard.

              1. The Blogger Formerly Known as "Winston"

                Who? Daugaard? Hahahahahaha…..Oh, and what did he get “out” for?

      1. Anonymous

        Marty ain’t corrupt. He’s a straight shooter that needs to be tougher. Starting with listening to Pankratz and not Glodt.

        1. Anonymous

          You mean the Marsy’s Law guy and the lobbyist son. They have done an outstanding job making me question my support of Marty. I think the best thing he could do is sideline these two.

  1. Anonymous

    Finally two people who think for themselves. IM 22 was crap and is. At least these two might offer solutions to fix the problem and not just gut it or ignore the message from the voters.

    Thank you to both for being independent minded.

      1. draft MM

        Agree, two of the finest political climbers on Repuclican bench. Their slogans are whatever the voters WANT to here. Neither has any convictions to stand behind. We need a real Statesman and his name is Matt Michels.

    1. Marty just be u

      They both have zero influence on it. The AG’s office is required to defend it and you can see the great job they did with Judge Barnett. Marty says one thing and does another. He says he wants the ethics commission but does a terrible job defending it in court.

  2. Anonymous

    The reason we might need an independent election commission is that, whenever an election law complaint comes up, like Annette Bosworth, the AG and SOS toss it back and forth like a hot potato. Both are afraid to act!

    1. Anonymous

      Jackley and Krebs would make a great team. A great one two punch. A new direction for the SD GOP.

      I appreciated Budmayr saying no comment from the sd gop. A new direction indeed.

    2. Anonymous

      That just shows their true grit. Both are think about the future and how to pass bad press producers to the next guy. These are both substantial politicians. With scandalous careers ahead of them.

  3. Anonymous

    So they take ideas the legislators have been talking about for weeks and go public and claim as their own..really…yeah that should endear these 2 to the legislature

  4. Anonymous

    Ethics commissions are a favorite tool of the Left to silence speech that they oppose. Be very leery!

  5. Anonymous

    Vvvvveeeeerrrryyy Interesting strategy for Republican primary going after the Weiland voters. Let’s all say together Governor Noem.

    1. Anonymous

      Take a look at Lawrence, Pennington Custer. Those three West river counties all voted higher than the state total for IM 22.

      West river was probably more supportive of IM 22 than east river. More independents are registered in Pennington than democrats.

      This was not a GOP no and a dem yes vote. Voters are pissed. Yes IM 22 was bad law but voters said LISTEN!

      IM 22 passed because Weiland used an issue republican voters agreed with him on.

    2. Anonymous

      This was a bad move for Marty. This may play well in the general election but not in the primary. Conservatives don’t want it and will not vote for him. I agree with above can you say Governor Noem.

  6. Anonymous

    Maybe Marty and Rick w. Can hold a press conference to salvage the parts of im22 that aren’t constitutional.

  7. Steve Hickey

    Hard to imagine why anyone would oppose an ethics commission in the corrupt political climate we live in at all levels of government. On at least one occasion in Pierre I voted for an ethics commission, and spoke for it. It was quite unpopular to do so, but who cares.

    Dear Political Class in SD,
    We want to hear from you on issues and not just at strategic times when taking a position helps you. We want thought leaders, people who can articulate the issues and the best way forward. Your communication with the voters should be an ongoing conversation and not stop the day you get in office. It’s good to elect people with ears to listen but so so few seem to have mouths to speak. Those who have the most chatter and buzz around their bright futures in SD politics are often the ones we never hear directly from. Quit playing it safe. You are like a cold dead fish in that seat. Fight a bit more for things that are good and right.

    Marty and Shantel speak out more than most. Marty uses his press releases and Shantel isn’t afraid of the press. I like them both and they are right on here. I’d think an ethics commission would have vindicated Marty a bit from these accusations for how he’s handled these scandals the corrupt have dropped in his lap to sort through.

    1. Anonymous

      Hickey nailed it. Shantel and Jackley are way out in front on this.

      Trust me Brock Greenfield will be too. He will take the GOP to new heights and nothing will be swept under the rug with these three.

  8. Anonymous

    Does anyone remember of the “ethics committee” in the mid 70″s? It was a disaster as will be this one.

    1. Anonymous

      I loved Bill Janklow. He was the gold standard for Governors in the modern era.

      He was also one of the least transparent elected officials ever. He gutted the ethics commission when he became governor, he enacted a gag law in SD and he pretty much did what ever he wanted.

      There is nothing wrong with an ethics commission. Republicans and Democrats need to stop pointing fingers at each other and get this issue resolved so that a commission works for the people and is not a gotcha system.

      Jackely and Krebs will do that.

    2. Gen X

      Why was it a disaster? I was very young when it was repealed. Most former members have likely passed on by now. Perhaps if the mistakes of the 70’s are taken into consideration when putting together a new ethics commission – it won’t be a disaster.

  9. Pat Powers Post author

    Anonymous person from State Government who is replying to your own comment, you’re off topic.

    1. Anonymous

      The problem with the ethic committee as proposed is that it exists outside of government. It becomes its own branch, with an unknown budget (credits are going to be unconstitutional) and unknown mission. Great idea. What will it do if public funding is stripped. Hear complaints, lodge its own complaints. Seek civil enforcement for violations. Who will staff the commission? Who will fund it?

  10. Vote No on Marty

    So where was Jackley when we the state bar asked him to come out against Marsy’s Law. The hypocrisy of this guy.

    1. aquitas

      The AG is required by state law to provide an objective, clear, and simple summary of each initiated measure and constitutional amendment. It is not the AG’s place to take a position beyond the scope of what is written in current state law. Each side of a measure or amendment has their own space to write proponent and opponent pieces. If the AG were to a position, the State would then be sued under SDCL 12-13-9.2. If you are someone who wants efficient government, then I would think you would balk at the AG actually making the state open to suit, as opposed to the voting public or the legislature. An attorney knows better, and he has acted exactly as he should on all the ballot and amendment issues. If you want the AG to take a stand on an issue, then have your legislator remove the office from process or writing an objective statement.
      For your reading pleasure, I have linked the Secretary of States pamphlet, which includes the AG explanation as well as the two position pieces.

      Below, I have also provided you with the current state law, in case you were unfamiliar with it.

      12-13-25.1. The attorney general shall prepare an attorney general’s statement which consists of a title and explanation. The title shall be a concise statement of the subject of the proposed initiative or initiated amendment to the Constitution. The explanation shall be an objective, clear, and simple summary to educate the voters of the purpose and effect of the proposed initiated measure or initiated amendment to the Constitution. The attorney general shall include a description of the legal consequences of the proposed amendment or initiated measure, including the likely exposure of the state to liability if the proposed amendment or initiated measure is adopted. The explanation may not exceed two hundred words in length.

      12-13-9.2. Action to challenge adequacy of attorney general’s statement–Appeal–Time limits. If the proponents or opponents of a proposed amendment to the Constitution, initiated measure, or referred measure believe that the attorney general’s statement does not satisfy the requirements of § 12-13-9 or § 12-13-25.1, they shall, within seven days of delivery of the statement to the secretary of state, file an action

  11. Anne Beal

    Given the number of people who think any outcome they don’t like is evidence of corruption, I figure it’ll take about two days for an Ethics Commission to be accused of corruption.