Message from the State GOP to all Republicans – “Stop Amendment V.” Message from opponents? Stop picking on us.

In case you missed it, the South Dakota Republican Party sent out a message last night to all Republicans on a matter of critical importance – to Stop Amendment V. (As in V, for Vile, Vindictive, etc):


Greetings Grand Ol’ Partiers,

Yesterday, a group of South Dakotans announced opposition to Constitutional Amendment V across the state. The effort’s website is and their Facebook page can be found at “Vote No on V” is led by Chairman Will Mortenson.

As you may recall, the South Dakota Republican Party passed a Resolution at the June State Convention opposing Amendment V, along with Amendment T, and Initiated Measure 22. 

Amendment V is Rick Weiland’s effort to overhaul South Dakota’s constitution to merge the Republican and Democratic primaries into one primary in which all candidates compete. The top two finishers in that combined primary would then compete in the November general election. 

In addition, Amendment V would hide the party affiliation from voters. When stepping into the ballot box, South Dakotans would no longer see whether someone was a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or Independent.

In the release, Mortenson said the following:

“The chief supporter of this ill-conceived amendment is failed U.S. Senate candidate and liberal Democrat activist Rick Weiland,” Mortenson said, “and his motivation is clear: change the rules so Democrats can hide their party affiliation from voters.”

In addition to their announced opposition, “No on V” also rolled out a united force of opposition from Governor Daugaard, Senator Thune, and Congresswoman Noem. I expect the group will continue to announce additional groups of opposition in the weeks and months to come.

You can read about the Vote No on V effort in some of the stories published across the state below:

Capital Journal – Foes Launch Capaign Against Nonpartisan Election Measure

Argus Leader – Republican Powerhouses Join to Oppose Nonpartisan Elections

KELO-AM – Push Against Making South Dakota More Like Nebraska

I would ask you to please take the time to encourage friends, family members, and individuals in your communities to oppose Amendment V. 

If you would like to volunteer your time, send a letter to the editor, or make a donation to help oppose Amendment V, please reach out to Will Mortenson at or, of course, you can contact me directly.

Thank you for your time!

Ryan Budmayr
Executive Director
South Dakota Republican Party

Predictably, those pushing Amendment V are crying uncle over the letter:

“I hope we can get past the childish playground attacks on the person and look at what the issue is about,” South Dakotans for Non-Partisan Elections Chair Rick Knobe said Thursday.


“Pointing out Amendment V’s hidden, big money from out-of-state is not an attack,” Mortenson said in a statement. “It is encouraging transparency in this election. Voters deserve transparency on the ballot and in this campaign.”

Chuck Parkinson, a Rapid City Republican and backer of the amendment, said the comments made about supporters of the measure, including Rick Weiland, former Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, indicate a weakness in their opponent’s arguments.

Read that here in an article by Dana Ferguson, who (amazingly) is once again is writing an article highlighting Rick Weiland’s position on a ballot issue.

The truth is that Amendment V is exactly as described. It’s an anti-transparency measure, designed to hide what party the people running for office are.

In fact, it puts those running on an un-level playing field with voters, because while candidates will have voter data for people, identifying their party affiliation, voters won’t have that same information for the candidates. 

It is funded by big-money, out of state donors who, yet again, are using South Dakota as their mad-political scientist lab to try to launch a national ballot measure effort.

And more importantly, you might consider this as Weiland’s revenge against Larry Pressler for running in the last US Senate Election, splitting the vote, and making sure it was impossible for Weiland to come up with enough of a margin to win.  Why? It nearly guarantees that Democrats won’t have a similar situation on any November ballot, because Amendment V would make it nigh-impossible for an independent to be on the November general election ballot.  It would sweep them out of the way before they could cause trouble for Democrats, as they did for Rick Weiland.

Any way you slice this turkey, Amendment V needs to be eradicated, and it’s out of state backers need to be sent packing.

11 Replies to “Message from the State GOP to all Republicans – “Stop Amendment V.” Message from opponents? Stop picking on us.”

  1. Porter Lansing

    Could you list the out of state money donors for this Amendment or are you really supporting IM22’s call for transparency?

    1. Pat Powers Post author

      Its pretty easy, as it is all funded by one organization.

      “ALL OF THE MONEY FOR “South Dakotans for Ethics Reform” comes from an organization called “Represent Us” out of Florence, Massachusetts. Massachussetts. Not South Dakota.

      So, we have no South Dakota donors backing this measure, but an out of state organization is putting in $228,250 for it to be passed? Who are these guys?”

      1. Anonymous

        Massachusetts? That says a lot about this group; if it comes from the home of the Kennedy clan, it is most likely not good. Represent us? I don’t want South Dakota’s contingent to DC representing Massachusetts “values”.

  2. Anonymous

    Step one for Represent Us: take away the party identifications on the ballot so that Democrats are able to hide their beliefs during the elections (Amendment V)

    Step two for Represent Us: give tax-payer funding to Democrats so that the Democrats’ beliefs do not matter in the election because they will no longer need to raise money from voters (Initiated Measure 22)

    Step three for Represent Us: after getting Democrats elected by the means above, pass legislation that will turn South Dakota into a liberal’s paradise

    Encourage everyone you know to “vote no on everything”!

  3. Anonymous

    So Rick Knobe is in with this? I was never a big fan of his anyway, and this is just more reason. Add Weiland’s name to it, and though it may have a tiny nugget of gold in it, this amendment is basically rotten.

  4. Michael Wyland

    Interesting. is a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization linked to the Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity. Its funders include the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation ($450,000 in 2014-2016) and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund ($60,000 per year in 2014 and 2015). Hewlett’s grant award description refers to it as the “United Republic Education Fund”.

    Assiduous researchers can look at the groups’ IRS Form 990 returns online at (free) or (free registration required). The Form 990 returns include lists of board members, so the bipartisan nature and relationships of the board members might be investigated.