Not every proposed ballot measure ends up being on the ballot. And that’s probably a good thing because a lot of bad ideas end up getting filtering out, such as a recent ballot measure which wanted to legalize everything from prostitution to pipe bombs.
The most recent proposal is a ballot measure which was thrown in front of the Legislative Research Council for review from a group calling themselves “Drawn Together.”
I had to do a double take, as “Drawn Together” was an adult cartoon on Comedy Central with a lot of sexual themes/taboo subject matter, as you can review yourself per Wikipedia. Might not be the name I’d pick for a ballot measure committee, but to each his or her own.
According to the letter and the attached ballot measure language, the non-cartoon “Drawn Together” group proposes redoing legislative districts right away in 2023, right after the legislature finishes doing them in 2021. Why? If I were a guessing person it would be because Democrats want a do-over, and know they can’t get anyone elected the normal way, and they believe redrawing the lines will magically change their fortunes.
Which it wont.
As you can read above, as noted by the LRC, the measure chases after after state legislative seats while utterly ignoring how congressional districts are drawn, or might be in the future. Which is where drawing weird district lines can actually be cited with examples.
One thing I did notice when trying to dig into this organization – aside from the name-alike cartoon – while the group has a website, a facebook page that’s been in place for 10-12 months, and appears to maybe paying an attorney (at least there’s that appearance according to the LRC letter), I cannot find a statement of organization, or any campaign finance filings with the Secretary of State under their name of “Drawn Together SD.” In addition, there does not appear to be the proper disclaimer under law for a ballot committee.
So this group that’s been around since last January, and does not appear to be providing organizational disclosure through the state, campaign finance disclosure through the state, or using state required disclaimers for a political or ballot committee organization.
Yet they want to re-write the state constitution where it comes to how we draw legislative districts.
That being said, and without actually saying “Paid for by X group,” I do note that the ballot group shares an address with the South Dakota League of Women Voters, and kind-of/sort-of alludes to the fact that they’re behind the whole thing.
Which if that’s the case, and they’re operating it under their 501(c)(4) political umbrella, it leaves me to ask why is the League of Women Voters acting as a dark money group to push a ballot measure in South Dakota. And who is footing the bill?
Maybe a question that everyone else should start asking as well.