Prime Sponsor of Ethics Commission Urges a NO vote on Amendment W

Prime Sponsor of Ethics Commission Urges a NO vote on Amendment W

Representative Karen Soli (D-Sioux Falls) says measure is too risky, too expensive and goes too far in overriding the constitution.

Rep. Karen Soli, D-Sioux Falls, the prime sponsor of a 2017 bill that created South Dakota’s Government Accountability Board, is urging a No vote on Amendment W.

Soli said the South Dakota Legislature addressed voters’ concerns about ethics and accountability in HB 1076, which established the current State Government Accountability Board overseeing the executive branch and strengthened the accountability process for the legislative branch.

“Refining the proposal for this new ethics board was a bi-partisan process. Having former judges as members of the board was one of the best ideas. Judges are trained in accountability, neutrality, fairness, and are experts in the law. This new board has been meeting for several months and has already dealt with four complaints referring one for criminal investigation. Not only did the legislature vote to create the accountability board, we also voted to limit lobbyists’ gifts to legislators and passed an amendment prohibiting politicians from using campaign funds for personal use.” Soli said.

The W is Wrong ballot committee, which is working to defeat Amendment W, plans to release a television ad Wednesday in which Rep. Soli will outline her reasons for opposing Amendment W. (Television ad video)

Soli said “Amendment W is unnecessary, confusing and expensive. It wipes out the excellent ethics board for the executive branch that is functioning well. The legislative and judicial branches have their own ethics review procedures. Who will watch over these powerful, non-elected watchdogs who can supersede parts of the constitution as they oversee all three branches of state government? Plus, they will receive almost $400,000 in state dollars each year to do this — an amount that goes up every year.”

“You give any board 400,000 dollars and an unlimited agenda and they will find corruption in order to justify their existence,” she said.

Representative Soli said that there are still things that need to be improved about state laws for campaign finance and other areas of accountability, but a needless, long and confusing constitutional amendment that gives unlimited power to a small group of appointed citizens is not the way to do it.

W is Wrong – Vote NO on Amendment W.

9 Replies to “Prime Sponsor of Ethics Commission Urges a NO vote on Amendment W”

  1. JKC

    GAB is a joke. It’s very unfortunate at Soli from day one was against IM22 and now she is against W….. Soli might have represented “Democratic 15,” but her approach to ending corruption in state government is not only from an other legislative district, rather it is out of this world and filled with a lot of illusion….

    Democrats need to stop appeasing the GOP in this state, and being agaist IM22 and W as a Democrat is alarming and disconcerting….. Civility and cooperation is one thing, but accepting watered down GOP alternatives or answers is sad and nothing, but a big joke…

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Why is GAB a joke? It has the power to receive complaints, order investigations, refer for prosecutions, and recommend sanctions. It is a bipartisan group of retired judges. The reason some people don’t like it is that it’s complaints are confidential until they are proven. Bad news if you want to smear someone.

      Reply
      1. JKC

        What is the phone number for GAB to lodge a complaint? It is my understanding that there is no direct way to reach them…

        Reply
          1. JKC

            Here’s a better site:

            https://boardsandcommissions.sd.gov/Meetings.aspx?BoardID=216

            But still no number. I see at the most recent available minutes that they went into executive session over a non executive branch complaint, which is outside of their jurisdiction…. Maybe a quick phone call could have helped and helped the complaintant to redirect their concerns…. Plus, why was this Board created in 2017, but it wasn’t until half way into 2018 that they started to meet?

            #CasualInquiry

            Reply

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