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.