Release – Reasons why W is Wrong: Not the will of the people of South Dakota – Rather the will of the rich from Massachusetts

Reasons why W is Wrong:
Not the will of the people of South Dakota – Rather the will of the rich from Massachusetts

Represent SD is not a nonprofit organization in South Dakota – it’s a political campaign committee only

Amendment W does nothing to put “the people” of South Dakota in control of anything.  In fact, “the people” of South Dakota have had very little to do with Amendment W at all.  The effort to get the amendment on the ballot used professional signature gatherers, paid with money that came exclusively from out of state.  Represent US from Massachusetts, along with other out-of-state people, contributed more than $360,000 last year to pay several contract lobbyists who hired the people that circulated petitions and gathered signatures from fewer than 10% of the registered voters in our state to get Amendment W on the ballot.

In fact, Represent SD which is the organization listed on the Amendment W campaign material and on advertisements, is not registered as a nonprofit organization or as a business with the South Dakota Secretary of State’s Office and only exists as a political committee – a ballot question committee.

“Represent SD has no members, does not have bylaws, has no officers or a board of Directors,” said David Owen, President of South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the W is Wrong Committee.  He continued, – “This is a group attempting to inflict an East Coast experiment on people living in Elk Point, Groton and Philip and plenty of other places that they have never heard about and couldn’t find on a map”  “This isn’t putting the people of South Dakota in charge of anything; it’s one more attempt to dupe South Dakota voters, and if successful, make an absolute mess of our Constitution.”

Represent US is the same organization that spent nearly $1 million to promote an extremely flawed ballot measure, IM-22 during the 2016 election.  Another $800,000 came from a handful of wealthy out-of-state people – “the people” of South Dakota were not part of it.

Amendment W does nothing to return control to the people; it is 8 pages with 3,329 words.  It creates 4th branch of government and declares the new article will OVERRIDE the rest of the constitution. The new branch of government is to operate outside the other three branches of government, with vast powers to conduct investigations and issue subpoenas and pass rules that could harass every elected official and public employee in the state, including teachers and law enforcement officers and county highway workers.

And while the proponents talk about cleaning up conflicts of interest, Amendment W ALLOWS members of the tribunal to vote on matters where they have an acknowledged personal conflict of interest, “if their vote is needed to break a tie(from the text of Amendment W).

This fourth branch of government gets nearly $400,000 every year that increases by inflation every year and can go to court to ask for more money.  The legislature has no control over the money and the Governor cannot veto the expenditure.  This is ten times what the current ethics commission spends and there are much better uses for that money.

Represent SD doesn’t represent anyone in South Dakota which is just one of many reasons why their Amendment W is Wrong for South Dakota, and why voters should VOTE NO on AMENDMENT W.

15 Replies to “Release – Reasons why W is Wrong: Not the will of the people of South Dakota – Rather the will of the rich from Massachusetts”

  1. Anonymous

    W isn’t just a fourth branch of government, it’s another government. This provides 7 appointees with legislative executive and judicial authority.

    Let’s say this group disagrees with a courts decision, are they going to subpoena files and depose the judges? Are we going to have competing judicial hearings? Both would have constitutional authority to proceed. Then who wins? Who gets final say? When a sheriff gets competing orders or even warrants, what side wins?

    Let’s say this board decides to usurp appointment authority for any official removed for ethical reasons? What if they declare all appointments an ethical matter and they do all vacancy appointments?

    That won’t happen, that’s silly. Right? After all, the language says this panel is subject to all other laws. Think about that though, do statutes over ride the Constitution? No. If this group can tie their decision to ethics, why can’t their rules override state law? Even if this is a hair brained fact pattern, then we’re back to the court system and this groups competing judicial authority.

    At the end of the day this article clearly says this overrides everything else. And we lose.

  2. Anon

    Lack of an ethics violation mitigation process is one reason business doesn’t come here. Something could happen in Pierre that puts them at risk and without W they’re powerless to protect their investment and their employees.
    SD voters and elected officials are ethical people. There’s nothing to fear from an ethics committee. I’m sick and tired of seeing our state on the “most corrupt” list because we don’t have one. What’s to be afraid of Pierre?

    1. William Beal

      An ethics and accountability board was established by the South Dakota State Legislature through House Bill 1076 in 2017. It was passed during the 2017 session and signed into law by the governor on March 10, 2017.

  3. Anonymous

    We are on “some” corrupt lists not because of scandals but because we don’t have the laundry lists of so called protections in law and regulation.
    If the Democrat say scandal and corruption enough they start to believe it.
    This is an effort towards direct democracy! They want to gut our system of government in the name of giving the power to the people. T
    This will turn into the Spanish Inquisition from every political persuasion!
    I have no doubt out of state trolls will be on this site and others promoting this mob rule garbage!

    1. William Beal

      Voting for measures, deemed by the legal authorities who have reviewed it as likely to be challenged on constitutional grounds, goes against conservative principles.

    2. Anonymous

      What swamp? Come to Pierre some time and see for yourself. Its a long flight from Massachusetts though!
      Giving power to unaccountable people is the exact opposite of conservative! The The Reich was a pretty effective ethics commission though so I get where you’re coming from!

  4. William Beal

    From the ballot summary “The amendment limits the number of votes necessary for approval of any initiative or referendum to a simple majority. It requires the Legislature to make specific factual findings when enacting laws that are not subject to referral. If the Legislature wants to change the initiative or referendum process, or a law passed by initiative, it must submit the change to the voters.

    This multiple-section amendment makes other additions to the Constitution. It will likely be challenged on constitutional grounds.”,_State_Campaign_Finance_and_Lobbying_Laws,_Government_Accountability_Board,_and_Initiative_Process_Amendment_(2018)

  5. Michael L. Wyland

    The first line of the press release is technically correct – Brenda Forman of Pierre reserved the “Represent South Dakota” business name and indicated she intended to use it for the incorporation of a “domestic nonprofit corporation.” However, the SDSOS website does not record such a filing as having taken place as of October 19, 2018. See “Search for a Business” on the SDSOS website:

  6. Cliff Hadley

    W is the latest — and certainly not the last — mischief from the Left to gut representative government and ordered liberty and replace them with chaos. It has zero to do with corruption, other than being corrupting itself, effectively tarring every other government function as illegitimate.

    Like IM22, W is nothing but windy rhetoric used to advance base goals. People willing to be duped by such obvious nonsense as an 8-page amendment to the constitution are telling the world they can’t handle freedom.

  7. James McClain

    If you want exhibit A of getting played by progressive left interests outside this state, here it is. It’s an embarrassment that stuff like this gets inclusion on the ballot.


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