Slick Rick Weiland has ballot measure drafted to limit free speech, fund campaigns with tax dollars, and require a lobbyist badge to argue with the DMV.

There was a message sent out today from Weiland to Drey Samuelson that was copied to a number of lobbyists. Which of course found it’s way to me, because everyone confesses to PP at the SDWC:

From: Rick Weiland [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, June 29, 2015 3:17 PM
To: Rick Weiland
Cc: Drey Samuelson
Subject: SD Anti-Corruption Act

I wanted to send along a copy of a ‘close to finish’ draft and outline of a ballot measure that we will be sending to the LRC later in the week.  If you have time and interest, please look over and share with me any final suggestions.  Thank you for your interests and any input you can provide.

pryanAccording to the above e-mail that’s been passed around among lobbyists like a bottle of rotgut among bums seeking warmth over a burning 55 gallon drum, Rick is planning on dropping his “Unconstitutional Measure to limit free speech and have taxpayers fund Democrat Campaigns Act” to the Legislative Research Council later to the LRC in the week.  (He calls it something different, but I’m just being honest.)

Apparently, various forms have been making the rounds among lobbyists over the past week.  This latest revision seems to be among the worst versions.weiland

The act, which according to the author information on the Microsoft Word File comes from the computer of a “pryan.” And according to the review information embedded into the document, the comments in RED print belong to Rick Weiland.

If we’re to believe what we read.

Here’s what Slick Rick is planning to do to South Dakota:

Rick Weiland's awful South Dakota Anti-Corruption Act DRAFT Language 150626 _ With Colors

KaplanIf you’re just looking for the cliff notes, instead of reading all 40 pages. Here’s the analysis as contained on a Word Document provided to me by the Lobbyist corps authored by an “Alex Kaplan”:

South Dakota Anti-Corruption Act DRAFT initiative outline

Friday, July 26, 2015


  1. Improve disclosure of lobbyist activity
    1. Require lobbyists to report compensation received for their lobbying efforts. [ 2-12-11]
    2. Increase lobbying disclosure filing dates from once a year to four quarterly reports. [ 2-12-11]
    3. Require lobbyist disclosure to occur online in a machine readable format. [§ 2-12-1, 11] Currently, scans of handwritten forms frustrate disclosure and put an administrative burden on the secretary of state to input.
  2. Expand the definition of lobbying to include efforts to influence state executive, department, or agency action. [§ 2-12-1, 11] Currently only applies to legislation.
  3. Prohibit lobbyists from providing gifts to legislative and executive branch officials and staff of more than $100 per year, per official. [12-27-49]
  4. Expand revolving door prohibition on compensated lobbying from 1 year to 2 years. Expand covered individuals from elected officers to include appointed officers, agency or division heads, and the highest paid aide, employee, or staff-person reporting to each. [ 2-12-8.2]

Campaign Finance

  1. Reduce contribution limits
    1. Individual giving to a statewide candidate: lower from $4,000 to $1,000. [ 12-27-7]
    2. Individual giving to legislative/county candidate: lower from $1,000 to $500. [ 12-27-8]
    3. Individual giving to political party: lower from $10,000 to $2,000. [ 12-27-9]
    4. Individual/Organization giving to PAC: lower from $10,000 to $2,000. [ 12-27-10]
  2. Impose lower contribution limits for registered lobbyists [ 12-27-10.1]
    1. Lobbyist giving to a statewide candidate: $500.
    2. Lobbyist giving to a legislative/county candidate: $250.
    3. Lobbyist giving to a PAC or political party: $1,000.
  3. Close campaign finance loopholes
    1. Limit number of PACs an individual can create by treating PACs controlled by one individual as one PAC. [ 12-27-10.3]
    2. Create soft money prohibitions to require that all funds given or spent in connection with an election be reported according to SD campaign finance law. [ 12-27-10.2]
    3. Prohibit campaign contributions from being converted to personal use. [ 12-27-13]

Disclosure / Transparency / Public Access

  1. Campaign finance disclosure
    1. Require campaign finance reports to be filed online using computer character input for committees that receive $1,000 or more in a reporting period. [ 12-27-41] Currently, scans of handwritten forms frustrate disclosure and put administrative burden on secretary of state.
    2. Require more frequent reporting of full campaign finance statements. [§ 12-27-22, 24] Currently, filings are made once in February, covering following year, and once before each primary and general election, covering fifteenth day prior to that election.
    3. Require basic online disclosure within 5 business days of contributions in the aggregate of $500 or larger. When contribution is received within 10 days of an election, report within 24 hours. [ 12-27-24.1] Currently, public must wait weeks or months, and often until after an election, to learn who is making significant contributions, especially close to an election.
    4. Require individuals who contribute $500 or more in aggregate to report their employer and occupation. [§ 12-27-11, 24] Currently, no such information required in any situation.
  2. Lobbying disclosure
    1. Require all lobbyist disclosure to be filed online using computer character input (prohibit scans of handwritten forms). Increase public access and reduce administrative burden on secretary of state.
    2. Enhance the public’s access to lobbyist information by requiring bulk download of data in an open format, among other modern technological improvements. [ 2-12-11]
  3. Independent expenditures
    1. Expand disclosure for independent expenditures. [ 12-27-16]
  4. Coordination
    1. Treat expenditures made at the request or suggestion of a candidate, his political committee, or their agents as a contribution for the purposes of reporting and limits. [12-27-10.4]
    2. Treat the financing of republication or distribution of campaign materials prepared by a candidate, his committee, or their agents as a contribution for the purposes of reporting and limits. [12-27-10.4]
    3. Require communications made by political committees or political parties to state whether or not it was authorized or coordinated with any candidate, and to state the name. [ 12-27-15] Currently, the communication need only display name of candidate, political committee, or political party paying for it.
  5. Electronic filing
    1. Require that electronic filing, in all circumstances, mean the online filing of standardized forms that do not use handwriting as input [§ 12-27-41, 41.1]
    2. Ensure that in order to electronically file, committee treasurers need only a common internet browser. Provide training materials for treasurers. Give secretary of state authority to grant filing extensions in extenuating circumstances related to technology. [ 12-27-41.1]
  6. Public access
    1. Ensure that public electronic disclosure of campaign finance information is in an open format, free of charge, platform independent, machine readable, and downloadable in bulk. [ 12-27-41.2]


  1. Establish the South Dakota Ethics Commission (SDEC), a five member body within which no more than two members may be affiliated with the same political party. [ 12-27-48] The SDEC shall have the following authorities and responsibilities:
    1. Implement and administer the Democracy Credit Program.
    2. Hire permanent and contract staff to assist in its duties.
    3. Issue recommendations to public agencies to promote trust in government.
    4. Review all campaign finance and lobbyist filings for compliance.
    5. Investigate probable cause for potential violations of ethics, campaign finance, and lobbying law, and refer matters to attorney general or secretary of state for further action. If attorney general or secretary of state take no action or takes action that the SDEC determines is insufficient, the SDEC may, by a majority vote, seek civil enforcement of the law.
    6. Adopt and publish regulations and advisory opinions.
    7. Report annually to the governor and legislature.
    8. Maintain a telephone hotline and internet portal for the submission of corruption tips.
    9. Maintain a website to educate the public about its role and the Democracy Credit Program, publish its reports and findings, and promote public trust in government.
  2. Prohibit lobbyists from providing gifts to legislative and executive branch officials and staff of more than $100 per year, per official. [12-27-49]

Voter Financing of Elections – the Democracy Credit Program [§ 12-27-47]

  1. Each year, every registered South Dakota voter will be issued two $50 Democracy Credits. They may choose to assign these credits to candidates that have been certified as “Participating Candidates” by the Ethics Commission (see below). When the voter assigns the Democracy Credit, the Ethics Commission shall verify their identity (signature and date of birth) and the eligibility of the candidate they have chosen. Transfer or sale of Democracy Credits is strictly prohibited.
  2. Choosing to become a Participating Candidate is an entirely “opt-in” voluntary decision – candidates may choose to continue to raise money in the normal fashion, but they will not be eligible to collect Democracy Credits. To become a Participating Candidate, candidates for legislative and statewide office must:
    1. 1) Demonstrate that they have initial support by collecting a certain number of small contributions (each contribution must be a minimum of $10 and a maximum of $200 or $400, depending on the office sought) from South Dakota residents, accompanied by the signatures and information of the contributors. The number of these contributions required varies by office sought: 50 for state house, 100 for state senate, 250 for non-governor statewide office, and 500 for governor. [ 12-27-47(5)(c)]
    2. 2) Agree to take part in at least three public debates; agree not to contribution more than $2,000 to their own campaign; and agree only to solicit or accept contributions that are from South Dakota residents and not, in the aggregate, over $200 if they are running for legislative office or $400 if they are running for statewide office. [ 12-27-47(5)(b)].

Note: Because of federal preemption of the regulation of federal candidates, candidates for US Senate and House for South Dakota need not perform the two tasks listed above in order to be eligible to collect Democracy Credits.

 Result: With this system, candidates for statewide and legislative office who demonstrate initial support become eligible to appeal to South Dakota voters in order to win the Democracy Credits each of them holds. These Participating Candidates are allowed to collect contributions other than Democracy Credits, but those contributions must be both small and only from South Dakota residents. The Democracy Credit Program rewards candidates for focusing on listening to and winning the support of South Dakota voters, not big money interests from out of state.

    1. The Program is carefully structured to ensure that Participating Candidates are given the opportunity to collect enough Democracy Credits in order to be financially competitive, but that one candidate cannot dominate the collection of Credits. [§ 12-27-47(6)(c)-(d)].

    2. This structure also helps keeps down the cost of the Program. In fact, while the Program is hard-capped at a maximum cost of $10 per registered voter per year (at current registration levels, $5.27 million – or about one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) of the state’s annual budget), varying participation rates and the multiple tiers of hard cost caps (first by candidate [ 12-27-47(6)(c)], then by total paid to all candidates seeking the same office [§ 12-27-47(6)(d)]) make it unlikely the program will cost even this much. Additionally, Democracy Credit funds unused after the primary election (if the candidate loses) and general election must be returned to the Fund. And if the Democracy Credit Fund is not paid out in its entirety, the amount deposited from the unclaimed property fund the following year will be only the difference necessary to replenish funds.


  1. Automatic inflation adjustment of number parameters throughout act (forthcoming). [12-27-50]

  2. [§12-27-51]

  3. Approval of electors will be required in order to modify a statute enacted by initiative. [ 2-1-21]

  4. Effective dates of certain sections will be added in order to give secretary of state and Ethics Commission time to make administrative changes, form, and put regulations in place. [end of doc]

If you review everything on the main Document, you can tell that this measure if not ready for prime time. In fact, it’s rife with problems.

You know it’s bad when the person is was written for – Slick Rick Weiland – questions the constitutionality of singling out one class of people based on their employment, where he notes “ARE THERE ANY CONSTITUTIONAL CONCERNS SINGLING OUT LOBBYIST ON WHAT THEY CAN GIVE??”

According to his awful act, if I’m up lobbying to help kids with Autism again next year, I’m now considered 1/2 a citizen for campaign purposes, and I can only give half of what everyone else can to candidates.  So, do people not advocate for kids in Pierre if they want to support a campaign?

What utter bullsh*t.

And then there’s his awful plan of taxpayer financed campaigns.   Weiland proposes to reverse the woefully inadequate limits that were amended eight years or so ago.  But don’t worry – While on one of his faces, Weiland wants to severely cap the amount that individuals can give to candidates, on his other face, he wants to have taxpayers pay for campaigns!

We have trouble fixing our roads, and paying for education, but look – here comes a dose of Slick Rick socialism to have government pay for campaigns!

And another big point in Slick Rick’s proposal – described in the summary as “Expand(ing) the definition of lobbying to include efforts to influence state executive, department, or agency action. [§ 2-12-1, 11] Currently only applies to legislation.”  

So, under this definition, if I want to talk the Highway Patrolman out of giving me a ticket, I need to register as a lobbyist?  Or, I need to go explain how a specific law does not apply to an interaction with state government when they disagree, and now I’m forced to register as a lobbyist?

Good lord? How many lobbyists does Slick Rick intend to create? Because that’s a pretty damned broad law.


The other thing that Weiland doesn’t mention is how we’re going to pay for all of this.  Of course, many of the states with some public financing of campaigns are also states that have state income taxes. Which I’m sure if what they’ll be hoping for next when there’s no money to pay for his five million dollar boondoggle.

Without a doubt, this proposed ballot measure would be the worst (as in most awful) ballot measure facing South Dakotans next fall.

A measure of questionable constitutionality that limits free speech, wants your tax dollars to pay for candidates to campaign, and requires a lobbyist badge for almost any interaction to “influence state executive, department, or agency action.”

A good reason to voice a big thumbs down before it is even submitted for proposal.


10 thoughts on “Slick Rick Weiland has ballot measure drafted to limit free speech, fund campaigns with tax dollars, and require a lobbyist badge to argue with the DMV.”

  1. It seems that the “Democracy Credits” are a big part of his plan, but he doesn’t say who he plans to get to pay for these. Crazy, crazy, crazy. Oh, maybe he is again referring to using some of Obama’s “stash,” which for Dems seems to be a never-ending well.

  2. Really? What half Witt would even consider this? Go away! We don’t want your socialist ideas in South Dakota. California and New York would love it though!

  3. We keep forgetting that Rick has been ordained to save us from ourselves.

    I think I need to amend my 4th of July pledge to:

    “I pledge allegiance to SCOTUS and Rick Weiland.”

    Note how succinct and simple that is.

  4. Can you clarify, Mr. Powers? Does “Expand(ing) the definition of lobbying to include efforts to influence state executive, department, or agency action. [§ 2-12-1, 11] Currently only applies to legislation.” include you taking money from the Koch Bros’ AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY to promote their KEYSTONE XL in Pierre? No wonder your panties are bunched.

    1. Porter –

      Are you really that whacked out on the fringe?

      I run my blog as a business. The little boxes on the sides are called advertising. They support the costs on upkeep for the website, just like a couple of other SD blogs. (Newspapers and TV stations do a similar thing as well.) It’s not a secret.

      Someone wants to pay me for lobbying, that’s a different business. Right now, I devote my lobbying efforts – at no cost except my own – to kids with Autism.

    2. Porter Lansing: Inadvertently recruiting new young people to the South Dakota Republican Party with each of his postings. Keep them coming Porter! 🙂

  5. Thank-you Mr. Powers and minion,
    We’ve established that you take money from the Koch Brothers and that you use that money to support yourself. When you promote KeystoneXL the two are entwined. That’s lobbying, sir. But, it’s a slice better than the three national politicans that take Koch campaign donation. It’s common knowledge what they demand in return and this blowback about the water pollution regulations from EPA proves it.

    1. Porter, I hope you’ve written letters to KELO, KSFY, and KDLT asking them to stop lobbying for Billion Auto.

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