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What is the North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment?

A:

The North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment seeks to increase transparency, reform lobbying and conflicts of interest rules, and create an ethics commission.

The Amendment:

  • Bans foreign money from elections: Prohibits campaign contributions and election spending by foreign corporations, foreign countries, and foreign nationals.
  • Prevents personal use of campaign money: Protects the ban on personal use of campaign contributions for personal expenses by enshrining it in the constitution.
  • Increases transparency: Requires that all significant amounts of money raised or spent to influence state elections be fully disclosed and placed online for the public to see.
  • Bans lobbyist gifts: Restricts gifts from lobbyists to public officials.
  • Closes the revolving door: Bans elected public officials from also serving as lobbyists, and makes it illegal for public officials to take jobs as lobbyists for two years after leaving office.
  • Roots out conflicts of interest: Strengthens conflict-of-interest rules for members of state agencies.
  • Holds public officials accountable: Creates a nonpartisan ethics commission to receive and investigate ethics complaints, set ethics rules, and provide ethics training programs.

Click here for the full text of the amendment.

Why do we need the Amendment?

A:
  • We have a fundamental right to know who is spending money to influence our elections. This measure brings transparency to all major political spending so North Dakotans know who is funding campaigns. We must protect the integrity of our elections from the corrupting influence of secret money
  • This measure is about making government in North Dakota work for you and your family, not just the well-connected and powerful.
  • North Dakota has no impartial source of information, expertise, advice, or investigation on ethical behavior in state government.  All but eight other states have an ethics commission. It's just common sense to hold politicians accountable and increase transparency.

Who's supporting the amendment?

A:

North Dakotans for Public Integrity. We are a group of North Dakota citizens who organized ourselves to educate and inform our state about the importance of integrity and public accountability by government institutions, to promote efforts to increase accountability and integrity of government institutions in North Dakota, and to support proposals which will increase the people’s confidence in the honesty and transparency of their government and public officials. We are led by two co-chairs.

  • Dina Butcher, Republican Co-Chair, North Dakotans for Public Integrity. Dina has worked extensively in state government, serving as Human Rights Division director under Gov. John Hoeven, director of the Community Services Division under Gov. Ed Schafer, as well as director of his state Leadership Initiative and as deputy agriculture commissioner. She was named 2015 Woman of the Year by the ND Women’s Network. Butcher previously owned and operated Association Management Services, managing associations, and launching businesses for various ag interests. A former teacher, she is past president of the Bismarck Rotary Club.
  • Ellen Chaffee, Democrat Co-Chair, North Dakotans for Public Integrity Ellen is a national governance consultant for university boards of trustees. She was a leader in the North Dakota university system for over 30 years, serving as president of Valley City State University, president of Mayville State University and academic vice-chancellor for the North Dakota University System. She has been board chair of MeritCare Health System, president of two national professional associations and received awards from the governor, ND Women’s Network, ND Women of Today, and the chambers of commerce of North Dakota, Fargo-Moorhead, and Valley City.