Measure 1 Scores Major Victory Against Powerful Special Interests, Bringing More Transparency and Accountability to Government in North Dakota

“The powers that be should take notice of this landmark victory—we're not going away until transparency and accountability are the order of the day in North Dakota politics.”

—Dina Butcher, President, North Dakotans for Public Integrity

Bismarck, Nov. 6, 2018Measure 1, the North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment, scored a major victory today. The voices of 54% of North Dakotans voting ‘Yes,’ demanding transparency and accountability in our state government, has been heard loud and clear, winning out over well-financed opposition by special interest groups and lobbyists.

“We’re so proud of all of the people in our state who stood up and called for a government that works for the ordinary people of North Dakota, not just special interests,” said Dina Butcher, President, North Dakotans for Public Integrity. “Our campaign to pass Measure 1 was opposed by many powerful and entrenched interests who did everything they could to keep voters in the dark—interests that benefit greatly from using unaccountable political spending to keep government in our state tipped in their favor, at great cost to North Dakotans. But today, more North Dakotans than ever before stood united around this issue and demonstrated that our government belongs to us. And we’re going to keep fighting together until the laws that give us the kind of transparency and accountability we deserve are fully implemented and enforced.”

“Now is the time to come together—Measure 1 supporters; the many ethical legislators, public officials, and lobbyists who want to see more accountability and transparency; even those who may have been on the other side of this measure but who have said they support the goal of a more transparent, accountable government,” said Ellen Chaffee, Vice President, North Dakotans for Public Integrity. “We look forward to working with folks from across the political spectrum to pass laws that will ensure the principles of Measure 1 are enacted well and that we have the kind of transparent and accountable government that North Dakotans deserve and trust—one that we can all be proud of for generations to come.”

In addition to increasing transparency and ending the use of "dark money" in North Dakota,  Measure 1 will ban foreign political spending, prohibit lobbyists from simultaneously serving as elected officials, close the revolving door between public service and lobbying, ban gifts from lobbyists, and establish a state ethics commission to provide oversight and ensure accountability.

"We look forward to working together with one voice to help implement and enforce the reforms laid forth in Measure 1. The voters have spoken," said Kathy Tweeten, Treasurer, North Dakotans for Public Integrity.

North Dakotans for Public Integrity plans to continue its work for increased transparency and accountability in North Dakota government through legislative advocacy in the coming session.

Over a dozen leading North Dakotans from across the political spectrum, including former elected and appointed public officials, educators, public policy specialists, and attorneys, met weekly throughout 2017 to develop the North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment. They discussed the state’s needs, researched policies in many states, studied North Dakota law, interviewed public officials, met with citizens around the state, and consulted state and national experts in campaign finance, ethics, and elections. Over 36,000 North Dakota voters, thousands more than the state requires, signed on to place the measure on the November ballot.

The mission of North Dakotans for Public Integrity is to educate and inform North Dakotans about the importance of integrity and public accountability by government institutions.