Sponsors of the North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment submitted more than 38,000 signatures to ND Secretary of State Al Jaeger today to qualify the measure for the November 6, 2018 ballot.
“These solutions are just about common-sense, not politics,” said Dina Butcher Republican President of North Dakotans for Public Integrity, the nonpartisan, citizen-led group sponsoring the proposal. “Our aim is to ensure that government in North Dakota is working for you and your family, not just the well-connected and powerful. Who could disagree with that?”
“We have a fundamental right to know who is spending money to influence our elections,” said Ellen Chaffee, Vice-President of North Dakotans for Public Integrity. “This measure brings transparency to all major political spending so North Dakotans know who is funding campaigns. “North Dakota simply needs these basic transparency and accountability controls found in many other states.”
North Dakota is one of only eight states without an ethics commission. Government in North Dakota has received failing grades for transparency, accountability, and ethics enforcement in 2015 and 2012 reports by the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity. The solutions in the North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment, if passed by voters, would immediately improve the state's national ranking for integrity.
The North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment was drafted to include six common-sense accountability reforms, while also establishing a North Dakota ethics commission to enforce the law.
- Increasing transparency: Requires that all significant amounts of money raised or spent to influence elections be fully disclosed and placed online for the public.
- Preventing personal use of campaign money: Protects the ban on personal use of campaign contributions for personal expenses by enshrining it in the constitution.
- Banning lobbyist gifts: Restricts lobbyist gifts to public officials.
- Banning foreign money from elections: Prohibits campaign contributions and election spending by foreign countries, foreign corporations, and foreign nationals.
- Closing 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.
- Rooting out conflicts of interest: Strengthens conflict-of-interest rules for members of state agencies.
North Dakotans for Public Integrity includes North Dakotans from across the political spectrum. Input in drafting the Anti-Corruption Amendment was received from former elected and appointment officials, educators, public policy specialists, North Dakota attorneys and national experts. North Dakotans for Public Integrity celebrated with a rally on the steps of the North Dakota state capitol before delivering eight boxes of signed petitions to the Secretary of State’s office.
26,904 valid signatures are required to certify the amendment for the November 2018 ballot.
More information and full text of the North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment can be found at www.ndintegrity.org
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.