Opposition to Measure 1 Funded by a Flood of Unaccountable, Secret Money

94% of Funding for "North Dakotans for Sound Government" Comes from Eight Corporate Interest Groups, Several of Which Do Not Disclose Original Funding Sources

Oct. 9, 2018 (Bismarck, ND)—North Dakotans for Sound Government, the committee opposing Measure 1, has reported receiving over $223,500 in contributions, of which $210,000 (94%) has come from eight corporate interest groups, several of which do not disclose the original sources of their campaign funds and have ties to out-of-state and multinational corporations.

The table below details the eight major contributions from corporate interest groups to North Dakotans for Sound Government:

Funder Amount
Allete/BNI Coal $25,000
Basin Electric Power Cooperative $30,000
Great River Energy $30,000
Greater North Dakota Chamber $30,000
Lignite Energy Council $25,000
MDU Resources Group $10,000
Minnkota Power Cooperative $30,000
North Dakota Petroleum Council $30,000

 

“It only takes one look at the special-interests funding the campaign to oppose Measure 1 to know exactly why they are afraid of it,” said Dina Butcher, President of North Dakotans for Public Integrity, the committee sponsoring Measure 1. “These lobbying groups routinely spend money to influence North Dakota elections and government, and under current North Dakota law, they never have to tell voters where their money is really coming from. That’s exactly the way they want to keep it.”

If passed, Measure 1 would give North Dakotans a right to know the true, original sources of the money being spent to influence state politics. It would also ban political spending by foreign entities, and would rein in the influence of lobbyists by placing common-sense restrictions on lobbyist gifts and the "revolving door" between elected office and lobbying. More information, and the full text of the North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment, can be found at www.ndintegrity.org.

“North Dakota voters deserve to know who is trying to influence their decisions at the ballot box, and the decisions of the people they elect to represent them,” said Ellen Chaffee, Vice President of North Dakotans for Public Integrity. “Those of us who care about the integrity of North Dakota government need to take a stand against the unaccountable special interests and lobbyists that use pay-to-play influence to further their own profit, with no concern for the lives of everyday North Dakotans. That’s what Measure 1 is all about.”

North Dakotans for Public Integrity, the North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment, has also filed its pre-general campaign finance report with the Secretary of State. Unlike North Dakotans for Sound Government, all of the original sources of North Dakotans for Public Integrity’s funding are fully transparent.

Butcher said, "North Dakotans for Sound Government have no accountability and no concern for the people of North Dakota. They just want to keep their game of big money and influence hidden from voters."

Measure 1 is a "North Dakota Grown" amendment, written and sponsored by a group of North Dakotans from across the political spectrum who believe it is essential for us to protect the integrity of our state and our government from the influence of unaccountable special interests. It was placed on the ballot with the signatures of over 36,000 North Dakota voters who want a government that works for them and their families not just the well-connected and powerful forces running our state.