"North Dakotans for Sound Government" Is a Front Group for Unaccountable Special Interests Who Want to Keep Their Political Spending Hidden from North Dakota Voters
A coalition representing dozens of corporations headquartered outside of North Dakota is announcing its intention to actively oppose Measure 1, the North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment, which would bring full transparency to the money being spent in North Dakota elections and rein in the influence of out-of-state interests and special-interest lobbyists.
The opposition group, which calls itself “North Dakotans for Sound Government,” includes trade associations such as the Greater North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, the North Dakota Petroleum Council, and the Lignite Energy Council, who together have at least 40 out-of-state corporations represented on their boards of directors - comprising more than half of their collective board membership.
Get the Facts: What Would Measure 1 Actually Do?
In addition to giving North Dakotans a “right to know” the true sources of money to influence their elections and government, Measure 1 would ban political contributions and spending by foreign entities for the purpose of influencing North Dakota elections.
“Out-of-state special interests - even foreign companies - are using an avalanche of secret money in an attempt to influence our state elections and government, with no accountability and no concern for the people of North Dakota,” said Dina Butcher, President of North Dakotans for Public Integrity, the committee sponsoring Measure 1. “Measure 1 bans foreign contributions and increases transparency because we have a right to know who is funding our elections and influencing politicians.”
“The North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment is a common-sense measure developed by North Dakotans, for North Dakotans. It was written carefully by former elected and appointed public officials, educators, public policy specialists, and attorneys to protect the integrity of North Dakota and its government from the undue influence of special interests,” said Ellen Chaffee, Vice-President of North Dakotans for Public Integrity. “Who wouldn’t want more transparency and accountability in our state government? The only people who fear transparency are those with something to hide.”
In addition to banning foreign political spending and increasing transparency, Measure 1 would reduce the influence of special-interest lobbyists by restricting their gifts to public officials, prohibiting lobbyists from simultaneously serving as elected officials, closing the revolving door, and establishing a state ethics commission.
More information and full text of the North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment can be found at https://www.ndintegrity.org/learn_more
About North Dakotans for Public Integrity
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.