I have an idea..... Maybe for later.

I had an anonymous commenter ask me the other day if I might take of the cause of campaign finance, a topic I talk about a lot:
PP - hows about you and I start a initiative process to pass meaningful campaign finance reform. The Rs won't get it done as long as its a D idea, so the only option left is for us to make revisions.

Wanna take me up?
Tempting. But I have faith in our legislature to take another run at it this next session after some of the egregious stuff that's taken place this cycle, such as Vision South Dakota and the Midwest Coalition for Progress, an unreported PAC which shares an address with the equally mysterious South Dakota Association.

So, nah. I'll take a pass for the moment.

But as I toss in my bed, I do find my thoughts returning to something I had considered at one time, which has nothing to do with campaign finance. But it would alter the election process on a statewide basis.

In other words, some would label me as a trouble maker. And others would say, "heck yes."

I'd even gone so far as to research it to the point where I know it would be an initiated measure because all that would be required would be a simple change in state law.

And as far as the language goes, it would be a short measure.

I'm pretty sure the two major political party organizations would have mixed feelings about it because it would change what they do more than it would anyone else out there. Old timers in the process would hate it, and young up and comers would love it. A lot.

Opposition forces? Let's just say as I watch them out there this year, the one or two groups who I anticipate that might oppose it can barely find their rearends with both hands in the initiated measure process. But by the same token, by the nature of the measure, there's a limited natural constituency that I can readily identify who would embrace it.

Maybe some time after the election, I'll talk about it in less vaguery and lay out some concrete ideas and my reasoning why I think it would be a good thing.

But for now... I think I got enough off of my chest to get to bed.

Comments

nonnie said…
Hey, not nice. You get us all excited about an idea and then say, sorry, I'll tell you later maybe.

How about simple campaign finance reform? Simply limit the amount an individual can give, outlaw PAC's and all their cousins, and limit the campaign time itself.

But back to your idea, please???
Anonymous said…
PP,
Do you really think the parties will agree to finance reform? Why should they? They know the system now and can control everything. This issue is ripe for an initiative.
I agree the language should be simple.
First, every dollar gets reported. There are no limits. Reports are filed weekely. All reports will be electronic. This shouldn't be hard since all the campaigns keep or should keep this information anyway.
Todd Epp said…
Pat:

Um, you forgot the mention the biggest problem this election--Roger Hunt's little corporation. I'm sure that was an oversight.

Frankly, I do not expect our legislature to do anything meaningful on campaign finance reform. We can wait and see what they do in Pierre. But I think your idea for an initiated measure on campaign finance is a great idea. And it probably does have to be done outside of the party structures.

I even have a name for the group: "Transparent South Dakota."

Another approach would be to form a Common Cause chapter to do this. Nebraska has a very active chapter and they could give us an organizational hand.

Sign me up.

Todd
Anonymous said…
where did he say his idea was for campaign finance?
Anonymous said…
he said he's been grumbling about it, and I offered to help organize the petition drive.

and, if I made a contribution to the effort, I sure as hell wouldn't remain anonymous.
PP said…
Guys, lets see what the session brings. I've already heard of one GOP legislator who is going to bring the issue up.
Anonymous said…
A good start would be Lee Schoenbeck's bill from a couple of years ago. I agree with pp, we should let the leg act or fail to act before anybody starts an intiative.
RDM111 said…
Only full disclosure of all dollars will solve the problem.
I have no problem with any individual or corporation giving $750,000 to a candiate, party or issue. I just want full and immediated disclosure of the fact.
I don't believe the legislature will do anything unless there is a strong movement. Sign me up for Transparent South Dakota

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