Sioux Falls Argus Leader: 5 looming campaign ethics questions facing South Dakota (In the News)

Sioux Falls Argus Leader: 5 looming campaign ethics questions facing South Dakota

By Dana Ferguson

The sprawling reform package, known in South Dakota as Initiated Measure 22, was designed to limit the influence of outside money in state government. The 34-page law, narrowly passed by voters Nov. 8, creates strict new rules on lobbying and fundraising and establishes an independent ethics commission…

Free-speech groups have said they plan to challenge the law for limiting political free speech, a potential civil rights violation. David Keating, president of the Virginia-based Center for Competitive Politics, said he’d heard from at least one person interested in bringing a lawsuit following the law’s enactment.

“I think a court challenge is inevitable,” he said. “It’s just a question of when.”

Other attorneys said the law’s language approving an appropriation from the state’s general fund without consent of the state Legislature violates the South Dakota Constitution and could also be grounds for legal action.

Attorney General Marty Jackley, who will have the constitutional obligation to defend the law now that it is on the books, said he alerted voters to the possible constitutional problems with the law in his explanation of IM 22.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.