Defeat 22 Kickoff in Rapid City

Larry Rhoden

Larry Rhoden

Defeat 22, the campaign to defeat South Dakota’s Initiated Measure 22 at the ballot box this year, held a campaign kickoff event in Rapid City this evening. It was hosted by Americans for Prosperity, one of the coalition members of Defeat 22.

Larry Rhoden, West River spokesman for the campaign, spoke on several of the key problems with the proposed measure which South Dakotans will vote on at the ballot box in November.

The primary concern for many people is the fact that IM 22 would use taxpayer funds to pay for the campaigns of politicians running in elections. There is no designated source of revenue for the estimated $12 million this measure would cost in paying for campaign contributions alone, which means the funds would likely come out of general funds–funds that are usually used for things like roads, education, and so forth. Many people believe campaign coffers should be funded the “free market” way, i.e. the way a company will get people’s money if people like the product, so a campaign will get people’s money if they like the candidate. In other words, people choose which candidates will get financial support with their own money, rather than with someone else’s money.

The measure also calls for an “ethics commission” to examine matters of ethics in government. While this sounds good in theory, the members will be unelected and thus unaccountable to the people, and will likely be comprised of members who are just as partisan as they would be if they came to hold those positions through other means.

IM 22 would also place additional requirements on political speech that would likely have a chilling effect on freedom of speech.

Rhoden invited attendees to read an analysis on the measure done by the Center for Competitive Politics.

Woodrow Wilcox

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You can also find out more about Initiated Measure 22 by reading the 2016 Ballot Questions pamphlet available at the South Dakota Secretary of State’s website, as well as the South Dakota Attorney General’s statement on IM22.

Below is a video of Rhoden’s presentation, including questions and answers which followed.



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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
Bob Ellis
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