Republican lawmakers in South Dakota are ready to declare a legislative emergency so that they quickly and completely wipe out an ethics and campaign finance reform law adopted by popular vote in November.
The measure, known as IM-22, passed with 52 percent of the vote. It is supposed to create an independent commission to oversee investigations into ethical misconduct by elected officials, impose tougher limits on campaign contributions and lobbyists’ gifts to lawmakers, place restrictions on lawmakers becoming lobbyists, increase disclosure by independent political groups, and set up a system to publicly finance elections.
Republican lawmakers from Gov. Dennis Daugaard to state Senate Majority Leader Blake Curd came out against the initiative before the election. The opposition was heavily funded by the South Dakota chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the largest advocacy arm of the conservative political machine run by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.