North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment Certified for Ballot
BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger certified the North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment for the November ballot. North Dakotans for Public Integrity, the nonpartisan group sponsoring the amendment, collected 38,451 petition signatures, far more than the 26,904 valid signatures required. The Secretary of State accepted 36,849 signatures, which is 9,945 more than needed, a quality rate of 96%. The group turned in petitions on June 18th, 2018.
“It’s time to inject some transparency and accountability back into government here in North Dakota. These solutions are not about politics – they are just common sense,” said Dina Butcher, Republican President of North Dakotans for Public Integrity. “Our aim is to ensure that government in North Dakota is working for you and your family, and for all North Dakotans. Passage of the North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment will affirm the North Dakota value that our government is for everybody – not just the wealthy, the well-connected, and the powerful. Who could disagree with that?”
North Dakota is one of only seven states without an ethics commission. Government in North Dakota has received failing grades for transparency, accountability, and ethics enforcement in the 2015 and 2012 reports by the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity. The solutions in the North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment, if passed by voters, would immediately improve the state’s national ranking for integrity.
“North Dakotans have a fundamental right to know who is funding and influencing campaigns, politicians and public officials,” said Ellen Chaffee, Vice-President of North Dakotans for Public Integrity. “With the ND Anti-Corruption Amendment, North Dakotans will be able to hold funders, politicians, and public servants accountable, and in turn, they will know what the public expects of them. It is a start at fixing the system we all know is broken.”
The North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment was drafted to include six common-sense accountability reforms, while also establishing a North Dakota ethics commission to enforce the law.
Increasing transparency: Requires that all significant amounts of money raised or spend to influence elections to be fully disclosed and placed online for the public.
Preventing personal use of campaign money: Protects the ban on personal use of campaign contributions for personal expenses by enshrining it in the constitution.
Banning lobbyist gifts: Restrict lobbyist gifts to public officials.
Banning foreign money from elections: Prohibits campaign contributions and election spending by foreign countries, foreign corporations, and foreign nationals.
Closing the revolving door: Bans elected public officials from also serving as lobbyists and makes it illegal for public officials to take jobs as lobbyists for two years after leaving office.
Rooting out conflicts of interest: Strengthens conflict-of-interest rules for members of state agencies.
North Dakotans for Public Integrity includes North Dakotans from across the political spectrum. Input in drafting the Anti-Corruption Amendment was received from former elected and appointed officials, educators, public policy specialists, North Dakota attorneys and national experts. “North Dakota has always been a place where people feel connected to their government and this citizen-led effort continues that connection. We had nearly 100 North Dakota volunteers circulating petitions in every corner of the state. From every age and every background, voters care about these issues and maintaining a government we can trust.” said Chaffee.
More information and full text of the North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment can be found at www.ndintegrity.org
Dina Butcher, President, North Dakotans for Public Integrity
Dina has worked extensively in state government, serving as Human Rights Division director under Gov. John Hoeven, director of the Community Services Division under Gov. Ed Schafer, as well as director of his state Leadership Initiative and as deputy agriculture commissioner. She was named 2015 Woman of the Year by the ND Women’s Network. Butcher previously owned and operated Association Management Services, managing associations, and launching businesses for various ag interests. A former teacher, she is past president of the Bismarck Rotary Club.
Ellen Chaffee, Vice-President, North Dakotans for Public Integrity
Ellen is a national governance consultant for university boards of trustees. She was a leader in the North Dakota university system for over 30 years, serving as president of Valley City State University, president of Mayville State University and academic vice-chancellor for the North Dakota University System. She has been board chair of MeritCare Health System, president of two national professional associations and received awards from the governor, ND Women’s Network, ND Women of Today, and the chambers of commerce of North Dakota, Fargo-Moorhead, and Valley City.
Kathy Tweeten, Treasurer, North Dakotans for Public Integrity
Kathy is the president of the Joint Council of Extension Professionals, a national organization representing over 10,000 active professionals. She is also past president of numerous boards – regionally, in North Dakota, nationally, and internationally. Kathy worked for the NDSU Extension service for 30 years in the areas of community economic and leadership development and retiring after 10 years as the Director of the NDSU Extension Center for Community Vitality. She is currently an Extension Specialist Emeritus in the NDSU Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.
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.