Lobbyists Oppose Additional Transparency on Lobbying Efforts

A number of lobbyist organizations officially oppose Measure 1, the anti-corruption measure. If passed, it would create additional transparency on lobbying influence on elected officials among other changes. Some of the organizations come as no surprise. Other groups have reportedly declared opposition quietly and will tell their members to oppose it in November, but didn’t want to publicly oppose the measure. How transparent of those lobbyists.

The opposition, called “North Dakotans for Sound Government” filed with the Secretary of State on September 6th. They have been lobbying other organizations and political influencers to join their effort during this time. Who is funding them? We won’t know for a few days. The financial filing deadline for campaigns is September 27th. Starting on September 28th, campaigns must report contributions of $500 or more within 48 hours.

Filing with the Secretary of State

Back in July, Mike Fedorchak, State Director for Americans for Prosperity, told me without a hint of irony that AFP would likely oppose the measure because it was backed by out-of-state influencers. AFP is an out-of-state, Koch Brothers funded organization. They haven’t publicly joined the opposition yet. We will have to see if AFP is funding part of this campaign when the report becomes available online.

While other opposition members also rely on out-of-state resources, some of these same groups receive your tax dollars to subsidize and fund their operations. Specific councils, organizations, and associations have a cozy enough relationship with lawmakers and the elected members of the Industrial Commission that they aren’t even required to tell us specifically how and where they spend our money. More on this soon enough.

Lobbyists opposed to additional transparency on how they work to influence your state government. This should raise a red flag for voters. What don’t they want you knowing? However, they aren’t alone in opposing Measure 1. The American Civil Liberties Union has also opposed the measure. Check back for more on their claim.

Tyler Axness
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