Measure two is a nuanced measure pushed by former NDGOP Chair and current State Senate candidate for District 35, Gary Emineth. A lot of speculation has gone into why there is this push to amend the North Dakota Constitution. Adding to the suspicion is the funding behind it and how it is being spent. It appears Emineth, as Chair of the measure, is spending the measure’s money to promote his own Legislative campaign.
Liberty Initiative Fund out of Woodbridge, VA has been the large out-of-state donor to “North Dakotans for Citizen Voting Measure.” On August 29th, they donated $39,000 and on October 4th they gave another $10,000 to the committee chaired by Emineth. Earlier in July, the Liberty Initiative Fund donated $210,607 to the sponsoring committee. Emineth donated over $40,000 of his own money during that earlier process as well. That is a lot of money given to a measure that doesn’t have a formal opposition group working against it. That raises the question of where Emineth – as Chair – is spending the money.
It appears Emineth may be spending some of that measure money to benefit his own campaign for the Legislature. The Facebook page for the measure, “North Dakota Citizen Voting”, has sponsored posts promoting what Emineth the candidate would do if he was elected. “Sponsored” posts are boosted through money so people see it’s content. The sponsored posts indicate they are “paid for by North Dakotans for Citizen Voting.” Below is a screen capture of one of those sponsored posts.
As far as I can tell, the Liberty Initiative Fund has not disclosed who their donors are as they appear to be a non-profit according to online searches. The questions become is this an isolated event? Is this type of electioneering ethical of Emineth? Who would you bring this question to? Secretary of State? Attorney General? Is this another reason to look at Measure 1 and an ethics commission? This practice appears very unusual and is something that should be looked into further.