To the Editor,

I recently saw an article regarding a new initiated measure by a group called “Protect North Dakota’s Constitution.” I had to chuckle a little bit, because it should be more like “Protect the Bank Accounts of North Dakota Big Business,” because that’s who’s behind the proposal.

Obviously, this attempted power grab by Big Business is a reaction to the courageous Badass Grandmas for helping to bring us an Ethics Commission, which the voters overwhelmingly approved in 2018. We’ve needed ethics measures in our state government for a long time. It’s a good thing that our legislators now can’t be bought off with expensive drinks and meals at Bismarck’s finest restaurants night after night during legislative sessions. And, yes, that was the case before the new ethics laws. It’s not an exaggeration.

In addition, this damaging proposal by Big Business is a way for the Republican establishment to chip away at our state’s citizen-driven system to initiate new ideas and bring them to the voters. This process is an important part of our state’s history. 

And, as we’ve seen during the 2021 legislative session, the Republican supermajority doesn’t exactly come up with the best ideas. Case in point: they proposed a bunch of bills this session to restrict your ability to vote.

Unfortunately, we’re going to see Big Business and Big Oil spend a lot of money on this measure. It will be a million dollar campaign that aims to inhibit the effectiveness of your vote. “Protect North Dakota’s Constitution” doesn’t protect voters. They think they’re smarter than you. Don’t sign their petition that’s currently being circulated!

Amy Phillips

1420 3rd Ave. S.

Fargo, ND 58103

701-219-4591

To the Editor:

They’re at it again. The North Dakota political establishment and good old boys network are once more trying to rig the system to hamstring the citizen-powered initiated measure process.  

Now, big bankers and wealthy business owners who are close to the fossil fuels industry are creating a campaign to increase voter thresholds and make your vote less effective. Their slick campaign is dubbed “Protect North Dakota’s Constitution.” However, don’t let that name fool you. They’re out to protect themselves.

Here’s what they’re up to… instead of the current method of 50% plus 1 to win at the ballot box, they want to raise it to a 60% threshold to pass people-powered Constitutional initiated measures. It’s a power grab by Big Business. This measure’s sponsoring committee is full of wealthy elites, and they think they know better than the ordinary citizens in North Dakota! What are they so afraid of?  

This legislative session, the legislative establishment tried to pass similar measures. Thankfully, those bills were defeated. But, is it a coincidence that we’re now seeing those efforts brought back by a different group?

And, in the 2020 general election, North Dakota voters overwhelmingly defeated an initiative by the Legislature that would have made the Legislature the ultimate authority to approve Constitutional initiated measures. It was a government power grab. 

As you can tell, this is a pattern by the establishment and good old boys network in North Dakota to rig the system and hamstring the effectiveness of your vote. They’re constantly trying to place large roadblocks in front of North Dakota voters.

 

Sincerely,

Carol Sawicki

Fargo, ND

701-388-6957

[email protected]