A Bunch of Hollywood Celebrities Just Bought Their Way Onto North Dakota’s Ballot

Secretary of State Al Jaeger receives a filing from a group calling themselves North Dakotans for Public Integrity.

Yesterday a group calling themselves the North Dakotans for Public Integrity announced that their constitutional amendment has been qualified to appear on the November ballot.

Unfortunately this group is not really made up of North Dakotans. Nor do they have integrity.

The ballot measure, which you can read here, is supposedly about promoting ethics. Yet the manner in which it was put on the ballot doesn’t seem very ethical to me.

Below is a spreadsheet of contributions I created by downloading data from the group’s disclosure reports filed with the Secretary of State’s office. By my count the group has reported over $390,000 in contributions, but the totals were so confusing I called the Secretary of State’s office where an official (who said they’re working on clearing things up with the group) said their count was more like $379,000.

Not a great situation for a group supposedly out to promote transparency in politics.

The bulk of that money has been funneled through far-left groups like Represent.us and a pro-Hillary Clinton PAC called End Citizens United.

The involvement of the latter group is ironic given that they are supposedly organized around the idea of limiting the influence of well-monied interests in politics. It’s also a bit hypocritical that NDPI has been pitching itself as a bi-partisan organization when they’re getting the bulk of their financial support from groups that are definitely on the left in terms of ideology.

Also, the North Dakotans for Public Integrity mostly aren’t North Dakotans. According to financial reports just $4,250 of the hundreds of thousands of dollars in itemized contributions to this effort came from North Dakotans.

The rest came from a laundry list of out-of-state citizens including a whole lot of names you probably recognize from Hollywood.

Here’s a sampling:

  • Olivia Wilde
  • Molly Shannon
  • Christina Applegate
  • Kirsten Dunst
  • Steve Carrell
  • Tyler Perry
  • Jerry Bruckheimer
  • Judd Apatow
  • Bob Odenkirk
  • Tim Meadows
  • Whitney Cummings

There are a lot more names you probably recognize from the list (which is below) but you get the ponit.

Those contributions came through the group Represent.us which, in total, contributed over $250,000 to the North Dakotans for Public Integrity.

The question, though, is why?

Why does Better Call Saul actor Bob Odenkirk want to amend North Dakota’s constitution?

Has actress Kirsten Dunst ever actually been to our state? UPDATE: Apparently she has, per the comments, go figure.

Again, this ballot measure was promoted by a group calling itself North Dakotans for Public Integrity, but that’s entirely misleading. The group may have North Dakotans acting as the face of the campaign, but the driving force behind the ballot measure are national left-of-center groups funded in large part by Hollywood celebrities.

Does anyone else see a problem with that situation? Particularly when it exists with a campaign that’s supposedly about promoting transparency and ethics in government?

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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