Ethics Commission Measure Submitted to Secretary of State for Approval

Ryan Taylor announces Ellen Chaffee as a Dem-NPL candidate for lieutenant governor during a press conference Wednesday, March 14, 2012, in Fargo, N.D. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Earlier this week I broke the news that former Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Ellen Chaffee was circulating a draft of an initiated measure aimed at amending the state constitution to, among other things, create an ethics commission.

Today Secretary of State Al Jaeger announced that the proposed measure has been submitted for approval to be circulated for signatures.

You can read the finalized text of the proposed measure below. Petitioners need to collect more than 26,904 valid signatures by February 12, 2018, to be on the June primary ballot or by July 9, 2018, to make the November ballot.

The sponsoring committee behind the measure is interesting. Bismarck resident Dina Butcher is the chairperson, I suppose to give the proposal a patina of bipartisanship, though Butcher has been donating money to left wing candidates and causes in recent election cycles according to the FEC and other disclosure databases. It’s also interesting that Butcher is the chair given that it was Chaffee who did most of the organizing behind the measure.

A press release (PDF) sent out by a group calling itself North Dakotans for Public Integrity names Butcher and Chaffee as co-chairs.

This morning a SAB reader who is also a college student emailed this about a visit Chaffee paid to the NDSU campus:

She and her husband visited a meeting of the ND Student Association a few months back and brought in some fear mongering videos from an organization called “Represent US”. It was an awful presentation, tied to a national organization, that was clearly ignited by partisan politics. When she was challenged on the validity of some her information and the proposal she was bringing forward, her only response to a room of 18 to 22 year olds was that she had been involved for much longer and in turn had more experience. Not a very convincing argument.
I have since spotted the two on NDSU’s campus with clipboards. It would seem to be pretty easy to target young people for your cause when you go around spreading fear and misrepresenting ‘facts’ about the state of politics in ND.

Also on the sponsoring committee is Paul Sorum (the guy who filed a lawsuit aiming to declare himself the winner of the 2012 gubernatorial election despite getting about 2 percent of the vote) and a whole bunch of familiar name from partisan Democratic circles.

Anyway, here’s the whole announcement from the Secretary of State’s office. At first glance it appears the finalized version of the proposed measure isn’t all that different from the draft I posted earlier this week.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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