Christopher Dodson is the executive director of the North Dakota Catholic Conference. His organization opposes Measure 1, the so-called “ethics” or “anti-corruption” ballot measure, and part of the argument he made to me on the radio show was interesting.
He noted that the measure (full text here) requires any organization spending more than $200 on political activity (including influencing state policy) disclose the “ultimate and true source” of funds spent on the endeavor. There is no exemption in the text of the measure for individuals or media organizations or even religious institutions.
Dodson notes that donations made to churches often end up going to organizations like his which then seek to lobby and influence state policy on issues like, say, human trafficking. Measure 1’s reporting requirement would mean that churches have to document and disclose where they get their funds from, up to and including the cash dropped in collection plates at church services.
You wonder if churches could even collection money through donation plates any more.
Here’s the full show. If you can’t listen live, get the podcast: