Although they masqueraded as a bipartisan coalition the North Dakotans for Public Integrity, a local front group for the far left organizations which bankrolled the campaign behind Measure 1, were anything but. They are partisan Democrats, and Measure 1 is about restricting political speech and activity in North Dakota so that Democrats can win more elections.
So it shouldn’t surprise us at all that they are against a Republican-backed bill before the Legislature in Bismarck which seeks to implement Measure 1 in the manner that’s least harmful to the ability of North Dakotans to express themselves.
The group today issued a press release denouncing HB1521, saying it “significantly undermines the people’s right to know who is paying to influence
elections and government action, eviscerates and cripples the new ethics commission, and lowers ethical standards for public officials.”
You can read all of their gripes in their press release below. You’ll notice that the complaints are pretty vague.
Setting aside for a moment the complaints of the partisan activists at NDPI, more honest observers will now that HB1521 is a good faith effort to implement Measure 1 while avoiding some of its more odious restrictions on free speech (like the ones identified by the ACLU when they came out against the measure). But I’m not sure that’s what lawmakers should be doing.
I think they ought to implement Measure 1 in all of its draconian and speech-restricting glory, putting it on a path for an inevitable legal challenge so that the courts can strike it down as the affront to a free and inclusive political process it is.