Thanks to Paid Petitioners and a Pile Left Wing Money, Group Behind Ethics Ballot Measure to Turn in Signatures Three Weeks Early

Dina Butcher, left, hands North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger a proposed petition for a ballot measure to add anti-corruption policies to the state constitution Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018 at the state Capitol in Bismarck. John Hageman / Forum News Service

The North Dakotans for Public Integrity – a local front group for a national left wing organization called Represent.us – says they’ll be submitting “well over the required 26,904 petition signatures” to put a constitutional amendment on the statewide ballot which would create a state ethics committee.

That’s according to an email they sent out today to supporters which you can read below. They plan to submit the signatures on June 18, which would put them about three weeks ahead of the deadline to make the November ballot.

Of course, it’s easy to gather that many signatures that quickly when you’re paying people to collect signatures with a giant pot of out of state money.

The supposedly local group has touted itself as bipartisan, but a quick look at the financial details they’ve disclosed to the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office shows a ton of money from left wing groups and almost exclusive support from out of state.

According to what’s been disclosed, through May 25 NDPI has raised $367,198.61 in the drafting and pre-primary reporting periods.. The bulk of those contributions have – despite the claims from the local front group of bipartisanship – come from left wing organizations.

Click the links for some background on each group:

All of these groups are clearly on the left side of American politics.

Represent.us has a number of Hollywood celebrities on its board – notably outspoken actress Jennifer Lawrence – and receives financial support from a number of left wing organizations like Atlantic Foundation, Tides Foundation, and Park Foundation.

Voters Right to Know is a California-based group which backed a ballot measure there which would have severely curtailed political speech in the name of transparency.

End Citizens United is a political action committee originally founded to oppose the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United vs. FEC. These days it mostly raises and spends money to elect Democrats. The organization has endorsed Democratic candidates such as Zephyr Teachout, Hillary Clinton, Russ Feingold, Beto O’Rourke, Elizabeth Warren and Jon Ossoff.

In individual donations – those of more than $100 which must be disclosed under state law – there were $275,964 worth. Of that total just one donation of $1,000 from former Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Sarah Vogel was from North Dakota.

The rest of the contributions came from individuals living out of state. Here’s the list from the pre-primary report:

There’s a lot of irony in this information.

Supposedly this effort is organized around the idea of getting the influence of deep pockets out of politics. And yet this effort is being bankrolled by left wing groups and out of state individuals with deep pockets.

The email about the group turning in signatures is below. You can read their ballot measure and my analysis of it here.

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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