Concerned Women for America of North Dakota is opposed to Measure 1
Vote “NO” on Measure 1. Don’t be fooled by the poorly written “anti-corruption” measure. This measure inserts sweeping new language into the state constitution and creates an ethics commission that could investigate claims made against lobbyists, public officials, candidates, and even churches and charities. Doesn’t sound that bad? Read on.
There are good reasons Concerned Women for America is opposed to Measure 1:
- Measure 1 would force all churches and charities to disclose every donor if the organization used $200 or more for influencing “government action”. Section 1 of the measure directs the legislature to institute laws requiring the “disclosure of the ultimate and true source of funds spent in any medium, in an amount greater than two hundred dollars, adjusted for inflation, to influence any statewide election, election for the legislative assembly, statewide ballot-issue election, or to lobby or otherwise influence state government action.”
In other words, Measure 1 requires churches and charities to disclose publically the names of the contributors, regardless of the size of the contribution, for merely engaging in the public square (this includes inside or outside of the church building). In fact, if a pastor talks about the importance of life, he would be attempting to influence government action, and therefore, the names of contributors could then be made public. Imagine all of the Scripture passages that could never be taught. Further, engaging or “influencing government action” prevents those in church leadership from mentioning the effects of a proposed measure on a broad range of issues such as the sanctity of life, private school and home school education, or sanctity of marriage without the result of public disclosure of the name of everyone that has made a contribution to the church!
- If passed, this constitutional mandate will effectively discourage participation in advocacy groups, like Concerned Women for America. For example, if Measure One is passed into law, our volunteer CWA leaders traveling hours to Bismarck will be required to report the spending of their own money for fuel, meals and lodging if the costs are $200 or higher! Volunteers will be required to report their expenses, even if there is no reimbursement of their costs by Concerned Women for America. This poorly written measure has no exception to the reporting requirement so that any individual spending their own money to travel in order to express their views about a piece of public policy or a campaign to a political official or candidate must report their travel expenses.
- This is poorly written and potentially violates individual rights to free speech. On September 25, North Dakotans for Sound Government (NDSG) and the American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota held a press conference to present reasons voters should oppose Measure 1. At the news conference in Fargo, Geoff Simon, the chairman of NDSG and executive director of the Western Dakota Energy Association, agreed with the ACLU that the measure is poorly written and very likely unconstitutional.
“We already have an open, honest and transparent process,” he said. “I’ve characterized it as a solution in search of a problem. To me, it’s one of those feel-good things where they think they’re doing something, but it will create all kinds of havoc if it should pass.”
Heather Smith of the North Dakota ACLU said the measure isn’t just about lobbyists and lawmakers. “As citizens, we have an obligation to become informed about public issues, to express our own opinions and interests. Measure 1 has the potential to limit this,” Smith said. “Our First Amendment rights are too important to let this constitutional mandate pass.”
Campaign finance records show those behind this North Dakota Measure are largely out-of-state groups, Represent.Us, a Massachusetts-based group, Voters Right to Know in California and End Citizens United from Washington, D.C.
A Call to Action:
- Vote “No“ on Measure 1.
- Pass along this important message to your friends and family tell them to mark their calendar to vote on November 6, 2018.
A Call to Prayer:
- Pray for all voters throughout our state. May God give all the wisdom needed to vote in the way that honors Him.
- “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.“ Proverbs 14:8
Read for yourself the specifics of Measure 1:
- Read Official Ballot Language for Measurers Appearing on the Election Ballot November 6, 2018
- North Dakota Catholic Conference website
- North Dakota Secretary of State website