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Power grab no laughing matter

Amy Phillips, Fargo

I recently saw an article regarding a new initiated measure by a group called “Protect North Dakota’s Constitution.” I had to chuckle a little bit, because it should be more like “Protect the Bank Accounts of North Dakota Big Business,” because that’s who’s behind the proposal.

Obviously, this attempted power grab by Big Business is a reaction to the courageous Badass Grandmas for helping to bring us an Ethics Commission, which the voters overwhelmingly approved in 2018. We’ve needed ethics measures in our state government for a long time. It’s a good thing that our legislators now can’t be bought off with expensive drinks and meals at Bismarck’s finest restaurants night after night during legislative sessions. And, yes, that was the case before the new ethics laws. It’s not an exaggeration.

In addition, this damaging proposal by Big Business is a way for the Republican establishment to chip away at our state’s citizen-driven system to initiate new ideas and bring them to the voters. This process is an important part of our state’s history.

And, as we’ve seen during the 2021 legislative session, the Republican supermajority doesn’t exactly come up with the best ideas. Case in point: they proposed a bunch of bills this session to restrict your ability to vote.

Unfortunately, we’re going to see Big Business and Big Oil spend a lot of money on this measure. It will be a million dollar campaign that aims to inhibit the effectiveness of your vote. “Protect North Dakota’s Constitution” doesn’t protect voters. They think they’re smarter than you. Don’t sign their petition that’s currently being circulated!

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