2 groups oppose ND's anti-corruption Measure 1: Organizations speak out against amendment, calling it poorly written and possibly unconstitutional

Grank Forks Herald

The newly formed North Dakotans for Sound Government and the American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota said Tuesday, Sept. 25, that the measure, which supporters call an "anti-corruption amendment," is poorly written and potentially violates individual rights to free speech.

The measure asks voters during the Nov. 6 election to decide whether to add anti-corruption language into the state constitution, including the creation of an ethics commission that could investigate claims made against public officials, candidates and lobbyists.

But 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.

But Corey Goldstone of the Campaign Legal Center, an organization working with proponents of Measure 1, said that example is "simply false.""The money the individual pays to stay at the Bismarck Hilton is not 'funds spent to lobby,'" he said. "The legislator gets nothing from that spending. But if an individual treats a legislator to a $250 meal and tries to influence the legislator in the process, that would be covered because the meal is part of the actual lobbying activity."

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