Gov. Noem defends ‘dark money’ push as privacy protection

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“Even with the exemption for campaign finance filings, it could facilitate legal protections for dark money spending in South Dakota’s elections,” said Austin Graham, a lawyer with the Campaign Legal Center based in Washington. Such laws are not meant to protect donors to organizations like churches and soup kitchens, Graham said. Instead, they protect organizations that promote “social welfare” through research, lobbying and efforts to influence political campaigns. “Allowing the public to have access to information about the sources of money that are spent to influence their voting decisions is really a core tenet of a healthy democracy,” Graham said.

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