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The DOJ delivers the Comey memos to Congress. Also on our rundown: More evidence that rent prices are out of reach in many markets; Wisconsin counties brace for sulfide mining; and the Earth Day focus this weekend in North Dakota is on recycling.

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Coalition Launches Campaign to Defeat Initiated Measure 10

September 19, 2008

Pierre, SD – A state ballot issue that would prohibit government workers at all levels from donating money for lobbying purposes is being met with stiff resistance from a broad coalition of more than 50 organizations and individuals, including the South Dakota State Employees Organization. Executive Director Corey Landeen says Initiated Measure 10 is a gag law that would strip thousands of South Dakotans of their right to free speech.

"State employees are concerned with Initiated Measure 10 because it prevents their employer from deducting voluntary payroll deductions from their paychecks. These aren't taxpayer dollars, they are the employees' earned wages. The state gives the employees the opportunity to have voluntary deductions withheld from their paycheck. Initiated Measure 10 is attempting to dictate what those contributions can be."

Proponents say Initiated Measure 10 brings transparency to government, but Landeen disagrees, saying it may sound good in principle, but the real impact is to suppress political free speech.

"The 'No on Initiated Measure 10' committee came about out of necessity. Here you have a group of people going around asking people if they're for open and clean government. I think most people are going to agree that's a good thing and it's what we all want. But when you read the fine print of Initiated Measure 10 you find out that this measure will have far-reaching unintended consequences that will hurt all of South Dakota."

Landeen is hopeful South Dakota voters will take time to educate themselves about the ballot issue. The coalition opposed to Initiated Measure 10 represents a broad array of groups, including the South Dakota State Chamber of Commerce, AFL-CIO, State Bar Association, South Dakota Municipal League and both the Republican and Democratic parties.

David Law/Steve Powers, Public News Service - SD