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Politics & Government

'Ethics measure' will be on the Nov. ballot in ND

The “North Dakota Anti-Corruption” Constitutional amendment will be on the November ballot.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger has certified the measure. The group “North Dakotans for Public Integrity” needed 26,904 valid signatures to get the measure on the ballot. Jaeger accepted 36,849 signatures as valid.

"We are now in the process of developing strategies to make sure voters throughout the state are well aware of this measure," said group vice-president Ellen Chaffee. "It's a great opportunity to inject some common sense accountability in how state government operates."

One part of the measure calls for increased transparency concerning campaign donations.

"There's a phrase -- 'dark money,'" Chaffee said. "It refers to contributions made and then blended in with everyone else, so you don't really know where the money is coming from."

Chaffee said you see that in some of the ads that are not paid for by the parties.

"They're paid for by 'who knows?'" Chaffee said. "We expect to know. We have a right to know who's paying for our elections."

The measure also prevents personal use of campaign money, bans lobbyists’ gifts to elected officials, prevents elected officials from becoming lobbyists for two years after leaving office; and strengthens conflict-of-interest rules.

"The bottom line is -- the citizens of North Dakota expect their public officials to work for them, not just the well-connected and powerful," Chaffee said.

The measure has been endorsed by the national End Citizens United PAC.

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