Out-of-state spending restrictions die

Two panels of state senators defeated two pieces of legislation Wednesday that were intended to affect streams of political advertising money from outside South Dakota.

The Senate Judiciary Committee killed HB 1200 from Rep. Mark Mickelson, R-Sioux Falls, that would have required listing the 50 largest donors to organizations and committees that spent $25,000 or more in a 12-month period on a ballot-measure campaign.

The Senate State Affairs Committee tried to pass but then killed HB 1074 from Rep. Spencer Gosch, R-Glenham, that would have enacted a four-year limit of $100,000 from an out-of-state contributor to a ballot question committee.

The House of Representatives previously had approved the two measures.

Opposing the bills Wednesday were a combination of interest groups including electric utilities, South Dakota Chamber of Commerce, retailers, National Rifle Association, Americans for Prosperity, Family Heritage Alliance Action, National Association for Gun Rights and Foundation for Government Accountability.

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About Bob Mercer

I am a newspaper reporter in Pierre where I cover state government, issues and politics for the Aberdeen American News, the Black Hills Pioneer, the Mitchell Daily Republic, the Pierre Capital Journal, the Rapid City Journal, the Watertown Public Opinion and the Yankton Press & Dakotan. I began covering the Legislature in 1985 and have lived in Pierre since December 1986. I grew up in Wisconsin, worked my way through college, took my first full-time newspapers jobs in Wyoming, and have lived in South Dakota since the summer of 1984 when I moved to Aberdeen to join the American News. I worked for the Rapid City Journal as its state government reporter in Pierre from late 1992 through late 1998. I spent four years as press secretary and a senior aide to Gov. Bill Janklow during his fourth and final term from late 1998 through 2002. I returned to journalism in January 2003 as a self-employed reporter, providing state government coverage to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre and, depending on the year, Aberdeen newspapers. In 2008, the Aberdeen American News offered to hire me as full-time member of the AAN staff, with my reports continuing to be available to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre, Yankton and Rapid City papers. The new arrangement has been in effect since January 2009 as the seven papers continue their remarkable dedication to their readers and the general public, as the only South Dakota news outlets with a full-time reporter covering state government in Pierre throughout the year. In addition to focusing on the Legislature during the annual winter session and its various activities during the interim periods between sessions, I spend many days throughout the year -- traveling as often necessary -- to cover state government boards and commissions which oversee the state universities, technical institutes, outdoors, water, environment, business, public schools, banking, agriculture, utilities, health care and various other areas of public interest. I purposely don't register to vote because of my profession; the last time I recall voting in a presidential election was the first time, 1976, when I had just turned 18. I think I voted for Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. Make of that what you want, just don't make much of it.

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