Ugly Business Afoot With State Spending Lidsby Kyle Michaelis
SOS Nebraska submitted approximately 160,000 signatures before Nebraska's ballot petition deadline last week, well more than were actually needed to get the spending lid amendment on the November ballot. Still, with the history surrounding similar petition drives, Secretary of State John Gale had better be on the look-out for all sorts of illegal shenanigans.
SOS Nebraska has reported to the Accountability and Disclosure Commission receiving more than $380,000, every red cent of its funding, from the Montana-based outfit America At Its Best, about which almost nothing is known but their affiliation with another organization, Americans for Limited Government.
Alas, it's beyond my means to substantiate SOS Nebraska's potential ties to National Voter Outreach, but it's worth noting that the one company known to have been gathering signatures is the ever-so-similarly named Renewal Voter Outreach. Meanwhile, in it's ADC filing, SOS Nebraska reports payment only to an ominous-sounding "Petition Office" that claims a PO Box address in Omaha.
I won't begin to guess how deep the muck actually runs here. But, if anyone has any interesting theories, please post them in a comment. If anything, this whole ordeal suggests that those supporting ballot intitiatives should be held to a much higher standard of disclosure than they are at present - both in terms of whose money they're taking and where that money is going. A shell organization in Montana and "Petition Office" just don't cut it and make a mockery of our campaign finance laws.
While out-of-state forces have no doubt played a huge role in pushing for this amendment behind an illusion of grassroots action that suggests far more sinister political motivations, at the end of the day, none of that is really going to matter. The fate of this horribly irresponsible and reactionary idea rests with the people of Nebraska, whom some powerful figures off in the distance obviously believe ripe for manipulation.
I trust we will teach them otherwise this November by rejecting their abominable proposal.