Pat Power is against IM10, a reform that bans taxpayer funded lobbying. In a February 19, 2008 post, Pat Powers seemed to be against taxpayer funded lobbying:
The "Time for a Dime Committee" has organized to promote the raising of taxes on South Dakotans by instituting what would be an equivalent a $.10/drink fee. If you look at the filing, you’ll see that it’s being ran out of the offices of the South Dakota Association of County Commissioners.
You can read their initial statement of organization filing here at the Secretary of State’s office, where they explain that their purpose will be to increase the wholesale excise alcohol tax for county budget relief.
And the part asking "who’s dimes they’ll be using to fund the effort?" Some of this goes back to the last election that the County Commissioners were involved in - the phone tax issue. I’d brought up the fact that the vast lion’s share of how County Commissioners pay for their organization is through taxpayer funds that are paid to the org. It is a line item in each county’s budget, where they pay dues from the county treasury.
(Yes, they have nominal income from advertising, and from their convention. And again, a chunk of those convention registration fees are being paid by the county taxpayers as budgeted by the commissioners.)
I brought it up last year, and I’m bringing it up again. Because it’s a legitimate question, as I’m sure that the same manner they ran last election will be brought forth to this election:
For the sake of argument, let’s say that the SDACC budget is $100k. $60,000 in taxpayer funded dues, $40,000 in other funds. If they went out and raised the $40,000, that’s great. But you still have to recognize that they used at least a portion of the $60,000 in salaries, equipment, etcetera, paid for by the taxpayer to raise the $40,000.
It’s my understanding that at least a chunk of the non-dues related income results from their annual convention revenue, such as exhibition booths and workshops for commissioners. And that revenue includes money charged to the commissioners who attend the workshops. So who pays the fees for County Commissioners to attend SDACC workshops? You guessed it. The County Commissioners would typically vote to pay for it as Commissioner expenses. Out of money collected from the taxpayers.
….I’m still left with a troubling question. If the SDACC can afford to spend over $40,000 out of their budget to tell taxpayers that they need to keep paying a tax - then something is wrong.
It’s the EXACT same argument against school districts using taxpayer funds to sue the state for more school funding. Except this time the case is being prosecuted directly against taxpayers.
The County Commissioners will likely be using organizational funds - as primarily funded by taxpayers - to help convince those same taxpayers that they ought to pay more in taxes.
If both groups have so darned much money to spend on these types of lawsuits and campaigns, isn’t that an indication that they have money to burn in the first place?
I am sure the supporters of IM10 appreciates Pat Powers’ research and analysis.