Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Latterell Is Full of a Lot of (Confusing) Talk and Little Explanation

I consider Isaac Latterell to be one of the far more right Republicans in the State.  A person that would probably make Phil Jensen proud.  His focus is not really on the people of District 6, but more on making a conservative name for himself on issues involving the actions of the federal government and passing anti-abortion bills that are unenforceable and would have no impact on the number of abortions in South Dakota.  A person that seems to follow the edicts of Rand Paul.  However his latest stand against corporate financing in politics very interesting; confusing, but interesting.

In his latest blog entry, Latterell posts that there needs to be more money in politics.  First he talks about the evils of lobbyist and how they spend too much money in Pierre to buy your vote and pass laws that benefit the corporations or get funding for special actions that occur outside of the normal system.  This is interesting since he still has not explained why he voted for a pork laden hog-housed bill that spent around 2.5 million in a 100% unconstitutional fashion. The question is sitting on his blog waiting for an answer.

Then he talks about why there should be more money from the average voter and less from PACS and special interest groups.

The answer surprised me, and is the reason I confidently state that there is not enough money in politics. With 105 legislative positions in the state, less than $1 million was spent on all campaigns to elect them–whereas millions are spent each year on ads and lobbyists for these special-interest laws. 
Where would you guess this small amount of money that is spent on candidate campaigns comes from? If you said the people they represent, I’m sorry–that’s rarely the case. One typical candidate report I just looked at showed that only 11% came from regular individual contributors. The vast majority came from special interest groups who have paid lobbyists.
This is a confusing statement considering when you look at where Mr. Latterell received most of his funding. $1,500 from Jim Latterell, $1,500 from Don Frisco, Xcel, SD Realtors, SD Corn Growers, SD Ethanol, and Black Hill Home Builders PAC is not exactly going around to District 6 voters and asking for financial support.  

His solution to the problem:  Write him a paycheck or hire your own lobbyist

To be clear, I do not think increasing salaries is the answer. What I am advocating for is a group of people in the district gathering together on a set of clear principles, and contributing 1% of their income to good government. They could hire a lobbyist who will work for their principles and actually answer to them.

We don’t want special interest money to be the dominant force in politics, because we all ultimately work for whoever signs our checks. We can’t have our politicians spending 40% of our income but receiving the majority of their contributions from special interests. Because when it comes to government, you get what you pay for–and right now, someone else is paying!

That’s why I say there’s not enough of our money in politics. If we as individuals would voluntarily spend even $10 a month on good government, hiring lobbyists or candidates instead of them coming to us, we would overwhelm the special interest money (both federal and state), and have people in Pierre and Washington not just claiming to work for us, they would literally work for us.
 He is right in one area.  We need to take more responsibility in whom we send to Pierre.  It is never a good thing to be left with candidates like Isaac Latterell, who are the only ones left running, and not people whose primary concern is the people of his or her district over scoring political points.  I am glad to hear that Mr. Latterell is willing to stand up against PAC money or money from special interest corporate groups.  I am sure he will accept none of it this election cycle.

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