SIOUX FALLS –– Rick Weiland and Drey Samuelson, co-founders of TakeItBack.Org, today expressed astonishment and disappointment at what they characterized as “harsh rhetoric” that Governor Daugaard used yesterday in his budget address to South Dakota legislators. Daugaard was quoted as having said: “[Voters] were hoodwinked by scam artists who grossly misrepresented these proposed measures,” referring to Government Accountability and Anti-Corruption Act (IM22), which was passed into law by a 52 percent-48 percent margin.
“Governor Daugaard’s characterization of us, and others who worked on IM22, as ‘scam artists’ who ‘hoodwinked the voters’ is unfair,” said Weiland. “What neither of us understand is why the Governor decided to turn an honest political disagreement into a personal attack. There is a huge difference between disagreeing and being disagreeable, and labeling folks who worked their hearts out to pass this anti-corruption act as ‘scam artists’ is unfortunate.”
“While we can appreciate the fact that IM22 substantially changes the status quo in Pierre,” said Samuelson, “and that is unsettling to some, that’s exactly what the voters wanted when a majority of them voted for more government accountability and less corruption. The Governor well knows that South Dakotans remained disturbed by the EB- 5 and GEAR-UP scandals, which have cost the taxpayers millions of dollars — many times more than the cost to implement IM-22 — and that’s why voters approved it.”
“To say that South Dakota voters were ‘hoodwinked’ is an insult to the people of our state,” Weiland said. “The Governor knows that the Koch brothers’ and their group, Americans for Prosperity, spent over a half a million dollars attacking IM22 for the same reasons the Governor says the voters were ‘hoodwinked’ — and they lost the argument. The Governor should accept the will of the people and not respond with personal attacks.” For more information, contact TakeItBack.Org at 605-274-8706.