Keep It Local ND: Our Out-Of-Sate Union Contributions Are “Not Relevant”
With primary election day tomorrow, there’s a lot of last-minute features in debate in the state’s media over the various candidates and measures. Measure 2 is no different, though at this point there’s not a lot left to say on either side of the debate.
Even so, I had to laugh at the reaction of Keep It Local ND supporter Bob Harms’ reaction to questioning by Valley News Live’s Chris Berg over the roughly 30% of funding the group has received from interests, mostly unions, in Washington DC.
Asked how a group calling itself “Keep It Local ND” could take that sort of money from Washington DC, Harms response is to say it’s “not relevant.”
Harms tries to spin the question away by pointing out that the pro-Measure 2 group, Empower the Taxpayer, has taken out of state money too, but it’s not quite the same thing. Empower the Taxpayer took exactly one major out-of-state contribution – $10,000 from the Jarvis Foundation – way back in 2010. The rest have been local donations. That’s not quite in the same league with getting six-figure checks from national unions.
Anyway, the lesson of the Measure 2 debate may be one showing us just how important money is in politics. If you’ve got deep pockets, and you buy a lot of advertising, not only can you drown out the opposition for the vast majority of citizens who don’t ever learn anything about these issues but what they see in ads, but you find that newspaper editorial boards and media outlets in general are a lot more receptive to your message.
If the vote tomorrow doesn’t go for Measure 2 – and I’ll admit that it looks grim – I don’t think the forces opposing it most visibly will have done themselves any favors with the way they’ve opposed it. And I don’t think the state’s citizens are all convinced that any solutions will be forthcoming from the legislature.
If Measure 2 loses, expect property taxes to be a problem for years to come.Tags: keep it local nd, measure 2, North Dakota News, property taxes