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South Dakota’s Proxy War Over Political Transparency

SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota— Ground zero in the ideological war over money in politics and ethics for lawmakers isn’t Washington, D.C., this year. Instead it’s the windblown plains of this state of just 858,000 people, where a big-money brawl over a ballot measure has emerged as a sign of the divisive times. Come Nov. 8, South Dakotans will be asked to vote on a measure that would reshape all things political by initiating public financing of campaigns, expanding disclosure of political donors, and creating an ethics commission to police legislators’ behavior.
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