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Vote NO on Measure 1 -
Protect Churches and Charities

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Who could oppose public integrity?

Hopefully, no one. Everyone involved in the development of public policy should dedicate themselves to acting with integrity. Measure 1, however, is not about whether someone supports more integrity, ethics, or transparency in government. It is about the actual language of the measure and its unintended consequences.

Organizations across the political spectrum agree that the language of Measure 1 is
poorly drafted and threatens religious, charitable, and social service organizations.

Measure 1 is a
constitutional measure with binding mandates on the legislature, commissions, and others. Its consequences cannot be easily "fixed" by the legislature or the courts. In fact, the language of the measure itself prohibits fixes such as exempting churches and charities from the law.
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Restricts Participation in the Public Square

Churches and charities, do not:

  • support or oppose candidates

  • support or oppose political parties

  • contribute to public officials

do sometimes exercise their right to engage in the public square, lending their voices to the development of public policy.

Measure 1 would unduly interfere with, and sometimes prevent, the exercise of this voice.
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Forces Public Disclosure of Your Information

Merely engaging in the public square or partnering with state agencies would require the religious or charitable organization to publicly disclose the "ultimate and true source of funds" used for the activity.

Churches would have to disclose the name of every parishioner who contributed to the dioceses, even if only a small fraction of the diocese's total budget was used to "influence government action" or speak out on a ballot measure.

Charities would have to disclose the name of every contributor. Anonymous donations would no longer be allowed.

Social service agencies would have to disclose the name of every contributor as the "price" for partnering with state agencies to provide important social services.
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Tool for Harassment

Measure 1 creates a private right of action that any taxpayer individual or organization with an agenda could use to sue and harass religious or charitable organizations with whom they disagree.

Opponents of religious and social service organizations could mine the disclosure records for the names of contributors and target them for harassment. This has already happened in other states.

We don't need to give opponents of religion or certain services a tool for mischief and abuse.
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Interferes with Mission and the Freedom to Serve

Religious, charitable, and social service agencies often partner with the state agencies to provide social services, such as health care, adoption services, foster care, guardianship, and jobs training. These partnerships are crucial a healthy society.

Many of these agencies do not lobby legislators. They do not contribute to candidates or parties. Measure 1, however, lumps them in with "big money" contributors and, as consequence could unnecessarily impede or prevent their good work.
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Other Consequences

  • Measure 1 prevents certain representatives from religious and charitable organizations from serving on state boards and commissions.

  • Measure 1 would prohibit religious and charitable organizations from turning to former public officials for help on a government issue, even if it is for a short time and on a voluntary basis.
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Can Measure 1 be Fixed?

Supporters of Measure 1 claim that churches and charities should not worry about the constitutional measure because the legislature can exempt churches and charities or by limiting whose private information they would have to disclosed.

The claims are admissions that Measure 1 does, in fact, mandate churches and charities to disclose the private information of all their contributors or members.

Find out why these claims are not reassuring.
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It's About the Measure

Everyone wants greater integrity in government. Measure 1, however, is about the actual language of the measure, not how we feel about politics. The North Dakota Catholic Conference agrees with the many organizations and civil liberties groups who have concluded that Measure 1 is a poorly drafted measure that threatens civil liberties and the missions of religious, charitable, and social service organizations.

The North Dakota Catholic Conference urges a NO vote on Measure 1.
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Your Faith, Your Vote
Your Faith, Your Vote is a resource for Catholic and other voters of faith from the North Dakota Catholic Conference.

contact us
103 South Third Street, Suite 10
Bismarck, North Dakota
what we do
The North Dakota Catholic Conference acts on behalf of the Roman Catholic bishops of North Dakota to respond to public policy issues of concern to the Catholic Church and to educate Catholics and the general public about Catholic social doctrine.
The North Dakota Catholic Conference produced this site as a resource for the November 2018 General Election. It is here for informational purposes.