Identity of anti-abortion donor to remain secret

From the Associated Press this afternoon:

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A judge on Monday decided in favor of State Rep. Roger Hunt of Brandon in a ruling that keeps secret the name of an anonymous donor who gave $750,000 to the 2006 abortion ban campaign in South Dakota.

During the 2006 campaign, Hunt formed Promising Future Inc., which had one shareholder who made three separate $250,000 donations to Vote Yes For Life.

Since then Secretary of State Chris Nelson has argued that the name should be revealed, calling Promising Future a "shell" corporation formed to hide the identity.

Caldwell had dismissed the case in August 2007. Nelson appealed to the state Supreme Court, which sent it back to Caldwell.

Voters rejected the 2006 ballot issue 56 percent to 44 percent.

I’ll be interested to learn the logic behind the decision. In the meantime, what do you think about this?

11 thoughts on “Identity of anti-abortion donor to remain secret

  1. I think that courts have TWICE stated that Roger Hunt did nothing illegal as the laws were written at the time. It is time for Sec.Chris Nelson to quit wasting taxpayer dollars!

  2. Good! When I give I don’t want my name given out. I give because it is the right thing to do. Period. It is not a publicity stunt.

  3. I am curious why, when it was appealed to the supreme court they sent it back to the same judge who dismissed it before? I thought the individual should have been named.

  4. I agree; it’s very interesting. Without specifically saying so, or speculating, (unless, of course, you care to) isn’t there a conventional wisdom idea who the donor is or might be?

  5. One wonders why someone would make such large donations anonymously. At first thought, somebody willing to pony up that amount of money is obviously passionate about their cause.
    I’m guessing it’s an in-state businessperson who is Zealous about the issue but is afraid of alienating customers. Or maybe an out-of-state organization that doesn’t want it know it’s not local, so to eliminate the meddling in SD politics charge.
    Regardless how people feel about this issue, I think it’s in the public interest for the public to know when sizable financial backing is brought to the political table. I just don’t know what “sizable” is anymore, but clearly $750,000 would be sizable by any reasonable definition. If it’s truly a grassroots phenomena, I guess I could accept not disclosing every $25 donation, but this decision, in my view, is not in the public interest from the standpoint of democracy and good government.

  6. Regardless of the cause, donations of that amount should be disclosed. Most laws in most states, and federally, require this. Considering the cause may have had something to with why they let it go…or maybe they found a loophole.

    Establishing Shell corporations to protect the identity of their major shareholders is very dangerous. This is how criminal activity was bread in “secrecy” amongst the common man and white collar criminals for decades.

    I know this may seem noble, but it sets a pretty bad precedent for the state. It is worth fighting for, and is not a waste of taxpayer money.

    What if it was for abortion? Would people care differently?

  7. OK. I think individual…..No name necessary. An organization with ulterior motives might be a different story.
    If it was FOR abortion, donated by an abortion Dr., and he was getting a tax right off, I might have problems. Yes, I know you can’t have it both ways, but for me……….no name published.

  8. If you want to participate, with your dollars or your vote or your voice, in a PUBLIC policy debate or referendum, then be public about it. I don’t believe there should be any right to privacy when you are trying to take away the rights of others.

    Where do you draw the line with who can donate anonymously? What if it came from out of state?

    I think it’s LAME that some commenters are okay with this, as long as it’s their team who’s winning. That strategy will certainly come back to bite you. Just you wait.

  9. Meeps, I have never been one to complain about loosing the vote. Majority rule. (Money will not buy my vote…..and if I loose, I loose.)

  10. What you talkin’ bout, Willis?
    I think you meant to attribute the quote to Garry Wills.

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