A proper role for the secretary of state?

Platte legislator Tom Deadrick has announced that he will run next year for secretary of state. Generally, the holder of that office is in charge of elections, campaign-finance reporting and business registration. People elected to the office have typically performed their duties as quietly as possible, the recent flap over ballot-issue campaign donations notwithstanding.

Deadrick has a different vision for the office. As we reported today, he wants to make South Dakota a Midwest center for corporate registration similar to the state of Delaware.

Corporate registrations mean “hundreds of millions of dollars for Delaware, but if we could get a part of that business it would be millions of dollars for South Dakota,” he said.

The actual powers of the secretary of state are spelled out in a section of the state constitution, which you can peruse by clicking here.

What do you think about Deadrick’s idea? Is that kind of project an appropriate one for the secretary of state to undertake, or is it better left to legislators and the governor to instigate such a policy?

One thought on “A proper role for the secretary of state?

  1. If it brings in that kind of money to South Dakota’s coffers, then it seems like a good idea worth exploring. I’m not a corporate law expert by any means, but I suspect that there would have to be some enabling legislation to set up the necessary infrastructure in the state government and to authorize the Secretary of State to have those powers and responsibilities. That a candidate for that office is proposing this is, to my thinking, a sign of “thinking out of the box” and leadership.

    Clearly a program like this would probably require additional staffing in the SOS office, but that and several other factors should be studied by the Legislature.

    I would be interested to know what the other candidates, particularly Teresa Bray, the current Deputy Secretary of State, and Senator Nesselhuf think of this proposal.

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