SIOUX FALLS — The chairman of the South Dakota Democratic Party is criticizing a new travel policy, in effect as of this week, that allows Republican legislators to use tax dollars to attend the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) spring task force convention this weekend in Oklahoma City.
Ben Nesselhuf said ALEC matches Republican legislators with corporate special interests to write anti-democratic, anti-education, anti-taxpayer accountability model legislation for Republicans to enact in their home states.
The organization is funded by conservative billionaires including the Koch brothers.
“South Dakotans have made it clear that we don’t want tax dollars to be used for dues or travel to ALEC conventions,” Nesselhuf said.
“Yet just two days after Republicans gave themselves the right to use tax dollars for travel to ALEC conventions, five Republicans are already showboating at the ALEC spring task force meeting,” he said.
He said at least five Republicans are attending the meeting, including Rep. Charlie Hoffman, R-Eureka; Rep. Brock Greenfield, R-Clark; Rep. Don Kopp, R-Rapid City; Sen. Phil Jensen, R-Rapid City; and Sen. Dan Lederman, R-Dakota Dunes.
“In two short days, five Republicans may cost South Dakota taxpayers thousands of dollars that they could have invested in seniors, middle class families or veterans,” Nesselhuf said. “Democrats refuse to use tax dollars for ALEC dues and travel.
“South Dakota newspapers have followed our suit in asking for the same thing,” he said. “South Dakota taxpayers deserve to know right away who’s paying for Republican legislators at the ALEC convention.”
For the complete article see the 05-04-2013 issue.
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