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Why do some legislators want to keep school board election financing secret?

HB 1257 and HB 1116 treats school board candidates the same as all candidate in disclosing campaign finances, the House Political Subdivisions does not think that is needed. Why?

I’ve run for a few offices over the years. In 2009 and 2011, I ran for Mandan School Board, and in 2018 I ran for Bismarck School Board. All three of these times I was amazed that school board candidates do not have to file campaign disclosure like all other state and local candidates. It is an exemption that is ripe for abuse because when there is no disclosure, there is no way to prevent fraud, abuse, or frankly money laundering.

Back in the old days, when it did not take much money to run for office, this was probably fine. But the times have changed. And the laws on transparency need to change with them. Back in 2009, I spent $2,000 in the famously “canceled election” in Mandan. I am quite sure that other elections around the state have become even more expensive.

One of the objections during the hearing was the administrative cost of having county, city, and school staff collect and track the reports.

That’s a fake argument - since the legislature could just require these ca…

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Authors
Dustin Gawrylow