Editor, The Daily Leader:

I would like to comment on Rep. John Mills letter to the editor on June 3 concerning the vote on Amendment C.

Ignoring the likelihood that adopting Amendment C would eliminate the passage of any future ballot initiative, I would like to address Mr. Mills third reason he states that voters should vote for Amendment C. According to him, the third reason is that “The old adage ‘follow the money’ says a lot on this one.” He then goes on to say that the vote no contributors “are a handful of organizations from Washington, D.C. and large non-profit corporations who contributed a combined total of $1.5 million...” and later says that these contributors don’t pay taxes in South Dakota.

According to Ballotpedia.org, the organizations he is referring to are as follows:

National Education Association for $455,960 headquartered in Washington, D.C.

The Fairness Project for $250,000 headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Avera Health for $250,000 headquartered in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Sanford Health for $250,000 headquartered in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Monument Health for $150,000 headquartered in Rapid City, S.D.

American Cancer Society for $150,000 headquartered in Atlanta, Ga.

I guess the implication is that if an organization is headquartered out of state, then there are no members or branch facilities located in South Dakota. I don’t think that is true for the National Education Association or the American Cancer Society. And I would guess that the health organizations listed above do pay some taxes in the state of South Dakota as do their employees.

But following Mr. Mills implication that organizations headquartered outside of the state have no dog in this hunt, then about 57% of the total vote no contributions are from them.

Also according to Ballotpedia.org, organizations supporting the passage of Amendment C contributed a combined total of about $900,000. Those organizations are as follows:

Americans for Prosperity for $836,488 headquartered in Arlington, Virginia

Opportunity Solutions Project for $50,000 headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida

South Dakota Coalition for Responsible Taxation for $19,500 headquartered in Pierre, South Dakota

You can see from the above data that about 98% of the contributions supporting Amendment C came from out of state, and I’m not sure if they really do pay any taxes in South Dakota.

Even though Mr. Mills was technically correct about the contribution sources to the vote no campaign (decide for yourself about the accuracy of his taxation statement), he certainly was not shining a light on all of the facts. If you follow his logic on which way to vote according to his reason #3, you would vote no on Amendment C.

Randy Hoffman

Madison, June 4