Joint Resolution Obtained in Promising Future Inc. Case
PIERRE, S.D.- South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley, Secretary of State Chris Nelson, Promising Future Inc. and Roger Hunt have announced a joint resolution of the anonymous donor litigation. The lawsuit sought campaign filings and donor disclosures from Promising Future Inc. in relation to Referred Law 6 known as the abortion ban from the 2006 general election.
Presiding Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Caldwell originally ruled in favor of Promising Future and Hunt finding their conduct did not meet the definition of a ballot question committee. That decision was overturned by the South Dakota Supreme Court, which determined there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether Hunt and the unnamed donor fit the definition of a ballot question committee as the Supreme Court interpreted it. On November 6, 2009, Presiding Judge Caldwell dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that the Secretary of State could not compel disclosure under the 2006 campaign finance statutes and the definition of a ballot question committee was unconstitutional.
The parties have agreed that no further appeals or claims will be filed in the litigation, and that Promising Future Inc. and Hunt will agree to waive any claim against the State of South Dakota to attorney fees and costs associated with the litigation. While the parties do not necessarily agree upon the legal issues and obligations of campaign finance laws as they existed in November of 2006, the recent legislative amendments to South Dakota's campaign finance disclosure requirements address many of the concerns raised in the litigation.