Secretary of State Shantel Krebs is also highly critical of the new law, designed to improve ethics in government and fight corruption, because of all its unintended consequences. "It's going to cost some money and obviously staff," Krebs tells KELO Radio. She says the computer tracking system required by the new law could cost at least $500,000. She says the new law is complicated and confusing. Many organizations have canceled their annual get-togethers with state lawmakers for fear of running afoul of the new law.
And Krebs said the law will actually be a step backwards for transparency in her office. Previously, state law required campaigns to report the names of donors who give candidates more than $100. Under IM 22, that threshold increases to more than $200. "For many of these state legislative races, most of the donations fall in that window between $100 and $200," Krebs said. "This is going to mean we know less about who gives in those races."
Officials across state government have been attempting to decipher IM 22 since its passage. Besides creating a public funding program for campaigns, the ballot issue also created an ethics commission, established new campaign finance limits and requirements on lobbyists. Secretary of State Shantel Krebs said her office has received numerous calls from lawmakers, lobbyists trade associations and others who don’t understand the new requirements, which went into effect Wednesday.
Johnson vs. Krebs? Although Johnson now finds himself planning a run for Congress, he said that wouldn't be the case had Noem decided to seek a fifth term in Washington, D.C. "I was thinking about it, but I would not have run against Congresswoman Noem," Johnson said about the possibility of running for the House seat. "I think she's been an effective voice for South Dakota, and I wouldn't have had any reason to run unless she decided to run for governor." Johnson could, however, find himself jockeying for the seat with another familiar face in the South Dakota political scene. According to the Associated Press, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs will give "serious consideration" to a House bid, but has yet to make a formal decision on entering the race. Whether it's Johnson, Krebs or another candidate who wins the 2018 Republican primary, the Republicans hold a significant advantage. Noem is fresh off a 64.1-35.9 percent victory over Democratic challenger Paula Hawks for re-election to the seat, and the GOP hold an overwhelming 81,422-person advantage in voter registration, according to the most recent totals released by the Secretary of State's office.