FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Christopher Dodson, Executive Director
Date: October 4, 2018
Catholic Conference Opposes Measure 1
Bismarck, North Dakota – The North Dakota Catholic Conference announced today its
opposition to Measure 1, calling it a threat to churches, charitable organizations, and social
It a statement describing its position, Christopher Dodson, executive director and general
counsel for the conference, said, “Though well-intentioned, Measure 1 would force churches
and charities to turn over the privacy of every contributor as the ‘price’ to pay for civil
Churches and charities do not support or oppose political candidates. Nor do they make
contributions to public officials. They do, however, speak out public issues and partner with state
agencies to serve the public.
“The Catholic Church believes that ethics and integrity should be the hallmark of the political
process,” said Dodson. “Measure 1, however, is not about whether someone supports more
integrity and ethics in government. It is about the actual language of the measure.” Dodson
Dodson listed several “sweeping consequences” of Measure 1.
Measure 1, he said, requires churches and charities to disclose the name of every contributor,
even if only a small fraction of the organization’s budget was used to “influence government
action” or to speak out on a ballot measure. “Anonymous donations would no longer be
allowed,” Dodson said.
“Social service agencies,” said Dodson, “would have to disclose the name of every contributor
as the ‘admission fee’ for partnering with state agencies to provide important social services like
health care, foster care, guardianship, and sheltering victims of domestic violence.”
The North Dakota Catholic Conference is also concerned that the measure creates several tools
that people could use to harass churches, charities, and their members. One of these tools is a
new right to sue that bypasses state law.
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Keywords: North Dakota Catholic Conference, Catholic, Measure 1, religion, ethics, Christopher Dodson
Executive Director/General Counsel
North Dakota Catholic Conference
The North Dakota Catholic Conference represents the Dioceses of Bismarck and Fargo on public policy matters.
103 South Third, Suite 10
Bismarck ND 58501