Pharmacy petition focused on signatures, not fundraisingBISMARCK — Opponents of North Dakota’s pharmacy ownership law are focusing on getting the 13,452 signatures needed for the repeal petition, but fundraising isn’t a top priority yet.
By: Heidi Shaffer , The Dickinson Press
BISMARCK — Opponents of North Dakota’s pharmacy ownership law are focusing on getting the 13,452 signatures needed for the repeal petition, but fundraising isn’t a top priority yet.
When valid petitions are turned in to the secretary of state’s office and the issue is on the 2012 ballot, organizers will turn efforts to garnering both state and nationwide support, said Duane Sand, organizer of the effort to repeal the law.
The first wave of petitions with room for 5,000 signatures is out, he said.
“People are out aggressively getting those,” Sand said.
The petition seeks to reverse a state law that requires pharmacies to be owned by licensed pharmacists — preventing some retailers, such as Walmart or Walgreens, from operating pharmacies in their North Dakota stores.
Signatures must be turned into the secretary of state’s office by July 16 to get the issue on the November 2012 ballot.
Despite a missed opportunity to gather signatures at the State Fair in Minot because it was canceled, Sand said organizers will make up for it at events over the next 11 months and at fairs next
“But we’re not going to be aggressively recruiting cash for this effort until we get the signatures collected,” said Sand, who expects the ballot measure campaign will cost $500,000 to $1 million.
So far, organizers have received major donations of “several thousand dollars” from retailers Pamida and Shopko.
Sand said he doesn’t know the total contributions so far, and referred financial questions to Dan Traynor, a Devils Lake attorney who Sand said is in charge of the group’s treasury. Traynor said he couldn’t give the information and that Sand was in charge of the treasury.
Shaffer is a reporter at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.