The below newspaper article describes an amazing venture in the cause of freedom in America, starting with the State of South Dakota. There is not one person who is ignorant of the fact that politicians cannot agree on anything. Basically, it just is never done, including on non-partisan issues. Take, for example, the confirmation hearings on the non-partisan appointment of Judge Alito to the bench of the United States Supreme Court. The contest is the Republicans versus the Democrats. However, I have heard that a day or two ago a single Democratic Senator broke ranks to side with the Republicans. The point is, it is a very cold day in the hot place when politicians unite, yet this is what all the legislators are planning to do in South Dakota.
History records that two thousands years ago the then-existing politicians (Pharisees versus Sadducees) fought each other with fervor, and agreed upon nothing. Nonetheless, they managed to unite on only one issue, and that was that an innocent Man should be nailed to a cross for crimes He did not commit; and that a murderer and an insurrectionist named "Barabbas" should be set free in His stead.
Based upon the rarity of the chances that all the Republicans and all the Democrats should openly agree uniformly to condemn J.A.I.L. --that the J.A.I.L. Initiative, which seeks to make judges accountable to the law, is either terribly evil, or immensely good! In other words, J.A.I.L. cannot be considered somewhat evil and somewhat good, a perception which normally splits the ranks of the politicians down both sides of the aisle.
Do these legislators not know that their historic and uniform stand against J.A.I.L. (Amendment E) is going to make national news across this nation? Absolutely they know! So why, then, are they deliberately taking such a political risk of laying their careers on the line, even running the risk of trying to convince all their constituents to vote NO on Amendment E ?
I shall now seek to unlock this mystery. On August
30, 2005, we reported, "A recent poll was
taken by the Argus Leader newspaper apparently in an attempt to influence South
Dakota J.A.I.L.'s impact in S.D. They posed the
following question to the people, 'Should people unhappy with a
judge's ruling have the authority to appeal to a grand jury for the right to sue
the judge?' Their
poll results reveals the following:
No: 50.8% "
This self-made poll by our opposition revealed some interesting facts. While the question polled to the South Dakotans was absurd, it revealed that nearly one-half of the People are so fed up with the judiciary that they were willing to support even the "J.A.I.L." that was being described to them by our opponents, showing we had to win but one percent more in order to prevail on the issue, even as the issue is described by our opponents. Just think if the question had been correctly posed, i.e., "Do you believe a judge should be able to be sued if he deliberately refuses to obey his oath of office and the laws that govern his actions?" Why, I can tell you that the results of that poll would be way up near the top with only those benefiting from the corruption saying "No"! Imagine the public's reception to a billboard, "Vote YES on Amendment E, because judges are not above the law!"
When I and others were out collecting signatures from South Dakotans, more than 90 percent of those qualified to sign, did sign. By and large, those refusing to sign either worked for the courts, acknowledged they were friends of judges, and/or were lawyers.
Many signed the J.A.I.L. petition because they learned that judges currently are immune from any lawsuits. Upon discovering this fact, the voters expressed anger as they signed. And what is our opposition doing? They are arguing that judges should be immune from lawsuits, which is educating and angering the voters all the more in favor of supporting Amendment E. No one likes to think that judges are considered to be above the law.
Folks, I can tell you, to a reasonable certainty, that despite all the ridiculous and absurd garbage that has been slung at J.A.I.L. by the newspapers, you can be sure that our opponents have wisely taken their own legitimate poll to see where they honestly stand among the South Dakotans; and the results are not pleasing to them. Their behind-the-scenes poll, known only to them, about which they dare not speak, reveals that if the election were held today, they would lose big time.
Therefore, the system, including the Bar Association and all the Legislators in the state are taking a "no-holds-barred" approach in opposing Amendment E. After all, they figure, "what have we got to lose?"
There is a saying, "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with BS." What is the penalty should the electorate discover that all their legislators are scooping up BS and serving it to them? Well, the risk is that they will lose to Amendment E by an even greater margin. So they are facing the option of normally losing to Amendment E in due course, or losing to the Amendment by an even greater margin. They figure they may as well go all the way and throw the BS vigorously, in the hopes that at least some of it may stick on the voters going to the polls on November 7. God forbid that someone should challenge their legislators to "prove up."
Such a project could very easily back-fire on all these legislators. We will undoubtedly seek to saturate the voters in South Dakota to not only go to the polls and vote for Amendment E; but while they're at it, vote out their legislator if he is opposed to the Amendment, and vote in the one who favors it. Could this be the making of another simultaneous historic event of a clean sweep of all legislators?
Now let's turn to ethics. Is it not unethical for a legislator to use his office telephones and staff to campaign for elections? YES, indeed! Therefore, if it is wrong for one legislator to do so, would it not also be wrong for all of the legislators to do so, by conspiring together to pass a resolution against a measure in the public's interest, and using their time and resources at taxpayers' expense to campaign against an issue on the ballot? Here we have the people favoring Amendment E paying for their legislators to campaign against their interests. Would this not be grounds for a major scandal involving numerous ethics violations? If all of their representatives are conspiring together to campaign against an interest of the People, is this not the same thing as "taxation without representation"? Maybe this suggests some idea of what the first class action lawsuit may be post November 7 -- "taxation without representation."
Finally, on December 27, 2005, the Argus Leader reported, "Judicial review issue likely to spark more debate that '06 candidates," therein saying that Amendment E is likely to steal the show in South Dakota when it comes to the November 7th election.
PIERRE - South Dakota's legislative leaders said Friday they are united in an effort to defeat a 2006 ballot initiative that would allow judges to be sued by people who believe their rights have been violated.If approved by the voters, Amendment E � the Judicial Accountability Initiative Law, or J.A.I.L. � would strip judges of their immunity from lawsuits stemming from their decisions.
In separate news conferences to
discuss various issues, Democratic and Republican leaders of the state
Legislature said they would work together to let voters know about the amendment
and encourage them to vote "no."
Senate Majority Leader Eric Bogue, R-Faith, said there is a resolution in opposition to the measure circulating among legislators. He said he was glad that Democratic leaders brought up their opposition to the amendment in an earlier news conference.
"It demonstrates that this is a nonpartisan issue," Bogue said.
"It's one of the most dangerous things on the ballot," House Minority Leader Dale Hargens, D-Miller, said. "You are going to see an effort by the Legislature � not just a few legislators, but the entire Legislature � to educate people on this initiative and make sure it is defeated."
Hargens said the proposal targets more than judges.
"It goes farther than judges being sued by someone who is unhappy with the outcome of his or her lawsuit," he said. "You can also go after county commissioners, city commissioners, township and school board officials for things that they do in the official capacities."
Hargens said if the amendment is approved, exposure to a "financial quagmire" would discourage people from serving in public office.
Rep. Joel Dykstra, R-Canton, assistant House majority leader, said, "It is important to allow those people do to their jobs without fear of losing their houses as long as they are doing their legal duty. "Out-of-state proponents of the amendment have failed elsewhere and targeted South Dakota because it is easier to get measures on the ballot and because "it is relatively cheap, in national terms, to advertise in South Dakota," Hargens said.
"They picked their battles well," he said.
Dykstra said the nature of the opposition to the amendment "shows that judges really are nonpartisan in South Dakota."
"Sometimes it is easy to adopt the national sound-bites about activist judges, but that has not been the case in South Dakota," Dykstra said. "It isn't really a Republican or Democrat issue."
Senate Minority Leader Garry Moore, D-Yankton, said it is important for the voters � and legislators � to take time to become educated on all the 2006 ballot initiatives.
"It's going to be a huge ballot," he said. "People need to make informed decisions, because they are going to be making decisions that will impact every single South Dakotan for a long time to come."
Asked to speculate on whether all the members of the Legislature will sign on to the resolution in opposition to the amendment, Bogue said: "My guess is you are going to see nearly unanimous support. I can't guarantee it will be all 105, but there will be 102 or 103 people on board."
Proponents of the J.A.I.L. amendment collected nearly 47,000 signatures to put the measure on the ballot.
That is 13,000 more than needed to include it on the ballot.
The petitions were verified by Secretary of State Chris Nelson in December.
Contact Celeste Calvitto at 394-8438 or Celeste.Calvitto@rapidcityjournal.com