I am one of the noticeable ones. At least on J.A.I.L.

Apparently, I am one of the noticeable ones (With apologies to Missing Persons). Along with A Progressive on the Prairie, we merited a national mention regarding the South Dakota Judicial Accountability Initiative, otherwise known as Amendment "E." And that's E as in "Eerie," "Evil" and "Egads!"

Eyes on Justice, a watchdog group that seeks to protect the judiciary as an equal part of our three-ring goverment linked to both of us in an article about JAIL-4-Judges possibly coming apart at the seams:
JAIL 4 Judges Movement Coming Apart at the Seams?

An initiative certified for the November ballot in South Dakota has attracted considerable attention for its proposals to hold judges “accountable” by stripping judicial immunity. The movement was hatched far away – the amendment’s author, Ronald Branson, has attempted to get a similar measure on the California initiative ballot but found the signature threshold too high. On March 14, Justice at Stake published an op-ed in the online magazine Slate.com that detailed the history and aims of the movement.

Since then, South Dakota “J.A.I.L.ers” have renounced their ties with Branson and the national J.A.I.L. 4 Judges movement, stripped virtually every reference to him from their website, and swapped him for a new strategist from California. But in their “Dear Ron” letter, the South Dakotans reassured Branson that the divorce would be cosmetic: “we hope to see you and Barbie [Branson’s wife] next November for our victory celebration on the steps of the South Dakota Capitol building.” Two blogs – one conservative, one liberal – provide some of the most interesting and entertaining commentary and updates on the state of the “JAIL 4 Judges” movement in South Dakota.

More on the twisting of judicial accountability.

I'm the conservative blog mentioned, and a progressive on the prairie is the liberal one.

We might have divergent views on many things in politics, but I'm sure there's two things we do agree on. An ice cold beer is a good thing. And the South Dakota Judicial Accountability measure is bad.


Nicholas Nemec said…
Nice mention PP. Keep up the good work.

One thing I learned as a little kid is you never know what kind of interesting creepy crawlies you will find when you turn over a rock and let the light of day shine in. J.A.I.L. is no different.
Anonymous said…
The only reason JAIL got enough signatures to be on the ballot was because they deceived people to get signatures. They mentioned some vague "judicial accountablity" and did not offer up the full language. On the petition I was handed it was covered with cardboard. When I asked the canvasser for more details he just kept repeating that it was to assure "judicial accountablity" but refused to say more. When I asked for a brochure or web address he again avoided. There were reports of people being told it had to do with banning abortion and a number of other things when they were asked to sign. The only reason this mess got on the ballot was through some evasive and confusing tactics.
Bob Newland said…
JAIL got enough signatures because enough people asked enough other people to sign. Anyone could have read the proposal. Deception is not a valid complaint.

I could put a proposal on the ballot that would result in a vote to eliminate the legislature, if I wanted to ask enough people to sign.

40-some-thousand people signed the JAIL initiative because they think judges have too much power and not enough oversight. The problems with the petition language were not a factor because most people don't read the proposition they are electing to put on the ballot.

They figure they'll be able to decide which way to vote after the issue is certified for the ballot.

The basic fact of petition circulation is this: ask enough people and you'll get enough signatures.
Anonymous said…
The truth is the ONLY reason JAIL got on the ballot is because it was entirely bankrolled. Every signature was paid for, with bonuses if a weekly quota was reached. The canvassers were doing it for the money, period. Hence the brief shoddy explanations.

All they wanted was to move on and get the next John Hancock. Most canvassers I spoke with didn't even understand it. In all fairness they were instructed to carry the language on the flip side of the cardboard the petition was on, but the thing is a full page of fine print. Yeah, who is going to read the whole thing when they're trying to have fun at the fair or get into the court house to get their license tabs over their lunch break.

This was NO grass roots movement. So the fact is anyone can get a measure on the ballot if they are willing to pay. Bob???
mhs said…
kudus, PP. I, for one, am still waiting for at least one story from SDWC's research to make it in to the MSM.

Kelo? RCJ? Argus? Beuhler? Anyone?
Douglas said…
It is nice that somebody wants to defend the SD Judiciary, but no matter what one thinks of JAIL, the judiciary has problems. Some of them relate to a near complete absence of accountability and some to the quality of the judges' mental or emotional condition. Lawyers must know a few with such obvious prejudices that they make sure they get into or out of their courts depending on which side they happen to be on. But ask them what to do, and they will tell you to hire a lawyer from out of SD who can practice here, but doesn't give a whit whether they continue to in the future or not.

I suspect the SD Judicial qualifications board is still more like a nepotism infected big city machine "ethics" commission.

It isn't just JAIL creepy crawlies under the rocks.
Anonymous said…
I too have to wonder why none of Stegmeier's blog material or his and Branson's crazed conspiracy theories have been reported, except by Slate.com.

Oh Bob: This is about deception. They didn't mention any of the conspiracy theories, didn't mention this was coming out of California. Their fliers never mentioned the New World Order, or that Stegmeier and Branson plan to use JAIL against marriage licenses or the income tax as PP found and the Slate.com piece mentioned.

Now, I begin to realize why Stegmeier refused to answer any questions at the legislative hearings. If he did, this would have come out even sooner.

But again, I come back to the point of why the MSM is not covering this stuff. The only thing I can imagine is they either do not take JAIL seriously or they take abortion so seriously they are ignoring everything else.
Bob Newland said…
The MSM are not pursuing the JAIL story because there is no story. A principle investor bankrolled an ill-advised proposition. That's it.

What else do you want? There was never a threat that JAIL would be a threat at the polls.
Anonymous said…
"A principle investor"? Bob, you make J.A.I.L. sound like a business venture rather than crank conspiracy theorists.

As for the MSM, I think another reason they are not covering it is they may be are afraid of Stegmeier and the J.A.I.L. crew. I read this on Monunt Blogmore. Sorry to mention the competitors PP.

They email bombed Keith Jensen, publisher of the Madison Daily Leader to the point he had to shut down his email to anything containing the word “JAIL”.

My guess is the other MSM don't want their email systems shut down. I do note however other national media are picking up the story. Slate.com, Associated Press and others.

By the way Bob, how is the J.A.I.L. help going with your signature drive?
Anonymous said…
looks like there will be judicial races in all the circuits. That will be interesting and it will be interesting to see how JAIL factors in.
Bonnie Russell said…
And the reason a three week old news (?) story ran is...?

As much as I hate disturbing your conspiracy theorists with troublesome facts, the facts are simple:

Amendment E people don't E-mail bomb.

On the other hand, not tracking JAIL movements, I wouldn't know if they think E-mail bombing is a good idea. I did request JAIL members to please remove me from their email list...and mercifully, they did.

But the Justice at Stake is a clip from a sloppy job from a purported insurance industry newsletter based - - where else but good old corrupt San Diego.

And this outfit reeks so high, not one "executive" responded to our letter.

So much for the laughable credibility of "Justice at Stake."

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