Looks like a Referred Measure is going to narrowly miss the ballot by a mile. Or two.

From the Rapid City Journal:
A Rapid City man said Wednesday he doubts he will be able to collect enough petition signatures to force a statewide referendum on a measure that would force all who are arrested for drunken driving to provide blood samples for alcohol testing. Kent Hazelrigg wants to require that statewide vote in hopes that voters will reject the law passed by this year's Legislature. He contends the new law, which is scheduled to take effect July 1, is unconstitutional because the forced withdrawal of blood would violate the U.S. Constitution by making people incriminate themselves.

"We don't have to prove our innocence," said Hazelrigg, who moves houses and does dirt work.

Hazelrigg needs 16,728 valid signatures by Monday to refer the blood-testing measure to a statewide public vote in the November election. He said he now has only about 3,500 signatures.

"I ain't giving up on nothing, but I don't see it happening," Hazelrigg said.
"I ain't giving up on nothing," indeed. One man thinking he can gather 16,728 petition signatures for a referred measure within the alloted amount of time. I'm doubtful it's going to happen.

While its a bit shorter time frame for referred measures than other forms of citizen initiated action, What this Rapid City house mover is going through is similar to what Delores Coffing went through with the alcohol tax proposal that the Pennington County Commission was promoting. Same goes for the person who wanted to legalize poker.

The responsibility placed on the head of one person (or taken by one person) to circulate a measure on a statewide basis with little or no political experience, no support structure, and no plan. It's a recipe for failure.

Compare this to Bill Napoli's Amendment D. It's certainly not without controversy and ample discussion. But with a plan of action and a support structure of volunteer circulators, they managed to get this measure on the ballot with signatures to spare. They were organized and had a plan of attack. They had lots of electoral experience on the team. In other words, they at least had an inkling of what they were doing, and they knew they needed a team to get it accomplished.

Really, if you look at most of the measures on the ballot this year, the efforts both for and against them all have that in common. The Campaign for Healthy Families is going to be squaring off against a pro-life coalition I hear is forming. My personal favorite to hate - J.A.I.L. - has it's supporters (Stegmeier, Branson, Russell, Zerman) fighting against the forces of light and justice (nearly everyone else in SD). A tourism coalition will be fighting over the school start date against a coalition of School Boards and administrators, and so on and so forth.

The difference in all of these campaigns (pro and con) from those that couldn't get it on the ballot - one side had to plan and execute an organized effort.

I'm a firm believer in the pollyanish assertion that one man (or woman) can change the world. However, initiated and referred measures by their very nature are intended to be comprised of significant groups of citizens making a statement.

In this arena, one person saying "we ought to" referring to a personal topics or pet peeve is not a recipe for success.

(With all that said, I see this guys' side of things on the grounds that a person is supposed to have rights against unreasonable search and seizure and self-incrimination. But that legal question might be best decided in the courts, as opposed to the ballot box.)


Anonymous said…
Ah yes, the J.A.I.L. team

Branson from California
Russell from California
Zerman from California
Dave Estes from Washington State

They got their JAIL Amendment by hiring a Nevada company to come in and gather signatures for an amendment written by Branson that was then given to South Dakota JAILer in Chief Bill Stegmeier.

Stegmeier's the only "team" member from South Dakota and he did not even write the amendment, he just wrote the checks.

Some team.
nonnie said…
What's wrong with making a person picked up for DUI provide a blood test? IMO once you have been drinking and get behind the wheel, you become a lethal weapon and are no longer in any way innocent.

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