No-on-E campaign finds lots of South Dakotans want to defeat that "weird amendment"

As reported in the Rapid City Journal:
A group formed to oppose a South Dakota ballot measure that would let people sue judges and other government officials has already raised nearly $474,000 for its campaign against the proposed constitutional amendment. The No on E Committee has raised money from lawyers, banks and other business interests because the proposed Amendment E would create chaos in the judicial system and all government boards and commissions, according to Bob Miller of Pierre, the group's treasurer.

"The money will be spent in a typical campaign to try to defeat this weird Amendment E," Miller said.

The organization sponsoring Amendment E appears to have raised much less money, but Secretary of State Chris Nelson has asked South Dakota Judicial Accountability to correct what appear to be errors in its campaign finance report.
Read it here. (or serious omissions, if we're splitting hairs) More:
The committee supporting the amendment reported spending nearly $150,000, but the secretary of state's office noted that other parts of the report seemed to indicate a different expense total. The report said more than $105,000 was spent to collect signatures to place the measure on the ballot.

Stegmeier did not return a telephone call Wednesday seeking comment on the campaign finance report.

Meanwhile, the No on E Committee reported donations of $473,539. After spending $110,822, it had $362,717 for the remainder of the campaign.

and...

Banks are opposing Amendment E because they believe it would destabilize the courts, which financial institutions rely on for security of loans.

"Contributions came in from the banks because they quickly realized what chaos it would create in the credit industry," Miller said.

Miller said the amendment would allow people to sue not only judges, but also members of juries, school boards, city councils, county commissions and other government boards.

The boards can now be sued, but the amendment would allow people to sue board members personally and seek damages from those board members' personal assets, he said.

"Why would anybody serve on any kind of board or commission if you can be sued and you can lose your house?" Miller said.
Again, Read it all here. And then get off your tail and send a campaign donation in to:
No on E Committee
Bob Miller, Treasurer
PO Box 814
Pierre, SD 57501
And for those of you who are wondering why I'm doing this, I've been a student of government and politics all my life. As flawed as it can be at times, our Democratic system of government is still the best system in the world.

Yet, here is this group of malcontents, government haters, tax protesters, convicted felons and others who don't want to air their greviances through the system.

In a narcisisstic fashion, they think they're above our system of law and government, so their solution is to throw out what our founding fathers put in place because they didn't get their way, and instead of institutions acting with malice towards none, they want a system that has godlike authority as driven by them.

And the best part - I'm not recieving a dime for this. I'm against this measure because it's the right thing to do. And I hope you'll join me in opposing it.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Our system of government is democratic (with a small d) not Democratic.
Anonymous said…
What about Leslee Unruh's position?
Jake Mortenson said…
"In a narcisisstic fashion, they think they're above our system of law and government, so their solution is to throw out what our founding fathers put in place because they didn't get their way, and instead of institutions acting with malice towards none, they want a system that has godlike authority as driven by them."

First of all, I am no fan of Amendment E. Quite the contrary.

But pp, you need to take a deep breath before writing posts like these. The above paragraph is ranting nonsense.

Why is wanting to change the constitution in itself "narcissistic"? Would you label all parties who have made amendments as such? Yes, they want to change the constitution and the way they want to change it is wrong, but this does not make them narcissistic. Further, they are doing exactly what you claim they are not "airing their grievences through the system" by proposing an amendment and letting the people vote on it.

And the last phrase, "they want a system that has godlike authority as driven by them" is especially nonsensical. Are they going to be in charge of the government after the amendment? How are they going to wield this godlike authority?

Amendment E is a bad idea, and it is noble to speak out against it. But please, do not take the cheap way out by demonizing your opponents and misrepresenting their ideas.
mjb said…
If you don't like the way PP writes, you can always go back to your own blog and write with your holier than thou attitude.
Anonymous said…
Jake Mortenson said:

And the last phrase, "they want a system that has godlike authority as driven by them" is especially nonsensical. Are they going to be in charge of the government after the amendment? How are they going to wield this godlike authority?

I will let Stegmeier and Branson do the talking for themselves. If anything, PP's soft selling their intentions. In short, yes they do intend on running the government via the Special Grand Jury and will use it in order to shut down the SD courts.

Don't believe me? Read on...

http://www.jail4judges.org/JNJ_Library/2004/2004-11-04B.html

The passage of J.A.I.L. in South Dakota will make it a coveted state among all states. I have little doubt that a number of you, following J.A.I.L.'s passage, will purposely drive to South Dakota, if you do not already live there, just for the privilege of getting a traffic ticket so you can demand a jury trial. I anticipate traffic courts to be among the first courts to all but totally close except for such things as drunk driving.

But traffic courts will be but only the beginning.


And this is most certainly not limited to courts. Read what they tell their little semi-psychotic "patriot" friends when they think no one is listening about how they plan to use Amendment E to attack elected officials they do not like.

http://no-on-e.com/ownwords.php


CALLER: "The one thing about E, they should expand it to cover prosecutors, too."
HOST: "Oh, I think it already does, doesn't it Jake?"
JAKE HANES: "Anyone who hides behind judicial immunity or quasi-judicial immunity..."
CALLER: "Ooo. I like this bill more and more."
HOST: "So in other words it would also include elected officials."
JAKE HANES: "Absolutely."

CALLER: "Did you tell your guests where I'm calling from?"
AUTOMATED RECORDED PHONE MESSAGE: "This call is from a Federal Prison."
CALLER: "That's where I'm calling from, right there."
HOST: "You couldn't have timed that better, could you Charles?"
- Transcript from Liberty Watch Radio broadcast "America Armed and Free," Tuscon Arizona, featuring South Dakotan Jake Hanes, spokesman for Amendment E, April 16, 2006


Because Branson and Stegmeier (really Branson) wrote Amendment E, they intend on having the Special Grand Jury defer to them when questions arise.

http://jail4judges.org/JNJ_Library/2006/2006-02-17A.html

Inquiries from the media are asking for an explanation of the definition of the term "judge" particularly as to the words, "... and all other persons claiming to be shielded by judicial immunity." This concern brings to light that since I am the author of this verbiage, and penned these words, I am the final authority by operation of law as to what these words mean, and that all courts throughout the future must look to the author's definition.

The entirety of Amendment E is based on Branson and Stegmeier's crank conspiracy theories that the government is under New World Order control

http://www.jail4judges.org/JNJ_Library/2005/2005-06-08.html

and Branson and Stegmeier intend on using Amendment E to take over the government "away" from the Federal Reserve, the IRS (which Stegmeier especially hates and has his own crank conspiracy theories that the income tax is a hoax) and other agents of the NWO.

Will Branson and Stegmeier actually be able to accomplish this is Amendment E passes? I do not know.

But it is their intention to use it to shut down the courts that disagree with their crank conspiracies that the income tax is a fraud, 9/11 was a hoax (Stegmeier), the NWO is out to get them (Branson) and the like?

Read for yourself and decide for yourself.
Anonymous said…
Hey Pat.

The next time Stegmeier wants to pretend he wrote Amendment E, show him this. It is a copy of the email in which Ron and Barbie Branson, sitting in California, sent the text to Stegmeier for him to file with the Secretary of State.

Stegmeier never changed a single word. The only thing he did was change the sections from (a)-(x) to(1)- (23). That's not writing or authoring an amendment. Stegmeier knows it; he stopped calling himself the "author" of Amendment E and now only calls himself the "sponsor".

Notice that?



http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jail4judges/message/952

-----Original Message-----
From: VictoryUSA@... [mailto:VictoryUSA@...]
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2005 2:30 AM
To: GZerman@...; Bill Stegmeier++
Cc: FKSmart@...; baronboy@...; flamingfury@...; ~Doug Johnson (CA.Rep.L.A.) - dslextreme*dslextreme.com; valortoo@...
Subject: New and final version of the South Dakota Initiative



Bill and Gary, here is our work in its final form ready to be filed. FINALLY! It is best to use the attachment version because it has all the proper print size & style. (Use the below pasted only for verbiage.)

-Ron
PP said…
I think anon 5:34 describes it to a tee.

When I was composing this over the lunch hour, I thought I was being tame in my characterizations.

Jake - you might think I'm over dramatizing, and you're entitled to your opinion - but I've been watching this amendment and researching it intensively.

The people associated with it are closer to Tim McVeigh than they are Alexander Hamilton.

On a national basis, there are several examples I can cite where they believe that 9/11 was a government hoax, and they rail on about the new world order. Where they count among their contemporaries tax protesters who think the IRS is illegal and others who have threatened to kill judges.

They don't honor our constitutional system of government. They damn it.

If you've read the measure and the background material on both sides of it, you'd understand that their goal is not to seek justice, but to grind our system of justice to a halt.

The author, Ron Branson, himself has said the first thing he's going to do if it passes is to travel to South Dakota for the purpose of getting a speeding ticket, so he can contest the legality of it through JAIL.

You might think I need "to take a breath" before I characterize they and their measure in such a way, but if you value our system of government as it exists today, I'd advise you to take the rose colored glasses off.

Because this measure should scare you.

(and feel free to review my and Tim Gebhart's other blog at http://no-e-sd.blogspot.com for background material)
Jake Mortenson said…
pp and others,

Notice I agreed the people and the law were scary. After reading your suggested readings, I realize they are MUCH scarier than I previously thought and that this section of my comment was incorrect:

"do not take the cheap way out by demonizing your opponents and misrepresenting their ideas."

Even so, I believe you made two logical errors in your argument against the amendent (which composed the rest of my comment).

One, you characterized people trying to use the system to change the system as "not wanting to air their grievances through the system". How is this consistent?

Two, you asserted that "they want a system that has godlike authority as driven by THEM". You were probably refering that the COURT would have godlike authority, but you still said THEM, implying the authors of the amendment would be in control of the court.

Given my understanding of the amendment, admittedly less than many of the commenters, I believe that assertion to be incorrect as well.

However, if anyone can show how these guys are not attempting to use the system to change the system, or the clause in the amendment that shows the authors will be in charge of the jury, I will concede I was mistaken.

Finally, I appologize if I appeared in any way "holier than thou", it was not my intent, though I can see how it could be interpretted in such a way.
PP said…
Jake,

When I refer to the system, I'm referring to the court system, not the political system.

And via the JAIL amendment, jurors may volunteer for the jury under the special court. In addition, the special court presumes guilt of the accused.

Godlike authority might be an overdramatization, but it's not designed to be an even playing field.
Anonymous said…
Jake M.: Please re-read nonymous 5:34 pm about how Branson intends on being in charge as "the final authority by operation of law as to what these words mean, and that all courts throughout the future must look to the author's definition."

Does the Amendment literally say "Ron Branson and Bill Stegmeier shall be in control of the Special Grand Jury"? No.

But in terms of actual day to day operation, yes, the two plan on being in charge by driving the Special Grand Jury's agenda and docket via their numerous lawsuits against judges.

Branson has made clear his anticipation of his JAILers the nation over driving to SD just to get a traffic ticket just so they can file suits, demand a Special Grand Jury trial and shut down the courts.

Stegmeier is the same way and I would link to his material only he deleted his entire blog when the facts started to come out. He and his income tax protestor friends intend on suing, claiming the income tax is in his words a "hoax" and any judge who upholds it conspiring.

And no, they do not want to air their grievances through the existing system because the exisitng system has rejected their crank conspiracy theories. Branson filed at least 2 dozen lawsuits against judges over the years, he even sued court staff and court clerks he did not like.

Stegmeier simply refused to pay his taxes, a fact which caught up to his friend Richard Simkanin and landed Simkanin in prison, but not before Simkanin threatened to kill federal judges.

They do not want to work within the system. So instead, they want to create a brand new fourth branch of government, unchecked by the other three branches, that has jurisdiction over the other three. Branson and Gary Zerman in a radio interview on I think KWAT said precisely that because the Special Grand Jury is made up of "the people" it is superior to and over the other three branches.

http://www.jail4judges.org/JNJ_Library/2005/2005-11-14A.html


When one thinks about it, he will realize how reversed the thinking on the word "independence" is. Our Founding Fathers created three independent branches of government, each being an independent check upon the other two, with the People, through their Grand Jury, being the ultimate check.

The ultimate check and balance, of course, rests with the People through their juries.

It need not ask the permission of any of the three branches of government to investigate or indict. To require it to do so would interfere with the independence of the Grand Jury; or, as in the case of J.A.I.L., the Special Grand Jury.



Remember that next time you get told this is "only about judges".
Anonymous said…
By the way PP you never talked about the Bonnie Russell email story.

http://dakotawarcollege.blogspot.com/2006/07/im-soooo-jealous-of-tim-at-progressive.html

I'm jealous of Tim Gebhart over at "A Progressive on the Prairie." Did he ever get a scoop on the new face of the South Dakota J.A.I.L. movement, Jake Hanes, who seems to be doing most of the media duty at a time when "Media Consultant" Bonnie Russell is no where to be seen, except sending snotty e-mails about me. (I'll mention that story another time).
Jake Mortenson said…
pp,

Apparently, I was wrong about them being in charge of the court: 2/3rds of foot fully shoved in mouth.

But, I still have that other 1/3 and I haven't eaten breakfast yet, so here goes nothing.

I still think you made A logical mistake in your argument:

"When I refer to the system, I'm referring to the court system, not the political system."

Why do you HAVE to use the court system to change the court system? Given the nature of our democratic system, if you want to change the courts you almost have to go through constitutional amendment. As I stated in my original comment an attempt to change the system is in itself not bad. What THEY are trying to do is bad. There is a significant difference.

Anonymous 6:28:

"And no, they do not want to air their grievances through the existing system because the exisitng system has rejected their crank conspiracy theories."

Again using a constitutional amendment to change the system is not going above "the system". It is simply using a (legitimate) means other than the courts to change the system.

They are nuts, but they are trying to change the system using our democratic process. In this case, they should be criticized for their ideas, not their means for attempting reform.
Anonymous said…
Read thru all the comments, and find you know very little about the actually working of the court system in South Dakota, much less, the rest of the County.

Supposing you had a son who made a little mistake, went to a party and had a couple of beers, (first mistake) party breaks out in a fight and police are called. Your son takes off in his pickup, along with numerous others who are scattering from the party. Police put on their lights behind your son. Instead of stopping, he tries to outrun cops on coutry road. (Second mistake) After 6 miles, police close in on your boy and give the pick up a little nudge, sending it out of control, up an enbankment, and onto the prairie. Unknown to your boy, in the box of the pick up are 3 people. A young girl flies out the pick up box when the pick up hit the embankment. (no tailgate) Police, coming right behind, hit her in the head and kill her. Granted, they didn't intend to kill her, but dead is dead. Boy brings pickup to stop, and police arrest everyone. Later, police return to the dead body laying by the side of the road. They move the body, and lay it up on the hill in the path that the pick up took. You come and get the pick up. As you are looking around, you notice a big pool of blood on the side of the road. Then you discover the body some 45 yards from the roadside. Your son gets charged with 2nd degree murder, while the chief of police destroys the evidence.

Boy gets Public Defender who tells him to plead guilty, refuses to investigate, and makes deal with prosecutor. Not knowing what else to do, your boy pleads guilty.

Compare that with Representative Bill Janklow, who actually did kill someone with his vehicle, who was sentenced to 100 days at the Country Club, while your boy was sentenced to 6 years, 3 years hard time. Do you see something wrong with this picture?

You and your boy appealed, but the Prosecutor protested that your boy had signed away his appeal rights, and 8th Circuit denied the appeal.

You must live in some kind of wonderland not to be aware that our Courts are run by politics. The judge rules by sovereign and quasi immunity, and not by the Constitution, which is not even referred to. Instead, lawyers are quoting case law. And believe-you-me, there is always some unconstitutionally bad decision to quote. The Courts abound with bad decisions.

Instead of bashing Amendment E, you ought to go sit in on a few court cases, talk with the defendant's father, find out what is really going on

If you think this is just one isolated case, you really live in la-la land, or maybe like Janklow, you are fortunate enough to buy your way out.

What you really need to do, is start reading the Constitution, and find out what your rights are. Start standing up for your rights, and respect the rights of others. You want to leave it up to the judge? Lots of luck, buddy.

The way I see it is, what does a fair minded judge have to fear, who rules by the Constitution? What about a judge who covers up crime perpetuated by officials? Cloaks it in sovereign immunity? This is supposed to be a government of the People, by the People, for the People. I challenge you to point out in the Constitution where it says that courts are supposed to protect government officials thru sovereign immunity? It seems to me, that if they were obeying the law like everyone else has to, they wouldn't need sovereign immunity. I would like for you to show me where in the Constitution sovereign immunity is mentioned.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous 5:05- Why do I suspect like so many disgruntled people, you are leaving out details of this story that do not reflect well on your side?

Sorry for your situation, but you son plead guilty. No judge or jury by your own admission convicted him.

So, what does this have to do with Amendment E?

Oh wait, you want to use it to go after prosecutors, right?

This is the lie of the Amendment E people. They say it is judges only, but then they admit they want to go after prosecutors, any elected official they can get their hands on.

CALLER: "The one thing about E, they should expand it to cover prosecutors, too."
HOST: "Oh, I think it already does, doesn't it Jake?"
JAKE HANES: "Anyone who hides behind judicial immunity or quasi-judicial immunity..."
CALLER: "Ooo. I like this bill more and more."
HOST: "So in other words it would also include elected officials."
JAKE HANES: "Absolutely."
CALLER: "Did you tell your guests where I'm calling from?"
AUTOMATED RECORDED PHONE MESSAGE: "This call is from a Federal Prison."
CALLER: "That's where I'm calling from, right there."
HOST: "You couldn't have timed that better, could you Charles?"
- Transcript from Liberty Watch Radio broadcast "America Armed and Free," Tuscon Arizona, featuring South Dakotan Jake Hanes, spokesman for Amendment E, April 16, 2006

As for judicial immunity, it is considered part of the "judicial power" and has been for hundreds of years. You should NOT be able to jail or bankrupt a judge because you do not like the decision or disagree with how they reached it.

Learn some history, not what Ron Branson, Bill Stegmeier and their militia buddies are filling your head with.

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