Today's Dave Kranz Column on the Judicial Accountability Act
And where's that financial report for the Secretary of State's office

Jeez, Tim's getting a lot of press lately. His latest article on the new face of J.A.I.L. came to the attention of Dave Kranz at the Argus Leader, automatic weapons and all:
We've heard a lot in recent months about the abortion bill, HB1215, and its entry into the November elections, but the people wanting to hold judges accountable have been silent.

The last significant news was their decision to eliminate a public relations problem as they seek to sell the Judicial Accountability Initiative Law to South Dakotans.

Better known as J.A.I.L, or Amendment E on the November ballot, the issue was raised largely through the effort of Californians. Yet, to local supporters, the idea that out-of-staters arrived here to tell the citizens of this state how they should do things needed a response. So Bill Stegmeier of Tea, state coordinator of the amendment drive, decided to send the Californians packing.

and...

Proponents are quiet, but they haven't disappeared. Sioux Falls lawyer Tim Gebhart says J.A.I.L backers are visible on Web sites with messages that should be a concern. He says Jake Hanes appears to be the a new voice for the cause.

"So now that J.A.I.L. claims to have rid itself of wackos, let's take a look at the new face of J.A.I.L," Gebhart says. He offers a photo that Hanes uses on his MySpace Web site. The caption? "Rise Up!!"

The photo shows him - bandanna on his face and holding what appears to be an automatic weapon, Gebhart says. And there is a photo of Hanes and someone Gebhart thinks is Stegmeier with bandannas over their noses and mouths. The caption: "Gettin ready for the war."

"It just reinforces that all along it has been a bunch of extremists trying to foist something off on South Dakota that it doesn't need," Gebhart said.

Supporters often are asked for examples where judges acted irresponsibly, but "they have not given any," Gebhart said.

Stegmeier offered no names Monday.

"There are so many cases of people complaining that they got a raw deal," Stegmeier said. "A big proportion of the complaints we get are from inmates."

What about the pictures?

"Even if they are accurate, what difference does it make?" Stegmeier asked. "They are distorting our intentions. All you have to do is take a look at the resolution the Legislature passed. I can refute every one of them. Amendment E gives them rights if they are violated. It has nothing to do with the judge's decision, but the procedures used to arrive at their decision."
Read it all here.

So, now as opposed to automatic weapon waving anti-government zealots from California, now the automatic weapon waving anti-government zealots from our own state are in charge of the effort. Great. Boy, that raises my comfort level soooooo much (not).

And Stegmeier himself notes that "A big proportion of the complaints we get are from inmates." Well of course everyone in the State Penitentiary is innocent. (Didn't you know that?)

The battle lines have been drawn pretty clearly on this amendment. Are you on the side of city, school, and county officials along with anyone else who serves on a board or commission? Or are you on the side of the automatic weapon toting zealots and unhappy inmates?

Not much of a choice, is it?

Speaking of our friends at the Judicial Accountability act, isn't it time for a little financial accountability for them? I'm still waiting for the J.A.I.L. crew's financial report to appear at the Secretary of State's office. But things are strangely quiet. No report has appeared on-line, so I'm wondering if I need to start a new ballot initiative to ensure accountability of the people who start ballot initiatives?

Just wondering.

Comments

Todd Epp said…
J.A.I.L.'s new photos prove Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's aphorism: When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

It's almost as good as Sibby's photos as an ersatz* Minute Man.

*That means "fakey," of the Sibster's favorite words.
eddie said…
Just curious -- When will the media pick up on the medical marijuana vote??!!
brian aust said…
PP -

You see the AG's explanation of Amendment E? Boy, I don't know who in their right mind would vote for it.

Check out http://www.sdsos.gov/electionsvoteregistration/upcomingelection_2006BQExplanations.shtm

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