"No, really. The boycott did something. I'm not kidding."

Remember the boycott that was supposedly going to occur over the South Dakota Legislature passing HB 1215? Me neither. But, according to this associated press article at forbes.com, those promoting it state that it has to have done something...

A threatened tourism boycott of South Dakota over new state law that bans nearly all abortions has had little effect on travel, officials said.

"I think what we're seeing is that despite the worry people had about the boycott, we haven't seen that it's had an impact on travel in South Dakota," said the state's tourism director, Billie Jo Waara.

Tourism is the state's second largest industry, behind agriculture, as millions flock each year to see Mount Rushmore and the Badlands. It brought in an estimated $809 million last year.

Waara said revenues from the two main taxes used to measure travel activity were both substantially higher for June and July than they were last year. Revenues from a special tax on tourism attractions were up 8.5 percent in June and 7.3 percent in July, and revenues from a tax on Deadwood casinos were up 7.4 percent in June and 2.1 in July.

But Annie Laurie Gaylor of the Women's Medical Fund Inc., a Wisconsin abortion rights group that called for the boycott, said she distrusts the claims.

"I have no hard statistics for you on our boycott, but I know people are boycotting South Dakota," Gaylor said. "They may be putting on a rosy front, but there has to have been damage."
Read it all here. There has to have been damage? In looking at it, tourism went up.

Someone please explain to me what the purpose of a boycott is, if everyone is going to ignore it, including those announcing it? If I were going to do it, I'd beat on that drum at every opportunity, because just like your ballot initiatives, it has to be made an active part of a campaign.

Here, they announced it and ignored it like everyone else. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. But the whole thing just comes off as looking silly.


chad said…
Agreed. This woman is delusional.
Anonymous said…
This is one more measure, people are tired of killing babies!
Joan said…
Wait until they get the August statistics. People in the know say the numbers for the motorcycle rally were way down.
Anonymous said…
No serious pro-choice organization was involved with this boycott. It was a crackpot idea from the beginning.

Hey, Wisconsin, quit 'helping' us, okay?
Haggs said…
I think it's funny that both pro-life and pro-choice people in South Dakota opposed the boycott.

I mean, South Dakota has one of the greatest national monuments in the country a national bikers rally that grows every year.

Why did those Wisconsin people think it would work? What tourism boycotts ever work? I heard one worked in Idaho once but, well, what do they have that's worth visiting anyway?
Douglas said…
I don't know how anybody could sort out all the variables to determine if a boycott did or did not have any impact on tourism.

Many activities in SD that usually drew crowds had attendance drop significantly. But, general despair resulting from the Bush administration bungling and increased fuel prices, even widely varying temperatures, could all be factors.
jake mortenson said…
I agree with Douglas.

Until somebody puts together a statistical regression model controlling for temperature, fuel prices, income differences, inflation, et cetera, the effects of the "HB1215 boycott" (or significant lack thereof) will be unknown. Analyzing individual statistics is not a credible means of determining causality.

As far as I know, neither Billie Jo nor Annie have significant evidence to support their Opinions.
Anonymous said…
The numbers for tourism in the Black Hills for 2006 has been reported to be off 10% to 15% from last year.

While I think almost the entire drop is from high gas prices, I am surprised to hear that the Gov's folks are out spinning this. "Tourism for June and July are up", well how about year to date?

I get so tired of people spinning the truth trying to defend their opinions.

I’m sure that there were a small percent of folks who changed their summer travel plans because of HB 1215, but did it have much of an impact, I doubt it.

So I say to both sides of the HB 1215 debate, we’re not dumb, we can see your spinning the truth and we are feed up with it. Stick to the real debate, should SD approve or throw out HB 1215.
Anonymous said…
How about pregnant women who are not pregnant as a result of rape or incest start boycotting the abortion clinic in Sioux Falls?
Anonymous said…
I've actually heard of people coming to SD on family vacations because of the abortion ban. The net effect was probably a positive one.

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