Gilbertson kicks amendment E in the tail on it's way out the door

Check out for comments from the Chief Justice as he made his State of the judiciary speech:
South Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson says voters did the right thing in November when they soundly trounced a measure that had been labeled "jail for judges."


Gilbertson, in a speech today to a joint session of the Legislature, said approval of the measure would have brought "catastrophic results" for the judicial system.
Read that all here as Gilbertson sticks it to them one time. Interestingly enough, Bill Stegemeier isn't down for the county just yet. He was commenting on increased petition signature requirements over at the Argus Leader today...

Surprising support, though, comes from Bill Stegmeier of Tea, the prime backer of the judicial accountability amendment that failed on Nov. 7. Stegmeier and others paid for a Nevada company to organize the petition drive - but he's OK with any possible changes.

"South Dakota's probably the easiest state to get something on the ballot," he said. "I wouldn't have a problem with making it more difficult."

Read that all here. Not surprisingly, I disagree with Amendment E's proponent. I'm one person who disagrees with making it more difficult to get things on the ballot. Because it's making it tougher to initiate a measure - a higher hurdle that they have to cross.

If they can get the signatures, so be it. Let the ballot be longer.


Anonymous said…
The only reason to increase the number of signatures is to reduce citizen access to the ballot.

If there are concerns about improper signatures then give the Sec. of State enough money to actually review some percent of the signatures and eliminate fraudulent ones.
Anonymous said…
I totally agree with Mr. Nemec. In other states I have lived in, the office that oversees elections has to check signatures for validity -- place of residence, etc. Candidates are checked to make sure they are in the right district, are registered in the right party (i.e. Schmidt in Rapid City). Even the person who collected/witnessed each page of signatures had to be "validated" or the all the signatures he or she collected were invalid, too. I don't think this inhibits the democratic process. But it does ensure that the process is untainted.
Anonymous said…
If an organization has enough money to pay to gather 20,000 signatures, they have enough money to gather 40,000 or 60,000 or whatever the number. It will just cost those groups a little more.

But raising the signature requirements will seriously inhibit grassroots movements that don't have those resources.

As for the Secretary of State checking the validity....please name one initiative that wouldn't have been there with a thorough signature analysis. As far as I know, they all had plenty of names to spare if a percentage were thrown out.

And, by the way, not a single 'wacky' idea on the ballot passed. Give the voters some credit, and let them vote on whatever they want. Democracy can take care of the rest. (Can you imagine limiting our Legislators' ability to introduce bills to the floor? It's nonsense.)
Anonymous said…
Anon 10:01.

Right on with your first two points.

I know of no measure on the last ballot that wouldn't have been there with a more in depth checking of signatures. But, checking a % of signatures would give crazies and sore losers like Leslee Unruh less room to bitch about something that made the ballot.

Unlike some I don't think the last ballot was too long. The voters did a pretty good job of turning back crazy stuff or stuff they didn't understand.
Anonymous said…
That judge who gave Sutton an injunction should go to jail.
Anonymous said…
I agree. lock up the judge and the lawyers and sutton.

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