Mr. Branson, you've been denied. And the cock crows once.

I'd venture a guess that Bill Stegmeier has forgotten where he's heard that name nowadays.

In today's Rapid City Journal, Bill Stegmeier was quick to disavow Ron Branson from the South Dakota Movement once again. And if you listened closely enough, you could hve sworn that a cock crowed after he did so.
South Dakota groups representing a wide range of interests are banding together to fight a proposed constitutional amendment that would let people put judges on trial. Organizations representing unions, businesses, agricultural interests, school boards, county commissions, city councils, hospitals, insurance companies, law officers and lawyers support the No on E Committee.

Longtime lobbyists Dianna Miller and Larry Mann head the campaign committee, which is training people in communities throughout the state to give talks against Amendment E.

Supporters contend that the measure is needed to hold judges personally accountable for violating people's rights.

Opponents argue that it would harm the fairness of courts. They say it would also allow disgruntled people to seek criminal charges or lawsuits against state officials and members of city councils, county commissions and school boards that make judicial decisions involving hiring and firing, student discipline, zoning and other subjects.

"Amendment E is so far-reaching. Who and what it impacts is pretty scary for the state of South Dakota," Miller said.

But business owner Bill Stegmeier of Tea, who led the effort to get the measure on the November ballot, said the amendment would prevent abuses by judges and others. Judges should not get immunity not given to others, he said.

and...

When the Legislature passed a resolution urging voters to reject the proposed amendment, lawmakers criticized Ron Branson, a California man who wrote the measure but was unable to get it on that state's ballot. Branson then worked with Stegmeier to put the proposal on South Dakota's ballot.

Stegmeier's organization has now distanced itself from Branson, who was called a "nut" by a state lawmaker. "By quite a distance," Stegmeier said.

Stegmeier said Branson has not provided much support for the South Dakota effort because he doesn't have any money.

"The fact of the matter is, he's the guy who came up with the idea to hold the judiciary accountable," Stegmeier said. "I simply took it and ran."
Read it all here. Yes, the South Dakota Judicial Accountability people can't run away from Ron Branson quickly enough. And just like the story of Peter denying Jesus (remembering my catholic grade school education for no particular reason) no one is buying the story. In fact, I'm waiting for Bill Stegmeier to brake down and weep over his betrayal at some point.

That, and I'm doubting the assertion that Stegmeier "simply took it and ran." If you watched him on TV the other night on South Dakota Focus (real media), I would find it hard to believe he could get a toilet to run much less a statewide campaign effort. (and SDPTV guys, I wanted that segment to be much longer - here's my vote for a ful hour of E)

When we look at who is responsible for putting this mess on the ballot in SD, We need to keep in mind that if it hadn't been for Ron Branson, it would not be on the ballot in South Dakota.

But Bill Stegmeier is trying to get us to believe that "Branson has not provided much support for the South Dakota effort." Yes, Bill mortgaged his house to pay for it. But not much support from Ron? Well, let's take a look at the evidence..

According to the Sturgis Street Blog, (who gets the photo credit here) Bill Harlan was reporting that" Ron Branson of Los Angeles, above, actually was collecting signatures at the corner of Main and Junction. His petitions are for the “South Dakota Judicial Accountability Amendment.”

Does that look like"not much support?" (BTW, check out the stars on his hat and lapel)

Jail-4-judges cites an example where A man in Sturgis by the name of John Eggers who is a 31-year veteran (now retired) Sheriff of Meade County handed Mr. Branson the front page of the current issue of the Black Hills Press newspaper with his picture on it, in which he was being presented a plaque in his honor.

I don't hear BS' name involved in that transaction. Only Ron Branson's.

Rather than belabor the point on a post which might prove to be long, suffice it to say I can cite examples on and on and on which show the depths of Ron Branson's involvement in the South Dakota measure.

No matter how much Bill Stegmeier denies it, Ron Branson IS the South Dakota measure - far more than he could hope to be. But as mentioned, Ron is up and gone. Simply vanished from the effort. Like someone hid him under a rock. Or a shell.

Tim Gebhart over at A Progressive on the Prairie and a much more prolific contributor to the no-on- e blog than I've been lately does a phenomenal job of documenting the shell game that the JAIL people are playing with the Ron Branson/national JAIL movement affiliation.
If you come across the new brochure the J.A.I.L.ers are circulating you'll see something interesting. It says: "For questions or comments concerning the South Dakota Judicial Accountability Amendment contact Gary Zerman at 605-xxx-xxxx." A couple things make this interesting.

One is rather simple. Don't be surprised to find that the phone number for Zerman is a cell phone number. That's because Zerman is a practicing attorney in California.

More important, Zerman is intimately involved with Jail4Judges. In fact, in a message to J.A.I.L.ers nationally, Branson and "Barbie" of the national organization took credit for recommending to Stegmeier that Zerman become spokesman for South Dakota J.A.I.L.
A divorce? Don't believe it. I would consider it to be much less of a divorce than a trial separation while the SD measure "gets it's head on straight." But don't weep for the unhappy couple for long. It looks like a reconciliation is in the works. It's been cited in several places out on the internet that:
in their “Dear Ron” letter, the South Dakotans reassured Branson that the divorce would be cosmetic: “we hope to see you and Barbie [Branson’s wife] next November for our victory celebration on the steps of the South Dakota Capitol building.”
No matter how much they deny it, Branson was the cause of South Dakota Amendment E being placed on the ballot. No matter how much they deny it, the California group is very much still involved in the measure in the form #2 JAIL-4-Judges man Gary Zerman.

And no matter how they deny it, they've already stated that they're openly embracing the Branson's returning to South Dakota for the victory party.

"Stegmeier's organization has now distanced itself from Branson?" Don't believe it.

And if they're still denying it - Keep your ears peeled and listen for the cock to crow a second time.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I was going to vote against E, but seeing the two sleaziest lobbyists in Pierre, Dianna Miller and Larry Mann, are leading the fight against it, I'm definitely voting for it.
mhs said…
I'm reading Jon Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven" right now and literally just read the following passage about the book's subject, a Mormon Fundamentalist's (excommunicated by the church)encounter with the court system: "At his trial (for three felonies) . . . he continued to argue with the judge on unrelated constitutional issues . . the exasperated judge declared him in contempt . . . at which point Dan's brothers staged a riot in the courtroom shouting they were placing the judge, prosecutor and clerk under "citizen's arrest"

"Friends said . . . he came to believe in a return to the gold standard, strict constitutionalism and obedience only to "righteous laws" He commited the felonies after assaulting a state trooper who had pulled him over for speeding. He had written a number of articles and letters in local papers about his version of the constitution and, among other things, claimed it was unconstitutional to pull someone over for speeding.

Sound familiar JAIL fans? It would be amusing but for the fact that three years later he murdered his sister-in-law and her 15 month old daughter claiming a spiritual revelation ordered him to do so.

Great book. While not direclty connected with the NWO, JAIL, etc. debate, the arguements are all cut from the same cloth. Gave me a chill . . .
Anonymous said…
Anon 11:27 -

Would you change your mind if I said Bob Newland gave Amendment E his seal of approval?

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