This is too good. Now we know where Bonnie is lately

I had a report that Bonnie Russell who has her hands around the website, which is in competition with for being the official amendment E website has a finger in a new internet venture.

Apparently Bonnie is involved with at And you have to be asking yourself - What's their schtick?
USAJudges offers custom reports on judges. Our experienced researchers start with public records and news accounts, then add other sources to build informative profiles that can give you early tips of a judge's expectations, and even potential trouble you might face. offers attorneys and citizens the chance to post their own experiences, so you can look for insight into a judge's crucial dynamics from people who have been in his or her courtroom.

And that's not all. For a low, low price you can create or retreive a report on a judge:

Create your basic report - FREE
Create your detailed report - $45.00*
Purchase a report (5 business days) - $150.00
Purchase an expedited report (3 business days) - $250.00

So, all of you disgruntled judge haters - you too can create a basic report, or pay $45 to create a detailed report on why your judge stunk. And better yet, for $150 or $250, the people who hate judges can get a detailed report on the bad judges.

Let me see if I can sum this up. Bonnie who was involved in the misguided SD effort to go after bad judges is still involved in the effort to go after them. Except she (or someone she's partnering with) is tapping into that anti-judiciary paranoia to make a buck off of it.

Too funny.


Anonymous said…
Our daughter used to have testify in cases involving troubled teenagers. She was frustrated by some of the incredibly inappropriate decisions that certain judges made. (One of the worst was placing an out-of-control, teenage girl with her father, a convicted pedophile who lived out-of-state. The girl curled up on the floor in a fetal position when told she had to live with him.) I don't know what the answer is, but there are judges out there who bear watching. And it's no laughing matter to people whose lives are impacted by their misguided decisions.
Anonymous said…
Being a judge in a child custody situation is one of the toughest jobs on earth. It's rarely super parent vs. parent in jail for drug dealing. Mostly it's either good parent vs. good parent or bad parent vs. bad parent. And it's not up to judges to prove parents unfit - that would be the state's job. We have presumptions that favor keeping families together, so there's a fairly high burden to meet before we take kids away from parents.

Then there is an appeals process - everyone in SD has the right to appeal a decision of a circuit judge to the SD Supreme Court. If the judge makes such a glaring error that anyone can see s/he's mistaken, surely five experienced justices will see and remedy it.

The first comment is annecdotal at best. It doesn't even say if it was a SD judge that made the allegedly inappropriate decision. I'm still waiting for a horror story from SD. It inevitably comes down to SD being a test state for an ill-conceived plan to "hold judges accountable" based on the ramblings of tax protesters and felons. No thanks.
Anonymous said…
Yes, it was a South Dakota judge, but this happened almost 20 years ago so the guy (hopefully) isn't around any more.
I'm not familiar with the appeal process. Who pays for the attorneys to appeal in a situation where it involves a child? Where does the child live during the appeal process? If she is sent across the country to live with her convicted pedophile father, who is going to protect her during the appeal process? Or does she stay in custody of the court while they decide? I don't have any answers, I am just wondering what the process is.
I think you could call this a bad parent vs. bad parent situation. My daughter, a social worker who counseled the girl and recommended that she be placed in a group home because the mother could not control her, lost a lot of sleep over this case when it happened. I hope that judges today are more enlightened when it comes to child custody placements.
Anonymous said…
The tragic set of circumstances described anecdotally are just that, tragic. But they have nothing to do with what these JAILers are talking about.

When they talk, they talk about the New World Order conspiracy in the case of Ron Branson or in the case of Stegmeier his tax evading buddy Simankin who threatened the lives of Federal judges and got convicted for failure to file his taxes.

They talk about how 9/11 was an inside job, how the IRS and the income taxes are hoaxes and about all sorts of other crud. They talk about militias and "sovereign citizens" and all this other stuff that you might have though ended with the Freemen and the Posse Comitatus nuts in the 1990s.

And if you notice they promised to tour the state and have weekly town hall meetings. That got stopped, probably because people heard the insanity they had to spew.

You will never hear them talk about actual cases of problems in SD. Excuse me, yes they mention 1 case. Gene Lodermeier.

Lodermeier's history with the State of South Dakota is not undocumented. Again, and again. As Tim Gebhart from A Progressive on the Prairie notes, it's not the first time that JAIL is invoking convicted felons:

Last October, Ron Branson, the founder of J.A.I.L., gave credit to Gene V. Lodermeier for a letter to the editor Lodermeier wrote supporting J.A.I.L. Branson said he intended to "look him up and give him our thanks and find out his knowledge and experiences with the courts." And although the local J.A.I.L.ers cleaned their original web site after claiming to break with Branson, Lodermeier's letter is still cited and linked there.

For those who may not know, Lodermeier has plenty of experience with the federal and state court system. He received a lengthy sentence in the South Dakota State Penitentiary, including time for being a "habitual offender." In addition to appealing his conviction, Lodermeier filed a state habeas corpus action in which he raised 107 issues. At the time he was sentenced, Lodermeier had a 20-year criminal history and there was information that, among other things, he had been involved in his wife's disappearance, was a suspect in the pipe-bombing of a police officer's car and his history included "tampering with evidence, perjury, federal conviction, nascent plot to kill witnesses and past destruction of private property."

So that is JAIL for you. Felons. Conspiracy theorists. Tax evaders. sdstraighttalk put it best today:

JAIL proponents are not rational.

Editorializing – J A I L was too crazy for California who would not even put it on the ballot, South Dakotans are not buying into crazy California Vigilante Justice.

Anonymous said…
Anon 7:02 - Thanks for filling me in. We live near the Iowa border, and I don't get a lot of South Dakota news. I can see I have a lot of catching up to do!
Anonymous said…

Oh dear. Pat just can't help but writing highly inaccurate stuff. I've called him on his deliberate "quotes" before, (Manufactured by him to make his point and yet, having no basis in reality). Well he's at it again, (hey, it's a gossip site, he shills for ads).

1. There is no competiton. It's just that some people believe in Amendment E and don't believe in Branson.

I'm on record as describing Branson as a clown. Haven't changed my mind.

There are South Dakotans like me. They support Amendment E and feel about Branson the way I do.

However, these South Dakotans have their eye on the ball. Holding judges accountable.

Hmmm. I wonder if Judge Gilbertson will be addressing more political rallies?

And we will be following the arrest of two South Dakota mayors. In cases like these, the traditional way out, is:

A brief flurry of coverage, the a period of quiet, before a quietly accepted plea deal involving "community service."

What Seldom gets reported, or in fact isn't generally known, is that judges don't have to go along with whatever the politico works out with the DA.

So we're watching that. And maybe you should too.
Anonymous said…
Ask Todd Keller (former Belle Fourche mayor) about the community service he got... Oh wait, he's in the penitentiary.

And let's not forget that the Onida mayor is innocent until proven guilty. Unlike JAIL, where judges (and all the rest w/ judicial immunity) are presumed guilty.
PP said…
Anon on Jun 15 2007, I think I believe most of what you're saying, but absent proof, someof what you're saying is potentially libelous, and therefore gone.

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