Some Democrats seem most exercised over the anti-placeholder provision of Senate Bill 69. Our Republican friends seem to think that an integral part of “petition reform” is making sure that candidates (i.e., Democrats) don’t get out of the ballots slots for which they petition without a really good excuse. Democrats rightly complain that this provision further restricts the opportunity to recruit candidates and offer voters a full slate of choices on their November ballots.
The placeholder provision strikes me as the least of our reasons to refer Senate Bill 69 to a public vote. If Section 21 of Senate Bill 69 were standalone legislation, I would have opposed it but would not have considered referring it to a public vote. Had our Republican signed only that provision into law (South Dakota does have the line-item veto), I’d have sighed, turned to my Democratic brothers and sisters, and said, “All right, let’s get our recruitment poop in a group!”
But I will offer this brief response to the placeholder provision:
A candidate’s reasons for running for office are the public’s business. A candidate’s reasons for choosing not to run for office are nobody else’s business.
Now, back to the bigger issues….