In a week consisting mostly of responding to remarkable political news with regurgitated press releases from its patrons instead of any original analysis, Dakota War College limps forward with a question about opposition to Senate Bill 69 based on assumption and error. “Is SB69 lawsuit a stop gap effort because they know referral isn’t going to happen?” DWC’s Pat Powers asks:
The discussion centered around an assumption that the movement to refer Senate Bill 69 (which in part was designed to make South Dakota more compliant with federal mandates to allow at least 45 days for military voting) is likely not going to be successful one, and may fall short of it’s [sic] goals. The talk was that, recognizing that likely outcome, the liberal powers that be decided to move forward with the lawsuit in an attempt to take up another front against the clean-up legislation [Pat Powers, “Is SB69 Lawsuit a Stop Gap Effort Because They Know Referral Isn’t Going to Happen?” Dakota War College, 2015.06.26].
Let’s count the errors:
- Some friends and I will walk into Secretary of State Shantel Krebs’s office on Monday around 11:00 or 11:30 (depending on how many last-minute sheets we need to notarize) to submit two referral petitions—one for Senate Bill 69, the Incumbent Protection Plan that Powers so loves, and one for Senate Bill 177, the youth minimum wage. I will sign an affidavit swearing that, to the best of my knowledge, the sheets for each petition “contain a sufficient number of signatures to be certified to the ballot.” Whether Team Krebs’s 5% sampling of those signatures produces an error rate that throws out too many signatures is unknowable, although I want to believe that the circulators of these petitions have run a tight ship.
- There are no “liberal powers that be.” What state are we living in again, Pat?
- Liberals did not decide to file the lawsuit against Senate Bill 69. The plaintiffs are the Libertarian and Constitution parties of South Dakota, two groups that exist as a response to the South Dakota Republican Party’s failure to be conservative enough.
- The lawsuit cannot be considered a “stop-gap” measure. “Stop gap” implies a temporary measure taken in anticipation of some subsequent permanent solution. The lawsuit is not a placeholder or a delaying tactic; it is a challenge to one clearly unconstitutional provision of SB 69 that seeks to make it harder for new parties to challenge the existing powers that be.
- Senate Bill 69 has nothing to do with military voting. Powers trotted out that myth in May for lack of anything good to say about Senate Bill 69’s attack on voting rights. Military voting was not part of the genesis or discussion of Senate Bill 69. Senate Bill 69 arose from concerns about the petition fraud committed by Annette Bosworth and Clayton Walker during the 2014 primary. Senate Bill 69 contains no provisions to guarantee or expand military voting rights.
- Senate Bill 69 is not “clean-up legislation”… unless Powers means it helps incumbents clean up at the polls. Senate Bill 69 dirties up our statutes with unconstitutional violations of the rights of new parties and voters who want to support Independents. Senate Bill 69 dirties Christmas by pushing candidate petition circulation back into December. Senate Bill 69 dirties democracy by deterring major-party candidates with unnecessary increases in the number of signatures they must collect to make the ballot. These provisions do nothing to clean up the mess of petition fraud and only deter candidates and voters from participating in the democracy this bill soils.
DWC’s misportrayal of Senate Bill 69 and the efforts to stop it are predictable. Powers has never understood Senate Bill 69. He is only propagandizing on behalf of his patrons and not trying to help South Dakotans understand the harm this bill does to democracy.
See you in Pierre on Monday!