Secretary of State Shantel Krebs has ruled against my challenge of Lisa Furlong’s fake-18%-rate-cap petition. In details she sent me this morning, Secretary Krebs says my petition challenge failed to identify enough specific signatures to disqualify Furlong’s petition. Secretary Krebs says that 885 of the 1,219 specific deficient signatures that my challenge itemized were indeed invalid. My challenge hinged on getting the Secretary of State of reject all petition sheets submitted by circulators and notaries who appear to have violated petition rules, so those 885 rejected signatures aren’t anywhere near enough to invalidate Furlong’s calculated 42,195 valid signatures. However, as I reach for a bright side, my volunteer team’s 72.6% success rate on the signatures challenged is better than Furlong’s well-paid mercenary team’s 66.2% valid rate on the signatures it bamboozled out of South Dakotans last fall.
The bulk of the challenged signatures that Secretary Krebs did not throw out were signatures on petition sheets where differing penmanship indicates that either the notary or the circulator provided false information. Secretary Krebs did not say that my team’s evidence was bogus; Secretary Krebs remained agnostic, stating that her office cannot consider those challenges because “Administrative Rule is silent regarding penmanship.”
Secretary Krebs remained silent on two of the five actions that my challenge requested she take. Based on evidence of frequent and systematic violations of notary rules, I requested that Secretary Krebs “Remove Antonio Puga III and Erin Ageton from the office of notary public for their failure to “faithfully and impartially perform the duties of a NOTARY PUBLIC within and for the State of South Dakota according to the law” as specified by the notary public oath (ARSD 5:04:03:01).” I also asked that Secretary Krebs “Forward this affidavit to the South Dakota Attorney General and the States Attorneys of those counties in which the enumerated petition violations appear to have been committed and request that those officials investigate the evidence outlined herein and the Furlong Petition in full for violations of state law pertaining to petitions, elections, and the integrity of the notary seal.” In her initial documentation rejecting my petition challenge, Secretary Krebs does not address these actions. I thus await her response on these two items.
Thus, for now, Amendment U (for Usury!), the payday lenders’ attempt to confuse voters and hijack our constitution, remains on the November ballot. As Smokey the Bear would say, only you, dear voters, can stop fake rate caps. Vote No on U!