Pat Powers runs as news a poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, a firm whose job is not to measure but influence public opinion and win elections, and paid for by the national Marsy’s Law campaign. News director Patrick Lalley says his Sioux Falls paper won’t run such dreck as news:
We also don’t write about polling paid for by campaigns — whether for individual offices or issues — because that information is biased at its source. We will occasionally reference these polls when it provides context to a particular strategy or better explains a candidate position. But we do not consider the results an accurate reflection of public sentiment.
Yes, it’s possible those polls are correct. But the simple fact that the survey is written and financed by one side or another taints the result [Patrick Lalley, “Election Cycle Is Going to Be a Bumpy Ride,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.07.31].
Some other news outlets are willing to run POS’s dupage, telling us that Amendment S, the “crime victims bill of rights” that harms the victims who need the most help, has 70% support among voters. Whatever the real percentage of supporters of this California astroturf, Libertarian blogger Ken Santema isn’t among them yet:
I have to admit I am VERY weary of any constitutional amendment, especially one as long as Marcy’s Law. But in theory Marcy’s Law sounds good and I support the idea of victims having rights. At this time I am leaning against Marcy’s Law, mostly because I fear how it will interact with the failing PSIA [Public Safety Improvement Act, 2013 SB 70] program. Additionally its length has me nervous about the number of unintended consequences that could be found out if it was added to the South Dakota constitution. Perhaps as I look closer at the actual contents of Amendment S I can find support for Marcy’s Law [Ken Santema, “A Look at Constitutional Amendment S, Marsy’s Law,” SoDakLiberty, 2016.07.31].
Marsy’s Law’s length is the least of its problems, but far be it from me to deny opponents their reasons. Don’t let paid polling from Amendment S backers distract you from the red-tape nightmare that would keep our prosecutors from protecting victims and doing justice in South Dakota.