In other referendum news, our hardy team of petition circulators in Sioux Falls just added some star power. The dean of Sioux Falls talk radio and erstwhile two-term Sioux Falls mayor Rick Knobe is carrying petitions:
I have picked up petitions to refer two laws passed this South Dakota legislative session. Overturning the creation of the sub-minimum wage (SB 177) for teens is one.
The second petition seeks to overthrow Senate Bill 69, which makes it nearly impossible for other voices to be heard in the election process.
…I will be carrying both petitions wherever I go, except church. If you want to join other fair minded South Dakotans by rejecting the tyranny of the majority, let me know [Rick Knobe, “It’s Petition Drive Season In South Dakota,” KSOO Radio, 2015.04.20].
Boy, don’t mob the radio station! But if you see Chancellor Knobe around town, don’t be afraid to go up and ask to sign his petitions. He’ll be glad you do, and so will you!
I’m grateful that Knobe recognizes that both SB 69 and SB 177 are bad laws. As Knobe says, SB 69 makes it practically impossible for Independents to get on the ballot and significantly harder for everyone else. SB 177, the youth minimum wage, also hurts democracy, since it is the Legislature’s effort to tinker with a voter ballot initiative and thus deter citizens from bringing future matters to similar votes. And now Knobe, like dozens of other volunteers who’ve contacted me, is willing to put his shoe leather where his mouth is. Thank you, Rick Knobe!
I am curious, though: when’s the last time a petition drive won the public endorsement and participation of any similarly prominent mainstream media figure in South Dakota? Should we see if we can get KELO’s Greg Belfrage to carry petitions? And if we can’t get the news reporters to carry, perhaps we can recruit some sportscasters (they cover kids sports; they should care about kids’ wages, right?) and weathermen?