The leaders of the ballot question committee formed to oppose the effort to put abortion rights to a vote in South Dakota in 2024 are vowing to wage war against petition circulators.
Representative Jon Hansen (R-25/Dell Rapids), anti-abortion activist Leslee Unruh, and Republican donor Steven Perkins formed “Life Defense Fund” last month to campaign against the initiated amendment proposed by Dakotans for Health to write Roe v. Wade into South Dakota’s constitution. Now Hansen writes in the South Dakota Right to Life Fall 2022 newsletter that his group will put blockers on the street to stop circulators from collecting signatures from voters to place this measure on the ballot:
Through the Life Defense Fund, we will oppose this deadly constitutional amendment at every step. Beginning this November, we must stand next to their petition circulators, explain to the public how radical this amendment is, and encourage our fellow citizens not to sign the petition. We must tell the truth to people rather than leave them to sort through the lies of the liberal press and misleading ad campaigns for themselves [Rep. Jon Hansen, “South Dakota Pro-Abortion Ballot Measure Alert,” South Dakota Right to Life Fall 2022 newsletter, retrieved 2022.09.14, p. 4].
Lawyer Hansen vows this sidewalk war will also extend to the courtroom:
We must hold the pro-abortion groups accountable and sue them when they break our campaign finance and petition circulation laws. We must match their campaign with such a massive effort that these liberal groups will think twice before ever proposing to legalize the killing of these precious lives ever again [Hansen, Fall 2022].
Hansen, who has regularly worked on the campaign trail, in the Legislature, and in the courts to stifle women’s rights and ballot initiatives, can now scratch both itches in this campaign against the proposed codification of Roe v. Wade. It’s not enough for Hansen to take command of women’s bodies and demand that they serve him and the state with forced pregnancy; he must also take to the streets to stand in the way of South Dakotans exercising their right to call a vote on this important issue. Both times that abortion has been on the ballot (2006 and 2008), South Dakota voters have rejected Hansen’s big-government control of pregnancy. This summer’s Mason-Dixon poll revealed strong majorities of South Dakota voters support legal access to abortion and want to vote on abortion access themselves on the statewide ballot. But since women and democracy scare Hansen, he wants to thwart the mere effort to allow South Dakota women and other voters to make their voices heard.
Hansen is also afraid of out-of-state liberals and wants everyone else to fear them as well. He bleats his typical South Dakota xenophobia to milk his fellow cons for money:
Right now, these pro-abortion groups are already recruiting people to gather the signatures necessary to put the measure on the ballot. They wiIl be well funded with millions of dollars flowing in from big, out of state, liberal special interest groups. One such group—The “Fairness” Project—whose stated goal is to put abortion into red state’s constitutions, has already poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into political campaigns in our state.
…If we have a chance at stopping this constitutional amendment from passing, we need to fund a large campaign war chest. To be blunt: we can’t rely on the promise of some rich out-of-state donor to come fund our resis- tance. The obligation to defend life is now on us [Hansen, Fall 2022].
Note that Hansen has to watch his words about the Fairness Project and the proposed abortion initiative: while the Fairness Project is supporting the hospitals’ Amendment D to expand Medicaid, and while the Fairness Project did spend six figures to help defeat Hansen’s plot to hamstring the Medicaid expansion campaign with Amendment C last June, the Fairness Project appears to be focused on 2022 abortion ballot measures in other states and hasn’t said public word one about South Dakota’s possible 2024 abortion vote. (The next campaign finance statements are due October 24: we can look then to see who all may be putting money into Dakotans for Health, Hansen’s Life Defense Fund, and anyone else who may be campaigning for or against a vote on abortion rights.)
Petition-blocking has happened before in South Dakota. When Steve Hildebrand and Steve Hickey launched their initiative petition to cap payday loan rates at 36%, predatory payday lenders hired out-of-state thugs to intimidate Hildebrand and sabotage the petition drive. Hansen’s Republican friends ran interference for that out-of-state interference in our democratic process and had connections to the payday lender players who tried killing the 36% rate cap petition in court. But that interference failed spectacularly: Hildebrand and Hickey’s petition drive collected plenty of signatures, and their Initiated Measure 21 passed with 75.58% of the November 2016 vote.
The plain fact is that Jon Hansen doesn’t want women to have a say on their bodies, and he doesn’t want voters to have a say on abortion policy. Watch for him and his goons to hit the streets and the courts to try shouting down women’s voices and voters’ voices.
Jon Hansen is a toxic threat to American Democracy and needs to be metaphorically “kneecapped” by the politically centrist media.
The initiative is a Legislative function under the South Dakota constitution. It needs to be conducted with appropriate decorum. People who are contemplating signing a petition are similar to legislators who are contemplating sponsoring a bill. You and I couldn’t go up to a Legislator in the Capitol Building and intimidate, harass or threaten that legislator or try to inhibit that Legislator from engaging in the work of legislating. We would be immediately escorted away, if not arrested. I’m all in support of free speech, but the line needs to be appropriately drawn so that the constitutional legislative function of the State of South Dakota can occur.
Tapping the prosperity gospel is the snake oil christianic religionists shoot up every day as they march to war.
For all intents and purposes the Republican Party patriarchy fantasy looks just like the FLDS.
Any petition circulator or signer who feels they’re being harassed should immediately call law enforcement and file a complaint of verbal assault
I don’t care if you are petitioning to ban women’s literacy. I will give you dirty looks, but I will defend your right to petition until the day my American blood ceases to flow in my veins.
Jad, Donald, there’s a tricky issue. Jon Hansen has as much right to stand on the sidewalk and talk to voters as I do. Jon Hansen has as much right to say to a voter, “Hey, don’t sign that petition; it’ll kill babies,” as I do to say to a voter, “Hey, sign this petition, it’ll protect women’s equality.” Jon and his minions don’t have to physically or verbally threaten anybody to achieve their petition-blocking; they just have to stand near the circulators, create the appearance of disagreement, and effectively deter 95% of passersby from stopping to talk.
Now test out this scenario for me legally: suppose I’m circulating a petition in a public place. A voter approaches. I start speaking to that voter. Jon is standing nearby. The moment I start speaking, he starts speaking: “Don’t sign that petition.” As I try to explain the petition, Jon continues to speak, making it difficult for the potential signer to hear my explanation. The potential signer quickly becomes frustrated and walks away, uninformed, without signing.
In simply talking over me and thus disrupting my attempt to have a conversation with a fellow citizen, has Jon committed any crime?
When trying to convince to people to oppose the initative I wonder if Hansen and his associates will reveal the apparent fact that South Dakota now makes it a capital crime for any woman that obtains an abortion “without authority of law” (SDCL 22-16-4)? So far this detail seems to have been well hidden by South Dakota’s abortion opponents since there has been no public statement or information revealed to indicate how or why this statute would not apply. It would be interesting to learn how the public feels about giving the State the power to kill women that obtain an unlawful abortion, along with any doctors, health care providers, and family and friends that intentionally assist these women by trying to keep them from harm.
One has to wonder whether there really are enough South Dakotans that value the “unborn” enough to impose the death sentence on the women and helpers to cheer such laws, like these guys:
“Is simply talking over me and thus disrupting my attempt to have a conversation with a fellow citizen, has Jon committed any crime?”
Here are a couple of statutes that might well apply:
In my view, the first statute certainly would apply as approaching someone uninvited and interuppting a conversation or activity with a loud voice in order to disrupt that conversation is a classic public disturbance. The last statute also aguably may be broad enough to cover petition gathering for the purposes of an election.
Yes, Cory, it is a tricky issue, but bear is on top of it. When we attempted to deal with it back in the 1980s, we looked at the voter intimidation statute SDCL 12-26-12 as a template for a bill on intimidation of petition circulators and signers. Our bill didn’t pass, but we sent a message by publicly calling out such behavior.
There are other laws, too. SDCL 12-26-12 deals with “meetings” of voters. The argument could be made that a petition ciruclator is meeting with voters.
12-26-12. Persecution, threats, or intimidation to influence vote as misdemeanor–Obstruction of voter on way to polls.
A person who directly or indirectly, intentionally, by force or violence, or by unlawful arrest, or by any abduction, duress, damage, harm, or loss, or by any forcible or fraudulent contrivance, or by threats to do or employ any of them, or by threats of bringing civil suit or criminal prosecution, withdrawal of customs or dealing in business or trade, or enforcing payment of debts, or by any kind of injury or threat of injury inflicted or to be inflicted on any voter or person to influence any voter, and attempted, done, or threatened, or caused to be attempted, done, or threatened by any person in his own behalf or in behalf of any other person or question voted upon or to be voted upon at any election, for the purpose of preventing, causing, or intimidating a voter to vote or refrain from voting for or against any person or question, or who does or causes to be done any of such things because of a voter having voted or refrained from voting on any such matter, or who intentionally and without lawful authority obstructs, hinders, or delays a voter on his way to any poll where an election is to be held, is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
12-26-10. Threats or intimidation to prevent public assembly of electors as misdemeanor–Hindering attendance at meeting.
A person who by threats, intimidation, or unlawful force or violence, intentionally hinders or prevents voters from assembling in a public meeting for considering of public questions, or who hinders or prevents any individual voter from attending any such meeting, is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
Thank you, Jon Hansen and associates. Your contemptuous committee has inspired me to help circulate petitions. I will also contact a few friends who believe access to abortion care is immensely important.
Like Kurt Russell, portraying Wyatt Earp in “Tombstone” said: “You called down the thunder, well now you’ve got it.”
I’d like to ask Jon what he’s afraid of? I think he’s afraid that he’s in the minority and he’d lose the election
Mess with the bull, you will get the horns. CK is bringing thunder upon request as well.
If signing a paper makes the right to life bunch cry around and want to act tough at the same time, old school pugilistic ways of settling disputes will either have them curled up like a fetus, on the phone to 911 like a Karen, or give a potential signer 3 steps of breathing room like requested in the first place.
I learned a long time ago not to expect someone to come along to make someone else respect you or leave you be. Abusers behave a certain way when they know there is nobody around to testify. They would never behave that way in front of witnesses. They feel entitled to terrorize a lowly, nothing woman when nobody is watching. When polite requests don’t work and he won’t back up off because he thinks he decides for you and the guy isn’t all that big and fast* blap! Blap square in the snout. Then get moving! Its the only way I can live with myself and not have to bow down all the time. Honor is all a gals got.
Just remember, they run faster mad than you do scared, ladies. So make sure you have a get away plan. Or better yet, don’t go out alone. You’re just a girl. Some kind of freak. Not a real autonomous person. Yet.
Mr. Hansen does make me wonder whether any basket could contain the ever bloating number of deplorables and when his people just start shooting those exercising their right to petition.
Now you have to go and bring up their stand your ground excuse they are sure to employ with their guns, Mr. Kurtz. Doggonit. Of course they are plotting to pick us off to ‘save lives’. They don’t realize this perpetuates pain and suffering to no end. Self righteous killers are not favored in heaven, I don’t think.
Having a working mind and spine are our curses, guys. It would be so much easier to crusade for something that requires no personal stake, as opposed to facing reality and solving things.
I wonder if Mr. H and/or Bcb have legal assurances for petitioners and voters who are now contemplating what Mr. Kurtz points out. Or anyone who can see where this scary hypothetical, yet likely scenario might go.
Here’s a question for the goddist morons: If God intended a pregnancy to occur as a result of a rape, then God must also have arranged for the rape. That makes God a pimp, doesn’t it?
It took a while for me to actually grasp that an elected representative of the People of South Dakota presented this statement of intent. If anyone actually does what Hansen proposes–and I have no doubt that they will–it falls little short of Brownshirt tactics practiced by Hitler supporters. I have little doubt that it will, at some point, stop falling short, and will escalate into beatings administered to petition circulators.
Hansen has simply admitted that he believes his group of fascists will lose at the polls if the petition succeeds in achieving ballot status. His solution is purely fascist.
Holy War…Jihad by the Taliban Republicans.
Find an aware judge and ask for a restraining order on the perpetrator and Jon Hansen. It’s not free speech its harassment and harassment is a crime.
Safety in numbers. Signatures in numbers. I know people are itching to exercise their right to petition and would come to the clipboard instead of hoping a brave circulator finds them. Have a petition drive like the IM 27 people did with the drive-up signings. With a designated location for people to conveniently come sign, there would be less risk from terrorists stalking and whatever else the voices tell them to do. If we had music playing and a hotdog and pop for the public, it would get great turnout and be a block party. I would donate for some dogs, unless some law says its illegal to share food while circulating…
Under god, some people rule.
Where do all these women haters come from?
I want to know if Hansen’s wife uses birth control or has ever had a miscarriage or perhaps an abortion. I also want to know if she has been in an incestual relationship or has been raped.
And I think it should be public if Jon uses ER meds and I think it’s especially important to know what his sperm count is. Any incest or rape in his medical history?
If you say it’s none of my business, well then neither is my medical record any business of anyone else’s.
THIS IS GETTING CARRIED AWAY TO EPIC PROPORTIONS.
Well, M, the voters of Dell Rapids and environs elected him and re- elected him, with at least some knowledge of his aims. Now, they have adequate knowledge that he’s a full-fledged nazi. Whattya think they’ll do with that?
My good friend Bob makes some good points. The voters of Dell Rapids must be insaner than most, because they also elected that swarthy Mr. Pischke fellow…what is his first name…Bluto? He is truly a woman hater and a deadbeat father. I am surprised he is not yet thrown in the jail for his failures to pay.
M- right there with ya. I also have said there needs to be equivalent laws to balance out the oppression on both sides, if forced to go there. Charge a man for homicide or wantonly killing in a perverse, reckless manner every time he punches his clown outside the heavenly vessel. My word, they are despicable and its turning me into a fruitcake just thinking on their levels.
These insecure little maniacs made my mom cry when we all had to go demonstrate on the streets in downtown Rapid City. She was a senior in high school when girls wrested Title IX. She thought that foothold of equality was for her children and grandchildren as well. I had to explain to my nieces and nephews what the signs stating, “We won’t go back” and women holding wire hangers meant. The little booboo’s faces of horror and my mom’s tears (to see a Black Russian widow cry is infuriating. I didn’t think they had the plumbing to sob) are with me now and they shouldn’t have to be afraid of the puny little government snakes snatching their freedom and crapping on their dignity. No wonder the snakes want to burn all references to their Gilead.
“I’m not saying we all ought to riot. But I think we all ought to look as if we could”, Orson Wells
Vote. We cannot let these hater poontaters represent us. We have to put civil rights in stone, where no jealous fascists can get their limy hooks on them.
Does Mr. Trump punch his clown? I’d imagine Ms. Mammal really getting fruity thinking about that at night, when the offspring of the boogeymen claw about the walls.
Bob Newland writes:
I don’t regard myself as a “goddist moron,” but I’m pretty sure Bob regards me that way.
No. The fact that God works all things according to His will (Ephesians 1:11), doesn’t make Him guilty of our sins.
The fact that God works all things to his will does make him guilty of our sins. How can it be other?
God drowned in a bowl of cereal, so there is no god, Mr. Evans.
Stogies and Steaks at the Steerfish joint on Saturday, Mr. Evans? Looks like grudznick will be in the vicinity, and I love their food.
For example, the errant comma in that sentence is part of His plan, but it’s my fault, not His.
Bob Newland writes:
I’d say the burden of proof is on you here, Bob.
God is guilty of our sins because God gave humans free will and thus bears the consequences for that choice.
– Mr. Evans say so is invalid as to determining burden of proof of anything not secular. Unless Mr. Evans means the burden is to prove something that Mr. Evans chooses not to believe to be other than something Mr. Evans chooses not to believe. Attempting to prove something to someone with a closed mind, like Mr. Evan’s mind is closed, is a fool’s task. Mr. Evans is fully mired down among his own decisions as to what he believes but bears no credibility when trying to convince, teach, or preach to anyone else.
Mr. Grudznick- trump the clown’s clown never entered my mind. In yours he has taken residence. I forgive you for incorrectly imagining what I think. I don’t share your late hour phantasmagoria. If I were to speculate, must be fruitier than Carmen Miranda herself.
Anyone claiming to know for certainty what or if God thinks and wants and has planned is either a liar or a very gullible believer. Nobody knows and it is ok to admit uncertainty. Just respect people. I believe Langston Hughs said,
“Birthing is hard and dying is mean. Better get yourself some lovin in between”
Porter Hardy Lansing IV writes:
You’re apparently projecting, Porter. The Bible says explicitly that God works all things according to His will (Ephesians 1:11), and that’s the traditional Christian point of view Bob seemed to be requesting.
Well the good people of Dell Rapids or the Dells are still there. My ancestors had dinner with Albin Thornes and started it. They also started the Stordal church and my great great grandfather payed the first taxes in Minnehaha. You can’t throw a stick from Renner to the Dells without hitting a relative of mine. I was born in Dell Rapids, my father was born in Dell Rapids, his father was too. Jon boy was shortchanged an H and it’s affected his mind in a self righteous ruinous way, he’s probably a Swede. He’s no Hanson of mine.
Mark Anderson! Shh sorry for being so boisterous. I tried tracking you down and emailed guys with your name in FL who are sculptures. But I believe you are a sculptor and it must have worked. I keep track of all yous.