Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mark Your Calendar. I'll Be Sounding Off On A Pair Of Referendums That I've Covered Here And In The Rapid City Journal

There'll Be A Meetin' There That Night
Brothers And Sisters Let Me Hear You Shout
(with apologies to Joe & Eddie)
    I'll be one-third of a rather unique political combo, consisting of Howie (think Tea Party), me (think anything you want, hopefully printable), and Kurtz (think hard-core and committed Dem).  We have our differences, some of them profound, but we share a common contempt for two of the worst pieces of legislation ever, Senate Bill 69, which (among other elements that make the nominating process tougher by favoring incumbents) denies members of a political party the right to sign nominating petitions for independent candidates, and SB 177, which by legislative fiat went against the will of South Dakota voters. It altered the law they passed last year raising the minimum wage for all workers by reducing that minimum for workers under the age of 18.
       These just-passed politically-driven travesties masquerading as sensible and representative legislation need to be referred to the voters.  They will be if the petitions circulating around the state get enough signatures by June 29 to put them on the November 2016 ballot--which also means the July 1, 2015, date for implementation will be put off until that election next year.  I've written about these Bills in the Rapid City Journal and covered them in more detail here.  Both eat away at the rights and power of the people, SB 69 by restricting support for independent candidates and SB 177 by the legislative and executive branches asserting peremptory authority and arbitrarily changing the terms of a minimum wage law that was passed by the voters last year.  
     You don't have to be party-oriented or -driven to reject these laws that effectively diminish the power of citizens.  You do have to be affronted by the government's cavalier disregard for easy ballot access and the voters' will when it comes to electing officials and respecting the results of an election. South Dakota was among the first states in the Union to establish procedures for referendums and initiatives, way back in the 1890s.  I hope you'll attend this meeting to get the viewpoints of a diverse political lot who consider SB 69 and SB 177 a rejection of the great progressive ideals that got this state off to its start.  Information about where to locate petitions to sign and/or circulate can be obtained by e-mailing at the address above.  

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