|Sick Of This?|
A Dose Of Amendment W Might Help
The measure carried just the same, capturing about 52% of the vote. Disappointed though I was, losing at the ballot box isn't a particularly new phenomenon (goes way back to '68 when Tricky Dick beat The Hube) for me and I was somewhat resigned to my fate. I say somewhat because it seemed clear to me (and my lawyer friends) that there were elements in IM-22 that would render it unconstitutional, and sure enough, its first hearing in court seemed to affirm that, so it was effectively put on hold pending a hearing at the state Supreme Court. It was going through a process that would probably nullify it altogether, and it really didn't seem like the entrenched political class in Pierre would have to confront it.
Or so it seemed. Unwilling to exercise some collective patience and let the process play itself out in the courts, our state's Republican Governor Daugaard and the overwhelmingly GOP-dominated legislature set themselves the task of doing away with it via the legislative process. They essentially did so by passing a bill (HB 1069) that pretty much wiped out the elements of IM-22 that were most threatening to the status quo. The voice of the people was canceled out and, despite my opposition to the measure in the first place, I and a lot of other folks have neither forgiven nor forgotten this breach of the public's call for change.
The upshot? A motivated group of reformers called Represent Us were able to write and place a measure, Amendment W, that creates a series of reforms similar to its predecessor, IM-22, but without the public-financing-of-campaigns component. Shrewdly packaging it as a constitutional amendment, proponents are making sure that it can't be amended or repealed without voter approval. In other words, Amendment W is off limits to the legislative and executive branches. No doubt this measure will undergo a constitutional challenge, but it'll be the courts, not a body of self-interested elected officials, who will make the determination about its status. I hope you'll take the time to go to the link I provided and at least get an outline of what Amendment W will accomplish. In a state that's perennially ranked as one of the most corrupt in the nation, I think it will do some good.
Hope you'll join me in voting Yes on Amendment W.