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Sen. Brown Fears Democracy, Would Double Signatures Needed for Ballot Measures

Call Senator Brown now, and ask him why he fears democracy.
Call Senator Brown now, and ask him why he fears democracy.

Senator Corey Brown (R-23/Gettysburg) has perverted Senate Bill 69, the cornerstone of the petition reform package, into an effort to make it harder for Independents to get on the ballot. Not satisfied with that damage, Senator Brown now files Senate Bill 166, which continues the Republican war on the people's power of initiative and referendum.

Current statute (SDCL 2-1-5) uses the total number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election to determine how many signatures are necessary to place an initiated measure or referred law on the ballot. Per SDCL 2-1-1, initiated laws and referenda require signatures of 5% of those gubernatorial voters. Given the turnout of 277,403 voters in the 2014 gubernatorial election, petitions for initiatives and referenda in the next two cycles will require 13,871 signatures to make the ballot.

Because initiatives and referenda tend to go badly for his party, Republican Senator Brown wants to repeal SDCL 2-1-5 and replace the signature count not on the number of people who actually voted in the last gubernatorial election but on the number who could have voted. Assuming he means registered voters on November 3, 2014, that's 521,041. SB 166 would thus nearly double the number of signatures needed to get measures on the ballot, to 26,053.

And because he knows folks are already planning initiatives that he doesn't like, Senator Brown includes an emergency clause in SB 166 to make sure no one could file an initiative before July 1 under the current, less onerous signature requirement.

South Dakotans, Senator Brown does not trust you. He wants to take away your constitutionally guaranteed power to make your own laws. Don't let him do that. Write or call Senator Brown and ask him how Senate Bill 166 serves the public interest.


  1. Tim 2015.01.30

    Republicans will ram this through, this is one of the many benefits of single party rule.

  2. Tim 2015.01.30

    I see that Sen Brown also supports repeal of the Daschle law now that it applies to Thune. Are there any doubts he is just playing politics, with no concern of the real problems SD faces?

  3. Nick Nemec 2015.01.30

    Over the years Senator Brown has become very adept at repeating the talking point mantras the Republican Party produces. I expect nothing less from him.

  4. mhs 2015.01.30

    I see this very differently. This is to end out of state nuts from forcing their crazy ballot initiatives like JAIL for Judges, etc. on the good people of SD. How quickly we forget, right? Bill Napoli tried to re-write the entire tax system a few years ago with the worst mess of a ballot issue I've ever seen. How about the one to create citizen grand juries to nullify court decisions?

    I think real issues, like the minimum wage vote, the abortion restriction votes etc. that are brought by real South Dakotans as part of a real public debate will have no problem meeting the requirement. At worst, it will make our requirements look like most other states.

  5. mike from iowa 2015.01.30

    It would not be the state deciding to end abortion,it would be over-zealous,phony christaliban goons ending abortion in South Dakota.

    As for wingnuts stopping the people from exercising their constitutional rights to vote and participate in the process,how soon before they slime out of the dung heap and blame all these problems on Democrats-just like always?

  6. larry kurtz 2015.01.30

    Whatever happened to pornographer Mike Sanborn?

  7. Bill Fleming 2015.01.30

    It's an interesting concept, Cory. Maybe we should ask the SOS to report all election returns as a percentage of all registered voters and use that standard to determine when somebody actually ’wins'.

    It might be a good way to get more people to vote. If 'winning' means getting 50%+1 of all registered voters, by today's voter habits, nobody would ever get elected to anything. ;-)

    One possible countermeasure might be to do a campaign that says roughly, 'If you don't intend to vote, don't bother to register.' That would bring your required signature number back down, Cory and also perhaps send an important message to our politically apathetic brothers and sisters. "Hey, it's your government! Use it or lose it, people."

  8. Jana 2015.01.30

    mhs, about those out of state measures that you speak of, which ones won? It seems that the legislature is taking measures to make it harder for the will of the people to be heard and a bit of payback for knocking down bad laws passed by our governor and the legislature.

    This is just Cory Brown and the GOP making sure that if the governor wants a slush fund of taxpayer money to give to political patrons that the citizens of South Dakota will have a harder time keeping them honest.

  9. Disgusted Dakotan 2015.01.30

    Does every Mao/Marxist liberty hating Leftist represent every registered Democrat? Nope. So does every moderate establishment "Republican" represent the whole contingent of registered Republicans? Nope.

    Maybe if we can get past those to rudimentary precepts, we can actually have an intelligent conversation about politics?

    Anyone with the ability to rub two sticks together should know that Brown is an establishment moderate, not a conservative, not a TEA Partier, not a "Wing Nut." Politics is not as two-dimensional as Republican & Democrat.

    This is where Democrats lose votes from non-partisan Republicans. Brown is not executing "talking points" from the Republican Party. The Republican Party is honest, hard-working, good everyday South Dakotans. Brown is executing the "talking points" of the establishment machine which has no loyalty to Republican principles, only perpetuation of power.

    Democrats, for the most part, cannot get elected in SD without the support of Republican voters. You can't earn that support by making ignorant stereo typing comments.

  10. Jenny 2015.01.30

    It should just be the % of voters that voted. Why put registered voters that don't even vote, that's not fair to the people that do participate in the political process. Is this even legal?

  11. Bill Fleming 2015.01.30

    Jenny, not to overstate the obvious, but no, right now, it's not legal. That's why Mr. Brown wants to change the law. ;-) Perhaps what you are really asking is whether or not it is Constitutional, and that's a very good question.

  12. Lynn 2015.01.30


    My observation is that the "establishment" in Pierre are all about preservation of power and their nice little "gig" they have. A good share of my family are Republicans and based on what I grew up with I don't recognize many of these opportunists in Pierre nor Rounds for example as Republicans. They may use that party affiliation but they sure as heck abuse it.

    If these same bad actors were Democrats I would not be cutting them any slack.

  13. Steve Hickey 2015.01.30

    Hope to see this defeated. It doesn't matter how many signatures are required for major initiatives sponsored by big groups and lobby's. They have money. This only hurts SD citizens who want to join the process.

    Hope it fails but either way this will not keep a 36% rate cap for payday and title lenders off the 2016 ballot.

    These lenders have a 9% approval rating in America. More people believe Elvis is alive. It's the only single digit percentage you'll ever see in the same sentence with payday loans. Everyone on the street will sign to vote the predatory lenders off the island.

  14. Bill Fleming 2015.01.30

    Following Cory's link to the SD Constitution, it looks as though 5 per cent of the 'qualified electors' is the absolute maximum the law will allow. We need our legal friends to interpret that I suppose, but it looks to me like the threshold could perhaps be 'legally/constitutionally' set even higher than the number Mr. Brown is proposing.

  15. Jenny 2015.01.30

    DD must be from Brown's district. I looked us MNs law and they don't go by the number of people that 'could have voted' rule. It goes by a percentage of people who voted in the last election. This is just ridiculous people, so this rule would count people that haven't voted in years??

  16. Bill Fleming 2015.01.30

    Mr. Hickey, that was my thought too. Contrary to MHS's view, it does indeed seem like it puts our State's I&R more firmly into the hands of inside and outside groups with substantial financial resources and less so into the hands of the grassroots unorganized voting public. In other words, he who has the biggest signature gathering budget wins.

    Add to that the stiff penalties amateur signature gatherers face (up to 24 years in prison if they do it wrong) and it starts looking more and more like our I&R (and indeed our political process in general) is becoming an institution 'for professionals only.' So, is that a good thing? Or a bad thing?

  17. Just a shill 2015.01.30

    This simply returns the standard to the conventional definition of qualified elector contained in article III of the state constitution. It also mirrors the state constitution's maximum requirements. Minnesota does not permit the petition driven initiative process so I'm afraid Jenny is a little misguided here.

  18. Craig 2015.01.30

    You'll have to go easy on Senator Brown. He has spent most of his life being told that double is a good thing. Double quarter pounders, double fudge sundaes, double chins... is it really a stretch that he would assume double the amount of signatures might be a good idea?

    Yea I said it.

  19. Jana 2015.01.30

    I do appreciate the hypocrisy of Mr. Brown's concern over out-of-state organizations influencing our governing.

    I remember well how he and his friends in the legislature fought to keep foreign companies from seizing family farm property for the financial benefit of that foreign company. (Snark intended)

  20. Jenny 2015.01.30

    Send me a link to that rule about MN not permitting the 'petition initiative driven process', Shill.

  21. Jenny 2015.01.30

    MN has Constitutional Amendments such as the Anti-gay marriage Amendment that was shot down a couple years ago by the good people here. So there.

  22. mhs 2015.01.30

    Lest we forget Ron Branson:

    "Branson has applied numerous times at various California DMV Offices for the renewal of his driver's license, but he was forbidded from renewing his driver's license because the state now requires a Social Security Number which is a religion of humanism. Humanism is officially defined as a religion of the deification of mankind as the master of his own destiny, and the captain of his own ship, which religion is from the god of this world. "

  23. Troy 2015.01.30

    I get the visceral reaction this is anti-people power. I had it myself because I don't fear fringe initiatives would pass.

    But this "ease" is a double-edged sword everyone should at least consider.

    Rhetorical questions:

    Do you want someone to get on the ballot an initiative that increases the % of employees needed for a unionization vote? Or to eliminate all vestiges of teacher tenure?

    They may not pass but being on the ballot, SDEA and/or the unions would have to spend a lot of member money to make sure.

    I don't have a position yet, don't know if we have the right threshold or it needs to be adjusted up or down. I just know a visceral reaction to what it "seems" to be and forming a position is rash.

    I would be curious to get some information about passed initiatives including average signatures gotten, how long it took the groups to get it done, and then final vote totals.

    It might give us some insight into the real impact on those that passed or got reasonably close as compared to those that got slaughtered.

    There is another thing: getting signatures is the first step in building organization which is critical to success at the ballot. More signatures for the truly grassroots might actually improve their chance of success.

    Again, I don't have an opinion as I need more information.

  24. Dicta 2015.01.30

    I think Brown is attempting to address a real problem. While the method he is choosing is too inefficient for my liking, some of the invective being thrown at the guy for it is a bit over the top.

  25. mhs 2015.01.30

    Jenny, constitutional amendments are the only items for which MN allows initiatives. Votes like the minimum wage law would not be permitted in MN. So, both you and Bill are right!

  26. Jenny 2015.01.30

    No, Troy, this Bill is Using People to further their own agenda. Using people that don't vote.

  27. Jenny 2015.01.30

    In MN, generally, we don't have to worry about a majority party takes over for years and gets more corrupted as the years pass by. Our legislators easily passed a minimum wage law last year and was signed by our governor.

  28. mhs 2015.01.30

    HAHAHAHAHAHA. That's a good one Jenny! The DFL's never had a corruption problem. Remind me: How many of Sharon Sayles-Benton's staff went to prison? How many hundreds of millions did Rudy Perpich dump in to the IRRRB for his hometowns on the Range? How much City of Minneapolis money just got spent for lavish vacations for board members of the North Minneapolis non-profit with a bunch of DFL luminaries on it's board?

    MN is the poster child of the problems of one-party rule.

  29. larry kurtz 2015.01.30

    Women should be forced to wait 72 hours and attend state-sponsored sessions with an Electoral Legislative Counseling Agency before being allowed to run for public office.

  30. Jenny 2015.01.30

    That was before my time, so I'm not sure what you're talking about, mhs. Are you saying that the GOP one system in Pierre does not have an integrity problem? Gov Dayton and Pawlenty and even Ventura were pretty clean and didn't have their hands dirty that I know of.

  31. Jenny 2015.01.30

    It's funny that you would even joke about MNs system when SDs is notoriously noted to be one of the most corrupted. Wild Bill's ruthlessness finally ended when he killed someone, EB-5 we'll probably never get to the bottom of, but millions were stolen, not getting voting stations out in the Reservation towns and civil rights issues.

  32. mhs 2015.01.30

    That's my point, Jenny. It was really, really bad between 30 to 20 years ago when the DFL controlled everything. Jesse (of all people, how weird is that?) broke open the state and it got better. There are some problems yet, like North Mpls, but it's a whole lot better now that both parties are players.

    I disagree with Dayton on most things, but, he is a good human being. He's grown. His Senate career was laughable, especially compared to Wellstone, but he's far more a leader as governor.

  33. tara volesky 2015.01.30

    Cory, it might be of interest to you and your following to actually get first hand knowledge from a man who was fighting corruption while holding the office of State Treasurer. Dick Butler was a true watchdog for the people. He is the most honest, ethical person I have ever met, and look where it got him. He even made the Democrat Party uncomfortable. You might want to interview him because he will point blank tell you about the mass corruption problem SD has. 605-393-5925 or 605-739-3671. FYI, Dick doesn't read political blogs, so he won't post anything.

  34. Solemn in SF 2015.01.30

    Called his senate office, asked if he was available, got a very rude "he is busy, please email him your questions or concerns, *click*"

    I guess when voters don't hold politicians as accountable as they can, they will act as unaccountably as possible. Not good.

  35. Lynn 2015.01.30

    Solemn in SF,

    I wonder if your email will be sent to the electronic equivalent of file 13.

  36. tara volesky 2015.01.30

    Jenny is right, presently, MN can't hold a candle to SD when it comes to corruption. We need some Jesse Venturas, Paul Wellstones, and Dick Butlers cleaning up our state.

  37. Troy 2015.01.30


    I agree. If every word out of a Republican is attacked because of his party and a visceral reaction, should it be surprising Republicans respond in kind?

    The double edge of initiatives should be a matter the good government Democrats and good government Republicans are always willing to tweak.

    I did a cursory look at all successful
    or near successful initiatives in the last thirty years and none were truly "grass roots" (meaning no organized group behind them). MHS is right. All the fringe ones got slaughtered were principally backed by fringe and obscure out of state groups.

    In retrospect, if we had had a higher threshold, I don't know if it would have stopped the goofy ones but I can't imagine it would have stopped the ones that passed. Just would have taken more work for the adherents and I believe that work is good for the cause as it tests and strengthens organization.

    Merits on both side making it worthy of discussion.

  38. Disgusted Dakotan 2015.01.30

    Lynn, I agree 100% with you. We have the case of the tail wagging the dog. The problem is that the tail got into power by fooling the body that IT is the heart and head.

  39. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.30

    Solemn, keep calling. Get friends to help.

  40. larry kurtz 2015.01.30

    Fringe candidates bought by SDGOP prevented a close primary race and turned Larry Pressler into a liberal. Hypocrisy is a sacrament for Republicans.

  41. Nick Nemec 2015.01.30

    Rep. Hickey is very perceptive and spot on when he says that Senator Brown's proposal will have little to no effect on the big money groups with the deep pockets to hire petition circulators to do the grunt work for them. The people that will be hurt are the grassroots, semi-organized, often ad hoc groups with a sincere desire to address what they see as shortcomings in SD law.

    Let us not forget that initiated measures that pass into law are not sacrosanct. They have no more validity than any other law and can be changed by the legislature at any time or declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

    Troy, you pose some interesting questions. I'm not sure what laws could be passed that would weaken worker protections beyond the already minimal protections in place here in SD. At some point Federal law that guarantees workers the right to organize would supersede any efforts in SD to take away that right.

    I a fellow nerd I too am curious about the number of qualified signatures collected on various ballot measures over the years. Alas, I don't think that information exists, other than to say a number equal to the minimum number required was collected. If memory serves me right I think at some point during his tenure as SOS Chris Nelson was asked this question and the answer is "we quit counting when we certify enough for a measure to make the ballot." This makes sense as any further counting is a waste of staff resources, if a group challenges and gets some signatures tossed out the SOS would (I assume) go back and count additional signatures until they either recertified or reached the bottom of the pile.

  42. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.30

    Bill Fleming, you make an interesting point about apathy. We do have this principle that the people who show up get to make the decision. In low-turnout elections, we still let a plurality of a minority make a binding decision for everyone. Petitioning doesn't even make a decision; it just puts a question up for a public decision. Why hold that less impactful petition process to a higher standard, based on all voters instead of those who show up, than we currently apply to our actual decision-making?

    Again, we see the disjoint between the principles one could cite to justify Brown's positions and the apparent motivations of his bills/amendments to undermine the tools the people he perceives as opponents can use to challenge his party's power.

  43. Bill Fleming 2015.01.30

    Cory, I made have made the point, but you made it even better. Thank you.

  44. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.30

    In high school policy debate terms, Hickey and Nemec challenge "Solvency," the ability of Brown's plan to solve the problem.

    Let's back up: if Brown were running a high school policy affirmative case here, he'd have to establish...

    1. Significant Harms: What is the problem? Who is being hurt by the current petition signature threshold for initiatives and referenda? How much damage does this problem do?

    2. Inherency: Why can't the status quo solve this problem? Why does the Legislature have to change the law to effect a solution? Why can't we solve this problem with non-Legislative means available to us now?

    3. Solvency: How will the Affirmative plan erase (or at least put a big dent in) the Significant Harms?

    I haven't seen Brown's affirmative speech justifying SB 166. But so far, I don't see the problem—are there really rampant ballot measures? Do rampant ballot measures hurt us? Has any initiative or referendum harmed South Dakota?

    If there is a problem, the status quo already seems to be solving it. Maybe the JAIL amendment got on the ballot, but South Dakotans knocked it down. The electorate doesn't need a higher petition threshold to do its work for them.

    As Hickey and Nemec note, one possible problem seems outside the realm of the Brown plan. Increasing the cost of petitioning means making it harder for the grassroots to avail themselves of I&R (and I would suggest that my efforts to refer HB 1234 were not astroturf) while doing nothing to stop the wealthy outfits that would co-opt our ballots for their purposes.

    Not that reason and good sense mean much in committee, but let's listen closely to Brown's case when he presents his bill to his colleagues on Senate State Affairs.

  45. larry kurtz 2015.01.30

    How is this just not another skirmish in a long battle of attrition? SDGOP is simply outplaying the Dems by staying in the news with a bunch of batshit spaghetti thrown onto the walls of committee chambers and Cory is buying into it by hosting some meaningless bleating on a liberal blog.

    Democrats a fleeing South Dakota in droves: until the party speaks with one voice nobody is going to hear the screams.

  46. Ryan Gaddy 2015.01.30

    They know SDAP is going to push the Medical Marijuana Ballot Measure. . . We don't use SUPER PAC money, we are truely GRASSROOTS(Make your jokes here)

  47. Troy 2015.01.30


    My examples were mostly figurative to point out that if the threshold is too easy (fringe groups on both sides) can get things on the ballots that divert resources from more productive activities of entities which may have limited resources.

    Plus, they might crowd out discussion of issues that deserve more prominence.

    Also, put 20 issues on the ballot, only the first five have a chance of passage. After that, voters will just start going down the list and vote no (not to mention voter leakage which could possibly create openings for fringe stuff to pass). I saw a study once of California initiatives and it said the biggest factor for passage was ballot placement. We want a good vibrant initiative process? Excessive initiatives might detract from that.

    Finally, and maybe most significant to those of you who supported the minimum wage initiative. As you said above, the Legislature can repeal an initiative the very next session if they choose. Under which circumstances do you think the legislature would be more reticent to repeal an initiative:

    1) It was the only issue on the ballot and there was very little leakage (defined as number of votes cast at the top of the ballot minus those cast for/against the initiative). Or,

    2) It was one of several initiatives and there was significant leakage?

    For me, I think the threshold should be where it isn't excessive for grassroots groups with legitimate (defined just as having a modicum chance of success vs. a small group of nuts willing to throw something against the wall) ideas yet prevents groups whose only purpose is to scam donations (like some illegitimate Senate candidates have done) or drain resources from legitimate groups.

    What that proper threshold is? I don't know but with dialogue and information, I think we can find it. There shouldn't be a liberal/conservative divide here. Just a legitimate and illegitimate divide.

  48. larry kurtz 2015.01.30

    One person's fringe is another's revolutionary.

    SD Dems: let's end our primaries and nominate candidates at convention before the earth haters make it impossible to make our own choices.

  49. Emmett Reistroffer 2015.01.30

    As someone with a tremendous amount of ballot access experience for initiatives and candidates in a short amount of time (I've coordinated close to 20 ballot petitions since 2009), I have to say that I'm absolutely appalled by the attitudes in Pierre. I have seen the power of the grassroots make tremendous progress in areas that our lawmakers never could. They alone are not GOD and cannot decide what is right and wrong on every issue, they alone are not in charge of governing our lives because we govern ourselves --- How about we send Mr. Brown some of the original testimony from our state's early lawmakers who led the charge to create the citizen initiative process... they're rolling in their graves right now.

    This is my solution - although it's not an easy one - the Democratic Party, Libertarian Party, the pay-day lender campaign/Steve, ANYBODY who has an interest in engaging the ballot process --- should come together for a petition for a constitutional amendment that sets in place fair ballot requirements for South Dakota. We the people should decide the ballot requirements, not the lawmakers!


  50. Jana 2015.01.30

    Troy, you bring up some hypotheticals, but in the real world, what's broke that you think needs fixing...or is it something else?

  51. Troy 2015.01.30


    Fair point. In my debate with myself, my reticence is I don't want to thwart that peaceful "revolutionary" prerogative of the people via the initiative. Emmett's comment actually adds to my reticence because personally his "ballot signing business" and experience will be in greater demand/commanding greater revenue if this passes.


    I'm not sure it is broke. But I'm not sure that it shouldn't be tweaked either because a good threshold for yesterday might not be the right threshold for tomorrow.

    Historically, SDans haven't abused the process. If you read the list of initiatives over the last 30 years, the vast majority are legitimate questions (including those I opposed) and the quantity hasn't been excessive in my opinion. Maybe close a few years but not excessive. There is something in my gut that says when quantity gets to a certain level, the quality of the debate on important issues might get drowned out by peripheral issues. I just don't want to get to be like California via "initiative creep" where both Republicans and Democrats think their system is out of control.

    While I think this strategy of the SDDP is not good for their long-term viability and relevance, the SDDP has tactically decided to use the initiative process to further its political goals. I DO NOT want to add burden to execute the SDDP strategy of choice (my partisan side actually says go for it). At the same time, even its current condition, I don't think the number proposed is inherently burdensome to the SDDP and its natural allies with both technological/communication improvements and their inherent existing organization. And should be a positive because their organization infrastructure is in such poor shape it will create a demand to develop it more (Organization is leverage able)

    But, those same technology improvements might make it so much more easier relative to the past that the initiative becomes a vehicle for abuse/scam just as was done in this past Senate race. Or just to trouble make against legitimate groups.

    How many emails do you get a day from liberal groups saying "call your congressman/send us money?" I get too many from conservative groups and about half really exist just to get my money. I suspect you have as many.

    Imagine how many will have a stronger call for money if they can say "send us money to defeat/pass this initiative in SD" even though in reality the money stays in the pocket of the group or just goes to a fundraising house?

    Watching Annette Bosworth has caused me to re-think my historically passive attitude on such matters. For the good of our system and the body politic, I think at minimum a re-look at everything is appropriate for this day and age.

  52. Donald Pay 2015.01.30

    If this bill becomes law it can be referred under current signature requirements. That would be my suggestion. That way it cannot go into effect until it survives a vote in 1 year, 10 months.

    I agree with Troy that South Dakota citizens haven't abused the process. I also don't like political parties and Legislators using the process when they don't get their way in the Legislature. Both Republicans and Democrats have done that. Technically, they can, but it is not what the authors of the I & R envisioned. They envisioned I & R as the people's process.

    As to "ballot clutter," the Legislators have put more ballot measures on the ballot through Constitutional amendments than citizens have through the I & R.

    The current signature requirement is actually a common sense compromise reached years ago because it was too difficult to figure out whether the registered voter number was anywhere near a justifiable number. We know the number of votes cast for governor, but there would be endless litigation and discovery over the number of registered voters. It would be a nightmare to actually come up with that number in a legally justifiable way.

  53. Jenny 2015.01.30

    Ryan, they have the best stuff in South Minneapolis.

  54. Jenny 2015.01.30


    South Minneapolis has what best stuff? The Chilaquiles Verdes breakfast smothered in green sauce is oh sooo good at La Loma Midtown Market right off the Greenway or Lake Street. lol

  55. Lynn 2015.01.30

    Sorry was dyslexic and posted your name Jenny and not mine after doing maintenance on my computer.

  56. Bob Newland 2015.01.30

    "Basllot clutter" is having folks like Brown on the ballot.

  57. Bob Newland 2015.01.31

    I recommend that if SoDak Sen. Corey Brown thinks it's too easy to get a frivolous issue on the SoDak ballot, he should take his proposal to double the signature requirements to the people.

    Imagine him attempting to get a signature outside the courthouse. He would say, "Hi. Would you like to help us make it harder for people like you to have a say in making laws in the 605?" (He'd try to be as hip as he can be. "605" is the SoDak area code, see?)

    You would say, "Why would I want to do that?" He would say, "Because it's too easy now. People are telling us all kinds of shit they want changed."

    You would say, "There's some shit I want changed."

  58. larry kurtz 2015.01.31

    Leave it to Brown, Lederman and their earth hater party trying to codify a chilling effect on the right to petition because Democrats have some success with ballot initiatives. Fat men with fat heads and fat wallets fattening the fat of the land with frying fat.

  59. 90 schilling 2015.01.31

    The early on story on Sen Brown was, my version of memory, he couldn't get legislation out of committee so took it to the floor for debate and it passed. Was then called in to principal Rounds office and got the board of education for not getting Go Mike's permission to run with it. I'm not always happy with Corey or this legislation but his voting record is not the worst of the SD GOP.

    Harry's Roadhouse concurs, Larry. There are fat heads from SD.

  60. Bob Newland 2015.01.31

    Well, his record just changed.

  61. leslie 2015.01.31

    newland, you should write. that sheit about 605 on the steps was good!

  62. leslie 2015.01.31

    larry, can i get that "fat" bumper sticker (C)?

  63. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.03

    Donald, that's useful perspective on the reasoning that led us to the current signature requirement. You're right: the number of registered voters fluctuates all the time. We can use the registration numbers from a particular date, but your comments prompts me to read SB 166 again:

    "For purposes of this chapter, qualified electors shall mean the total registered voters eligible to cast a ballot for Governor in the preceding gubernatorial election as determined by the secretary of state."

    Hmm... eligible as of which date? I suppose we can get the voter registration totals as of Election Day, November 4, 2014... but is the Secretary of State going to go through the obituaries and count the number of folks who died on November 4? Is the Secretary going to check time of death to make sure she excludes people who died at 18:55 but not at 19:05, after the polls closed? Is she going to check the court records and strike folks who were convicted of felonies in court that day or throughout the preceding month but whose revocations didn't filter through the voter registration system?

    Count the votes. Take 5%. Easy peasy. It works now. It will keep working.

  64. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.03

    Larry, good link! Ellis gets his own blog post in a few minutes....

  65. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.03

    Oh, and Donald! Don't forget: for us to be able to refer SB 166, legislators would have to amend out the emergency clause.

  66. Nick Nemec 2015.02.03

    I would be interested to learn what the courts have to say about emergency clauses. Is something an emergency just because the legislature says it is? About the only "emergency" looming before this bill is the possibility the voters might refer it.

  67. leslie 2015.02.03

    i dont think the answer from the courts is clear, or has yet to been decided in SD.

Comments are closed.