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Sunday, November 04, 2012


Donald Pay

What disasters have happened to South Dakota because they had the initiative and referendum process for 100 years? The elites, their lobbyists, and legislative leadership have never liked the fact that they can't control the I & R process as easily as they can the Legislature. That explains their efforts over the years to do away or severely restrict the I & R.

Bill Fleming

Comments like this one is how we know you ain't from around these parts KB. I&R began in SD. Get with the program. LOL.

Jon S.

On the contrary Donald, as the late David Broder documented in his book on direct democracy, Democracy Derailed, the initiative process is as much, if not more, dominated by interest groups than is the regular legislative process.

Donald Pay

Jon S.,

Broder? So you get your "facts" from a dead Washington elitist who skimmed the issue? You need to go much deeper into the issues and the process than Broder did to understand what goes on with I & R.

First, it is true that the special interests turn to I&R in states where the legislature can't be bought or controlled by them as easily. Thus, California's I & R process has served as a tool for special interests, because the legislatures there are less likely to cave in to special interest lobbying. But in states like South Dakota, where the special interest elites run the government, the elites don't turn to I & R, but seek to to restrict its use.

Second, the I & R process used to be exclusively a tool of the people to reign in government and special interests. There used to be campaign donation limits and bans on corporate donations that provided some measure of protection against special interest domination of I & R. With a string of Supreme Court decisions over the last thirty years providing special rights to corporations, striking down limits on donations to ballot measures and the demise of the fairness doctrine, the public can be and have been shut out of the discussion more easily. This is not a problem of the I & R, however. This is just a part of the broader problem of wealthy elites and corporations being able to dominate the entire political system, including the I & R, because of wrong-headed court decisions that favor corporate domination.

Bree S.

It's a dangerous step closer to pure democracy. And anything that attempts to change the way our government was originally set up, I am strongly against.

Donald Pay

Bree S.,

Who cares whether you are strongly against? Legislators in South Dakota proposed this as an amendment to the South Dakota Constitution. It passed the Legislature and by nearly a two-thirds vote of the electorate has been a part of the tradition, culture and custom of South Dakota for over 110 years. Courts have decided the Initiative and Referendum are fully constitutional. You and your goofy elitist ideology are no match to the grand Constitution, traditions, culture and customs of the great people of South Dakota, who in their wisdom use this great provision to tame corruption and elitist control over our representative democracy.

Bree S.

If you thought about it harder Donald you would realize that it is actually a window to elitist control.

Donald Pay

No, I would say in South Dakota the Governor and the Legislature provide elitist control, and the only way the people can sometimes change that is through the initiative and referendum.

larry kurtz

Doug and Don have watched the SDGOP scrambling after its Janklow head has been lopped, it's important to remember that he South Dakota political process is controlled by the Governors Club, Lee Schoenbeck, and the Church: legal racketeering.

While Stace Nelson is a loud, iron-fisted populist he might just draw enough attention from Mercer, who just ignores the corruption in Pierre to protect his church, and fire up the journos like Montgomery, short-timers with nothing to lose by exposing Pierre.

larry kurtz

Anti-concurrent causal clause: expect to hear it a bunch in the upcoming legislative session.

Bree S.

I think that was a rude comment about Mercer, Larry. He's often dropping interesting bits of information about the government in Pierre on his blog. Most recently the GFP.

larry kurtz

Mercer has everything to lose by exposing Pierre for what it is: with some luck Tom Lawrence will arise as a more powerful colonoscope to ream out the clinched bowels of Hughes County, too.

Ken Blanchard

Bill: Mrs. O'Leary doesn't have to approve of the Chicago fire just because her cow started it. Donald's comment is dispositive. The "elites" are just elites because we put them in office.

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