Right now in South Dakota a battle is being waged on the Internet, in mailboxes, and in the newspapers by Represent.us, a liberal Massachusetts group who just completed spending over a million dollars in the state to pass a measure to appropriate 12 million in taxpayer dollars from the state treasury and give it to politicians for their political campaigns.
In response to the ballot measure passing, several state legislators, including Blake Curd (R- Sioux Falls) and Deb Peters (R- Hartford), responded by asking the state courts to rule on the constitutionality of the measure, as the new law was so restrictive that it was requiring people to quit their jobs or divorce spouses if they wanted to continue to serve in their legislative seats. In addition, South Dakota law requires expenditures to go through the appropriations process, but the ballot measure bypassed that procedure.
Upon the many questions that the measure brought up being submitted to South Dakota Circuit Court Judge Mark Barnett, the Judge enjoined the measure from going into effect on the basis that he felt several parts would ultimately be found unconstitutional. Ironically, many of the same issues Barnett brought up were not new. Issues of constitutionality had been identified to the sponsors by the State Legislative Research Council prior to the measure being circulated. Unfortunately, the sponsors chose to ignore them.
In the face of ignoring the legal warnings of unconstitutionality given to them, and subsequent court findings of likely unconstitutionality bringing the measure to a screeching halt, what has the response of the measure sponsors been?
Attack the messengers, of course.
Represent.us has been blithely ignoring their own complicity in their measure’s problems, and has launched personal attacks on two of the legislators who brought the lawsuit questioning the measure’s constitutionality – Republican Senate Majority Leader Blake Curd, a United State Air Force Veteran and Orthopedic Surgeon, and Senator Deb Peters, the President Elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures and one of Governing Magazine’s Public Officials of the Year for 2016.
Represent.us is attacking the Senators for asking the courts for definitive confirmation of what was alluded to before – that there were some big problems with Initiated Measure 22.
Think about it. They attacked them for going to court, and asking a judge to settle problems that the measure sponsors had known about for over a year. That doesn’t sound like the deep pockets of Represent.us are mad over something that’s wrong. That sounds like they’re upset they got caught in their own deception, as they prematurely celebrated almost succeeding in pulling the wool over voters’ eyes.
But, this shouldn’t come as a shock. The people involved in Represent.us are all about pulling a fast one on voters.
Tired of the negative attacks designed to divert attention from the real issue – their unconstitutional measure? Call in your support for Senators Curd and Peters to the Senate Lobby at 605-773-3821, or send a letter to the editor to your local newspapers. Let everyone know that the bad guys trying to buy South Dakota don’t get to win!