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Monday, October 20, 2008

Madville Times Voters Guide: Vote No on All Three Initiated Measures

Hey! I know a lot of your have already filled out your ballots (my parents both have, so there's no more arguing with my dad, just teasing him about President Obama). But I'm ready to offer the official Madville Times Voters Guide for 2008!

First, let's tackle the initiatives. You can review the attorney general explanations and argument for and against in this PDF file from the state. I'll also link to each measure's text below.

Initiated Measure 9: Vote No. Almost every analysis of this law you read says it bans short selling, a stock market game about which I will confess my ignorance. I was surprised to see former attorney general Mark Meierhenry fronting the movement to pass IM9. He notes that IM9 doesn't mention short selling. It just helps enforce federal law in South Dakota. A former attorney general can't be wrong... can he?

Well, from what I hear, there is some disagreement among the lawyers on the interpretation of this law. However, I would suggest that if there already is federal law (and the Securities Exchange Commission) to govern this stock practice, a state law on the issue is unnecessary... and the Supreme Court will find it unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause. Wall Street could use a good whacking, but South Dakota won't deliver that whacking with IM9.

Initiated Measure 10: Vote No. I hate going with the crowd, but everybody and their ugly sister is giving this measure the thumbs down. Republicans and Democrats, Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO... even the Madison City Commission and the Madison Central School Board stuck their necks out to say IM10 is bad.

And so will I. Initiated Measure 10 sounds good: It promises to hold elected officials accountable, prevent them from using public resources for private gain, limit lobbyists... heck, they even throw in a version of Tom Coburn and Barack Obama's Google for Government.

But we already have a law that restricts using public funds to influence elections. The Governor has already inaugurated a website to put government records online. All IM10 really adds is a chilling effect on public speech by any elected official or public employee. The "public resources" clause in IM10 will silence student political groups on our public university campuses. It will probably prohibit Madison High School from hosting candidate forums (fora!) like the one I participated in last April and the big one coming up tomorrow night (heavyweights Parsley vs. Olson! Fargen and Lange vs. Stricherz and Johnson tag team match! County Commission battle royale! Be there!).

IM10 starts with a noble goal and creates a legal mess. Plus, I'm taking a big slurp of Pat Powers's Kool-Aid and wondering why the folks who put IM10 on the ballot, a group committed to openness in politics, won't tell us who's funding their campaign. IM10 smells of hypocrisy of shadowy monkey business.

Initiated Measure 11: Vote No. Again. We already voted a similar abortion ban down in 2006. This retread abortion ban comes from folks who appear to derive their sense of self-worth by perpetually standing on the street corners and going before KELO's cameras to proclaim their righteousness.

Readers of this blog have already seen my extensive arguments against IM11 and similar anti-woman, anti-Constitution, anti-reality legislation. To summarize:
The supporters of IM11 prove with their own law that abortion is not murder: IM11 treats abortion as a lesser felony rather than imposing murder penalties on those perpetrating what IM11 would declare a crime. Here, the local fundagelicals agree with the local liberals: IM11 is a bad law.

We're all pro-life. But being pro-life is about providing health care and education, promoting peace, and a million things more than bloviating about abortion every election. Vote No on IM11.


  1. I say, let some other state be the litmus test for Roe vs. Wade at the Federal level. Let them spend their limited resources to fight this battle in court. South Dakota doesn't need to waste millions on this battle. An abortion ban does nothing except force people across the border. Those that promote the ban can slap themselves on the back while accomplishing absolutely nothing. Good call on IM11.

  2. I'm glad we agree - I voted no on all three weeks ago.

    The stuff we've been forced to vote about over the last few elections has really made me question the initiative process in general, honestly.

  3. Cory, you say, "Pregnancy is nobody's business but the mother's."

    This statement is blatantly wrong - there happens to be another life here also. I know the pro aborts don't consider the unborn baby life, but it is. It the baby is born at six months and spends time in NICU and lives, you agree that is life. But if that same baby had been aborted at six months by choice, you consider it not life. You really cannot have it both ways.

  4. CAH:

    IM19 probably has too broad of implications, but its target is a good one. Currently in the stock trading system, there is a BIG problem with failure to deliver (FTD) stock trades. Here is a good write up that explains the problem:


    or just google failure to deliver stock trade.

    The key problem here is that the federal laws against this practice are NOT being enforced. This measure would provide for local enforcement in south dakota.

    The really scary part about FTD's is their capacity to sink smaller companies. A broker can sell far more stock than he actually has within the 3 day delivery window, sink the company, and than is not responsible for actually delivering on the stock. There have been several examples one of which is overstock.com:


    The concern at the state level is that smaller companies are far more vulnerable to this manipulation and tends to result in the companies going belly up. This piece of legislation would give our state prosecutors the ability to track down and hold such brokers responsible.

    So, this piece of legislation is trying to allow the state level government to prosecute crimes that are federal violations, but are not being enforced at the federal level.

  5. If pregnancy is nobody's business but the mother's why are men compelled by the court to pay child support?

    You would be more precise if you said the only person that should make the decision about ending or continuing a pregnancy is the mother.

  6. My name is Paula and I'm an intern for Ms. magazine. I just came across your blog post about South Dakota Proposition 11 and wanted to let you know about a new "Vote NO on 11" video just released from the Feminist Majority Foundation, the publisher of Ms.


    Please consider posting this video and the related link onto your website so it is made available to your visitors. We must do all that we can to preserve women's reproductive rights and let women know what's at risk this election.

    Thanks so much!

    Paula Silinger
    Ms. magazine

  7. I voted on October 23 and said "No" to all three of these resolutions. We don't need any (more) badly written or ill-conceived laws.


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