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:
- Abortion bans don't stop abortions.
- IM11 enshrines bad science into law.
- IM11 makes women second-class citizens.
- IM11 is fundamentally misogynist.
- Pregnancy is nobody's business but the mother's.
- IM11 subjects women to greater health risks.
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.