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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nelson Protecting Electoral Process, Not Playing Politics

Secretary of State Chris Nelson evidently has more than half a brain. Instead of listening to the mewling of the anti-nanny-staters, Sec. Nelson tells KELO he's concerned that allowing the smoking ban vote to go forward may weaken the integrity of the elctoral process:

"The court found that there were a number of areas where we had determined there were errors with the petitions that the court has the authority to find substantial compliance and essentially overlook those types of errors," Nelson said.

..."If a court says these types of errors are okay, where does that land us on the next petitions? What other things are going to be okay then, and then we get to a point of is there integrity left in the petition process?" Nelson said [Ben Dunsmoor, "Smoking Ban Ruling May Impact Petition Process," KELOLand.com, 2009.11.17].

Unlike some Republicans, I don't see Nelson playing politics with this issue. Unlike the editorial board of that Sioux Falls paper, which appears to believe a public vote is the quickest way to put the issue to rest, the Secretary and I share a belief that rules are rules. Our rules for referenda and other petition processes exist to level the playing field and keep monkey business out of the electoral process. Secretary Nelson is right to take a hard look at the lower court's ruling and determine whether this judicial activism (that is what you call it when a judge says the law means something other than what it says, right?) sets a harmful precendent worthy of appeal.

p.s.: By the way, Republicans, don't forget that your Tea Party candidate for U.S. House, R. Blake Curd, voted for the smoking ban in the House last winter... twice.

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