Tuesday, May 30, 2006
TODAY The Fight In South Dakota BEGINS
UPDATE---Keloland is reporting that 38,000 signatures were gathered in South Dakota Read the Keloland article. That's more than twice as much as needed! This is good news since the Repubs are going to be going through these signatures with a fine tooth comb. But I find it very unlikely that they will be able to disqualify almost 18,000 signatures.

This is a victory, and we should feel really good about it. But now the real fight is about to begin. The law is on the ballot and now it's a matter of educating the voters and increasing turnout.

The petitions are being delivered today at 2pm. A news conference from Pierre will be held shortly after that. I’ve discussed this in an earlier post, but thought everyone would want an update.

In South Dakota a law can be delayed from going into effect, and instead be placed on the ballot for a public vote. A few months ago crazy wingnut State Rep. Roger Hunt sponsored HB1215, which bans abortion in almost all cases—there is no exception for cases of rape and incest. The bill was passed and Governor Mike Rounds signed it into law. But the good folks at South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families and at Focus: South Dakota have been busy gathering signatures to refer the law to the November ballot.

Polls have shown that the people of SD don’t like this law and think it went too far---so this is a fight we can win. A good indication of popular support will be the number of signatures gathered. The minimum number of required signatures is 16,278 (a nice round number), but according to this article from Keloland.com they should have gathered much more than that (http://www.keloland.com/News/NewsDetail5440.cfm?Id=0,48324).

This is a great article and it shows the level of support that opponents of the ban have across the state. They received 2,600 signatures in just the one day the reporter was in hq.

This is my favorite part:

“A national guard soldier stationed in Iraq even requested a petition. Peterson said, ‘So we mailed him a packet and he signed it and had the judge advocate general certify his signature and sent it back so he was able to get his name on a petition which I thought was fantastic.’”

In a few years when we look back on how the Republican Party and Right Wing Extremists lost their respectability and power, the events in South Dakota are going to be at the front of the list. This country is getting tired of the right’s inability to govern, and their overzealous need to regulate our lives and impose their own morality. Every foolish law or action that infringes on our liberty; every damaging tax cut; every action that is based on the wishes and goals of a few extremists and which refuses to acknowledge the damage done to the rest of us; every time they refuse to acknowledge the real tragedies happening in this country…they lose more followers, and they lose more respect, and they will eventually lose this country because of it.

This week it’s the signatures in South Dakota. Next week it’s Francine Busby trying to win in a solid-red district. The weeks to come will see primaries across the country. It all leads up to November of course, but November is far away. The fight in South Dakota is right now.

Here’s the site if you want to drop them some pennies:


I’m going to try to update later today when the number of collected signatures is announced (hopefully my google alerts won’t fail me).

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