If their own communications are to be believed, the growing publicity about the inane South Dakota Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (J.A.I.L.) may be sparking some dissension in the ranks.
Bonnie Russell, who identifies herself as the “campaign coordinator” for the initiative, posted a comment on this week’s Slate article on J.A.I.L. Among other things, she said that Bill Stegmeier, South Dakota’s JAILer-in-Chief, recently “clearly stated the South Dakota proponents of Amendment E were troubled by the appearance of a J.A.I.L affiliation. As such Mr. Stegmeier would be taking steps to insure the public is aware the two groups are separate, and not affiliated.” (Emphasis added). Perhaps one of these steps is that “old information will be deleted” from the current South Dakota J.A.I.L. website and a new one will be set up (although as of this writing it has not).
Now, in an “open letter to Bill Stegmeier” e-mailed and posted today for J.A.I.L. supporters, “J. Bowers” writes:
I’ll get to the point. Why are you declaring to anyone with ears that you are no longer “affiliated” with Ron and Barbie Branson? Why are you trashing them and trashing JAILers all over the nation?* * *
Near as I can tell you only stopped being “affiliated” when that Slate.com piece ran.
What are you afraid of Bill?
Afraid of talking about the New World Order?
Afraid of their reference to tax protesters? They probably already know your views on the income tax Bill. You haven’t exactly been secret about it.
Afraid of their reference to viewing marriage licenses as “blasphemy”? Again, they probably already know Bill. You haven’t exactly been secret about that, either.
Gary was the spokesperson, now suddenly you claim to be and the interviews should be contacted through out. [sic] Which is it Bill?
I feel betrayed by you. One piece in Slate.com and you throw years of working with Ron out the door. You throw all JAILers nationwide out the door and why? Because you are scared Bill? When the going gets tough, that’s when you call on your friends the most.
Ron and JAIL were with you for years and you were with them. Why with one single news article are you suddenly ready to toss us all out?
Ron and Barbie deserve an answer. And so do we.
A minor spat soon to be soothed over or a realization/fear by the local JAILers that South Dakotans are finally starting to see this initiative for what it is — an extremist measure pushed by a bunch of wackos? Their problem is it’s hard to get out wacko stain when it and the extremism are in full display in their own arguments.
Weakness on both sides is, as we know, the motto of all quarrels.
Voltaire, Philosophical Dictionary