Things just keep developing on the South Dakota Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (J.A.I.L.) front. Suffice it to say the J.A.I.L. initiative’s efforts to distance themselves from the national organization hasn’t eliminated all the questions about those pushing it in South Dakota.
I had an exchange of e-mails with and a telephone call from Bonnie Russell, who is now the “campaign coordinator” for the initiative. To spare duplication about her, I will first point you to South Dakota War College, where PP elaborates on the continuing out-of-state connection with J.A.I.L. (although Ms. Russell indicated to me that such a focus was “hate speech”). Let me add a couple things from my interactions with Ms. Russell today and that PP didn’t mention.
She e-mailed me last night asking why I remained “anonymous” because that dissuaded her from commenting on the “many” inaccuracies in my last post (emphasis hers). In my response this morning, I told her how easy it was to find out who I was, invited her to detail the inaccuracies either via a comment here or a separate e-mail and signed the e-mail. During her subsequent call, I asked her a number of times to identify the inaccuracies in the post. She told me she would only do so if I would agree to keep it “confidential.” Since nothing I posted yesterday (or at any time) about J.A.I.L. falls into the “double secret probation” category and I don’t believe discussion about an initiated measure being presented the voters should be secret, I wasn’t agreeable. Besides, if my post is/was factually inaccurate I’m certainly willing to correct it and can’t do so if the truth is confidential.
Coincidentally, that conversation followed my review of the new J.A.I.L. website, which went up sometime yesterday. Interestingly, the new site does not appear to ever use the term “J.A.I.L.” and that word (and a link to the national J.A.I.L. organization) have been expunged from the old J.A.I.L. website. In fact, the version of the initiated measure on the new website does not contain the “Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (J.A.I.L.)” that appears in the one on file with the Secretary of State (PDF file). Likewise, it deletes from the preamble that the amendment “shall be known as The J.A.I.L. Amendment.”
Evidently to further distance itself from the national J.A.I.L. organization, the new website assures us that “Amendment E is South Dakota all the way” and that we are not visiting a California-based website. Instead, “[t]he site was registered and is hosted out of New Orleans.” Quite the method of saying “South Dakota all the way.”
Oh yes, the site was designed by a firm located in Encinitas, just north of San Diego. One of the e-mail addresses Ms. Russell uses is from a San Diego ISP and her visit to my blog was via that ISP. As PP notes, the area code for the telephone number she gives for media contacts is for the San Diego area. She told me during her call to me that she lived in or near San Diego. I always thought San Diego was in California. I must have been mistaken.
Even the New Orleans connection is interesting. The domain name for J.A.I.L.’s new website is registered by Ms. Russell’s 1st-choice.com. Both domain names are registered via directNIC and show an address of 838 Camp Street, # C in New Orleans. The domain name for another of her web sites is registered to an organization called NOLDC, Inc., whose address is also listed as 838 Camp Street, # C. Both directNIC and NOLDC are among businesses run by Sigmund Solares, who was praised for blogging from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and who has had some of his businesses (including NOLDC) accused of cybersquatting and trademark infringement.
NOLDC recently changed its name to Alternative Identity. What does Alternative Identity do? “Alternative Identity is a way to offer identity concealment to everyday customers interested in keeping their information secret from possible SPAM senders, hackers, and other sinister individuals.” Where do you pay for this service? Send only a certified or cashier’s check to — where else — 838 Camp Street in New Orleans.
Yes, these new moves by J.A.I.L. surely increase the South Dakota connection and eliminate the California ties. Undoubtedly, it is also important that responses to supposed factual inaccuracies must be kept confidential. I can understand why Ms. Russell or another woman may want to use something like Alternative Identity for herself,. Yet isn’t it odd that an organization asking South Dakotans to enact an “accountability” amendment evidently believes there are enough “sinister individuals” here that it needs “identity concealment” for its own website, one it claims was “created to educate the public and the media.”
Seems entirely appropriate that the phrase “things get interesting and interestinger” are attributed to Lewis Carroll’s stories of Alice going through the looking glass.
And if, to be sure, sometimes you need to conceal a fact with words, do it in such a way that it does not become known[.]