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Trying to hold on to his J.A.I.L. award

Looks like PP isn’t easily going to give up his title as the blogger “most critical” of South Dakota’s Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (J.A.I.L.). While I was reading and relaxing last night, PP was digging around.

And what did he find? A blog operated by South Dakota’s JAILer-in-Chief, Bill Stegmeier. (You may recall that Bonnie Russell, J.A.I.L.’s publicist, commented here over the weekend that J.A.I.L. people “don’t do blogs.” Looks like Bonnie was wrong again.)

PP’s work is required reading. It and Stegmeier’s blog bear out my earlier statement that “some of the wackos [who] are responsible for [J.A.I.L.] being on the South Dakota ballot are homegrown ones.” While PP’s post has all the details, I want to mention just a couple of the many insights we gain from Stegmeier’s blog.

  • In a January 8, 2004, post, Stegmeier proudly said, “I am one of those ‘cult type tax protestors’ as Judge McBryde calls us.” Who is Judge McBryde? He is the federal judge in Texas who presided over the trial of Richard Simkanin, who Stegmeier describes as his “best friend.” Why was Simkanin on trial? For various tax violations, including refusing to withhold taxes from his employees’ paychecks. Among other things, “Simkanin claimed he was a ‘stranger to the laws of the United States’ and that the federal government was the ‘present insurgent government that was in rebellion to the Texas Republic.'”
  • Stegmeier summed up his views quite nicely in a May 5, 2004, post: “Our government is corrupt at the highest levels and even appears to be controlled by outsiders.”
  • In addition to his J.A.I.L. work, Stegmeier is or was the state coordinator for an outfit known as We The People. One of its main campaigns is against the “fraudulent and illegal income tax system.”
  • Each of the six blogs listed in the “blogroll” on Stegmeier’s blog belong to tax protesters, including one who evidently plans to start a “Slave Freedom/Mark of The Beast Class Action Law Suit.”
  • Stegmeier had an extensive post on Feb. 23, 2004, explaining why the state couldn’t require him to get a marriage license. As a reader of PP’s blog notes, this is entirely consistent with the views of the national J.A.I.L. organization from which Stegmeier recently claimed to back away.

Yes, with views like that Stegmeier certainly sounds like his description on the new J.A.I.L. website: “a regular American, wanting to do the right thing.”

By the way, Part 2 of my continuing series, “J.A.I.L. Lies,” will be posted tomorrow.


Fanaticism is the child of false zeal and of superstition, the father of intolerance and of persecution.

John William Fletcher

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