Seems like there may be more dissension in J.A.I.L.land. On Friday, the South Dakota J.A.I.L.ers added to the bottom of each page of their web site: “NOTE: This is the only official website for South Dakota Amendment E.” (Bold in original). It then links to a disclaimer that states in part:
This is the only official website for South Dakota Amendment E.South Dakota Judicial Accountability (SDJA) authored Amendment E, collected the signatures, and put the Judicial Accountability Amendment on the 2006 ballot. There is no other organization or person more accountable, or more qualified, to address issues pertaining to Amendment E than the staff at SDJA.
If you read something representing a PRO Amendment E position on another website, please verify the information against the information on this site.
(Italics in original).
The disclaimer reflects J.A.I.L.’s seeming compulsion to lie about everything. Unless South Dakota J.A.I.L. is the same as Californian Ron Branson and his Jail4Judges organization, the claim that South Dakota J.A.I.L. “authored” the measure is laughably false.
South Dakota J.A.I.L.er-in-chief Bill Stegmeier admitted long ago that the initiative came from Branson, who wrote the Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (J.A.I.L.). The Jail4Judges web site has said for months that J.A.I.L. was “customized for each state” and gave a link to the South Dakota J.A.I.L. site on which the disclaimer now appears for South Dakota’s version. The site also has long said: “Our pioneer state for the passage of J.A.I.L. is South Dakota where we expect victory in November 2006.”
Then there is the May 26, 2005, e-mail titled “New and final version of the South Dakota Initiative” Branson wrote to Stegmeier and Gary Zerman (a California lawyer and co-founder of Jail4Judges listed by Stegmeier as being in charge of South Dakota J.A.I.L.’s “media relations”).
Bill and Gary, here is our work in its final form ready to be filed. FINALLY! It is best to use the attachment version because it has all the proper print size & style. (Use the below pasted only for verbiage.)
The only changes made before the “final version” was filed with the Secretary of State was altering some paragraph designations from the letters (a)-(x) to the numbers (1)-(23). And those changes came only after an exchange of letters with the Legislative Research Council.
Just recently, Branson posted a comment to an online article from the Pierre Capital Journal. The post begins, “As the author of Amendment E, it is appropriate that I be given the opportunity to rebutt [sic] the above article[.]” The comment is “signed” at the beginning and end as Ron Branson, “Author of Amendment E.”
Did this lead to the disclaimer or is South Dakota J.A.I.L. also disavowing others? South Dakota J.A.I.L.ers previously tried to distance themselves from Branson. But what about Bonnie Russell, the “publicist” who created the Amendment E website when the “split” from Branson was announced (and which she so graciously registered in the name of her own organization)? Or how about the Amendment E site on MySpace? As an interesting aside, Jake Hanes has followed Stegmeier’s lead when it comes to openness and accountability. Now that the extremism shown on his MySpace site has been exposed, he has made it “private.” [NOTE comment below.] [UPDATE 2: Jake can’t make up his mind.]
Isn’t it interesting how South Dakota J.A.I.L.ers never want to be accountable themselves and keep running from the truth?
Factions are a sign of illness in [an organization].