A reader raises an interesting question. Who or what is the official organization behind J.A.I.L. in South Dakota?
As previously noted, the South Dakota J.A.I.L. web site now carries a disclaimer stating that it is “the only official website for South Dakota Amendment E.” But, if you go to another web site, you will find that it is the “Official site for South Dakotan’s [sic] for Amendment E.” The web site is also now a source of Google ads and links to private, money-making sites.
And the Amendment E site at MySpace.com isn’t of great help. The two entries for “Who I’d like to meet” are “The official site of South Dakotans for Amendment E” (which links to the Amendment E site) and “Visit the ‘Official Site’ for the South Dakota Judicial Accountability Committee at SDJA.net” (which is one of URLs for the South Dakota J.A.I.L.ers web site). So, do the quotes around official site in the latter mean that site is “more official” than the other?
In a comment to a related post at South Dakota War College, erstwhile Bonnie Russell says there’s “no competition” between the sites. It is interesting, though, that Russell, who lives in California, is running a web site purportedly expressing the views of a group of South Dakotans. Yet all this may be of more than just abstract interest.
According to the Secretary of State’s web site, only the South Dakota Judicial Accountability group has filed a campaign finance report. State law requires any “ballot question committee” to file campaign finance reports. That term is defined as “any two or more people who cooperate for the purpose of raising, collecting, or disbursing money for the adoption or defeat of any question submitted to the voters at any election.” As the Amendment E site advocates adoption of the measure and provides a link to raise funds, perhaps it’s time for Bonnie and friends to explain why South Dakotans (or Dakotan’s) for Amendment E have not filed a report.
Yet I suppose what seems to us confusion
Is not confusion, but the form of forms,
The serpent’s tail stuck down the serpent’s throat.
Robert Frost, A Masque of Reason