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Branson’s own South Dakota campaign

JAIL4Judges founder Ron Branson, who’s seemed to be sitting on the sidelines since the South Dakota J.A.I.L.ers disavowed him, is making his presence known with a new website he registered last week dedicated to “SD-JAIL4judges.”

As usual, Branson rambles on and spews loads of nonsense, all interspersed with random quotes from sources ranging from the Bible to FDR to Gandhi (with a parenthetical reference in one quote telling “Pierce County management” to “pay attention”). Not only are J.A.I.L. opponents “treasonous,” it seems he’s not real happy South Dakota’s Amendment E campaign disavowed him. As you may recall, the South Dakota J.A.I.L.ers have a disclaimer on their web site, saying their organization “authored” Amendment E and there is no one “more accountable, or more qualified, to address issues pertaining to Amendment E.” On his new site, Branson proclaims more than half a dozen times that he is the author of Amendment E and the arbiter of what it means.

Branson largely seems to be trying to bolster the 180-degree turn Amendment E folks made on whether the proposal applies to more than the judiciary, a centerpiece of their litigation over the Attorney General’s ballot explanation. Branson sets forth in its entirety a J.A.I.L. News Journal piece deconstructed here. In the inimitable style of J.A.I.L. proponents, he backdates the article by a full year, apparently to make it appear he reached that conclusion long before Amendment E opponents drew attention to J.A.I.L.’s scope. Similarly, Branson does not mention a December 7, 2005, J.A.I.L. News Journal article specifically talking about Amendment E a month after the petitions to put it on the ballot were filed. It says:

The criterion under J.A.I.L. is not what a person’s title is –it can be a janitor, a clown in a circus, –anything. The criterion under J.A.I.L. is if a person, regardless of title or position, who allegedly violates the law as specified in the Initiative, has been deemed by the judiciary to be shielded by judicial immunity. Such person in that event is a “judge” within the meaning of the J.A.I.L. Initiative, to wit, “…and every person shielded by judicial immunity.”

(Emphasis in original.)

Paragraphs 25 through 39 of the decision on the challenge to the ballot explanation lays out in detail those positions “deemed by the judiciary to be shielded by judicial immunity,” establishing the fallacy of Branson’s current argument. Moreover, the backdating of the article he posts and the fact it actually was published only after opponents drew attention to statements like the one quoted above shows that for the “accountability” movement, “truth” is whatever story you feel compelled to tell at the time.


A lie has speed, but the truth has endurance.

Edgar J. Mohn

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