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At least they created some unity

I don’t attribute much to the people behind Amendment E other than a having a strong belief in revenge and distrust of government and law. Yet it struck me recently that the Amendment E folks could actually lay claim to the infamous phrase, “I’m a uniter, not a divider.” After all, look who they united in opposition.

There was a unanimous vote condemning it by the South Dakota Legislature. This is a group that couldn’t come close to a two-thirds vote when it declared kuchen the official state dessert.

Both our U.S. Senators and the Democrat and Republican Congressional and gubernatorial candidates issued a joint statement opposing Amendment E.

According to my count, all but one of South Dakota’s 66 county commissions that have gone on record opposing Amendment E.

The list of organizations that have gone on record opposing Amendment E include:

Associated School Boards of South Dakota (school administrators) – South Dakota Education Association (teachers union);
South Dakota AFL-CIO (labor) – South Dakota Chamber of Commerce (business); and,
The State Bar (lawyers) – the State Medical Association (doctors).

Even the daily newspapers in the state seemed to speak with one voice, something they did not do on other ballot issues. Here’s snippets of what I was able to find they said on their editorial pages:

Aberdeen American News: “Amendment E: It’s a bad idea.”Mitchell Daily Republic: A “dangerous amendment and one that needs to be defeated Nov. 7.”

Rapid City Journal: “Amendment E based on a lie.”

Sioux Falls Argus Leader: “Constitutional Amendment E – the measure promoted to hold judges accountable – is nothing more than a proposal for revenge, a path to anarchy and chaos.”

Spearfish Black Hills Pioneer: A “cure for which there is no disease.”

Watertown Public Opinion: “Vote ‘NO’ on the worst of all the ballot issues this year.”

Yankton Press & Dakotan: “For goodness sake, run away from Amendment E — or better yet, make a stand and vote ‘no’ on Nov. 7 to plant this thing in the grave of oblivion it richly deserves.”

So, regardless of how the election turns out, the JAILers did at least help establish that occasionally people and organizations can set aside partisan, philosophical and other differences to work toward a common good.


When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

“Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents,” Edmund Burke

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