Coat Hangers At Dawn

Following the attempts by the fundamentalist extremist religious right in South Dakota to ban contraception, abortion, sex ed and their war on everyone who disagrees with them.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Rounds Version Of Results

Mikey Rounds in his great leadership has screwed a great opportunity for the state into a total mess. Homestake mine had a huge potential for the state economy and specifically the economy ou t in the hills. Rounds mismanaged and failed at every turn.

As Northern Valley Beacon mentioned, Rounds missed a huge opportunity by ignoring the value of in-state higher education in this project. He never bothered to get the state universities involved in promoting or supporting the project. The competing site for the project has direct involvement with promoting the project from the nearby universities.

Dakota Today also weighs in on this mess. What is totally inexcusable is that Rounds and the State have allowed the mine to fill with water rendering it unusable and turning the highly desireable site into something the science community doesn't even want to consider now. By turning off the pumps the killed the project. This had something to do with questions on environmental hazards. So instead of dealing with the transfer and liability issue, or offering to pay for the pumping costs while they figured out the other issue, Rounds did nothing. The current owner opted to turn off the pumps due to costs. Again, inaction and bumbling has cost the state dearly. This kind of incompetence sounds like the Page execuation mess and Mikey's handling of the abortion ban.

What could have been one of the largest economic development issues and status symbols of the state finally dragging itself into the current century is gone due to mismanagement.

Todd Epp mentions that we, the taxpayers actually own the $20 million dollar shack with the worlds largest hot tub. Why Rounds refused to deal with the minor issue of keeping it pumped out while they debated the enviromental issue is beyond comprehension.

Maybe Mikey can get us some more credit card call center jobs, boy that would be a great replacement for a national laboratory!
Mikey gives us great stuff like the waste of money in a hard to find website begging people to come back to South Dakota.

If you want to see more of the train wreck that is the Homestake project check out the state website on the project. What really sticks out is the blatant lack of relevant experience and credentials of the people on the board for this project. Not a scientist or large scale development person among them. Many of these people are also on the state economic development board, this probably explains why the state economic development is in such sad shape. One has to wonder if these people happen to be friends of Rounds since their qualifications don't say much about their ability to move the state forward.

South Dakota should be tapping (for the Economic Development Board) the creative talent of people like Dana Dykhouse (First Premier), Jim Morgan (Daktronics), Dennis Sanford (First Premier), department chairs of science, technology and business schools at the state universities, and good PR people. Tom Brokaw would be a great example of a South Dakotan with name recognition and a perfect PR face to lead things.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Republicans To Take A Parting Swipe At Reproductive Rights

We're buying Nancy Pelosi a Louisville Slugger for Christmas. Someone needs to bash some heads in the outgoing ranks of Congress.

Republicans want to introduce a fetal pain bill that uses unfounded scientific opinions that fetuses feel pain at 20 weeks. The bill would require abortion providers to repeat the anti abortion groups rhetoric to patients and offer them anesthesia for fetuses. Never mind that this opinion has been significantly shot down by real scientists a number of times. Scientists have concluded that the pain response does not develop until much later in gestation.

Even the anti abortion groups pushing the Republicans to bring this to a vote admit it has little chance of passing both the House and the Senate. They said they wanted to test support for the measure. The anti abortion groups should pay for their own research and polls instead of wasting taxpayer money to have Congress debate something "just to see".

Republicans To Take A Parting Swipe At Reproductive Rights

We're buying Nancy Pelosi a Louisville Slugger for Christmas. Someone needs to bash some heads in the outgoing ranks of Congress.

Republicans want to introduce a fetal pain bill that uses unfounded scientific opinions that fetuses feel pain at 20 weeks. The bill would require abortion providers to repeat the anti abortion groups rhetoric to patients and offer them anesthesia for fetuses. Never mind that this opinion has been significantly shot down by real scientists a number of times. Scientists have concluded that the pain response does not develop until much later in gestation.

Even the anti abortion groups pushing the Republicans to bring this to a vote admit it has little chance of passing both the House and the Senate. They said they wanted to test support for the measure. The anti abortion groups should pay for their own research and polls instead of wasting taxpayer money to have Congress debate something "just to see".

South Dakota Needs This Pharmacy Law

Illinois has a really good middle ground law on the issue of pharmacists refusing to fill contraception prescriptions.

It requires a pharmacy to stock EC if they stock any other FDA approved contraceptives.
I requires all pharmacies to post a visible sign telling the public what contraceptives they carry and have in stock.
If the item needed is not in stock they must provide an alternative similar drug, order the drug, make arrangements for another local pharmacy to fill the order or return the prescription to the customer.
It allows a pharmacy to opt to not sell any contraceptives.
The signs have a toll free hotline to allow consumers to contact the proper state regulatory agency.

We would suggest adding an additional measure that would require the names of all pharmacists to be posted visibly for the consumer (this is probably already done). Any pharmacist who will not fill contraceptive prescriptions must have this objection formally on file with the state pharmacy board and publicly noted next to their name on said list of pharmacists. This should include any pharmacist who refuses to fill contraceptive prescriptions only under certain circumstances such as single women or those under 18. The sign should also display who is on duty at that time.

What this does is allows consumers to make educated decisions and purchases. Consumers don't need a game of contraception roulette or moral Q&A with pharmacists. Consumers should be able to determine that pharmacists are also being honest about what is in stock and that they are not just lying to the consumer about something not being in stock to avoid selling it. This is a consumer rights issue that still allows pharmacists to invoke the right to not dispense contraception but they must make it known to consumers and they must be consistent, all or nothing.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Is Wife Beating A Family Value?

So is wife beating a family value or is that part of the sanctity of marriage? We can never keep this straight. Someone will surely post that this is just one bad apple, do not look behind the curtain... look a puppy!

There sure seem to be an awful lot of "just one bad apples" in the conservative fundamentalist family values crowd. But then again most of them relegate women to somewhere between the status of their hunting dog and and a blow up doll anyway.

MN rep. Mark Olsen who is well known for his overtly religious, sanctity of marriage, anti-gay agenda was arrested for domestic violence. Olsen was caught red handed by two sheriffs deputies.
It seems that Olsen has a long history of violence and had some problems with being abusive to legislative staff in the late 90's. He tried to gain some sympathy from the media as he left jail clutching a bible but nobody seems to be buying the alligator tears.

Abstinence Clearinghouse Africia Program Infects Thousands With AIDS

A UN monitoring group on AIDS in Africa has seen a resurgence in the disease since Bush's abstinence programs have replaced education and condom programs. The education and condom programs were responsible for significant reduction in AIDS infections in the 90's.

The abstinence only programs being pushed in Africa currently are cited as the main source for the sudden increase in infections. Abstinence Africa is one of the largest of these.

Leslee Unruh's Abstinence Africa received significant funding and support from the federal government.

There was a 400,000 person increase in the number of HIV infections in 2006 vs. 2004.

Leslee and her crew bleat on and on about life, yet their misguided and disasterous crusade may have sentenced hundreds of thousands of people to death.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Congress May Be Able To Force Resignation Of Keroack

Members of Congress have jumped into the fray over Bush's appointment of anti-contraception nut Eric (Borat) Keroack to head family planning at the HHS office.

So far NOW, NARAL, Planned Parenthood and the RCRC have all initiated letter writing campaigns demanding Keroacks withdrawl as appointment to the job.

When the Democrats take over, they will have the ability to force him to testify before Congress. This may be enough to get Keroack to publicly divulge what an incompetent nutcase he is. That could be enough to force his resignation if other pressure has not done so before that.

So Leslee better put that new Mercedes on hold, her makeup and lobster budget may not be going up as much as she hoped.

Cohabitation, Kids and Marriage

A new study showed that kids born into unmarried couples is on the rise. It also noted that teen pregnancies are continuing to drop. What is interesting is that people assume that "unmarried" means abandoned woman or pregnant teen. What the study mentioned was that it is actually a sign of more long term cohabititation rather than marriage.

It is a trend in the US and the same trend has been happening in western Europe. People more and more find the social baggage of marriage to be unnecessary. Dispite all the screaming, and marriage laws the religious right is pushing, people simply do not see marriage as a mandatory part of their personal lives.

So next time the religious reich starts screaming about unwed mothers remember these studies. Their claims that all of these children should be handed over to "good Christian (read fundamentalist) couples" or that they are all abandoned by one parent is clearly a false statistic.

We should be looking at more ways to make sure these families have the basic legal rights to financial, medical and legal needs to jointly raise their kids. No, they do not need to cave in to an outdated religious imposition. Almost half of our state already get this idea and rejected the marriage amendment that eroded the rights of unmarried couples. As in Europe it is doubtful that anything, even the religious right will be able to stop this trend of cohabititation.

Monday, November 20, 2006

How To Protest Bush's Anti-Contraception Appointee

We let everyone know last week about Bush' s appointment of Borat (Eric Keroack) to head up family planning at HHS. Keroack is not only one of Leslee Unruh's close buddies and board member of her Abstinence Clearinghouse but, runs a chain of fake pregnancy clinics that harass women and has some pretty wacky pseudo-science opinions on sexuality.

There has been outcry all over the internet about this appointment. Naral is complaining but has not stated what they specifically intend to do.

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice has a method for you to voice your complaint about this stupid appointment. You can go here to submit your complaint about this appointment directly to the head of HHS. The person who needs to know this is wrong and could actually do something about stopping the appointment from happening.

98% of couples will use birth control at some point in their lives. Letting crazy anti-choicers head this office with the purpose of destroying it is a horrible misuse of tax dollars.

Plainsfeminist pointed out that Planned Parenthood also has a form you can use to contact the head of HHS to complain and demand they replace Borat with someone capable of doing the job.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Majority Want Plan B Required At Pharmacies

Yesterday's Argus Leader Poll showed that the majority of people who responded think South Dakota should require pharmacies to stock Plan B.

pharmacies required to carry Plan B
57.6 yes
42.4 no

One would assume if people expect a pharmacy to stock it they would also expect the pharmacists to sell it. Maybe the last last session allowing pharmacists to refuse to dispense this and other contraceptives was not the will of the people either.

Borat To Head Federal Family Planning

Oh, and he's a friend of Leslee Unruh too. Borat (Dr. Eric Keroack), who is anti-contraception will be in a leadership role for federal family planning funding and policy.

Read that again, he is anti-family planning and will be making family planning policy at the federal level.

See, Bush really is a total moron.

Borat is on the board of Leslee Unruh's abstinence misinformation clearinghouse. He also runs a chain of anti-abortion fake clinics in Massachusetts that has been in trouble with the state for misleading and abusing women tricked into thinking the clinic provided healthcare. But Borat is even crazier, his opinions fly in the face of reality and science. He called premarital sex "germ warfare" and advocates that women must be forced to remain abstinent until they can be married off. He says nothing about men in any of his crazy rhetoric. He also has been trying to pass of some junk science he wrote at Unruh's last two abstinence conventions claiming that having sex outside of marriage will ruin people via their oxytocin levels. This little turd of alternative reality has been rejected by real science.

"Scientists involved with research into bonding called Keroack's theories, based on research on prairie voles, a type of rodent, an extreme reading of the data.
Sue Carter, a biologist at the University of Illinois in Chicago, said "extrapolating from an animal model to humans is a leap of faith.

Borat is not only anti-contraception, he is anti-sex (with a few fundamentalist exceptions) and anti-abortion. So they put him in charge of contraception policy and funding. This is a major mess. Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood said that this appointment proves that Bush is out of step with the nation's priorities.

This appointment does not require Congressional approval so they only way to un-do this is for the public to revolt. It would be reasonable to assume that some larger organized movement may happen in the next few weeks to try to oust Borat. In the mean time you could try contacting Rep. Henry Waxman or Speaker Nancy Pelosi and ask them to act on this.
Voicing your concern to Planned Parenthood, NARAL and various other reproductive rights groups could also be helpful. If there is enough outrage people will take action.

If your really a glutton for punishment you could write to Sen. John Thune. He will probably send you one of his nice letters telling you that your just not smart enough to understand how this really benefits you so you should just shut up and go back to embracing your womanly duties like making that bathroom shine!

Read all the ugly details and background:
Washington Post
Boston Globe
Huffington Post

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Plan B Access Is Still A Mess In SD

Plan B is now technically over the counter, though you still need to get past many hurdles to obtain it in South Dakota. Kelo is reporting that Walgreens stores are stocking it. But you still must be 18 with ID and hope that the phamacist working will allow you to buy it. Walgreens refuses to issue a corporate statement about pharmacist refusal to dispense medications. Currently there is no way of knowing if the Walgreens phamacists will allow you to purchase it or not.

If your under 18 you still need to find a physician sympathetic to your cause. What KELO found was very disturbing. Avera hospitals will not allow their doctors to write a prescription for it unless you report a sexual assault. So much for non-sectarian care at Avera. Avera repeatedly tries to have it both ways. They claim they are serving the public in a non-biased way because they know doing otherwise will land them in legal hot water with funding, civil rights and it would be bad for business. But they will turn around and force a conservative Catholic bias on their patients and hope nobody will call them on it. Sioux Valley hospital is only slightly better. Sioux Valley leave it up to each physician to decide. So you either have no chance of obtaining a prescription at Avera or doctor roulette at SVH. Then you still have to guess if the pharmacist is going to allow you to purchase Plan B.

It went OTC so what is the big deal? For young women under 18 this is a rather large problem. They are the most at risk for unprotected sex and needing access to Plan B. The demographic who probably need this most for non sexual assault instances have the hardest time obtaining it.
If you don't believe exactly how demoralizing and hard it can be to obtain Plan B, read this story about a woman in rural Ohio who met every one of these road blocks. Because she was so restricted in trying to obtain Plan B, it was too late to be effective and ended up having an abortion. The pill that was touted as an exception is only an alternative if people can obtain it.

Lewis Drug is refusing to tell the media if they will even stock the drug or not and a 2005 study showed that only about half of the South Dakota pharmacies stocked the drug at all.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Hunt Officially Under State Investigation

Rep. Roger Hunt is offically under investigation by the state for his role in the illegal campaign finance and money laundering he did for Steve Kirby and Vote Yes.

Also under investigation is the group behind the failed effort to outlaw video lottery. They also had over $400,000 in anonomous donations. Questions were also raised about the secrecy of this group and the true motivations behind the attempt to outlaw the lottery. Last week Rob Reiger admitted to the Argus Leader that his fundamentalist religious group South Dakota Family Policy Council not only were involved in the abortion ban and marriage amendment but also had their hands in the video lottery ballot item.

It will be interesting to see what finally happens to Hunt and also who really was behind the attempt to ban the lottery.

Diving Into Their Crazy World

There is always so much to pass on in the crazy world of the forced birth brigade.

Let's start with Leslee Unruh's wild claim that the voters are just too stupid and voted wrong.
Even though her failed campaign was called "Vote Yes", she claimed it was just too confusing for South Dakota voters and we all just simply voted wrong.

On a similar note Unruh and her toadie Roger Hunt are talking about trying to force more of their ill will on the people of South Dakota by introducing a ban with exceptions. A recent Argus Leader online poll showed that 63 percent of the people do not want a ban with exceptions either. So they may want to rethink their cunning plan. Hunt may be too busy to do much since he is still under investigation for his illegal campaign finance scheme.

Randall Beck seems to think everything is just happy and fine now that the election is over. The tension is way down and people are starting to go back to everyday life with a big sigh of relief that this mess is over. But Beck is wrong to think there are not permanent injuries to our state because of this. Some of the comments by people and groups dumped their once well hidden intolerance, misogyny, bigotry and racism out into the public square. People now know for sure the absolute darkness and hatred for others that some people embrace cloaked in a religious belief. We all now know well what churches in our state hate and seek to oppress those beyond their walls and what ones will stand for the freedom of the individual. People will never look at the religious groups who stirred up this trouble the same way again. People will remember what neighbors had yard signs. It is more of a destruction of innocence, you now know you live among people willing to force their religion upon you at the end of a gun via. the law. At least Beck had enough honesty to call this issue exactly what it is, a holy war. "McCaulley and those who join him in that holy war also must guard against a special kind of arrogance, one that casually views anyone not in lock step with them (currently, the majority of South Dakotans) as soulless fools."

Let us not forget one of the other portions of the war on women, the abstinence/purity scheme.
This is the most blatant imposition of male dominance on young women. They are relegated to property to be owned until the title is transferred to another male. The fancy dresses and a nice dinner are just there to ease the acceptance from personhood to property. Pandagon has an interesting critique of the male dominated purity ball industry and what is fueling it. Its not the cash.

If you want to dive even deeper into the creepy minds of the people who want to control women, don't say we didn't warn you. This article at The Nation digs into the anti-woman, anti-contraception, forced birth, male dominated, homophobic and racist, yes racist beliefs of conservative Christians.

The commentary and ideas by the group in the article are not new. These ideas have been parroted many times by South Dakota religious conservatives pushing for harsh restrictions on everything from sex education & contraception to abortion and the rights of women and homosexuals. The article really dives into the ugly belly of the beast of these people. They really hate it when you expose it outside of the carefully crafted words they use. This is because they know deep down that what they are doing it wrong, they just don't all have the stomach to admit what they are in public. But their hatred of women and their desire to strip them of every right is downright scary. This is what we are fighting against here in South Dakota.

Pandagon goes on to dissect how many of these men view contraception and abortion as emascualting them. When women have agency, men can't own them and control them. So anything that gives women freedom is a frightening idea.

People still wonder where Leslee Unruh got her Orwellian double speak that stripping women of choice is actually freeing them. She is a card carrying member of "Feminists" for Life, a group that has nothing to do with feminism. FFL claims that in order to be free, women must have their freedom taken away. FFL has the same wacky idea as Unruh that women do not have free will and are instead instinctual creatures, therefore we should no longer be allowed to make decisions for ourselves. They promote the same idea that crazy Leslee does, that women are stupid animals that want to breed uncontrolled, we are just too stupid to know it.

One of the quirks about this whole anti-woman faux feminism is that it is coming out of the mouths of women. How could women actively be attempting to oppress other women? It happens all the time. They gain approval from their male authority figures that are imposed on them by their religious beliefs or family in helping promote the cause. They are rewarded well for their hand in oppressing those pesky other women who just won't listen and submit.

BB has some deep insight into this women oppressing women behavior compares it with the modern day context of genital mutiliation in Africa.
"So while men themselves are not doing the actual cutting they are the driving force behind the procedure. When we step back and look at the history of these cultures we see a very clear picture emerge. The women are little more than the foot soldiers of the powerful males, and while their actions are individually wrong they are simply the vehicle by which men continue to exert their power and control over the women in the area."
"The beauty of this worldwide system of oppression of women is that women have been recruited as being the 'bad guys'. Women are often used as the foot soldiers of the men in power; they are used as the tools by which men can continue to live with unquestioned privilege and authority. Society grooms these women from birth, depending on where they live, it tells them that their genitalia is shameful, that they are worthless, that their importance lay in how many sons they can produce or how well they fake an orgasm. Are these women responsible for their deeds? Yes, of course they are, but so are the men in power who are pulling the strings behind all of it."

Now apply this to the abortion ban, the agenda of the religious conservatives against women and groups like FFL. These women are the Kapo of the modern day.

In yet another blow to the theocratic forced pregnancy agenda a new study said that "abstinence only" sex education is failing. The study also showed that 82% of people do not want "abstinence only" taught exclusively and 50% actively opposed its use as a program. Even among conservatives 70% wanted comprehensive sex education. With such broad opposition to "abstinence only", maybe the legislature should rethink their attempt last year to force it as the state mandate for the schools. Luckly that failed last session. Federal funding for this junk program is also now in question since it is being proven to not work and most of the country opposes it. Leslee Unruh and her related groups have raked in millions of taxpayer dollars for this, but those days may be over.

The other pet project of the religious conservatives is creationism. This too has taken a big hit after the elections. Pro-creationism officials have been ousted from the Kansas and Ohio school boards. The SD GOP adopted an official party stance supporting creationism. They may want to rethink their zealousness for this.

Supreme Court Case Has Hints How SD Ban Would Have Done

Slate has a detailed report on the arguments going on in the current cases before the Supreme Court, Steinberg vs. Carhart and Gonzales vs. Planned Parenthood. Also known as the Partial Birth Abortion ban. You do know that this is not a medical term right?

Two things were at issue with these two cases. One was the poorly crafted language that could sweep other procedures into the ban. The other was lack of health exceptions. There was grave concern about the reality that medical intervention can not wait for someone to appeal their case to a judge. The justices also questioned why they were looking at a case where the final outcome is the same and the issue is only what procedure would be used. Kennedy expressed concern about removing options from doctors that would put women at more risk and possibly doctors at high liability.

On the issue of health exceptions Congress, when unable to properly solve this question attempted to claim the procedure is never necessary. The justices do not appear to be buying Congress's medical wishful thinking and instead have opted to look themselves at the medical details of the procedure. Why this is significant to the South Dakota failed ban, go look at the Task Farce report. The report was nothing more than trumped up junk science and omitted a large volume of reliable factual evidence that damned their case.

Had the SD ban ended up before the Supreme Court it would have undergone the same scrutiny. One can safely assume that they would not let Roger Hunt or Chiropractor Allen Unruh pull the wool over their eyes with some rehetoric disguised as fact.

The fate of the current cases before the Supreme Court could be anyone's guess for outcome. But it seems accurate to state that the SD ban would have received the same critical examination, being a far weaker case would have most likely failed.

Leslee Unruh's Meltdown

It is finally on You Tube. Now everyone can see for themselves the delusional insanity of Leslee Unruh. She refused to concede the race after it was called by all the sources, she insisted they won the campaign? The woman is a total idiot divorced from reality. The sad part is that she has convinced enough people to follow her to be a problem. This is why we drag our asses to the keyboard daily and will continue to do so until threats against women's rights like this are no more.
We too are putting a permanent link to this on the blog. Thanks to Todd Epp for the source!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Unruh's Relationship With Fetus Trucks Goes South

We have stated more than a few times that Leslee Unruh was directly involved with the fetus truck guys even though she was discrediting their tactics. This quote below places one of their members (who also thinks he's a reporter) in their campaign office and at their election night event.

"But make no mistake about it, overcoming that lie will not be easy. The lie told by Leslee Unruh has become the settled truth for many, if not most, of the pro-life Christians in South Dakota. Jonathan O'Toole, a Christian Gallery News Service reporter, attended the VoteYesForLife "victory celebration" on the evening of November 7, the day when the people of South Dakota voted on the South Dakota law that abolished abortion in that State. No one knew the actual vote count when O'Toole began interviewing people at the "celebration" but he says it was obvious people were having a hard time believing the VoteYesForLife campaign was actually a cause for celebration."

The document goes on to throughly blast Leslee Unruh and call her a liar for being dishonest about the history of the pro life movement. Crazy as these guys are they did state some valid reasons for calling her a liar. So now she is getting it from both sides. Her strategy to try to have it both ways by having these guys around but publicly pretending to distance herself has backfired.

Rounds Gets Confronted In Sioux Falls

Poor Mikey, you want to feel sorry for him but he brought this on himself by getting involved in the messy abortion ban in the first place. The crazy fetus truck guys tried to upstage him during his Minnesota Avenue waving session on election day. It is concerning that he is in a face to face on the street debate with people with a known record for violence. Like Mikey or not that is just not a real safe situation for a state official.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

State Continues To Pursue Rep. Hunt On Illegal Campaign Finance

Chris Nelson and Larry Long are still looking into the illegal actions of Roger Hunt. Nelson is also working on proposed legislation to put more severe penalties on offenders and to broaden the laws. Nelson confirmed that what Hunt did was illegal under current law and he must comply.

Pass the mind bleach.

Courtesy of Pandagon who found it first. The real creepy part is the teenage girl who says she doesn't need a boyfriend because daddy meets all her needs for male affection - shudder. The social engineering of these girls as objects with only one use is really sad.

The group in the promotional purity ball video Care Net is an anti-abortion group that runs a fake pregnancy clinic similar to Alpha Center here in Sioux Falls.

Experts & Lawmakers - Give Abortion Laws A Rest

From the Argus today.

"Now we have a broad mandate," said Republican state Sen. Tom Dempster of Sioux Falls, who voted against the ban on the Senate floor. "(Legislators) should listen to that mandate."

"You just have to think people will say, 'Maybe we ought not be quite so enthusiastic about this,' " said Don Dahlin, professor of political science at the University of South Dakota.

"I don't foresee much of any abortion legislation coming in the 2007 or 2008 session," said Republican Sen. Jason Gant of Sioux Falls. "I think the people of the entire state had the opportunity to voice their opinion on the issue, and we need to just go with that."

"Now if abortion isn't on the forefront of everything in the state, just think of what we can do," Gant said.

Newly elected Democratic Sen. Tom Katus of Rapid City - who defeated Republican Elli Schwiesow in a heated contest focused largely on abortion - said he looks forward to getting to work on other issues, such as education.

"We just got our priorities out of whack," Katus said. "We've got other things to deal with."

Hunt also mentioned in the article that he wants to create a new law that would force women to LOOK at an ultrasound before having a pregnancy terminated. Patients already receive ultrasounds before a pregnancy is terminated. Hunt wants a law that demands a women be forced to look at it. Talk about a waste of legislation. This is utterly unenforceable. Will they duct tape their eyelids open? Use toothpicks? Will Roger Hunt or Leslee Unruh be personally there in the exam room with women making sure they "look"? Could we have a law next that people always step off with their left foot? The state has better things to do than waste their time with useless nonsense like this.

Hey Leslee!

Image courtesy of Bitch Phd.

Jamming Ted Haggard Back Into the Closet

The Evangelicals have a theory that they think they can "fix" gay people. They think its just a choice and with reparative therapy they can make who you are go away. This flawed program has been highly criticized by professionals and has been the cause of many attendees to later take their own lives.

The Evangelical mob has announced that they are going to "restore" Ted Haggard aka: jam Ted back into the closet. This is rather sad, instead of receiving real counseling that could help him finally come to terms with his life he is being put into a years long program of denial. They will probably also insist his wife and kids be in the middle of this too.

There are a number of Evangelical style churches in South Dakota that claim they welcome gays into their congregation but also support this reparative therapy concept. Comments we have heard from members of these churches were that they welcome gays but consider it their goal to make them see the error of their ways and go into this counseling. So buyer beware of some churches claiming to be "open to all".

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Group With Criminal Ties Brags About Vote Yes Involvement

Operation Rescue brags up their presence in South Dakota and their direct involvement in the failed Vote Yes campaign.

Their leader and good friend of Leslee Unruh and Mike Rounds (Newman brags about their friendship) has a very checkered criminal past.

It was so nice of Troy to openly admit their direct involvement in Vote Yes.


This is starting to look so pathetic. The election is over and they need to just admit they lost. The disconnect from reality is cult like and just plain pathetic. Leslee Unruh refuses to accept the reality that the election is over and they lost.

Roger Hunt thinks maybe it was just something in their delivery. He also said that they will try to pass the no exceptions ban as is next year. He has also made mentioned that he and his partner in crime Leslee Unruh plan to try to use the Health Department to shut down Planned Parenthood.

Never mind he is still facing an investigation for his illegal campaign scam.
If the state is lucky, the legislature will toss Hunt out after he is convicted.

We don't think the vote yes followers are all quite fully drinking the kool-aid. They seem rather subdued after the big loss.

Read the silly orwellian rantings in the KELO interview.
SD Progressive has some more commentary on the denial.

Letter To South Dakota From Rev. Veazey

November 8, 2006
Dear Friends,

South Dakota voters have made history! Yesterday, they rejected the most restrictive abortion ban in the nation. By a vote of 55%-45%, they said no to the politics of fear and negativity and yes to women and families living in dignity. The national movement to criminalize abortion has suffered a severe blow in one of the most conservative states in the union.

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice is honored to have worked alongside South Dakota Pastors for Moral Choices in reaching out to the faithful with a positive, moral basis to keep abortion legal. The vote shows that we have the power and the ability to stand up for what is right. We are grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support from our partners in religious communities and organizations and our supporters throughout the nation.

RCRC was on the ground in South Dakota and talked to hundreds of people. We learned that some voters rejected the instructions of their own churches— often from the pulpit—to vote for the ban. Our message was more in touch with what most people believe—that abortion is a personal decision for a woman, guided by her faith. Again and again, people told us, "Women deserve trust and respect."

The ban would have prohibited abortions for victims of rape and incest and women whose health was at risk. The only exception was abortion to save a pregnant woman’s life. It was important to voters to know that some local ministers thought that it was far more compassionate and responsible to keep abortion legal than to force women to continue a pregnancy against their will or against the advice of their doctor.

People on all sides of the abortion debate saw the vote as a historic test of public sentiment. South Dakota lawmakers had passed the ban in hopes that a subsequent court challenge might lead to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. Instead of going to court, local citizens gathered enough petition signatures to put the measure to a vote. Proponents of the ban ran an expensive, high-visibility campaign funded largely by national organizations that work to end legal abortion. Opponents of the ban chose a low- key, person-to-person campaign that showed the ban to be harmful and extreme. Moderation and compassion won the day.

I'd like to thank everyone who visited our Virtual Vigil. Thank you for lighting a candle and for your prayers for the women and girls of South Dakota. Opponents of Roe v. Wade and legal abortion now have lost the vote that they have demanded for years. But they still refuse to hear the voice of the people. They have already said they have plans to try to shut down South Dakota's lone women's clinic. Groups in other states are preparing to introduce their own bans. For today, let us draw strength and joy from this moment. Our resolve is strong!

Reverend Carlton W. Veazey
President, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

We've Got Mail!

We got warm fuzzy email today. Add this to all of the warm fuzzy congratulations all over the national blogs and media outlets.

Jean from Minnesota sent this:
"As a former SD resident, I want to congratulate you on the success of your hard fought struggle for the rights of women. I'm sure there must have been some incredibly frustrating days.
Besides making a campaign donation, here's another very small contribution that our family was able to do to deliver in the attempt to defeat this outrageous Taliban offensive.
Last week my husband came to Sioux Falls on business. On that trip, he also visited his elderly parents who live in Sioux Falls. After he explained the law to them and the probable repercussions, they changed their minds and agreed not to vote for the ban.
Then my husband went to the district office he was there to serve and initiated a debate/discussion on this subject with the employees there. Most of them thanked him for sharing with them and agreed that they also could not support the ban.
I hope you will soon learn from all over the country that you were not alone in this fight. Thank you, Thank you - Way to go!!!! "

Bad Day For The Religious Right

It has been a bad day for the religious right. Cancel the lobster and the bulk order of cover girl and hair bleach!

The went down in flames with their abortion ban. Leslee Unruh banked on this dispite major people in the anti abortion movement telling her it was a bad idea. They may be even more reluctant to give her money to attempt this again. There are also ideological issues with a future ban that might include exceptions that the various anti abortion factions will not agree on or refuse to entertain because they think they provide loopholes. Steve Kirby might be reluctant to dump more money into Leslee's folly now that he could also face legal trouble pending the investigation.

James Dobson quit Ted Haggard's reprogramming time citing he didn't have time for it.

Missouri's stem cell measure passed. They were under attack by the lying fundie brigade down there too. Just like South Dakota another red state has handed the religious right their ass at the polls.

Arizona has refused to adopt a marriage ban into their constitution. South Dakota's ban was very close. Hopefully this archaic mess will be undone in the near future.

We have the first female speaker of the house and she is a progressive, and pro choice.

There is also a slew of incoming congressional lawmakers that are pro choice and they are replacing anti choice conservatives.

Election Roundup

Election Roundup

Referred Law 6
Won by a 10 point lead. The people of the state clearly do not want the religious morality police sticking their nose into medical decisions. Unruh still refuses to concede the race and is totally
disjointed from reality. She will be back in Pierre next session trying to pass whatever nonsense she
thinks she can get away with. She needs to be kept under a magnifying glass and whatever she has up her
sleeve needs to be stopped before it even starts. The legislature would be wise to look at better ways to reduce abortion (all 800 of them) in the state like better sex education, prevention and contraception access in the state.

Amendment C
It was really close. Those who worked so hard on this issue should be proud of what they were able to accomplish. If the abortion ban was not also on the ballot this amendment would have probably failed.
Our prediction is that this will be reversed in the next 5 years and we will see civil unions in South Dakota in the next decade. The area most against this was the northern and central areas. Isolation breeds ignorance and intolerance of the unknown. For so many reasons we need to make sure the rural corners of our state are less isolated from the urban areas.

Amendment E
It was really amusing to watch this go down in flames. South Dakota seems to have no stomach for
paranoid anti-government groups or out of staters wanting to use our state for their own amusement.
We heard the black helicopters are already circling Bill Steigemeyer's house.

Cigarette Tax
The angry smokers will be looking for the best place just over the border to stock up on their needs. Maybe we should invest in a tobacco shop just over the line down in Sioux City.

Stephanie Herseth
She was on fire last night. Did anyone hear her speech? Herseth really is the future of where South Dakota politics needs to head. Focus on real issues and try to work from the center. Has she been taking
speech tips from Barak Obama? Poor Bruce Whalen was a rather sore loser. His immature bitching about his loss being the media's fault was just lame. Whalen lost because he was a lousy candidate. He ran on the hopes that the abortion ban supporters would put him into office. He had nothing else to offer.

Jack Billion
We are so sorry he lost. South Dakota missed a great opportunity. Now we have to deal with soggy oatmeal Mikey for another four years. Mikey needs to be reminded that he works for all of us, not the other way around and all of us are not the religious right. We all need to keep his feet to the fire.

Napoli, Hunt & Greenfield
The creepy guy contingent will be back. We hope their constituents remind them that they have real work to do this year. Dump the morality game, recess is over.

Jerstad wins a really tight race
Sandy Jerstad won by 18 votes beating out Bill Earley. Earley really needed to go. He was in on the abortion ban and defunding PBS. Jerstad is going to make a great Senator who will work on the real issues of the state. She is a very smart person, the legislature dearly needs more like her.

Heidepriem beats smear campaign
Scott Heidepriem beat out Dick Kelly after some really ugly campaigning by Kelly. It is nice to see
someone win by not being nasty.

More on Hunt
Now that Larry Long has been reelected we expect his first move will be to pursue the illegal campaign scandal involving Roger Hunt and (likely) Steve Kirby. This was a gross violation of the law and it must be addressed. Since Kirby has been wrapped up in now three times trying to buy his way in the state on the abortion issue Long absolutely must fully investigate this issue. If Hunt will not disclose the donor Long needs to demand the proper records to determine it himself. Don't let this issue go away.

The only question we have is how many seats were picked up in the state by the Dems.

VICTORY: No on 6 Wins

By a considerable margin the abortion ban was defeated. The religious reich and Leslee Unruh have vowed to try to impose even more similar nightmares on the state next legislative session.

We have not been able to locate a concession speech from Unruh and one was not cited on the TV coverage last night. A TV reporter read a brief comment about continuing to push this issue by Unruh. Sore loser for sure. That says quite a bit about their crusade er... campaign.

More on all of this later.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Little Caesars Bagged The Argus For Vote Yes

The newspapers bagged in vote yes on 6 bags appearing around town today was not the work of the Argus Leader. The local Little Caesars pizza chain owner who is an inside supporter of Lying Leslee Unruh bought the papers, bagged them in the vote yes bag along with a coupon claiming that it was sent compliments of Little Caesars.

This is yet another corrupt attempt to confuse voters that the local media supports their crazy jihad on South Dakota.

Last Minute Rejection Of The Ban By Catholic Group

Catholics For a Free Choice ran ads in most of the South Dakota newspapers today rejecting the abortion ban and laying the groundwork for a program to prevent abortions rather than banning them.

Something says that what the state's Catholics nod to at church and what they do in the voting booth is not always the same.

Officials Say NO SIGNS Within 100ft OF ANY DOOR

Krantz has this on the Argus live blog.
"A new interpretation by the States Attorney’s office also determines that those signs, where allowed, must have a distance from at least 100 feet from ALL doors in the building where the voting is taking place.

– David Kranz"

If this is the case there are many violations in Sioux Falls. O'Gorman High School is violating this as we speak.

College Feminists May Tip The Ban Vote

WireTap Magazine has an interesting article about the get out the vote efforts on South Dakota college campuses and how it could potentially be the straw that breaks the ban.

One thing that they said drove increased voter registration and promises to vote no, the fetus porn groups.

Argus Delivered On Election Day In Vote Yes Bag

Today's Argus Leader was delivered to subscribers in a big white Vote Yes on 6 delivery bag. There was much distaste for this tactic when it was brought up that the Rapid City Journal might attempt this stunt. Newspapers should not be giving such a biased endorsement and placement to any candidate or battlot issue on election day. This is utterly irresponsible and really really disgusting.

Randall Beck has been so afraid of offending the Vote Yes lunatics but he seems to have no problem offending the other HALF OF THE STATE'S POPULATION. Remember this race is running anywhere between a 10 point for no and a neck and neck race.

It sounds like time to cancel your subscription or at least give Leslee Unruh's buddy Randall a piece of your mind.

Randell Beck is executive editor of the Argus Leader. Contact him at 605-331-2332 or

More National Media Coverage Of Hunt Scandal

Ms. Magazine has a news article on the Hunt money laundering, illegal campaign finance scandal. The rest of the nation is watching this. If the state does not act it is going to look very suspicious to those outside the state.

Liar liar pants on fire.

Roger Hunt really is an idiot. He has made multiple statements to the press on his sham company he set up for the purpose of hiding the source of campaign donations. In those statements he has proven that he violated the law.

SD Progressive has the goods on Roger. Hunt tried to lie to the state in his written letter he sent to the Secretary of State Chris Nelson claiming he used "general funds" to pass on the campaign donations. Maybe Hunt doesn't think Chris Nelson watches TV or reads the newspaper or that his office isn't going to point out Hunts public statements? Sheesh.

Dumbass is the only proper discription for Hunt.

Hunt's statements to the media publicly disclose all of his admissions to his guilt on this matter.

"What Roger Hunt Said Last Week : Our prediction is that Long is waiting to officially announce an investigation after the election. How convenient.

State Official Demands Hunt Must Disclose Donor

The state Democratic party has also sent a letter to the Attorney General asking him to investigate. SD Healthy Families had already sent a letter to the AG calling for an investigation last Friday.

Secretary of State Chris Nelson explained further to KELO why Hunt must properly file campaign finance papers and disclose the donor.

Nelson is making the assertation that Hunt's sham company technically qualifies as a ballot question committee. Nelson states that this is his basis for stating that Hunt is in violation of the law.

"According to South Dakota law, ballot question committees have to file campaign finance reports listing the money's source and where it goes out. Those committees are defined as any two or more people who cooperate for the purpose of raising, collecting or dispersing money to influence the outcome of an election. "
"KELOLAND NEWS: You did create it because of Referred Law 6?
HUNT:That was one of the reasons.

If that counts as "influencing the outcome of an election," then Promising Future fits part of the definition of a Ballot Question Committee. The other part is whether the corporation is considered "two or more people.

KELO also goes on to detail how Hunt's sham company constitutes the two or more people rule.

The pressure on Hunt to abide by the law is mounting. This looks like its not going to go away.

Monday, November 06, 2006

More Evidence On Kirby And The Hunt Scandal

SD progressive has more details on Kirby. For those who don't remember the last Governors race it was ugly and much of Kirby's questionable and illegal dealings were exposed back then. Someone with the kind of proven stunted ethics as Kirby would probably not have an issue buying an election or other illegal activity.

Kirby needs to publicly address this already. Either come out and deny it and clear your name or just admit it was you. Silence is starting to imply guilt for Kirby.

Hunt Scandal Being Picked Up By National Outlets

Womens Enews has picked up on the Hunt/Kirby illegal campaign scandal.

Talk2action has also done a piece on it, we even got a mention in it.

Vote Yes Ties To Domestic Terror And Racist Groups

There have been some documented ties between Vote Yes on 6, Leslee Unruh and the various out of state anti-abortion groups that are working in conjunction with their campaign.

This is what you need to know about the groups Vote Yes is working in coordination with. We have more than a few eyewittness accounts of the two groups coordinating together in recent months. They are working together - period.

The groups in question that have been appearing in South Dakota include:
Missionaries to the preborn
Nuremburg Files
The Christian Gallery News Service

All of these groups are intimately tied together and branches of one another. All of these groups are arms of a domestic terror group called "The Army Of God". The Army of God is listed as a domestic terror group. FBI report on AOG anthrax attacks at healthcare clinics. References from Military net discussing more on AOG domestic terror. has the goods on these groups. They show that the fetus truck guys running around Sioux Falls and their related website is the direct work of this domestic terror group "Army of God".

The Missionaries to the Preborn, another of the groups around South Dakota with the fetus signs. This is the group that was out in Rapid City a few months ago making a stink. This group has been spotted throughout South Dakota. This group has a documented record as a violent anti-abortion and armed militia group. They have not been spotted recently and may have left the state.

This detailed report from the California Senate has more on these groups that Leslee Unruh is working with.

Now for the racism portion. A number of bloggers have exposed Unruh's ties to various openly racist people in the media like Pat Buchanan.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has a very detailed rundown of the evolution of these domestic terror groups that focused initially on anti-abortion have joined forces with racist and anti-gay groups and have now adopted their ideaology on top of their original one against abortion. These anti-abortion groups working in South Dakota are also racist groups.

Leslee Unruh and Vote Yes on 6 think it is perfectly fine to be working with these groups. Do you?


With so many controversial issues on the ballot and memories of polling place and voter harassment issues in 2004 everyone should be vigilant on Tuesday. Not only for your own rights being violated but violations or restrictions of others right to vote, or illegal voter influence.

This said, arm yourself with the best tool to fight corruption. Most cellular phones have cameras in them. Images can be down loaded, sent in messages and forwarded to other cellular phones. Digital cameras are already in the hands of most people, they are small and portable. Take one or both with you on election day and if you see a violation document it.

Polling places can not have signs or any other materials meant to influence a voter within 100 feet of the door. Pennington County has an ordinance making such items anywhere on the property of the polling location illegal. ANY sign or other mode of influencing voters within 100 feet or inside a polling place is a violation. This includes things like "vote your values" or other signs urging people to take a religious stance on their voting.

Other issues include overzealous poll watchers trying to prevent someone from voting who have the right to do so. This should be reported. Anyone outside a polling place confronting voters should be photographically documented and reported to the poll workers inside with a follow up to the authorities. Anyone harassing voters that appears to be threatening or a potential danger, people should not be shy about calling 911. Better safe than sorry.

We don't want to freak people out and being South Dakota things may be just fine and we will all behave like good citizens, but people should be prepared just in case. Hopefully the worst that gets reported are some signs that were forgotten, but those still matter.

If you see a sign that is not a violation but you feel negatively influences voters take a picture of it anyway. This could be useful for potential reform of polling place issues in the near future.

Report polling place violations to your county auditor immediately:
Here is a printable list of all of the county auditors offices.

Complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses on election day:
U.S. Attorney Marty Jackley and assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Mandel
Jackley at 330-4400 or Mandel at 342-7822

The FBI will have special agents available also:
In Sioux Falls call 334-6881; in Pierre call 334-6881; and in Rapid City call 343-9631.
Ballot access and discrimination complaints can go to the Civil Rights Divisions in Washington at 800 253-3931 or 202-307-2767.

There is also a $500,000 reward for turning in voter fraud:
$500,000 ELECTION FRAUD REWARD FUND to encourage whistleblowers to share information about election rigging. This reward will be paid for information about election fraud leading to overturning a House or Senate race and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

Other organizations helping document violations and keep elections clean:
Video the vote has volunteers throughout the country documenting election violations. We have been unable to confirm if they already have anyone working in South Dakota. If you obtain picture or video footage of any sort of election day misdeeds, forward it to this group too.
This is the group offering the $500,000 reward. They may also be able to help and receive any violation documentation.

If your not getting a proper response from the auditors office, the state or the federal authorities the two watchdog groups may be able to help.

If its as simple as a sign or as messed up as someone intimidating voters outside a polling place, report it. Valid and fair elections and our democracy depend on it.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Warning On Polling Place Misconduct

With the recent issue of a church in Rapid City being yanked as a polling location for violations of polling place rules on signs this has become yet another concern with this election.

There have been numerous complaints coming in already about polling places that are piled with vote yes and other religious based signs intended to influence an election. Church at the Gate has come up as one of concern and it has gotten in trouble for polling place violations before during the 2004 election.

"A window adjoining an interior door to my polling place had a sign that said, "Vote for traditional values" with the second "t" in traditional shaped as a large cross."

"Except for sample ballots and materials and supplies necessary for the conduct of the election, no person may, in any polling place or within or on any building in which a polling place is located or within one hundred feet from any entrance leading into a polling place, . . . display campaign posters, signs, or other campaign materials or by any like means solicit any votes for or against any person or political party or position on a question submitted."

Our suggestion, use your camera phone. If you see a violation take a picture of it and the surrounding area it is placed in. Also take a picture of the sign in front of the polling place like the church sign out front. Then complain to the poll workers to remove it and follow up with a complaint to the auditors office even if they do take it down. There are a number of election watchdog groups and we would consider possibly posting images of violations as long as they are verifiable.

The Mystery Campaign Donor Is....

Steve Kirby.

SD Progressive points to some very damning evidence that points yet again to Steve Kirby being the number one suspect as the mystery campaign donor who had Roger Hunt launder money for him.

Let's review:
  • The mystery donor who wanted to anonymously donate a million dollars to the state ban litigation fund but backed out when he found out it had to be a publicly disclosed donation was Steve Kirby.
  • He admitted this to the Village Voice last spring.
  • Kirby has been Leslee Unruh's number one cash cow since she started with her illegal baby buying business and then pregnancy center scam by constantly donating to her cause considerable amount of money since 1984.
  • Kirby said he wanted the state to challenge the Supreme Court on abortion back in '02 when he was running for governor.

So Kirby thought he had found his way around the disclosure laws by laundering money though a sham corporation Hunt set up. We initially thought someone of Kirby's business prominence would not be that stupid but the mounting evidence is proving otherwise.

What is disgusting is not just Kirby's personal position on abortion. It is his flippant behavior to not only ignore the law of the state but his lack of regard for the people of the state and our rights if he truely is the mystery donor (yet again).

If Kirby is confirmed as the person behind the illegal donation and fake company the outrage will be at his arrogance and attempt to steal the rights of the people of the state to have a fair election, not his personal stance on the issue.

Below is the entire post from SD Progressive.

Kirby Wanted to Test Constitution, wrote checks PDF Print E-mail
Written by Theron McChesney
Sunday, 05 November 2006

If there is any remaining doubt that Steve Kirby is the person that Roger Hunt and the VY crew are illegally funneling money from consider this:

In 2002 when Kirby, Barnett, and Rounds were locked in a heated primary for Governor this headline appeared in the Argus Leader:

Kirby: State should test Constitution on abortion


published: 3/19/02

The state of South Dakota shouldn't be afraid to test the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions on abortion, a Republican candidate for governor said Monday .

Former Lt. Gov. Steve Kirby told a crowd of about 75 gathered at a Sioux Falls church that he would introduce legislation to further restrict abortions if it fit within current constitutional limits.

But the state shouldn't be afraid to go further, he added.

"Maybe we will cross the line and go into uncharted waters," he said.

The article went on to note that Lying Leslie Unruh threw her support behind Kirby because he wrote a lot of checks to her.

At Monday's event, Kirby received the unofficial endorsement of one of South Dakota's most vocal and active abortion foes.

Leslee Unruh, president and founder of the Alpha Center in Sioux Falls, said Kirby has been a supporter of her organization since 1984. That has included a monthly financial commitment for the center, which promotes alternatives to abortion.

"Without Steve Kirby, there would be no Alpha Center," Unruh said in an interview following Kirby's speech. "Anybody can say they are pro-life. To me, you have to do something visible. You have to write out a check."

So, Kirby has long wanted to test the constitution and he has long been writing checks to Leslie. Seems like a pretty cozy long standing relationship.

Evangelical Leader Heads To Prison.

Evangelical creationist leader Dr. Kent Hovind, head of the Creation Science Evangelism ministry and owner of Dinosaur Adventure Land in Pensacola was found guilty on all counts on Thursday and faces up to 288 years in prison.

Hovinds crimes include:
Falsifying bankruptcy documents, filing a false and frivolous lawsuit and complaints against the IRS, destroying records, and threatening to harm IRS investigators and more.

Hovind claimed he didn't have to pay taxes because he said it went against his religious beliefs.

In other news Ted Haggard was fired today from his church, yesterday he was ousted as leader of the American Evangelical association.

Dobson Rally Draws Yawns

The Rapid City Journal reports on the snooze fest and whining at Mt. Rushmore on Saturday.

James Dobson showed to a crowd of a few hundred, in the venue that holds 2500. Dobson filled stadiums back in 2004 when he was stumping for Thune and brought his hate-fest message to town. Dobson's relevance is waning and the recent scandal surrounding his partner in the "values" crusade Ted Haggard really makes Dobson look like a total idiot. While the head of the Evangelical churches and partner in crime for Dobson has been exposed in the last week for his three year involvement with a gay prostitute, Dobson tried to again pass off his "hate gay people" marriage garbage.

There was also much whining by various speakers at the event that John Thune was not there blindly supporting their screwed up causes. The repeated comment was how angry they were that the Senator they thought they had bought and paid for was not doing their bidding. Doesn't this bring their honesty and morality into question if they as a group thought they had bought a Senator? Thune was right in expressing his concern for the total lack of any exceptions in the ban and that he would vote no.

This comment from Dobson is comedy gold though, if there is any doubt they thought they had bought themselves a Senator.
"A lot of people worked very hard to get Thune elected to the senate and gave him a lot of money, Dobson said."

Thune has been notably absent from the state during this entire mess. Who can blame him?

Buying Senators, illegal laundered campaign contributions, lying to the public about the law. This is what your supporting if you are foolish enough to vote yes on this ban.

Argus Dissects How To Vote On 6

While we didn't lock step agree with Chuck Baldwins wording on each of his points but he does make a very good breakdown of the varied personal opinions on the abortion ban and how someone should vote on the law based on those personal positions. The idea of banning abortion is so full of questions, circumstances and what-ifs. We would suggest reading the guide even if you have your mind made up, it is a good exercise of your personal opinions vs. the letter of this law. Chuck Baldwin did make one very interesting point in this break down.

He stated that if you feel that a supreme court challenge at this time might damage the pro-life movement considering that how the high court would vote on it is not certain that you should vote no. He also stated that if your not in agreement that the state should be doing things specifically to challenge the supreme court for any non governmental special interest group that you should vote no.

If we let the pro life special interests use our state as their mechanism for court challenges who else will come knocking asking South Dakota to foot the bill for their court challenge. We are a small state of limited resources due to our small population. This also leads to the looming question of influence on our state of individuals, specifically the "mystery donor" who clearly has tried to use their money to influence an election. Elections are supposed to be "of the people", not bought by the person with the deepest pockets.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Argus Board Says Hunt Is Wrong, Must Reveal Source

The Argus Leader editorial board came out today and demanded that Roger Hunt disclose the donor he is required by law to declare in the campaign finance reports but so far has refused to comply.

"Political donations simply must be public. It's a matter of openness, honesty and democracy. Voters have a right to know who's trying to influence them.
State Rep. Roger Hunt is frustrating that basic tenet of our electoral system, hiding behind what he admits is a sham corporation.
Hunt, a Brandon Republican and sponsor of the state's anti-abortion law on the ballot Tuesday, created Promising Future Inc. in September. He makes no bones about it.
Promising Future was established specifically for the purpose of accepting donations to fund the campaign in favor of the law - on the ballot as Referred Law 6 - and to keep those donations secret

The Argus also discredited Hunt's claim of violence in the campaign. If there had been reports of violence the Argus would be in a position to know from the police.
"There have been plenty of nasty words in the campaign, but no violence."

The Argus editorial closed with this:

"Hunt must follow the law and disclose who donated the money. It's a matter of openness. Democracy. And honesty.

Voters have a right to know who's trying to influence them. Hunt has no right to keep that secret."

So Roger, Monday morning would be a fine time for a press conference where you can tell the voting public who your laundering money for, submit the corrected report with the name of the donor included and apologize to the states voters.

As of this evening the Argus poll was still about 70% of the public who think Hunt must disclose this information.

Argus Omits Key Fact In Hunt Scandal

The Argus covered the Hunt money laundering scandal this morning. In their rather long article they failed to mention a key fact in state law that has been confirmed with Secretary of State Chris Nelson. In South Dakota money DONATED to any company for the purpose of being then donated to a campaign including a ballot issue must be disclosed. Hunt keeps trying to run around this law by debating if he is a ballot issue committee or not. ANY company that obtains a donation and sends it on to a campaign must disclose the source. Hunt has already admitted and does so again in this article that the money was a donation. He tried to claim the donation was unsolicited. That is irrelevant to the law. A donation is a donation if it was asked for or offered makes no difference either.

The Argus failed to mention this well known fact that all of the other media outlets and the S.O.S. office have been talking about for days.

Either the Argus is guilty of sloppy journalism or they are purposely trying to make the public think that Hunt is not guilty. But as of this morning the public is not buying it anyway. An online poll today as of about 8am was 70% that people thought Hunt should be required to disclose the donor. You know, as state law and the Secretary of State have told him he has to.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Update On Roger Hunts Cunning Stunt

Crack legal eagle Roger Hunt is trying to creatively interpret the state laws, we don't know if he actually thinks he can pull a fast one on the state AG & S.O.S. or if he is just utterly desperate at this point.

"Promising Future turned in its financial report this afternoon, three days late, without citing where it got the money.

And the secretary of state says that doesn't sound right.

Hunt claims in a letter included with the report that the laws are vague, and he doesn't think his corporation is considered a "Ballot Question Committee
." "

Chris Nelson already had to tell Hunt that he was required by law to file a report after Hunt tried to claim he didn't have to. When Hunt finally filed it this afternoon after a formal investigation was requested he refused to include the required donor information. Nelson says in the quote above that Hunt's actions are "not right". Hunt then tried to assert that his corporation is not a ballot question committee. Duh. A CORPORATION is required to disclose donations given to it to be used for any campaign purpose. It has nothing to do with it being a ballot question committee. Roger Hunt is quickly removing all doubt about him being an idiot.

Here Hunt admits that the money was a DONATION to the fake company that it was not business assets. This bears repeating. Hunt admits the funds were a donation. A donation to a company that forward that $750,000 on to the Vote Yes on 6 campaign.

"He says he did not solicit the $750,000 one person gave his corporation. That's why he didn't include that person's name."

Uh, Roger. That means that you are required by law to disclose this and the S.O.S. thinks so too. Nelson says that now that the report has been filed his investigation will begin.

Hunt further tried to absolve himself from his guilty crimes but Chris Nelson says Hunt is flat wrong.
"But Secretary of State Chris Nelson says it appears the report should contain the names. "If it was money that was collected or received for the purpose of influencing this ballot question," Nelson says. "I don't know how you could file the report without putting that information on." "

Hunt then turned around and tried to say that the money came from the companies general fund in the same KELO interview. Please go back and read Hunt's statement above where he claims the money was GIVEN to the corporation. Sorry Roger but the public can remember something you said for longer than 30 seconds. The big question now seems to be the inner details of Hunt's actions and the accounting at his fake company. The state does not seem inclined to buy his creative law intepretation.

Now there is information starting to come out that Steve Kirby may be the secret donor.
SD Progressive wrote:
"There is credible evidence forming that the anonymous donor that Roger Hunt is protecting with his sham corporation and funneling of campaign contributions is none other than Steve Kirby."
Clean Cut Kid wrote:
"who is pretty sure the person forking over hundreds of thousands of dollars to Roger Hunt's shell corporation for the Vote Yes for Back Alley Abortions campaign is Steve Kirby?"

If Kirby does end up being behind the fake company and the illegal conspriracy to launder money it starts to look much more like an organized attempt to buy an election. One person should never ever be allowed to put their personal agenda and money ahead of the rights of the people and a fair election.

Unruh Lies - Claims They Did Not Break Law

Of course the woman who bought teenagers babies would lie about this too. Her other actions like paying teenage girls for their babies, illegal lobbying that has her under IRS investigation and now taking illegal laundered campaign donations via her partner in crime Roger Hunt really bring her reliability into question.

Hunt again tries to convince the media that he has done nothing wrong. Secretary of State Chris Nelson has already stated that what Hunt has admitted he has done is illegal. This is the tip of the iceburg of what Hunt may be guilty of.

Leslee Unruh spewed this dilustional garbage to the Argus. Too bad they didn't bother to question her about her claims:
"Although the donor’s identity is not being revealed, Unruh said the contributions “were not a secret.”
“All contributions to, over $100, were fully and timely disclosed,” she said."

Leslee we hate to break it to you but the contributions ARE a secret. A secret being kept by you and Roger and by the fake company he created to keep the donations a secret. You did not fully think through your cunning plan and it has backfired. Hunt has already admitted to the illegal activity and now your both trying to make it just go away.

Illegal Donations, Shell Companies, Investigations And Vote Yes

Here is the short rundown. A press conference was held at Roger Hunt's office in Brandon. The Attorney General was asked to expedite an investigation on this issue and provide the voters with some information on illegal actions before the election. Vote Yes was also formally asked to return the $750,000 in illegal donations until the investigation is concluded by the state. This large sum of money makes up the largest portion of their campaign funding. So far the state has weighed in that a company making a donation of money that was earmarked to be passed on to a campaign must be fully declared in the standard campaign finance the amounts and the source of these donations. This is the big smoking gun so far. If its a donation law says Hunt must disclose its source - period. If it is normal business income he would not have to report it as campaign donations but he would be required to prove it where that business income came from. At this point the state would be reasonable to demand that Hunt actually prove how any business income was actually created and prove that it is just not a slight of hand to pretend that it is business income. The company is clearly a shell corporation. It has no product, purpose or service. It has no public presence or phone number. At this point Hunt claiming it is legit will not work. He will be asked to prove it. Hunt has said that now that he got caught he will file a report with the state but will refuse to cooperate with the state in providing the required donor information as required by law. In addition to the additional pressure on Hunt to come clean and comply with the law, Vote Yes has been formally asked to return the illegal donations. No response has been received by the media yet if they will comply. The state AG office has also been formally contacted.

Hunt is clearly in the wrong. The issue now will be if the state allows him to get away with his illegal activity or not.

Here are links for more information on the above news.

Church Polling Locations May Be Violating Voting Laws

Like we didn't need MORE to happen days before the election. There are issues with some of the churches used as polling places. In Rapid City some polling locations are being moved at the last minute.

The issue is around campaign signs within 100 feet of the polling place. It appears to be a combination of the state law and a Pennington County law that states an all or none policy on political signs anywhere on the property of the polling place.

From Mt. Blogmore
"The problem was a political sign on church property. The sign was not within the 100 feet of the polling place, which would be prohibited by state law. Rather, this sign was outside that zone but on church property. Pennington County Auditor Julie Pearson told me it’s county policy that if the owner of a polling place allows political signs on the property (outside the zone of 100 feet) the owner must allow all politicall signs. The other option is to prohibit ALL signs."

There has been concern expressed in Sioux Falls that some of the polling places are in churches heavily tied to the abortion ban and the marriage amendment. There are concerns that this creates a hostile environment and could possibly be seen as an attempt at voter harassment.

Why are churches being used as polling places anyway. There are enough public schools, city halls, community centers, VFW halls and fire stations to have enough polling places.

Roundup Of The Hunt/Vote Yes Scandal

The mainstream media and the bloggers are busy with this late breaking campaign fraud scandal. Some of the speculation, facts and comments are interesting in how this might play out.

Here are some of the thoughts going around:

He might be taken off the ballot for violating election law.
He could possibly be taken before the Legislature during the upcoming special session already set up to investigate legislative wrong doing.
He should lose his law license and seat in the Legislature.
The S.O.S. has already pointed out at least one election law violation and he hasn't even started an investigation yet.
He may have also violated state Dept. of Revenue rules about declaring business income or collecting taxes on that. People frequently go to prison in South Dakota for blatant violations of this.
Hunt's story about secret in state donors is looking very shakey and the entire thing may not slide by state officials.

There have also been numerous concerns about fraud and money laundering also being prosecutable in this case.

Hunt's excuses so far to the media have been inconsistent, sketchy and he has refused to disclose the full nature of what he has done. If a lawyer did something that was legally on the up and up you would think he could better explain his actions.

There is also the still possible FCC investigation of Vote Yes's blatantly misleading ads. The state forwarded the complaint on to the FCC when they felt that actually prosecuting the state law violation was too inconvenient at election time.

The Exception

This is a must watch.
From South Dakota filmmaker Charlie Call.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

SD SOS Explains More On The Campaign Finance Scandal

Hunt was required to file and he didn't.

"But Hunt did not file a campaign finance report for Promising Future. And that could be a problem.

It is legal for a corporation to donate money to a campaign for a ballot question. And if it comes from the corporation's general treasury fund, the corporation doesn't have to file a campaign finance report. But as Secretary of State Chris Nelson explains, that changes if the money came from a donation.

"If on the other hand, the corporation collected that money from other sources, specifically for the purposes of influencing a ballot question, that corporation would be responsible for filing a campaign finance report," Nelson says.

Nelson confirms Hunt's corporation Promising Future did not file a campaign finance report by the October 31st deadline, and Leslee Unruh of Vote Yes For Life confirms that most of the money from Promising Future was given before October 28th
. "

KELO Poll: RL 6 Loses

KELO also released a poll tonight that the abortion ban will lose according to their poll. But the margin is narrow. So that means get out and vote!

50% Vote No
41% Vote Yes
9% still Undecided.

KELO Gets Tough On Hunt Over Shell Company

KELO had an interview with Rep. Roger Hunt on the 10pm broadcast. Hunt again tried to claim he has done nothing wrong. He also claimed that he set up the fake company so one person could funnel money into the Vote Yes campaign without disclosing it to the state. Hunt refused to provide any information to prove his claim to KELO.

Hunt is also possibly facing at least some misdemeanor charges for failing to properly report the campaign donation properly. This was according to the KELO report. The Secretary of State and Attorney General said they have not had any facts brought to them yet and they have not had a formal complaint filed either. What other charges Hunt could be facing remain to be seen until someone at the state level or with a better knowledge of the related laws weighs in. Some things that come to mind are money laundering, fraud, IRS tax crimes and whatever state or federal campaign laws he might have violated.

More will unwind on this tomorrow according to the state and media reporters.

Argus Jumps On The Hunt Scandal - Sort Of

In the Argus's crack style of letting everyone else do their work for them they bother two hours after it hits the TV to "break the story".

In the Argus story Hunt tried to deflect blame by claiming that companies can donate to ballot issues. He failed to mention that they can't be used to hide donations that are supposed to otherwise be disclosed to the state. The reason that campaigns have to file a campaign finance report. He failed to mention that the fake company he set up was used to avoid campaign reporting. Of course the Argus didn't bother to mention that or question Hunt.

Before the Republicans in Pierre think about just looking the other way on violations when it suits their needs they need to remember that the entire world is watching our state right now. Clearly not enforcing the laws or trying to re-interpret them to suit your agenda will not go unnoticed.