Bill Would Create Law on Collecting Signatures
January 31, 2007
PIERRE People hired to get signatures on petitions for political campaigns in South Dakota may not get paid per name in the future.
Legislation sent Tuesday to the floor of the state House would make it illegal to pay by the signature. Petition carriers could be paid by the hour or get a set wage, and they could not be required to obtain a certain number of signatures or face getting fired.
The bill, HB1156, also would require petition carriers to be South Dakota residents.
Lawmakers were told that the measure was inspired by questionable tactics used last year in an unsuccessful campaign to strip judges of their immunity for official acts.
Tom Barnett of the State Bar said an analysis of the California-based campaign concluded that more than 12,000 signatures on petitions for the ballot measure were phony.
"There was George W. Bush. There was Roy Rogers. There was Dale Evans. There were people from out of state signing it," Barnett said.
The bill was endorsed by the House Local Government Committee.
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Posted by: Bill Stegmeier, 2/1/07 7:55 pm
State Bar Secretary Tom Barnett is lucky there isn't a law against lying while not under oath. Because if there were such a law, he would right now be practicing his lying art form in front of a captive audience of fellow inmates.
Barnett, well known for his constant lying this past year in the course of his paid job of defeating the Judicial Accountability Amendment E, is still at it.
Barnett's claim that "more than 12,000 signatures on petitions for the [J.A.I.L.] ballot measure were phony" is just one more of a constant string of lies to his credit.
I never heard a peep from Secretary of State Chris Nelson's office about any "phony" signatures. His office was responsible for counting and validating signatures in order to certify that Amendment E would be on the ballot. In fact, it didn't take his office any time at all to verify our ballot status.
I challenge Barnett to produce the evidence of his 12,000 "phony" signatures. He won't answer my challenge because there is no evidence. Once again, Barnett just made it up. Seriously, the guy just can't help himself.
In any effort to get something on the ballot, there will always be invalid signatures. Usually it's from people who thought they were registered but were not.
But there were no "phony" signatures submitted. All throughout the signature collection process, the petition sheets, each containing 14 signatures, were randomly audited for accuracy. Our accuracy rate was 84%, which is considered excellent.
Furthermore, had any of the paid signature collectors (who by the way were comprised of 98% South Dakota residents) submitted phony signatures, they would have been immediatly terminated.
Just to show how rediculous Barnett's latest lie is, lets do a little math:
- Approximate number of signatures collected: 46,800.
- Number of signatures required to get on the ballot: 33,456.
- Number of signatures collected over the required: 13,344.
- Phony signatures according to Barnett: 12,344 +/-.
Per Barnett's lie, the number of valid signatures that we collected over the required would have been at least 1,000!!!
It can only be one way: Either Amendment E was incredibly lucky to get on the ballot, or Barnett is incredibly lucky that his compulsive lying is not against the law. You, Dear Reader, be the judge.
Copyright 2007, Argus Leader
From: Argus Leader, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, January 31, 2007, http://www.argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007701310326, accessed 02/02/07. Reprinted in accordance with the "fair use" provision of Title 17 U.S.C. § 107 for a non-profit educational purpose.