Entries Tagged '1st Amendment' ↓

Sunshine Week. It’s Your Right to Know. March 10-16, 2019.

Sunshine Week Open Government Proclamation

Section 1

WHEREAS, James Madison, the father of our federal Constitution, wrote that “consent of the governed” requires that the people be able to “arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives,” and

WHEREAS, every citizen in our participatory democracy has an inherent right to access to government meetings and public records; and

WHEREAS, an open and accessible government is vital to establishing and maintaining the people’s trust and confidence in their government and in the government’s ability to effectively serve its citizens; and

WHEREAS, the protection of every person’s right of access to public records and government meetings is a high priority of [name of governmental unit], and

WHEREAS, the [name of governmental unit] is committed to openness and transparency in all aspects of its operations and seeks to set a standard in this regard; and

NOW, THEREFORE, the [name of governmental unit] commits during this Sunshine Week, commemorating the anniversary of James Madison’s birth, and throughout the year to work diligently to enhance the public’s access to government records and information, to increase information provided electronically and online, and to ensure that all meetings of deliberative bodies under its jurisdiction, and their committees, are fully noticed and open to the public.

Large turnout for Angelica Mercado’s reception

Even though there was a private party in the Everist Gallery (making a bunch of noise and disrupting the gallery talk, imagine that, poor planning on the Pavilion’s part) there was a huge turnout for the reception. Unfortunately I did NOT see the video that I posted to my site the other day being displayed in the exhibit. I’m wondering if this got censored from the exhibit? If so, NOT GOOD. First off, besides the fact there was NOTHING offensive about the video, that is neither here nor there, it is a publicly funded facility, not just local funds but Federal and State grants. Also, the building is owned by the taxpayers of Sioux Falls. Censorship is unacceptable in public facilities.

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Angelica Arely Mercado at the Pavilion

Posted by Julia Tasuil on Friday, March 1, 2019

I’m a credentialed journalist of ONE

In South Dakota, you can get a badge for almost anything!

As I have stated before, there is no credentialing of journalists in South Dakota. You can certainly belong to the SD Newspaper Association, you can also work for a TV station or newspaper in which you collect a paycheck. You can also have a degree in communications and journalism. But in SD, there is NO organization that will give you credentials.

I find it ironic that a state legislature and governor’s office find it necessary that you have credentials to carry a pen, but you only need a holster to carry a gun.

Their misunderstandings between the 1st & 2nd Amendments are astounding.

UPDATE: Sioux Falls City Councilor Starr comments on the Municipal League suit

UPDATE: I guess the hearing has been called off, and Taylor is NO LONGER banned. Still waiting to hear more details. I wonder if our AG stopped eating cookies for a couple of minutes and read the constitution instead.

Pat called into the B-N-B show this morning (towards end) and expresses his feelings on the issue;

“I’m concerned as a taxpayer,” Starr told The Greg Belfrage Show this morning. “It’s a great group for the municipalities to come together across the state. This just distracts from the organization that does this for us.”

Starr said it, unfortunately, the parties have had to go to federal court to determine for what he calls “a personality conflict.”

“I think you expect professional decorum on both sides,” Starr said. “I’m disappointed.”

But he said he needed to back Taylor, as she has free speech rights and works for “his” organization.

“To ban someone indefinitely is overreaching and probably one of the reasons she used to for the terminology,” Starr said.

I think both Taylor and Haugaard were out of line, they should just make up and move on. But instead, it’s going to cost taxpayers coming and going;

So, win, lose, or draw, South Dakota taxpayers will be paying indirectly for the two sides’ attorneys.

If we had an AG’s office with at least a half a brain that actually understood the Constitution, they would have sent a polite letter to Haugaard telling him his actions were unconstitutional and that he had no right to ban Taylor. Then send a letter to Taylor telling her she was no longer banned. Pretty simple. The postage may have cost the taxpayers a couple of bucks, but problem solved. So now we have two publicly funded institutions fighting it out in Federal court over a clear violation of 1st Amendment rights. Not only is it ‘Whacky’ it’s down right stupid. I think our state house is not only full of ‘Whackies’ but it also is full of the mentally challenged, mentally ill and just down right ignorant. Put that in your pipe and smoke it Steve.

UPDATE: Taylor respects the 1st when it is convenient for ‘HER’

Isn’t hypocrisy a funny creature? While I agree that the Municipal League’s chief lobbyist and director should not have been banned due to her FREE speech, she seems to forget the little people;

Taylor’s lawsuit accuses Haugaard, who is a lawyer, of violating her First Amendment right to free speech and First Amendment retaliation.

This is the same person who has fought, HARD, for years to squash the FREE SPEECH rights of the very people who pay her wages, fund local government, and have a 1st amendment right to express their feelings about ANYTHING. But apparently her ‘OPINION’ rises above the rest of us. Hate to break you the news, but if you want those rights, you need to stop kicking the rest of us in the groin for having the same right.

How does it feel? Hope it hurts.

UPDATE: And in some weird twist of fate, they are using language from Cameraman Bruce’s suit against Huether in this 1st Amendment case.

SD State Legislature won’t fund education properly but want schools to buy plaques that violate church and state

God, Guns, and Abortion, that is all the legislature seems to be concerned about. Now they want schools to violate separation of church and state, yet provide NO funding mechanism;

FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to require 1 the national motto of the United States to be

2 displayed in public schools.

3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:

4 Section 1. That chapter 13-24 be amended by adding a NEW SECTION to read:

5 Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, the national motto of the United States, “In God

6 We Trust,” shall be displayed in each public school. The display shall be located in a prominent

7 location within each public school. The display may take the form of a mounted plaque, student

8 artwork, or any other appropriate form as determined by the school principal.

9 For the purposes of this section, a prominent location is a school entryway, cafeteria, or

10 other common area where students are most likely to see the national motto display.

While some may argue that the term ‘GOD’ doesn’t talk about a specific religion, I still think it borders on violation of the separation clause. What’s even worse is that the legislature wants schools to apparently fund this on their own without providing a funding mechanism. A sign or plaque that is prominently displayed could cost anywhere from $75 to $750 dollars. This is a waste of educational dollars. If I was one of these schools I would take a highlighter to a dollar bill and put it in a frame and hang that up. In America, we only have one true God, and it is green.

Can the city council legally eliminate public input?

The Sioux Falls city council is set to debate public input again on Tuesday night (Item #35). While I support the changes (5 minutes on 2nd reading) you know my real opinion on the matter, unlimited on 2nd readings if it is quasi judicial and affecting property rights.

According to Roberts Rules the council does have the right to limit public input, they are even able to tell us when we can have it, and for how long. The chair also has the right to limit during the meeting. This is all according to Roberts Rules of course.

But could there be a Constitutional right (1st Amendment) that says total elimination of public input at a meeting on any reading is legal? While city’s like to hide behind Robert’s Rules and city charters they really are sworn to uphold the US Constitution. I also am unimpressed when city attorneys ‘TRY’ to be constitutional scholars and dance around an excuse. I haven’t seen it yet from Kooistra the current CA but Fiddle-Faddle did it all the time. I’m waiting for Kooistra’s ‘Grand Moment’.

It’s always fascinating to me to listen to local governments debate ‘public input’. I often find it an incredible waste of time and resources. Just let people talk. OPEN GOVERNMENT UP! Sunshine is a good thing!

If you don’t want to listen to your constituents, please resign.

It’s NOT free speech, it’s vandalism

Pitty had a crybaby session over at the Wuss College;

This just popped up in my Facebook feed. Apparently, Augustana University dems think they get to decide what is free speech, and anything they disagree with is to be obliterated.

First off, if this was done on PRIVATE campus property, it would be vandalism, not free speech. First the students who decided to chalk up the sidewalk with anti-choice messaging AND the students who scrubbed the message away. While removing the messaging wasn’t vandalism, icing up the sidewalk was.

As I have told people who argue with me about the Jesus snowplows, there is a difference between public and private property. Neither party practiced free speech since this involved private property.

Speaking of crapola from Pitty;

Donita Trump Noem already practicing Nepotism before she is even sworn into office

Like most SD Republican Governor administrations, Nepotism reigns. Rounds was one of the worst, Denny continued the tradition, and now Noem announces her transition team which features her daughter;

Kennedy Noem is a senior at South Dakota State University, where she is majoring in political science with a minor in economics. She is the daughter of Governor-elect Noem.

I wonder if her minor in economics helps her keep track of the millions in farm subsidies her family has received?

Minnehaha County Commission allows 23 minutes of public input and No one got hurt

I found it a little ironic that the MCC allowed public input for over 23 minutes without incident, no gaveling, and not cutting off after a certain ‘time limit’. In fact the MCC engaged them in conversation (GET OUT!).

First at regular public input, Jay Masur from MedStar talked for 9 minutes about fees. He even apologized for going 9 minutes, in which none of the commissioners responded. In fact during his testimony they had a conversation about his concerns (imagine that).

After Masur, a couple of rural residents did a planned presentation on a rural trail system (14 Minutes);

The MCC also engaged them on something that is important to the constituents.

The Sioux Falls City Council needs to take a page from the MCC on how important public input is, and that meetings don’t have time limits and to engage the public in conversation. Instead they get angry about talking to long, chastise them for being repetitive and don’t ask questions or engage them.

If the SFCC wants to learn something from the MCC it is about the proper procedure of taking public input, which in most cases should be unlimited.

Keystone XL Pipeline Protests

So a South DaCola foot soldier sent me an interesting email today;

Just a thought, this might come home quicker than we think. I would guess that our PD and firefighters will offer to fill in when the protests start. I’m guessing that we still pay and insure them when they volunteer.

What do you think as a taxpayer about that?