By now, you have probably heard of Mark’s brilliant idea to either get rid of constitutional amendments through the initiative process, or to give the House of Lords (State Legislature) veto power over citizen’s initiatives on constitutional amendments. Here are some thoughts on it, from Drinking Liberally;
In South Dakota: Last week while researching G. Mark Mickelson, the current Republican Speaker of the South Dakota House of Representatives, I discovered Mr. Mickelson’s interview with Rapid City Journal reporter Seth Tupper in which Mr. Mickelson expresses his impatience with democracy and disdain for those who disagree with him. He was especially disdainful toward those of us who are not “lawyers”.
Now, ignoring our proud 120-year history as the first state in the Country to adopt the initiative and referendum process and allow ordinary citizens to participate directly in the legislative process, Mr. Mickelson has launched a two-prong attack on South Dakota’s Initiative and Referendum process. First, he has led a drive to raise the threshold for initiated Amendments to our Constitution and to restrict the funding of Initiative and Referendum efforts. Cynically, he is using the very Initiative process he wants to undermine to propose these changes. Second, and perhaps more ominously, just this week he filed two bills that would further eliminate or restrict our tradition of Direct Democracy. One, HJR 1007, would eliminate the initiative process for constitutional amendments. Another, HJR 1008, would, in effect, give the Legislature a veto on any Constitutional Amendment which the voters of South Dakota may enact.
Mark seems to have an autocratic bent. He certainly reflects the current Republican leaderships intolerance with those whose views on policy differ from their own. Heaven forbid, if once in awhile, the people successfully enact their own ideas of good government and circumvent the cozy, smoke-filled rooms in Pierre where the current leadership cuts deals with their donors.
Here are some thoughts from Dakotafreepress;
This Republican Legislature is out to kill voter initiatives. Voters, you should initiate some conversations with your legislators this weekend (the calendar says they are home Friday through Monday). Rep. Mickelson doesn’t have a crackerbarrel until February 10, but there are crackerbarrels this weekend in Aberdeen, Brandon, Rapid City, Vermillion, Watertown, and WebsterÂ where you could catch your local Republicans (because Democrats don’t do mean, elitist things like these proposed amendments) and tell them to stop calling you stupid and to leave your right to vote and amend your (your!) constitution alone.
What I don’t understand is why is Mark so bitter towards the citizens (voters)Â of South Dakota? Like the governor he thinks we are too dumb to pass these initiatives and amendments on our own.
But really? How has this hurt Mark in any way? His party has controlled Pierre for over 40 years, him and his family have been elected to serve in many positions. His wife, with the help of many prominent donors was able to win (buy) the SF school board seat. Mark has done very well in his business and politically. So Mark, what are you so pissed off about? The voters of this state have been very kind to you and your family over the years, and this is the way you treat us? It’s despicable. If you are mad at Noem and Jackboots for pushing you out of the governor’s race, take it up with them. It seems Mark wants all the power in this state not only to be in one party but one institution, Pierre’s House of Lords. Paul Getty was asked by his assistant once how much money would make him happy, and Getty said, “All of it.” It seems having ALL of the power in our state would make Mark happy . . . maybe.