Home Topics in Depth Activism TakeItBack.org email: Apocalypse Now! (SD Anti-Corruption Act)

  • Charles (1711 posts)
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    TakeItBack.org email: Apocalypse Now! (SD Anti-Corruption Act)

    Dear _____,

    Democracy is under assault all over the United States, and it’s “red alert” time.

    We’re not kidding.

    Much of it is clearly happening at the national level, obviously, with the various outrages of our new President, Donald Trump, who seems bent on changing our country in profound and frightening ways, from using an unsourced, unverified tweet charging that 3 million votes were cast illegally (all against him, of course), to his unconstitutional travel ban aimed squarely at one religion, to his bizarre appointment of white nationalist Steve Bannon to the National Security Council.

    Insanity seems to reign, doesn’t it?

    But the fight for our values doesn’t begin and end at the national level, important as that is.

    For much too long, progressives have almost solely focused our attention on events in Washington, DC, and have ignored both injustices and opportunities that exist in the states.

    Which is why we started TakeItBack.Org, because the states are critically important, too, and because what happens in them has a substantial effect on what happens in Washington and, even, in the world.

    And what is happening in the states is just as bad.

    For instance, in South Dakota, TakeItBack.Org is actively fighting Republican Party bosses attempts to repeal Initiated Measure 22 (IM22), the South Dakota Anti-Corruption Act which will—if it survives– establish an ethics commission in the state, mandate strict limits on lobbyist gifts to legislators, and set up the most progressive public campaign financing program in the United States.

    But despite the fact that IM22 received 52% of the vote in South Dakota, the Republican-majority finds it inconvenient, and has outrageously pledged to repeal it. This effort has deservedly been blasted in the national press, receiving scathing commentary from MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and an editorial in the New York Times, entitled Voice of the People Stifled in South Dakota.

    In Nebraska, we’ve helped fight off Republican party bosses to a standstill as they seek to eliminate the nonpartisan nature of the Nebraska Legislature, and turn it into a mini-version of our hyper-partisan, hyper-polarized Congress, where they can exert much more control.

    And there are three states—South Dakota, Arizona, and North Dakota—in which legislative proposals exist that, if successful, will virtually eliminate the ballot initiative process as a viable option. If Republican majorities prevail in these states, direct democracy in them will be all but dead.

    But we at TakeItBack.Org aren’t done fighting, and so far we’ve held our own, much to the consternation of various officials, one of whom—the Governor of South Dakota—has called us “scam artists” who have “hoodwinked the voters of the state.”

    We’re indifferent to the sticks and stones thrown our way–what is important to us is to continue the fight for the values that all of us share. We believe that the struggle in the states is just as important as the one with Donald Trump, and for that we need your help to continue.

    If you, like us, are outraged at the blatant attempts to strangle our democracy, both at the national level AND in the states, then we hope you will help us maintain and extend our fight.

    We have built an organization—with your help–that is energetic and effective, we just need funds to continue the struggle. Whatever you can do to help–$3, $5, $10 or $20—is needed, and will be put to the absolute best use possible.

    Thank you, so very much.

    Rick Weiland and Drey Samuelson



    As a long time former resident of South Dakota I am a big fan of Rick Weiland. He ran for the US Senate in 2014. Harry Reid and the establishment Democrats refused to support Rick because he supported universal health care and other populist/progressive issues and policy point of views.


    Hopefully more states will have ballot initiatives to end corruption in their state and local politics. My 2 cents….

    Jefferson23 likes this

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