There’s a story on the Rapid City Journal website today that State Representative Tim Goodwin wants the State Legislature to investigate the FDLS Compound near Pringle, South Dakota… because someone should investigate it?
A South Dakota lawmaker frustrated with what he views as inaction over a secretive polygamous sect’s outpost in his district wants legislators to look into the compound, including why no South Dakota birth or death records have been filed from there over the last decade.
Rep. Tim Goodwin is proposing lawmakers find out more about the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ compound in the western part of the state, including what its population is, whether it has a home schooling program, and whether polygamy or sex trafficking are taking place there. Lawmakers will decide Tuesday on issues to study ahead of the 2018 legislative session.
“That is in my district. I’ve got to at least make an attempt to do something about it,” said Goodwin, a new Republican lawmaker who lives near Hill City. “If we would just enforce those minor infractions, then you could probably find the major infractions.”
South Dakota House Speaker Mark Mickelson is chairman of the Legislature’s Executive Board, which will decide what issues lawmakers should study. Mickelson said the compound is a “great potential issue,” but questioned what the Legislature’s role should be.
“If he thinks we need some laws, beautiful,” Mickelson said. “If he wants us to go investigate, I’m out.”
Why is it that some legislators, who claim to be among the most conservative, seem to have this troubling streak of wanting the biggest and most intrusive government possible? Because it seems to me that he’s calling for a legislative witch hunt on the basis of the fact that no one has had probable cause to date to investigate, charge or prosecute activities connected with the compound yet?
I have suspicions that there might be some things going on, based on the FDLS’ track record. But, there’s a right way, and a wrong way to go about things. If Representative Goodwin has evidence of wrongdoing, why wouldn’t he turn it over to law enforcement? I’d certainly encourage him to do so. That’s their job, Not his.
Because what’s troubling in this matter is that Goodwin seems to be trying to get around some of those pesky constitutional rights against unreasonable searches & seizures.
If he values the rights conveyed to us in the bill of rights, such as the Constitutional amendments guaranteeing free speech (1st), and the right to bear arms (2nd), shouldn’t he give equal deference to the 4th Amendment, instead of trying to gin up a witch hunt?
Maybe it’s just me, but I just don’t think that’s the legislature’s place.
Leave law enforcement to law enforcement. And legislators can keep the witch hunts at home,