I’d heard that RIck Weiland had submitted a measure for AG review, and thinking it was going to be the latest form of his group’s 44 page monstrosity which will likely never print on a single page, I’ve been pursuing a copy of it for the last 2-3 days.
And tonight, I got my hands on a copy….. at least 2 proposed versions of it. And the measure submitted wasn’t the 44 page monstrosity being floated among lobbyists. What has been submitted was what Slick Rick had quietly alluded to in an interview yesterday with Greg Belfrage. From KELO-AM Radio:
The liberal TakeItBack.Org group wants the South Dakota State Legislature to become officially non-partisan. All the lawmakers would serve as individuals rather than as Republicans or Democrats.
The group, co-founded by former Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate Rick Weiland, will try to get a proposed state constitutional amendment initiative on the ballot next year.
And here you can read the two versions submitted for review, one of which could show up on a petition near you:
What Weiland is proposing is a constitutional measure to change South Dakota’s party primary systems from a political party primary based system to what’s commonly referred to as a “jungle primary,” where the top 2 vote getters from the June primary fight it out at the general election. So, in the fall, it could be a Republican or Democrat running. Or 2 Democrats running for one seat.
Or, in the most likely scenario given the crippling weakness of the Democratic Party in the state, 2 Republicans battling it out. And it’s at every level there’s a political office.
Note a specific part of the measure – it bans the candidate’s party affiliation from appearing on the ballot. As if it’s something they need to run from or be ashamed of. Personally, I think it’s an awful idea, and it seems like Weiland is plotting revenge against the Democrats for abandoning him in his ill-fated run for office, because that’s who it’s going to hurt the most.
But if I were Weiland in the last election, I’d want to hide being a Democrat as well.
What do you think? How do you think this measure would affect state elections?