Most Recent Poll,

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Dear Amendment E supporters:

I have some great news for you.  Without your permission, I took it upon myself to spend some of your hard earned donations and hire the internationally respected polling firm of Zogby International.  (http://www.zogby.com/index.cfm) ...
Attached are the poll results from Zogby. ...  The question asked to 500 South Dakota voters was very simple.  After a brief explanation of what Amendment E was designed to do, the pollees were asked:


"Will you vote for Amendment E or will you vote against Amendment E?"  ....

For Amendment E:          67.0%
Against Amendment E:    19.8%
Not Sure:                         13.2%


Now, here is how I see things stacking up in South Dakota for the duration of the campaign:
1.  It is said that timing is everything.  The time is right for judicial accountability legislation such as Amendment E. Judges, lawyers,  politicians, bankers, and the insurance industry have rightfully earned themselves public disdain. That disdain is by far the most powerful force in favor of Amendment E, and we must capitalize on it.
2.  The opposition to Amendment E (namely those mentioned above) have no choice but to resort to lying in order to scare the voters.  So far, according to the poll results, it's not working.
3.  The opposition still has a war chest of an estimated $1 million dollars.  I wouldn't be surprised if it were $2 million by now. Their mid-year campaign finance report can be viewed at:   http://www.state.sd.us/applications/st12odrs/files/0000002985.pdf
4.  The opposition will begin very soon to spend that war chest, saturating every mainstream media market available.
5.  We have found that when talking to voters who are initially against Amendment E, (because they heard the bogus scare tactic lies from the opposition) all that is needed to bring them over to our side is to explain to them that Amendment E only addresses judges and only covers specific judicial misconduct. It has been that simple.
6.  The most cost effective way for us to counter the coming media barrage is direct mail.  We need to get an Amendment E flyer in the hands of every South Dakota voter.  We have already reached approximately 30,000 of the 350,000 registered voters.  TV, radio, and newspaper would be nice, but I don't think it will be necessary.
The Amendment E flyer, through its FAQ's section, counters all of the opposition's arguments against the Amendment.  Think of the flyer as an inoculation against the opposition's soon to be released media frenzy virus. If the voter has the flyer, he's protected.
7.  We are prepared to quickly mass mail our flyer to all South Dakota voters.  We have the data base purchased from the South Dakota Secretary of State's office.  We have the flyer designed and ready to print.  (Actually 50,000 are being printed as we speak, in addition to the already distributed 150,000)  What we don't have is adequate funding.
Folks, we may win this without the mailer, but it would be nice not to take that chance.  Please donate as much as humanly possible.  Send to SDJA, P.O. Box 412, Tea, SD  57064, or donate online at www.SDJA.net .
Thank you,
Bill Stegmeier



Here is the analysis as I see it:

67% divided by 19.8% equals 3.38 times over the opposition in favor of Amendment E, a gain of .38% over the last poll of three-to-one. It is now slightly over three and one third-to-one odds.

Even should the opposition gain all of the "Not sure" voters, (which is highly unlikely,) they would only have 33%, or 1/3 of the vote, leaving just over 2/3 of the voters in favor of Amendment E.

We know the opposition is going to do everything they can to keep from failing on this judicial accountability issue. They just will not know what to do if we have honesty and justice in our judicial system.

Now is not the time to lean back on our laurels and try to glide into the Victory. We must work all the harder to assure Victory for Amendment E, and strike a blow to political corruption in our country and regain Freedom.

Ron Branson




Dakota Voice





Zogby Poll: South Dakota Amendment E (JAIL) Support at 67%

Controversial judicial accountability measure enjoys high support across all demographics


Bill Stegmeier of South Dakota Judicial Accountability says a Zogby International poll he commissioned for the upcoming vote on Amendment E has yielded some interesting results.

According to the Zogby poll conducted yesterday of 504 South Dakota likely voters, 67% say they will vote for Amendment E. Those who say they will vote against the measure are 19.8% and 13.2% are “not sure.” The poll has a +/- 4.5% margin.

The question asked of poll respondents was as follows:

Amendment E called the Judicial Accountability Amendment will be on the ballot this November. The amendment would allow the creation of a citizen's oversight committee or special grand jury, which would hear complaints of alleged judicial misconduct against judges. If a judge is found guilty three times of having engaged in judicial misconduct, he or she would be removed from office and could never serve in any judicial capacity in South Dakota again. Will you vote for Amendment E or will you vote against Amendment E?

Democrats say they will support the measure by 69.8%, Republicans by 62.2%, Independents by 72.5% and all three Libertarians polled said they would support the amendment. 

Democrats made up 32% of the total surveyed,  Republicans 46%, Independents 21% and about 0.6% Libertarians.  In the June 2006 primary, the breakdown of registered voters for South Dakota was 47.68% Republican, 37.97% Democrat, .22% Libertarian, .07% Constitution, and 14.06% "other."

The West River area leads East River support with 74.2%, but East River comes in at a considerable 65.1% support.

The 18-29 age group leads in support at 71.3%, with the least support from the 65+ age bracket at 65.2%.

Males support the measure slightly more than females (68.9% to 65.3%), with the greatest support among income brackets at 73.8% for the $50-75K range.

The religious breakdown has Catholics with the greatest support at 70.8%, Protestants at 63.2% and “other” supporting the measure by 74.2%.

The Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (JAIL), known as Amendment E on the November 7 ballot, has generated a tremendous amount of controversy in the past year.

Stegmeier, the chief sponsor of the amendment, says the measure is intended to create a “citizen oversight committee” to hear and try complaints against judges for judicial misconduct. Stegmeier says the normal process for addressing judicial misconduct is insufficient because of the doctrine of judicial immunity which prevents judges from being sued for their official actions.

During the 2006 legislative session, practically every legislature in South Dakota came out against the measure because many believe it will not only subject judges—the principle target of the measure—to potential lawsuit, but also almost every other public official, down to school board members. The South Dakota legislature passed a resolution against the JAIL amendment with a 67-0 vote in the House and a 34-0 vote in the Senate.

The measure was also the subject of a recent lawsuit which asked for the official ballot explanation for Amendment E to be changed; the lawsuit ended with only a one-word change being approved by the court.

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