Is YOUR Legislator Guilty??

The “Oath”…

... swear an oath on the Bible when joining the Australian Defence Force

“I, under oath, state that I circulated the above petition, that each signer personally signed this petition in my presence, and that either the signer or I added the printed name, the residence address of the signer, the date of signing, and the county of voter registration.”

Many petitions circulators have violated this “oath” by not “personally witnessing” every signature.  In South Dakota, just a few years ago, six Republicans were found guilty in a case that involved as many as 1,400 signatures.  Their penalty… a $200.00 fine.  Now, for an alleged violation involving 37 signatures, Annette Bosworth is facing 24 years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines and the loss of her license to practice medicine.  Seem fair to you??  Actually, the practice of “not personally witnessing” petition signatures is widespread, but rarely challenged.  Certainly not to the level of felony charges.

Here is the question for every Legislator in South Dakota, both past and present:

Will you swear that you personally witnessed every single signature on every petition you have circulated?

There are, no doubt, some who can respond in the positive.  They will be in the minority.

So, what say ye, Legislators???

Your silence is deafening.

***Gordon Howie is an author and CEO of Life and Liberty Media***

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15 comments for “Is YOUR Legislator Guilty??

  1. tara volesky
    January 25, 2015 at 12:29 am

    Good for you Cory. Maybe you need to go after the real corruption instead of some naïve first time candidate that listened to her lawyer when he told her to sign and we’re good to go. She is a county girl with a small town mentality where a hand shake or a person’s word is gold. Let’s stick to South Dakota values and stand up for the common folks.

    • January 25, 2015 at 8:13 am

      Already claimed and denied: Bosworth publicly denied that her lawyer advised her. She took ownership of the action, then denied it after arrest. No proof available on that claim. Let’s stick with facts.

  2. lora hubbel
    January 24, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    There is a reason that former SOS Chris Nelson did not prosecute petition notaries like this…because he said in 2004 that it is “quite common”. I think its rather odd that a SOS would single out one person and lower the bomb on her. She followed the intent of the law but not the letter of the law…whereas Brian Gosch didn’t even follow the intent of the law and signed his own petitions.
    Here is reality….people rally around to help get your petition filled….some pass it around to friends and didn’t really pay attention when you told them to watch all signatures. Some took the petition over to a neighbor’s house to get her friend’s signature and her friend ran down the basement to get her husband and adult daughter’s signature also…all just as illegal as what Annette did.
    Granted Atty General did not get signatures for his position…but if he ever runs for office…we will be all over his petitions like ducks on a June bug…I promise.

    • January 25, 2015 at 8:14 am

      “some”… “friends”… all generalizations, all vague hand-waving, no evidence, no bearing on the case at hand.

  3. tara volesky
    January 23, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Cory, it’s called telling the truth. It is so common for candidates or circulators to be in a room full of Democrats or Republicans and pass the petitions around, then gather them without witnessing every single signature. Admit it, we do not watch each and every signature. You might be talking to somebody or have to leave for a few minutes to use the restroom or run across the street to drop a petition at a store or business and tell your friends to get your 6 or so employees to sign. You leave for a few minutes to collect the petitions from your Democrat meeting, than 10 minutes later, you run across the street to pick up the half a dozen signatures from you business friends. Would you like some more examples?

  4. January 23, 2015 at 6:12 am

    They already have sworn that oath, on the bottom of every petition sheet submitted with a properly notarized circulator’s oath. Show me the petition signatures and the evidence that disprove those oaths.

    Gary, wait: Tara admits she violated a circulator’s oath, and that makes you want to vote for her? Just how far can you contort your morality and law to reach your desired political conclusion? I thought this blog was the home for principled politicians who believe in the rule of law.

    • tara volesky
      January 23, 2015 at 8:41 am

      Cory, why wouldn’t you vote for someone that isn’t a phony? So you don’t think I am principled for telling the truth? That’s the problem with society, you get persecuted for telling the truth. I look at the spirit of the law, while you are looking at the letter of the law. The signatures are ligament. End of story. Until the Secretary of State and AG start throwing everybody in jail this should not be a major catastrophe. It should be addressed fairly for everybody, not just Dr. Bosworth. This is more about poking the bear.

    • tara volesky
      January 23, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      Cory, quit acting so self-righteous. Maybe Gordon should have the people that have witnessed 100% of their signatures comment. I would like hear comments from people that acted perfectly on each and every petition. Any takers? Now remember, no fibbing.

      • January 24, 2015 at 5:20 pm

        It is not self-righteous to say I obey the law and expect others to do the same.

        The legitimacy of the voter signatures is immaterial to this question. The legitimacy of the signature on the circulator’s oath all that matters on this point of law. The letter of that law matters because it serves the spirit of the law, which is to ensure that every circulator performs her duty as the first line of defense against fraudulent activity in the electoral process. Bosworth willfully refused to do that duty and now makes excuses for doing so. Felony conviction for this serious offense is in order.

        • January 25, 2015 at 12:19 am

          I don’t see a lot of disagreement from people regarding obeying the law. The significant difference with you and most people is that, in this case the penalty does not fit the crime. Please note, that to date… not ONE past or present Legislator has stepped forward to “swear” that they have witnessed every signature on every petition they have circulated. Why? Because, while the “oath” does state that they PERSONALLY witnessed each signature, they simply have not done so. Does that make it right? certainly not. Does it merit felony charges against “select” violators? I think not.

          • January 25, 2015 at 8:12 am

            The law is the law, and the oath is the oath. No legislator needs to step forward in response to your call, because every legislator who circulated his or her position has already stepped forward by signing the oath on his or her petition. You are making the false claim that legislators’ failure to respond explicitly to your rhetorical trick proves a claim for which you have offered no evidence.

            The burden of proof is on us, Gordon. Go get a stack of petitions from candidates you suspect of fraud. Check the signatures and the dates. Prove those candidates’ oaths false. Do that, and I will support felony prosecutions of those lawbreakers as passionately as I support this one.

  5. tara volesky
    January 22, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Thank you Gary. There are many out there that are either scared or embarrassed to come out and tell the truth. It’s ok, because maybe I will be Annette’s cellmate and all of you that didn’t come forward and say you didn’t witness 100% of your signatures can come and help reform us and get us on the straight and narrow. We are evil people for doing such sinful acts. Don’t you think 24 years and losing a medical license is fair? Come on SD. WAKE UP!

  6. tara volesky
    January 22, 2015 at 11:30 am

    I am guilty! Anybody else want to confess.

    • January 22, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Thank you Tara. I would be hard pressed to swear that I have witnessed EVERY signature over the years I have circulated petitions too. My guess is that there won’t be many (maybe none) who can swear they have lived up to the letter of this law!

    • Gary Howie
      January 22, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      Tara, that admission alone would cause me to vote for you if ever I have the chance. I think the Attorney General has a lot of explaining to do and it is past time for the news media to demand that explanation.

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