South Dakota Editorial RoundupFive months after its stunt atop Mount Rushmore, Greenpeace USA has been slapped with civil penalties amounting to $30,000 and ordered to keep clear of South Dakota for five years.
Greenpeace got plenty of bang for buck on Rushmore
Five months after its stunt atop Mount Rushmore, Greenpeace USA has been slapped with civil penalties amounting to $30,000 and ordered to keep clear of South Dakota for five years.
It’s not enough. ...
Despite the penalty, Greenpeace won. They reached a world audience with their stunt for $30,000. ...
We should note the group does face other restrictions as part of the legal agreement. They can’t impede law enforcement or trespass on federal property in this state for the next five years.
But in the wake of the deal, they left behind not good publicity for a notable cause, but bad feelings and distraction from more productive opportunities to talk about global climate change.
Greenpeace is passionate about climate change and we seriously doubt a trivial fine and some jail time is going to make any lasting impression on the way they do business.
The lasting impression was made on us... All of us in South Dakota, in particular, and nationwide when the protesters took it upon themselves to trample on what we largely hold as a sacred national site.
We can’t erase what they did; there’s little reason to protest the civil penalty. We can realize the group got exactly what it was after — exposure. We can also realize we need to a better job at Mount Rushmore to ensure these kinds of shenanigans are not allowed to happen again.
Little went well at Mount Rushmore National Memorial on July 8.
In broad daylight atop the 500-foot mountain, that group of Greenpeace activists unfurled a 2,275-square foot banner across the side of President Roosevelt’s face calling attention to climate change. ...
An angry public wanted answers that park superintendent Gerard Baker failed to produce. Instead, the message from officials was “all security measures functioned exactly as designed.”
He was wrong, security failed miserably.
What did function as designed was this: Greenpeace reaped the benefit of exposure, nationwide advertising for their cause - and it cost them only a relatively insignificant $30,000. It cost us much, much more.
Rapid City Journal
Campaign donations: Best to err on the side of openness
South Dakotans are just fine with the state’s initiative and referendum process.
But if you want to contribute campaign donations as part of that process, we’d like to know who you are.
At least that’s how folks responded to a survey about campaign finance laws in 2007.
The survey was designed to gauge people’s attitudes about disclosure laws in the wake of a lawsuit the state brought against state Rep. Roger Hunt.
A judge ruled in favor of Hunt, saying that laws at the time allowed him to form a corporation to avoid disclosing the identity of a donor who supported an abortion ban campaign.
The poll’s real significance, though, lies in what it shows about South Dakotans’ attitude regarding the state’s democratic process. ...
What’s truly revealing — and encouraging — is how much we agree that campaign finance disclosure is an important tool for the public to discern who is supporting a particular issue or candidate. Two different questions measured support for disclosure laws. Both were backed by more than 72 percent of respondents.
Campaign contributors, lawmakers and candidates alike should take note: South Dakotans want to know who’s trying to influence them as they head to the polls.
So those who wish to reflect the will of the people should err on the side of openness.
e Argus Leader