Opinion: Letters to the Editor

Amendment E not needed in S. Dakota To the Editor: An out-of-state group is responsible for placing Constitutional Amendment E on this fall's ballot. The premise is that 13 "grand jurors" will have sole authority to pass judgment on any judicial ...

Amendment E not needed in S. Dakota

To the Editor:

An out-of-state group is responsible for placing Constitutional Amendment E on this fall's ballot. The premise is that 13 "grand jurors" will have sole authority to pass judgment on any judicial or quasi-judicial decision made by salaried or volunteer state and local officials.

This will impact more than the courts; it will impact citizen boards such as the Board of Regents. If this amendment passes, who in South Dakota will agree to serve on public boards or in public office?

The South Dakota court system works very well, and voters already may choose to retain or replace Supreme Court justices and circuit judges. Adoption of this amendment will devastate not only government agencies, but create an unfavorable climate for business and industry. No other state has passed such a law or constitutional provision. This amendment is clearly unnecessary in South Dakota.


Robert T. Tad Perry, Executive Director S.D. Board of Regents - Pierre

Another side to Clinton record

To the Editor:

It was sad that on the day of the dedication of the McGovern Library you saw fit to publish a venomous letter condemning Dakota Wesleyan University and Sen. McGovern for having invited President Clinton to speak.

It is simple, of course, to cherry pick facts and distort the truth to make any public figure's record look terrible. The letter's author could have portrayed things differently, and noted that Clinton was the only president in decades to gain control of the budget; that he left a large surplus to his successor, who quickly squandered it. He could have said that under Clinton, in contrast to the situation today, other countries respected the United States and honored its leader. He could have described impeachment as purely a political attack -- in the Senate, both Democrats and Republicans voted to acquit, and only Republicans voted to convict. He could have said that both the anthrax mailings and history's worst terrorist attack took place not on Clinton's watch, but on the watch of his successor who ignored the anti-terrorist plan that Clinton left him, while ignoring numerous warnings of an impending attack.

But this, too, would have been partisan. Why not practice the politics of civility that both Republican and Democratic speakers on that fine day praised as still present in the politics of South Dakota? Why not simply praise our country, and honor one of the greatest citizens it has ever produced, Sen. George McGovern?

Max J. Skidmore, University of Missouri Curators' Professor Thomas Jefferson Fellow - Kansas City, Mo.

Take time to understand 1215


To the Editor:

We are soon making the same decision that our Legislature and governor made concerning HB 1215. A better understanding of why the current HB 1215 comes from the findings of the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion. This is a quote from the introduction of the study:

"The committees in both the House and Senate heard evidence concerning the magnitude of the interests and rights of pregnant mothers who were adversely affected by abortion. They heard testimony from a number of women who had undergone abortions and who testified how they became depressed and were haunted by suicidal ideation. In every instance they testified about the magnitude of their loss and how that a loss adversely affected their lives once they understood that the procedure terminated the life of their existing offspring.

Those who had counseled a large number of women before and after abortions corroborated the testimony of these women. The picture that emerged from the record before both the House and Senate Committees was that it was common for women to sign consents for abortion without being truly informed. Many women reported that they were pressured into having an abortion, often by the father of their child, but by others as well. They typically did not understand that the procedure would terminate the life of a human being and this lack of understanding was further complicated by the fact that abortion providers had misled them at the time of the abortion. The providers told them that there was "nothing but tissue" inside them. Many of the women testified or reported that if they had been given accurate information, they would not have submitted to the abortion.

The Task Force Study can be found in its entirety at

We have a responsibility to be informed about this bill.

Jan Leitheiser - Emery

On Amendment C: Love all that matters


To the Editor:

I find it extremely interesting that so many people think that if same-sex couples were allowed to have their relationships publicly acknowledged it would have some sort of devastating effect on straight marriages.

Apparently, the 50 percent of straight marriages that do last are really in trouble if two people who love each other, who happen to be homosexual, want to have their love recognized.

South Dakota does not need Amendment C. It is already not legal for same sex couples to marry. Even if gay couples were allowed to have their unions recognized, that would have zero impact on healthy marriages and families. If you vote yes on C you are discriminating against fellow Mitchell residents, business owners and maybe your own children.

People are either gay or straight. People do not "become" gay or "choose" it. Gay couples will in no way have any effect on any other couples.

Proponents for C say that it is not an anti-gay bill. That is completely false. If it wasn't anti-gay we wouldn't even have it on the ballot.

People for Amendment C are scared of homosexuals. This apparently means they have no faith in their own lives or marriages. There is no "gay agenda." Homosexuals are not trying to "convert" your kids or ruin your marriage.

If two gay people love each other and stay together for 25 years and one gets very ill and has to be in intensive care, with our current laws and Amendment C, the other partner would have no right to go see the person in the hospital. They also would have no right to any of the assets they would have accumulated together or have insurance together. Straight couples would have rights. That is where the discrimination part comes in.


Churches can keep "marriage." What those of us against Amendment C want is equal rights when it comes to building lives together. Love is love.

Vote No on C.

Chad Sharp - Mitchell

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