Friday, February 24, 2006

South Dakota anonymous donor puts Abramoff to shame

It's difficult to actually choose what is the most outrageous aspect of the legislature & Governor's actions in passing their draconian law restricting women's reproductive health. Clearly the restrictions in the law are reprehensible. But a big part of this story is the money that's influencing this act by the legislature. Let's just take a look at one glaring fact that has jumped off the page in this story:
During debate on the measure, lawmakers were told that an anonymous donor has pledged to give the state $1 million to defend the abortion ban in court. The Legislature is setting up a special account to accept donations for the legal fight.

''I can tell you first-hand we've had people stopping in our office trying to drop off checks to promote the defense of this legislation already,'' Rounds said.

Opponents of the bill argued that abortion should at least be allowed in cases involving rape, incest and a threat to a women's health.

If a woman who is raped becomes pregnant, the rapist would have the same rights to the child as the mother, said Krista Heeren-Graber, executive director of the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault.

''The idea the rapist could be in the child's life ... makes the woman very, very fearful. Sometimes they need to have choice,'' Heeren-Graber said. (emphasis added)
That's right. Someone is buying influence overtly, in plain sight and the South Dakota legislature is giving full airing to that fact. They think it's a-OK to drop this fact publicly. We've got a sugar daddy financing our legal fight - in addition to the financial resources of the state. Touting it as if it justifies their actions, legitimizing their course of action.

We all know money influences political decisions, there is a lobbying industry in Washington under the magnifying glass right now thanks to Jack Abramoff and his Republican lawmaker beneficiaries. But Abramoff et al. didn't have the gall to announce to the world that they were buying a piece of legislation. Here we have an anonymous donor, a private citizen ponying up to the tune of $1 million to defend this law in court. It doesn't mean that the law will actually hold up. It does, however, mean that such a law will stand until it's struck down. And the size of the donation financing the fight means it's likely to stand for a number of years, all the way to the Supreme Court. How do you like them apples, citizens of South Dakota?

The dunderhead Governor also thinks it's great that people are "trying to drop off checks to promote the defense of this legislation already." When people are ready to pay for legislation, that means, in this day and age in the USA, that the legislature is on the right track.

I'd like to hear a few thoughts on this from people like , the supposed reformer, straight-talker, and supporter of finance reform in the political realm.

I'd also like to know who exactly this donor is. Care to step forward and give the people of South Dakota the identity of the person who's pulling the levers on their legislature? Who exactly is running things in South Dakota?