J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California                                          August 28, 2005
Back From South Dakota- Part 2
From Sturgis, S.D. back to Los Angeles
Reported by Barbie, href="">VictoryUSA@jail4judges.org
(Edited by Ron Branson)
In part 1 we ended with describing our signature gathering in Sturgis, S.D., and of the happenstance of knocking on the door of 31-year, now retired Sheriff John Eggers, who stated that he was well acquainted with the judges in South Dakota, and that J.A.I.L. was a very needful in that state. We left Deadwood early Monday morning, August 15th, and traveled on to the State Capitol, (Pierre - pronounced "Peer" in S.D.) where we also collected signatures.
I took a lot of pictures of the Capitol Building, inside and out, including the rotunda. The State Supreme Court is located in the Capitol building and I took pictures of Ron wearing the South Dakota T-shirt and his J.A.I.L. cap, carrying several clipboards with petitions, walking up the stairs outside the Supreme Court location. It will be on the courthouse steps where we plan to hold the victory celebration when South Dakota J.A.I.L. passes in 2006.
Just inside the doors above those steps to the right reads "Supreme Court." I took a picture of Ron entering the access door to the Supreme Court, and I took a picture through the glass portion of the door, into the courtroom showing five chairs behind the large bench up front where the justices would sit. A few feet from the courtroom was the Supreme Court office, which was also closed. Ron placed the South Dakota materials we had under the door. So now the South Dakota Supreme Court is aware of South Dakota J.A.I.L.
We then went to the Governor's Office. We met the secretary seated at a desk in an elaborate reception room and she told us the Governor wasn't in. Ron told her about the South Dakota J.A.I.L. campaign and left a couple sets of the paperwork we had and asked her to be sure to give one set to the Governor. She said she would and thanked us. Ron retrieved the receptionist's personal business as we left. She could see the back of the T-shirts we were wearing that says "Member- South Dakota Judicial Accountability Team."  So now the South Dakota Governor is aware of South Dakota J.A.I.L.
I suggested that we look up James Fry, the Director of the Legislative Research Council who examined our proposed initiative when it was filed. However Ron said "Not at this time-- perhaps when we come back for the victory celebration."  Also, Ron discussed J.A.I.L. with two uniformed information officers at the Capitol and gave them each the SDJA card and told them to look at the website. They said they would.
After covering the Capitol Building pretty well, we drove to the Governor's Mansion which was under renovation. I took pictures of it and the large pond in front with a swan and several other large birds on the lawn. daylight begin to wane, and we then drove along the Missouri River by moonlight. Ron wanted to visit the Big Ben Dam near Ft. Thompson and so we spent the night in a small town in that area.
The next morning we drove to the Dam and looked for the visitor center conducting tours. We asked a worker for help and he took us to a main gate where there was a red sign posted "All tours are suspended until further notice." We asked why that was, and he said "Didn't you hear the news?" We told him we hadn't heard any news since we left home three weeks ago, and he told us that on Saturday, the 13th, there was some people who looked Arab taking pictures of the dam, and so all dams were ordered closed to the public by the federal government. Ron questioned on what happened to the government's well-established  policy of not discriminating against individuals based upon their culture or nationality, wondering if we have now completely shifted from that policy. The worker apologized, and we thanked him. He was very courteous and accommodating to us and Ron discussed J.A.I.L. with him for quite a while. Although he was a South Dakota registered voter, he said he was not permitted to sign the petition because he's a government employee. We've come a long way in America to find that government employees are now afraid to use the voting process to change things. He was aware of government corruption and said they needed such accountability greatly.
From that point, Ron's main concern was getting to Sioux Falls as soon as possible to meet with the people in charge of the signature gathering company and find out the status and strategy planned. However, we had a few more stops to make before getting to S.F. The next stop definitely on our agenda was Bill's, what he calls "cabin" on the lake. He said the "cabin" was ours for as long as we were there! Bill drove up from S.F. (90 miles) that evening just to meet us and again take us out to dinner at a restaurant across the lake, and again he couldn't spend the night because he had to get back to the shop. Driving miles in one day for Bill is "standard operating procedure."
That was certainly a relaxing, quiet time for us-- a rest we really needed since our stay in Rapid City. Ron enjoyed a hot shower and I was able to give him a much-needed haircut while there. I particularly enjoyed the full moon reflecting on the water in the evening as Ron continued watching the outer-space video on the big-screen TV while seated in a large comfortable rocking-swivel easy chair-- not what one would typically find in a "cabin."
Ron still had his sites set on getting to Sioux Falls, but we had yet one more stop to make before that. The couple who came to help us collect signatures in Sturgis invited us to visit them in Brookings when we got in that area. So that's where we headed from the "cabin." It was interesting to see the same folks we were with on the west end of the state, here on the extreme eastern end. We again were treated with the utmost cordiality and hospitality! Not only did they insist we stay in their house, but they even gave up their bedroom to us and they stayed downstairs in the basement! They would have it no other way! As we got ready to leave, they helped us load our stuff in the van and we hugged good-bye. As we drove off, they both stood in front of their house giving us big waves good-bye --another marvelous couple on our trip! I sensed tears welling up in my eyes as we left.
NOW-- we headed south to Sioux Falls. We finally made it to Bill's shop which was in full operation. Ron and I were fascinated with all the large complex machines.
Then came the time Ron was waiting for-- going to meet the people running the signature gathering program for South Dakota. They had set up an office in Sioux Falls and Bill took us there with Emilee and Jenny on his staff, in a beautiful new-looking shiny immaculate evergreen color van with a soft dove-grey interior, which Bill calls the "J.A.I.L.-mobile."  WOW! J.A.I.L. goes in style in South Dakota!
We met the main "honcho" by the name of Susan and her assistant, John. Susan is an aggressive, self-confident "take-the-bull-by-the-horns" type of leader who assures us in no uncertain terms that they WILL accomplish the goal of gathering the required signatures for South Dakota J.A.I.L. by the deadline. She told us she has been in this business since 1979 and has NEVER failed a petition drive. She understands that J.A.I.L. is not "just another" petition drive, but that J.A.I.L. is an issue standing heads and shoulders above other issues. Susan said she personally understands the need and importance of J.A.I.L., unlike other issues she has handled. So there is absolutely no doubt in her mind that they'll get the signatures and that it will pass in 2006.
Ron said to her "I realize that you are working for J.A.I.L., but I want to make you a JAILer anyway."  She said "Absolutely!"  Susan treated all of us to lunch and assured us that the job will be done. She's a very "gung-ho" type of person and won't let anything get in her way.
Ron wanted to teach the team from Bill's staff to go door-to-door, what to say and how to handle it. So the next morning we met them. There were five staff people plus Ron, making six (3 teams of two). When we got to the selected neighborhood, I drove the J.A.I.L.-mobile, dropped off two at a time at various blocks and then drove to the ending point of the first team and took them on to the next portion, then met the second team and did the same thing, etc.
Thereafter, we met with Scott Bartlett, the Chairman of the Constitutional Party in South Dakota, who treated us out to dinner. Scott made a recommendation for Ron to appear on a certain radio program, however we would have to wait until Monday to make arrangements (this was on Friday), and we weren't able to stay since the outcome was uncertain. It was nice to be able to meet Scott as well and we appreciated the opportunity.  He will do what he can to spread the word about South Dakota J.A.I.L. and will remain in touch with Bill.
That evening we spent our last night in Sioux Falls. We stopped by the shop on Saturday morning to say good-bye to Bill and thank him for everything. There was no FreedomRoast this year because of the South Dakota J.A.I.L. campaign taking up Bill's time and resources. I said to Bill, "I hope we see you again soon" and he said "You will, for the Victory Celebration!" So off we were, saying good-bye to South Dakota after a successful trip. Tuesday evening, the 23rd we got home and then collapsed! The next day we turned on the computer to be greeting with four thousand emails awaiting our attention. To date, we have not even made a dent in them.
Thanks to everyone on our trip for everything they have done for us, and for South Dakota J.A.I.L. We are truly grateful for each one of you! We come home assured of VICTORY IN 2006 in South Dakota!
-Ron & Barbie
PS - Once J.A.I.L. passes in South Dakota we anticipate a financial support base like we have never seen before in which we can set our cross-hairs on our second or third state.
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