At NextYearsNews.com (accessible only to those in good with their higher power) I saw the following news release, dated January 7, 2011:
PIERRE (So. Dak.) 7 JAN 2011 (by IP Staffwriters) -- I. B. "Sweet" Jehrken credits B. T. Marking for inspiring his astounding run -- and landslide win of the race -- for governor last year. Marking gained notoriety in late 2009 by entering the race for US House with a proposal to poll constituents on legislative proposals and abide by their elections of individual issues.
Former Kadoka shopkeeper and just-elected governor of South Dakota Jehrken said, "B.T.'s idea was great, maybe genius. Since we have the ability to communicate with nearly anybody through the internet, and we want to represent the majority at least, why not ask 'em what they think, and do what they tell us to do when they elect us?"
Jehrken's campaign was based on a series of polls posted on an internet site, WeTheWillaTheWeThePeople.us. The first question polled was, "Should South Dakota ban immigration with intent to stay in South Dakota to those emigrating from any state contiguous to an ocean (Alaska excepted)?" According to Jehrken, the response was significant; "Yes" votes tallied 79, "No" votes 63. "I realized I was on to something," Jehrken said.
"I gave speeches at a coupla places, and folks seemed to like the message, especially when they learned that a majority of respondents to my poll agreed with them that the Ocean State Act should be presented to the legislature in the session right after I took the Oath of Office of Governor of South Dakota," Jehrken said.
"So I polled the internet on the question, 'Should marijuana smokers be summarily executed?' Wow, did that hit some nerves. That one polled 985 'Yes,' and 943 'No.' So I started including that in my speeches, and people were always telling me, 'Yeah, that's what I've always thought, but I'm so happy to know a majority of South Dakotans responding to your poll agree with me,'" Jehrken said.
A third question was polled on Jehrken's website; "Should retailers in South Dakota be allowed to refuse service to Indians?" Jehrken said, "That one was close. It was several days before I knew what position folks wanted me to take. It was a squeaker, 1131 'Yes,' 1129 'No.'"
"The backslapping on that one was a little muted," Jehrken said, "but folks let me know they were glad a majority agreed with them."
As governor, Jehrken says he will ask the Senate State Affairs Committee to introduce bills enacting the "Ocean State Act," "The Emergency Act to Summarily Execute Marijuana Smokers," and the "Rights of Shopowners Act." The 2011 Legislative Session begins tomorrow. Security around the Capitol Building at Pierre is noticeably tighter than usual for the opening of a session.