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The Right Of The People To Be Informed

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  • jail4judges
    J.A.I.L. News Journal ____________________________________________________ Los Angeles, California August 4, 2002
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 4, 2002
       J.A.I.L. News Journal
      Los Angeles, California                                               August 4, 2002
      The Right Of The People
      To Be Informed
      There is a famous quote, "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." JAIL4Judges cannot, and does not endorse any political party, and what follows is not a matter of which Political Party one supports, but rather a First Amendment issue on whether one has a right to speak, and its corollary, the right to hear.
      Further, we say, a political debate forum that purposely excludes unfavorable candidates who are on the ballot for those very offices being debated is a sham. The audience who are called upon to vote, have the right to be informed on their choices. Further, for the below judge not to come to the defense of the First Amendment shows his failure to uphold the Constitution.   -Ron Branson

      South Dakota Candidate For Governor Arrested

      Huron (3 AUG 2002) - Libertarian candidate for Governor, Nathan A. Barton of rural Rapid City, was arrested today by security guards at the Freedom Stage on the South Dakota State Fairgrounds, at the beginning of a congressional candidates debate forum which did not include congressional Libertarian candidate Terry Begay.
      Mr. Barton was standing on the side of the audience area and asking in a
      loud voice, "Where is Terry Begay?  There are three candidates on the ballot for U.S. House. Where is the third candidate? Don't we have a right," when he was grabbed in mid-sentence by law-enforcement moonlighting as security for the forum debates for House, Senate and Governor.  All of the forums featured only the Democratic and Republican candidates, and excluded the Libertarian candidates for those offices who were duly and lawfully on the November 5th ballot.

      Mr. Barton had earlier spoken with the moderator, who then said that only "invited" candidates were to be featured. Further, Kurt Evans, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, had been warned that if he attempted to go on the stage, he would be stopped by security. 
      Mr. Barton made his comments from the side of the outdoor audience area, and did not attempt to say anything on the stage. The security guards carried Mr. Barton out and was told that he would be arrested on trespassing charges if he tried to reenter the Fairgrounds.

      Mr. Barton stated that he was an exhibitor on the fairgrounds, that it was public land, and that he was only exercising his right to free speech.  One of the officers told Mr. Barton, in response, that he didn't like
      Mr. Barton and didn't like what he had to say, and that he was disturbing good people.  Mr. Barton replied that that is why we have the First Amendment to protect speech that may be unpopular. 
      They then handcuffed Mr. Barton, knocking his glasses off, injuring both his right thumb and his left wrist. Mr. Barton was then taken to the Fairground Security Office, arriving there with blood dripping down his wrists and staining his clothing.  He was then taken to the Beadle County Jail, where he  was booked on charges of "disorderly conduct" and "obstructing a law enforcement officer," and released on $500 bond and a judge's order not to return to the Fairgrounds until after 4 PM [presumably after the candidate's debates were over]. 
      Mr. Barton's older son, Gareth, was aiding in distributing flyers at the time and witnessed his father's arrest.  When Mr. Barton was taken to jail, both his older son and his younger son, Matthias, were left abandoned on the  Fairgrounds.  Only through the aid of friends were the boys taken care of while Mr. Barton was in a holding cell.

      Mr. Barton, and other Libertarian candidates for office, emphasized that this treatment of  people whose views vary from their own, and the tendency to resort to force to preclude alternative candidates, is one of the reasons that they are running for office.
      Mr. Barton had been at the State Fair since Wednesday, along with
      other Libertarian candidates at the party booth.  This is the first time the Libertarian Party has even been able to have a booth at the annual event.
      Web/e-mail: www.SDLP.USSDLiberty@...

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