► Judge Mark Barnett of Pierre, SD; enabler for unethical public officials Print E-mail
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Judge Mark Barnett of Pierre, SD; enabler for unethical public officials


The state of South Dakota presented Mark Barnett with a law license in 1978 after he graduated from the University of South Dakota Law School.


Former Gov. Mike Rounds was duped into appointing Mark to a seat on the Sixth Judicial Circuit in 2007. Mark didn’t get the appointment because he was the most qualified lawyer in South Dakota. He got it because he had proven to be a reliable lackey for the local political hacks.


In one matter, Mark was assigned to hear a case wherein GOP state legislators were seeking an injunction to repeal an ethics and campaign finance reform law adopted by popular vote in November.


As one would have predicted, Mark the Compliant GOP lackey performed as expected when he issued a preliminary injunction that prevents the people’s law from being implemented.


The voters voted to create an independent commission to oversee investigations into ethical misconduct by elected officials, impose tougher limits on campaign contributions and lobbyists’ gifts to lawmakers, place restrictions on lawmakers becoming lobbyists, increase disclosure by independent political groups, and set up a system to publicly finance elections.


Mark the Lackey sided with his GOP comrades in agreeing that the voters have no right to demand independent oversight of ethical misconduct engaged in by elected officials, which of course would include members of the judiciary.


As we speak (ca. January 2017), Mark continues to sit as a Circuit Judge in Pierre, South Dakota.


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