|South Dakota Politics
A University of South Dakota law student's blog dedicated primarily to shining light (either a harsh, unyielding spotlight or a soft, warm glow) on figures and institutions in South Dakota.
Saturday, February 01, 2003
Here's an interesting piece in The New Republic about the shameful mishandling by the federal government of the Individual Indian Money (IIM) trust fund.
Greg Belfrage prominently featured SDP on his show yesterday, and I see he's linked SDP on Straight Talk's website. Thanks Greg!
Thursday, January 30, 2003
SPOTTED: Tony Dean having dinner with Judy Olson, chair of the South Dakota Democratic Party, at La Minestra in Pierre. C'mon Tony, come out of the closet! We know you can do it!
As mentioned earlier, a voter identification bill has been introduced in the state legislature. Forty states have some form of identification requirement for voters, and it's about time South Dakota got on board. In a world where picture ID is becoming indispensable (try getting onto a plane without it), it is not asking too much that something more than "take my word for it" be presented before pursuing a fundamental act of citizenship.
A voter identification bill has been introduced in the legislature. This is a reform measure widely anticipated. It looks like the bill has a lot of momentum already, as it is co-sponsored by over 60 legislators. If your state representative or senator isn't on the list, send them an e-mail urging them to support HB 1176.posted by Jason | 9:27 AM
Wednesday, January 29, 2003
There was an anti-Bush rally at the University of South Dakota today. See the broadcast here (click on KELO-LAND News at Five). SDP was there on short notice to observe the shenanigans. The speakers and sponsors of the rally were all College Democrats, many of whom were recognized as either volunteer or paid staff of Stephanie Herseth's campaign last year. And I thought Stephanie was supposed to be a conservative Democrat who supported the Joint Resolution Authorizing the Use of Force in Iraq! SDP also noticed a couple of USD professors there. After the speakers were finished, some brave student started shouting his opposition to the message of the rally, and this attracted the professors. Professor John Fremstad got into a heated debate with this brave soul, and the student did an admirable job of articulating the idea of a free Iraq. All of this was videotaped and photographed by the press. The contingent of dissenters to the rally numbered about a dozen, while the "anti-war except when Bill Clinton bombs Sudanese aspirin factories" people numbered probably in the forties to fifties.
posted by Jason | 6:52 PM
Tom Daschle has one of his characteristic under-the-radar op-eds (no doubt written by a staffer with a single digit IQ) in the Mitchell Republic today.
Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson respond to the State of the Union. A particularly outrageous comment by Tom Daschle, echoed by the sycophantic junior senator:
Daschle said the president offered little new evidence to support his charges against Iraq.
"I'm not convinced today that war is essential," said Daschle. "I think it's critical that we make the case about the threat that Iraq poses and that we've exhausted every diplomatic means. I don't think we've done that yet."
Johnson agrees. While the president said U.S. intelligence is aware of certain weapons in Iraq, he has not shared that information with United Nations inspectors, said Johnson.
Hmmm. Both of these clowns voted on October 11, 2002 to authorize the president to use military force in Iraq. Some key text in the resolution:
Someone should tell Tim and Tom we don't live in an Orwellian world where certain facts and documents can be tossed down the Memory Hole. They probably wish that were the case, but there was this pesky election that forced them to actually vote the way their constituents wanted. Now that the election is over, we're back in the twilight zone, where Tom can cast a vote to say that Saddam Hussein is harboring Al Quaida, but three months later not be convinced the case has been made.
UPDATE: The Weekly Standard is confused by Tom's double-cross too.
posted by Jason | 10:07 AM
Tuesday, January 28, 2003
posted by Jason | 3:51 PM
John Thune joins First Midwest board of directors:
posted by Jason | 11:39 AM
Would Another Thune Senate Bid Amount To a Suicide Mission? That's the question posed by Stuart Rothenberg in yesterday's Roll Call. Rothenberg argues that John doesn't have a choice:
posted by Jason | 9:19 AM
Monday, January 27, 2003
Secretary of State Chris Nelson's bill, HB1009, a bill that completely guts existing absentee voting requirements, is lodged this very moment in the Senate Local Government Committee. It seems as though it's well on its way to passage. But SDP is committed to stopping it in its tracks. Here's how to contact the state senators on the committee:
State legislators are hardly ever contacted about specific bills from the grass roots. This means that even one or two e-mails will definitely get their attention. The arguments against the bill are extremely persuasive and simple to make: absentee voting is the preferred method of those who would commit voter fraud. Absentee voting is much more susceptible to illegal activity than voting in person at the polling place. Relaxing absentee voting requirements increases the likelihood of voter fraud. Because absentee voting is so prone to voter fraud, absentee voting is a privilege, not a right. The rationale underlying the bill is that people were lying about being out of town and just voting absentee for convenience. These people felt bad about lying and wanted the law changed so they wouldn't be forced to lie. They should have been prosecuted. As the South Dakota Supreme Court wrote in Brown v. Dakota Pub. Serv. Co. (68 SD 169 at 178): "[Absentee voters] should be required to strictly comply with the requirements of the statute in order to prevent fraud and preserve the purity and integrity of elections." But in the infinite wisdom of Chris Nelson, instead of prosecuting those who admitted breaking the law, these people are instead rewarded for breaking the law by a complete gutting of the relevant statute. Scroll a few posts down and you'll see a more comprehensive argument we posted last Friday.
posted by Jason | 10:45 PM
TOM AND JERRY?
posted by Jason | 3:38 PM
Tom Daschle has a surname ripe for daily alliterative acrobatics. One can also easily make a play on words using that illustrative surname. SDP's choice for today is the alliterative Dead on Arrival Daschle, but Smartmoney.com opts for the play on words: Tax-Cut Hopes Are Daschled.posted by Jason | 3:24 PM
Tom Daschle strikes again. Tom read the polls and is trying to exploit a perceived chink in the Bush administration's armor in the war on terror. Recall that Tom was "outraged" on the floor of the Senate for the "politicization" of the war not so long ago. I guess Tom gets to pick and choose who gets to politicize the war.posted by Jason | 1:53 PM
Ever wonder how letters to the editor are chosen for publication? Today's NY Times (registration required) has a fascinating account of the process many editorial boards go through in determining whether a letter is "authentic" or not.posted by Jason | 1:16 PM
SDP has been listed on the PBS website Media Matters.posted by Jason | 9:54 AM
Sunday, January 26, 2003
Dave Kranz has a laserbeam analysis of all the South Dakota political developments this past week. Just kidding. One notable omission is the story in Roll Call this week that Tony Dean is thinking of running for the House as a Democrat. Another is a tough, no-nonsense story in LA Weekly about Tom Daschle's wife, Lobbyist Linda. Has Dave ever discussed the in-depth stories on Linda Daschle featured in the Washington Monthly and Slate? It's not as though these stories were written by right-wing publications like the Wall Street Journal editorial page. Of course Dave always soft-pedals negative stories about Tom Daschle. And what does Dave get in return? A total bait-and-switch story on Tom's abortive run for the presidency, for which the Argus Leader achieved laughingstock status among the likes of Howard Kurtz at the Washington Post. It really is hard to take the Argus Leader seriously.