|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 15, 2003
Well, we've got the Democrats' attention now don't we? All of a sudden it's looking like it's going to be harder to pull their election fraud shenanigans next time around. Their arguments against the voter identification bill are completely predictable and were refuted in a preemptive fashion in a January 30 post by yours truly. Notice the latest disingenuous Democratic talking point regarding voter fraud in South Dakota, which was first used by ACLU of the Dakotas director Jennifer Ring earlier this week:
It's kind of hard for the attorney general to find evidence of illegally cast ballots when DCI agents investigating the matter are kicked off the reservation by a tribal judge. But the Democrats have never been worried about inconvenient facts. That's why state legislators should be prepared for accusations of racism as they consider this bill. Undoubtedly, the Argus will soon have a scathing editorial that will at least imply that supporters of this bill are racists. David Kranz will engage in his usual backdoor jabs as he reports on the progress of the bill. The best response is to ask why forty other states have some form of voter identification requirement, including Connecticut, a state with a history of progressive politics. Are people in these states all racists too? The fact of the matter is that this will be a neutral, generally applicable law designed to intimidate those who would commit voter fraud. Kudos to those committee members who passed this bill. The battle isn't over though, until Governor Rounds signs it into law. Keep fighting!
posted by Jason | 2:22 PM
Friday, February 14, 2003
Break out the champagne! SDP has just received its 1000th hit!posted by Jason | 11:30 AM
In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd take some time off from bitching and moaning about our two senators and their various apologists and focus on something truly meaningful. So here's a heartwarming story in today's NY Times that says a little about South Dakota values. The author gets the name of the town Kadoka wrong, but that's understandable. Excerpt:
posted by Jason | 9:36 AM
It's good to see the state legislature coming to its senses on various proposals that would harm the legitimacy of elections in South Dakota. Particularly in light of a breathtakingly disingenuous statement by one Jennifer Ring:
Riiiight. There's no proof because the attorney general's investigation was effectively blocked by a tribal judge who kicked the DCI agent serving subpoenas off the reservation. It's remarkable how well this all has turned out for the Democrats. They did their dirty work on the reservations, got Tim Johnson re-elected, blocked and effectively ended the voter fraud investigation by entangling it in tribal sovereignty issues, and now they have complete deniability as evidenced by the quote above. I'm no conspiracy theorist, but I think this whole thing has worked out too well. Everything has fallen neatly into place. If it's true that this was all thought out ahead of time, whoever hatched this scheme is a far-sighted, strategic genius. They managed to run circles around the South Dakota Republican Party, the heavy-weight presence of the President of the United States, and a pure gold candidate for the Senate. Remarkable. posted by Jason | 12:28 AM
Thursday, February 13, 2003
Will Senator Johnson join this lawsuit like he did before the last Gulf War?posted by Jason | 11:03 AM
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
White House counsel Alberto Gonzalez tells Tom Daschle where he can put his filibuster of the Estrada nomination.posted by Jason | 11:02 PM
It's time to flood the zone on the voter identification, bounty, and poll watcher bills. Click here to e-mail the members of the House State Affairs Committee, which will hold hearings on these bills this Friday. We need to focus on the Republicans who have not co-sponsored the voter identification bill, AND also encourage them to support the bounty and poll watcher bills. As you can see by the list below, the Republicans we need to e-mail are Chris Madsen, Matt Michels, and Bill Peterson. It also wouldn't hurt to encourage Secretary of State Chris Nelson to get on board with this bill too. His office can be reached at 605-773-3537 or e-mail him here.
posted by Jason | 7:01 PM
Forgery charges against Becky Red Earth-Villeda have been dropped. The attorney general's office says it's only temporary, but that doesn't make it so. The adjudication of this issue in federal courts will take at least two years, a period of time that's not exactly temporary. When I first heard about this development, I immediately thought of the recently decided case of Nevada v. Hicks, and it appears this case is directly on point with the present situation. The Native American community, and the Indian Law faculty at USD for that matter, loathe Nevada v. Hicks because it impinges on tribal sovereignty. I think the tribal judge involved here is being dreadfully shortsighted in terms of advancing tribal interests, because if this case reaches the Supreme Court with its current lineup the resulting law will undoubtedly further erode tribal sovereignty. Do they really want this set of facts to be a test case for tribal sovereignty? I highly doubt it. The bottom line though, is that Becky Red Earth-Villeda is free and will remain free forever despite committing a crime. The voter fraud investigation was entangled and choked off by the issue of tribal sovereignty. If this is allowed to continue, it will have a chilling effect on future voter fraud investigations, and what is more chilling, will lead to more voter fraud cases that need to be investigated.
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
A sincere thank you to whoever hit the tip jar. While this weblog is free, if you like what you see here, anything you can contribute helps keep this project operational. If you'd like to leave a tip, just click on the Amazon Honor System or Paypal icons at the lower left of your screen. Here endeth the begging.posted by Jason | 9:47 PM
There's something historic happening on the floor of the US Senate. A full-blown filibuster is occurring this very moment. Tom Daschle and at least 40 of his Democratic colleagues are actually filibustering the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. This is a huge gamble on Tom Daschle's part, and SDP is committed to doing all it can to cause Tom Daschle to lose big on this gamble. Notice how he's speaking as though he is still the majority leader:
If Tom wins this battle, he might as well be the majority leader. I've just finished reading Master of the Senate by Robert Caro, a biography of Lyndon Johnson's years as the Majority Leader. Caro discusses in depth the filibuster tactic as it was used by Southern Democrats to block civil rights legislation in the Senate. This tactic drove the hard-core liberals crazy, and they wanted to abolish the filibuster. How strange it is to once again see the filibuster used to keep minorities down, but this time by hard-core liberals.
posted by Jason | 8:55 PM
Tony Dean (Dechandt?) recently was interviewed by the Grand Forks Herald. Some questions about his political aspirations came up:
Folks, he's going to do it, but it doesn't seem like he's calculated the hurdle of Stephanie Herseth or, assuming he doesn't retire, Bill Janklow.
posted by Jason | 4:56 PM
Secretary of State Chris Nelson's absentee voter liberalization bill has been voted down by the state senate. Thank heavens people came to their senses on this bad bill. Now it's time to get some reform measures through, specifically the bipartisan voter identification bill.
It looks like Tom Daschle is moving forward with the threatened filibuster of Miguel Estrada's nomination to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.posted by Jason | 3:13 PM
The state has temporarily dismissed forgery charges against Rebecca Red Earth-Villeda. I have a Constitutional Rights class shortly, but I'll post more on this outrage later. Stay tuned.
The Christian Science Monitor has a fascinating new series on America's dwindling heartland. Excerpt:
posted by Jason | 11:46 AM
Here's an interesting report on the tax system in South Dakota written in the latest issue of Governing. Excerpt:
posted by Jason | 11:18 AM
Here's what Tom Daschle has to consider if he wishes to filibuster the nomination of Miguel Estrada.
Monday, February 10, 2003
Tom Daschle is attempting to solidify the inroads Tim Johnson created on the Indian reservations in 2002 with a "reconcilation conference" to be held in Pierre this summer. Notice the banalities listed in Tom Daschle's press release on the event:
It's almost laughable how pointless this exercise will be. Everyone will walk away from this with a fuzzy warm feeling and little else. If John Thune is going to run against Tom in 2004, he would be well served by attending this conference and making an iron-clad promise to accomplish something substantive for the Native American community in this state. We conservative Republicans can do better than make banal statements all day long to the Native American community. The Democrats are doing this because it's all they have to do. Republicans have ceded the battlefield without firing a shot in trying to get votes from this segment of the voting public, and we're not going to win an election against Tom by doing this. We have to do something.
posted by Jason | 11:52 PM
Profuse apologies to those who have tried to use the comments feature and gotten a porn website instead. The glitch is being fixed.posted by Jason | 11:14 PM
The Mitchell Daily Republic has published an editorial piece by Steve Sibson that contains a fascinating detail about Tony Dean:
posted by Jason | 11:10 PM
Sunday, February 09, 2003
Here's an interesting piece in today's Washington Post. Excerpt:
posted by Jason | 11:24 PM
The New York Times op-ed page whines about the US Senate steamrolling judicial nominees. I like it, I love it, I want some more of it!posted by Jason | 11:02 PM
I was watching C-Span tonight and noticed it is going to air an interview of the odious Jim Abourezk next weekend. The interview was conducted back in 1990. Here is the transcript of that interview.posted by Jason | 8:57 PM
As usual on Sunday mornings, after a bagel and eggs, I begin to wonder what slop Dave Kranz has served up for his weekly column. I wonder if his Democratic bias is at a fever pitch or maybe, just maybe, he's toned it down. Well, today it's at a fever pitch. After some nonsense about Bill Janklow, he gets right to his favorite part, namely, skewering John Thune:
So far, so good. But then Dave moves in for the kill:
I was appalled at the vicious innuendo and the guilt-by-association nature of this little sentence. It's also BLATANTLY DISHONEST. First of all, what pharmaceutical industry trade group is Dave talking about? If you have some political sophistication, you know that there's only one such group, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Armed with this information, I Googled Dave Kranz's sparse citation of the AP story. I'm pretty sure this is the story he cites. Here's the key paragraph in the story:
Dave Kranz, you are so busted! At no point in this story does it say anything about PhRMA fighting the prescription drug benefit to Medicare, as Dave claims the AP story says. Dave just added that himself, but claimed an AP story said it so that it just looks like he's reporting facts. PhRMA is in fact opposed to a prescription drug benefit under Medicare (they support a prescription drug benefit provided by private insurers). But for Dave Kranz to cite a story that says nothing even remotely close to what Dave claims it says is the height of dishonest reporting. An honestly written paragraph would be simply this: "Arent Fox represents the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. This is a trade group that has fought against a prescription drug benefit under Medicare." The reason Dave Kranz couldn't write this paragraph is because there's no imprimatur of an unbiased news organization behind it. Dave has a clever way of hiding his bias, but in the age of Google, he's going to have to do better. And by the way, if I pulled the stunt in law school that Dave pulled here, I'd be severely reprimanded. If a lawyer told a judge that a source says something that it in fact does not say, the lawyer would be in some serious doo-doo. I hope Dave has an explanation for this.
posted by Jason | 4:09 PM