|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, May 17, 2003
Greg Belfrage has invited Tom Daschle to be a guest on Greg's afternoon radio show. Will Tom Daschle accept the invitation unconditionally? Or will Daschle do what he does with Bill O'Reilly, and rudely reject the invitation while making outrageous accusations?posted by Jason | 10:28 AM
The Washington Post today offers a front page news analysis, commenting on the remarkable lack of criticism from the usual suspects on the failure to date to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Excerpt:
posted by Jason | 9:55 AM
Friday, May 16, 2003
Sheesh. I don't know how we missed the following from the National Journal's Hotline on May 3, nearly two weeks ago:
posted by Jason | 11:37 PM
DECONSTRUCTING KRANZ II: A reader has provided some additional information on David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters. It turns out that Kranz attended South Dakota State University from 1964-1968, and Tom Daschle attended SDSU from 1965-1969, where both were active in Young Democrats. We know Daschle worked on George McGovern's presidential campaign in 1972 with Bill Clinton (who, by the way, is soon coming back to South Dakota to bail the state Democratic Party out of debt). However, one could easily overlook the following fact: George McGovern ran for re-election to the Senate in 1968. Did David Kranz and Tom Daschle work together on McGovern's 1968 Senate campaign? These would be important facts to know, when David Kranz is reporting on the events of the day as they concern Tom Daschle or those opposed to Tom Daschle's agenda. Again, if David Kranz did in fact work with Tom Daschle during McGovern's 1968 Senate campaign, it doesn't make him a bad person. It simply reflects on David Kranz's capacity to be an objective observer of the South Dakota political scene. It's time for full disclosure from the Argus Leader, in the interests of objective journalism.
The High Plains Observer adds its voice to the chorus of those wondering when David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters, will report on Tom Daschle's polling and focus-grouping. HPO also adds an interesting comparison to the New York Times' Jayson Blair fiasco. Keep your eye on this blog. In fact, add it to your bookmarks if you haven't already.posted by Jason | 10:48 AM
KRANZ WATCH: Tom Daschle's massive polling and focus-grouping effort in South Dakota almost two weeks ago gets reported obliquely by Howard Kurtz today, which is more than what can be said for David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters, who hasn't reported it at all. Excerpt from the Washington Post piece:
Today is Day 13 of the countdown for David Kranz to report on Tom Daschle's focus-grouping effort, which has been reported in the New York Post, the Washington Post, and by the ABC News Political Unit. Yes, I think it's fair to say that David Kranz is deliberately ignoring this story. posted by Jason | 10:21 AM
"Vegas bookmakers say there's virtually NO chance you'll read about the Daschle polling from Argus Leader Political Reporter David Kranz." That's Belfrage's assessment.posted by Jason | 12:02 AM
Thursday, May 15, 2003
DECONSTRUCTING KRANZ: Since the ABC News Political Unit has joined the chorus of voices wondering when David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters, will report on Tom Daschle's focus-grouping and polling activities, we at SDP have decided to launch another prototype of our "Deconstructing Kranz" feature currently under development.
Word on the street is that the website www.sdakotagop.com received 25,000 unique hits during the month of April. The website has been subject to a certain amount of controversy. Today, the site links to ABC's The Note, whose writers have initiated a "Kranz Watch" of their own regarding Deborah Orin's report in the New York Post today. It looks like Steve Hildebrand, Tom Daschle's campaign manager, can wave bye-bye to his claim that the New York Post's readership is insignificant to Tom Daschle's re-election campaign.posted by Jason | 1:34 PM
KRANZ WATCH: Once again, New York Post reporter Deborah Orin reports some South Dakota political news that David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters, refuses to report. Excerpt:
A telling comment in Orin's story comes from Tom Daschle's campaign manager Steve Hildebrand:
I think this comment indicates that David Kranz will never report on Tom Daschle's focus-grouping and polling for the Argus Leader, and more alarmingly, indicates that David Kranz and Steve Hildebrand are working together to squelch the story, preventing the average South Dakotan from ever even hearing about it. Nice work guys. It's great having the dean of South Dakota political reporters working for the Daschle campaign. Oh, I almost forgot. Today is Day 12 of the countdown for David Kranz to report on Tom Daschle's focus grouping. The fact that we are at Day 12 is also evidence that David Kranz is working hand-in-hand with the Daschle campaign.
UPDATE: The writers of ABC's The Note are watching David Kranz too, waiting for his report on the New York Post story:
Guys, I think you'll be waiting awhile. posted by Jason | 11:06 AM
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Former speaker Newt Gingrich was in Sioux Falls last night, and David Kranz today compares Newt with Tom Daschle. Characteristically, Kranz forgot to mention a recent story in Time magazine reporting that Tom Daschle's national unfavorability ratings had reached the high 30s--"Newt territory."posted by Jason | 12:07 PM
Lloyd Grove of the Washington Post reports that after Bill Gates and Tom Brokaw guzzled some $3 cappuccinos at the Past Times Cafe in Watertown, they left without paying, let alone tipping.
The Washington Post's editorial board excoriates Tom Daschle for his
Hey! David Kranz! Make a note to yourself not to report this story to the South Dakota citizens you have a responsibility to inform. After all, we all know what foaming-at-the mouth, right-wing crazies the Washington Post editorial board is comprised of. And what a knuckle-dragging, right-wing Neanderthal Mark Shields is. Obviously they're all just a bunch of right-wingers pushing an agenda. Hell, I'll bet if you looked hard enough, you'd find a connection to Paul Erickson. No need to report this story. Carry on. posted by Jason | 1:20 AM
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
The Democratic totalitarian streak is shining brightly lately. I've never understood why they're called "liberals." They want to control your life right down to what kind of car you drive, and now they're trying to suppress the freedom of speech under the auspices of the new campaign finance law. The Club for Growth is running ads in South Dakota, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is requesting the FEC to pull the ads. As the article linked above states:
The campaign finance law is a bad, bad law. As was feared from the beginning, it is being used to suppress political speech, the very kind of speech the First Amendment was designed to protect. If one can't run ads critical of politicians, then we are on the road to living in a totalitarian society, and it frightens me, and frankly, it pisses me off. You don't have to agree with the Club for Growth, but when their point of view is not allowed to be expressed, when their fundamental right of free speech is prohibited by the government, the founding fathers and other liberals of the Enlightenment will be spinning in their graves. I'm outraged by the actions of all the politicians, Democratic and Republican, legislative and executive, who have allowed this charade of campaign finance reform to continue for so long. Cynically passing and signing this bill into law in the hopes that the courts will exercise their babysitting function and strike it down as unconstitutional is not the way our system should work. posted by Jason | 11:40 PM
KRANZ WATCH: David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters, has yet to report on Tom Daschle's focus-grouping activities in Huron, or on this story reporting Tom Daschle's questionable campaign finance activities. Today was Day 10 of the countdown.posted by Jason | 9:08 PM
The Center for Individual Freedom ran an ad in the Washington Times today excoriating Tom Daschle for his conflicting positions on judicial nominations.posted by Jason | 9:00 PM
According to today's Roll Call, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is now changing her tune after encountering some criticism about raising soft money in a roundabout way, i.e., circumventing the new campaign finance law that the Democrats have been so sanctimonious about as they worked to actually get it passed into law. For now at least, the House Democrats won't be trying to circumvent the campaign finance law by raising soft money. But what about SENATE Democrats? It seems it takes a little longer for Tom Daschle to get shamed into complying with a law he was so sanctimonious about passing:
And of course, you'll never hear a word of this story from David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters. You'll just have to rely on SDP, your alternative to David Kranz. posted by Jason | 10:04 AM
David Kranz reports on the latest development in the voter fraud investigation. Last year, Maka Duta, a/k/a Becky Red Earth-Villeda, filed a lawsuit against the attorney general, claiming that she was "the lowest rung on the ladder." Of course, David Kranz omits this important fact in his story today.posted by Jason | 9:36 AM
David Kranz did a cut-and-paste job with this press release from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Will David Kranz do a cut-and-paste job with this press release from the Republican National Committee? You know, all in the interests of equal time and balanced reporting and all that. Hah.posted by Jason | 9:21 AM
Monday, May 12, 2003
Even Mark Shields is appalled by the cynicism of Tom Daschle and the Democratic Party when it comes to questionable campaign financing tactics:
Recall that Tom Daschle sent an e-mail to his supporters some weeks ago urging them to write letters to the editor defending his intemperate comments regarding the Iraq war. Attached to that e-mail he sent this column by Mark Shields, to use as a basis for writing letters to the editor. Somehow, I don't think Tom Daschle will be sending the current Mark Shields piece to his supporters as a basis for writing letters to the editor.
UPDATE: Here is the e-mail Tom Daschle sent to his supporters. posted by Jason | 8:59 PM
Check out Real Clear Politics for some play-by-play analysis of a few of Tom Daschle's comments yesterday on Tim Russert's Meet the Press. (Via SDP reader Cory Skluzak).posted by Jason | 7:55 PM
George McGovern finally gets an opinion piece published by the Washington Post. Recall that he was complaining in a piece he wrote in The Nation magazine that the Washington Post wouldn't print his opinion pieces about the war. Today's Washington Post piece is another prime example of the fact that George McGovern hasn't had a new thought since 1972.posted by Jason | 10:35 AM
Sunday, May 11, 2003
KRANZ WATCH: Today is Day 8 of the countdown for David Kranz, dean of South Dakota political reporters, to report on Tom Daschle's focus-grouping in Huron over a week ago.posted by Jason | 9:17 PM
Check out the transcript from this morning's edition of "Meet the Press," on which Tom Daschle was a guest. It's a rich source of Tom Daschle quotes ripe for fact-checking and other fun. My favorite Daschle Dodge was about as graceful as two left feet:
This dodge wasn't even artful. I'm so disappointed.
CLARIFICATION: The context of this Daschle Dodge was that Senator Robert Byrd is clamoring for an investigation of President Bush landing on an aircraft carrier to make a speech about the victory in Iraq. As one SDP reader notes, the obvious parallel to the carrier speech is Lincoln's address at Gettysburg. I hasten to add that I'm not comparing Bush to Lincoln, I'm only comparing historical contexts. Lincoln made the Gettysburg address at one level to remind America that the war wasn't over, even though a major battlefield victory had just been accomplished. If Senator Byrd had been around in Lincoln's day, he would have called for an investigation of Lincoln's train ride to Gettysburg. Should Lincoln have been investigated for taking the train to the battlefield to make a speech? The answer is obvious.
UPDATE: As I think about the carrier speech and its parallel to the Gettysburg speech, it becomes even more fitting that the speech was made on the USS Abraham Lincoln. Karl Rove is brilliant. But we already knew that. posted by Jason | 8:30 PM
Ostensibly, Tom Daschle made the following comment with a straight face to Aberdeen American News reporter Scot Waltman:
Right. Tom Daschle is so disappointed about groups skirting the new campaign finance law so long before the election that he's doing it himself:
Tom Daschle must really be disappointed (but unsurprised) that he's giving his imprimatur to a group called the Democratic Senate Majority Fund, a group used as a roundabout way to get the very type of unlimited donations from corporations, unions and individuals that the new campaign finance laws prohibit. Since we're all talking about what we're disappointed in, I'm disappointed in the South Dakota press corps, who don't have enough gonads to press Tom Daschle when he utters something so completely disingenuous. posted by Jason | 10:09 AM
For all of you readers wondering who is announcing an exploratory committee for a US Senate run against Tom Daschle, it can now be reported that the person is Sioux Falls businessman Neal Tapio.posted by Jason | 12:00 AM