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, July 05, 2003  

KRANZ WATCH: Rumor has it that Tom Daschle will begin running television campaign ads East River on Monday, the 7th of July. This rumor comes on the heels of this report from Roll Call on May 27, 2003, over a month ago:

Daschle appears increasingly likely to take to the air with political ads sometime this summer for an election that remains more than 17 months away. “You can expect that it will be as early as South Dakotans have ever seen [political ads] if these attacks from the right continue,” said Steve Hildebrand, Daschle’s campaign manager.

The Washington Post also reported about Daschle's plans to run ads thus summer on May 31, 2003:

Daschle, who flirted with the idea of running for president, is fighting back. He said he plans to raise at least $10 million -- enough money to purchase heavy air time starting this summer or sooner, and running straight through Election Day. South Dakota television markets are among the nation's cheapest, so voters are likely to watch another 18 months of political ads.

Well, the ads are coming in days, and yet David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters has yet to emit a peep about this story. Somehow, Kranz doesn't get as exercised about Daschle's early ads as he does about the mere plans of conservatives running ads so early before an election. Once again we find an example of David Kranz's method of operation: what is NOT reported is just as important as what IS reported. Stories that reflect poorly on Tom Daschle are ignored, while stories that reflect poorly on Tom Daschle's opponents are vigorously investigated and reported by David Kranz. To give some perspective of how long before the election these ads are, consider that Tom Daschle will have to march in one more 4th of July parade in Kranzburg before the election of 2004.

posted by Jason | 3:37 PM

MORE COWS THAN PEOPLE: According to this report, South Dakota has a 5-to-1 cattle-to-person ratio.

posted by Jason | 12:47 PM

Friday, July 04, 2003  

Happy Independence Day! It is these words that ring through history:

WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness[.]

I love America, and my affection for this republic and the ideas it is founded upon is a burning fire that grows hotter within me day by day. I am currently reading Carl Sandburg's biography of Abraham Lincoln, and on page 213-14, Sandburg quotes Lincoln at his First Inaugural:

The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was "to form a more perfect Union."...
I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

In these present days of uncertainty, these words bring comfort, and the knowledge that all will be well, so long as we cling fiercely to the principles of our forefathers.

posted by Jason | 11:10 AM

Thursday, July 03, 2003  

Steve Sibson, at the blog Sibby Online, reports that Tom Daschle will be in the Kranzburg 4th of July parade tomorrow. Kranzburg is the hometown of David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters, and was founded by Kranz's ancestors. Democrats traditionally parade there because of the historic Democratic roots in Kranzburg. Sibby points to an article Kranz wrote about Kranzburg and Democrats for the Mitchell Daily Republic back in 1978. Kranz also wrote about the Kranzburg 4th of July parade last year for the Argus Leader. I'll give more details after I dig up the article from last year. But savor the irony for now.

UPDATE: I've dug up the article written by David Kranz on July 4, 2002. According to Kranz, Kranzburg was founded by David Kranz's great-grandfather. Excerpt from last year's article by Kranz:

“It was solid Catholic. Most residents were German. The Turbaks were the only Republicans in town. It still trends toward Democrats, but just barely.”

(emphasis added.) The obvious inference to be drawn from the above excerpt is that David Kranz was not a Republican, since the Turbaks were the only Republicans in town. But I digress. Watch for coverage of the Daschle visit to Kranzburg in the pages of the Argus Leader, written by [sarcasm on] neutral observer [sarcasm off] David Kranz.

posted by Jason | 1:05 PM

Wednesday, July 02, 2003  

Representative Bill Janklow is a member of the "governers club," a group of 14 ex-governors who are now either senators or representatives, according to a Detroit News story. Excerpt:

Once a quarter, the ex-governors gather for lunch in the Senate's marble dining hall not only to relax with kindred spirits but also to network with other ex-governors in high places: the president's Cabinet. It's a club where ex-governors turned Cabinet secretaries bounce ideas off receptive lawmakers, and lawmakers have the ears -- and home phone numbers -- of top administration officials.

Cabinet officials who have been guests of the governors club include Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson (an ex-Wisconsin governor); Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge (an ex-Pennsylvania governor) and outgoing Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman (an ex-New Jersey governor).

Bill Janklow, a freshman representative, has the inside track to top federal officials. Clearly, no one else who ran for the seat in 2002 could have pulled this off for South Dakota. If Tony Dean is still thinking about running against Bill Janklow (assuming Janklow runs for the House seat again), Dean would be hard-pressed to bring this kind of clout to the table.

posted by Jason | 7:50 PM

Minnesota Public Radio has an interesting piece on the DM&E rail company: DM&E builds railroad empire while it awaits court approval. John Thune gets a mention in the piece for his lobbying activity on behalf of DM&E.

posted by Jason | 6:43 PM

The American Spectator reports that Tom Daschle is angering environmentalists who traditionally count on his support on the issue of thinning trees in high-hazard forests. Excerpt:

"We're disappointed to say the least," says a volunteer staffer for the Environmental Defense Fund in Washington, D.C. "Tom has been a staunch ally of ours for years. It's always sad to see someone you trust sell out for nothing more than political gain."

Hey buddy, an election is looming! Tom wouldn't want to be held to his rhetoric of the past on this issue!

posted by Jason | 6:35 PM

Tuesday, July 01, 2003  

A belated congratulations to Greg Belfrage, the host of "Straight Talk" on KELOAM 1320, who will be guest-hosting on the Mike Gallagher show later this month.

posted by Jason | 10:18 PM

Power Line has a post on a fascinating piece of history about FDR. A CIA intelligence study details how FDR fell all over himself to be on friendly terms with Stalin. Interestingly, even this story has local flavor. Harry Hopkins, the fellow-traveler who FDR relied on for foreign policy advice, was born in Sioux City, IA (located 30 miles from Vermillion, SD) and attended Grinnell College. It truly is chilling to see how cavalierly a president can affect the lives of millions of people over generations. Clearly, FDR's attempts to befriend Stalin had ruinous consequences for the world for half a century.

posted by Jason | 9:47 PM

COMPARING TWO SOUTH DAKOTA POLITICAL REPORTERS: Governor Mike Rounds said unequivocally last week that he wasn't going to run for the Senate in 2004, according to Rapid City Journal political reporter Denise Ross:

"There is no truth to it. I'm not running. I won't do that," Rounds, who was elected to his first four-year term in November 2002, said.

But you wouldn't get that impression from David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters, who wrote the following in a column a day AFTER Denise Ross specifically quoted the governor:

When Republicans talk about the 2004 Senate race, they most often mention U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow and Thune as likely challengers to Daschle. Now they are adding Gov. Mike Rounds.

People close to the governor say he is getting a lot of encouragement to consider the race. Since his favorable rating is "through the roof," friends say it is not surprising that he is getting pressure to run.

Says one of his confidants: "I would be surprised if I heard him say 'No way, no how will I run.' But he is upset with the talk, because he doesn't want to undermine his ability to lead the state.' "

Except that's exactly what the governor DID say. Which reporter is giving us all the facts to this story? My vote would be for Denise Ross. But I'll report and let you decide.

posted by Jason | 1:33 AM

Sunday, June 29, 2003  

The AP reports on the Sioux Falls based National Abstinence Clearinghouse and its conference held this past week in Las Vegas.

posted by Jason | 8:00 PM

The Argus Leader staff finally step up to the plate and deliver a follow-up story to an investigative report in the June 20, 2003 edition of the Los Angeles Times. Although the story isn't as complete as I'd like it to be (it fails to mention that Linda Daschle has lobbied in the past for pharmaceutical companies), perhaps it is a signal that the newspaper's leadership is beginning to realize the error of its ways, due in part to the scrutiny placed on them by this blog and others.

posted by Jason | 7:38 PM
Ungarnered Praise
Talon News Series on Argus Leader Bias