|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 26, 2003
WILL DASCHLE BACKTRACK ON ANWR? Early last month, the Department of Energy warned of a shrinking natural gas supply that Fed chairman Alan Greenspan believes is a "very serious problem" that could add pressure to the U.S. economy. Now fast forward to a story reported in yesterday's Huron Plainsman, entitled Daschle worries natural gas prices could double. See also the related story reported in yesterday's Aberdeen American News, entitled Daschle pushing for Alaska natural gas line. The stories discuss Daschle's advocacy for a natural gas pipeline to be built from Alaska to the lower 48 states. Daschle believes that the natural gas pipeline would be a long-term solution to the shortage. Excerpt from the Aberdeen American News:
Now read the story reported in yesterday's Anchorage Daily News, entitled Senate avoids ANWR issue in energy bill work. Excerpt:
(Emphasis added). Now contrast the horse-trading Tom Daschle is likely to do (allow ANWR drilling in exchange for the ethanol mandate) to get this energy bill passed to his floor statement on ANWR. Governor Murkowski is a former Senate colleague of Tom Daschle, and presumably has some insight into how Tom Daschle operates. Watch for Tom Daschle to politicize the natural gas shortage this fall during the harvest, and perhaps even get some political mileage in the fall of 2004 as the election nears. And when he does this, remember that Tom Daschle fought tooth and nail against an energy bill at the behest of the environmentalists due to ANWR, until a competitive election loomed. posted by Jason | 3:00 PM
Friday, July 25, 2003
KRANZ WATCH: As David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters, prepares his upcoming Sunday column for publication, watch for him to ignore the following stories that have developed over the past week:
SOUTH DAKOTA BABE: Check out January Jones, a South Dakota native who has a role in the upcoming movie American Wedding.posted by Jason | 7:45 AM
Thursday, July 24, 2003
KRANZ WATCH: Last Sunday, David Kranz, the Jack Germond of South Dakota political reporters, discussed a McLaughlin poll that had Tom Daschle leading John Thune by six points. Now a new McLaughlin poll is out showing the potential race to be a dead heat, with Daschle leading by one point. In addition, the poll shows that 68% said it's too early for political ads to be running and Tom Daschle should stop running them. It will be interesting to see if Kranz ever mentions this poll in an upcoming edition of the Argus Leader.posted by Jason | 12:53 PM
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
INTIMIDATION: Sen. Dick Durbin is about as persistent of a critic of the president as I am of Tom Daschle. Now Tom Daschle is bemoaning the intimidation tactics of the White House regarding Dick Durbin. Of course, Tom Daschle knows something about intimidation tactics, as Jeff Gannon reported last week. For more details on what Daschle is moaning about, read Bill Hobbs' post at his excellent blog, Hobbs Online.posted by Jason | 8:06 PM
MAN OF THE PEOPLE: Lloyd Grove of the Washington Post offers details of Tom Daschle's trip back to DC after giving a speech to the Association of Trial Lawyers of America in San Francisco:
posted by Jason | 8:00 AM
STILL WAITING: The Argus Leader had a thorough report on the fundraising efforts of the Daschle Accountability Project within mere hours of the news breaking in Roll Call. But in scanning today's edition, nothing has yet been reported about Tom Daschle's visit to San Francisco this past Sunday--three days ago--to speak at the annual convention of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. Daschle's appearance at ATLA's convention occurred in the wake of a major political victory for trial lawyers, namely the death of malpractice reform at the hands of Daschle. And, by the way, trial lawyers happen to be among Tom Daschle's biggest contributors. Now that I think about it, the Argus Leader also failed to report a trip Daschle made to California nearly two months ago as a guest of the Directors Guild of America. Daschle was there to discuss the important issue of runaway film and television production, which, as we all know, is an issue of pressing importance to South Dakota's working families. And, by the way, the movie and television industry is also a big contributor to Tom Daschle. But there's no report from the Argus Leader, and so these events basically didn't happen. And that's the way Tom Daschle likes it.posted by Jason | 12:46 AM
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
NEW LINKS: I've placed three new links along the right side of this blog:
BELFRAGE ACROSS THE NATION: Local talk-show host Greg Belfrage is going nationwide the morning of Wednesday, July 23rd. The Rapid City Journal has this report. For a response to some of the comments in the story by one Mary Ann Giebink about Belfrage, click here.posted by Jason | 10:38 PM
Denise Ross, political reporter for the Rapid City Journal, reports on several developments on the South Dakota political scene. Excerpt:
Indeed. posted by Jason | 10:06 PM
Roll Call has breaking news that Rob Regier and his group, the Daschle Accountability Project, have begun a direct-mail fundraising appeal comparing Tom Daschle to Jacques Chirac and Al Sharpton. Naturally, the Argus Leader jumped to cover this story. It's remarkable how the Argus Leader can cover the fundraising efforts of conservatives with such alacrity, but be very lackadaisical with reporting such items as Tom Daschle being out in San Francisco this past weekend appearing before the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, who are among his biggest contributors, in order to get a pat on the head for effectively filibustering malpractice reform. Roll Call broke the story about the Daschle Accountability Project's mailing at 3:08 PM yesterday. Mike Madden must have worked feverishly to get this story to the presses in time for today's edition of the Argus Leader. When will we see a story in the Argus Leader about Daschle's visit to San Francisco at the behest of the trial lawyers, in the wake of Tom Daschle killing malpractice reform? That's a solid and legitimate story, but we'll probably never see it. Once again, the axiom holds true: what is NOT reported is just as important as what IS reported.posted by Jason | 12:50 AM
Monday, July 21, 2003
HOME-BUILDING BOOM IN LINCOLN COUNTY: The rate of home-building in Lincoln county is chugging along according to a local Virginia paper:
posted by Jason | 11:52 PM
FROM THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Minority Demos find using Bush's missteps against him isn't easy. Excerpt:
What concerns would those be? Tom Daschle said at the end of the war that WMD did not need to be found to justify the war. So why is Tom Daschle now worried about what the facts were before we went to war against Iraq? According to Daschle's own words, it was enough to free the people of Iraq from tyranny. Or perhaps Tom Daschle just said that WMD didn't need to be found in an effort to repair the damage from his intemperate remarks on the eve of the war. Now that Daschle's intemperate remarks are a fading memory, he thinks he's free to criticize the president in a consequence-free environment. And sadly, he's probably right. posted by Jason | 11:41 PM
DASCHLE, SAN FRANCISCO, AND TRIAL LAWYERS: Tom Daschle paid homage yesterday to his biggest contributors at the annual convention of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, being held in San Francisco. Excerpt from the ATLA brochure:
Yes, trial lawyers, be sure to thank Tom Daschle for killing malpractice reform, and causing doctors to cease delivering babies for working families because the cost of malpractice insurance premiums is so high. Great job, Tom Daschle! The trial lawyers are getting a great return on their investment!
For more details, click here. posted by Jason | 7:07 PM
Sunday, July 20, 2003
KRANZ WATCH: Once again David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters (or the "Jack Germond of South Dakota political reporters," another phrase coined by liberal blogger Josh Marshall), continues to report on his college buddy Tom Daschle with a story in today's edition of the Argus Leader. The story is on a GOP commissioned poll showing Daschle leading Thune 46-40. It's interesting how David Kranz is suddenly interested in GOP commissioned polls that show Tom Daschle with a significant lead over John Thune, and how Kranz does a full-scale analysis of this news. David Kranz never spilled a drop of ink on the Wall Street Journal poll a few months ago that showed Tom Daschle had a mere 17% approval rating nationwide. Once again, David Kranz reflects his method: what is NOT reported about Tom Daschle is just as important as what IS reported. The key excerpt from today's piece:
In addition, it will be a tough sell for Tom Daschle to talk about being the Democratic Leader if he is re-elected in 2004. The only way he can retain his leadership status is if returns as the majority leader. These days, no sober commentator would predict that Senate Democrats will regain the majority. If Senate Democrats are still in the minority after the election of 2004, and Tom Daschle is re-elected, look for Hillary Clinton to replace Tom Daschle as the Democratic Leader.
David Kranz seems to want report the news generated from a conservative perspective this week, but he didn't report the following items because they place Tom Daschle in a poor light:
1) Tom Daschle killed malpractice reform with a filibuster, no doubt at the behest of his trial lawyer contributors.
2) The Byron York piece in The Hill, puncturing Tom Daschle's claim that 119 of 121 of Bush's nominees have been approved. York also points out that while Tom Daschle was the majority leader, only half of Bush's nominees were approved. Also, the Rapid City Journal and the Argus Leader editorial pages have urged Daschle to lift the filibuster on judicial nominees, as has the South Dakota legislature.
3) The report by Jeff Gannon of Tom Daschle's intimidation tactics in the state of South Dakota.
4) Former White House speechwriter David Frum's assertion that Tom Daschle tried to put an end to the weekly presidential meetings with the four congressional leaders:
Tom Daschle constantly talks about his "clout" in the Senate, but it seems he has been trying to sabotage his own clout for political advantage. Recall that it was during this same time-period that Daschle was whining about not being consulted by the president.
In sum, David Kranz delivers another piece in his role as South Dakota's cheerleader-in-chief for Tom Daschle, while ignoring all of the stories in the past week or so that reflect poorly on Tom Daschle. All in all, a classic Kranz piece.
posted by Jason | 12:43 PM