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, August 16, 2003  

POWERLINE PREDICTS DASCHLE'S DENTIST VISIT? Ten days ago, the Powerline blog contained a post entitled Travels (to the dentist) with Tom. Yesterday, David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters, had a story in the Argus Leader about Tom Daschle advocating for more dentists in South Dakota. Excerpt:

Standing beside a dental chair Thursday in the Sioux River Valley Community Health Center in Sioux Falls, Daschle discussed the growing number of dentist retirements, lack of replacements and long waits for children to see a dentist.

And to top it all off, Tom Daschle's most recent post on his blog discusses his trip to Sioux River Valley Community Health Center to talk to the South Dakota Oral Health Coalition about the dentist crisis in South Dakota. So his blog really could be named Travels (to the dentist) with Tom!

posted by Jason | 5:35 PM

NOVAK REPORTS GANNON'S SCOOP: Veteran Capitol Hill reporter Bob Novak has a follow-up report on Jeff Gannon's report earlier this week. Excerpt from Novak's piece:

A District of Columbia tax saving of less than $1,000 on his new Washington home has helped Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle's foes in the conservative Club for Growth claim that he is "a Washington resident and not the average man of Aberdeen (S.D.)."

D.C. tax records show that Daschle claimed the $30,000 "homestead" tax exemption on the French colonial home he purchased on fashionable Foxhall Road for $1.9 million. While intended to help lower-income Washingtonians, the exemption is available for any home in the nation's capital that is the occupant's "permanent" residence. But South Dakota law requires that all of its elected officials be residents of the state.

Now the key question arises. Will David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters, have this item in his weekly column tomorrow?

posted by Jason | 3:34 PM

Thursday, August 14, 2003  

BOMBSHELL: I've been reviewing the latest report of the indefatigable Jeff Gannon, and I have to say that his investigative abilities never cease to amaze me. Tom Daschle has been taking advantage of the homestead deduction on his new home in Washington, DC. The homestead deduction reduces the assessed value of Tom Daschle's home by $30,000 prior to computing the yearly tax liability. The problem is that in order to take advantage of the deduction, the property must be the principal residence of the owner. Since Daschle has applied for this deduction, he has signed his name to a document which states that Washington, DC is his principal residence. This is hard, documentary evidence of what many have been claiming for years: Tom Daschle has thoroughly become a creature of Washington.

Jeff Gannon's piece has been picked up by World Net Daily, virtually guaranteeing that the Argus Leader will ignore the story. Since this set of facts has been investigated and reported by conservative news organizations, they just can't be true.

posted by Jason | 10:42 PM

SIOUX FALLS SOLDIERS IN KUWAIT: Be sure to take a look at the website of the 1742d Transportation Company based out of Sioux Falls, SD. There's lots of pictures, and in viewing them, Kuwait looks like a miserable place to be living in a tent for an extended period of time. Hats off to these men and women who are living in wretched conditions and in harm's way.

posted by Jason | 9:39 PM

DASCHLE SHOOTS MORE CAMPAIGN ADS: According to Tom Daschle's blog, hyped as a chronicle of his visits to 63 of 66 South Dakota counties during the August recess, Daschle is "spending most of my time with my children and grandchildren" over the next few days. Daschle failed to mention that he would also be shooting campaign commercials in Tea, SD about his work getting funding for the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System . Excerpt from the Tea-Harrisburg Champion:

U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle and staff were in Tea on Wednesday morning shooting a campaign commercial with Tea mayor John Lawler.
Daschle was in South Dakota for the week, as the Senate was in recess. He is expected to run for re-election to the senate in 2004.
"They did kind of an interview with me," Lawler said. "How does Lewis and Clark affect a city like Tea? What I thought Sen. Daschle's contribution was. ­ I told them with Sen. Daschles help we were able to get funding restored."
"They were looking for a growing community that the Lewis and Clark Water Project will help a lot," said Lawler, who agreed to appear in the commercial after a phone call from Daschle's staff. "They had called and said they were doing a clip on Lewis and Clark. Like any candidate, they are trying to use Lewis and Clark as a positive for them."
The commercial was shot in the Coffee Addition on the southwest side of Tea, emphasizing the growth of Tea. "Lewis and Clark is a must for us. If we can't keep the water coming, development will stop," Lawler said. "As far as my part in it, in my opinion, I wasn't saying Daschle was the reason for funding of Lewis and Clark. He was one of the reasons. If anybody thinks one person was responsible for it they're kidding themselves. It was all three (Sen. Daschle, Sen. Tim Johnson and Rep. Bill Janklow). You can't say one person had the upper hand."

Clearly, Daschle is trying to cloak his liberal voting record with campaign ads about his support for bipartisan initiatives like ethanol and water projects. But liberal advocacy groups like Americans for Democratic Action gave Tom Daschle a 100% rating in 2001.

posted by Jason | 1:35 PM

Wednesday, August 13, 2003  

BLAHG: Liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd critiques Tom Daschle's blog, as well as others: Blah Blah Blog. Excerpt:

It could be amusing if the pols posted unblushing, unedited diaries of what they were really thinking, as real bloggers do. John Kerry would mutter about that hot-dog Dean stealing his New England base, and Dr. Dean would growl about that wimp Kerry aping all his Internet gimmicks. But no such luck.

Instead, we have Travels with Tom, Tom Daschle's new blog recounting his annual August pilgrimage around South Dakota. Trying to sound uninhibited, he says he has "no schedule and no staff" and promises readers "amazing experiences" with "fascinating people."

posted by Jason | 12:47 PM

Monday, August 11, 2003  

KELOLAND'S "ADWATCH": KELO, South Dakota's biggest television station, broadcasted a segment on the latest Club for Growth ad tonight on the 6:00 news. You can watch the segment by clicking here and moving the cursor to the 7:30 mark. You can also read the script for the segment here.

posted by Jason | 11:26 PM

ANOTHER NEBRASKA BLOG: Be sure to check out Incorporation Blog for interesting and useful information on all things relating to business associations, a favorite topic of mine. Also see a recent post: State Tax 101: How To Give Yourself A 6% Raise And See Mt. Rushmore In The Bargain.

posted by Jason | 10:48 PM

IT DEPENDS ON THE MEANING OF THE WORD "TRAITOR": Be sure to visit the Volokh Conspiracy blog, where an interesting discussion has ensued after Professor Volokh's post regarding the Abourezk v. lawsuit. You can read the first post here, and more recent posts on the subject here and here.

Also, Instapundit has an interesting update on the Abourezk v. lawsuit. According to the Instapundit update, a woman named Claire Berlinski wrote her doctoral dissertation about Jim Abourezk, and provides some interesting details.

posted by Jason | 1:02 PM

FT EYE-ROLLING: Today's Financial Times contains an article about Tom Daschle's blogging ability: Sleepwalking in South Dakota. Excerpt:

But Observer's favourite was from Thursday. "Troy runs a restaurant in a small town in South Dakota. Wednesday and Friday nights are karaoke nights, and he packs the place. Today, he was serving prime rib for a noon special, and it looked like it would stack up favourably with any I have seen," Daschle wrote. "After telling me about his restaurant, our conversation turned to health costs." Of course, it did!

posted by Jason | 7:47 AM

Sunday, August 10, 2003  

SDP WELCOMES BIG SKY BLOG: Be sure to visit billingsblog, a blog on all things concerning Billings, Montana.

posted by Jason | 5:37 PM

DASCHLE'S ETHEREAL CLOUT: Most civic-minded South Dakotans are aware that our state receives more federal money than it pays to the federal government in taxes. Now it's possible to find out what the precise figures are. According to a study released this past week by the Tax Foundation, South Dakota gets back $1.61 for every $1 it sends in. This places South Dakota in eighth place nationally. There are seven other states that receive more "bang for the buck" than does South Dakota. One such state is North Dakota, which receives $2.07 for every $1, and comes in second place nationally. With all of Tom Daschle's vaunted clout, you'd think the positions would be reversed, with South Dakota coming in second rather than North Dakota. North Dakota is substantially similar to South Dakota in terms of population and wealth, has two Democrats in the Senate, none of whom occupy a leadership position, and yet does much better than South Dakota in terms of receiving federal dollars. South Dakota's congressional delegation includes the minority leader of the United States Senate, and yet South Dakota lags badly behind North Dakota in receiving federal dollars. The conclusion to be drawn is that Tom Daschle must not have all that much clout after all.

UPDATE: For more on the winners and losers at the federal trough, click here.

posted by Jason | 5:22 PM
Ungarnered Praise
Talon News Series on Argus Leader Bias