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, September 06, 2003  

The New York Times has a new piece on the Janklow accident entitled Fatal Crash Charges Threaten Political Career. Excerpt:

As he trudged into the Moody County Courthouse here this week for a first appearance in his case, Mr. Janklow, pale, silent and leaning on helpers, looked nothing like the politician South Dakota voters have known for 30 years. Wild Bill, as he has been called, the man who even made light of his habit of speeding in his State of the State address, seemed to have vanished.

Neither his defense lawyer nor his son, who has spoken on his behalf since the accident, answered requests for interviews, but his friends described Mr. Janklow, 63, as a man in deep anguish — wrestling with a fractured hand and a head injury, and an overwhelming sense of misery and remorse for the death of Randy E. Scott, a 55-year-old motorcyclist from Hardwick, Minn.

posted by Jason | 9:39 PM

DASCHLE APPOINTS ENERGY BILL CONFEREES: Recall that at the end of July, the Senate passed an energy bill. Governor Frank Murkowski of Alaska predicted that Tom Daschle would appoint Democratic conferees who would be amenable to drilling in ANWR. I wrote a post on this interesting development at the time. Now it looks like Murkowski's predictions were right on the money, according to an AP report today. Excerpt:

Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski said last month that he would interpret such a Democratic conference lineup as evidence of Minority Leader Tom Daschle's willingness to bend on ANWR. A Daschle spokesman told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that such an assertion was wishful thinking.

This is yet another example of Tom Daschle's duplicity on controversial issues. Contrast this floor statement on ANWR made by Tom Daschle to his current maneuvering to sell out on ANWR. Peter Beinart of the New Republic also recently commented on Tom Daschle's duplicity on campaign finance reform, another controversial issue. Tom Daschle's duplicity on controversial issues seems to fit a pattern.

posted by Jason | 9:29 PM

JANKLOW ACCIDENT UPDATE: Mike Madden, who is the Argus Leader's Washington, DC correspondent, has a piece published in the St. Cloud (MN) Times today entitled Janklow could face tough political future. In the piece, Madden lists other House members who have faced criminal charges, and points out that their careers have generally come to ignominious ends.

The AP reports the latest development related to the Janklow accident: Janklow publicly joked about Neb. speeding stop.

posted by Jason | 7:13 PM

Friday, September 05, 2003  

The Washington Post has a great editorial on the withdrawal of Miguel Estrada in today's edition entitled Victory for a Smear. Excerpt:

The handling of Mr. Estrada's nomination is a low point in a steadily degrading judicial selection process. Opponents acted on little more than whispers about his supposed right-wing extremism, fears that he would some day be elevated to the Supreme Court and the disgusting charge that he was inadequately Hispanic -- whatever that means. Meanwhile, many Republicans, including some in the White House, happily sought to use the controversy to score points with Hispanic voters -- making the nomination into a gross spectacle of ethnic politics. Even more dangerous, Mr. Estrada was subjected to a kind of extortion by the Senate: Answer the sort of detailed jurisprudential questions nominees have long balked at addressing, he was told, or you get no vote.

posted by Jason | 4:47 PM

Thursday, September 04, 2003  

ESTRADA WITHDRAWS: Tom Daschle scored a major political victory today with the announcement by Miguel Estrada that he is withdrawing his name as a nominee for the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Byron York has an excellent piece about today's surprise announcement. For more on the Estrada withdrawal, visit How Appealing, one of SDP's favorite blogs.

posted by Jason | 10:48 PM

NEW BLOG: SDP is pleased to announce the addition of the blog Jay to the list of blog links on the lower right side of this site. You'll find some strong opinions about Congressman Janklow on the Jay Reding blog, as well as some fascinating discussion on South Dakota politics generally, here, here, and especially here.

posted by Jason | 10:20 PM

The AP is reporting that Congressman Janklow was pulled over for speeding in northeast Nebraska this past June, but was let off with a warning.

posted by Jason | 10:03 PM

JANKLOW ACCIDENT UPDATE: The Washington Times has an article in today's edition entitled Lawmakers decline to criticize Janklow.

NPR Morning Edition's Bob Edwards had a short conversation this morning with T.R. Reid, the Rocky Mountain Bureau Chief for the Washington Post, about the Janklow accident. You can listen to the conversation by clicking HERE.

C-Span's Washington Journal took phone calls about the Janklow accident this morning. I'll link to the video once it comes online.

UPDATE: The Washington Journal segment entitled "Should Rep. Bill Janklow Resign?" can now be viewed by clicking HERE and moving the time cursor to 32:24. Roll Call's Ed Henry has some interesting commentary in the segment.

posted by Jason | 12:21 PM

KRANZ WATCH: A new book has emerged by California lawyer Bob Kohn, entitled Journalistic Fraud: How the New York Times Distorts the News and Why It Can No Longer Be Trusted. I haven't had an opportunity to read it yet (I've got enough to read in law school), but by reading this Q&A with the author, I'm betting the book will be a useful model for dissecting the liberal bias techniques of David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters. Below is a fascinating excerpt from the interview with the author:

How did you codify what you were reading? Did you have a system for determining what you would consider a biased article?
As I was reading The New York Times last summer I started to recognize a variety of techniques they were using to slant the news to reflect their editorial views. So I developed chapters with titles like, "Distorting the Headlines," "Distorting the Lead Sentences," "Distorting with Facts," "Distorting with Opinion," "Distorting Polls," "Distorting with Loaded Language," "Distorting with Labels," "Distorting with Placement," which was my way of categorizing the various techniques they use. And then I broke it down even further. In the chapter on "Distorting the Lead" I show how to write a lead sentence—the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the story—and then I go through each of those and show how they distort the who, how they distort the why, how they distort the what.

Via Instapundit.

posted by Jason | 1:04 AM

Wednesday, September 03, 2003  

UNNAMED BOEING LOBBYIST: The New York Times has a piece in today's edition entitled Documents Show Extent of Lobbying by Boeing. The piece is a follow-up to a Washington Post story about the controversial $20 billion proposal by the Air Force to lease a fleet of Boeing 767 tankers, and the investigation of the deal by John McCain's Commerce Committee. The reason this article is of interest to South Dakota is because Boeing is one of lobbyist Linda Daschle's clients. We've been told, however, that Linda Daschle does not lobby for Boeing on military issues. But then there's this intriguing excerpt from the NYT story:

Other memos provided a bird's-eye view of a powerful lobbying effort by the Air Force and Boeing. A Boeing lobbyist, after meeting with top Air Force officials, said the Air Force "urged us to have our friends on Hill, think tanks, etc. get more visible/vocal" with pro-tanker arguments. It contended that Mr. Roche was particularly keen on anything Boeing could do "especially if it helps drown out McCain."

Another memo delineated other elements of this lobbying campaign, including enlisting the House speaker, J. Dennis Hastert, a Republican from Illinois and a strong supporter of the plan, to talk to President Bush and other White House officials. It also described an effort to line up unions in a plan that Boeing said was "aimed at executive branch as well as Congress."

"We are in touch with Andy Card and White House political operation," a Boeing lobbyist wrote in a memo to James Albaugh, president of a Boeing division; Mr. Card is the White House chief of staff. "They see increased pressure and realize a political downside to not moving forward with tankers," the memo continued.

After an April 1 meeting between Mr. Albaugh and Mr. Roche, a Boeing lobbyist wrote about the increasing help from Paul D. Wolfowitz, deputy defense secretary, and Donald H. Rumsfeld, the defense secretary. Mr. Roche told Boeing that more involvement from Mr. Rumsfeld provided "necessary `top cover' for Air Force," adding that it "works better in White House and will help on Capitol Hill."

(Emphasis added). Who is this mysterious Boeing lobbyist? The person or persons are never named in the entire story, it's just "a Boeing lobbyist." Kind of curious, don't you think? The NYT should disclose who this lobbyist is, because inquiring minds would like to know.

posted by Jason | 10:33 PM

PUFF PIECE ALERT: Today's edition of the Washington Post contains this article in the Style section on Tom Daschle's August recess adventures in "No Starbucks America." The piece is by Mark Leibovich, and you can catch a video of him discussing the piece by clicking HERE.

posted by Jason | 12:18 PM

JANKLOW ACCIDENT UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has a caustic editorial today entitled Step down, Bill Janklow. Excerpt:

Janklow is a repugnant lawbreaker addicted to speed and power. His callous disregard for the rules cost an innocent man his life. The Republican Party should turn its back on Janklow and bear the electoral consequences.

The Washington Post's T.R. Reid has another report on the Janklow accident today entitled S.D. Public Doubts Fair Treatment For Janklow; Favoritism Expected For Congressman.

Fox News has a story entitled Rep. Janklow's Fate Up in Air After Fatal Accident.

posted by Jason | 12:14 PM

Tuesday, September 02, 2003  

Linda Daschle's name appears in the news today, this time in a report from the Chicago Sun-Times entitled Boeing led Illinois firms in lobbying Uncle Sam. Relevant graf:

Big-name contract lobbyists working for Illinois interests include former members of Congress and top officials from past presidential administrations, along with Linda Daschle, wife of Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.).

So Tom Daschle's wife is working for Illinois interests. How interesting.

posted by Jason | 5:36 PM

JANKLOW ACCIDENT UPDATE: Congressman Janklow is scheduled to make an initial appearance today at 1:30PM in the Moody County Courthouse in Flandreau, SD. According to David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters, Flandreau already has a noticeable media presence.

LATEST: KELO-TV is reporting that Janklow has arrived at the courthouse.

posted by Jason | 12:09 PM

Sunday, August 31, 2003  

Steve Hildebrand, Tom Daschle's campaign manager, recently sent a letter to the editor of the Rapid City Journal, responding to a previous writer who had seen this story by Jeff Gannon about the Daschles taking advantage of Washingington, DC's homestead deduction, along with a follow-up paragraph by conservative columnist Bob Novak. According to the District of Columbia's own website, only people whose property is the principal residence of the owner/applicant can qualify for the deduction. You can see the Hildebrand letter by clicking HERE and scrolling down. Thus the letter from Hildebrand, who dangles a red herring about Bob Novak:

Dawn Pence (Aug. 27 letter) should get her facts straight before she makes a partisan attack on Tom Daschle.

Tom and Linda Daschle own a home in Aberdeen. They pay property taxes on that home each year. Sen. Daschle has a South Dakota driver's license and is registered to vote here. No credible person has ever questioned his South Dakota residency and his qualifications to run for the U.S. Senate.

Ms. Pence is quoting from a right-wing attack story that was filled with false information. The homestead deduction is available to any homeowner in D.C. who qualifies, and because Linda Daschle pays D.C. income taxes, she qualifies on behalf of the Daschles. This does not disqualify Sen. Daschle in any way.

Ms. Pence was doing nothing more than making a partisan political attack against Sen. Daschle. Otherwise, she would have told readers that Republican senators like Kay Bailey Hutchison, a millionaire senator from Texas, and right-wing columnist Bob Novak have also taken the homestead deduction. Why doesn't she criticize them too?

Don't you love how Hildebrand, without pausing for reflection, casts aspersions on Kay Bailey Hutchison being a "millionaire" senator? Gee, isn't Tom Daschle a millionaire senator too, because of the income of his lobbyist wife? Aside from that, I suppose Hildebrand has a point. Hutchison shouldn't be taking advantage of the deduction either. And, of course, it's not relevant that Bob Novak takes the homestead deduction. But neither Hutchison nor Novak talk a big game about how terrible it is to have "tax breaks for the rich." Tom Daschle does, and yet he takes advantage of this tax break. And that is just another shining example of his hypocrisy.

posted by Jason | 8:47 PM

WHILE BECK WHINES, ARGUS LEADER DROPS THE BALL: While Argus Leader executive editor Randell Beck complains today about the state government not giving his newspaper enough information regarding the Janklow accident, the Minneapolis Star Tribune actually has reporters pounding the pavement and "squeezing" information from a named South Dakota source, with explosive results.

The explosive story is in today's edition of the Strib, and is entitled Janklow had another close call at same intersection as deadly collision. Excerpt:

Jennifer Walters and her family were headed to grandmother's house for a holiday dinner in December when they heard the squeal of tires behind them at a rural South Dakota intersection. When she turned, she said, she saw a white Cadillac trying to stop after running a stop sign.

"A split-second difference and the Cadillac would have hit us," Walters, 30, of Trent said recently. "That's how fast the car came through."

Walters, who was riding in a pickup truck with her husband and two sons, said she called Moody County authorities to report the driver and describe the make and color of the car.

Within the hour, she said, a dispatcher called her back to say an officer had stopped the car and identified its driver -- South Dakota Gov. and U.S. Rep.-elect William Janklow.

Walters' close encounter with the Cadillac occurred at the same intersection where Janklow allegedly ran a stop sign two weeks ago and collided with a Minnesota motorcyclist, who died.

This is a scoop/bombshell that should have been broken by the Argus Leader. Lord knows they've been trying to get the scoop on everything from illicit emergency lights and a state radio in Jankow's car, to whether Janklow was covered by the car owner's insurance policy. But a petulant executive editor, blinded by his agenda to expose a feverishly imagined conspiracy of coverups by state government officials, gets scooped by an out-of-state paper quoting a source who lives in Trent, South Dakota. It would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.

posted by Jason | 7:25 PM
Ungarnered Praise
Talon News Series on Argus Leader Bias