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 27, 2003  

JANKLOW ACCIDENT UPDATE: Local ABC affiliate KSFY has a summation of the week's events as they pertain to Congressman Janklow: Congressman's Body Language. Excerpt:

Bill Janklow knew he'd have to face the media eventually. So, once he felt up to the task, he took his place in the spotlight. "He's trying to bring the case in front of all the people in South Dakota, rather than the 12 jurors who are going to sit in a jury box when the trial occurs," explains USD Political Communications Professor Terry Robertson. But as one body language expert says, the intent to rally support may have actually backfired, "That press conference, while he was that weak...that confused...was the wrong avenue and the wrong approach for him to take. It could do him very little good. I feel like the press conference not only taxed him, but really showed, or illustrated a little bit more of his injury and his inability to concentrate," says Robertson.

posted by Jason | 8:43 PM

JOHN THUNE'S LEGACY: According to an AP report, the North Dakota congressional delegation is complaining that South Dakota gets special treatment from President Bush on water project funding compared to North Dakota. Excerpt:

North Dakota's congressional delegation criticized the Bush administration Friday for wanting to cut funds to state water projects while agreeing to restore money for similar work in South Dakota.

"They did exactly for the South Dakota project what they said they could not do for the other projects," Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said Friday.

Dorgan and Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., met with administration officials in Washington on Thursday to complain about their refusal to support more money for the Northwest Area Water Supply project, which would pipe Missouri River water for drinking water in Minot and nearby communities, while agreeing to spend more on the Lewis and Clark project. That project will bring water from the Missouri to about 200,000 people in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.

Conrad said he and Dorgan were told the South Dakota project is different because President Bush singled it out for support during a trip to that state in 2001.

South Dakotans will recall that President Bush promised to support South Dakota water projects in his effort to get John Thune elected to the U.S. Senate.

posted by Jason | 5:27 PM

Friday, September 26, 2003  

Kudos to Randy Dockendorf, reporter for the Yankton Press & Dakotan, whose story on the Al Neuharth discussion panel held here at USD last night was linked by Matt Drudge today.

posted by Jason | 11:32 PM

JANKLOW ACCIDENT UPDATE: The Argus Leader is reporting that Congressman Janklow has entered a "not guilty" plea.

The Christian Science Monitor has a story in today's edition entitled How am I driving? Not well enough.

posted by Jason | 5:19 PM

Thursday, September 25, 2003  

BOMBSHELL UPDATE: As outlined in a post below, I've discovered that, despite a New York Times correction to a story last June on the Boeing lease deal asserting that Linda Daschle does not lobby for Boeing on military matters, a 2001 year-end lobbying report found on through the Senate Office of Public Records Lobby Filing Disclosure Program, indicates that she did in fact lobby on military matters for Boeing. Not only that, the document indicates she may have lobbied for the lease deal itself. The document names Linda Daschle as an "individual who acted as a lobbyist in this issue area," and contains Linda Daschle's signature.

The Senate Office of Public Records document states that one of the specific lobbying issues Linda Daschle worked on for the Boeing Company was H.R. 3338, P.L. 107-117, Department of Defense Appropriations and Emergency Supplemental, which was the fiscal year 2002 defense appropriations bill. That bill authorized the Air Force to lease "general purpose Boeing 767 aircraft and Boeing 737 aircraft in commercial configuration," the issue which has ripened to such controversy today.

I'm curious as to why, in light of this document, the NYT made a "correction" saying that Linda Daschle does not work for Boeing on military matters, when in fact, it seems she worked on the very matter in controversy. What or who prompted the correction? It's logical to assume the Daschle camp did. If that's the case, the media has been lied to, and on top of that, didn't bother to check out whether it was true that Linda Daschle did not work on military issues for Boeing. It would also be interesting to know why the Daschle camp lied about this, if in fact it was their pressure that prompted the correction in the NYT.

I've discovered an interesting letter from the director of the Congressional Budget Office to Senate Budget Committee chairman Don Nickles, regarding the "sweetheart deal" between Boeing and the Air Force, which you can read in its entirety by clicking HERE. Excerpt:

The Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2002, (Public Law 107-117) authorized the Air Force to pursue a pilot program for leasing as many as 100 Boeing 767 aircraft for up to 10 years and directed the service to describe its plan to the Congress before entering into such a lease. The Air Force, Boeing, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reached an agreement in May 2003 for the service to acquire 100 Boeing KC-767A aerial refueling aircraft through a complex financing arrangement.

The Boeing 767 is manufactured in Wichita, Kansas, and the local paper, the Wichita Eagle, has pertinent stories on the controversy HERE and HERE.

posted by Jason | 3:26 PM

Today's edition of the New York Times has a story entitled Democrats Step Up Attacks on Iraq War. Excerpt:

The increasingly tough tone was first struck by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts and a consistent opponent of the war, who charged the administration with perpetrating a "fraud" with its justification for the war on Iraq.

Mr. Kennedy's comments, in an interview last week with The Associated Press, drew a strong Republican rebuke, but Senate Democrats, including their leader, Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota, defended his right to speak his mind on the Senate floor. Mr. Daschle himself has been leery of taking on the president over Iraq after coming under intense political fire for his criticism just before the start of the war.

posted by Jason | 3:14 PM

ALSO IN TODAY'S ROLL CALL: A piece entitled "Daschle Endorses Gephardt?" Excerpt:

While Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) has thus far remained neutral in the presidential race, Linda Daschle confirmed that she has decided to back Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.).

The Senator's wife, a prominent lobbyist at Baker Donelson, has contributed $1,000 to Gephardt's White House bid. While some people on K Street sprinkle money to various candidates and keep their options open, Linda Daschle told HOH that she's endorsing Gephardt - even though she has friendships with many of the candidates.

posted by Jason | 1:45 PM

JANKLOW ACCIDENT UPDATE: Roll Call has a story in today's edition entitled Janklow Suit May Cost U.S.. Excerpt:

Taxpayers may end up paying the bill for a potential wrongful death claim against Rep. Bill Janklow, the South Dakota Republican who is facing
criminal charges after a car crash last month left a Minnesota motorcyclistdead.

Janklow, who will be arraigned in South Dakota on Friday on a charge of second-degree manslaughter, may be shielded from liability in any possible
civil suit under a 1946 federal law enacted after an Army plane flew into the Empire State Building. Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, the federal
government covers liability claims for negligent and wrongful acts committed by employees or officials - including judges, lawmakers, Congressional staff and agency bureaucrats - who are acting within the scope of their official duties.

The critical question, so far legally unresolved in Janklow's case, is whether the first-term lawmaker was acting within the scope of his official
duties or employment. If it is determined that he was, then the FTCA would apply, legal experts said....

The decision on whether Janklow would be covered by the FTCA would be made by officials at the Justice Department, most likely by the U.S. attorney for South Dakota. But the case may also be handled by Washington, D.C.-based Justice officials and the ultimate responsibility - by statute - rests with Attorney General John Ashcroft (Janklow and Ashcroft served together as governors briefly in the 1980s)....

If the Scott estate ultimately succeeds in court with its claim, the money that would be paid out would come from the Federal Judgment Fund, which is financed with an annual Congressional appropriation that allows hundreds of millions of dollars in claims to be settled each year. As part of the
process, the Justice Department could also seek to bring in payments from any private insurance policies that covered the car.

posted by Jason | 1:33 PM

The Wall Street Journal has an opinion piece in today's edition entitled "Daschle's Ethanol Dilemma." Excerpt:

In the eternal battle between principle and pork, we know what usually wins in Congress. If Republicans play their cards right, they may be able to force Tom Daschle to make such a choice and get new Arctic drilling in the bargain.

The former Senate majority leader is a main author of a huge new mandate to double ethanol use (and raise gas prices by $8.4 billion over each of the next four years) that is part of the energy bill now in House-Senate conference. Mr. Daschle is already running TV ads touting his ethanol achievements in South Dakota, where he is up for re-election next year. The farm and ethanol lobbies expect him to deliver.

On the other hand, he and most of his fellow Democrats are promising to filibuster the energy bill if it contains a provision to drill for oil in 2,000 acres of the Alaskan wilderness. The question is whether Mr. Daschle and other Ethanol Democrats would vote to kill the entire energy bill merely over the Alaskan issue.

You can access Tom Daschle's floor statement on ANWR by clicking here.

posted by Jason | 7:44 AM

Wednesday, September 24, 2003  

DASCHLE THREATENING FILIBUSTER OF ENERGY BILL: Today's edition of the NYT has a report entitled Republicans Seek Offshore Energy Inventory. Excerpt:

On another drilling matter, Senator Pete V. Domenici, Republican of New Mexico and chairman of the negotiations, met today with Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the Democratic leader, who said he warned Mr. Domenici that the votes existed to filibuster the final energy bill if it opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. The Republican authors of the measure formally added that proposal to the developing bill on Monday.

posted by Jason | 1:00 PM

JANKLOW ACCIDENT UPDATE: The Yankton Press & Dakotan has an opinion piece in today's edition entitled Janklow's Press Conference Leaves People Wondering. Excerpt:

[A]ll things considered, Janklow's appearance Monday was hardly a reassuring performance.

During a Sioux Falls press conference, he expressed his great sorrow over the incident. That was something everyone needed to hear; we expected (and suspected) nothing less.

But in a few awkward instances, he also seemed defensive and combative.

When asked about his now-infamous driving record, his retort that all of us speed -- he went so far as to cite examples -- came off as a case of bristling denial. That, fairly or unfairly, took the edge and the depth out of the contrition he professed to the public.

posted by Jason | 12:47 PM

Tuesday, September 23, 2003  

JANKLOW ACCIDENT UPDATE: Minnesota Public Radio has a report on yesterday's press conference entitled South Dakota gets a look at a different Bill Janklow.

The Capitol Hill Blue also has a story entitled Janklow Apologizes For Killing Biker.

posted by Jason | 10:05 PM

Jimmy Moore of Talon News discusses a bill recently introduced by Tom Daschle: Daschle Bill Would Weaken Second Amendment.

UPDATE: The relevant portion of the bill addressing gun-control can be viewed by clicking HERE. Also, Tom Daschle has so far refused to sponsor S. 659, the "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act," a bill that would protect gun-manufacturers from civil liability lawsuits resulting from the misuse of their products by others. South Dakotans are catching a glimpse of Tom Daschle's true colors. He tries to sneak an anti-gun provision into a bill with a name no politician in his right mind would vote against, while shying away from supporting a pro-gun bill. He's trying to have it both ways though, because he makes noises that he "might" sign on as a sponsor to the pro-gun bill. But he doesn't hesitate to introduce, much less sponsor, a bill with an anti-gun provision in it.

posted by Jason | 12:59 PM

Jeff Gannon of Talon News has a new column up: Daschle, Lautenberg Vow to Fight FAA Privatization They Supported in 1994.

posted by Jason | 9:43 AM

Monday, September 22, 2003  

The National Music Museum, located on the USD campus, received some sorely needed publicity recently in the Sunday edition of the Toronto Star. Excerpt:

Brought to the University of South Dakota with the offer of a professorial appointment, Arne B. Larson brought his collection with him, and that collection of 2,500 instruments has since grown from 1973 to become, at the 10,500 level, reportedly the largest of its kind in the world, largely through the efforts of his son and successor, André Larson, current director of the National Music Museum.

Housed in the university's former library, a stately column-fronted, neo-classical building, the museum's eight galleries can display only a small fraction of its holdings. Those holdings reportedly rival those of the great museums of Berlin, Paris, Brussels and Vienna.

Nor has the collecting ended. Its recent acquisitions include the donation of more than 2,500 harmonicas by Alan G. Bates of Hockessin, Delaware, a collection surpassed in size only by that of the Harmonica Museum in Trossingen, Germany.

Having established itself as pre-eminent in its field, the National Music Museum is where collectors automatically turn their eyes now when thinking of leaving a legacy. Who could have guessed that those eyes would have to point toward Vermillion, South Dakota?

posted by Jason | 10:36 PM

ANOTHER JANKLOW ACCIDENT UPDATE: You can now view the entire press conference held this morning by Congressman Janklow by clicking HERE. You can read about the Scott family's reaction to the press conference by clicking HERE.

Also, Ralph Nader has again called on Bill Janklow to resign. Nader's only link to the state of South Dakota is a lawsuit, wherein he sued to get on the ballot in South Dakota during his presidential run in 2000, and lost.

posted by Jason | 9:44 PM

JANKLOW ACCIDENT UPDATE: Today, Congressman Janklow held his first press conference since the fatal accident he was involved in on August 16. The AP's Carson Walker has this report. You can also find reports on the press conference HERE and HERE.

posted by Jason | 12:10 PM

Sunday, September 21, 2003  

Be sure to read Ryne McClaren's blog today, particularly his commentary on Wesley Clark.

Also, Steve Sibson had a letter-to-the-editor published in today's edition of the Argus Leader. See his blog for the unedited version. I wonder why they deleted Sibby's reference to the fact that the AL is owned by Gannett?

posted by Jason | 8:23 PM

JANKLOW ACCIDENT UPDATE: Congressman Bill Janklow will be holding a press conference tomorrow, according to the Rapid City Journal. Later this week, Janklow will face a preliminary hearing, which David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters discusses in today's edition of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

posted by Jason | 8:13 PM
Ungarnered Praise
Talon News Series on Argus Leader Bias