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.

Friday, October 03, 2003  

I can't believe that in his latest report, entitled Daschle to oppose energy bill if ethanol provisions are weakened, the AP's Jack Sullivan doesn't even mention the controversy surrounding Tom Daschle's threatened filibuster of the energy bill if it contains an ANWR drilling provision.

Conventional wisdom has it that Tom Daschle may have to allow the ANWR drilling provision in order to get the ethanol mandate he wants. Tom Daschle even wrote a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal this week regarding the matter. I think Jack Sullivan is a fair reporter, but this time he really missed some salient facts on the energy bill that should have been reported.

Meanwhile, the Watertown Public Opinion is on the ball with the facts in an editorial entitled Daschle needs to get the job done. Excerpt:

There are two competing provisions in the energy bill debate. One calls for
drilling in the Alaskan Natural Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) and the other has to
do with the renewable fuels standard including ethanol and biodiesel usage.
Daschle has indicated he will help filibuster the energy bill if it contains
a provision to drill in the Alaskan Natural Wildlife Reserve (ANWR). Opening
up ANWR has been key to President Bush's plan to lessen our dependence on
foreign oil reserves.

Mandatory ethanol usage, (as part of the renewable fuels standard) on the
other side, is a key part of Daschle's pledge to South Dakota voters and
corn producers. Such a provision would be a boon for our Glacial Lakes
Region economy and help the nation move to renewable energy sources....

Our view is, if the energy bill does end up containing a provision for
drilling in ANWR, Daschle needs to consider dropping the filibuster option,
and accept the compromise to insure South Dakota and the nation will get the
ethanol mandate. As discussed in the 2002 campaign, the Democratic leader
needs to use his clout to deliver on what the voters of this state expect on
a national ethanol policy.

The compromise makes sense. Ultimately, we need an energy policy that
delivers solutions that lessen our need on foreign oil sources, just like it
should lessen our need for fossil fuels. ANWR drilling does the former,
while mandatory ethanol use does the latter.

posted by Jason | 7:26 AM

Thursday, October 02, 2003  

South Dakota Republican Party executive director Jason Glodt gets quoted in today's edition of USA Today: The newest kingmakers: Indian tribes. The piece discusses Tim Johnson's victory in 2002.

posted by Jason | 12:07 PM

FREE STATE PROJECT PASSES ON SD: The Free State Project has chosen New Hampshire to be the destination of 20,000 libertarians in the next few years, according to the Washington Post: New Hampshire, at Least the Best.

posted by Jason | 12:04 PM

Wednesday, October 01, 2003  

DASCHLE HAVING IT BOTH WAYS ON INDEPENDENT COUNSEL: Jeff Gannon has a new piece up entitled Daschle Calls For Independent Counsel to Investigate Alleged Leak. Jeff cites some poignant quotes from Daschle during the Clinton years.

posted by Jason | 11:55 PM

DASCHLE IN WSJ TODAY: Tom Daschle says he won't consider ANWR drilling in exchange for an ethanol provision in a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal today. The contents of the letter by Daschle follow:

"In your Sept. 25 editorial, 'Daschle's Ethanol Dilemma,' on the energy bill now pending in Congress you state that 'Alaskan drilling already has majority support in the Senate.' Yet the proposal to drill for oil in the Alaska wildlife refuge received only 48 votes when the Senate last voted on the question in March of this year, and drilling proponents mustered even fewer votes on other recent occasions. You also suggest that I would abandon my opposition to drilling in the wildlife refuge in order to advance the energy bill's ethanol provision, which is supported by more than two-thirds of the Senate and President Bush. I never will make that trade, and I am confident that the ethanol provision will become law this Congress, either in the energy bill or on its own merit."

The Fairbanks, Alaska News-Miner analyzes this development. Reuters has this report.

posted by Jason | 11:45 PM

VOTER FRAUD UPDATE: Judge Piersol has thrown out Becky Red Earth-Villeda's federal lawsuit against former South Dakota attorney general Mark Barnett, which alleged, among other things, that there were people "higher up the ladder" who were involved in improprieties during last year's election. Tim Johnson beat John Thune in that election by 524 votes.

FLASHBACK: Byron York of National Review reported on this story last winter. For more background, click HERE.

posted by Jason | 9:46 PM

Tuesday, September 30, 2003  

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: Sheesh, I don't know how I overlooked this article. Nearly two months ago, CNBC published an interesting analysis of lobbyists in the families of politicians entitled Family ties that buy influence. Priceless excerpt:

Linda Daschle says she doesn't lobby her husband or anyone in the Senate, and that her clients come to her not because of her powerful spouse but because of her long experience in the airline industry. Nonetheless, her work as a lobbyist means big companies with business on Capitol Hill can legally put money into Tom Daschle's bank account....

Clearly, Daschle's wife's client billings of more than a $1 million a year help him live in a style that he couldn't afford on just his annual salary of $171,900. The voters will have to decide if they have a problem with that: Daschle is up for re-election in 2004.

NOTE: It looks like Linda Daschle only makes around $1 million a year, not the $6 million reported HERE last April. Yeah, only $1 million.

posted by Jason | 12:02 AM

Monday, September 29, 2003  

Jeff Gannon of Talon News has a new article up entitled Liberal Journalists Lambaste Fox News at South Dakota Event. His article covers the elite media echo chamber symposium held in Slagle Hall last Thursday night. You can view the controversial discussion by clicking HERE.

posted by Jason | 1:48 PM

BOMBSHELL UPDATE: A letter to the editor of the Aberdeen American News, written by a former Boeing employee, questions the assertion that Linda Daschle works only on commercial issues as a lobbyist for Boeing: Time to look at Linda Daschle's job.

In a Sept. 12, letter Senator Daschle made the following statement concerning his spouse, Mrs. Linda Daschle and the Boeing 767 issue, "Linda does work at a firm that represents the Boeing Corporation. However, her professional experience has been in civil aviation, and she works only on Boeing's commercial aviation projects and has no involvement in Boeing's military projects." I find this statement incredulous.

I have worked for the Boeing Commercial Airplane Company (Renton and Everett, Wash., facilities) and others (Northrop Grumman, McDonnell Douglas and Lockheed Martin) as a supply chain professional (procurement/ inventory management and business systems implementation specialist). I understand commercial and military aviation.

Boeing Everett WA is the commercial wide body manufacturing facility. As with the current KC-10 USAF Tanker (former McDonnell Douglas commercial airframe DC-10 produced at the Long Beach CA commercial facility then modified to USAF Tanker configuration standards) the proposed 767 Tanker will be built at Everett WA on the Boeing Commercial (Linda Daschle's client) manufacturing line. This airplane will be a standard commercial 767 then modified (at either Boeing Field Seattle, Wash., Wichita, Kan., or St.Louis Mo. - all Boeing military facilities).

The benefit will go directly to the Boeing Commercial Airplane Company. Linda Daschle knows this and seeks the best deal (lease) for her client. However, is it the best deal for taxpayers? Linda Daschle is playing a key lobbyist role in this controversial program. Maybe it's time to discuss Linda Daschle's lobbyist role, her other clients and the impact on American taxpayers.

Mark D. Walker


posted by Jason | 12:22 PM

DASCHLE HAVING IT BOTH WAYS ON GUNS: David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters, has a report in Sunday's edition of the Argus Leader which contains an interesting snippet:

Daschle did something else last week that makes him look more like a candidate. He compromised with a nemesis, the National Rifle Association, on a measure to insulate gun makers from most liability lawsuits. That didn't sit well with some Daschle loyalists, but it brought from them a common response: "He's running."

Mike Madden, the Argus Leader's Washington correspondent, reported on this development Friday.

Earlier last week, I noted that Tom Daschle had introduced a bill that contained an anti-gun provision, while at the same time hesitating to endorse a pro-gun bill that protects gun manufacturers from liability lawsuits.

Now Tom Daschle has the dubious distinction of being a politician who co-sponsors a pro-gun bill, while at the same time introducing a bill with an anti-gun provision. That's a classic having-it-both-ways posture, remarkable even for a politician. But I've often said that Tom Daschle brings the having-it-both-ways technique to a whole new level.

But back to Kranz's Sunday column. David Kranz mentions that the NRA is a "nemesis" to Tom Daschle. I guess that's accurate. But it would be more accurate to call Tom Daschle a "long-time nemesis" to the NRA. Because even back in 1968, when Tom Daschle was the president of the Political Science Club at South Dakota State University (and David Kranz was the club's publicity chairman), Tom Daschle was an outspoken anti-gun activist opposed to the NRA's agenda.

In the spring of 1968, Tom Daschle was the coordinating committe chairman of a mock Democratic political convention at SDSU. According to reports in the SDSU Collegian at the time, Tom Daschle was "appalled" by the conservatism of the platform adopted at the convention, and in a last-minute manuever, Tom Daschle successfully moved to rescind the platform. Excerpt from the May 1, 1968 Collegian:

"No platform at all is better than the one we adopted Friday," said coordinating committee chairman Tom Daschle.

Daschle, who also called the the platform "too conservative," said the motion to rescind the platform was made because the platform as amended was not in accord with the views of either [Eugene] McCarthy or McGovern, the convention's nominees.

Even then, Tom Daschle was engaging in various forms of skulduggery to advance his liberal agenda. It gets better. A gun-control plank in the platform that Tom Daschle wanted included was the first item to be contested, and ultimately, the delegates voted to strike it. But striking a gun-control plank was just "too conservative" for Tom Daschle. According to the Collegian, the proposed plank stated the following:

"We encourage the passage of federal regulation of the sale and possession of firearms. The possession and ownership of such firearms should be registered with the state governments."

Clearly, we know what Tom Daschle would do about pro-gun legislation if he had his druthers. He'd filibuster the hell out of it. Now he's relegated to taking an ideologically incoherent position on the issue in order to keep his constituents guessing. Once again, when it comes to controversial issues, Tom Daschle tries to have it both ways.

posted by Jason | 12:09 AM

Sunday, September 28, 2003  

SD FARMER IN NYT: A farmer from Raymond, SD recently had a letter to the editor published in the New York Times critical of limousine liberal eco-activist Robert Kennedy, Jr.: Is It a Farm, or a Factory?

posted by Jason | 3:47 PM
Ungarnered Praise
Talon News Series on Argus Leader Bias