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, October 25, 2003  

JANKLOW ACCIDENT UPDATE: Judge orders Minnesota witnesses to testify at Janklow trial

posted by Jason | 7:34 PM has a piece in today's edition headlined "Tom Daschle is the NRA."

posted by Jason | 7:16 PM

Judge Rodney Steele has found that Kurt Evans, a Libertarian Party candidate for the US Senate in 2002, stalked Brenda Davis, a player on SDSU's women's basketball team: "Former candidate ordered to stay away from SDSU basketball star." Despite pulling out of the race shortly before the election last year, Evans managed to garner over 3,000 votes. John Thune lost the race by 524 votes.

Evans is appealing Steele's ruling to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

posted by Jason | 7:01 PM

To get a glimpse of how Tom Daschle really feels about partial-birth abortion, one only has to look at a list of donors to his 2004 campaign. Note that one of the donors is Richard North Patterson, an author who has written a novel entitled "Protect and Defend," which casts a proponent of partial-birth abortion as a heroic figure. The South Dakota NARAL chapter had a rave review of the book.

UPDATE: You can find some information on the "South Dakota Senate Victory" PAC by clicking HERE.

posted by Jason | 6:45 PM

TOM DASCHLE TO APPEAR ON HBO'S "K STREET": If you happen to subscribe to HBO, you might want to watch "K Street" tomorrow. According to the Aberdeen American News, Tom Daschle will make a cameo appearance on the show, in which he discusses his efforts to increase ethanol production. I think it is unlikely that Daschle will discuss the fact that his wife, Linda Daschle, is one of Washington's most powerful lobbyists, which would be relevant, given the name of the show. It is also unlikely that the producers, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh, will bring up that fact in the show. Steven Soderbergh has dropped some petty cash (for him) into the Directors Guild of America (DGA), an entity which gave Tom Daschle $2000 in 2002. Recall that Tom Daschle met with the DGA this past spring to discuss runaway film and television production, an issue of pressing importance to all South Dakotans.

posted by Jason | 5:38 PM

Friday, October 24, 2003  

According to a recent Roll Call article headlined "Daschle Gets Help From Colleagues He Helped," Tom Daschle held a $1000 per plate fundraiser in Washington, DC yesterday. Excerpt:

Continuing his aggressive campaign for re-election, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D) will hold a Washington, D.C., fundraiser Thursday featuring Sens. Tom Harkin (Iowa) and Max Baucus (Mont.)....

Both Harkin and Baucus faced what were thought to be tough challenges last cycle and were aided heavily by Daschle and his political operation. Harkin wound up winning by 10 points, Baucus by 31.

posted by Jason | 2:11 PM

The Washington Times' "Inside Politics" feature has a blurb on Tom Daschle's machinations this week to block a bill that would place class-action lawsuits in federal courts. Scroll about three-fourths of the way down this page to read the blurb.

posted by Jason | 1:52 PM

SOUTH DAKOTA LEGAL NEWS UPDATE: The AP has a story today in the Rapid City Journal headlined "Judicial selection at issue with proposed amendment." has a story headlined "Court won't re-hear case on Beef Checkoff." The site also has a story headlined "Appeals court affirms Pork Checkoff unconstitutional."

In other news, the Mille Lacs (MN) Messenger has a story headlined "Oct. 24 appeal hearing for reservation lawsuit." Tom Tobin, an attorney from Winner, SD, is the attorney for the county in a dispute over whether a 61,000-acre reservation, established by treaty in 1855, still exists. The attorneys general for Minnesota and South Dakota have filed friend-of-the-court briefs supporting the county.

posted by Jason | 12:01 PM

DASCHLE HAVING IT BOTH WAYS ON GUNS: Jack Reed, the senior senator from Rhode Island, and the leader in opposition to the gun manufacturer liability protection bill, says Tom Daschle co-sponsored the bill for political reasons. Excerpt from a story in the Capitol Hill Blue headlined "Daschle's Support Gives Gun Bill a Boost":

"I was a bit surprised by Senator Daschle's decision to support this bill," said Reed, the opposition leader. Reed noted that the NRA has a large membership in South Dakota, where Daschle is running for re-election next year.

Reed is probably surprised because of things that Daschle has done in the past, i.e. a long way from election day, like the Statement of Senator Carl Levin on the Daschle Sense of the Senate Resolution Commending the Million Mom March. To get a sense of how the Million Mom March feels about the immunity bill, see a recent press release of theirs, which you can access here (pdf). Once again, we see how Tom Daschle is trying to have it both ways on a controversial issue.

posted by Jason | 7:30 AM

Thursday, October 23, 2003  

Tom Daschle voted to give himself a $3,400 pay raise today, while Tim Johnson voted against giving himself a pay raise.

posted by Jason | 1:41 PM

Tom Daschle is being his old obstructionist self again: Democrats vow to block prescription drug compromise.

posted by Jason | 1:27 PM

Note the interesting change in headlines to Sheryl Gay Stolberg's article on partial-birth abortion in today's edition of the New York Times. Online, the story is headlined "Abortion Vote Leaves Many in the Senate Conflicted." But in the final print edition, the same story is headlined "Bill Barring Abortion Procedure Drew on Backing From Many Friends of Roe v. Wade." The latter headline fits neatly into the theme of Tom Daschle having it both ways on abortion.

posted by Jason | 7:38 AM

Wednesday, October 22, 2003  

Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times has a report for tomorrow's edition entitled "Abortion Vote Leaves Many in the Senate Conflicted." The article discusses the votes by Tom Daschle and Blanche Lincoln in favor of the partial birth abortion ban. Conspicuously missing from Stolberg's report is the fact that both Daschle and Lincoln are up for re-election next year, a factor which undoubtedly influenced their voting behavior on the issue. Excerpt:

Some Democrats who voted in favor, like Ms. Lincoln, said they felt that they were reflecting the views of their constituents. Some, like Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, said the procedure was morally repugnant. Others, like Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the minority leader, said that after eight years of divisive debate, they were ready to get the matter out of Congress and into the courts.

"The time has come to move on," Mr. Daschle said on Wednesday. "I have a lot of misgivings about this bill. I have initially opposed it because I didn't think it took into account the need for women's health adequately. But I also believe that we've got to address this issue and let the courts decide whether it's constitutional. In my view, the vote yesterday just moves that process forward."

posted by Jason | 10:51 PM

Tom Daschle has just given his trial lawyer contributors more bang for their buck on the floor of the Senate today, obstructing passage of a bill with bipartisan support that would limit class action lawsuits: "Democrats Block GOP Move on Class Actions." Excerpt:

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., had lined up enough support from Democrats like Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., to pass the legislation. But Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota persuaded his senators to filibuster the bill and, after some last-second jockeying on the Senate floor, got enough support to kill the legislation.

As most observers know, plaintiff's lawyers are among Daschle's biggest contributors. You can access the roll call vote summary HERE.

posted by Jason | 4:36 PM

DASCHLE HAVING IT BOTH WAYS ON ABORTION: A reader sent an e-mail this morning wondering how to find out how our senators voted on the partial-birth abortion ban. The best way to see how senators voted is to visit the Senate's roll call vote website, which you can access here. Tom Daschle voted in favor of the ban, despite the fact that just last year he sent out a mass fundraising e-mail on NARAL's behalf (you can access the text of Daschle's e-mail by clicking HERE and scrolling about halfway down the page). Excerpt from Daschle's e-mail:

I’ve seen the difference NARAL can make, and I believe you and countless others can help Senator Carnahan and other pro-choice candidates facing tough races. If you make an urgent donation to NARAL’s Save the Senate Campaign today, it will make an important difference for these candidates.

You can observe how NARAL views the passage of the ban by clicking HERE. Once again, we see how Tom Daschle is having it both ways on a controversial issue.

posted by Jason | 7:50 AM

Denise Ross, political reporter for the Rapid City Journal, has also received an advance copy of Tom Daschle's book, due out November 4: "Local scenes featured in Daschle's book." Ross excerpts a portion of Tom Daschle's book recounting a protest Daschle encountered in Rapid City during the 2000 presidential election fiasco in Florida. The excerpt from Daschle's book is below:

"[I] was shocked by what I encountered in Rapid City that day. Outside the hotel where I was to speak, there was a massive anti-Gore and anti-Daschle demonstration. This was the first time in my life this had ever happened to me. People pushing in from all sides. Angry faces shouting and waving signs and placards. I realized this was not just something happening down in Florida. The intensity and emotions that had seized this election had swept into every nook and cranny of our nation - including South Dakota, where it had come home in a profound, palpable way. These people had seen my phone conversation with Al on television - and they didn't like it one bit."

Gee, Republican constituents exercising their first amendment right to voice their displeasure is shocking? Perhaps the protesters in Rapid City were angry about the Democratic effort to disqualify military absentee ballots, or about Daschle blocking passage of a bill that would authorize polling places on domestic military installations. Perhaps that's the reason why Dasche's television ads this summer about supporting veterans rang a little hollow.

posted by Jason | 12:57 AM

Tuesday, October 21, 2003  

Tom Daschle was in Connecticut yesterday, visiting with United South Eastern Tribes about issues such as tribal sovereignty, according to a report in the New London Day: "Tribe Leaders Meet To Talk Politics, Tradition." One of the items for discussion was US v. Long, a tribal sovereignty case decided recently by the 7th Circuit.

posted by Jason | 9:47 AM

Monday, October 20, 2003  

The Center for Public Integrity has some interesting information on the Daschle Democrats, a 527 non-profit political fundraising group.

posted by Jason | 9:49 PM

DASCHLE'S "INFRASTRUCTURE OF ATTACK": Andrew Sullivan delivers a couple of items on his blog today (HERE and HERE) which indicate that National Public Radio is part of the liberal "infrastructure of attack" used to keep conservative critics of liberalism off balance. Tom Daschle coined the phrase in a recent interview for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Thus spake Daschle:

The current administration is backed by what [Daschle] calls "an infrastructure of attack" to keep critics off balance.

"The Wall Street Journal editorial page, the Drudge Report, the Washington Times, Fox News, they have an infrastructure that allows them to follow through with this approach," he said. "We have not seen this before."

Wow. NPR has been on the attack against conservatives for years, at taxpayer expense. For Daschle to say we haven't seen something like this before is intellectually dishonest. It indicates Tom Daschle has no capacity for self-reflection. But I guess that's what it takes to be a politician these days.

posted by Jason | 9:23 PM

An editorial, entitled Janklow: Fall of a South Dakota hero, appears in today's edition of the Denver Post, written by one Josh Garrett-Davis, an apparent South Dakota resident.

posted by Jason | 12:01 PM

Sunday, October 19, 2003  

WHERE'S THE CLOUT?: A piece in the Washington Post today entitled Democrats Push GOP for Greater Inclusion, leads one to ask what kind of clout Tom Daschle has in Washington if he is not even part of the conversation in conference negotiations.

posted by Jason | 9:28 PM

KRANZ WATCH: David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters, mentions Senator Zell Miller's upcoming book in a column today. Kranz quotes Miller's criticism of Daschle's performance during the 2002 elections, but conspicuously glosses over Miller's comments about the morality of congressional spouses being lobbyists. As most people who closely observe politics know, Tom Daschle's wife is a powerful DC lobbyist. Kranz dedicates just one sentence to those comments by Senator Miller:

"Miller doesn't use names but questions if it is moral for a congressional spouse to lobby."

The Argus Leader has over 75,000 readers of its Sunday edition. It's a safe bet that the vast majority of those readers don't know why the hell that single sentence in Kranz's piece today is relevant. They would know why it's relevant if Kranz had added a single sentence: "Linda Daschle, Tom Daschle's wife, is a lobbyist in Washington, DC." But David Kranz omits such a sentence. Once again, we find that what David Kranz does not report is just as important as what he does report.

posted by Jason | 2:51 PM

Judge Piersol's son was recently married in New York City, according to an announcement in today's edition of the New York Times.

posted by Jason | 2:19 PM
Ungarnered Praise
Talon News Series on Argus Leader Bias