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, November 08, 2003  

BILL JANKLOW ACCIDENT UPDATE: Rapid City Journal political reporter Denise Ross had a piece in yesterday's edition headlined "Newspaper trying to skew trial, congressman says." In the article, Janklow is quoted as saying the Argus Leader is "tampering with public opinion," and at the same time claims, "I don't know what they report."

To be intellectually honest, executive editor Randell Beck has actually restrained his newspaper from reporting stories about Janklow that couldn't be corroborated. The AL never published the story about Jennifer Walters, the woman who claimed to have nearly been hit by Janklow at the same intersection where the fatal accident occurred, until this past Wednesday, when the record of the event was unsealed by Judge Steele. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported this story several months ago. The Argus Leader also never published a false story, reported in the Washington Post of all places, that Janklow had hired a former Washington DC police officer to investigate the victim of the accident. Randell Beck pointed out both of these items in a piece this past September.

As for Janklow's criticism of the letters to the editor policy of the AL, I think it would be better placed if he discovered whether it's true that the AL actually published the fact that they would no longer print letters to the editor about Tom Daschle's infamous comments on the eve of the Iraq war last March. I've heard from several sources who claim that the AL actually published that policy, but I haven't been able to find it. If it's true that the AL actually did this, then it seems it would be fair that at some point they'll stop publishing letters to the editor about the Janklow accident. If anyone can find the edition where the AL published that policy about letters to the editor regarding Tom Daschle's comments, or if that claim is untrue, please e-mail me.

posted by Jason | 1:56 PM

Friday, November 07, 2003  

ED SCHULTZ WATCH: Ed Schultz, the left's answer to Rush Limbaugh, and pal to Byron Dorgan and our own Tom Daschle, claims to be the recipient of a Peabody award and a two Marconi awards. On "Scarborough Country," he said the following:

"I’m a proven talk show host. I have got a Peabody. I have got a Marconi."

On "Buchanan and Press," Schultz reiterated the claim:

"I’m with the Jones Radio Network. They have got syndicated programs on over 5,000 radio stations. This is coming through industry standards. One thing you can’t do, Pat. You can’t take my Peabody, and you can’t take my two Marconi’s and you can’t take my ratings."

It turns out that this claim is misleading. According to the Peabody Awards website, it was KFGO radio that received the award, for coverage of the 1997 Red River Flood:

For comprehensive, extensive and indispensable news coverage in a time of crisis, with significant impact on many communities, a Peabody to KFGO Radio for "Flood of the Century."

Ed Schultz was on a list of people singled out for praise. So it's not like he's got the award sitting in his trophy case at home. It's not "his" Peabody as he explicitly claims.

As for the Marconi awards that Shultz claims to be "his," it turns out they're not "his," they're KFGO's. KFGO received two Marconi awards in 1997, one for "Station of the Year by Format," and one for "Station of the Year by Market Size." You can view the list of Marconi winners by clicking HERE.

I wonder if Al Franken will write about this, given his outrage over Bill O'Reilly's false claim that O'Reilly won a Peabody award.

posted by Jason | 5:22 PM

Thursday, November 06, 2003  

Still more of the "having it both ways" theme, this time from Peter Beinart: "The Menace."

posted by Jason | 10:10 PM

JANKLOW ACCIDENT UPDATE: Congressman Janklow is reportedly claiming that the Argus Leader is deliberately trying to tamper with public perception, in a story headlined "Janklow tees off on Argus Leader."

posted by Jason | 9:53 PM

HAVING IT BOTH WAYS ON GUNS: The New York Times editorial page picks up the "having it both ways" theme as it relates to Senator John Kerry: Aiming Beyond the Pheasants. Excerpt:

Gun control emerged with a bang in the Democratic presidential primary campaign the other day as Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts blasted a pheasant from the Iowa sky with a shotgun, minutes after attacking the gun control credentials of his rival, former Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont. Senator Kerry aimed to have it both ways: he indulged rural voters' fondness for lawful hunting, but he went after Mr. Dean as fair game for having opposed restrictions on military-style assault weapons as a state politician 11 years ago, while now supporting the current federal ban.

The piece notes that there are various gun-control amendments being proposed to add to the gun manufacturer immunity bill. Tom Daschle is co-sponsoring the bill, and it would be interesting to know whether he's trying to add any of these amendments to it.

posted by Jason | 1:30 PM

Remember Tom Daschle on the Senate floor in September of 2002, talking about how outraged he was at the "politicization" of the war on terrorism, in part because of documents on a floppy disk found in Lafayette Park?

"And then we find a diskette discovered in Lafayette Park, a computer diskette that was lost somewhere between a Republican strategy meeting in the White House and the White House. Advice was given by Karl Rove, and the quote on the disk was: 'Focus on war....'

"That is outrageous, outrageous. The president ought to apologize to Sen. Inouye and every veteran who has fought in every war who is a Democrat in the Senate. He ought to apologize to the American people. That is wrong. We ought not politicize this war. We ought not politicize the rhetoric about war and life and death."

Now that a Democratic memo has surfaced which outlines a strategy to politicize a review of prewar intelligence (see the WaPo story headlined "Politicized Memo Incites Row") one wonders whether Tom Daschle's well developed sense of outrage at "politicization" of the war will once again spill out onto the Senate floor. Or at least at a press conference. Notice he has not yet said one thing about this development. He's hunkered down waiting for this to blow over.

posted by Jason | 12:24 AM

Wednesday, November 05, 2003  

The New York Times has a piece today headlined "The Race According to George McGovern. Excerpt:

Mr. McGovern, the last insurgent Democrat to run for president on an antiwar platform, sees parallels between the 1972 race and the current campaign. And in the candidacy of Howard Dean, he hears echoes of his own.

In a recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Senator Zell Miller agrees with this analysis and adds:

I find it hard to believe, but these naive nine have managed to combine the worst feature of the McGovern campaign--the president is a liar and we must have peace at any cost--with the worst feature of the Mondale campaign--watch your wallet, we're going to raise your taxes. George McGovern carried one state in 1972. Walter Mondale carried one state in 1984. Not exactly role models when it comes to how to get elected or, for that matter, how to run a country.

posted by Jason | 7:16 PM

The Rapid City Journal has an eerily familiar letter to the editor in today's edition headlined "Daschle's Taxes."

posted by Jason | 10:44 AM

Tuesday, November 04, 2003  

TONY DEAN UPDATE: The Rapid City Journal reports that Tony Dean, a possible Democratic candidate for Congress, will appear at an event in Rapid City sponsored in part by the Sierra Club.

Bob Mercer reports that the Dems seem to be dropping Dean like a hot potato in a piece in the Watertown Public Opinion today:

Remember when Tony Dean of Pierre was making news as the likely Democratic challenger in 2004 to Republican Congressman Bill Janklow? That was back when Dean was still seen as a hot commodity - "a rock star" in the words of Daschle/Johnson campaign manager Steve Hildebrand - among Democratic strategists after he helped Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson with a hunting ad on TV in the tight race last fall against Republican challenger John Thune.

But when Stephanie Herseth positioned to make another run for the U.S. House in the wake of the Janklow crash, Dean disappeared from the Democrats' radar screen this fall. The reason was a general conclusion that he couldn't beat Herseth in a Democratic primary election next June. The best indication came when State Democratic Party officials gave her the spotlight as emcee for their state central committee gathering recently.

The question now is when Dean will be in another TV ad next fall for Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle - or maybe even Herseth.

posted by Jason | 10:34 PM

TOM DASCHLE'S INTIMIDATION: When asked at a press conference today what he thought of the decision by CBS to cancel "The Reagans," and move it to Showtime, Tom Daschle said the following (note the use of the Tom Daschle Lexicon™):

"It smells of intimidation to me. It sounds to me like they were intimidated in making decisions that reversed earlier ones and I’m disappointed. I think anytime occasions arise when the essence of the judgment made by television producers is influenced by outside forces, we have to call into question whether that level of intimidation is appropriate. Clearly we’re all paying the price. Whether or not this was the right decision is something left to others to make, but it does, again, raise the specter of just how powerful some of these special interests truly are today."

Tom Daschle knows something about intimidation, as reported by Jeff Gannon last summer in a piece headlined "Critics: Daschle's Soft Image Masks Political Machine." Excerpt:

Talon News originally investigated accusations of bias at South Dakota's largest newspaper, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. Information gained as a result of that investigation uncovered what one public official described as a "Sopranos-style" pattern of systematic political intimidation by some members of Daschle's staff and campaign.

He explained that under the cover of "hardball politics" the intimidation is accomplished by pursuing those who are most vulnerable. Small business owners and their employees are particularly susceptible to bullying. The official said that threats of the loss of business or employment are usually sufficient to silence open political opposition, but sometimes a newspaper article is necessary to discredit a rival or critic. In a largely rural state of 750,000 people, nearly everyone is "touchable" in some way.

posted by Jason | 5:41 PM

Earth to Tom Daschle: Any economist will tell you that jobs are a lagging indicator. But you know this. Clearly, you're looking for the dark lining of a silver cloud.

posted by Jason | 12:11 PM

Jeff Gannon's piece is linked on Drudge today.

posted by Jason | 12:03 PM

Tony Dean, a possible Democratic primary opponent against Stephanie Herseth for South Dakota's lone congressional seat, is quoted in a story in the Washington Post today, headlined "Talk of Gas Drilling Splits Pro-Bush Factions in West." Excerpt:

In South Dakota, many bird hunters are upset by the administration's retreat from a federal program of buying conservation easements on wetlands that are prime habitat for migrating ducks.

Tony Dean, host and producer of a popular outdoors television show, has accused the administration of undermining a conservation program that is good for birds, farmers and hunters.

"Saying you're the friend of sportsmen because you support gun ownership, while using it to hide the dismantling of America's conservation policies, is patently dishonest," Dean wrote recently in Outdoors Unlimited, a publication of the Outdoor Writers of America.

posted by Jason | 7:59 AM

Jeff Gannon of Talon News has a new piece today, headlined "GOP Head Says Daschle 'More Beatable' in 2004." Excerpt:

Polls show Daschle running dead even with Thune, but comes in around 47%. Historically, when an incumbent polls below 50%, defeat is the likely outcome. Even more troubling has to be Daschle's unfavorable rating, now at 36%.

Republican Thune can also credibly use the same argument that Johnson successfully employed in 2002, that if elected, he would be a member of the majority and better positioned to deliver for South Dakota. In a state where George W. Bush got 60% of the vote in 2000, the importance of that factor cannot be overlooked.

posted by Jason | 7:56 AM

Monday, November 03, 2003  

ED SCHULTZ WATCH: The photo below is of Tank McNamara, Ed Schultz's producer. No, I'm serious.

Conservative talk show hosts around the country must be despairing.

posted by Jason | 10:31 PM

ED SCHULTZ WATCH: The DNC's blog contains some interesting discussion on Ed Schultz, the Democratic answer to Rush Limbaugh. Click HERE and HERE to read the discussion.

Elsewhere on the web, you can read a transcript of Ed Schultz's appearance on "Scarborough Country" HERE.

UPDATE: Ed Schultz will be here in Vermillion on Saturday for the UND-USD football game.

posted by Jason | 4:55 PM

DASCHLE HAVING IT BOTH WAYS ON GUNS AND ABORTION: Donald Lambro of the Washington Times has a piece in todays edition headlined "On the wing of a gun and a prayer." Excerpt:

An odd thing is happening to Democrats as we near the 2004 elections: Some now support more conservative positions on guns and abortion — two of the most contentious social issues of our time.

posted by Jason | 4:39 PM

LARRY KLAYMAN FOR SENATE?: The man who sued Bill Clinton on behalf of most of Bill Clinton's sex accusers is running to replace Bob Graham, who, much to Tom Daschle's chagrin, announced his retirement today.

posted by Jason | 4:17 PM

You can view Tom Daschle discussing his new book with a local reporter HERE (Go to the 10:45 mark).

Senator Pat Roberts' spokeswoman says a recent letter Tom Daschle sent to President Bush regarding the sale of Australian wheat to Saddam Hussein "required a little more research."

We missed a story from The Hill a few weeks ago, headlined "Daschle says ‘means testing’ may be drug bill deal breaker." Mickey Kaus discussed this story in an October 23 post.

Tom Daschle's hometown newspaper criticizes his proposed "Open Fields" legislation.

posted by Jason | 10:15 AM

Sunday, November 02, 2003  

FROM TODAY'S "MEET THE PRESS" TRANSCRIPT: "Because they’re considered too liberal. They do more harm than good. Terry McAuliffe can’t come down there and try to help us Southern Democrats. Neither can Bill Clinton or Al Gore or Tom Daschle or Nancy Pelosi because this party has been pulled by these special interests with their own narrow agenda so far to the left that they’re completely out of the mainstream." - Senator Zell Miller, Georgia Democrat, on why national Democrats don't visit the South to help a fellow Democrat.

posted by Jason | 11:01 PM

Tom Daschle will discuss his new book at the Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC this Thursday. For more info, click HERE.

posted by Jason | 7:26 PM

ED SCHULTZ WATCH: Senator Mary Landrieu will be holding a fundraiser for Ed Schultz of Fargo, North Dakota, the left's answer to Rush Limbaugh, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

"Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., is opening her Capitol Hill home Wednesday for a fund-raiser to launch what is being billed as a 'progressive talk radio' network, a planned alternative to the conservative voices of popular commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity."

posted by Jason | 4:37 PM

The Weekly Standard's Scrapbook has blurb on Tom Daschle's new book regarding the Wellstone funeral.

posted by Jason | 4:29 PM
Ungarnered Praise
Talon News Series on Argus Leader Bias