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 15, 2003  

DASCHLE CALLS ON ZELL MILLER TO APOLOGIZE: Democratic Senator Zell Miller of Georgia yesterday compared Tom Daschle's filibuster of Janice Rogers Brown's judicial nomination to a lynching: "Democratic senator under fire for 'lynching' comment." Tom Daschle is "offended" and finds the comments "unfortunate." Excerpt:

"The Democrats in this chamber refuse to stand and let her do it. They're standing in the doorway, and they've got a sign: Conservative African-American women need not apply. And if you have the temerity to do so your reputation will be shattered and your dignity will be shredded. Gal, you will be lynched," Miller said.

[Wade Henderson, the director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights] then called on Miller, the former governor of Georgia, to apologize -- a call that was echoed by Democratic Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota.

"I was offended. I think it was unfortunate," Daschle said. "I think those within the civil rights leadership who have commented and have asked for an apology are right."

Of course Tom Daschle was NOT "offended" by Senator Barbara Boxer saying that John Ashcroft had "lynched" African-American Judge Ronnie White by blocking White's nomination to the federal bench by President Clinton. Nor did Tom Daschle find her comments "unfortunate." Nor, for that matter, did Tom Daschle demand that Boxer apologize. (Via
Strange Women Lying in Ponds and Instapundit.)

UPDATE: Note that Zell Miller's book is 12th on Amazon's sales ranking, while Tom Daschle's book is 3,275th.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Zell Miller's book is a bestseller, while Tom Daschle's book doesn't even make the list.

posted by Jason | 2:24 PM

You can read Rep. Matt McCaulley's argument for a constitutional amendment prohibiting a state income tax in the November 4th edition of the Sioux Falls Business Journal, headlined "Constitutional amendment reaffirms free enterprise."

posted by Jason | 1:53 PM

The New York Times has a piece about the Rosebud Indian Reservation in today's edition, headlined "Indians Now Disdain a Farm Once Hailed for Giving Tribe Jobs."

posted by Jason | 12:12 PM

The Rocky Mountain News offers details of a fundraising event in Denver at which Tom Daschle was present as debate over judicial nominations raged back in Washington: "Denver visit is a mad Daschle." Excerpt:

"I'm extremely disappointed he would be back in Colorado raising money when we were having such important debate here in the Senate," said [Senator Wayne] Allard, who beat Strickland in the 1996 and 2002 elections. "This is a debate that is going to change the way the Senate does business. It's a debate that affects the quality of judges on our courts. I'm disappointed he took a walk."

UPDATE: The Caspar Star Tribune has a follow-up.

posted by Jason | 11:57 AM

Sandy Herr of Rapid City has a guest editorial published in today's edition of the Rapid City Journal headlined "Weapon of mass destruction."

posted by Jason | 11:42 AM

Friday, November 14, 2003  

ED SCHULTZ WATCH: There's more on Ed Schultz, the left's answer to Rush Limbaugh, at Lone Prairie, a North Dakota- based blog by Julie Neidlinger.

Remember to watch Ed square off with Ann Coulter tonight on "Scarborough Country."

posted by Jason | 5:05 PM

ENERGY BILL UPDATE: The Republicans on the confence committee negotiating the energy bill have reached a deal, according to a piece in The Hill headlined "Republicans say energy accord reached." Of course, the Democrats still have to examine the bill and decide whether they want to filibuster it. For more on the measure click HERE. Tom Daschle has gotten the ethanol mandate he wants (because Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley did the heavy lifting), now it remains to be seen whether South Dakota gets the 10,000 new jobs he promised.

posted by Jason | 4:57 PM

DASCHLE WHINES ABOUT AARP: The Los Angeles Times has a piece headlined "Without a Drug Bill, AARP to Lobby Against Lawmakers." It looks like Tom Daschle is going to have a fight on his hands for once if he filibusters a compromise on prescription drug benefits. Excerpt:

"There are going to be consequences," [AARP executive director William D.] Novelli said, referring to "a major education campaign" that would target congressional incumbents in the 2004 elections.

"We are distressed," Novelli said. "There's been too much political talk and not enough action."

Novelli's veiled talk of promises and threats came as the administration used a Medicare speech by President Bush in Florida to stage a five-city outreach event, with some collaboration from AARP, and as the seniors' organization landed in the crosshairs of some unlikely critics: congressional Democrats.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) said he could not understand why AARP had "caved to the pressures" of Republican leaders in Congress.

Novelli, whose job before coming to AARP involved going after the tobacco companies, was unfazed.

"We are talking to everybody — people on both sides of the aisle, the White House, labor unions, drug companies," he said. "What we're calling for is compromise. That's what these people are supposed to be doing."

But that's the last thing Tom Daschle wants.

posted by Jason | 4:41 PM

FROM NRO'S "THE CORNER": Tim Graham discusses a recent appearance by Tom Daschle on Judy Woodruff's "Inside Politics" show. Graham strikes a familiar theme:

Biased? Yes, especially in what was NOT asked.


posted by Jason | 4:13 PM

Thursday, November 13, 2003  

ED SCHULTZ WATCH: North Dakota radio personality Ed Schultz, the left's version of Rush Limbaugh, will appear on MSNBC's Scarborough Country tomorrow night to debate Ann Coulter.

Click HERE to get North Dakota blogger Julie Neidlinger's take on Ed Schultz.

posted by Jason | 11:16 PM

Mark Steyn has a great piece on liberal bias in the media headlined "America's liberal media bias does their darling Democrats no favours whatsoever." Perhaps David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters, and number one local media chum with Tom Daschle, should be taking notes. Particularly in light of this piece.

posted by Jason | 8:47 PM

DASCHLE TO FILIBUSTER PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFIT?: Tom Daschle can't believe that AARP might support the Republican prescription drug plan: "Democrats Lash Out at Medicare Compromise." Excerpt:

GOP leaders said they expected the backing of the politically influential AARP, with 35 million members age 50 and over.

An AARP spokesman said Wednesday that its board of directors would make a decision once the compromise was ratified by House and Senate negotiators.

Daschle said he believed an AARP endorsement of the plan would prompt "a revolt within the organization.'' He said several other groups representing elderly Americans would announce their opposition to the plan later Thursday.

posted by Jason | 5:25 PM

Wednesday, November 12, 2003  

BISHOP CARLSON CALLS DASCHLE A "SCANDAL": You can now read Bishop Robert Carlson's October 5th homily at the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls website. Excerpt:

You cannot be a Catholic in good faith and vote for a pro-abortion candidate for public office when you have a choice. Regardless of your political party, you cannot be a Catholic legislator at the state level or congressman or senator at the national level and vote for abortion. Those that do, like Senators Kennedy, Daschle and Kerry are wrong and are a scandal for the Church.

This comes on the heels of J. Bottum's Weekly Standard piece published last spring headlined "Tom Daschle's Duty to Be Morally Coherent." The Boston Globe recently published an article on this issue headlined " Bishops may punish politicians."

posted by Jason | 8:03 PM

JANKLOW ACCIDENT UPDATE: Sioux Falls radio personality Greg Belfrage says that Congressman Janklow ought to resign.

UPDATE: Listen to Janklow's comments on the Argus HERE. (Via Belfrage)

posted by Jason | 12:03 PM

Roll Call's Chris Cillizza has a piece in today's edition headlined "Thune in No Hurry to Announce." Excerpt:

Daschle’s lead comes after a summer and fall of near-constant advertising that has cost the campaign roughly $500,000, according to manager Steve Hildebrand.
Hildebrand’s staff of 30 campaign workers — including 20 field organizers — have knocked on more than 30,000 doors, conducting a health care survey that was completed at the end of October, and a campaign to sign up voters in rural areas as co-sponsors of ethanol legislation being pushed by Daschle.
“Tom Daschle is as well-prepared as any political operation in America to take on whatever opponent might come at him,” Hildebrand said.
Republicans retorted that despite Daschle’s spending, he has not put the race out of reach.
“Daschle spent $1 million and is not pulling away from Thune,” said NRSC Communications Director Dan Allen. “Thune’s numbers have not changed even though he has not campaigned at all.”

posted by Jason | 12:01 PM

The Washington Post has an editorial headlined "The Uses of Science," a piece regarding the latest development in the dispute over the flow of the Missouri River.

posted by Jason | 8:30 AM

Bob Mercer had a story in yesterday's edition of the Black Hills Pioneer headlined "South Dakota economy rebounding sooner than nation."

posted by Jason | 7:49 AM

DASCHLE NIGHTMARE: Consider a story in yesterday's Boston Globe headlined "Bishops may punish politicians; Proabortion position of Catholic lawmakers a source of frustration" and compare it to J. Bottum's piece in the Weekly Standard last spring headlined "Tom Daschle's Duty to Be Morally Coherent."

posted by Jason | 7:45 AM

Tuesday, November 11, 2003  

DASCHLE HAVING IT BOTH WAYS ON THE USA PATRIOT ACT: The Washington Times has a piece today headlined "Democrats decry 'abuse' of civil rights." Excerpt:

Mr. Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, said yesterday on NBC's "Today" that Republicans are pursuing a campaign against civil liberties "to bolster their standing in the polls, to bolster their political support around the country."

"They used these devices, I think, to a certain extent, to intimidate people; to recognize, I think, that perhaps using this as a vehicle was a way to enhance their own standing," Mr. Daschle said....

Asked about the criticisms, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan noted that the Patriot Act passed with "overwhelming bipartisan support" — 98-1 in the Senate and 356-66 in the House. Mr. Daschle, Mr. Edwards and Mr. Kerry voted for the bill.

Below is a transcript of Daschle's appearance yesterday on the Today Show:

MATT LAUER, co-host:

On CLOSE UP this morning, a war of words over the war on terror. Tom Daschle is the Senate minority leader and the author of a brand-new book called "Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever."

Senator Daschle, good morning. Good to have you here.

Senator TOM DASCHLE (Democrat, South Dakota): Thanks, Matt. Good to be back.

LAUER: Well, I don't normally interview a politician and say let's start by talking about what another politician said. But Al Gore, former vice president, former presidential candidate, over the weekend gave a speech, and he was extremely critical of the president in the war on terror and the war on--against Iraq. Let me take a look at a clip. We'll talk about it on the other side.

Mr. AL GORE: In my opinion, it makes no more sense to launch an assault on our civil liberties as the best way to get at terrorists then it did to launch an invasion of Iraq as the best way to get at Osama bin Laden.

LAUER: Criticism valid in your opinion?

Sen. DASCHLE: I think it is to a certain extent, Mat. I think that there's a lot of concern about the assault on our civil liberties. The need for privacy and protection is something that people feel more strongly about today than ever before. We get into that in the book. We talk about how over the last couple of years we had a big debate about whether or not the--the--the act went too far. And to a certain extent, I think we're going to have to evaluate whether it has.

LAUER: So would you like to repeal the Patriot's Act?

Sen. DASCHLE: Well, I don't know that I'm prepared to say we'll repeal it, but I do think we have to recognize the--the need for greater sensitivity to personal liberties and to privacy.

LAUER: The accusation is a very intense one. The vice president is suggesting, and I'm curious if you agree, that the Bush administration used the war on terror and the war in Iraq as an excuse to make a power grab for our civil liberties. Do you agree with that?

Sen. DASCHLE: Well, I think they did make an excuse to a large extent. They--they created this campaign to--to--to bolster their--their standing in the polls, to bolster their political support around the country. And they used these devices, I think, to--to a certain extent, intimidate people to recognize, I think, that--that--that perhaps using this as a vehicle was a way to enhance their own standing.

LAUER: So a little bit smoke and mirrors. In other words, put our attention, the people's attention, on one thing and then take away liberties in the other direction.

Sen. DASCHLE: That's the point. That's the point. And that goes all the way back to when we debated this in the first place that we talk about in the book.

LAUER: The Congress recently passed the $87 billion request for the war on terror and the--in the reconstruction of Iraq. In the Senate it was a voice vote. Why?

Sen. DASCHLE: Well, I think in large part because we had already voted several times, Matt. And then on that particular day there were a lot of senators who were out of town and we didn't have...

LAUER: But it makes...

Sen. DASCHLE: ...the opportunity.

LAUER: harder to know who actually said yes and who actually said no.

Sen. DASCHLE: But we actually said yes and no several times already up until that point.

LAUER: You were a yes?

Sen. DASCHLE: Yes.

LAUER: OK. That would mean, I would imagine, you wouldn't spend $87 billion of the taxpayers' money frivolously if you didn't think it was going to be spent efficiently. Are you comfortable with the way it's going to be be spent?

Sen. DASCHLE: Well, there's--there are two--two different categories. The first is the $65 billion for the troops. Yes, I'm comfortable supporting that. We had a lot of misgivings about the $22 billion. We tried to separate the two, so we could have a vote on the 22 and then a vote on the 65.

LAUER: You signed...

Sen. DASCHLE: We couldn't...

LAUER: ...a letter...

Sen. DASCHLE: that.

LAUER: ...actually, along with some other Democrats, urging the president to push for a constitution in Iraq and--and move up a certain definitive time table. Could you have separated out that $22 billion and--and been happy with the 65? But wait a second, Mr. President, I'm not going to vote on this 22 billion.

Sen. DASCHLE: That's exactly what we wanted to do. We wanted to say, look, first the 22 ought to--we ought to at least consider whether it should be a loan or not. We're borrowing all this money. And if we're going to borrow it, shouldn't the Iraqis have some responsibility for paying it back, as well? We wanted to make that case. We had a lot of misgivings about some of the money and how it was going to be directed. So for a lot of reasons we felt they could have done a lot better job.

LAUER: Nine candidates for the Democratic nomination for president right now. Has any of those candidates, in your opinion, Senator Daschle, distinguished himself or herself to the point where they showed the vision and leadership it's going to take to win the nomination?

Sen. DASCHLE: No question, Matt. I think we're going to be in a very competitive...


Sen. DASCHLE: ...position next year. Well, I'm not going to name names. I think there are a number of people that--that I think have the capacity to be our--our candidate next year. And I think you'll see a--a great deal coalescing around that candidate once the primaries are over.

LAUER: In the book you talk about the best and worst moments of the last couple of years of the 107th Congress. The--the best was when Jim Jeffords crossed the line, became a Democrat and abandoned the Republican Party. The worst you say was election of 2002 where the Democrats lost control of the Senate. Have Democrats recovered sufficiently from that loss moving into the 2004 presidential election?

Sen. DASCHLE: Actually, that was the worst political moment. I think the--the 9/11 and the anthrax attacks were by far worse than that. But, yes, I think we're in a very good position. We're looking forward to the next year. We've got great candidates. I think we've got a strong message. And I think we're be--going to be more organized than--than we've been in a long time.

LAUER: Sen...

Sen. DASCHLE: It's going to be a good year.

posted by Jason | 12:14 PM

Monday, November 10, 2003  

FROM STARS AND STRIPES: "South Dakota Guard unit in Iraq enjoys 'relative' success."

posted by Jason | 1:51 PM

FLASHBACK: Jim Jordan, Senator John Kerry's campaign manager, has been fired. Jeff Gannon of Talon News had the goods on Jordan last August, in a piece headlined "Claim: Kerry Aide Used Gay Smear to Help Defeat Incumbent Senator."

posted by Jason | 1:47 PM

JANKLOW ACCIDENT UPDATE: The deputy state's attorney prosecuting Congressman Bill Janklow says that a near miss involving Janklow at the same intersection where the fatal accident occurred is the heart of the state's case: "Judge rules on pretrial motions in Janklow case." Excerpt:

The testimony of Jennifer Walters, of Trent, regarding a close-call accident at the intersection is key to the state's case, said Bill Ellyson, a deputy prosecutor hired by Moody County State's Attorney Bill Ellingson.

"This piece of evidence is pretty much the heart of the state's case," he said.

"We're obligated to show that William J. Janklow drove recklessly. We have to establish a state of mind, a knowledge not that he intentionally ran into Randy Scott but that he intentionally drove through that stop sign at a high rate of speed."

posted by Jason | 12:57 PM


The Powerline folks provide an alternative caption for this photo, found in a story in yesterday's edition of the Washington Post.

posted by Jason | 7:50 AM

Sunday, November 09, 2003  

SIBBY DIGS IT UP: On Sunday, April 6, 2003, Editorial Page Editor Chuck Baldwin of the Argus Leader issued the following policy statement regarding letters to the editor about Tom Daschle's infamous comments on the eve of the Iraq war:

We’ve had a couple weeks now – it seems much longer – of letters praising and condemning Sen. Tom Daschle for his comments on diplomacy and war. The Argus Leader even weighed in with an editorial objecting to the tone and timing of the comments.
But all the letters are starting to sound the same. There is nothing more to say on the topic that will move us forward.
So we’re calling a halt.
Please find a new topic.

This statement was issued a mere 20 days after the event. It has been 85 days since the Janklow accident happened, and hardly a day has gone by that there hasn't been a letter to the editor about the event. The most recent letter published on the Janklow accident was yesterday.

Isn't this, to borrow executive editor Randell Beck's phrasing, a teensy-weensy inconsistent? The letters about the Bill Janklow accident started sounding the same a long time ago. By the "starting to sound the same" standard, you'd think Chuck Baldwin would have put the kibosh on letters regarding the Janklow accident some time ago. That he hasn't done so indicates an intellectual inconsistency unworthy of an editor.

I think it was wrong for Chuck Baldwin to have unilaterally cut off all discussion on the editorial page about the Daschle comments, and it would be wrong for him to cut off all discussion about the Janklow accident. I'm just pointing out the inconsistency, which once again shows the liberal bias of the Argus Leader in general. The liberal Democrat gets a pass, while the conservative Republican gets the skewer. All in a day's work for the Argus Leader.

Kudos to Sibby Online for digging up the April 6, 2003 policy written by Chuck Baldwin.

posted by Jason | 3:48 PM
Ungarnered Praise
Talon News Series on Argus Leader Bias