Wednesday, June 18, 2003

More stuff the Argus Leader won't print
While Randell Beck continues to spin excuses for the Argus Leader refusal to fully cover the Linda Daschle lobbying issue, Talon News comes up with more facts with today’s Jeff Gannon report:

Lobbying may now be considered a Daschle family profession. The Senator and Mrs. Daschle's son Nathan was a lobbyist for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees before taking a position at the Washington lobbying firm of Covington and Burling. Covington and Burling represents Microsoft, Merck, and the Washington Post among others.
The Daschles' daughter-in-law, Jill Gimmel Daschle, has started her own lobbying firm, JD Consulting, which will lobby with Sullivan & Baldick. Jill was a finance director for the 2000 re-election campaign of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA). She moved on to New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen's 2002 senate campaign as a fundraiser.

Argus Leader readers who want to see what the Argus won’t print should also check a 5/26/2002 WorldNetDaily column by David Freddoso titled, “Mrs. Daschle’s lucrative lobbying”. The conflict of interest is explained this way:

The income Mrs. Daschle ultimately derives from her clients also enters the Daschle family budget, improving Sen. Daschle's finances as he considers actions that will affect these clients. The exact amount Mrs. Daschle earns from her lobbying activities remains unknown, since the senator told Human Events he will not make their joint tax return public.

In the 1982 congressional race, Daschle had no problem releasing his return, but then he was married to Laurie.

One piece of Randell Beck spin is in regard to what he calls a fact … Linda Daschle does not lobby the Senate. Freddoso points out the voluntary nature of this spin:

Sen. Daschle told Human Events that because Mrs. Daschle voluntarily chooses not to lobby his chamber of Congress, he does not consider it a conflict of interest for her to represent interests that depend on his official acts.
"My wife doesn't lobby in the Senate at all," he said. "So she has limited her activities to the House, and I think that's appropriate."

But Freddoso brings forward this fact regarding Lorel:

Her firm's midyear 2000 lobbying report, filed Aug. 14, 2000, listing Loral as a client, is signed by Mrs. Daschle. In the section of the report where the firm was instructed to name "each individual who acted as a lobbyist" for Loral, the firm listed Mrs. Daschle and three others. It says that the firm contacted both the House and Senate on Loral's behalf, but notes that Mrs. Daschle voluntarily refrains from lobbying the Senate.

On 7/11/2002, Deborah Orin points out how Loral appreciates her efforts:

Take Loral, which paid a $14 million fine last January to settle charges of illegally sending sensitive missile technology to China.
In 2001 alone - the latest data - Loral paid $460,000 to Linda Daschle's firm for lobbying by her and four colleagues.

Senator Daschle’s 1998 campaign also received money from Loral… $13,500. As Daschle uses this campaign money to brag about all the taxpayers’ money he brings home to buy votes, Tom and Linda are secretly lining their own pockets. This was the clout Tony Dean talked about.
Some election facts were not irrelevant
This self-authored editorial was printed in yesterday’s Mitchell Daily Republic in response to a column written by Noel Hamiel, the publisher of the Mitchell Daily Republic:

On June 7, Noel Hamiel argued that college activities are irrelevant with regard to Argus Leader reporter, David Kranz. If so, then why did David Kranz bringing up Paul Erickson’s college activities in his 5/25/03 Argus Leader front-page story?

With that said, I agree with Noel’s argument that the present is more relevant. Therefore I bring forward the 2002 Senate race. Specifically, I am referring to David Kranz’s 9/24/02 report on the NRA endorsement of John Thune. Instead of reporting on the voting record that backed that endorsement, Kranz included comments from Tony Dean and Clark Butler that charged us with being liars.

In defense of ourselves, the truth, the Constitution of the US, and the Constitution of South Dakota, I attempted to communicate that voting record to both Kranz and Dean throughout the month of October, but got nowhere. To add insult to injury, Kranz then boasts twice since the Thune 524 vote loss, that Tony Dean was instrumental in the Tim Johnson victory, because he neutralized the NRA.

Reporting the voting record of Johnson, before election day, would have undermined the credibility of Tony Dean, a big part of the Johnson strategy. Kranz could have become the one to lose the election for Johnson, and drop the status of his college associate … to minority leader.

Daschle lost that status anyway, and now it is Kranz whose credibility is on the line.

First, I would like to praise the leadership of the Mitchell Daily Republic for printing the above editorial. Sibby Online readers should know that during the 2002 Senate race, the MDR allowed me to write about once every two weeks, whereas the Argus Leader did not print one of my editorials in their newspaper after 8/24/02, until after the election was over.

One of my MDR editorials included the content covered in yesterday’s MDR editorial piece, whereas the Argus Leader censored the letter I sent them covering that issue. It did make a difference for those who were allowed to read by viewpoint. I received feedback verifying that. I was proud to see the first Davison County published election results showing John Thune with an eight-vote lead over Tim Johnson for the county in which Mitchell is located.

Yesterday, I distributed a copy of a Talon News story to a few Democrat partisans that included this revelation:

Steve Erpenbach, currently State Director for Daschle, was Assistant City Editor for the Argus Leader from 1986 until 1989. David Kranz, the reporter at the center of the controversy, was City Editor at the time. Erpenbach became Press Secretary for Ted Muenster in his 1990 bid to unseat Sen. Larry Pressler (R-SD). It was during this campaign that the New York Times and Roll Call criticized the Argus Leader for its biased coverage.

The reaction was the all-too-common left-wing response … attack the messenger to avoid the truth. The discussion then went onto my above-mentioned editorial. Both pieces were simply too much for partisan Daschle supporters to handle.

The Democrats I mention above are highly respected by myself, because we can openly discuss controversial issues without taking them personal. Will they be able to understand that the bias demonstrated by the Argus Leader, during the 2002 Senate race, represents a threat to both democracy and also the freedom that democracy creates for Americans? Do we have the courage to maintain the freedom that the brave Founding Fathers created? Only the truth will set us free!

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

How about the voting record
In today's Argus Leader is an editorial from the Argus Leader editorial board regarding a $20 billion spending measure (included in the tax cut bill) that provides South Dakota with $70.9 million. What the Argus Leader failed to mention is that both South Dakota Senators, Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson, voted against this measure. Looks like their liberal philosophies were more important than South Dakota interests. Again, the Argus Leader doesn't want us to hear about such actions our Senators take in Washington.

Looks like the Argus Leader editorial board doesn't want the facts (voting records) to get into the way of a good story.

Monday, June 16, 2003

Sibby Online Alert!!!
Check the Monday, June 16, 2003 post on South Dakota Politics called KRANZ WATCH. If Randell Beck thinks the Linda Daschle Boeing story deserved a correction and was inappropiate for Argus Leader ink, then Kranz's 2/9/2003 statement regarding Thune's lobbying needs to be corrected with apologies.
The David Kranz Story Part Eight – The pattern takes shape
Remember in my Part five post regarding a special column in the 1/18/78 issue of the Mitchell Daily Republic that David Kranz wrote regarding his grandpa? It included this statement:

My grandma and grandpa had talked about Humphrey on many occasions over the past 35 years.
A month before, my grandma had passed away, but a few months before, my grandparents had celebrated 60 years of marriage. On that date Hubert and Muriel and Sen. and Mrs. McGovern had remembered them with eloquent tributes. That rekindled my grandpa’s interest in politics, for Hubert and George ranked right along with FDR and Harry Truman in his books.

Kranz also talked about his grandpa in the Argus Leader on 11/20/88:

"My grandfather cultivated my political interest, and it was Kennedy's rise to the presidency that gave me something to cheer about." Kranz remembers "wearing my Kennedy button" at Watertown Junior High School.

Also remember in a 6/7/03 column of Noel Hamiel, the publisher of the Mitchell Daily Republic which made mention about “Kranz’s long and friendly relationship with George McGovern”.

Then this showed up in a 11/8/80 Mitchell Daily Republic opinion while Kranz was the managing editor:

Tom Daschle has to be regarded the new leader of the Democratic party in light of his overwhelming victory. That makes him a hard act to bear for Clint Roberts in 1982 when the two will likely challenge each other. Daschle has been labeled the heir to McGovern by the people in power positions in the party. They privately groom him for a race with Larry Pressler in 1984 – one they are convinced will be winable at that point. And Daschle seems ready to face that confrontation.

Wow, see the pattern. Kennedy, Humphrey, McGovern and now Daschle … All thanks to grandpa’s political cultivation. And Kranz even got to go to college with Daschle.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

The David Kranz Story Part Seven
My previous post demonstrated that Randell Beck is putting up smoke screens while living in a state of denial regarding David Kranz’s bias. Here is Kranz’s 11/3/83 farewell column from the Mitchell Daily Republic:

Putting things in proper perspective about my last seven years sounded like an easy thing, but there is much more to it than throwing together a few random notes.
Anytime I spend seven years in a community, I have mixed emotions about uprooting for something else.
A new challenge with great opportunity was offered me. It wasn’t as simple as a quick “yes”. It involved an assessment of where I have been, what I have done and where I hope to be.
I have had extraordinary opportunities as managing editor of the Daily Republic.
It has opened for me the avenue of editorial discussion. It has provided for me an outlet for my political prognostication and observation. It has given me room for growth in my profession that I may not have easily found on other newspapers.
Through it all, I have given it my best.
In the end, I would hope I took the best interest of the people of this community and placed them as my first and only priority.
I have never been one to disclaim the idea that I don’t create controversy with some of my opinions, with some of my columns. If I didn’t achieve that kind of dialogue, I would write off my time here as unsuccessful.
Provoking thought is a must in a community that is searching for ways to grow. In those provacative[SIC] terms, I have heard the disatisfaction[SIC] and the allegations of bias.
Yet I do not apologize for any one position I have stood for.

David Kranz under the gun for his bias is not a new story. Randell Beck needs to wake up.
Randell Beck still doesn’t get it
In today’s Argus Leader is a Randell Beck column that appears to be a humorous attempt to defend the Daschles. Conversely, his paper was not kind to those who were planning a humorous campaign to hold Tom Daschle accountable.

I need to respond to what Beck refers to as facts. Here is his three-point argument:

First, I explained, Linda Daschle has been a lobbyist for Boeing since 1998. Second, while she is a member of a well-known schmoozing firm, she doesn't lobby the Senate. Third, when she does go to bat for the airplane manufacturer, she handles commercial, not military, issues.

Point one is correct, so Beck is one for one so far. Point two, she doesn’t lobby the Senate. Officially… yes. But, what about the fact that she is married to the Senate’s minority leader? Are they any secret conversations between Linda and Tom? Does Linda have the same influence over Tom that my wife has over me? Therefore, point two is not a fact, it is in question. Point three, she handles commercial not military issues in regard to Boeing. Okay, let me bring forward a point in the corrected NY Times story regarding the military contract that was described as a “sweartheart deal”:

The deal would help Boeing keep its 767 production line alive in the face of declining commercial orders.

Note the reference to "commercial". So for Boeing, the military verses commercial aspect is intertwined. Is it also intertwined under the table with regard to lobbying in general and above the bed with regard to lobbying the Senate? Point three is also not fact, but still in question. Randell Beck’s column is a smoke screen.

What was of particular interest to me was this statement:

I told her that the publisher of a newspaper in a certain town west of Sioux Falls learned about The Times bombshell and asked the Associated Press - the world's largest news-gathering service - to distribute the story to member newspapers. Which the AP did.

Why is Beck keeping the town and publisher secret? Are the South Dakota media elite working in collusion?

My last point is in regard to the Argus Leader’s front-page story, a while back, announcing that Daschle was running for president while he was announcing that he in fact was not running. Remember the next day, Beck’s explanation that the Argus Leader was both wrong and right. I wonder what the L.L.M.B. thought about that spin job. That report deserved a correction. Military verses commercial looks more like splitting hairs.

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