Thursday, July 17, 2003

The 2002 South Dakota voter fraud back in the news
The voter fraud issue from the 2002 South Dakota elections is back in the news this week. On the west side of South Dakota is this comment from today's Rapid City Journal:

The Rapid City man who got swept up in a national voter fraud controversy after South Dakota's 2002 U.S. Senate election was on work release from the Pennington County Jail when he paid friends to help him fill out voter-registration cards.

The voter fraud situation on the eastern side of the state was covered by Jeff Gannon's Talon News report:

During the heat of last year's senate race, Television station KSFY was working on an investigative series about alleged voter fraud involving a Democratic registration effort focused on Native Americans. Sources told Talon News that Democrat operatives descended on the station to demand the firing of news anchor Mitch Krebs and reporter Shelley Keohane and spiking of the story.

KSFY Vice President and General Manager Jack Hansen told Talon News that he "could not recall such an incident" but confirmed that a station employee was fired after it was discovered he was tipping off Democrats to the news stories being planned. Both Krebs and Keohane remain at the station, but coverage of the story was abruptly discontinued.

Another biased David Kranz report
Today’s Argus Leader contains a David Kranz report regarding the Senate Energy and Water subcommittee putting additional funding into the Lewis and Clark Rural Water Pipeline system. Instead of giving President Bush for his recent support for Lewis and Clark, Kranz included partisan attacks at the President. First he included this comment from Tom Daschle:

A big challenge was to convince them that the (Bush) Administration would be supportive," Daschle said.

But then comes the shot below the belt from Tim Johnson:

Johnson acknowledged the fight ahead, saying, "we are up against woefully poor House numbers and an administration that is facing soaring budget deficits to pay for fiscally irresponsible tax cuts."

Let’s not forget that in 2001 Johnson voted in favor of Bush’s tax cut, but that was just prior to his 2002 re-election. Kranz either forgot, or he doesn’t want to remind the Argus Leader readers of that fact.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

The new Journalism
In today’s Mitchell Daily Republic is a Kathleen Parker column, but they did not put it up on their web site. The Yankton Press and Dakotan did. Here is an excerpt from her column:

In some areas, bloggers are beating the knickers off mainstream reporters and commentators. Bloggers are credited, for instance, with ramping up interest in Trent Lott's suicidal praise of Strom Thurmond's segregationist history. Bloggers like Andrew Sullivan, former editor-in-chief of The New Republic magazine and author of andrewsullivan.com, was riding herd on Raines and The New York Times long before Jayson Blair became synonymous with criminal journalism. He was insisting on Raines' dismissal while everyone else was tapping the snooze button.

I am proud to admit that Jeff Gannon’s Talon news report included aspects that were first revealed from this blog. First this Gannon comment:

As a result of a Talon News original investigation, the Argus Leader acknowledged a relationship between its star political reporter, David Kranz, and Sen. Daschle that goes back 35 years. Kranz and Daschle worked together at South Dakota State University to stage a mock Democrat Convention in 1968. Kranz served as Daschle's publicity chairman for the event. Critics charge his subsequent political reporting has been clearly favorable to Daschle and the Democrats and unusually harsh to Republicans.

The SDSU revelation was first posted by Sibby Online on 5/29/03

This Gannon comment:.

Amidst the furor spawned by Republican senate candidate Neal Tapio's accusations of bias and the reporting of Talon News, the Argus Leader promoted Kranz in an ad that said, "With almost 30 years covering South Dakota politics, David Kranz is unmatched for expertise. His insights and analysis are a must-read for anyone."

The Argus Leader ad was first put on cyberspace the day (6/29/03) the ad ran in the Argus leader by this blog.

Thanks to bloggers like myself and Jason at South Dakota Politics, people like Jeff Gannon find out facts that the mainstream press in South Dakota do no find. It is unfortunate that their pride gets in their way…after the journalistic forces of the internet scoop the stories they should be covering. Maybe there is an unwritten rule among newspapers...you don’t print anything negative about your fellow journalists? Or maybe they are snoozing while the rest of us are reporting the pro-Daschle bias of the Argus Leader.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Sibby Online Alert!
Jeff Gannon has issued an in-depth report on the issue of Daschle's political machine intimidation of those who voice their dissent. There is a lot here to digest, but what struck me was the part covering Greg Belgrage, the host of Straight Talk:

Other media outlets have been subjected to pressure from the Daschle campaign. Greg Belfrage, an outspoken radio talk show host for Sioux Falls KELO-AM has been called on the carpet several times for his "Daschle bashing."

On his website, Belfrage writes, "Intimidation and embarrassment seem to be SOP (Standing Operating Procedure) for Steve Hildebrand and some others in the Daschle campaign. I'll be counting the days to see how long it takes for Democrats to deliver a copy of this web page to my employer. It's happened before."

Hildebrand personally visited the station to make the Daschle campaign's demands clear.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Tom Daschle’s Cheerleader…David Kranz
Jason of South Dakota Politics posted this comment in his 7/13/03 KRANZ WATCH:

David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters, is up to his usual stunts in his contribution to today's edition of the Argus Leader. Namely, cheerleading his college buddy Tom Daschle while gleefully skewering John Thune.

Evidence of David Kranz’s cheerleading for Tom Daschle can be found in the 1980 back issues of the Mitchell Daily Republic. In February 1980 Tom Daschle joined Robert Byrd at the Mitchell Corn Palace as George McGovern announces his re-election bid for the US Senate. The 2/14/80 Mitchell Daily Republic reported this:

REP. TOM DASCHLE was no less enthusiastic in his supporting comments for McGovern. He called McGovern a man of vision who “has guts.”

Daschle said that South Dakota shares McGovern with the rest of the nation, because McGovern is widely respected as an able senator. “In sharing George McGovern, we’ve benefitted [SIC] tenfold in the things he’s brought back to South Dakota.”

And referring to the likelihood that the state will lose one Congressman following this year’s census count, Daschle said, “It’s going to be George McGovern who’s going to help us compensate when we lose 25 percent of our delegation.”

In his 2/16/80 Mitchell Daily Republic column, David Kranz made this comment regarding the McGovern rally:

The McGovern rally was full of dynamics, with McGovern at his sharpest, Rep. Tom Daschle giving his best speech he’s ever delivered, and Byrd charging the packed audience with lines so powerful you might have imagined you were in a good ol’ fashion revival meeting.

But things did not turn out as planned. In a 11/5/80 Mitchell Daily Republic report Kranz sadly announced that McGovern lost to Jim Abdor:

The end of an era came Tuesday for George McGovern, the builder of the Democratic party in South Dakota.

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 beat 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.

Daschle’s “best speech he’s ever delivered”, as declared by Kranz, wasn’t enough to make McGovern’s re-election bid successful. So then Daschle became the “heir to McGovern”.

Now, in 2004, David Kranz must pull all the stops to get the vulnerable Tom Daschle re-elected. I wonder if Kranz remembers the sadness on 11/5/80, when another Democrat went too far to the left for South Dakotans, as he climbed to the top of the Democratic leadership…and lost re-election to the US Senate?

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Kranz digs dirt on Daschle’s opponent
David Kranz again in today’s Argus Leader column, digs up dirt on John Thune, in his anticipation that Thune will be Daschle’s opponent in 2004:

Roll Call, a Washington, D.C., publication, reported last week that former Rep. John Thune recently was seen at a Dixie Chicks concert in that city.

Roll Call noted that the band has been accused of being unpatriotic since criticizing President Bush for his push for war with Iraq.

Lead singer Natalie Maines said earlier this year that she was "ashamed" that Bush is from her home state of Texas.

Nelson says Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn - the Washington, D.C., law firm Thune works with - purchased a box for the event.

"So John stopped by for the last 25 minutes to say 'hi' to some folks. He wasn't there for the whole concert," Nelson said.

In a 2/9/2003 column, Kranz dug up this dirt on Thune:

In addition to working out of his Sioux Falls office former, Rep. John Thune will do lobbying work as senior government affairs counselor with the Washington, D.C., law firm of Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn.

A recent Associated Press story said that firm represents the pharmaceutical industry trade group that fought against adding prescription drug benefit to Medicare.

During a August on Air segment of a 6/25/03 Greg Belfrage Straight Talk show, Belfrage used the editorials that were spawned from this Kranz misleading column (Thune doesn’t lobby for those drug companies) as examples of letters not factually correct. Randell Beck, the executive editor of the Argus Leader, did not disagree, and instead argued that letters regarding public figures are allowed more liberties as to factual material.

I submitted a letter to the Argus Leader regarding the bias of David Kranz on 7/8/03 and it was censored on 7/11/02 for being “not factual/misleading”. I immediately emailed Chuck Baldwin, the editor, informing him that I had backup to all my points. We will see if the editorial policy of the Argus Leader has changed to factual accuracy or if their policy is still intended to protect the bias contained on their news pages. Bias that creates the dirt which partisan Daschle supporters wet down for their mud slinging.

David Kranz created and now protects the perception of Daschle's clout
Kranz's column in today's Argus Leader is titled, "Neither party has sure bet for control of Senate". This title is in conflict with this comment in today's Mike Madden Argus Leader report:

"With Democrats defending more Senate seats next year than Republicans will, it seems unlikely the Democrats will retake control of the chamber."

This is common knowledge among most political analysts. So why is the Dean of South Dakota politics misleading us into thinking that control of the Senate is up for grabs? Answer:

Kranz knows that in order for Daschle to win re-election in 2004, Republicans must think that Daschles' clout will bring money to South Dakota. After all, he helped manufacture Daschle's clout with this comment from his 7/5/79 column in the Mitchell Daily Republic:

"That with all his early political clout, Tom Daschle must be Tip O'Neill's nephew."

There is no way that Kranz will report that even Democrats are looking at replacing their current Leader of the Senate with Hillary Clinton. He must preserve the Daschle's political strategy of buying votes with taxpayers' money. Kranz must protect the perception that Daschle has "political clout".

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