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Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Linda Daschle watching out for Boeing and Illinois
The Chicago Sun-Times reports (via South Dakota Politics) that Boeing spent over $8 million in lobbying during 2002. Among the lobbyists that are looking out for Illinois interests is Linda Daschle:

Big-name contract lobbyists working for Illinois interests include former members of Congress and top officials from past presidential administrations, along with Linda Daschle, wife of Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.).

Now the New York Times is reporting a scandal brewing in regards to Boeing lobbyists and the sweetheart 767 lease arrangement with the US Airforce:

One of the internal Boeing e-mail messages described a meeting between Boeing lobbyists and members of the staff of the Air Force secretary, James Roche. It shows the head of Air Force acquisitions, Marvin Sambur, turning to Boeing for help: "He indicated that the USAF is desperately looking for the rationale for why the USAF should pursue the 767 tanker NOW . . . It was clear he was looking to find a path forward."

Other memos provided a bird's-eye view of a powerful lobbying effort by the Air Force and Boeing. A Boeing lobbyist, after meeting with top Air Force officials, said the Air Force "urged us to have our friends on Hill, think tanks, etc. get more visible/vocal" with pro-tanker arguments. It contended that Mr. Roche was particularly keen on anything Boeing could do "especially if it helps drown out McCain."

John McCain is leading the charge in the Senate where two committees are planning hearings on the issue this week.
David Kranz’s front-page report inappropriate
Today’s Argus Leader front-page report by David Kranz was nothing more than a couple of Daschle cabal members pounding nails in Bill Janklow’s political coffin. Most disturbing was this comment from Augustana professor Jim Meader:

The pictures of Janklow might have increased concerns about his ability to serve in Congress, Meader said. "This was a very fragile Bill Janklow, and my impression is that I think for most South Dakotans, there is tremendous sympathy for the situation he finds himself in, and none of us would want to be in his position right now. For some who may have disagreed with Janklow's policies but always saw him as a strong leader, what they saw today may be disconcerting, in that this was not the Bill Janklow they knew."

Bill Janklow, as tuff as he is, many times showed a big heart. I am not surprised to see him distraught after the death of another. I have no concern about his ability to serve in Congress.

I do have concerns for Jim Meader’s ability to objectively lead a political science class at Augustana College. I sent him documentation from the 2002 South Dakota Senate race regarding the bias of the Argus Leader regarding the gun issue. He never responded even after my follow up after the David Horowitz visit in April.

I am also concerned for the people of South Dakota who are mislead by the partisan bias of David Kranz’s reporting. His bias is obvious and well documented.

Both of these two partisans could have waited to start their celebration of the end of Janklow’s political career. There is too much pain now. The Argus Leader had no newsworthy business to put it on their front-page today.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Follow up on the Hildebrand editorial
On Monday 9/1/03 the Argus Leader published a letter to the editor from Steve Hildebrand, Tom Daschle’s campaign manager. I would link to it but it was the only letter not put on the Argus Leader web site that day. It was almost word for word to this editorial of Hildebrand’s from the 8/31/03 Rapid City Journal:

Dawn Pence (Aug. 27 letter) should get her facts straight before she makes a partisan attack on Tom Daschle.

Tom and Linda Daschle own a home in Aberdeen. They pay property taxes on that home each year. Sen. Daschle has a South Dakota driver's license and is registered to vote here. No credible person has ever questioned his South Dakota residency and his qualifications to run for the U.S. Senate.

Ms. Pence is quoting from a right-wing attack story that was filled with false information. The homestead deduction is available to any homeowner in D.C. who qualifies, and because Linda Daschle pays D.C. income taxes, she qualifies on behalf of the Daschles. This does not disqualify Sen. Daschle in any way.

Ms. Pence was doing nothing more than making a partisan political attack against Sen. Daschle. Otherwise, she would have told readers that Republican senators like Kay Bailey Hutchison, a millionaire senator from Texas, and right-wing columnist Bob Novak have also taken the homestead deduction. Why doesn't she criticize them too?

I brought this to the attention of Argus Leader publisher, Arnold Garson, and executive editor, Randell Beck, because Hildebrand’s editorial clearly violates the Argus Leader exclusivity policy. They call me on every letter I submit and ask if I sent it to another paper. I asked whether Daschle’s campaign manager is immune from this procedure, thereby getting special treatment verses other letter writers. Both emails were opened, but I did not get a response from either representative of the Argus Leader.

The issue of the Homestead Tax Credit was broke by Jeff Gannon of Talon News. I emailed the report to David Kanz, which was opened. I also emailed the report to Randell Beck, but the email was deleted without being opened.

Randell Beck frequently presses for openness of our political leaders. One would think that their campaign managers would also be held to that same standard. Then why is the Argus Leader keeping secret the Daschle Homestead Tax credit on his Washington DC home and why are they keeping secret the reason behind the Argus Leader editorial policy violation by Daschle’s campaign manager?

Additional note: This is the second complaint I sent the Argus Leader publisher, Arnold Garson. Both went unanswered. Makes me wonder what is the hidden agenda behind this Gannett owned newspaper.
Michael Moore under the gun
WorldNetDaily reports today on Michael Moore’s far left deception regarding his “Bowling for Columbine” fictional documentary:

Dan Gifford, an Academy Award nominee himself, has called on the academy to investigate whether Moore "fabricated scenes and video of real people that has been edited to manufacture a fictional reality intended to mislead viewers."

If it is determined those accusations are true, Gifford, the producer of "Waco: The Rules of Engagement," wrote to Bruce Davis, executive director of the academy, Moore should be stripped of the Oscar and it should be awarded to the runner-up.

Here is a terrific excerpt from Gifford:

"On the political left, ends justify means," he said. "So, even if Michael Moore lied in his film to promote a leftist vision, his lies are defended as truth by those who agree with him."

Monday, September 01, 2003

Hildebrand violates Argus Leader policy
Jason of South Dakota Politics is again on the ball by posting this letter to the Rapid City paper by Daschle campaign manager, Steve Hildebrand:

Dawn Pence (Aug. 27 letter) should get her facts straight before she makes a partisan attack on Tom Daschle.

Tom and Linda Daschle own a home in Aberdeen. They pay property taxes on that home each year. Sen. Daschle has a South Dakota driver's license and is registered to vote here. No credible person has ever questioned his South Dakota residency and his qualifications to run for the U.S. Senate.

Ms. Pence is quoting from a right-wing attack story that was filled with false information. The homestead deduction is available to any homeowner in D.C. who qualifies, and because Linda Daschle pays D.C. income taxes, she qualifies on behalf of the Daschles. This does not disqualify Sen. Daschle in any way.

Ms. Pence was doing nothing more than making a partisan political attack against Sen. Daschle. Otherwise, she would have told readers that Republican senators like Kay Bailey Hutchison, a millionaire senator from Texas, and right-wing columnist Bob Novak have also taken the homestead deduction. Why doesn't she criticize them too?

Jason has great commentary on his web site regarding the hypocrisy of this letter. The reason I took notice of this letter is because it was also printed in today’s Argus Leader which violates the paper’s editorial policy:

We welcome Voice of the People letters that have a maximum of 200 words and are written exclusively to the Argus Leader.

The Argus version of the letter changed the person (Doug Clark instead of Dawn Pence) and did not include the Bob Novak point…clearly a violation of the exclusive policy. I have had numerous letters printed and they always call and ask if I sent the letter to another paper.

Either the Argus Leader is giving the campaign manager of Tom Daschle special treatment, or Hildebrand did not honestly answer the question from the Argus Leader staff regarding its exclusive nature.

I have emailed Argus Leader publisher Arnold Garson (also copied executive editor Randell Beck) regarding the issue. Stay tuned for the result.

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