Thursday, February 05, 2004

In Pierre
I am leaving for Pierre to directly deal with legislation to ban abortion and enhance gun rights. I guess I am for protecting life before and after birth. No posting until I get back.

Look for my Reader’s Forum Op-Ed in the Argus Leader.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

More on the Tony Dean cabal
As promised, I have more on the sportsmen journalists that have misled fellow sportsmen in the 2002 South Dakota Senate race.

I would like to start with a Babe Winkelman column regarding the Tony Dean boycott:

Should Sportsmen Boycott?
January 18th, 2003

When a special-interest group threatened to boycott the sponsors of my television show, I saw it as a compliment. After all, with Nike, Haagen Dazs, Amoco, McDonalds, Wal-Mart, Hormel and Levi Strauss all being boycotted by one group or another, I’m running in pretty fast company.
Boycotts and protests have traditionally been associated only with the most radical of the countless organizations opposed to something or other, but lately nearly everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon.
Opinions expressed in this column have generated talk of boycotts against my television sponsors from anti-hunters, animal-rights activists, elk breeders, vegetarians and ranchers, just to name a few. Like most boycotts, they didn’t amount to much.
South Dakota outdoor television host Tony Dean knows about boycotts. Tony was inundated with threats to blackball his sponsors after he publicly endorsed Democratic incumbent Tim Johnson in his US Senate race with Congressman John Thune, the president’s handpicked candidate, in the last election.
Dean, a long-time Republican, said he backed Johnson because he had a stronger voting record on natural resource issues than Thune, who happened to be the NRA-endorsed candidate. Sportsmen howled, accusing Dean—a lifelong hunter—of being anti-gun.
The events that followed illustrate why I believe sportsmen should leave boycotting to the animal-rights, anti-hunting and anti-gun activists.
We sportsmen have spent decades telling the non-hunting public of our contribution to wildlife conservation. Anyone reading the emails Tony received would suspect all that talk about conservation is empty rhetoric, a smoke screen intended to mask the fact that we’re really a bunch of single-issue radicals who are more concerned about our right to have a closet filled with automatic weapons than we are about wetlands, grasslands or clean water.
Tony went out of his way to explain his actions, detailing the poor voting record of Thune, a man Tony actually endorsed in his first run for Congress. He explained how Thune had failed South Dakota sportsmen on some key wildlife-related issues, and elaborated on Johnson’s performance on issues that matter.
But Dean’s detractors were hearing none of it, and continued to insist Tony had “sold out” the state’s sportsmen.
That’s the problem with boycotts—they come with a my-way-or-the-highway mentality that polarizes the participants and closes the door to any meaningful exchange of ideas. Anyone on the receiving end of a boycott quickly learns that logic, reason and a willingness to discuss the issues are out of the question.
The handful of second-amendment ideologues who attempted to boycott Dean apparently forgot that the same Bill of Rights that guarantees our rights to own guns also guarantees free speech and press. There was a time when an open, honest dialog was considered a healthy process, a way for people to understand all sides of an issue.
Boycotts don’t encourage meaningful dialog—they suspend it.
Ironically, during the months prior to and following the election Tony kept his web site open to his critics, allowing the same pro-gun zealots who attempted to silence his voice a vehicle to spew their venom.
The majority of non-hunting Americans still see hunting as a legitimate recreation, and one possible reason is that rational, conservation-minded sportsmen are an attractive alternative to the radical, vocal and sometimes even violent tactics employed by the antis.
When sportsmen lower themselves to the level of the extremists, don’t we run the risk that pendulum of public opinion could take a nasty swing the other way?
Politicians on both sides of the aisle have tried to convince sportsmen we have to make a choice—we can vote our guns or we can vote natural resources. Tony’s party-jumping support of a pro-resource candidate sent a message to Washington that sportsmen expect both.
Johnson narrowly won his bid for re-election, and many political observers felt Dean’s endorsement may have turned the tide in a state that’s heavily Republican. Tony invited sportsmen from both parties to examine the issues and entertain an open, honest dialog, and thankfully a few accepted that invitation.
Boycotts? What happened in South Dakota illustrated once again that boycotts are for those who want everyone to listen, but don’t have much to say.

After confronting Winkelman with a long cover letter and hundreds of pages of documentation that proved the above column to be off target, I became aware that the column was not Winkelman’s but written by a Dan Nelson, who is now at Delta Watewrfowl. Here is his email to me in response to my confrontation:

Yes, I'm the one who wrote the column. I did stop into Babe's office to pick up the package you sent, but forgot to bring it home with me. I've taken a new job editing Delta Waterfowl's magazine and have been extremely busy the last two months.

I suspect the purpose of your research was to show that Tim Johnson is anti-gun. Personally, Steve, I don't believe a Congressman has to support the NRA on every vote to be pro-gun. Like Tony, I am very pro-gun--I own a dozen or so and have been hunting for almost 50 years.

Also like Tony, I am more concerned about environmental issues that threaten the future of my hunting than I am about someone's right to own an assault weapon. The Clean Water Authority Restoration Act of 2003 is a good example. I fully expect Tim Johnson will support that bill, which some believe will determine whether or not we have duck hunting down the road. I don't want to get in a debate with you because you're obviously as firmly entrenched in your beliefs as I am in mine. But I would ask you to watch for the vote on the Clean Water Authority Restoration Act of 2003. To my way of thinking, anyone who votes against that bill is no friend of sportsmen, regardless of how he votes on gun-control bills.

Dan Nelson

All three of these guys, Tony Dean, Babe Winkelman, and Dan Nelson write for Dakota Country Magazine. As you can tell from my previous post, Bill Mitzel of Dakota Country Magazine is also a part of the cabal of far-left environmental wackos who have their own self-interests at heart. The truth doesn’t matter to them. Note that the Winkelman column, that Nelson wrote, promoted dialogue, but Nelson's email to me showed a complete disinterest in discussion regarding the gun issue. Mitzel's censoring three of my letters echos this group's lack of effort in exploring the issues in an open and honest platform. These are sportsmen journalists who have no journalistic ethics and care only for their own far-left self-interests. This explains Mitzel's concern regarding their lack of credibility and his censoring of three letters to his magazine.

Note that all but Tony Dean operate outside of South Dakota. As far as I am concerned, Tony Dean can start operating outside of South Dakota too.
The Tony Dean cabal
I just received this email from Bill Mitzel of Dakota Country Magazine that clearly shows how a small group of sportsmen journalists are protecting each other from being exposed as they misled fellow sportsmen:

Thanks for your letter and your subscription. Yes, we do allow and
encourage letters from all sides. I do have a policy of not allowing the
writers to be chastized in such a manner as to render their credibility
ineffective. Both Tony and Dan are veteran outdoorsmen and they know
their ground, so I must respect that and will not print any letters that
unjustly, in my opinion, dishonors them.
You'd be more than welcome to do a guest editorial on guns or any other
subject and I'd be glad to have it, as long as Dan and Tony aren't
mentioned. Look forward to seeing it. Thanks again.
Bill Mitzel
Dakota Country Magazine
Dakota Territory

Here is the third letter that he was refusing to print:

To the Editor of Dakota Country:

Your February 2004 issue had a great article on hunting white tail does by Tony Dean. I agree with everything he said. I should try some of his recipes, since I did harvest three white tails doe last season in South Dakota myself.

But when it comes to politics, sportsmen should take Tony Dean with a grain of salt. He is among a few sportsmen journalists that are misleading sportsmen with a very partisan one-sided view of issues that are important to sportsman. The two main issues are conservation and gun rights.

Dan Nelson is also among the partisan journalists, as demonstrated by his column in the February issue. Republicans are hammered for what they do wrong, but ignored or minimized when they do right. Take President Bush and the wetlands issue. Democrats, Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson, are praised when they do one thing right on gun rights, but are ignored when they support the anti-gunners. Tim and Tom voted in support of the Million Mom March whose emcee was Rosie O’Donnell. Rosie stated, in the wake of Columbine, that hunters who think they have the right to own guns should be thrown in jail.

Sportsmen deserve to hear both sides of both issues. Then sportsmen should make up their own minds what is most important to them on election day. They should not be misled into blindly voting for what is most important to Tony Dean and Dan Nelson.

I hope this magazine will be open to the other side. I would be happy to write a guest editorial on the gun issue as it relates to the 2004 elections.

I will have more on this later.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

South Dakota’s Senators confused
Jeff Gannon of Talon News has a report on President’s Bush 2005 budget. It ends with this Tom Daschle reference:

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) led the chorus of criticism from Democrats when he told the Associated Press, "This administration pledged that its tax cuts and policy choices would not turn record surpluses into record deficits, but this budget shows that's exactly what's happened."

As Daschle bemoans the deficits he promotes increased spending that only worsens the deficit. Even though the President increased the funding for the Lewis and Clark water project from $17 million to $17.5 million, Daschle wanted $35 million. He then repeats his outrageous comment as posted by the Aberdeen News:

Said Daschle, "This administration promised that its tax cuts and policy choices wouldn't turn record surpluses into record deficits, but this budget shows that's exactly what's happening."

Then comes his sidekick Tim Johnson:

"The president's budget seems to be more of a wish list than anything based in the reality of operating the federal government," Johnson said. "This is no way to run a government. If families back home used these same budget tactics, they'd lose the house."

Then Johnson’s partisan hypocrisy fires up:

Furthermore, he said, the budget underfunds the No Child Left Behind education program by more than $9 billion.

How do you balance the budget when you promote additional spending? I don’t think Daschle or Johnson can answer that unless they admit our taxes must go up…which they won’t dare admit. Afterall, South Dakota doesn't even want a State income tax.

South Dakota Democrats are even in favor of decreasing taxes by removing the sales tax on food. Instead of Democrats promoting Republicans to vote for Daschle, maybe Democrats should take a look at voting for Thune.
Democrats and abortion
WorldNetDaily has a report on John Kerry’s dilemma with the far-left position on abortion and his Catholic faith.

Also remember the same dilemma for Tom Daschle as reported in the Weekly Standard.

As I have already posted...Daschle may be placing a higher priority on abortion than South Dakota family farms in Washington DC, which has also been covered by a South Dakota Politics post and a post by the Daschle v Thune blog.

As A Catholic, what does David Kranz do? Fully disclose this issue to South Dakotans or protect Democrats? Does he find out what Stephanie Herseth would do if she were in Daschle’s position? Would she support her far-left abortion friends or would she support South Dakota family farms?

We all know what Larry Diedrich and John Thune would do. South Dakota doesn’t know what Tom Daschle and Stephanie Herseth would do.

If South Dakotans were fully informed, would they believe that Daschle or Herseth were moderates?

Sibby responds
Here is a column I wrote for the Mitchell Daily Republic to respond to Daschle's propaganda on the Prescription Drug benefit that was recently added to Medicare:

To the Editor of The Daily Republic:

There has been a number of letters to the editor in the wake of Sen. Tom Daschle’s 1/13/2004 Medicare Prescription Drug presentation. I too attended the presentation that consisted of a negative attack against America. While the taxpayers were at work, Daschle was telling seniors that the $534 billion entitlement the taxpayers were going to provide them was inconsequential.

What Daschle presented was the 20% reduction for those incurring $5,100 in drug costs and then argues the plan provided little. Then he glossed over the 95% coverage that kicks in for those whose costs are higher. That is where you find the meat of the benefits. For example, those who have a $1,000 per month in drug costs will receive over $7,000 in coverage. That’s over 60% in reduced drug costs and Daschle argues that is not enough. In 25 years, Daschle hasn’t got one cent in Prescription Drug coverage for Medicare. That’s probably why he didn’t want to fully explain it.

Instead of telling the whole truth, Daschle enraged the audience by attacking the American drug companies that provide the life sustaining products, which are the world’s best. As he promoted doing business in Canada, Daschle demonized these American companies (who provide jobs for many taxpaying Americans) and the lobbyists who represent them. What Daschle didn’t bring up was the fact that his wife Linda is a lobbyist and worked on behalf of Shering-Plough’s effort to extend its patent on Claritin. If Daschle truly believed lobbyists were evil, then he would have had his second divorce by now.

This paper’s 1/15/2004 editorial pointed out how wrong Daschle was for not voting for the $534 billion dollar benefit. On 1/21/2004 the paper printed Daschle’s misleading response. He stated that, “more than 2,000 seniors were concerned about the impact of the recently passed Medicare prescription drug plan”. As I explained above, it was Daschle’s negative propaganda that upset seniors. He instigated their fear, confusion, and anger. It was really sad to see them leave his presentation in such a bad mood. Daschle should be ashamed for playing politics with our seniors just to get re-elected.

His letter then mentioned, “the law will result in 5,000 South Dakotans losing coverage they get through their former employers”. He said ‘will’ result, but this figure is an ‘estimate’ not a fact.

Later, his letter then says,” Medicare is prohibited from using its purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices”. Under the current plan, the lower prices will be the result of competing private companies. That is how the free market enterprise system has used competition to make America the greatest economic power in the world.

South Dakota should understand that Daschle represents the far-left Democrats who want America to embrace socialism. In this case, they are promoting socialized medicine where the services are provided by a monopoly…the Federal government. Socialism rotted the economic structure of the Soviet Union. Socialism created their poverty.

South Dakotans should reject Daschle’s misguided and disguised plan by not sending him back to Washington DC. He can go back there on his own to live with his lobbyist wife. He can stay there if all he does when he comes to South Dakota is put us in a bad mood with his negative attacks on America. He doesn’t have faith in South Dakota’s families to care for our elderly. He also has no faith in God and his church to watch out for the needy. He wants us all dependent on the Federal government…which would make the far-left secular socialists happy.

Monday, February 02, 2004

HB 1191 on agenda
HB 1191 the bill that will ban abortion in South Dakota is now on Thursday’s House State Affairs agenda:

Committee: House State Affairs
Room: 412
Date: Thursday, February 5, 2004
Time: 5:00 PM

More to come
Sorry about the lack of posts. I have been busy writing two columns for the Argus Leader and the Mitchell paper, plus a letter to the editor to Dakota Country Magazine. I have also been installing a wireless network and a new computer. My blogging will be faster than ever.

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