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Friday, March 05, 2004

Democrats reject Daschle
The Mitchell Daily Republic ran an editorial today regarding Tom Daschle’s name not being on the list of potential John Kerry running mates:

Kerry and his advisers believe that Daschle, despite his longevity and name recognition, would bring little to the ticket. There are a number of reasons for this.

First, Daschle’s philosophical views are very similar to Kerry’s – significantly left of center – so no political balance would be gained by adding Daschle.

Second, Daschle would not be able to deliver a hat full of electoral votes. South Dakota has but three to offer and Kerry needs to pick up some key states in the south if he is to unseat President Bush.

And, though Daschle is Senate minority leader, his vote-gathering ability on a national scale is unproven. He has the added disadvantage of being viewed as a Washington “insider,” as is Kerry. Many believe that Kerry needs to balance his ticket with, if not a newcomer, at least a fresher face.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

A message from SD Family Policy Council:

To: Friends of the South Dakota Family Policy Council
From: Robert Regier, Executive Director
Date: Friday, March 5, 2004

One Last Push for Life

We have just a few more days to encourage Gov. Mike Rounds to bring an end
to abortion in our state. The deadline for him to either sign or veto HB
1191 is nearing. While he has expressed support for the attempt to
challenge Roe v. Wade, he also says that he’s concerned with certain aspects
of the bill. The sponsors of the bill, Rep. Matt McCaulley and Sen. Lee
Schoenbeck, are confident that they’ve adequately addressed the governor’s
concerns and that there shouldn’t be any problem.

Unfortunately, there is still a very small but influential minority of
pro-life leaders lobbying him to veto the legislation because they would
rather wait for the perfect time, the perfect bill, the perfect Legislature,
the perfect Governor, the perfect President, the perfect Senate, and the
perfect Supreme Court. In a perfect world, that would all be great. But we
live in a state where more than 800 children die at the hands of
abortionists every year. Things are far from perfect.

By signing this bill, Governor Rounds would be following in the footsteps of
our nation’s greatest leaders. At one time in their political lives,
Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, John Marshall, and
Alexander Hamilton boldly declared that they swore an oath to defend the
Constitution as they understood it, not as it was understood by others.
Please contact Governor Rounds and ask him to uphold his oath to support the
Constitution. Urge him to sign HB 1191 into law.

Call him at 605-773-3212 or email him by going to his website at
http://www.state.sd.us/governor/ and click on “Contact Gov.”

The Honorable Matt McCaulley

One of the allegations opponents of HB 1191 have leveled against the bill’s
prime sponsor, Rep. McCaulley, is that he has political motivations in
pushing the bill. Knowing him as I do, that couldn’t be farther from the
truth. For that matter, anyone who knows him knows that he would never
belittle the right to life by politicizing it. Of course, by nature, the
Legislature is a political entity. But for most pro-lifers, including Rep.
McCaulley, there is a much deeper desire to save the lives of the unborn.
But if you need more proof of that, consider his actions.

Yesterday, Rep. McCaulley announced that he will not run for reelection. He
and his wife are expecting their first baby in September. He told the Argus
Leader that he only gets “one chance to be a first-time dad, so I’m going to
do this right.” A man motivated purely by politics does not step down from
office in the prime of his career and in the middle of his rise to
leadership.

Matt McCaulley is a godly man. He was one of the few men of principle in
the Legislature—someone we could depend on to do the right thing because it
was the right thing. He needed no other motivation to defend the right to
life and the sanctity of marriage and family. His efforts to lighten the
tax burden on our citizens, to reduce the size of government, to restore the
role of education back to families, and to defend religious freedom were
based on principles, not on polls and elections.

He will be missed. Let us all pray that he comes back when his family is
ready. And pray for Matt, his wife Heather, and his little baby. You may
email him at matt@sdrepublican.com.

For now, we need someone to fill in the gap. Have you ever thought about
running for the Legislature, school board, city or county commission, or
even Congress? There are a lot of gaps to be filled by good Christian
leaders.

Please share this Weekly Update with friends and family. For more
information, contact the South Dakota Family Policy Council at
mail@sdfamily.org or at 605-335-8100.
Roe V. Wade Was Almost Overturned
There is an AP report that provides new insight into how close Roe v. Wade was overturned in 1992:

The Supreme Court was ready in 1992 to effectively overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion, but Justice Anthony M. Kennedy got cold feet, and the vote went the other way.
Internal notes in the papers of late Justice Harry A. Blackmun provide a glimpse of the secretive dealings that led to the court's ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey that year. Blackmun's extensive records from 24 years on the court were opened Thursday, the fifth anniversary of his death.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

More insight on Daschle in DC
The Hill as a report that shows more insight on how Daschle is obstructing the Senate:

Craig suggested that Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) — who supported the underlying bill to restrict lawsuits against gun manufacturers — should have worked to get a clean bill passed and steered it into a conference with the House.

“We had several on the other side who thought they were helping their presidential candidate by voting for the assault-weapons ban when they said they would not,” he said. “It became more and more evident presidential politics had reared its head here.”

Meanwhile, other Republicans expressed concern Tuesday that Democratic amendments coordinated by Daschle will stall a crucial tax measure that is on the Senate floor. Observers said now that Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) has seemingly secured his party’s presidential nomination, the chamber has been politicized to the point that it will be difficult for the Senate GOP majority to get anything done.

Kerry, who Tuesday chastised President Bush for purportedly bowing to the National Rifle Association, voted for the assault-weapons ban and against the final bill.

Daschle has been refusing to let the Senate send legislation to conference committees with the House to protest being excluded from conference committees last year.

Craig said he wanted to seek unanimous consent to pull the bill entirely and avoid the distasteful final vote, but Democrats wouldn’t go along.

Craig said Daschle never promised him that he would let a gun bill reach a conference committee but “there was every expectation that he would work the process.”

But Craig said Democrats would not have let the gun bill go to conference — where the gun control amendments might be dropped. In the end, Craig urged Republicans to oppose the bill, as did the National Rifle Association, which withdrew its support for the bill without informing the White House liaison or Senate GOP leaders.

Having failed to move the gun bill, Frist yesterday called up a bill dealing with foreign sales corporations (FSC). The measure is needed to head off increasing sanctions from the European Union that have been allowed by a World Trade Organization ruling against the current U.S. tax regimen. It passed the Senate Finance Committee 19-2.

As soon as the bill hit the floor, Daschle filed several amendments intended to stem the outsourcing of U.S. jobs and halt new administration regulations clamping down on overtime pay for certain workers. Democrats said the bill is their best opportunity to offer needed amendments to help workers.

But a GOP aide said the amendments broke a deal between Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to avoid politicizing the bill, which has bipartisan support.

“Somebody didn’t live up to their agreement,” said one GOP aide. “Our deal between Senator Grassley and Senator Baucus was that we would bring up a sequence of amendments that — what do you know — dealt with the bill. … It’s just a question of good faith.”

Another GOP aide said that in the past year, Daschle had grown increasingly “sassy and spanky,” adding, “We’ll just deal with it.” The aide said Republicans tried to persuade Democrats to agree to limit the number of amendments on the bill but “we were turned down.”

Wake up South Dakota
Here are some great posts about Tom Daschle’s anti-gun ways in DC:

Gun manufacturers in Sturgis
Gun Vote
Gun Vote II

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

The truth about guns and Tom Daschle
As my previous post predicted, today’s events on the Senate floor proved Tom Daschle to be among the most anti-gun politicians this country has ever witnessed.

The AP is now reporting on what happened to the immunity bill:

WASHINGTON-- Senate Republicans scuttled an election-year bill to immunize the gun industry from lawsuits Tuesday after Democrats amended it to extend an assault weapons ban and require background checks on all buyers at private gun shows.

The National Rifle Association began pressuring senators to vote against the bill after Democrats won votes on the two key gun control measures. The 90-8 vote against the bill virtually ends any chance for gun legislation to make through Congress this year.

Here is the PDF of the letter sent by the NRA. Here is the recorded votes on the Feinstein amendment and the McCain amendment. Also involved was the Citizens Committee to Keep and Bear arms (I am a life member):
We have seen from the votes today that Tom Daschle and the Democrats have talked about supporting gun rights, but their votes today prove once again they cannot be trusted to protect and defend those rights," Gottlieb said. "They are using a legitimate piece of legislation as a Trojan Horse in an attempt to further encumber America's law-abiding firearms owners. Even John Kerry, who has missed 70 percent of his votes in the 108th Congress, took time away from his presidential campaign to show up and vote against the rights of gun owning Americans."

CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron added, "For months, Daschle and the Democrats have been working overtime in an attempt to convince gun-owning Americans that they have changed their positions on gun rights issues. Today's votes prove that's a lie. They only changed their message, not their agenda, which is to support additional restrictions on shooters, hunters and firearms collectors, and to maintain a law that ten years worth of history has proven to have had no effect on crime."

"We urge the Senate to defeat this measure with all of its anti-gun rights amendments," Gottlieb stated. "We hope that sensible members of the Senate, who believe responsibility is a way of life and not just a word to toss out in debate, will see the futility of pressing this measure. If not, then we will make sure that this bill, as amended by anti-gun Democrats, dies in the House of Representatives, as it should."

After the bill died, CCRKBA made this statement:

"While they have been criss-crossing the country, staging canned pheasant hunts, showing up at skeet and trap shooting events, and insisting that they support the rights of American gun owners," Gottlieb said, "it is clear now that the Democrat leadership has never abandoned its anti-gun rights agenda. Their own actions over the past week have put the lie to all of their grand pontifications about believing in the Second Amendment.

"The one thing that gun owners learned from this experience is that the Democratic leadership cannot be trusted," Gottlieb stated. "That goes especially for Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota. While he pledged to pass the bill, he spent his time working the floor to pass poison pill amendments so the bill would be killed on a final vote. In my opinion, there is no bigger snake in the U.S. Senate.

UPDATE: Here is more about Daschle's plan based on a The Hill report:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she had secured a “commitment” from Daschle not to go to conference unless he received assurance that the assault-weapons ban would remain in the final bill.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Daschle’s true colors…anti-gun
Even though Tom Daschle will con South Dakota into thinking he his pro-gun by supporting immunity from lawsuits for gun dealers and manufacturers (S. 1805), he will downplay supporting the Democrats anti-gun amendments to that bill. As posted by Daschle v. Thune web site, he already has voted for the safety lock legislation.

Now it is widely reported that Daschle is supporting two more anti-gun amendments, Here is one of those reports:

This week, the Senate is poised to pass legislation that will rein in many of those lawsuits against gun makers and retailers, such as those that claim that gun makers should “know and foresee” that crimes will be committed with the guns they sell. The new legislation will of course not end lawsuits against defective products that cause harm or injury. Similarly, a company will still face civil liability in addition to criminal penalties if it has violated state or federal law or sold a gun knowing that it would be used to commit a crime. Even prominent Democrats such as Sen. Diane Feinstein concedes that the bill is going to pass.

Yet, amendments to extend the ban on some semi-automatic guns and to further regulate gun shows face close votes. These amendments threaten to kill the bill in conference committee, yet some senators, including Tom Daschle, are simultaneously promising to vote for the bill but also promising gun control groups that they are "solid" for the gun show and assault weapons amendments.

COURTTV is also reporting Daschle is even considering to pull Kerry and Edwards off the campaign trail to help on this:

The GOP-controlled House already has passed the bill. However, Senate changes will require that negotiators from both houses agree to a compromise version. That could take months given the strong feelings on both sides.

Leaders in the GOP-controlled House already have said they do not plan to approve an extension of the assault weapons ban.

Although Democrats say they are close to having enough votes for extended the ban, they may need to pull their two presidential competitors, Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and John Edwards of North Carolina, off the campaign trail to put them over the top.

"We know it will be close," said Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota. "And it would be our hope that both of our presidential candidates could be there, but we understand the conflicts in schedule as well. We'll have to do the best we can with the votes we have, but we know it's going to be close.”

I have called his office (1-800-424-9094) so that he knows, I will be informing South Dakotans during the upcoming election cycle. You should do the same.

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