Wednesday, March 31, 2004

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

More on Democrats lack of tolerance
Jeff Gannon’s Talon News report has more on Democrat’s reaction to Stephanie Hersth’s position regarding the ban on gay marriage:

A rift has developed between the campaigns of Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Stephanie Herseth, the Democratic candidate for South Dakota's lone House seat over the issue of gay marriage.
A month ago, the Associated Press quoted Herseth as saying, "I agree with the president on this issue. Marriage should be between a man and a woman."

Her statement produced a strongly negative reaction from some Democrats, especially from inside the Daschle campaign. The Rapid City Journal reported that Steve Hildebrand, campaign manager for the Senate minority leader asked for a refund of his contribution to the Herseth campaign. No reason was given for the unusual request and requests for comment by Talon News were not returned.

A recent Associated Press story said that donations coming in through web sites had dried up, and Democrats were criticizing Herseth on the Internet. Ben Hanten, an executive board member of the South Dakota Democratic Party considered withdrawing his support until the candidate reassured him that her intent was to take the issue "off the table."

Others have not been as understanding.

Sam Hurst, a columnist for the Rapid City Journal wrote a blistering commentary in which he said, "Stephanie Herseth is too young and too bright to have lost her backbone. At an age when she should be known for brash idealism, she has chosen instead to pander to the dark voices of discrimination. Such is the cynical calculus of electoral campaigns."

Hurst said that at least one influential Rapid City couple canceled a fundraiser for her in disgust. Hurst noted that Herseth's stand puts her in direct opposition to the positions shared by Daschle and Sens. Tim Johnson (D-SD) and John Kerry (D-MA).

Looks like the Democrats need a Unity get-together in South Dakota.
Daschle receives body blow
Today’s Argus Leader has a David Kranz report regarding Tim Giago:

Tim Giago now plans to run as an independent for the U.S. Senate, a move expected to change the complexion of a South Dakota race full of national implications.

Giago, of Rapid City, publisher of the Lakota Journal, had planned to challenge Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle in the June 1 Democratic Party primary, with the winner to face Republican John Thune in November.

But Giago said switching his effort to the fall gives him more time to get petitions signed and gives him a greater forum for discussion of Native American issues.

"Our issues need to be analyzed, put on the table and discussed," he said.

Giago running in November could alter the result, said Bill Richardson, political science professor at the University of South Dakota. "It could influence the race big-time," he said. "The obvious possibility is that he will take away votes that possibly would have gone to Tom Daschle."

As expected, Kranz included misleading statements from the Daschle camp:

Campaign spokesman Dan Pfeiffer dismisses the suggestion that this could hurt Daschle.

"Senator Daschle wants this campaign to include issues important to the Native American community and Giago's candidacy helps accomplish that," he said. "In his position as minority leader Senator Daschle has been one of the primary voices putting Native American issues on the national agenda."

Recently Daschle choose not to support South Dakota Native Americans by voting against the FY04 Omnibus bill. I have informed Argus Leader Executive Editor Randell Beck that Daschle is taking credit for funding he voted against, many of which includes funds for South Dakota Native Americans. Why wasn’t this point included in the Kranz report? The one-two punch would have been devastating to Kranz’s college buddy.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Daschle hates Limbaugh
And here is why:

In 1996, after TWA Flight 800 exploded, then-Vice President Gore chaired the Commission on Aviation Safety and Security. Algore had a $300 million budget, and according to the CNN story from September 5, 1996 which I shared with you today, ended up recommending "counterterrorism measures, better screening of airline passengers, and more teams of bomb-sniffing dogs" as well as other security measures.

But if the Clinton administration did all of this in 1996, then how did the Al-Qaeda guys sneak past this dragnet? Well, they used box cutters -- and of course that's George W. Bush's fault, because the Clinton team told them about box cutters. Richard Clarke probably wrote it down somewhere in his book. The truth is, the airline industry squawked and screamed about putting any of Algore's security measures into place, which brings us to the wife of Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle: Linda Hall Daschle.

Ms. Daschle was deputy manager of the FAA from 1993 to 1997, and her clients while a lobbyist include American and Northwest Airlines. Joe Farah of WorldNetDaily.com sums up how the airlines and their lobbyists jumped all over Algore after his preliminary report. Gore wrote to one lobbyist "promising that the commission's findings would not result in any loss of revenue," and the very next day the Democrat National Committee received a $40,000 donation from TWA. In the next two weeks, checks came raining in from Northwest, United and American airlines.

Over the next two months, the 1996 Clinton-Gore team slurped up $100K from United, and $300,000 total from Daschle's clients American and Northwestern. Once Clinton and Gore were safely re-inaugurated in January, guess what? Gore rewrote his report to eliminate all the recommended security measures! Three commission members, including CIA director John Deutsch, complained. This forced Gore to back off a bit. He restored the safety recommendations but rendered them meaningless by not putting any time requirement on when they had to start showing up at airports to protect us.

So it was all BS. It was all BS and PR and style over substance. The Democrats ended up getting almost half a million dollars in donations from the moment the draft report was made public until the final, watered-down report -- with no date to implement the changes to make us safer -- came from Algore's office. I think Richard Clarke was focused on Al-Qaeda and box cutters at this time, and that's why there was never any overlap. Regardless, we should have Algore up to this 9/11 commission to testify, don't you think?

Democrat’s tolerance...more far-left hypocrisy
Democrats frequently accuse conservatives of intolerance, but they have a hard time tolerating themselves. So it was not surprising that DVT posted a report on the Democrats Unity party. Except…Tom Daschle's normal whining seem to contradict the unity spirit:

Sen. Tom Daschle had one of his staffer complain to DNC organizers about his seating, which placed him about three rows back in the audience during dinner. His table was not as good as the one set aside for some of Kerry's campaign staffers, including uber consultant Bob Shrum.

Then Daschle’s campaign manager, Steve Hildebrand, made this attack toward Democrat Stephanie Herseth:

Herseth has low negative ratings in polls, Richardson said. But she hit a bump when she publicly declared last month that she agrees with President Bush about a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

A month ago, Herseth issued this statement to The Associated Press: "I agree with the president on this issue. Marriage should be between a man and a woman."

That statement angered some in the Democratic Party's base and dried up donations that had been coming in through Web sites, according to an AP report last week. Steve Hildebrand, campaign manager for Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle's South Dakota re-election bid, asked for a refund of his contribution to the Herseth campaign.

Mitchell paper prints letter
Today’s Mitchell Daily Republic contains my latest letter to the editor regarding the David Kranz column that was reworded and ran as an AP news report. The letter ran unedited and contains reference to South Dakota web blogs in the last paragraph:

To the Editor of The Daily Republic:

On page 3B of your 3/8 issue appeared an AP report titled, “Senate race heats up behind the scenes”. What the casual reader may not know was the report was a slightly reworded op-ed column written by a partisan Democrat that appeared in another paper the day before.

The report did not cover any relevant issue, but was full of political rhetoric without the facts to support the innuendo. An example is this excerpt:

“Still, Thune has a campaign presence, including a message on a Web site blog with a his logo and the words, ‘Stop Tom Daschle's obstructionism.’”

This is referring to the InstaPundit web site where there was a link set up to raise money. Stephanie Herseth is also using blogs to raise money, but that wasn’t pointed out. The innuendo was meant to blame the Thune campaign for negative name-calling.

If conservatives point out the liberal voting record of Tom Daschle, we are labeled ‘negative’ and our message is then downplayed as “anti-Daschle”. This is unfair and not conducive to an effective democracy.

What should be considered negative is the distortion or lying about your opponent’s record or your own record. Just by mentioning a vote a candidate made, doesn’t mean it should be considered taboo by the media, even when it puts the candidate in a negative life. Discussion of voting records is essential for citizens to become informed voters.

The story contained no information about web blogs. I have found web blogs offer the opportunity for the free speech that provides the dialogue necessary for freedom to be preserved in a democracy.

For South Dakotans, the web site South Dakota Politics (southdakotapolitics.blogs.com) provides an excellent alternative to the mainstream media. There is even a blog (daschlevthune.typepad.com/daschle_v_thune/) that is specifically setup to provide in-depth coverage on the upcoming Senate race. There’s also my own web site (www.sibbyonline.blogspot.com).

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Daschle…the Al Gore of 2004?
The AP is circulating a David Espo report regarding the conservative verses liberal cultural war in Washignton DC:

From gays to guns to the rights of the unborn, Republicans are staging a series of cultural clashes in Congress in the run-up to the fall elections, seeking political advantage as much as legislative accomplishment.

The gun control issue ended the report:

The gun debate is not likely to result in new laws any time soon, either, but Senate Republicans were eager to debate legislation sought by Bush and the National Rifle Association.

The measure to shield gun makers from lawsuits seemed to have enough votes to pass. But Democrats, with Kerry's help, attached a pair of provisions sought by gun control advocates.

As if on cue, the NRA withdrew its support, and Republicans helped Democrats scuttle the measure.
Gun control supporters claimed victory. "The NRA's highest legislative priority was just defeated," said Mike Barnes, president of the Brady Campaign.

Republicans celebrated more quietly, hoping for a replay of the last White House campaign. Former Vice President Al Gore broke a Senate tie on gun control legislation in 1999, a move that many Democrats later concluded hurt him in key states in the 2000 election.

When Tom Daschle claims supporting the original bill makes him a supporter of gun rights, how will the Thune campaign respond? How will the NRA get around the new Campaign laws? Will the South Dakota media allow the NRA to clear up the issue?

What is needed is a grass roots effort of informed South Dakotans who have the motivation to take over the tone of this year’s elections. You can count me in.
Daschle…pure hogwash
DVT has a post covering a report of Bob Mercer that analyses the actions of Tom Daschle regarding the Unborn Victims of Violence Act . The report was on the front page of the Mitchell Daily Republic yesterday, but it was not put online. I also searched the Internet yesterday and could not find it. I am glad DVT found it and did a great job of analyzing it:

So Daschle wanted the Feinstein amendment to pass so he could vote on a final bill which had been gutted, therefore he wouldn't alienate his NARAL allies. The amendment would have had the effect of killing the entire bill because the pro-Laci Peterson bill forces would have withdrawn their support, just like the vote on the gun maker liability bill. It was a cynical move. It exposed how Daschle was working with NARAL to promote an amendment which would gut the bill but then voted against the NARAL position in the final tally because he knew if he didn't it would hurt him in South Dakota. The problem for the Thune camp is that this kind of legislative acrobatics is hard to explain.

The exact same thing happened on HB 1191, the bill that would have banned most abortions in South Dakota. During the 2/21/2004 Senate State Affairs committee hearing, Senator Jay Duenwald introduced an amendment during the proponent testimony. Because it was considered unfriendly to the original intent of HB 1191 and in effect killed it, it was called a ‘Hoghoused’ amendment.

Daschle’s vote for the Feinstein’s unfriendly amendment made his vote for the original bill pure hogwash.

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