Again the Argus Leader defends Tom Daschle’s position, this time on the issue of Daschle’s reluctance to debate John Thune. Today’s issue has a front-page above the fold report titled, “Debates may not change election”. The headline is supported by the opinion of just one South Dakota State University political science professor:
The potential voter most likely to be swayed by joint appearances by Sen. Tom Daschle and John Thune also is the least likely to be listening, a political science professor at South Dakota State University said Friday.
Gary Aguiar said most South Dakota voters have made their choice between the Democratic incumbent and Republican challenger. Undecided voters tend to be less interested in politics and probably wouldn't pay attention to the series of joint appearances Thune proposed earlier this week, he said.
If the professor is right then Daschle should have accepted John Thune’s idea to hold Town Hall meetings in all 66 counties during the month of August. Instead Daschle declined:
"Some of the best ideas I have ever heard about how to improve South Dakota have come from people I have met in the cafes, sale barns and homes I have visited on my driving tour," Daschle said. "My tour is is not about campaigns or political gimmicks; it is about making sure the voices of all South Dakotans are heard in Washington.”I was at one of Daschle’s Town Hall meetings, and my voice was not one he wanted to hear. When I asked Daschle why he didn’t provide the people all the facts on the prescription drug issue, he told me we disagree. That would be the end of my voice being heard in Washington.
Also, John Thune correctly pointed to who is the one using political gimmicks:
Thune said he has been meeting the people as he has campaigned this year. He also said he touched nearly every county each year when he was in Congress.
"I will tell you there were some years I might have made 64 out of the 66," he said. "It was my practice, too. I just didn't do it with all the fanfare."
Tom Daschle is on the wrong side of the issues, and does not want the people of this State to fully understand his positions. That is why he does not want 3rd party organizations, who have detailed knowledge of their issue of interest, to tell us about Daschle’s position while in DC.
Instead Daschle wants media sources like the Argus Leader, to provide only what is viewed as positive for the Senator. They do not want his voting record to get in the way of a good story. I learned about all of this when the NRA, of which I am a life member, endorsed John Thune in the 2002 Senate Race. The Argus Leader provided the Tim Johnson campaign a platform for Tony Dean to call us liars. The voting record that I provided would have cleared all this up. Unfortunately to the readers of the Argus Leader, they did not get to see that before going to the polls on Election Day.
After the election David Kranz continued to promote Tony Dean and poke fun at the NRA:
When Sen. Tom Daschle said he would run for re-election to a fourth term in the U.S. Senate, Tony Dean abandoned plans to seek that office.
Now Dean, host and producer of "Tony Dean Outdoors," a popular television show, says he is considering a race in 2004 for U.S. House of Representatives against Republican incumbent Bill Janklow.
Dean, 62, is also a Republican, but that may change.
"The hardest part of this is figuring out how I would shift from Republican to Democrat. But I think the Republican Party has left me," he said.
It was Dean who was a key influence in Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson's re-election victory over Republican Rep. John Thune in November.
The Pierre man publicly supported and campaigned for Johnson despite their party difference, saying it was the right thing to do.
Dean's vocal support neutralized the National Rifle Association's endorsement of Thune, giving Johnson a significant share of support from avid hunters and fishers, many of whom are NRA members.
Tony Dean could not have neutralized the the NRA without the help of David Kranz and the Argus Leader. The paper refused to let Johnson's voting record get into the way of a good story. For more on this go to my old web site and scroll down to the June 9, 2003 post titled, "Time for Truth in South Dakota Politics".
Yes, the gun issue is not a debate Tom Daschle wants to have with John Thune or me.
Additional Note: If you do a Google search on Tony Dean, the second listing after his web site is my web site. That's got to make him just a little nervous.