Man Without Qualities

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Daschle Descending VI: Bad Lands For Tom Daschle

In a prior post the Man Without Qualities noted that Tom Daschle's relationship with South Dakota's native Americans has become increasingly frayed. Native Americans have often been a bulwark of South Dakota Democratic support - a handful of their votes cost Mr. Thune, Senator Daschle's current challenger, a Senate seat in 2002. But things have changed, and some Lakota are now coming for South Dakota's cloutless, straddling, disingenuous senior Senator with things in mind other than support:

The race for the U.S. Senate will be a little more crowded come the November election. Editor and publisher of the Lakota Journal, Tim Giago, will run as an independent against presumably Senator Tom Daschle and Republican John Thune for the U.S. Senate.

Giago says Indian counties have suffered financially under Daschle's watch, and it's time to talk about all the issues like the Black Hills settlement, and what Giago calls this state's Achilles heel, racism. Giago says, "There's some issues that he keeps ducking, that Senator Tim Johnson keeps ducking, and I'm sure that John Thune is going to keep ducking. And I think some of these issues are important enough to the nine tribes in this state that we've got to get them on the table. We've got to talk about them. We can't pretend they aren't there."

Giago says he was going to run as a Democrat against Daschle in the primaries, but [Giago] says [running as an independent in the general election] could be more damaging to Daschle if [Giago] gets a lot of the Indian vote.

Looks like Senator Daschle might do better for himself by spending a bit less time protecting the squirrelly Richard Clarke and a bit more time home on the range.

Thanks to Daschle v. Thune for the tip.

MORE: Here and here and here.

UPDATE: Lot's more fallout chronicled on South Dakato Politics - just keep scrolling.

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