clap clap blog: we have moved

Wednesday, May 07, 2003
Josh Marshall points us to a quite good column he wrote about Republican efforts to hurt Dachle in his home state of South Dakota, which are so bad they'd be hilarious if you didn't get the nagging suspicion that they might work. An excerpt about their efforts to defeat the junior Senator from South Dakota last year:

Last year, most Daschle-bashers focused on ousting his protégé, Sen. Tim Johnson. Then-Rep. John Thune’s campaign tried to do it with cooked-up charges of “massive voter fraud” on the state’s Indian reservations, a “scandal” that eventually collapsed under the weight of its own insubstantiality.

The real shenanigans came after Election Day, when a group of Thune lawyers mounted its own voter-fraud “investigation” by assembling some 50 affidavits detailing all manner of alleged irregularities and illegalities. The state’s Republican attorney general decided that only three of the 50 affidavits alleged anything illegal. And the Argus Leader’s David Kranz, the dean of South Dakota political reporters, found that even those three had some rather fishy origins.

Republican lawyers had “pre-worded” a stack of affidavits alleging a very specific vote-buying incident. They gave them to Kim Vanneman, a GOP county party chairwoman, who then traveled through the Rosebud Indian reservation, more or less seeing if anyone might be willing to sign one. Of those three affidavits, the attorney general found that one was made up, another was forged and the signer of a third couldn’t be located.

Which reminds me: it has been pointed out that the widely-reported ads attacking Maine Republican Senator Olympia J. Snowe for opposing the tax cut by comparing her to the hated French (both blocked justice!) might not be so effective in a state where many of the voters are French-Canadian. Whoops.