The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Sunday, January 11, 2004

At last, Indians ripped for electoral shenanigans - but does the story stand up?

Robert Don't Plame Me Novak has been and gone and done it: according to the Rapid City, SD Journal (January 9), on CNN's Crossfire on Tuesday [1]
In 2002, [Republican candidate John] Thune would have been elected to the state's other Senate seat, but the election was stolen by stuffing ballot boxes on Indian reservations. Now, Tom Daschle may have to pay for that theft.

Now, there's what might be thought to be a smoke-screen of the expected sort of whining from the Indians and their friends, and a Nothing to do with me, guv from the Thune camp, such as to suggest that Novak might be right on the facts.

But all the piece says is that
Novak's statement alludes to the increased voter turnout on South Dakota's Indian reservations in the 2002 general election and to criminal investigations into some forged and allegedly forged voter registration applications that were detected before the election.

That's not stuffed ballot boxes.

(Apparently, the
investigations into some obviously forged voter registration cards could not be resolved.)

Now, I dare say it wouldn't be the first time that election irregularities got overlooked.

But if ballot boxes were stuffed but no allegations made at the time, that needs some explanation, if a complaint of stuffed boxes made more than a year after the event is to have any credibility.

Does the lack of follow-up elsewhere in the media (from the tone of the piece, the grievance-meisters were just getting going) indicate a gentleman's agreement for everyone to drop it?

Novak has no end of slots in the nation's media he might use to enlighten us on the situation - not to do so would count as deafening silence, surely?

  1. Huh? I pick up the piece just now from Instapundit (dated on January 9), but the show went out on January 6. And Google News shows three items for novak thune crossfire - this isn't just not a press pack, it's scarcely a puppy!

    And - tech note - the date of the piece is only apparent from the URL. Frequently, with WaPo and NYT pieces, the URL date will be the day before the byline date. The date at the top of the Journal piece doesn't relate to the piece at all, but to the date on which the page is being viewed.


The passage from the Crossfire transcript:
...CARVILLE: I think, if God has anything to say about this, he will be for the Democrats.

NOVAK: Not a happy week...


NOVAK: ... for Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle. He won't have a free run for reelection in South Dakota this year.

The state's most popular Republican, former Congressman John Thune, announced he will run against Daschle. That promises a tough race for the Democratic leader, with the Republican ticket topped by George W. Bush, who collected 60 percent of the state's vote last time against Al Gore's 38 percent. Actually, Daschle should have been saved the trouble of opposing Thune.

In 2002, Thune would have been elected to the state's other Senate seat, but the election was stolen by stuffing ballot boxes on the Indian reservations. Now Tom Daschle may have to pay for that theft.

CARVILLE: That's pretty...


CARVILLE: That's -- that's pretty out there. Has Thune said that the Native Americans are election thieves?

NOVAK: No, I -- I said it.

CARVILLE: Well, no. Is that the Republican -- is that the party line here?

NOVAK: No, it's my line.

CARVILLE: That Native Americans are election thieves, that they can't be trusted to vote? You hear that, my friends out in South Carolina? Tim Johnson won that race.


CARVILLE: They're Native Americans, Bob.

NOVAK: I call them Indians.

CARVILLE: They're people that have been here a long time. And they are very, very, very good Americans.


CARVILLE: And very patriotic Americans.



CARVILLE: And they get to vote who they want. Just because you don't like the vote, don't call them thieves.

I've never been so proud of a football team as I was for the LSU Tigers...

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