Tag Archives: thune

The Grooming of John Thune

Behind The Scenes Photos,” LauraIngraham.com, 1 April 2005, http://www.lauraingraham.com/freephotos?action=viewPhotoSet&photoSetID=20 (from CCK)

What to make of this?

Marine General John Sattler (Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionery Force [Fallujah]), Laura, and U.S. Senator and Mrs. John Thune (R-SD) talk before the concert on April 1, 2005 at Camp Pendleton.

South Dakotans don’t care about California trips. His peers in the Senate don’t either. What office requires hooking up with influential Republicans from around the country while establishing a national profile?

John Thune is being groomed for running as a Vice Presidential candidate in 2008.

Thune would be a great balancer for McCain, Giuliani, or any other Republican weak on “religious” issues. Senator Thune, besides being a giant-killer, is deeply popular with the religious Right.

John Thune is not the only option for GOP Vice President in 2008. But the party wants him to be a very strong option.

Update: Now The Hotline notices, too. CCK was still first.

McCain / Thune 2008?

Washington Whispers: Is Anybody Not Running?,” U.S. News and World Report, 11 April 2005, http://www.usnews.com/usnews/politics/whispers/articles/050411/11whisplead_2.htm (from South Dakota Politics).

If for no other reasons that to redeem South Dakota (for giving the world George McGovern) and annoy the South Dakota Left (for saying that only Daschle could have clout), this would be great news

We’ve got more names to add to the growing list of 2008 presidential hopefuls. On the Democratic side, pen in Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. Allies say his trip south last week was the first of many to red states where he hopes to push his progressive agenda. On the GOP side, add rookie South Dakota Sen. John Thune, who took down former Democratic leader Tom Daschle . Senior Republicans say he’s being groomed for a veep or even presidential run. Include Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty . Insiders love his record of balancing the budget, boosting education, and protecting the environment. Finally: ousted Environmental Protection Agency chief Christie Whitman , the former moderate New Jersey guv.

John Thune is a social conservative — Democrat Senator Tim Johnson once called Thune’s supporters “The Taliban Wing of the Republican Party.” Thune would be useful if the party nominates someone not from the religious wing, like Senator McCain or Secretary Rice.

(I’ve said that I don’t want McCain as President, but McCain / Thune would assure me. A Thune pick would show that McCain has sympathy for the Right. Additionally, John is a good guy and immune to charges of hypocrisy.).

Of course, if a movement conservative like Governor Bush wins the ’08 primaries, then Thune would become redundant.

Bush/Rice or McCain/Thune in ’08
Either ticket would be great

Thune For Drug Reimportation

GOP conservatives strategize with Dorgan on reimportation,” by Geoff Earle, The Hill, 30 March 2005, http://www.thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/033005/dorgan.html (from South Dakota Politics).

Great news. My favorite Senator joins the fight for free trade in pharmaceuticals

A group of conservative Republicans has opened talks with the leading Democratic proponent of a bill to allow for the reimportation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries. The talks raise the possibility that GOP leaders will have to hold back a united front of supporters of the controversial legislation.
Keri Rassmussen

Republican freshman Sens. David Vitter (La.) and John Thune (S.D.) are backing a reimportation bill that is identical to a House bill by Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R-Minn.). The senators have been meeting with Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), who last year tried to force consideration of the issue by holding up the nomination of Mark McClellan to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

If the Republican and Democratic senators can reach agreement on a compromise bill — or rally around one of the two existing proposals — they would likely have the political strength to prevail over the objections of leadership and pass a bill through the Senate.

In an interview, Thune warned, “We’re all going to vote for whatever gets to the floor. That’s why the leadership would be wise to bring Vitter’s bill to the floor. Something’s going to pass.”

Dorgan’s bill has seven Republican co-sponsors. If Thune, Vitter and DeMint were to join with those seven Republicans on a single approach, and Democrats backed it, they would be close to the 60 votes needed to overcome a Senate filibuster. Dorgan has maintained that many additional Republicans also are supportive of his approach.cattle as well as drugs — when special interests are with him as well as when they are against him.

What a great Senator!

Blood or Money?

Base Closure Countdown,” Rapid City Journal, 22 March 2005, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/articles/2005/03/22/news/opinion/top/opin01.txt.

RCJ whistles different tune, has fingers crossed,” by Seth, Clean Cut Kid, 22 March 2005, http://www.cleancutkid.com/2005/03/22/rcj-whistles-different-tune-has-fingers-crossed.

Before CCK only implied that Daschle was a merchant of death. Now, South Dakota’s own MyDD joins the “gold for blood” party

First, Seth notes that John Thune personally believes that Ellsworth is an “effective” base, though it needed to improve its value:

Now, though, I want to discuss the about-face that the Rapid City Journal pulled today. At issue, once again, is Ellsworth. During the 2004 General Election, the editors were falling all over themselves gushing over John Thune, saying “Thune supports President Bush’s war on terrorism, supports strengthening the military and will work to preserve Ellsworth Air Force Base’s effectiveness. He told the Journal that adding to Ellsworth’s missions was the surest way to improve the base’s value to the Pentagon’s long-range plans.”

CCK knows the best place to fly these airplanes is…
Pennington County, South Dakota

But, horror of horrors, the RCJ will defer to military experts when the question of base closing comes up:

So why is the Journal talking about western South Dakota’s “anxious months ahead” today? Once reliant upon John Thune to make the base vital to national security, the editors now suggest a different tactic, hoping that those of us west of the Missouri are “keeping our fingers crossed.”

Thank you editors at the Rapid City Journal, for selling western South Dakota’s economic future to the highest (conservative) bidder. At your recommendation, we now have an impotent representative in Washington who is unable to secure missions for Ellsworth. Why stop at crossing our fingers, though? I propose we make voodoo dolls of the members of the BRAC and then place curses on anyone who votes against Ellsworth.

The Aforementioned Pennington County

The passage which enraged the South Dakota Kid is this:

Defense needs in World War II created Ellsworth; defense needs in the Cold War kept the base in operation. The B-1 bomber has since been modernized and has shown its value over the skies of Iraq and Afghanistan. We are confident that Ellsworth’s rural location is strategically useful, and its mission is important to the defense of the country. How Ellsworth fits in with future defense needs will decide whether the base remains a fixture in Western South Dakota for decades to come, or closes for good


The Rapid City Journal believes the purpose of the military is to secure the nation.


Clean Cud Kid believes the purpose of the military is to bouy the economy of Pennington County


This is very good

This is not good,” by Steve Sibson, Sibby Online, http://sibbyonline.blogs.com/sibbyonline/2005/week4/index.html#a0003360467, 26 January 2005.

I just relayed Mr. Sibson’s views on abortion and added him to the blog-roll, but I disagree with him here

Looks like John Thune is joining in with the Democrats on Canadian drugs:

Today, Senators DeMint, David Vitter of Louisiana, Ken Salazar of Colorado and John Thune of South Dakota joined Representatives Gutknecht, Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, Anne Northup of Kentucky and Sherrod Brown of Ohio to roll out drug-import legislation. Vitter, DeMint, Thune, Gutknecht and Northup are Republicans.

Number one, the Democrats won’t give him credit for changing his mind on this issue as that give him crap for changing his mind on private accounts for Social Security. Lets not forget the Democrats charging Thune with being a lobbyist for drug companies. Lets see if David Kranz has enough political acumen and objectivity to point that out.

Number two, this ploy of bringing back drugs from Canada will not lower the cost of drugs in the US. It will raise drug costs in Canada, or the Canadians will do what they normally do within their socialized medical system to control costs…ration what is sent back to America.

I disagree with Steve on both points. Thune doesn’t care if Democrats give him credit for this move. It is made out of pricipal.

Second, this is a classic case of arbitrage. The U.S. drug market is much freer than the Canadian drug market. Canadians act as a free rider, allowing us to subsidize drug research and thus their drug use, and the pharmaceutical companies enable this. Canada would not be warping their market if the drug companies did not let them by agreeing to go along with these extortionary prices. The drug companies should not be protected from the consequences of their actions.

With cross border trade, the average U.S. price decreases as some American substitute Canadian drugs for American drugs. This is the natural price drug companies have to pay for agreeing to subsidize Canadian socialism. What will happen next? Some combination of

1. Canada rations their drugs even more, making their system even worse
2. Drug companies force Canada to accept higher prices
3. Drug companies stop selling to Canada

I’m fine with either of these consequences. The federal government should not be in the habit of enacting trade barriers to protect Canadian socialism. And U.S. companies should not expect federal relief when they agree to help socialism in a foreign land.

I could understand if this is about governments not interfering with free trade. Then we should also be against banning imports of Canadian beef.

It is about free trade. And we should also be against banning import of Canadian beef. But for now, I’m willing to take half a loaf instead of no bread at all.

Additionally, I have to wonder if Republican opposition to free trade in (prescription) drugs is collapsing. Thune was just named deputy whip. Either Thune just stabbed the party in the back, or it’s no big deal. Let’s hope it is the latter.

Why Daschle Lost

If John Thune had his way, Brown County would be dead,” by David Newquist, Northern Valley Beacon, http://browncodemocrats.blogspot.com/2004/12/if-john-thune-had-his-way-brown-county.html, 15 December 2004.

South Dakota, the albatros state?,” by David Newquist, Northern Valley Beacon, http://browncodemocrats.blogspot.com/2004/12/south-dakota-albatross-state.html, 13 December 2004.

The Christmas cheer has not reached Mr. Newquist. All but describing Aberdeen and Brown County as South Dakota’s Falluja, he pens

[John Thune’s] attitude about his political responsibilities was demonstrated at the outset by his initial treatment of Brown County. He did not open a service office in the area because he claimed it was an unnecessary expense for the taxpayers. He very quickly alienated some prominent people in the Republican Party, who have supported his opponents ever since. They say he has no interest in saving taxpayer money other than as a posture that is part of the baggage his party gives him to carry. He really did not want the extra work another service office might entail—and he had not the vaguest idea of how to go about setting one up

At the time he came into Congress, a number of infrastructure projects were being projected for northeastern South Dakota, centering on Aberdeen. A by-pass for US 281 was under development. A proposal for converting US 12 from Aberdeen to I-29 at Summit to a four-lane highway was receiving support. A new airport terminal building that could service the airlines and the security services adequately was proposed. John Thune kept his distance from all these [Brown County] projects under the guise that they comprised excessive spending.

And prognosis for our Midwestern Sunni triangle looks no better

An instance of his work on developmental issues involves the Homestake Goldmine. When it was proposed as a site for the National Underground Scientific and Engineering Laboratory, Tom Daschle very quickly involved himself and his staff in working on the project. The big problem was Barrick Gold, its owner. Barrick said it would donate the mine to the state if it could be relieved of any environmental liabilities associated with the gold mining operation. In other words, it wanted to be relieved of any responsibility for messes it had made, including the problems of toxic pollution caused by a mining process requiring cyanide. Daschle and his emissaries stepped in to see if something could be negotiated. However, that meant keeping up the interest of the scientists, too.

As long as Tom Daschle was in power, he could keep the Homestake alive as an option that could put South Dakota on the high-tech map. When he was defeated, a number of scientists said that the state was no longer an option for such high-level scientific research.

Leaving aside Msr. Newquist’s exhausted hyperbole (which was not reproduced in the snippets above, a coherrent complaint emerges

Tom Daschle was the best Greater Aberdeen ever had it
Tom was the best South Dakota ever had it
We’ve lost everything

But this facile view ignores what’s really going on. For years South Dakota politics have been dominated by the Janklow-Daschle axis. A Republican-goon governor and a Democratic-“nice guy” senator divided the power between themselves. They presided over the destruction of meaningful debate in South Dakota. After Janklow killed a man this special relationship went into a tailspin, and John’s defeat of Tom closed this chapter of South Dakota history.

Tom Daschle never cared about South Dakota. What he he ever done? He cared about maintaining a seperate base from Daschle by monopolizing Brown County spoils, but that is one county. But even with projects as grand as building a nice road connecting Aberdeen to anywhere he didn’t come through. He “negotiated” over Homesteak for years, blaiming a greedy company that for years was South Dakota’s claim to wealth, fame, and respect.

Daschle was temporarily Majority Leader, and for nearly a decade Minority Leader. He could of done something if wanted. Karl E. Mundt was just a middling Senator and he got us three interstate and a awesome hyrdoelectric system. Daschle was nationally prominant for years, and spent his political capital opposing a few Bush judges.