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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Herseth Sandlin v. Noem: Let's Debate What's Voted For, Not Who Else Voted for It

Joel Rosenthal got me thinking. In his most recent blog post, Rosenthal mentions the Kristi Noem strategy of pointing out how often Stephanie Herseth Sandlin votes with Nancy Pelosi. Rosenthal wonders how many of those votes are really significant votes and not just procedural votes that even John Boehner would be voting for.

The Stephanie=Nancy meme is oversimplification for the inattentive voter. Instead of taking time to explain how specific policies supported by our Congresswoman doom the Republic, the Noem machine personifies the issue: Pelosi's evil, Herseth Sandlin votes like Pelosi, so Herseth Sandlin's evil!

Right. Pelosi likes chocolate ice cream, too. But that doesn't mean chocolate ice cream is coming to take our guns.

I don't plan to do a full analysis of every vote Nancy Pelosi and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin have agreed on. You can peruse a list of such votes since 2007 yourself at OpenCongress.org. But to give you an idea of the silliness behind the Noem strategy, here's a sample of some actual votes and how SHS compares with Pelosi and Boehner:

Bill SHS
PelosiBoehner
Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act
Aye
Aye
Nay
Honest Leadership and Open Government Act
Aye
no vote
Aye
Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (2008 Wall Street Bailout)
Nay
Aye
Aye
Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (Senate version)
Aye
Aye
Nay
CHIP Reauthorization, 2007
Aye
Aye
Nay
CHIP Reauthorization, 2009
Aye
Aye
Nay
Gulf Coast Hurricane Housing Recovery
Aye
n.v.
Nay
Small Business Tax Relief Act, 2007
Aye
Aye
Nay
Protect America Act, 2007
Aye
Nay
Aye
Extend Protect America Act 21 days
Aye
Aye
Nay
2007 Appropriations for troop readiness, veterans care, etc.
Aye
Aye
Nay
Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act
Aye
Aye
Nay
Energy and Tax Extenders Act
Aye
Aye
Nay
FISA Amendments
Aye
Aye
Aye
Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act
Aye
Aye
Nay
Fair Minimum Wage Act
Aye
Aye
Nay
Part D Medicare Drugs price bill
Aye
Aye
Nay
Designating Taunton River in Mass. part of National Wild and Scenic Rivers system
Aye
Aye
Nay
College Student Relief Act
Aye
Aye
Nay
Jubilee Act, 2008
Aye
Aye
Nay
Renewable Energy & Energy Conservation Tax Act
Aye
Aye
Nay
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
Aye
Aye
Nay
Ag Appropriations, 2008
Aye
Aye
Abstain
AIDS/TB/Malaria assistance, 2008
Aye
Aye
Nay
Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network
Aye
Aye
Abstain
Ensuring continued access to student loans
Aye
n.v.
Aye
Kennedy Serve America Act
Aye
Aye
Nay
Pay-Go 2009
Aye
Aye
Nay
Defense Appropriations, 2010
Aye
n.v.
Aye
Consolidated Land, Energy, Aquatic Resources Act
Nay
Aye
Nay
STEM Education Coordination
Aye
Aye
Nay
Offshore Oil & Gas Worker Whistleblower Protection
Aye
Aye
Nay
FHA Reform
Aye
n.v.
Aye
Solar Technology Roadmap
Aye
n.v.
Nay
Small Business Financing and Investment
Aye
n.v.
Aye
Idaho Wilderness Water Facilities
Aye
n.v.
Aye

Feel free to peruse that list and other votes. Identify exactly what about the legislation SHS voted for is so bad for South Dakota and the country. If you can do that, great. That's the kind of hard work a politician who wants to go to Washington needs to do: explain to the voters what's actually happening in Washington and how policies actually affect our lives. The personality politics of the Noem campaign are the lazy way out. They insult the intelligence of the voters and reflect poorly on the intelligence of the candidate.

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