Thursday, July 15, 2004

Betraying Her Base

Dear friends,

If the people of South Dakota had wanted a Congressperson who would vote the Republican party line in the House, we’d have elected a Republican to our sole House seat. However, we elected Stephanie Herseth, a Democrat.

Perhaps her right-wing voting record shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that Herseth came out in support of President Bush’s radical anti-gay “Federal Marriage Amendment” during her campaign. To her credit, Herseth did back down from this position once she realized that her South Dakotan supporters were against tampering with the United States Constitution for partisan political gain.

As a proud South Dakotan, I am cannot help but be disappointed by Representative Herseth's performance. Her vote to allow Administration bureaucrats to bypass proper public oversight when enacting new forest management policies is a disgrace. I am confident that all South Dakotans, Democrat or Republican, feel a deep love for our national forests, and would not want any legislation that might adversely affect them enacted unless we were certain that all sides of the issue had been properly heard. Sadly, due to Representative Herseth's vote, that may no longer be possible.

Representative Herseth's vote for $143 billion in corporate tax cuts (HR 4520) is especially disappointing. The suggestion that wealthy corporations should receive taxpayer-funded handouts while federal and state budgets are desperately tight, and while our brave men and women are risking their lives in Iraq is simply disgraceful.

I believe that any South Dakotan who cares about our environment, our economy, or the principles of honesty and shared sacrifice that form the basis for our American ideals ought to be ashamed of Stephanie Herseth's recent performance.



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