November 1, 2004

PANIC SETS IN (via Mike Daley):

Daschle sues Thune in federal court (MIKE MADDEN, 11/1/2004, Argus Leader)

Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle sued his opponent, John Thune, and the GOP in federal court tonight, accusing Republicans of intimidating Native American voters in Tuesday's election. [...]

Daschle is depending on heavy turnout from Native American voters, who
overwhelmingly support him over Thune, to win what is expected to be an
extremely close election.

Thune aides said the lawsuit is an outrage.

"Unbelievably, they are trying to exclude Republican poll watchers from
watching the process," said Dick Wadhams, Thune's campaign manager. "He
thinks he's going to lose this seat."

Sadly for the Senator, with the President at the top of the ticket this one isn't likely to be as close as 2002, when Democrats were able to steal the election from Mr. Thune on the reservations.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 1, 2004 11:32 PM

Unbelievably idiotic. This will fire up the GOP electorate in SD more than anything the 72-Hour Program or any GOP honcho, including Arnold and W himself, could ever do. Even if Daschle wins this battle he puts himself at grave risk of losing the war.

Posted by: Joe at November 2, 2004 12:32 AM

The Argus Leader left out the fact that Federal Judge Larry Piersol was Daschle's own personal legal counsel (in 1978). It waits until the last paragraph to mention in passing that Pierson was chosen for the federal bench by Daschle.

The AP article mentions neither fact.

Posted by: Gideon at November 2, 2004 12:50 AM

UPDATE: The judge has issued an order restricting Republicans from recording license plate numbers of people leaving the polls in Charles Mix County.

Posted by: Gideon at November 2, 2004 4:51 AM

Like the guy at Irreconcilable Musings said, "I stayed up until 2 a.m. for THIS?!" Daschle must be feeling really let down just about now; his pet judge threw him a bone and let the GOP have the rest of the dinner plate, because that's exactly what the ruling Gideon reported above amounts to. The judge relented on the crucial point of letting the GOP have challengers/poll watchers in the polling places, per the 6th Circuit ruling last evening. The blog Daschle v. Thune (which had a blow-by-blow of the whole fiasco) reports that Daschle senior staff were acting literally juvenile while Thune's CoS was giving media interviews after the ruling. I think Daschle gets walloped today.

Posted by: Joe at November 2, 2004 5:07 AM

Oh, the irony! Had Daschle not cheated Thune out of a Senate seat in 2002 with his Indian reservation "voters", he would not have had such a formidable opponent this time around!

Posted by: Oswald Booth Czolgosz at November 2, 2004 8:36 AM

Hugh Hewitt is referring to this as "Daschle's Meltdown".

Posted by: Ken at November 2, 2004 2:48 PM