How desperate are Republicans becoming? Take a look at the story about Republicans in South Dakota, accusing a Democratic House candidate of “taking money from secret websites” (click for story). What a bunch of BS!

Herseth, the Democratic candidate, is seeking the seat the Bill Janklow (convicted of murder) resigned from earlier this year. She is supported by many people online who run blogs like, well this website. And those blogs have ads with “click here to donate to Stephanie Herseth” buttons. She gets lots of small donations. This is called “grass roots support”. We don’t all have million dollar pocketbooks where we can just write a check (and expect something in return!) like the Republicans get funded. But Republicans in South Dakota are trying to stigmatize Herseth, as well as raising funds from the Internet, because they have nothing better to use against her. Again, what you don’t understand just must be evil, right? How stupid can these bozo’s be?

Posted on Thu, Mar. 25, 2004

GOP criticizes Democratic House candidate’s Internet fund-raising


Associated Press

PIERRE, S.D. – Republicans have accused Democratic U.S. House candidate Stephanie Herseth of maintaining a secret Web page to receive campaign donations raised from ads on liberal groups’ Internet sites.

But a Herseth campaign official scoffed at the charge, saying the Web page is not secret and can be found easily with a standard search of the Internet.

Herseth faces Republican Larry Diedrich in a June 1 special election to fill the vacancy left when Bill Janklow resigned as South Dakota’s lone member of the U.S. House.

Jason Glodt, executive director of the South Dakota Republican Party, said the Herseth campaign arranged the special Internet donation site to prevent most South Dakotans from knowing about Herseth’s relationship with such liberal groups.

The Herseth Web page takes campaign donations from people directed there from Internet sites called “blogs,” which are online bulletin boards that feature journals, opinionated articles and messages.

“There’s a reason she’s got that secret site. She doesn’t want to advertise the fact she’s doing this,” Glodt said Thursday.

“I think the real point is you judge a person by the friends they keep, and look where she’s focusing her fund-raising efforts,” Glodt said. “Anybody can look at these blogs and the content, and realize the values they are promoting are completely contradictory to the South Dakota values she purports to represent.”

However, Herseth campaign spokesman Russ Levsen said that particular Internet page merely takes donations from people who find out about the campaign when they visit political blogs that feature Herseth ads.

“I would dispute the premise that it’s secret because it’s an open site on the Internet that anybody can get to,” Levsen said.

The supposedly secret Web site is one of the first results when an Internet user does a standard search for the terms “blog” and “Herseth” on the Google search engine, Levsen said.

Most of the donations that result from ads on the blogs are for amounts of less than $50, Levsen said. “This is grass-roots politics.”

“There is nothing secret about the World Wide Web,” Levsen said. “Stephanie is focused on the real issues facing South Dakota, like how to make health care more affordable and how to secure a better marketplace for our farmers and ranchers. I hope that Larry Diedrich will get back to the issues as well.”

Herseth and most other candidates, including Republican rival Diedrich, now solicit campaign donations on their campaign Internet sites. People can fill out forms and give their credit card numbers to make such donations.

Herseth also has placed ads on Democratic-oriented blogs that feature many messages criticizing President Bush and other Republicans on issues such as the war in Iraq and the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

People who click on those blog ads are taken to a separate page on Herseth’s Internet site, where they can donate to her campaign. There is no link on Herseth’s main campaign site to take Internet users to the blog-related page.

Referrals from different blogs are asked to add varying amounts to their donations as an informal way of identifying which blog steered the donor to the campaign. For example, those referred from the popular Daily Kos are asked to add 1 cent to their donation.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Thune, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., also has advertised on Republican-leaning blogs.

Glodt said Herseth said should reveal how much money she has received from the blog ads and should open the blog-donation page to the public.

Levsen said he does not know exactly how much Herseth’s campaign has raised so far from blog ads, but such information will be reported in the campaign’s financial reports.

“These are donations from individuals who are politically active and politically interested, and they want to make a difference,” Levsen said.

Herseth apparently has no ads running on any blogs now, but she raised thousands of dollars earlier this year from an ad on the Daily Kos site. She raised at least $21,000 in one day on that site, which features many articles and messages that criticize President Bush and other Republicans.

But after Herseth announced a month ago that she supported Bush when he called for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, many people posted messages on Daily Kos saying they would not contribute to her campaign.

Herseth in February released a statement that said: “I agree with the president on this issue. Marriage should be between a man and a woman.”

After critical comments were posted on Daily Kos, her campaign released another statement to the blog, saying Herseth believes the issue should be left up to the states to decide under federal legislation or the ratification process for constitutional amendments.

By walterh

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