Herseth Wikipedia continues; Whalen Says Debate, Herseth says let's wait. Thune says internet rumors are things to hate.

U.S. Senator John Thune commented on the Herseth Wikipedia issue in the Rapid City Journal today, about the same time that the debate issue was taken straight to Stephanie on the podium at a pow wow on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. From the Rapid City Journal:

The battle continued Tuesday between the campaigns of Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth and her Republican challenger Bruce Whalen over unfounded rumors about Herseth's personal life.

And as it did, Republican Sen. John Thune said his experience with "all types of sordid, false rumors" about his own personal life made him especially sympathetic toward Herseth.

Phony information on a Web site said Herseth was pregnant and engaged to her "chief of staff," a man identified by a name that belongs to no one on the congresswoman's staff. In an e-mail message sent to political Web logs, Whalen campaign manager Lee Breard highlighted the farce and also mentioned another rumor that implied Herseth was a "home-wrecker" because of her relationship with a former congressman from Texas.

Thune said such unwarranted gossip is one of the negatives in high-profile public service.

"I sympathize with Stephanie on this one," he said. "I guess you have to come back to the fact that this is an unfortunate part of being in public life, especially with the Internet."


Neither Whalen or Herseth responded to requests, made through their staffs, for interviews on the issue Tuesday. Levsen said Whalen had "confronted" Herseth at a powwow in Pine Ridge on Sunday and asked about the Wikipedia claim.

"He approached her and confronted her and said, 'Is it true?'" Levsen said. "She said, 'I can't believe you're asking that.' And he asked again if it was true. And she said, 'No, Bruce, it isn't true.'"

Breard said by e-mail Tuesday that the exchange Sunday began after Herseth rejected a challenge from Whalen to debate in front of the powwow crowd.

"She said, 'Your manager needs to apologize to me,'" Breard said. "Mr. Whalen stated, 'Well, is it true, in reference to that you are now pro-life?' She responded with, 'I cannot believe that you asked me that.'"


"They've been trying to circulate false rumors about me and my family and my personal life for years," he (Thune) said.

"It's frustrating, because there's no way to refute. It's not like you have a forum to bat this stuff down."

Internet communications make the rumor mill even more powerful, and harmful, he said.

Read it all here. For a little more clarification on the pow wow debate challenge alluded to in the article, the Whalen campaign sent out a press release on the issue yesterday. From the release:

While shaking hands with Ms. Herseth he turned to the announcer and suggested to him, “Ms. Herseth and I could have a debate in front of pow wow attendees since we are both immediately present. I then turned back to Ms. Herseth and challenged her to a debate in front of pow wow attendees since there may never be a more opportune time or place for Indian people to see a Congressional debate”. Mr. Whalen suggested to Ms. Herseth that we could express our opinions “right here and right now” so these people know where we stand on issues of local concern.

Before the pow wow announcer could offer a reply Ms. Herseth sharply declined by responding, “No, I told you we will debate later in the fall” before promptly exiting the building. “Prior to Sunday, I had not personally discussed a debate schedule with Ms. Herseth. Had she accepted my challenge it would have been a historical event to debate before the people of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.” Voter registration of Shannon County, where the Pine Ridge Village rests, is primarily with the Democratic Party. It seems that Ms. Herseth was not inclined to share her opinions with her party members.
I went and checked both Herseth's campaign site and congressional website, but didn't see any press releases on it from her side, so I don't have a corresponding release in response.

And I'm sure this battle will continue to rage on.


Anonymous said…
Whalen is turning out to be more of a joke than I thought. Thank you Randy Frederick. This should continue to provide amusement going forward.
David Newquist said…
Life is becoming more and more an absurdist comedy. After the attacks with falsehoods that John Thune made against Tom Daschle and his family in the 2004 campaign, he waxes indignant over scurrilous campaign slurs?

Anonymous said…
Letting the voters know about Daschle's fundraising efforts for abortion organizations was a campaign slur? Or do know of an "attack with falsehoods" against Daschle that we don't know about? If so, please enlighten us.
Anonymous said…
I seem to recall plenty rumors accusing Thune of extramarital affairs. Don't really recall rumors about Daschle being spread... Anybody have some examples?
Anonymous said…
4:13 PM--


"Vote Dashcle, Vote for Sodomy" bumper stickers
Anonymous said…
5:48 That was not put out by any campaign.

Talk about the story. Why won't Miss Herseth debate????? Is is ashamed of her voting record???
Anonymous said…
Bruce should fire Lee. He needs to distance himself from that kind of management.
Brandon said…
Yeah... the debate. PP/Whalen has really done a good job flipping that story around. Everyone's talking about the debates and no one is talking about what a jerk Bruce Whalen is. You can't walk down the street without hearing people say "I can't wait to hear Bruce Whalen debate!" You guys should call the White House, they might be able to use your help.

But nevermind the reprehensible behavior on the part of Bruce Whalen -- the public is hungry for the much anticipated Herseth - Whalen debates. They're almost rioting in the streets to hear what Bruce Whalen has to say! In fact, I heard that the Outlaws - Hells Angels shooting was because there aren't 300 Herseth - Whalen debates scheduled. (Of course, Bruce has had plenty of opportunities to speak to the Rapid City Journal and the Argus leader in the last few days, but he declined. Repeatedly. What's the matter Bruce, cat got your tongue? Afraid you might say something stupid?)

This guy's sole contribution to the campaign has been to spread lies about Herseth's personal life. Bruce Whalen has yet to offer a single voter a single reason to vote for him. He complains about the lack of debates, but has apparently been too busy to take anyone's calls.

But, seriously, these debates are sure going to make the Lincoln-Douglas debates pale in comparison.

(Bruce, the debates between Abraham Lincoln in Stephen Douglas in the 1858 Illinois Senate race are widely regarded as the most important debates in a political campaign in US History. I'll let you guess who won that race...)

Herseth should do us all a favor and cancel the debates she's accepted. Whalen won't raise enough money to afford any TV ads, and if we're lucky, we can be spared hearing any more of his dim witted, nasty drivel. That would be a real public service.

Debates make sense when there is a legitimate race. Debates make sense when there are two adults in a race. Debates make sense when both candidates have something worthwhile to say.

Of course, Herseth will do the debates. She'll talk intelligently about issues. Whalen will look both foolish and dumb, and embarass himself and his party. And, of course, Herseth will win in a landslide.

But if it were me, I'd tell Whalen to kiss off after the crap he pulled.
Anonymous said…
Since Bruce seems to rely on bloggers to do his research for him, perhaps he should ask them to look into whether or not a major party candidate came in third in a Congressional race. I the list of Republicans for Rudebush is growing by the minute.

Whalen should ask Rudebush to debate...they can fight it out for second.
Haggs said…
Wow. Whalen was a huge jerk when he confronted Stephanie.
Anonymous said…
Yes, the bumper sticker was put out by a de-facto supporter of Thune's campaign, the SD college Republicans. Ask Jen Giancotti, I'm sure she remembers them.
Anonymous said…
Jen who? Have you any idea what you're talking about? You can't even get names right.

This is the first time I've ever heard of a bumper sticker like that and no one else I've talked to has heard of it either. I'm pretty sure you just make that up.
Anonymous said…
10:38 AM:

Sounds like you're just way out of the loop.
Anonymous said…
I guess I'm out of the loop too then. I never heard of that bumper sticker. Show us some proof.
Anonymous said…
Hilde or one of the operatives will probably have some printed up just to prove that they exist.
Mike Q said…
Here is a link, in regards to the Vote Daschle, vote for Sodomy flap, ya goobers. But You may need to grab an old Argus to find it.


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