Me Too! Me Too! Ag Secretary comes to SD to tour with Gov. And others as appended.

This morning, Governor Rounds announced that he would be touring a drought-inflicted farm in the Hayes area with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture:
Gov. Mike Rounds today confirmed that USDA Secretary Mike Johanns will visit South Dakota on Tuesday, August 29.

"We are pleased that USDA Sec. Johanns is coming to South Dakota and view firsthand the impacts of this continued drought on our farmers, ranchers and businesses," said Gov. Rounds. "We will have a tremendous opportunity to visit with the Secretary to share the concerns of our agricultural producers who are struggling to continue their family farming and ranching operations."

Secretary Johanns will tour a portion of the severe drought area west of Pierre, S.D., at the Don and Lura Kirkpatrick ranch, located 4 ½ miles South and ½ mile East of the Little Brown Church near Hayes, S.D. (Address: 21348 Brown Church Road).

Sec. Johanns and Gov. Rounds will tour the Kirkpatrick Ranch at 1:15 CDT; make remarks at 1:45 p.m. CDT and will be available to the media at 2:15 p.m. CDT.
This is a good thing, and would be noteworthy just for the fact that the U.S. Secretary of Ag was coming to the state to view the conditions for himself. But then it devolved into a "me too thing" with the announcement on KELO that Congresswoman Herseth would be tagging along as well:
Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth will accompany US Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns Tuesday afternoon when he visits a ranch near Hayes to see the effects of the drought.

Governor Rounds announced the Johanns visit earlier today.

Herseth, who is on the House Agriculture Committee, says she wrote the ag secretary late last month and invited him to South Dakota. She says the drought is so bad that people must see it with their own eyes to believe it.
Read it all here. And shortly thereafter, it was announced that Senator Tim Johnson would be also accompanying everyone on this trip. From the AP/Argus:

Rep. Stephanie Herseth, D-S.D., and Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D. said Monday that they will join Johanns Tuesday.

"For the sake of our producers, I sincerely hope it's not too little too late, and we can still secure some meaningful drought relief this year," Herseth said in a release.

Herseth, Johnson and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., have individually urged Johanns to visit the state.

"I am sure he will convey to the president what we here at home already know, that this is a natural disaster that has damaged all aspects of the economy from the farms and fields to main street," Johnson said.

Kyle Downey, a spokesman for Thune, said the senator will not join the secretary Tuesday but is pleased that Johanns is making the trip.

(Read it all here) Apparently, Thune has to work tomorrow.

Now, don't get me wrong. The trip is a good thing. But after the first announcement, it struck me as mildly funny with press release followed by press release announcing "me too."

Comments

Anonymous said…
Pure hackery Pat. Everyone agrees its a good thing that the Secretary is coming here. Touring around the state with officials like this is the work that public servants like the Governor, Herseth and Johnson do. I don't know what you mean when you say Thune has to work. Are you saying that touring around and trying to get drought aid isn't what our elected folks are supposed to do?

Since I have no idea what Thune is doing during the Secretary's trip, I guess I'd be interested in hearing what he is doing that is so much more important that securing drought aid.

I understand the tediousness of the press releases. But come on. Thune, Herseth, and Johnson (and probably the Gov. too) have been trying to get federal officials out here for some time.

Politics is what it is, so it isn't any surprise that Rounds got the word before anyone else. But it is silly for you to cast aspersions (not dispersions) on Herseth and Johnson for trying to make their case to the Secretary on the ground as well as in Washington.

I didn't hear you criticizing the Governor when he squeezed in on Herseth's farm bill hearing. Politicians want some media attention. You know that. But you can't really fault any elected official who has been working on this issue for doing their part for South Dakota while the Secretary is here.
Nicholas Nemec said…
I suppose Thune isn't going to be on this tour because he already has the President's ear.

Anon 10:34 says it better than I can, this entry is a hack piece.
PP said…
I thought I was being mild. It just struck me as funny that the press releases started flying as soon as Rounds announced it.
Anonymous said…
Me Too, I want them to come to our farm in Walworth County. We are dry, no corn, no sunfloweres, no beans,no hay and 12 bu wheat.

Pay the bills with that!

I can't afford to let my wife have a new hair style or fly around and act important.
fvbdefa said…
Kccr radio is saying the Sec. came after a invite from Sen. Johnson while others are saying he came because of a invite from Gov. Rounds. What is the truth?

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