Yankton Press and Dakotan Poll: Will he or won't he?

The Yankton Newspaper isn't pussyfooting around on the issue tonight -

Do you think Sen. Tim Johnson will run for re-election in 2008?

Go vote at www.yankton.net (left hand side of page)


Anonymous said…
I think a more interesting question would be "should he run?"
Anonymous said…

But if it was about what's in the best interest of the state, he'd have already stepped down.
nonnie said…
Anon 1:17. It's all about what's in the best interest of the Dem's at the national level, and that is why he won't step down, even if it would be in the best interest of SD for him to do so if he realistically won't be able to be back to work. He will "remain in office" until it's too late for the Republican governor Rounds to appoint someone else and upset the delicate Democrat majority in the Senate. It's not right but sadly that's the way it is. If he were truly able to come back and do his job, he would be allowing interviews and not just staged pictures.
Anonymous said…
Hey Nonnie,

Did you ever think that maybe you should be as compassionate toward Johnson as you are to all those unborn fetuses you want to save?

Just wondering.
Anonymous said…
9:28, a fetus is not an elected representative of the taxpayers of SD. I don't know anybody who doesn't feel compassion for Senator Johnson. But I strongly believe that politics are involved here. And be honest. If it were Thune, you would have had somebody camped out on his doorstep the day after, and would be calling for him to resign. Quit with the hypocrisy!!!
Anonymous said…
I think one can feel compassion for Senator Johnson (which I certainly do) while believing that he won't run for reelection (which I also do).

I frankly am less upset than a lot of people about the fact the Johnson has stayed in office. Much of the work of a Senator is done by the staff anyway, and if anything, I'll bet the other Senators are MORE WILLING than before to help out with Sen. Johnson's issues.

As for whether or not he runs again, I believe that at this point he honestly does not know. I would guess that he would like to run, and is laying the groundwork, but has to see how he is doing a year from now. That seems like a reasonable stance.

My only complaint is with the unncecessary secrecy surrounding his recovery. I'm not one of these people who feels that the public "has a right to know" every detail. Frankly, it is entirely his business what he wants to tell us. I just don't think that, from his point of view, it makes very much sense to be so secretive. We all know people who have had stroke-like symptoms, so we know generally how he must be. I don't think the people would be shocked to learn the details - even if he and Barb simply gave one interview to a reporter. It is sort of a contrast, really, to when Barb had cancer. She was very public and forward about it, and did alot to raise awareness.
rich engels said…
The constitution does not permit governors to appoint house members. House vacancies are filled by special election. We need to look only back to 2004 in SD to see how that works.

States get to determine how senators are replaced. Most allow governors to appoint whomever they want.

The exceptions are: Oregon and Washington require special elections - similar to House vacancies. Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii require the governor to appoint someone of the same political party as the previous incumbent. Utah and Wyoming also require the governor to appoint someone of the same political party as the previous incumbent, but further requires the governor to choose from a list of 3 candidates proposed by the central committee of the party of the previous incumbent (eliminates party-switching gamesmanship).

If the will of the voters is key, special elections for senators would seem to be the fairest way to go. We do it for the House already - determine the voters' will anew. Requiring a governor to appoint someone from the same political party of the incumbent would also honor the will of the voters - at least their most recent will for that particular senate seat.

The current system in South Dakota and most states for senate vacancies seems to invite political opportunism by governors (to steal a seat won by the other party). Maybe our senate succession law should be changed to serve the voters instead of the politicians.

I may just bring a bill next year.
nonnie said…
Rich, if you bring a bill forward on this, it should be a election IMO. Just appointing a member of a sitting political party might not reflect the true wishes of the voters. Sometimes a person get elected based on who and what kind of person they are, not on their political affiliation. Make it an election.

Even tho I'm Republican and naturally would love to have Rounds appoint a Republican (speaking politically), this is in all honesty not how it should be done. There should be a new election for Senate as well as House.
nonnie said…
anon 9:28. I have compassion for Johnson. But this is being handled strictly from a political standpoint. Don't be naive.

And it has nothing to do with the issue of abortion BTW.
Anonymous said…
Okay so where in the world was the media in catching a glimspe of Sen. Johnson leaving the hospital or beig wheeled into his home in DC?
Yes, this does happen but not in this case. Does anyone know if the New Jersy Gov hit the tv media. I did hear it on the radio but nothing on Johnson. Interesting. THe media is always a day late here.
rich engels said…
Little correction to my earlier post. It is Wisconsin - not Washington, that requires special elections for senate vacancies. Also, Oklahoma also requires special elections along with Oregon.
Anonymous said…
nonnie said:
"I have compassion for Johnson. But this is being handled strictly from a political standpoint. Don't be naive."

That's your view. Of course, there's no basis for it other than pure speculation, but what does that matter.

It's also possible that he's recovering nicely and will be back on the job soon enough. I've got about as much basis for that opinion as you have for yours. Who's right? Time will tell.
Anonymous said…
An even better question than "will he run?" or "should he run?" would be "would you vote for him if he runs?" I would rather see some gauge of opinion on Johnson than some guess on what he may do.

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