Argus Leader: Thune and Herseth to the Rescue

The Argus has a nice story today on Lisa Richardson (Who I think worked for Pressler at one time) who had gotten stuck in China with a child she was adopting. When it looked like she, and many other couples adopting children were going to be stranded, Congresswoman Herseth's staff lent a hand, and Senator Thune brought out the big guns to get the families home:
They were supposed to return to the United States with their new additions on April 14 and 15, but a problem with the State Department computer used to issue visas to the adopted children caused a several-day backup for nearly 100 families.


So Richardson started calling people.

She started with Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin’s staff member in charge of immigration, Mark Gerhardt, who had helped the Richardsons expedite their Orphan Child/Immediate Relative petition in February so they could travel to China.

Gerhardt made the State Department’s China desk aware of the visa problem.

Thune, meanwhile, went right to the boss.

“I called (Secretary of State) Condi Rice’s chief of staff and said ‘I’ve got an emergency problem here. Can you help?’” Thune said.


Richardson said the stranded American parents had been told by U.S. officials once the computer problem was fixed, which would take several days, the State Department could only issue a maximum 50 visas a day.

That got changed after Thune intervened.

“All 96 families got visas,” Richardson says.
Read all of the story here at the Argus Leader.


nonnie said…
Three cheers for Thune!!
Anonymous said…
looks like your headline should be "THUNE TO THE RESCUE"
Anonymous said…
a very nice story...we need more nice stories
Anonymous said…
I wonder if Lisa hadn't been the head of a powerful ngo,Corn Growers,if she would have received the same attention. Probably not, Thune just takes care of those who take care of him.
nonnie said…
5:39. Can't give Thune any credit for anything, can you? How about a high five for a good story for once with a happy ending. You would probably be the first to praise Herseth if she had happened to "go to the top" to get those people out and accomplished it.
Anonymous said…
Liza is not the head of the national organization!
Brian Donahoe said…
Senator Thune has helped others in a similar situation without any regard to their political affiliations, prominence etc. - just responds earnestly and quickly when a South Dakota family has a problem. We called on Senator Thune shortly after he took his Senate seat for a similar problem a client of our law firm had in another country. Senator Thune's staff got immediate results for the SD family and several others who returned with their adopted children weeks if not months earlier than they were told was possible. He truly cares about helping people.
Anonymous said…
Herseth got in her me too! She didn't do a damn thing.

Why didn't she pick up the phone and call the chief of staff? Because she is lazy! She is always a me too Congresswoman. Whether it was Ellsworth, or DME or this. She has little impact at the national level because of her liberal credentials which may be secret here in South Dakota but are well known in DC.

Its why the pentagon holds their nose when having to deal with her and troop issues. The only reason they move for her is to help the soldiers.
Anonymous said…
10:05, where does it say that Lisa is head of the national organization. NGO stands for nongovernmental organization. See, you might have learned something.
Anonymous said…
Just for laughs, can anyone trace the DM&E connection here? I really doubt that Thune would have done this unless the person he is helping is well connected.To believe otherwise is naive. Welcome to real world.

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