Last updated on 2013.04.18
South Dakota Democrat and freelance theologian (that's interesting!) Anna Madsen takes to the Daily Kos-waves to explain why she wants Brendan Johnson to run for his dad's Senate seat in 2014. Madsen's urge to draft Brendan is very much about her desire not to see Stephanie Herseth Sandlin try to take that seat. Madsen doesn't hit SHS with quite the harsh language I've heard from strong Left out-state observers, but she calls SHS a "Trojan-horse Republican":
After receiving our avid and assorted support, she decided to vote against Obamacare (and right proudly too, making her vote central to her [losing] re-election bid). She voted against legislation to curb global warming. She voted for legislation containing tax breaks for “Big Oil” companies. She voted for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. She signed onto a letter to Nancy Pelosi which advocated that the Bush tax breaks for the crazy-wealthy be extended.
For many of us in the State Party, these choices marked a deep betrayal of who we thought we knew her to be [Anna Madsen, "Know Brendan?" Daily Kos, 2013.04.17].
Madsen admits that we can 't know for sure if Brendan Johnson is any better on the issues, largely because his job as U.S. Attorney keeps him from jumping on the stump and making political speeches. But she asserts the following "soft" knowledge of Brendan's more progressive bent from his record and from friends of friends:
Brendan was chosen “Prosecutor of the Year” last month by the South Dakota Domestic Violence Coordinating Committee.
His confirmation to his present position was unanimous in the US Senate.
AG Eric Holder placed him as chair of the Native American Issues Subcommittee, as well as on Holder’s Advisory Committee.
He initiated the first ever Tribal Listening Station in 2010, attended by 200-some tribal leaders and representatives from state and federal law enforcement.
He seeks to equip people with information and confidence, as seen in his hosting of a Civil Rights’ Conference last year.
He is U.S. Senator Tim Johnson’s son.
His father opposed every single one of Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin’s positions that I named above [Madsen, 2013.04.17].
If Brendan runs, I hope he'll confirm the progressive hopes Madsen and others pin upon him. But I'm in no rush to endorse. Whatever Dems may offer to carry the party banner in our marquee Senate race (and we have a year; who knows who may pop up and say "Pick me!"), I'll wait to hear their progressive beliefs straight from their mouths before I get excited.
I also hope the Draft Brendan movement isn't just one machine's maneuvering to box out another machine. If Stephanie wants to run, for Senate or any other big office, I'll welcome her entrance to the field and her effort to make the case that her pale-Blue brand of Democratic politics is in South Dakota's best interest.