Fake Names, Fake Letters, Fake Opinions

In the past few weeks, you may have noticed a number of letters to the Argus Leader regarding Stephanie Herseth and her supposed abandonment of the Democratic Party. Although each of these letters were signed by a different name, they were all extremely similar in not only the basic opinion but in writing style, language, and main talking points.
Clean Cut Kid also noticed these letters, and did a little investigating. These letters were “signed” by people with the names Jack R. Thompson, Mark L. Chandler, and Justin R. Sanders. CCK performed internet searches on these names, looked them up in various phone books, and even checked voter registration records of both parties. This last search was, in his opinion, most interesting. He wrote on his blog, “these writers seem to be politically aware – they note specific legislation…one would think they would take the time to register to vote to make sure their opinion is counted on Election Day”.
CCK’s conclusion was that it was possible that Republicans were behind a conspiracy to create an “impression that Democrats aren’t behind Representative Herseth and weaken her”. While it certainly sound absurd, at first I had no reason to doubt this possibility, as this is an era where there really are no limits as to what either party is willing to do to strengthen their own side.
It turns out that CCK was partly right. The letters were fake, but they didn’t come from Republicans. In his October 9th editorial, Argus head honcho Randall Beck acknowledged that the paper had been hoodwinked. Spurred by a call from Herseth’s office, which was probably spurred by CCK’s post, the Argus did an investigation of their own.
The letters in question all came from the same apartment on Kiwanis Avenue, and they all shared the same phone number. When the Argus contacted the phone number last week, they came into contact with a person who identified himself as Kurt Woodard, who also had a letter recently printed. Woodard claimed the other names were of roommates, who conveniently were not around at the time of the call. How could they? They don’t exist.
Funny thing is that the only real person of the whole sad saga, Mr. Woodard, is not a Republican. He’s the state coordinator for an organization called Progressive Democrats of America, an organization that’s known for being extremely liberal.
Obviously, Mr. Woodard’s anger with Herseth is real. And, truthfully, there are quite a few people out there who are not happy with some of her decisions – particularly her vote for the bankruptcy bill, the silly flag burning law, and the extremely scary so-called “obscenity bill”. But if one is to publicly complain about a public official, one cannot bend the rules to create an impression that there’s a bigger groundswell of discontent then there really is.
Furthermore, the fact that he utilized pseudonyms to preach his opinion showcases a lack of guts. It’s pretty easy to attack others when there’s no opportunity to fight back. The same goes to those on the internet that hide behind silly fake names (or no names at all). While I allow these sorts of comments not only on this blog but on my message board, I don’t take too much credence in what these people have to say. I’ll always put my money where my mouth is, and I’m more than willing to take the hits that I’m bound to receive on a daily basis for my silly rants. But why would I pay any attention to hateful, yet generally poorly-written, name-calling from somebody who refuses to sign their own name? Neither should anybody else, including the daily paper.


Anonymous said…
Scott Hudson is the worst kind of political hack. First he neglects to do any research on a subject. Then he relies on "information" from other ill-informed individuals. Then he's made a lifetime career supporting the misguided South Dakota Democratic Party, and its opportunistic politicans.
Thanks to editorial adventure, we now know that many individuals can submit commentaries on a regular basis to advance specific viewpoints. Take this into account with all the views that the Argus omits based on their opinion of viewpoint popularity. The number of subjects omited from the Argus could fill volumns. Yet Scott Hudson and his "lack of guts" (friend), 'Clean Cut Kid', are accepted in Hudson world. And we thought Hudson lacked imagination.
Then there's Stephanie Herseth-Blue Dog. Hudson forgot to mention that Herseth defined marriage between a man and a woman before she was even married. One blogger commented that this was why many pro-gay Herseth parties withdrew their support for Steph before her election and re-election. Just my partisan imagination? lol Nope.
And my prediction that Republicans would vote for Herseth over an indian on the Republican ticket came true also.
Hudson is somehow convicted that South Dakotans should be satisfied with whatever con-artist runs on the Dem ticket every two years. Do you see this as your political identity also?
Hudson forgot to mention that Herseth's people, Hudson and other Dems were convinced that any negative letters about Steph are a conspiracy. Not only is she not popular, but she avoids discussing America's most serious problems unless she's up for re-election. And you defend her behavior? lol
If a car salesman treated you that way - you'd walk out the door.
And how about Steph support of the Bankruptcy Bill. By increasing borrower payments to "pay off their outstanding debt", Steph has contributed to a mindboggling number Americans that can't afford to make credit card payments. lol
And what about Progressive Democrats of America? They supported an open border with Mexico and opposed securing the border. Yet another bad position supported by Steph, who joined the this majority view.
Argus Exec Randell Beck got himself in trouble at court when his own editorial practices pitted him against Bill Janklow. That was a funny story. And you're welcome for exposing Argus editorial practices.
Scott said…
Wow, it took you 2 1/2 years to comment? Interesting.

And by the way, I'm not a Democrat. I belong to neither party, and if I was to go through my choices since I first voted in 1980 I would bet that I've voted for more Republicans than Democrats.

One Democrat that I've never voted for is Ms. Herseth-Sandlin.
Anonymous said…
Two and a half years to comment? Your "rant" didn't show up on the Google radar when Randell Beck had his seizure of assumptions on the editorial page. But I would agree with Bill Janklows recent comment that Sioux Falls deserves a mainstream newspaper, and not a crooked press like the Argus. Go Bill.
Still interesting Scott? Accually the only online comment I found two and a half years ago was from Sibby Online. Sibby had a different rant approach from Hudson. Sibby felt that South Dakota Republicans were owed an apology from Democrat accusers in Stephanie's office, former Daschle aids (and I thought I read the name Scott Hudson). lol Did you accuse SD Republicans of sending anti-Stephanie editorials to the Argus? And by the way, unlike Argus editors and "Rant" gadflys I do have more than one friend. And yes, I still have more than one roommate.
And now for Scott's claim that he's not a Democrat. Lets try the rant test. Out of all the Scott Hudson Rant editorials, is anyone truly left with the impression that Hudson isn't a Democrat? And what was the topic in a more recent rant? Oh yes... that the Republican dominated state legislature doesn't accomplish anything. That was a subtle rant. Was that priming script in "Ms. Herseth-Sandlin's" spin newsletter? Governor Herseth-Weasel will save our state, like she saved us from too much credit card debt and same gender marriage. Not to mention her robust political push requiring all meat to specify country of origin. Steph would've had better results giving Nancy Pelosi a lap dance, instead of running from photo ops.
Scott said…
Ummm, ok.

Obviously you don't read my blog very often...and that's fine.

I'm also no fan of the Argus - go back a few months and you'll see three straight weeks where I criticized them.

And this week's rant against the Legislature? Look at who I mainly singled out - Sandy Jerstad. Last I looked she was a Democrat. My source for most of my info? Pat Powers - a Republican.

I'd also like you to look and find anywhere that I've said that Herseth-Sandlin would make a good Governor. It's nowhere to be found. Yes, 2 1/2 years ago I complained about the form letters criticizing her. That does not mean that I've ever supported her, let alone voted for her.

But whatever. I guess nothing I write will ever change your mind that I'm part of this vast conspiracy to vault any and all Democrats to world domination.

Have a nice day.
Anonymous said…
You're right - I don't believe you. If you're trying to convince someone that you're motivated daily by cynicism, your story is a hard sell. (Or you're a nut-job).
No one is a fan of the Argus anymore since the parent company ordered an increase in advertising revenue, and a reduction in news content. But that didn't stop you from defending the corporate whore when you were hallucinating "form letters". Stephanie Herseth- Weasel and her staff dodged the editorial page comments criticizing her, and focused on their conviction of a "vast conspiracy to vault" Steph out of office by Republicans. That seemed to be the only focus on your rant too. A group of guys get more than 200 words in the Argus, and both you and Steph soil your shorts over this at the same time. Thus the reason why your true motives are suspect. Think about it for a moment. All those observations about Steph's voting record, and both of you evaded her voting record in favor of minutia. Partisan evasion tacts 101.
And you wanted extra credit points for singled out - Sandy Jerstad? Funny. Everyone knows she's the Hillary of SD politics. But to admit that Pat Powers is your source makes you qualified to report for the Shopping News.
Loved the, "vast conspiracy to vault any and all Democrats to world domination" quote. Won't happen - but you fought well for Steph's virtue. lol Maybe she'll send you a centerfold poster of her in that blazing red suit.
Scott said…
Ok, I guess nothing I say will convince you that I'm not an Argus-loving, Stephanie-slurping, good ol' liberal. My sources aren't Replubican enough for you; my criticism of Democrats isn't extreme enough for you. I sitll would love for you to find anything I've written (outside of this 2 1/2 year old rant about letter writers) that is in anyway pro-Herseth. But, whatever. I appreciate your comments.
Anonymous said…
Actually Randell Beck said that Stephanie, her staff, and former Daschle staff converged on the Argus complaining that Republican operatives were unfairly attacking Steph. Here’s the interesting part Scott. Steph voted for the Bankruptcy Bill, and the Republicans were in full support of the measure also, (not to mention opposition to gay marriage). When the Republican headquarters spelled this out to the Stephanie’s posse, the Dems then created a theory that Republicans were behind a conspiracy to create an “impression that Democrats aren’t behind Representative Herseth and weaken her”, (as you put it in your letter). You then stated, “ I had no reason to doubt this possibility”. Kind of a double agent thing from the cold war chapter. And you accuse me of creating conspiracy theories?
Randell Beck then gave the command to reject any and all editorials critical of Steph while she was running for re-election. Other people I know in town couldn’t get a fair and critical editorial published regarding Steph‘s voting record. And not once did Steph respond to any of the critical opinions she was running from. The Teflon Congresswoman is scott free thank’s to Scott (and the Beck firewall of editorial security - as if that was my fault).
“Ok, I guess nothing I say will convince you that I'm not an Argus-loving, Stephanie-slurping, good ol' liberal.” What other motive could it be? Defending the virtue of large corporations from the high crimes and misdemeanors of a group that could of gotten more than 200 words of free speech in a 6 month time period? What next, going after the harden criminals that tear the “Do Not Remove” tag from their beds? Fox News would be proud of you. Your rants are so important to the preservation of western civilization.
I wonder if Steph will support a bill to bail out the credit lenders losing money from the minimum payment hike in the Bankruptcy Bill she supported. The ironic mess of politics. But at least that leaves you the opportunity to rant about cold weather in January.
Scott said…
Somehow I knew I'd hear from you again today. I'm flattered that you give me so much power.

Put down the bottle, Kurt. You've had a bit too much to drink today.
Anonymous said…
No one flattered you as being an influential gadfly. I was simply pointing out that you have a fascination with minutia, and cornered the market on public nuisance.

And in your case - perhaps you should buy a bottle and pickle your next epiphany. You have a strange sense of priorities for political relevance.
Anonymous said…
And you list as one of your 'Links', "People Against Censorship"? After Randell Beck closed down all critical editorials of Stephanie during her last re-election, you didn't seem concerned about censorship then. Will you and Beck help Steph get another fall election edge this year too? Loved your girl's answers in the Sunday edition. She had no clue how to resolve the Iraq occupation. I thought she was going to dust off the 'ol Westmoreland phrase where she sees a light at the end of the tunnel. That would be the recession due to Steph's over-spending, but I won't bore you with economic issues when you're trying to compile your top 50 list of Valentine songs.

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