Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Rapid City Journal Just Endorsed Pressler For Senate. Sioux Falls Argus Leader Did The Same Yesterday. Lots Of Whoopin' And Hollerin' Going On In His Campaign. Now For Some Substance.

     Pressler's campaign yesterday approached me with an offer to spend some time talking to the candidate.  I agreed to do so.  Though Pressler was perfectly willing to speak with me personally by phone, I demurred and requested an e-mail interview so that the on-the-record questions and answers would be in a format that couldn't be misunderstood or misintrepreted.  I'm listing the questions in advance here so that readers can have a bit of time to consider them and their implications.  Note that in some of the Qs I referred back to recent issues that stirred up quite a bit of controversy in the hopes of getting a more complete sense of how Pressler would represent us should he win this election.  His most co-operative campaign rep e-mailed that Pressler was looking forward to receiving these questions.  The Constant Commoner looks forward to receiving their answers:

Qs for Larry Pressler from John Tsitrian.  Answers will be on the record and posted verbatim (subject to condensation forlength) on Tsitrian's blog The Constant Commoner by 6 p.m. MST Sunday 11/2. Tsitrian's commentary will be appended to each answer.  Thanks.  John Tsitrian

Q 1:  Senator Pressler, you will try to leverage your Independent status with as many as 3 other Independents (presently Sanders/VT, King/ME and possibly Orman/KS) into the nucleus of a "centrist caucus" to include about 20 Senators, according to a story in The Hill last month.  You are widely regarded as centrist/right, and Senator King's record puts him in that same general category.  But given the extremely liberal rating of Sanders and the as yet unknown inclinations of Orman, who owes his candidacy to the Democratic candidate dropping out, why do you think this "nucleus" could unify into a common ideological unit with enough cohesion to command alliances with other "centrists" in the Senate?

Q 2:  Who are some or all of the potential Senate centrists that would coalesce with you Independents into a "centrist caucus?"

Q 3:  If the opportunity had arisen last year to vote on the federal government shutdown, how would you have voted?

Q 4:  In the various votes on increasing the debt ceiling during the past couple of years, how would you have voted?

Q 5:  In the debate over stripping the SNAP ("food stamp") program from the Farm Bill, where would you have stood?

Q 6:  Regarding your suggestion about re-routing the Keystone XL pipeline to the east, away from South Dakota, does this mean you oppose the existing route?

Q 7:  Do you support ACA in concept, or would you work to repeal or revise it?

Q 8:  Do you believe South Dakota should accept Medicaid expansion, and if so, what would you do to convince South Dakotans that they should accept this deal?

Q 9:  Do you believe the federal government should have a hand in aiding economic development on South Dakota's Indian reservations, and if so, how would you pro-actively promote it?

Q 10: Given the immediate problems of grain shippers struggling with a rail car shortage, with no likely resolution for years to come, how would you help South Dakota's ag interests resolve this problem now?

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