Will Vote Against Ashcroft Despite State Legislature\’s Resolution

WASHINGTON–Despite a plea from the South Dakota state Legislature, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) yesterday announced his plan to vote against the confirmation of John Ashcroft, President Bush\’s selection for U.S. Attorney General.

The South Dakota House of Representatives passed a resolution January 24 "petitioning South Dakota\’s United States Senators to vote in favor of the confirmation of Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft."

The resolution went on to say "the integrity, experience, and qualifications of John Ashcroft are unquestioned."

Senator Daschle announced his intention to ignore the South Dakota Legislature in what the Washington Post referred to as a "harsh floor speech."

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, made the following statement:

"Senator Daschle\’s upcoming vote against John Ashcroft is a slap in the face to the people of South Dakota, sixty percent of whom voted for George W. Bush.

"The people of Daschle\’s home state have endorsed the platform of President Bush, and the state Legislature has requested he vote in favor of the president\’s nominee for U.S. Attorney General. Tom Daschle has made the decision to ignore South Dakota and represent Washington interest groups instead.

"If I were Senator Daschle, I would be more than a little worried about distancing myself from my constituents so flagrantly, but he apparently believes nobody in South Dakota will notice."