Senator Tim Johnson staffer criticized Congresswoman Kristi Noem in his recent meeting with the Davison County Democrats. I’m not sure what the senate rules are, but I’m quite sure that his paycheck comes from the tax payers – not a political organization. To me it is at least poor taste on Varilek’s part. Unless he resigns, Varilek needs to remember that it is Senator Johnson’s job to handle the campaign and his to serve the public for the greater good, not political grandstand like a partisan hack, throwing around wild accusations.
He said she has supported continuing subsidies for big oil and gas in Congress and he wonders why, since there are no such businesses in South Dakota and the country is in need of tax revenue.
Varilek said a close look at Noem?s campaign finance reports shows she has received thousands of dollars from Exxon, Chevron, Halliburton and other oil and gas companies.
?All of a sudden that vote doesn?t look so mysterious anymore,? he said.
Interesting comments Mr. Varilek. Does your employer want to go on record backing up your statement?
Varilek said he was struck by Noem?s words when he attended a speech she gave recently in which she said politics are too polarized.
?Well, I couldn?t agree more,? he said. ?But that?s kind of like Goliath calling David the bully.?
Interesting Mr. Varilek. Does your boss care to go on the record agreeing with your statement?
I think the real question is whether Senator Johnson agrees with his rogue senate staffer on these issues?
Allowing Varilek to take this type of action against another member of South Dakota’s DC delegation tells me two things. 1. Senator Tim Johnson isn’t running for reelection; his career is coming to an end allowing his staff to speak freely without jeopardizing his future electoral success or 2. with the continuous talk about Rounds and Noem as possible senate candidates in ’14, Senator Johnson’s staff is growing increasingly concerned that they will be out of a job come November 2014.
Barth may soon get an opponent in the Democratic primary for the right to challenge Noem, but I can’t stop thinking how weak these two offerings appear.