(1st Add: Includes information on the South Dakota House of Representatives' resolution supporting President Bush's tax cuts and comments by Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform.)(CNSNews.com) - Conservatives who are fed up with Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle have created a Web site, www.dumpdaschle.org, dedicated to running him out of political office.
The "dumpdaschle" Web site is collecting online contributions from conservatives around the country. The money will be spent on TV, radio and print messages urging South Dakotans to vote Daschle out of office in 2004.
Heading up the effort is Robert Moran, a grassroots activist who calls himself an independent public-opinion researcher. "We hope to make history on two fronts, beginning the process that defeats Tom Daschle in 2004, and fully demonstrating the grassroots power of the Internet in American politics," Moran said.
"Conservatives and Republicans have stood idly by while Senator Tom Daschle has worked to block the entire Bush agenda. We hope this grassroots approach marks the end of this indecision," he said.
Daschle irritated many Republicans and conservatives during a recent Washington speech in which he blamed President Bush's tax cuts for wiping out budget surpluses. He has also blocked several Bush-backed bills from coming up for a vote in the Senate.
"Sept. 11 and the war aren't the only reasons the surplus is nearly gone," Daschle said in his Jan. 4 speech. "The biggest reason is the tax cut," he said.
Daschle also said the GOP agenda was "being written by a wing of the Republican Party that isn't interested in fiscal discipline. They have one unchanging, unyielding solution they offer for every problem -- tax cuts that go disproportionately to the most affluent."
In his remarks, Daschle did not propose repealing or deferring elements of the $1.35 trillion tax cut that Bush pushed to passage last year. Nor did he mention that 12 of the Senate's 50 Democrats voted for it.
Moran said he believes his "dumpdaschle.org" Web site will be successful, given the large and motivated donor base that comes from "the legion of conservative talk radio listeners across America."
Further, Moran notes that 48 percent of South Dakota's registered voters are Republicans, and fully 60 percent of them voted for Bush in 2000.
Media buys in South Dakota are relatively inexpensive, Moran said. That means donations to the "dumpdaschle" effort will go farther than they would in other media markets.
"Small donations pooled together can make a big impact when the focus of the campaign is one of the cheapest media states in the country," said Moran.
"We're very excited about this opportunity to advance the conservative agenda and demonstrate the power of the conservative grassroots in America," Moran concluded.
Daschle's office had no comment when contacted Wednesday by CNSNews.com.
Daschle received some bad news from his home state Tuesday. The South Dakota House of Representatives, in a vote of 60 to 8, passed a resolution Tuesday requesting that Congress leave President Bush's tax cuts intact.
Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, applauded the resolution, saying it shows that South Dakotans have confidence in President Bush.
"Yesterday's vote in South Dakota confirmed the entire state's support for this president. Why then is Senator Daschle so completely out of touch with the sentiments of the voters and citizen legislators of his home state? Or is his new home state the District of Columbia?" said Norquist in a statement.