South Dakota Candidate Gets Ad Removed

The race for South Dakota's lone House race may hold the distinction for the shortest-running attack commercial of the election — less than 48 hours.

That's how long it took for the House GOP campaign committee to begin airing the ad. And for Democratic candidate Stephanie Herseth to brand it as inaccurate and persuade television stations to stop running it. And then for her Republican rival, Gov. Bill Janklow, to say he, too, wanted it off the air.

The object of their bipartisan ire was a commercial that sought to question Herseth's ties to the state where she was born and reared.

"Stephanie Herseth says she's one of us. But Herseth registered to vote in South Dakota just last year,'' the ad said. "Herseth says she understands South Dakota values. But over 60 percent of her political funds come from out-of-state — including East Coast law firms and liberal abortion groups.''

Herseth's campaign attacked the ad as offensive as well as inaccurate, and asked the state's stations to stop airing it.

The 31-year-old candidate, who grew up on her family's South Dakota farm, left the state to attend college and law school and worked briefly for an East Coast law firm before returning home to run for Congress.

She registered to vote in her home state when she was 18 and cast ballots there in five elections from 1989 to 1998, according to spokesman Russ Levsen. He said she voted in Maryland in 2000, before returning to South Dakota and reregistering to vote there.

"I'm very pleased that the stations pulled it, many of which pulled it early because of the inaccuracies,'' Herseth said of the commercial.

She said she also was pleased that Janklow had spoken out against it, adding, "I'm hopeful he did that because it was both inaccurate and offensive.''

Janklow's campaign manager, Jim Hagen, said the governor "doesn't want to run that kind of campaign. He was basically furious when he saw the ad.''

The ad has been replaced with a commercial promoting Janklow's credentials.