With nearly a month and a half until Election Day, we've already heard plenty of verbal attacks from South Dakota's Congressional candidates in an effort to win the state's lone seat in Washington.
With the campaign right around the corner, Matt Varilek is speaking out against his challenger Kristi Noem for poor attendance saying it's not right.
"South Dakota only has one member of the U.S. House. If it happens that our only member of the House is not showing up, even on those occasions she is showing up - rarely - we find out she's on her phone and passing up the opportunity to speak for us. If she's not speaking for us, no on one is and that's not acceptable," Democratic House candidate Matt Varilek said.
We talked to Noem who sits on 12 different committees as our representative in Congress. If scheduled hearings overlap, she says, she's forced to choose what's more important.
"I have a nearly perfect voting record in the House and the committee. These committees, between them, I need to prioritize my time and I choose to spend time on South Dakota's interests rather than sitting through committees that are specific to tribes in Utah, Montana, Arizona and California," Rep. Kristi Noem said.
But Varilek isn't buying it.
"People are starting to see a pattern. We saw she skipped the vast majority of Ag committee meetings when we were writing the Farm Bill and going through the drought," Matt Varilek said.
Noem claims the latest attacks by her challenger are an effort to avoid issues important to the people like farming or health care. When it comes to Native Americans, Noem says she's always putting South Dakota first.
"I've worked very hard to address a lot of issues that our tribes here in South Dakota are concerned about and have been very successful at getting them accomplished," Noem said.
"She is not showing up for South Dakota, speaking up for South Dakota. I'm running because I will do those things. The people of South Dakota deserve better and I will work harder for the people of South Dakota than my opponent," Matt Varilek said
The Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Affairs deals with tribal concerns, trust treaties and sovereignty issues.
The following reports come from the Matt Varilek for South Dakota campaign.
On April 1, 2011, the subcommittee hearing she skipped (which concerned tribal energy development) was her only meeting of the day. She attended a Fox News interview later in the day.
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