John Thune

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U.S. Senator

John Thune




Leadership: No leadership position
Committees: Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Senate Committee on Armed Services, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
(subcommittees and past assignments)

Candidates for the SD-Senate Class III Seat:
(Next election: 2 November 2010)

Confirmed: None so far
Considering: None so far
Rumored: None so far
Potential: None so far
Dropped-out: None so far
(more info and editing for the SD-Senate Class III Seat)
On the Web
Official website

John Randolph Thune is the junior Senator from the state of South Dakota. He is a Republican and was first elected to this office in 2004.


Record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

Click through the score to see the records of other members of Congress and full descriptions of the individual votes.

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union not avail. not avail.
AFSCME not avail. not avail.
Americans for Democratic Action not avail. not avail.
Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council not avail. not avail.
Information Technology Industry Council not avail. not avail.
League of Conservation Voters not avail. not avail.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce not avail. not avail.

Iraq War

Thune voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Beef Industry Lobbying

Several controversies have surrounded Thune, including his lobbying activity on behalf of big beef importers before running for the Senate. Since much of South Dakota's economy is based on the beef industry, ranchers were not thrilled by Thune's aid to the suppliers of foreign beef.

Payments to Bloggers to Support Thune Against Daschle

Two other controversies emerged from the Daschle/Thune Race in 2004. One was the fact that the Thune campaign paid two SD bloggers to blog in support of the Thune candidacy and distribute negative writings on Sen. Tom Daschle and the Argus Leader (SD's largest newspaper), Story here.

Thune and SD Native Americans

Another controversy occured regarding Native Americans, which enflamed Sen. Thune's relations with Native American Tribes in SD, story here. The political flyer in question, here.

Link to Jeff Gannon

  • Commented AMERICAblog, June 30, 2005: "Senator John Thune, who was elected last year with great help from GOP male hooker Jeff Gannon, is in the center of a growing scandal back home. ... It's financial and it doesn't look good -- this one has legs, I think." [1]

Former Campaign Manager and Financial Contributor Accused of Fraud

  • "Back in 1995, when John Thune was a fledging politician running for the House of Representatives for the first time, slick used car dealer Dan Nelson was Thune's campaign manager. Following that first campaign the relationship continued to grow and mature throughout the years with Nelson contributing money to each successive Thune race to the tune of $8000.00. In the most recent contest against Tom Daschle, Nelson assisted Thune in several ways; as a financial contributor, landlord, leasing agent and running independent expenditure advertisements in support of Thune." --ThuneWatch, June 30, 2005. [2]
  • "SD-based liberal Clean Cut Kid reports that IA-based car dealer/Thune ex-'96 manager Dan Nelson became aware he was being investigated for fraud in 9/04, secured a loan from ND-based MetaBank in 10/04, and filed for bankruptcy in 6/05. Thune sat on the bank's board until 11/04.
Clean Cut Kid: "Now all of this doesn't really mean a whole lot except for the fact that Thune and Dan Nelson, who owns 75% of Nelson Automotive, are close friends." Additionally, property MetaBank held as a lien on Nelson's loans was being leased to Thune.
More Clean Cut Kid: "[S]omething just doesn't look right. As an elected official, Thune owes the people of South Dakota an explanation of how his web of relationships affected his judgment. As a former member of the Board of Directors of a publicly traded bank, Thune owes shareholders an explanation." [3]

Railway links

A loan of $2.3 billion to the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad company was killed by Congress because of alleged conflict of interest between the Thune and the companies, for which Thune once lobbied. The loan was allegedly going to be used for the renovation and expansion of the privately owned railway company. [4]



Born January 7, 1961 in Pierre, South Dakota and raised in Murdo, South Dakota, Thune graduated from the Christian evangelical Biola University in 1983, and received an MBA from the University of South Dakota in 1984.

A member of the Republican party, Thune worked for U.S. Senators James Abdnor and Larry Pressler, as well as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Under President Reagan, Thune worked at the Small Business Administration. From 1991 until 1993, Thune was the Railroad Director of South Dakota under an appointment by Governor George S. Mickelson.

In 1996, Thune was elected to South Dakota's seat in the United States House of Representatives; he won reelection in 1998 and 2000. Thune supported term limits and promised to serve no more than three terms in the House. As a result, he challenged Senator Tim Johnson, but lost to Johnson by 524 votes or 0.15%.

Congressional Career

Thune ran for the Senate again two years later; on November 2, 2004, Thune defeated Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle with 51% of the vote in the 2004 senatorial elections.

Positions and Views

Thune made news again when it was found out he would be voting against John Bolton for the position of United Stated Ambassador to the United Nations. Thune joined George Voinovich of Ohio as the only other Republican to break ranks with his party on this issue. Thune said his vote would be a protest against announced plans to close Ellsworth AFB. However, Sen. Thune never received the chance to vote "no" on John Bolton, since the nominee was appointed by President Bush by recess apointment and thus circumventing the Senate. During the campaign, both Thune and Majority Leader Bill Frist had claimed that having a senator who belonged to the majority party would help increase the odds of Ellsworth staying open. Then on August 26, 2005, the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission voted to go against Pentagon recommendations and keep Ellsworth AFB open.

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Top Contributors to during the 2008 Election Cycle
DonorAmount (US Dollars)
Sanford Health$ 41,927
Blue Cross/Blue Shield$ 37,500
US Bancorp$ 32,150
Poet LLC$ 31,850
Xcel Energy$ 30,650
UBS AG$ 30,050
Crow Holdings$ 27,550
WPP Group$ 26,450
Guardian Life Insurance$ 25,750
JPMorgan Chase & Co$ 25,500
Source: The Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Note: Contributions are not from the organizations themselves, but are rather from
the organization's PAC, employees or owners. Totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
Links to more campaign contribution information for John Thune
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Coalitions and Caucuses

  • National Reupublican Congressional Committee
  • Policy Committee

Boards and other Affiliations

  • National League of Cities Board of Directors

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on John Thune. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC office
  • 511 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
    Ph: 202-224-2321 Fax: 202-228-5429
    Webform email
District offices
  • 320 South 1st Street Aberdeen, SD 57401
    Ph: 605-225-8823 Fax: (none entered)
  • 1313 Wast Main Street Rapid City, SD 57701
    Ph: 605-348-7551 Fax: (none entered)
  • 320 North Main Avenue Sioux Falls, SD 57104
    Ph: 605-334-9596 Fax: (none entered)
On the Web
Campaign office
  • No campaign website entered.
  • No campaign webform email entered.
  • No campaign office information entered.

Articles and resources

See also


  1. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.

External resources

External articles

Local blogs and discussion sites

Semantic data (Edit data)