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G. Gordon Liddy Day Called Off

August 06, 2003|From Reuters

Oops. South Dakota's Republican governor said Tuesday he didn't mean to authorize a special day honoring convicted Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy.

An official proclamation declaring Aug. 7 as an official "G. Gordon Liddy Day" was an error, Gov. Michael Rounds said after publicity surrounding the proclamation generated outrage across the state.

"We received a tremendous amount of feedback about this," said the governor's spokesman, Mark Johnston.

Liddy, now a conservative talk show host, served 4 1/2 years in prison for his role in the bungled 1972 break-in of Democratic Party national headquarters at the Watergate complex.

President Nixon, a Republican, resigned in 1974 under threat of impeachment over his role in the scandal's cover-up.

"We have literally issued hundreds of ceremonial proclamations since I took office in January. This particular request was sent in by a South Dakota citizen.... It is my policy to personally sign every document that leaves my office. That didn't happen in this case," Rounds said.

The proclamation apparently slipped through the busy office and the governor's signature was rubber-stamped by staffers. The governor's office said it was working to make sure a similar mistake did not occur again.

Liddy is traveling through South Dakota this week as part of an annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis.

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