August 21, 2003
Congressman "Wild Bill" Janklow: The Grand Hypocrisy Party (GHP) Role Model of the Week
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
In case you've been on vacation -- or preoccupied with the emergence of a terrorist state in Iraq as a RESULT of Bush's war - one of the Grand Hypocrisy Party's favorite role models, South Dakota Congressman Bill Janklow, was driving his Cadillac last week, when, according to a prosecutor, he ran a stop sign and collided with a motorcycle, killing the driver [LINK].
Janklow, a "revered" GOP politician in Tom Daschle's home state, has had his eye on a U.S. Senate seat for years, but was most recently dissuaded by the White House from running against Democratic Senator Tim Johnson in 2002, because Karl Rove wanted a younger "Ken" Stepford-style candidate, former Congressman John Thune. (Janklow replaced Thune. South Dakota has only one congressman.)
Late on Wednesday, it was determined by the South Dakota Highway Patrol that Janklow was speeding -- perhaps as many as 20 miles above the speed limit -- when he blew the stop sign. [LINK]
Let's just say, Janklow's speeding proclivity is not new. According to one news report, "The former four-term South Dakota governor is a notorious speeder, picking up a dozen speeding tickets in a four-year period in the early 1990s."
An Associated Press story reveals more [LINK]:
But a history of speeding isn't the only blemish on Janklow's record. He's been accused of many improprieties, including rape. It is important to note that Janklow vehemently denies the rape charges. Janklow unsuccessfully filed a libel suit against a book, "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse" by noted author Peter Matthiessen, that detailed some of these charges. After four years of litigation, Janklow lost the case, and the book was finally released.
Just before he was sworn in to Congress in 2003, a Native American newspaper posed four questions about Janklow's moral qualifications to be a congressman. These touch upon issues covered "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse": [LINK]
1. "Did Mr. Janklow rape or sexually assault Jancita Eagle Deer, a minor and legal infant in his custody and care, on or about January 13, 1967, on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, South Dakota?"
2. "Has Mr. Janklow persistently misrepresented to the public the nature of his offense against another minor female, as charged in juvenile criminal proceedings against him in Moody County, South Dakota, preceding his premature departure from high school and his floater enlistment in the U.S. Marines?"
3. "What was the nature and complete record of actions of Mr. Janklow, as state Attorney General - including police communications under his custodial care and purview - on June 26, 1975, in Pierre, Hot Springs and Oglala on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota - and under what varied claims of authority did he act? Did Mr. Janklow subsequently abuse his office and records control to effectually deny due process and equal protection of the law, as well as a fair trial and justice itself, to a citizen of the United States: Leonard Peltier?"
4. "Did Mr. Janklow, successively as Attorney General and as Governor of South Dakota, derelictly fail in official duties for acting to secure justice for a foreign national, Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, whose murdered remains were found on February 24, 1976, in the state of South Dakota - and whose murder is yet unprosecuted to date?"
These accusations and other are more fully fleshed out at [LINK].
Are any of these charges true? As we said, we don't know –- and the only one of these charges that Janklow was prosecuted and convicted on was in a Tribal Court. At this point, it is probably too late to sort out the truth. Janklow maintains his innocence, so the accusations remain just that.
But we do know this: if Bill Clinton had these types of accusations swirling around him, he would have been eaten alive by the right wing media shills and the Grand Hypocrisy Party (GHP) junkyard dogs in Congress.
Janklow, by the way, made his career by playing the "Indian card" in South Dakota. In the Dakotas, native Americans are "THE minority." In essence, Janklow adopted the Republican game plan of rousing out the white vote by signaling that he would ride hard on the local minority. So instead of neo-Confederacy veiled racism, Janklow started to whip up anti-Indian sentiment.
Martin Garbus was the First Amendment attorney fighting Janklow's libel suit against "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse." In his book on First Amendment rights, "Tough Talk," he covers Janklow's efforts to stop the book from being published (and to intimidate Dakota and Minnesota bookstores from carrying it). Garbus notes: "On his [Janklow's] way to election as attorney general [of South Dakota] in 1974, he began issuing statements aimed at endearing himself to white, anti-Indian voters. 'The only way to deal with the Indian problem in America,' he admitted saying, is to put a gun in the AIM [American Indian Movement] leaders' heads and pull the trigger."
Now, if that isn't Republican racist trash talk, what is?
And what how could we honor Janklow as our Republican role model hypocrite of the week if he weren't a law-and-order tough guy? In his second stint as Governor of South Dakota, Janklow decided that South Dakota juvenile offenders needed boot camps. Many of them came from abused homes, but Janklow felt they needed to be toughened up.
Well, the only problem was that reports started to surface of abused-kids-turned juvenile-offenders now being abused IN Janklow's boot camps. After one of the "campers," 14-year-old Gina Score, died because of mistreatment at a Janklow-created boot camp, little was done to eliminate abusive practices. In March of 2002, Human Rights Watch [LINK] appealed to then-Governor Janklow to take action to curtail the reported mistreatment of juveniles at the detention facilities:
Now if this doesn't make Janklow a role model for "compassionate conservatism," what does?
As a South Dakotan reader wrote us, "I could go on about the despicable actions and words of this creep [Janklow], but who has the time?"
Well, for one Randolph E. Scott, 55, of Hardwick, Minn., the time has run out. He's the man who died after Republican Congressman Janklow, according to the South Dakota Highway Patrol, ignored a stop sign and sped into Scott's motorcycle, killing him on the spot.
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
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BuzzFlash Note: Speaking of car accidents and dead people, probably the most frequent e-mail we have received, over time, goes something like this: "I keep hearing that Laura Bush drove into her high school boyfriend's car and killed him when she was a teenager. Do you have information about this?"
Well, we were waiting for the opportunity to post an article that answers this question, so, as a bonus feature, here it is: [LINK].
otherwise noted, all original