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Janklow: Speeder, Whiner, Perpetual Adolescent

Last updated on 2013.02.20

Maybe I should lay off Bill Janklow. He's just too easy a target, and he's not in a position to influence policy any more, is he?

His power may be waning, but his arrogance is not. The Mitchell Daily Republic reports that Janklow's Clay County speeding ticket this June was just the latest in a string of continued traffic violations the disgraced former congressman has committed since getting off probation for killing a man with his car in 2003.

How does Janklow respond? By chewing out the MDR reporter for leaving him a voicemail:

Monday, Janklow spent six minutes on the phone with a Daily Republic reporter expressing his disapproval of the reporter's choice to leave a voicemail seeking comment last week.

Janklow, who initially said he hadn't checked his own voicemail "in 10 years," later said he checked his voicemail "sometimes" but did not acknowledge receiving the voicemail left at 12:46 p.m. Friday at his Sioux Falls law office, on a voicemail box that included a greeting with Janklow's voice [this and subsequent quotes from Austin Kaus, "Janklow Has Been Given Four Tickets Since Fatal Crash in 2003," Mitchell Daily Republic, 2011.08.08].

The reporter's use of voicemail is so not the story here.

"It's not fair, even though you think it is and, of course, you get to be the judge on your own actions," Janklow told The Daily Republic reporter Monday.

What's really not fair is that Randy Scott died because Bill Janklow couldn't control his own actions and obey the law.

"I talk to press people and I think they'll tell you that I talk to them when they ask me questions, but I think instead of being a know-it-all like you are and know-it-all like I am, all you had to do was call at an appropriate time," Janklow said. "I don't have a history of avoiding press people, the ones I like and the ones I dislike."

Three times, Janklow refused to answer questions or offer any comment on the speeding tickets and eventually hung up on the reporter.

That exchange speaks for itself.

Janklow did, however, speak with The Associated Press on Monday and said he was speeding in the southeastern part of the state in June to get to a hospital to say goodbye to a dying friend, and didn't make it in time.

Wow, Bill: have you already forgotten that you kept Randy Scott from making it anywhere on time ever again?

Janklow said he drives tens of thousands of miles each year "in a state where you've got to go great distances to do stuff."

This sounds so much like Kristi Noem's self-justifying irresponsibility. Distance and the importance of your tasks do not excuse you from the rules we set for ourselves.

"Sometimes I do (speed), sometimes I don't," he told the Argus Leader. He said he's also been ticketed in Minnesota and while driving to Texas.

Sometimes you do kill people, sometimes you don't. No big deal, right?

Even after serving time for his fatal driving habits, Janklow continues to ignore the consequences of his behavior. He continues to think he's entitled to set his own rules. Like a petulant child, he continues to think the road and the world revolve around him.

Does there not come a point where a judge can look this arrogance in the eye and say, "You're done driving"?

Bonus Highway Irony: Rep. Kristi Noem uses a retweet to urge everyone to "be extra safe driving" during the Sturgis Rally.


  1. Casey 2011.08.09

    90 days is all for killing a man. Its not a shock that his driving habits haven't changed.

  2. Roger Elgersma 2011.08.09

    Janklow is over the hill so probably won't do much more damage other than occasionally killing someone. He is to big of a bully to take on so since he is 72 we should just wait till he dies for the world to get better and let God deal with him.

  3. Douglas Wiken 2011.08.09

    Part of the sweet-heart deal handed Janklow should have been that he never, ever again drive his own or any other vehicle on any public highway.

    Local paper reports a judge sentencing somebody for what must have been a relatively small theft to something like 25 years in prison. In another case, Rapid City judge tacked on 10 years or so because a guy grabbed a cop's gun and had it immediately taken away.

    I don't really know if Janklow's punishment was in proportion to the damage he did or not, but it seems crazy that doing far less damage should put people in prison for decades by way of comparison.

    But, all I know on this is what I read in the papers.

  4. larry kurtz 2011.08.10

    In other words, Janklow Expresses Rage: Kraus

  5. Roger Elgersma 2011.08.10

    When he was gov he would call ahead to the town cops that he was coming through at 90mph or whatever his normal? speed was so that they would get out of the way instead of waisting his time by stopping him and then finding out that he was the gov so they would have to let him go. WATCH OUT KIDS but the Christian right liked him because he was republican. What pitfalls we land in if we blindly trust GOP

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