Janklow closes campaign account

Former Governor Bill Janklow

Johnathon Ellis had an interesting article in today’s Argus Leader about former Governor Bill Janklow closing his campaign account after all of these years.

Former Gov. Bill Janklow closed out his state campaign account on Wednesday, an account that still held more than $850,000 nearly nine years after Janklow left office.

Janklow, who had been maintaining the account and filing regular disclosure statements since leaving office in 2003, filed notification that he was terminating the account with the Secretary of State?s Office.

Secretary of State Jason Gant said Janklow took the leftover campaign contributions he received as governor and converted them to personal use.

?He paid off his debts, and it appears he notified the IRS, and transferred it to his personal account,? Gant said. The committee
reported a debt, to Janklow, of $19,130.

Bill Janklow will always be one of the more fascinating elected officials in South Dakota political history.

8 Replies to “Janklow closes campaign account”

  1. Anonymous

    The law needs to be changed to prohibit former officeholders from pocketing money donated to their campaigns while they are in office. Otherwise the campaign accounts should be renamed “legalized bribery accounts.” What it comes down to is that Bill Janklow made an extra $850,000 on the side while he was governor. That ain’t chump change, and it’s certainly incentive to sway state policy in favor of friendly donors knowing you can keep the campaign donations.

  2. Duh

    I’d be pissed if my hard earned money went to Janklow for his new duck boat. Never liked that they can do that. It is some what of a breach of contract in that the money was given for a specific purpose and it is not used as such. Problem is, there’s no real way that I know to track it or return it, i.e. if I gave him money 12 years ago and others gave him money 5 years ago, who gets what? This whine cuts both ways in the isle by the way.

  3. Troy Jones

    Keloland is reporting that Governor Janklow has terminal brain cancer.


    Today, I am off to be with a family member whose dad died last night. Otherwise, I would write a longer tribute to Governor Janklow. Politically and sometimes personally we clashed, got mad at each other but I always considered myself a family friend that transcended the politics. All the differences seem so insignificant right now.

    My first exposure to him is his first opponent for AG was my dad at the GOP convention. Janklow obviously won.

    When our relationship became something beyond politics is when Mary Dean drove the Pierre Riggs High debate team to tourney’s as our coach couldn’t travel as his wife was having a problem pregnancy. Russ was on the team with me and I consider him a dear friend.

    Governor Janklow, I thank you for your tireless service to us. I will be seeing you soon and praying for you. Miracles do happen. God Bless You, friend.

    1. The Truth

      My heart hurts for WJJ. No matter what anyone says – he loves SD and served with passion and dedication.

      Thanks for everything, Bill.

  4. Bill Fleming

    The report I heard on Public Radio this morning said that the money was going to go to various charities. There was no mention of Troy’s news in that report. But it kind of ties the whole story together.

    Sad news, Troy. Whatever one thought of him, he was a big part of SD History in our lifetime. I recall hearing that he has a massive collection of 45RPM rock and roll records, and how he had heard that listening to Mozart made kids smart, so he was always promoting it.

    Gotta love that. Music in his heart.

  5. Charlie Hoffman

    Nothing I’ve ever written or said needs to come out more correctly than this. At 18 years of age without any preparations other than listening to politics spoken round the dinner table every day, my father entered the race for Governor of SD against Bill Janklow and Clint Roberts. Ending my senior year of high school wrapped in a blanket of state wide political stories was at the time normal for me. Knowing now though that few kids get that kind of scrutiny kept me from running for public office until my youngest actually graduated from high school. For my father it was his first actual loss experienced which he had no control over; the second was his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer which ultimately ended his life in November of 1980.

    The real story though is of Bill Janklow. Around 1990 or so he called a good friend of his and of mine and asked this person if Charlie Hoffman hated him. This mutual friend called me and positioned me with the question. My reply was of course I don’t hate BJ. Love maybe not, respect for sure, but hate absolutely not. The guy loves the little person, the poor, the weak, the non-powerful, and folks who need help the most! Honestly I told him I would love to be more like him. 🙂

    To that end Bill Janklow will always be what we as South Dakotan’s strive to do in our daily walk through life. Take on all adversary’s with fierce competition, help all those less able than you to help themselves, and find a way around every problem presented with a clear and concientious solution.

    One mistake does not tear the heart and soul out of any great person nor should it ever replace all the good that human has done. History will remember Governor Janklow as a person who cared greatly for the poor and the sick and the less advantaged; and a fighter of any and all who went up against his level of consternation for making things happen against all odds.

    If you are reading this Bill Janklow know that today I do love you as a father. You are the closest person I associate with my own father I know. GodSpeed on your quest. We will meet again…………….

  6. Ried Holien

    Well written, Charlie. I know Governor Janklow engendered many strong feelings on both sides, but I can personally attest to the incredibly positive impact he had on hundreds of families in Watertown, including my own.


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