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Step off, old man!
Friday, 28 May 2004
Bill Clinton duped by Iran, pardons child molester
Just imagine if Bill Clinton was president and he was duped by an Iranian spy like Chalabi into starting a war with Iraq. Then imagine he pardoned a couple convicted sexual molesters and his son-in-law. What would that make him? A Republican, apparently.

This comes from a news article about Republican Rep. Bill Janklow, recently freed from prison after a vehicular manslaughter conviction. Turns out old Bill Janklow pardoned a bunch of people, none of whom was apparently responsible for what they did.

Notice the typical Republican spin. Not one of the people involved says they're sorry for what they did; instead, they're all sorry that the news got our about what they did.

The party of personal responsibility strikes again!

Oh and look out for the "the vicious sharp-tailed grouse." HA!

Here it is:

"Sexual contact with a child, indecent molestation of a child, rape and manslaughter are among the crimes secretly pardoned by former Gov. Bill Janklow, according to documents released today.

Janklow also secretly pardoned his son-in-law's drunken driving and drug crimes, records show.

Secretary of State Chris Nelson today released 218 pardons dating to 1984. Until today, the pardons were sealed from public view.

Janklow said today that he has taken worrisome phone calls from some of those who had been pardoned.

"I'm just heartsick of the hurt that I've caused people that got pardons," Janklow told the Associated Press this afternoon.

"I've been a lawyer since 1966, and I had never, ever looked at the (pardon) statutes," he said.

"All the processing and paperwork was done administratively by others," he said. "That doesn't excuse me. I bear the responsibility. I never looked at the mechanics. I looked at the substance ... on whether or not a pardon should be granted."

The release of the pardons comes three weeks after the state Supreme Court ruled that the pardons must be made public.

The case began when the Argus Leader requested names of all people pardoned since 1995 after Janklow said he signed an undetermined number of the documents.

Included in the list is Dallas Wayne Thomas, a Tabor man whose 1984 pardon erased a conviction for indecent molestation of a child.

"I guess I can go find my pardon in the drawer and tear it up and throw it away," said Thomas, 55, who served six months in the South Dakota State Penitentiary more than 20 years ago for molesting his family's 15-year-old female baby sitter.

"My family has suffered, and we thought this matter had been put behind us. A lot of these people (on the list) have businesses, lifestyles, grandchildren - and they've tried to get on with their lives."

Thomas said he quit drinking after the incident, which occurred while he was driving the baby sitter home.

"I was under the influence, but I didn't actually molest her," he said. "I quit before it went that far. A light came on and I realized, OThis is wrong.' "

Still, Thomas was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison.

In April 2002, Janklow authorized a pardon for another man arrested on Aug. 4, 1980 for sexual contact with a child under 16 in Davison County, according to one of the pardons released today. Other details are not included in that man's pardon.

They are among nine sex crimes that were erased by Janklow's pardons.

Also among the records released today is Janklow's July 17, 2002, pardon of William Gordon Haugen II, who is married to Janklow's daughter, Shonna.

Haugen was cleared of drunken driving in Brookings County in 1983. The pardon also cleared him of a 1993 Lyman County marijuana possession conviction and a 1997 Minnehaha County drunken driving conviction.

Janklow told the AP that he pardoned Haugen after he promised that he would go straight.

"My son-in-law did things when he was a younger person that he paid for. He came to me and asked if I would clean things up because he wanted to go to law school. I said, `Is this all behind you?' and he said, `So help me God, it's behind me.' I said, `Are you ever going to embarrass me or anybody else?' He said, `Never,' and so I did it, and he's just finished his first year in law school and is a very good student."

One of the most notable names on the list is Jerus Campbell, a former chief legal counsel for Janklow who was in charge of the governor's pardons program.

Campbell, who works for Valley Bank in Sioux Falls, was pardoned for two separate offenses.

He was convicted of driving while intoxicated in Hand County in 1981 and of disorderly conduct in Tripp County in 1997.

Campbell's father, Ron, a lawyer in Miller, also received a pardon from Janklow. He was convicted of DWI in Hand County in 1982.

In December 2002, Charvin Harper Dixon was pardoned for a disorderly conduct charge he was sentenced for in Tripp County on May 9, 1995.

Dixon, 49, was the lawyer for the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners for 17 years. He resigned in April of 2004 shortly after an Argus Leader investigation that found the board rarely disciplines doctors. Gov. Mike Rounds called for a review of how the board does business. Dixon did not cite a reason for his resignation. He resides in Brandon.

Many of the people on the list said they never requested a pardon from Janklow or anyone else.

More than 60 of the pardons were for drunken driving, and 61 were drug charges.

Some of the crimes could be considered minor ones. Those include a 1985 pardon issued by Janklow for Gregory A. Kleinsasser, a farmer, for operating a combine after dark.

Another man was pardoned by Janklow for shooting a Hen Pheasant during the 1982 Governor's Invitational Pheasant Hunt.

Thomas Theobald mistook the pheasant for "the vicious sharp-tailed grouse and upon which he fired in what could only be described as self-defense," his pardon states.

Janklow also pardoned Carolyn Sue Haddenham, who was elected mayor of Box Elder in April.

Haddenham's pardon was for possession of a controlled substance in 1998.

"I wasn't part of it. I was just charged with it," Haddenham said of the crime.

"This is stuff that happened in my home that had nothing to do with me directly," she said during a telephone interview today. "I had some people renting a room here."

She said she didn't know Janklow.

Ronald Wesley Wheeler, who was was both commissioner of the Governor's Office of Economic Development and the state transportation secretary under Janklow, was pardoned for drunken driving.

Wheeler was arrested in December 2001 after a breathalyzer test showed a blood-alcohol level of .14, over the legal limit of .10 at the time, documents state. He was pardoned in November 2002.

The pardons released today are those that were issued by the governor but did not go through the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Janklow sealed the most pardons - 91 - in 2002 during his last term as governor, records show. Sixty-one of those pardons came in his last four months as governor.

450 pardons were filed with the Secretary of State during this time period. 232 of these pardons will remain sealed as allowed by law and ordered by the governor who issued the pardon. Those are pardons that followed the proper channels of public notification when they were signed.

Earlier this month, Janklow completed a 100-day jail sentence for second-degree manslaughter in the August traffic death of a Minnesota man. Janklow resigned from the U.S. House in January after the conviction.

Posted by brettdavey at 9:20 AM EDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink

Tuesday, 1 June 2004 - 1:05 PM EDT

Name: Fats

Personally, I see this as more of an unbridled power thing than a Democrat/Republican one. Any time you have no oversight of an awesome power like pardoning ability, abuse will follow. As Justice Brandeis said "Nothing Disinfects Like sunshine."

Other current examples include the Dept. of Homeland Security and the "Enemeny Combatant" designation. Of course, those are both Republican initiatives as well. Hmmm, maybe I need to rethink. Nahhh, I'll just stick with my original premise because that is easier.

Oh yeah . . . the sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church. Pure abuse of power due to lack of 'sunshine' and no obvious republican connection.

I'll try and think of recent Democrat abuses and get back to you.

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