Don't hold it in. Tell us what you're really thinking.

Former Governor Bill Janklow had a full page advertisement in the back of the Capital Journal today praising recently retired GFP chief John Cooper. He praised Cooper for his many years of distinguished service in an often thankless job.

But that's not what got my attention.

What got my attention were the flames specifically directed at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader for their recent take on Cooper's retirement:
The Sioux Falls Argus Leader, a former journalistic enterprise now essentially reduced to being a medium for advertising flyers, marked John Cooper’s recent retirement by offering a story that began: “Man of integrity or lying scum?” The newspaper quoted a chorus of John’s critics, including one, who, after admitting, “I don’t know him personally,” did not let that ignorance stand in the way of pontificating about his professional career.

In attributing the source of some of the criticism, the newspaper fell back upon the ever-mysterious “they,” which is always a convenient shield for lazy and disingenuous journalists. In a sophomoric attempt to damn with faint praise, the newspaper allowed that, “Cooper’s successes might not be so dramatic, but they exist, nonetheless.”

Back in 1995, I thought long and hard about offering the leadership of Game, Fish and Parks to one of the Argus editors. Then I realized that their idea of “game” was watching bowling on TV, their idea of “fish” is eating lunch at a fast food restaurant, and their idea of “parks” is where they leave their vehicles. The Argus editors flatter themselves by thinking that large numbers of people despise the Argus because they are “liberal” or “controversial”. In reality, large numbers of people despise the Argus simply because it’s a lousy newspaper.


Some day, many, many years from now, historical researchers and John Cooper’s grandkids might discover a box of old fading newspapers. They might come across an article in a newspaper that long ago ceased being published—and even longer ago ceased being relevant or read.
OUCH. While advertisements aren't often archived, and I'd normally have to scan them, Governor Janklow was kind enough to do double duty to make sure he got his message across. He actually commissioned a website to also host his message.

Created by Factor360 in Pierre, you can go to this website at and send the Governor's message of praise for John (or "Coop" as he's known by his friends) to acquaintances.

Or, you could send it for the former Governor's unvarnished opinion of the State's largest newspaper.


Anonymous said…
Well, I'm no fan of Janklow, but my opinion of him just went up 100 percent after his words about the Argus. Way to go!!
Anonymous said…
I would vote for him again
Anonymous said…
Well, Janklow is half right - the Argus Leader is a worthless rag. Unfortunately, John Cooper is a lying scum.

While I admire Janklow’s intellect and share his view of the Argus, I must point out that Cooper isn’t any more honest and trustworthy than Janklow himself, or Rounds either, for that matter.
Anonymous said…
I don't know enough about John Cooper to judge him. But Janklow is exactly right about the Argus Leader.
Anonymous said…
That is a WHACK that would make Tony Soprano very envious. Jeez, I love it when the Argus gets what's coming to them.
Anonymous said…
The Argus is no Capitol Journal.
Anonymous said…
Tell ya what we didn't go through half the crap we are now in the state.
Janklow did what the people wanted and then they rip him a new one for doing so.
No we may not agree with him 100% but he made it work for our state.
I am not picking or blaming any one in particular in our state but let's say i am not so happy with some items we are faced with.
Anonymous said…
Janklow's a good LEADER, but isn't he the one who devised our school funding formula?
Anonymous said…
Wow. I forgot what it was like to have a Governor with balls.
Anonymous said…
Janklow pushed the present school funding formula forward, but to give credit where credit is due you sould thank the author-> Dave Knudson
Douglas said…
Balls for brains.

Janklow is actually very intelligent, but he also thinks he is a God and there is some conflict there.

He may be attacking the ARGUS now, but when he was Governor, he bragged how he could flood the news to overwhelm any opponents. He was right of course. A governor making a statement has a nearly guaranteed space in the media. A challenger gets one shot at the news. After that all statements on the same topic are not news even if only 5% of the population are aware of the statement or the fact presented.

I think his comment about the ARGUS being just a lousy paper not necessarily liberal may not have been true a few years ago, but it seems to be less and less of a paper everyday. The recent revision wastes space with overly large photos and graphics. Not all pictures are worth a 1000 words.

Even arrogant jerks like Janklow when they are Governor ought to have their primary speechs covered more or less verbatim instead of being chopped into bits and pieces and analyzed. Web pages of course may contain the full text, but that is not the same as their being in a newspaper "of record".

But, Janklow is a bit like an elephant with a brush in its trunk making what the elephant thinks is art. Art critics may have other perspectives on the overall value of the product.

I suspect we will not know the full costs of the Janklow administrations to the true state of South Dakota for many years. We are coninually reminded of his BS output apparently even if he has to run ads to spread it.

Still fun to read even if one more or less totally disagrees with him or agrees with him however.
Anonymous said…
Dang my whole post was lost because my net service went down as i clicked the post comment!

Douglas, tell me/us what good or great leader does not have the "God" or as i call it the "God Complex". This complex is not just common in politico's but, it also includes doctors, lawyers, nurses, CEO's etc.
Janklow may have been gruff at times and we might not always agree with him 100% of the time but i can tell you he does know where he comes from and the man has a heart. He just does not wear his heart on his sleeve.
He had the guts to go for it and that is something many do not have. I feel he did a lot for this state; including wiring the schools.
If i remember correctly is was during his time that the school funding or the reserve balances had to be brought down i feel that might have went to far in the amount but the schools were sitting on the money then and were not paying the teachers more either. The schools will always want more money there will never be enough. SD does not have the tax base to support the never ending hand outs for schools and social programs that keep being pushed. I think I may have went off topic.
Also I believe Cooper had high ratings or very favorable opinions when he was brought in as GFP head. I also admit i missed the article and i haven't found it yet to read it. THat i why i am holding back a little on comments.
But as many would say if that was the caption to the article the Argus went to far! I mean isn't one of the SD sayings is that we all care abut our fellow man! That there is supposed to diginty, heart, and compassion for our fellow S Dakotan. Guess someone forgot that they use to push that thought... didn't they? hummmmmmm
Anonymous said…
Seems we've had to redo most of what Janklow did -- and the school formula will be next. The school wiring is already outdated, and we never did learn who benefitted because his administration wouldn't allow an audit of the program. Same with the governor's houses -- audits were denied, we don't know who got the contracts for the materials and why. But I don't think they were SD companies.

He left the juvenile prison system in shambles. Cooper's a good guy but Janklow showed no leadership in helping to bring landowners and sportsmen together.

He accomplished things when he saw a media opportunity or a financial opportunity. I'll give him that.
Anonymous said…
9:36, you really should get your facts straight. The Governor's house was built during Round's term. And by the way, no taxpayer dollars were spent in its construction. When you can find one inaccuracy in your post one wonders about how many more exist.
Anonymous said…
11:05 - He's talking about the Governor's Houses - those cheap little houses they built in Springfield for seniro citizens. NOT the governor's mansion in Pierre.
Anonymous said…
I wish the Governor's Houses were all built for senior citizens. They used to be, but now most anyone get them.
Anonymous said…
Cooper is a very good person and was excellent in his job. THANK YOU JOHN AGood luck in your retirement
Anonymous said…
I wish the governor lived in a governor's house. If it's good enough for the name it's good enough for the man.
Anonymous said…
As for the school wiring that is a lame comment. Anything to do with computers and networking are always changing. I have to admit I don't know what type we put in but SD was on the fast track for state wide service.
Anonymous said…
Does anybody know if the Argus made any mentionn of this? If they did I overlooked it.
Douglas said…
Museums and local schools could all have gotten the internet wiring funds individually. Janklow centralized it and then decided how to distribute the funds.

From what I heard and that may be wrong, by running these programs through the prison, they were off the least those that legislators and citizens could examine. There are a couple or more very rich South Dakotans who may have gotten most of their wealth by being very, very good friends of Bill Janklow.

Remember whose Cadillac he was driving when he whipped through a stop sign at 60mph or so?
Anonymous said…
3:12 – is that you John Cooper? Blowing your own horn again? Some of us don’t agree with your self-assessment, but we are glad you’ve left GFP. Now if you would just leave Pierre and quit doing Rounds’ thinking for him we’d be really happy.
Anonymous said…
Its time for Jankloto leave public life completely, pay the Scott family for their loss, and retire in Mexico.
Anonymous said…
My favorite part of this post is where it says "Former Governor Bill Janklow...."
Anonymous said…
6:39, it won't be long and he'll be bankrolling Scott, but it'll be for his campaign.

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