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2002 United States House of Representatives election in South Dakota

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States House of Representatives election in South Dakota, 2002

← 2000 November 5, 2002 June 2004 special election →
William Janklow (South Dakota Governor).jpg
Nominee Bill Janklow Stephanie Herseth
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 180,023 153,551
Percentage 53.5% 45.6%

U.S. Representative before election

John Thune

Elected U.S. Representative

Bill Janklow

The 2002 United States House of Representatives election in South Dakota took place on Tuesday, November 5, 2002. Voters selected a representative for their single At-Large district, who ran on a statewide ballot.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Harvest of Hope: 8 Panel Discussion
  • ✪ Think Indigenous 5 Colby Tootoosis_March_19_2015
  • ✪ Think Indigenous 8 Micheal Linklater_March_19_2015
  • ✪ Behold, America! | Symposium | Part 5
  • ✪ Phil Fontaine - "A Look Back and a Look Forward"


MR. GOVER: ... I thought about apology, it becomes clear that there are different reasons for apology and that they arise in different contexts. For example, we heard this afternoon strong advocacy for the simple notion of acknowledging that wrongs took place and that these governments were responsible for these wrongs. And so the first step in apology, it seems to me, is that acknowledgment that these governments acknowledge their responsibility. That they detail exactly what it was that they did that was wrong. They acknowledge the impact of these wrongs on Native people and finally confirm that it was they who violated the moral contract between Native people and these governments. So let me pose this question to Chief Fontaine first. Would the apology have significance even without the idea of reparations being attached to it? CHIEF FONTAINE: It would. In fact, that was the first representation that was made to the churches and the government. In the very early stages when this issue became public in Canada, we talked about calling on those that were responsible for the harms that had been inflicted on innocent children. And we wanted those people and organizations to apologize for the harms that had been inflicted. And all of the talk about money came later when people started filing actions against, legal action against the perpetrators and against the churches and the government, both civil and criminal. MR. GOVER: And how did you see— what’s the significance of an apology, a sincere apology in the absence of reparations? CHIEF FONTAINE: Well what that does, of course, is that it’s recognition of the harms and the consequences of those harms that were inflicted on people. It’s the perpetrators saying yes, I, or we, are responsible for those harms and injuries and we apologize to you for those. MR. GOVER: And so there’s value simply in the mere act. Deputy Minister, I also wonder—I think I heard the minister’s voice break while he was offering the apology. Obviously it was a moving moment for him as well. Is there any benefit, shall we say, to the one who offers the apology in terms of the times of cleansing that Gabi was talking about? MS. DAVIS: Yes, I think you’re right. It is certainly true that the prime minister’s voice did break at one point during the—it was a very, very moving occasion. You know it’s difficult for me in the speech that I gave to convey the emotion, but it was very, very definitely there. And I was present in a smaller room. I was in Vancouver on the West Coast at the time in our regional office. And there were a group of survivors there, mostly women and I would say in their 50s who had been to these residential schools and had had the effects on them and their families that we talk about today. And so words on a page and photographs don't convey the sense of emotion that was in the room. And I personally did find that the way that they accepted the apology was just as moving as the way it was given. And so it is, I think, with this sense of acceptance that everybody who’s thought about it feels. I think you’re absolutely right. It has an enormous effect on the people giving the apology as well on those who have received it. And that's, I think, the spirit of reconciliation, which will, as the last panelist explained, hopefully help us to move forward together as it’s very, very important. MR. GOVER: Professor Montejo, let me ask you this, the policies that led to the devastation in Guatemala took place in the 1980s for the most part. An American president then some years later, who played no role in the formulation of that policy, seemed moved to offer an apology. Was he the right one to offer that apology? Was that good enough? PROF. MONTEJO: For a president of the United States to offer an apology, I think it is very important. It is true that he was not somehow directly responsible for the policies during the 1980s. But definitely to have a U.S. president apologize about the counterinsurgency war going on in Guatemala was a good thing. But as I mentioned there, it was not a national planned apology of the United States. There’s no congressional approval of that. So it was something spontaneous. He arrived two years after the fighting on the peace accord so everybody was talking about rebuilding, reconstructing Guatemala again, and it was an opportune moment for him to give some words of apology. But that’s why indigenous and non-indigenous groups who were putting together this effort for reconciliation asked President Clinton several things, among them to forgive the national debt, which I mentioned, and the other was a better treatment of immigrants because they’re not here - - working for their families left behind. Their life was disturbed and many were - - from their own communities so they need to survive. So I think that an important point to understand about this apology by President Clinton. MR. GOVER: Senator Campbell, this displacement in time, if you will, it seems to me there are some problems that we have in terms of the—excuse me, I’m sorry—the people most responsible for the policies that were so harmful in the community are generally no longer with us. Similarly the people, our ancestors who were most harmed by these policies, most directly, most grievously, also are no longer with us. So what is the significance of a modern generation of Americans apologizing to a modern generation of Native Americans? MR. CAMPBELL: I think, Kevin, it’s very simply this, wounds heal, but scars don't. We’ve got children that are going to have scars forever. And I know the apology is not going to make those go away, but I think it helps heal the wounds that they were handed down from their grandparents. I noticed one of my colleagues also—the question was does—if I might just add one little comment—the question was does an apology help the person who is apologizing, if I can paraphrase that. I don't know, but I’d like to think, you know, when I was a little boy in that Catholic orphanage and those priests used to say get in that confessional room and confess your sins, I wouldn’t have many, so I used to make up things. And I always came out there feeling pretty good. I don't know if I felt good because I didn't ever do anything wrong, but I felt good because I fooled them. Well who knows, if people support this from the heart, that's good. If they’re just supporting it to fool somebody, that’s not so good. But that’s going to be in the eyes of the beholder. MR. GOVER: Yes, certainly an element of any apology is remorse that is honest, sincere, and humble. And I should add that I had a wonderful conversation with Senator Brownback myself about this resolution, and there is simply no doubt that he is honest, sincere, and a tremendously humble man. And so it was really very moving to discuss— MR. CAMPBELL: [interposing] I’d like to mention, if I can too, you know there have been several instances in recorded history that Indians have—I mean every person, every Indian person alive knows about it. Certainly everyone remembers the Trail of Tears. The other one perhaps was Chief Joseph’s escape or attempted escape to Canada. And there are others too, but one of the other big ones was called the Sand Creek Massacre in my home state of Colorado in which the Cheyennes were killed by a religious zealot years and years ago. We had that land put into a federal ownership, as you know, Kevin, and when we invited people from Congress to attend that, Senator Brownback was running for president at the time. He was still an active candidate for president. He cancelled days of his presidential campaign to come to Colorado really unexpectedly. Just called the night before and said I’m going to be there and he was. He came all the way to Colorado to make sure he participated in that. And that did not go unrecognized in the Indian community. MR. GOVER: No, as it should not. Gabi, let me ask you this, you talked about the - - concept of restorative justice. Does that concept include or require reparations? DR. TAYAC: What it means, basically, yes it can include reparations in some way, not necessarily monetarily, but some kind of service that is done between the offender and the victim. And so in a sense, it may or may not mean a payment, but it could mean service in some way. It means actually breaking down the divide between the perpetrator and the victim and having the perpetrator face the victim and speak with them as human beings and having—it’s actually interesting because the restoration is not only to the victim but it’s about restoring the humanity of the perpetrator. So that it’s a sense of bringing the person who has done the crime back into a sense of what their responsibility as a human being is to the community. And it restores their humanity while it restores what was taken away from the person who they’ve offended. MR. GOVER: Okay. Well, let me ask if there are any questions from the audience. And let me just warn you in advance, those of you sitting right up there, I can't see you at all because of lights. So forgive me if I don't acknowledge you. Yes, sir? MALE VOICE: Thank you so much. I’d like to ask the question to representatives here from the United States and Canada. Do you think it’s significant that neither of those countries have approved the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous people and whether in the future we should be promoting both in the U.S. and in Canada the recognition of the UN declaration? I just want to mention that the Indian country - - there was an article on World Conservation Conference of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature which both the U.S. and Canada belong to as well as hundreds of other countries as well, said that they thought it would be very important for all the countries who voted against the declaration - - conservation and sustainable development that we should promote those - - . CHIEF FONTAINE: I have the honor of going first. There are four nation states in the world that voted against the UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples. Not surprisingly, the U.S. was one of the four, New Zealand, Australia and Canada; eleven abstained,; 144 voted in favor. We were deeply hurt, very disappointed that Canada chose to vote no to the declaration because our country was sending us a message and the message was that they were going to pick and choose what human rights they were going to support. And the human rights of the First Peoples were those rights that they weren’t prepared to support. I make that point because Canada for forever has been seen as this great protector and defender of human rights. Wherever there have been human rights violations, Canada has always been the first on the scene to protest those human rights violations. And in this case they said no. And we were disappointed because the declaration is an aspirational document. It’s neither a treaty nor a convention. But it speaks about our peoples, the indigenous people, 370 million worldwide, about our cultures, our languages, our land, the right to self-rule and it’s about our human rights. And so we see Canada’s decision as a stain on Canada’s international reputation. And it’s such a huge disappointment. But we’re hopeful with the change here in the United States that the United States will say yes finally to some international instrument because it never does, right? Because if it does, you can be certain that our government will be anxious to follow suit. MR. CAMPBELL: May I add something to that, Kevin? MR. GOVER: Of course. MR. CAMPBELL: I don't think we’ve made much progress maybe in the United Nations but we have in other forums and Canada was a party to it and did include it. One of my jobs when I was in the Senate was the chairman of what’s called the Helsinki Commission. The technical name is the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It was set up after World War II to monitor the human rights violations in the 57 member nations and it’s growing. But there are other countries, including Japan and others who don't officially belong to it but they send observers and listen. And about six years ago at the international forum, our delegation and I was the chairman then, our delegation introduced a resolution that countries should recognize the history and value of indigenous people and it passed overwhelmingly. I don't remember any votes against it in fact, so that’s one little step forward that’s on record at least in the OSCE. In our country the delegation, there has to be a House and a Senate member. As the chairman of that commission, but it’s really run through the State Department and that’s why you don't hear too much about it through the House or the Senate. But there is, little by little we’re making progress. MR. GOVER: I would add when I was at the Interior Department in the late ‘90s I worked with the State Department quite a bit on issues around the declaration. And I would have to say that I don't think the outcome would have been any different if it had been the Clinton administration that had been voting on this. State has its own concerns, its own priorities and its own lawyers. And they are dead set against the declaration, afraid that—well I’m not sure what they’re afraid of, but they’re afraid. And that’s never a basis for progress. Other questions? Yes, sir? MALE VOICE: Good afternoon. Thank you very much for inviting me here. My name is Reynaldo Cuadros. I am Bolivian ambassador to the Organization of American States and Chair of the OAS Permanent Council. Thank you. I see some of my colleagues around. And I also happen to preside over the Working Group on the Americas and the project of the American Declaration on the indigenous peoples’ rights. So we’re about to have a meeting in early December with the delegations all over America for a special session on this draft that has been actually already nine years in process. And in the light of the recent approval, of the UN declaration last year, our country has actually embedded that declaration into its constitutional project and has acquired that declaration as a law. [Applause] Well I’m very humbled to say that that’s the first and only country at this point in the world that has actually included the whole declaration as a constitution for the state. Of course we have a lot of turmoil. All these months probably have been following the news. But first - - looking even to an agreement with the opposition sectors that were - - redistribution of land and all these things that are right to indigenous peoples and others that were deprived of land because of this invasion and conquest. So in this light of events, even our president - - is coming here to Washington, DC to meet the Organization of American States this Wednesday - - so we want to invite you also to his presentation to the organization. And while things are moving forward at least in our country we want to bring hope to those indigenous peoples and we want you all to understand that our country is actually - - home. You can feel they’re at home whatever culture, language, color of skin or whatever you are, just as a living being you are always welcome. Besides this I think this is a very powerful event and I’m so happy to be here. I apologize being late. We actually had a meeting at the OAS. But in the light of the upcoming events, first of all at this symposium I would like to hear your input about your expectations on this declaration, of course two main actors, U.S. and Canada, are part of these discussions. Somehow or other we’ve had the good fortune that the diplomats representing Canada and the U.S. are actually not obstructing the process of the declaration, which is a good sign at least at the OAS level that the declaration can proceed. And we hope, of course, that they’ll join finally if they didn't join before. There is still time for this reconciliation, as Gabi was mentioning. So we need a deep reflection on what difference will the American declaration make, what improvement, what advancement we can look to make. Of course, being realistic on the reality. And that’s the topic of the reflection that we’re going to have on this meeting in early December here in DC. And we’d like to invite you all to take part in that and hopefully we can discuss further on—you know all your input is very important. There are no restrictions for attendance, actually all peoples are invited to participate. And I would very much appreciate to coordinate in a more deep manner with all of you that are actors of this process. So this is one of the challenges, what improvement can we bring? Actually we did write a little improvement in our project, and it’s to recognize the spiritual rights that are not very clear even in health issues at the United Nations. At the United Nations they are talking about physical and mental health, but what about the spiritual health and the spiritual rights and sometimes people think that the ways the indigenous do things are either crazy or nonsense or whatever. They don't understand the depth of this expression. So I think that’s one of the fields we can work properly. And other thing is already a proposition that has not been yet accepted, but as it is clear we have to bring action to these words, to the words by United Nations and whatever we’re projecting at the Americas. Too, in parallel I have proposed to start already a plan of action to talk about how we’re going to—I like this word reconciliation, what are we going to do about the lands, the sustainability of those lands and provide the facilities that they require. So in the meantime we prepare papers for declarations. We should be preparing plans of action. So just I’m sorry having taken all this time to introduce the topic, but I think it’s all relevant and important that I wanted all of you share. And I’m happy to hear from the very distinguished members of this symposium their views on this project of the Americas. Thank you very much. MR. GOVER: Thank you very much, Ambassador. [Applause] MR. GOVER: And let me just say we’re most honored to have you here with us this afternoon. Panel, would someone like to respond? CHIEF FONTAINE: One point I neglected to make, and it’s important information, is that with the UN declaration on indigenous peoples, Canada actually helped write the declaration. And then it voted against the declaration. And as you know this was a work in progress over 20 years. It’s a nonbinding document and international law will never prevail because in our country the Supreme Court of Canada has already rendered a decision that domestic laws will always prevail over international law. But it is important in terms of setting standards. So our concern about the OAS process is that we would come up with a declaration that is less than what is currently provided in our country. It should at least meet those standards or preferably go beyond those standards so that our country will be able to use that as a reference in terms of its public policy as it relates to the First Peoples. And by the way, I would be really honored to meet my brother President Morales. PROF. MONTEJO: Just to make a reference about this international law. The case of Guatemala which has signed almost everything but they don't comply with it. And so it’s mostly—any other nation. So I think the importance is to have indigenous people in position of power to decide and to write legislation will help very much to direct the policies toward solving this long history of problems. So I think that is one of the situations that we have as an example of Bolivia. But in the case of Guatemala, definitely with convention 169, Guatemala expected just the ten years to go by and silently not to re-sign it again. But when I was in congress, we reenacted it. So now they are - - it again. But they don't believe that international law should be over the national constitution. So any discussion that has to do with these issues, so they will stop it immediately and say, we are all Guatemalans with our own constitution and this is what we respect, not other laws from outside So that is the situation of Guatemala. MR. GOVER: Although I do think that that’s true as for international law in general and certainly as it relates to human rights. We may have declarations of what the rights of human beings are, but that does not necessarily make them enforceable within any give state. Still, they have value as a declaration. And so for example, if the OAS makes a declaration and Bolivia announces that it will abide by that declaration, then there’s just that much more weight on other countries to do the same, it seems to me. So even though they’re certainly not binding legally in the American system, obviously in the Canadian system as well, they have great value, and they serve as something of an inspiration I think to Native peoples in other countries. We have time for one last question and the vice chairman had his hand up earlier. Mr. CROOKS: Thank you. I’d like to acknowledge Senator Campbell. He is a friend of mine, an old friend, not that he’s old, but I’ve known him a long time. My question for you is, as you know, and all Indian people know, that the centuries of injustice that were caused for Indian people throughout the years and then we talk about reconciliation and getting an apology. How do you feel that this apology may lie on the shoulders of a black man who did nothing to us? MR. CAMPBELL: It’s just my own opinion that he would probably be very supportive of it. President-Elect Obama met with tribal leaders nine times throughout his campaign. As many of you know, I was a John McCain supporter because I served with him many years and I knew his record of voting for Indian people and it was a long extensive as supporting Indian people. But I’m convinced that Senator Obama has his heart in the right place for Indian people, too. I might also mention that, you know, hope springs eternal. And I think it’s one of the things that’s really carried Indian people from generation to generation. The hope that things are going to get better. And I was really looking with interest at Gabrielle’s pictures she had up here because the one of the Wounded Knee riders in 1990, 100 years after the Wounded Knee Massacre as they were coming through the fog. I was up there. I didn't ride with them, but I took time out from Congress to go up and sort of to pay respects and homage to them. The three in the front row of that ride after riding I think it was like eight or nine days with women and children were named Killstraight, Lookinghorse, and Hishorseisthunder, who are all very active in the Indian community. And as you know, Glynn, one of the things about the Indian community, if you’re doing anything through what, as we call the moccasin grapevine, other people know. And when other people see that kind of perseverance, I think it gives them hope to see—I remember what I was thinking when I saw them come through the fog. We could hear the hoofs of their horses on the pavement before we could see them. It was 30 below, by the way, 30 below at Wounded Knee, South Dakota in 1990 when I went up for that in December. And I was thinking then as I thought now, anyone that has that much perseverance and has that much hope and is internally that strong is never going to disappear from this earth. MR. GOVER: Let me take a swing at that too. I think that’s a wonderful question and very subtle. Because there is a considerable irony in the prospect of an African American president offering and apology to Native people when African Americans played a minimal role in the misfortunes of Native people. But of course the answer is that African Americans are not, the next president accepts responsibility for the historical conduct of our country, both good and bad. And so it’s a fairly easy leap to make. But let me just give you one bit of Indian humor because it still tickles me when I think about it. When Senator Obama was campaigning in Montana, met with a number of tribal leaders from Montana and Wyoming, and long story short, one of the Crow representatives at the meeting introduced himself and said to Senator Obama, now traditionally we referred to the president as the great white father, so what should we call you? [Laughter] MR. GOVER: That’s Indian humor. And they did. That’s right the Crows named him Black Eagle, so they have their answer.


Republican primary



With Thune Opting to run for the Senate, a competitive race for the Republican nomination occurred. Among the five candidates pursuing the nomination, the most notable included former Senator Larry Pressler and Governor Bill Janklow, the latter of who was personally recruited to run by President George W. Bush and his advisers.[1]


Republican primary results[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Janklow 60,575 54.93
Republican Larry Pressler 29,992 27.20
Republican Tim Amdahl 10,593 9.61
Republican Roger Hunt 7,799 7.07
Republican Bert Tollefson 1,311 1.19
Total votes 110,270 100.00

Democratic primary



Democrats made a stronger effort to win the seat than in the previous election cycles with the popular Thune choosing to challenge incumbent Senator Tim Johnson rather than seek re-election. Democrats touted Stephanie Herseth, a Law Clerk and member of the prominent Herseth family (which includes several individuals who have been active in South Dakota politics, such as her grandfather Ralph Herseth, a former Governor of South Dakota).


Democratic primary results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Stephanie Herseth 39,576 58.15
Democratic Rick Weiland 22,083 32.45
Democratic Dick Casey 4,732 6.95
Democratic Denny Pierson 1,671 2.46
Total votes 68,062 100.00

General election


Despite Janklow's high popularity as governor, the race was unexpectedly close. Herseth proved to be skillful fund raiser and as a result was able to stay close to her opponent in campaign funds.[4] The polls confirmed the closeness of the race, showing the both of them consistently with single digits of each other throughout the election.[5]

Throughout the campaign, Janklow emphasized his experience and commitment to seeing that the United States was protected from terrorism, while Herseth emphasized the economic issues of South Dakota.[6]

A controversy occurred in regard to an attack ad that was created by the National Republican Congressional Committee which questioned Herseth's roots in the Mount Rushmore state. It pointed to the fact that she had not registered to vote in her home state until the year before, and prior to that had voted in Maryland in 2000. Herseth accused the ad of being "both inaccurate and offensive." Though Russ Levsen, her spokesman, acknowledged that she had voted in Maryland and reregistered to vote in South Dakota in 2001, however, he pointed to the fact that she had previously been registered in her home state at the age of eighteen and had voted in five elections between 1989 and 1998. The NRCC pulled the ad within less than forty-eight hours in response to the bipartisan criticisms of both candidates. The ad was subsequently replaced with one that promoted Janklow's credentials.[7]

Though Republicans were unsuccessful in defeating Tim Johnson during the concurrent Senate election, however they did succeed in defending South Dakota's U.S. House seat.


South Dakota's At-large congressional district election, 2002[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Janklow 180,023 53.47
Democratic Stephanie Herseth 153,551 45.61
Libertarian Terry Begay 3,117 0.93
Total votes 336,691 100.00
Republican hold


Herseth won the seat in a special election less than eighteen months later after Janklow resigned in January 2004 following a conviction of vehicular manslaughter.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Outgoing governor wins South Dakota House seat, CNN projects". CNN. November 6, 2002.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "South Dakota Candidate Gets Ad Removed". Fox News. October 14, 2002.
  8. ^
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