PIERRE, S.D. – Former Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle (search) was devoted to public service and did many important things for his home state of South Dakota, a former Republican governor and Congressman said in a lengthy newspaper ad.
Bill Janklow (search), who resigned from Congress in his first term last year after being convicted of vehicular manslaughter (search), did not say what prompted him to place the ad in newspapers across the state last week. However, he and Daschle have long been friends.
"If we remember Tom Daschle the public servant for just one thing, it should be his ability to get things done for our state," Janklow wrote in the ad. "In a calling increasingly characterized by self-congratulatory press releases and photo opportunities, he cared only for results."
Daschle was ousted from the Senate by Republican John Thune (search) in a bitterly contested race last year. He had served four terms in the U.S. House and followed that with three terms in the Senate, where he was minority leader.
Janklow was first elected governor in 1978, the same year Daschle won his first term in Congress. Janklow served four terms in office.
Daschle said he was flattered by Janklow's praise.
"I'm very grateful for his kind words," Daschle said in a telephone interview, adding that Janklow did not tell him ahead of time about the ad.
Janklow declined to comment on the ad Wednesday.
Bill Richardson, chairman of the political science department at the University of South Dakota, said he was not surprised by the ad because Janklow and Daschle have been allies for years.
"Here are two really powerful individuals in their heyday who genuinely liked each other and recognized that they would have to oppose each other at times but also worked extremely well together for the good of South Dakota," he said.
Daschle, 57, said many people often questioned his odd political partnership with Janklow.
"He has been loyal in his friendship to me, and he's been very courageous in his willingness to demonstrate that friendship when there was no political gain whatsoever in doing so," Daschle said.
Janklow, 65, was convicted in 2003 of second-degree manslaughter for speeding through a stop sign and colliding with a motorcyclist, who died instantly. Janklow spent 100 days in jail. His convictions recently were upheld by the state Supreme Court.