As the Government Operations and Audit Committee sifts through the doublespeak and shifting narratives they have received from Joop Bollen, Mike Rounds, and everyone else in state government about the EB-5 program, they should consider the commentary of Aberdeen city councilman Mark Remily. Responding to the fantastical claims of Rory King, attorney for bankrupted EB-5 beneficiary Northern Beef Packers, Remily says that EB-5 and NBP may have brought money for the lawyers, but not for regular folks around Brown County:

Unlike the local family-owned and operated equipment rental business that lost $4,165.27. Or the local dry cleaner with five employees that didn’t receive raises the past year because NBP stuck their small business for $9,443.98. Or, how about the local roofing contractor still waiting for his final $15,636.82 for work performed over a year ago? The list goes on totaling $1,844,228.68. More than 300 plant workers went unpaid. These losses total $104,608.18. Nine states and one territory went without child support payments held out of wages, that total was $5,429.95 [Mark Remily, "Truth Is Missing in Beef Plant Defense," Aberdeen American News, 2014.11.07].

Remily also questions the excuse that NBP was delayed by the 2008 recession.

“Then came the 2008 banking crisis.” What project developer ever develops, and commences building, any project and then lines up financing for said project? And, a $115 million project at that! [Remily, 2014.11.07]

Remily also finds it deceptive that NBP boosters, right up to NBP godfather Senator-Elect Mike Rounds, have tried to poo-poo the failure of NBP by promising future gains:

“Ninety million was raised and spent in Aberdeen.” It is hard to believe that $90 million in total was spent building this plant. There is no possibility that $90 million was injected into the economy of Aberdeen. Quite the opposite. A $115 million “state of the art” failure was injected into the Aberdeen economy. Just ask the various business and the many former unpaid employees how much money was injected into their economies.

“Aberdeen will have a thriving beef processing facility in the near future.” How many more weeks, months, or years will we hear this? Mr. King, face the facts, the plant pretty much closed before it ever even opened. If the facility ever does re-open it will be nothing more than a “kill plant.” The product produced will be nothing more than tubes of hamburger. Not the promised “South Dakota Certified” fine beef we were all told to expect [Remily, 2014.11.07].

The facts on the ground in Aberdeen right now are that a beef-packing plant opened, failed, and now sits empty. Aberdonians and South Dakotans lost money and jobs. And a few insiders—state employees and lawyers—lined up hefty profits for themselves.

GOAC won't follow that money or the trail of lies the moneymakers have laid. Reporters will.

23 comments

Legislator-in-waiting Lee Schoenbeck gets to shout "Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!" in my ear all night.

On Sunday, the Aberdeen American News ran an article headlined, "Secretary of State: Elliott Residency Valid." Elisa Sand's article said that Secretary of State Jason Gant found no violation in Democrat Burt Elliott's use of an Aberdeen address for his voter registration and District 3 House nominating petition. Republicans hollered that that headline was misleading; I defended the headline.

Mr. Schoenbeck, who is keenly interested in keeping Elliott from taking a seat in his House, sends me a link to this correction from the Aberdeen American News:

Headline wrong: South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant said District 3 House candidate Burt Elliott’s election petition met all requirements for Elliott to run in the district. The headline suggested Gant could determine the validity of Elliott’s residency, when it should have referred to his petition.

We regret the error ["Setting It Straight," Aberdeen American News, 2014.10.29].

As I said in an e-mail to Mr. Schoenbeck, Arrgghh!

I think the Aberdeen paper caved too easily... but the Aberdeen paper has called it, and I cede the point. The headline should have read, "Secretary of State: Elliott Residency Valid for Nominating Petition."

My friend Elisa Sand should now follow up with an in-depth analysis of the Schoenbeck argument, the Heinemeyer precedent, and the implications for South Dakota's thousands of RV voters.

18 comments

Burt Elliott is in trouble. The Brown County Democrat wants to return to the Legislature to serve District 3. Unfortunately, he lives in District 2. Elliott said at a Brown County forum on September 27 that while he has a house in District 2, he has rented an apartment in District 3. Elliott says he made the move for "family issues," but pretty much admits that he has cited this apartment address as his voting residence to get around the fact that Republicans gerrymandered his house address out of District 3, which he served from 2001 through 2008.

Soon-to-be District 5 Representative Lee Schoenbeck is already swinging his leadership bat. The likely Republican House leader has reached across district lines to warn Aberdeen voters that if they elect Democrat Burt Elliot as District 3 representative, he will work to refuse Elliott a seat:

Schoenbeck said that, if Elliott is elected, he could run into trouble with a clause of the state Constitution that reads, “Each house (of the Legislature) shall be the judge of the election returns and qualifications of its own members.”

He said the House might rule that Elliott doesn’t actually live in District 3 [Scott Waltman, "Republicans Question Elliott's Residency," Aberdeen American News, 2014.09.28].

We don't see a lot of candidates from one district telling folks in other districts whom to elect. And to threaten to disenfranchise another district's majority takes grit.

But Schoenbeck can back his grit with law. Back in 2006, my Madison neighbor Jeff Heinemeyer sold his house in Madison and moved out to Lake Madison. Yet he fought to keep the Madison seat he'd won on the Heartland Consumer Power District board by renting an apartment downtown and declaring that flat his voting residence. In November 2008, the South Dakota Supreme Court kicked him off the board, saying renting an apartment while maintaining a house as one's practical primary residence does not satisfy the statutory criteria for voting residence.

Schoenbeck also has the state constitution on his side. Article 9 Section 3 makes each chamber of the Legislature "the judge of the election returns and qualifications of its own members." Schoenbeck and a Republican majority can overturn the popular will of District 3, refuse to seat Elliott, and submit the resulting vacancy to the Governor for filling.

Heinemeyer v. Heartland gives Schoenbeck authority to invoke the Legislature's power to reject an elected representative. Schoenbeck further contends that Elliott may have committed perjury when he signed his voter registration application, which includes the statement, "I actually live at and have no present intention of leaving the above address."

I wonder if Schoenbeck will also declare perjurious South Dakota's numerous RV voters. The Lake County Auditor's office informs me that about 1,700 people have sworn to that same statement of residency 110 East Center in Madison, the physical address of MyDakotaAddress.com. As is the case at similar businesses in Hanson, Minnehaha, and Pennington counties, RVers can rent a mailbox at 110 East Center, register to vote in Lake County, and enjoy the legal benefits of voting residency. They don't "actually live" at 110 East Center, and "actually live" figures prominently in Heinemeyer v. Heartland.

Are the thousands of RVers making South Dakota their paper home all guilty of perjury? I know that Republicans have much more interest in thwarting a Democrat's campaign for Legislature than in disenfranchising thousands of wealthy retirees who enjoy dodging taxes. But the same logic and law that compel Schoenbeck to stand against Elliott's manipulation of his voting residence would seem to apply to the RVers who spend less time in their chosen voting residence than Heinemyer or Elliott.

75 comments

Former Aberdeen child advocate Shirley Schwab is asking why the Attorney General's office appears to be dragging its feet on a criminal complaint she made in March concerning former Division of Criminal Investigation officer Mark Black.

In a statement made available over the weekend, Schwab says she filed a formal criminal complaint against Agent Black on March 14, 2014, accusing him of "perjury, conspiracy to commit perjury, subornation of perjury, witness tampering, obtaining a search warrant using a perjured affidavit, perjured ex parte affidavit, false reporting, exceeding the scope of a search warrant, falsifying evidence, offering a false document as Grand Jury evidence and perjured Grand Jury testimony." These charges stem from the state's failed prosecution of Schwab and former Brown County assistant state's attorney Brandon Taliaferro.

Among the grounds for this complaint, Schwab cites Black's testimony about a document that played a key role in her indictment. In April 2012, Black testified to a grand jury that Schwab sent a memo to then Brown County state's attorney Kim Dorsett that demonstrated criminal intent on Schwab's part. However, as Black acknowledged in an August 2012 motions hearing and at Schwab and Taliferro's January 2013 trial, Black knew at least three months before his grand jury testimony that Schwab did not write that memo.

Here's the relevant excerpt from the January 2013 trail transcript, in which Schwab's attorney Stephanie Amiotte cross-examines Agent Black:

excerpt, Schwab-Taliaferro trial transcript, 2014.01.07, p. 212

excerpt, Schwab-Taliaferro trial transcript, 2014.01.07, p. 212

excerpt, Schwab-Taliaferro trial transcript, 2014.01.07, p. 213

excerpt, Schwab-Taliaferro trial transcript, 2014.01.07, p. 213

excerpt, Schwab-Taliaferro trial transcript, 2014.01.07, p. 214

excerpt, Schwab-Taliaferro trial transcript, 2014.01.07, p. 214

In the August 2012 motions hearing and the January 2013 trial, Black contended that he simply misspoke on the provenance of the memo, but in April 2012, the grand jury used his misstatement as evidence to indict Schwab.

Schwab did not bring this complaint lightly. Schwab says she has lived in fear of Mark Black since he executed the search warrant against her in her home and office in November 2011. Her fears were reinforced by Black's hostile interrogation of child witnesses in the case he tried to build against her, his erratic and aggressive behavior toward his own wife, and his reference to the "Schwab trial" in documents revealed in his ex-wife's effort to get a restraining order against him.

On May 16, 2014, Schwab learned of a strange encounter between Black and an Aberdeen acquaintance of hers, Roger Darling. According to Darling, what started as a conversation with a new neighbor about salvaging some wagon wheels turned into a diatribe about Black's personal, financial, and legal troubles. Here's an excerpt from Darling's handwritten account of what Black said to him, dated the day of his encounter with Black and submitted a week later to investigators:
RogerDarling20140516-snip1
RogerDarling20140516-snip2

Schwab called this veiled threat to the attention of law enforcement, but in June, the attorney general's office informed her that "she has not heard the last of Mark Black" and other comments the former agent made to Darling did not warrant charges.

Schwab brought her complaint to authorities on March 14, 2014. Agent Black had been placed on administrative leave a couple weeks earlier; he was terminated shortly after the attorney general's office was informed of the complaint. No public statement has shown a link between Schwab's complaint and Black's termination, but Black's strange comments to Darling suggest Black blames Schwab for all of his troubles.

But nearly five months after Schwab's complaint, the state has not taken any public action on it. Schwab says perjury is a serious crime, and Attorney General Jackley agrees. Schwab is thus concerned that the state's chief law enforcement official has yet to act on the serious crimes she says Mark Black committed an agent of the Division of Criminal Investigation.

Below is Schwab's complete public statement on the progress—or lack thereof—of her criminal complaint:

On March 14, 2014, I met with Brown County States Attorney Larry Lovrien and Aberdeen Police Department Captain Dave McNeil and filed a formal criminal complaint against SD DCI Agent Mark Black regarding alleged criminal acts conducted during my malicious prosecution in State of SD V Schwab/Taliaferro (Cr.12-427).

The alleged crimes committed by Agent Black consist of multiple counts of perjury, conspiracy to commit perjury, subornation of perjury, witness tampering, obtaining a search warrant using a perjured affidavit, perjured ex parte affidavit, false reporting, exceeding the scope of a search warrant, falsifying evidence, offering a false document as Grand Jury evidence and perjured Grand Jury testimony.

At this time I also informed SA Lovrien and Captain McNeil I had lived in fear of Mark Black since the November 7, 2011, search and seizure of my office and home and even though I feared retaliation or retribution for filing the criminal complaint, it was something I believed I must do.

Because of that fear, my lack of trust in law enforcement and the high profile nature of the criminal complaint, SA Lovrien and Captain McNeil agreed an outside of the State of SD law enforcement agency should be utilized to handle the investigation.

On March 18, 2014, I was notified by Captain McNeil that arrangements had been made and the SD Attorney General’s office had been notified accordingly. I was also notified that on or about that same date, SD DCI Agent Mark Black was terminated from his employment with the State of South Dakota.

On March 21, 2014, I met with an out of state Special Agent beginning the process of his investigation. At that time I provided the Special Agent with mounds of documents including Grand Jury indictments and transcripts, court hearing transcripts, January 2013 trial transcript, Master DCI Investigative Narratives, affidavits, audio transcripts, emails and various other types of evidence for his review.

On April 14, 2014, I again met with the Special Agent while in Aberdeen to meet with SA Lovrien and Captain McNeil. At that time I was informed by the Special Agent that due to additional concerns he had uncovered, Brown County States Attorney Larry Lovrien would therefore have a conflict of interest with handling the prosecution of my criminal complaint and an outside prosecutor would need to be involved.

The Special Agent then advised me the case had been turned over to the SD Attorney General’s office and he would be continue his investigative process while working with the SD AG’s office as prosecutor for the complaint I had filed.

On May 16, 2014, concern for my personal safety became a reality due to a Friday evening phone call from an acquaintance. Mark Black’s long and documented history of erratic and violent behavior became a reality I could no longer ignore and it quickly became time for me to leave the Aberdeen community where I had lived, worked and raised a family for the past 29 years yet unable to feel safe.

This reality became increasingly clear when I was informed the assigned investigating officer regarding Black’s latest veiled threats of May 16 was the Brown County Sheriff Department Investigator who accompanied and assisted former DCI Agent Mark Black in the November 7, 2011, search and seizure of my home and office. I was stunned beyond words by this action and made my concerns of an obvious conflict of interest known to the Attorney General’s Office while referencing the actual page of the 2011 Master DCI Narrative indicating the same. However, those concerns were left unaddressed and on June 13, 2014, I was informed by the SD Attorney General’s office no charges would be filed regarding the May 16 incident.

It is now nearly 5 months since I filed the original criminal complaint against former SD DCI Agent Mark Black and I find myself questioning the status of this investigation due to minimal communication from the Attorney General’s office.

A massive amount of evidence has been provided to the Special Agent assigned to my criminal complaint against former SD DCI Agent Mark Black and the Special Agent has remained receptive, thorough and professional throughout his investigative process.

On June 4, 2014, Attorney General Marty Jackley stated, “The Attorney General does not have the luxury of taking a walk or pass on tough issues.” I would like to believe the SD Attorney General will provide that same professionalism and follow through with a thorough and complete criminal investigation of one of his former and recently terminated DCI agents.

shirleyschwab@ymail.com
South Dakota Child Advocates Defense Fund

[Shirley Schwab, statement, 2014.08.03]

7 comments

Fellow Lake Herman expatriate Elisa Sand wrote this week of two 19-year-olds passing through Aberdeen on a walk from Seattle to New York City. Evidently crossing South Dakota on Highway 12 hasn't given Cameron Coupe and Zan Roman a great impression of South Dakota:

Neither of the two had been to South Dakota, which they found to be flat with "not a lot going on." As a first for the trip, he pair were mistaken for homeless people while eating at a buffet in Aberdeen. An employee who saw them packing up the carts outside told them they had to pay first before sitting down and eating [Elisa Sand, "Teens Stop in Aberdeen on Cross-Country Walk," Aberdeen American News, 2014.07.16].

Not a lot going on? Evidently Coupe and Roman aren't paying attention. There's lots going on; they just seem to be too tired to notice and write it down.

Moose near Tolstoy, South Dakota, June 27, 2014. Photo by Gwen Hettich.

Moose near Tolstoy, South Dakota, June 27, 2014. Photo by Gwen Hettich.

For instance, they could have written about their fellow wanderers in northeastern South Dakota, the moose!

A pair of moose spotted in Potter and Faulk counties could be passing through or looking for a place to call home.

Brown County conservation officer NickCochran said a young bull and young cow have been spotted several times, but it’s not unusual for South Dakotans to see the occasional moose roaming through from northern Minnesota or North Dakota [Elisa Sand, "Moose Pair Continuing Travels in Aberdeen Area," Aberdeen American News, 2014.07.11].

Moose marching through South Dakota! Moose attack people more often than bears attack people! What do we do?

Typically, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department takes an observatory role.

“We just monitor them and let them do their thing,” he said.

As for the general public, Cochran said, people should be advised to give the moose their space. While they are curious and don’t spook as easily as a deer, a moose will charge if it feels threatened [Sand, 2014.07.11].

The moose have not reported any unpleasant assumptions or discriminatory treatment from buffet staff in Tolstoy or Cresbard. Coupe laments this weekend that he and Roman have walked more miles than raised dollars (1,500 miles, 1,400 dollars for the Seattle Children's Hospital, the ostensible motivation for their transambulation).

But you know, strangers breezing through the state telling stories about helping children and expecting people to hand them money don't have the most sustainable business model.

16 comments

District 3, which encompasses the Aberdeen–Bath metroplex, has a Democratic primary tomorrow for its State Senate seat. Aberdeen City Councilman Mark Remily would like the job; so would writer Angelia Schultz.

Remily graces the Madville Times with responses to some questions about major policy issues and the direction of the Democratic Party

Mark Remily, Democratic candidate for District 3 Senate

Mark Remily, Democratic candidate for District 3 Senate

Given that Northern Beef Packers sits just outside District 3, and that fallout from the collapse of the plant hit Aberdeen most directly, I asked Remily for the local perspective on what went wrong at NBP and with the EB-5 visa investment program that poured millions of dollars down that economic development black hole. Remily gets the impression NBP was "doomed from the onset." He's pessimistic about the ability of California buyers White Oak Global to restart the plant; the new owners are less interested in Aberdeen and "the over 200 workers and the many local businesses they stiffed." Remily suspects Aberdeen is more likely to see White Oak quietly dismantle and sell the plant than rehire and reopen.

Remily says he's not entirely against the EB-5 program that sustained NBP. He says the program is workable if we have oversight, but that we won't have reliable oversight and transparency until we have a "healthy minority" in Pierre. Until Democrats can check the one-party cronyism of Pierre, Remily says EB-5 should be banned.

Addressing economic development more broadly, Remily says job creation isn't our immediate problem. Unemployment in April was 3.8%, meaning over 96% of South Dakotans have jobs. "In Aberdeen, we have jobs," says Remily, "but the jobs we have do not pay enough to attract workers. It's a conundrum, which won't be solved till we raise the minimum wage." Remily says raising the wage to $15 an hour over time would help us recruit and retain workers.

Another way to recruit workers and boost the economy is to boost education. Remily says South Dakota has great teachers, but we subject them to Walmart working conditions. "Stress levels would be lower" for teachers, says Remily, "if they didn't have to have two jobs to make a living wage. Citing Aberdeen's base teacher pay of $33,240.00, Remily says raising teacher pay $15,000 would be a "good beginning."

Getting the money to boost teacher pay is always the sticking point. Remily says we need to pay our way by creating revenue streams. He likes Joe Lowe's suggestion of a 1% seasonal tourism tax. Remily goes further and recommends cashing in on cannabis:

One idea would be to join 17 other states in legalizing some form of cannabis sales. Using Colorado as an example. Their state coffers are filling up.... And guess what? Crime rate going down. State prisons would empty out of non-violent offenders saving more millions in incarceration costs. Legalize it, regulate it, tax it [Mark Remily, e-mail, 2014.05.28].

Ryan Gaddy, call your Aberdeen chapter....

Remily passionately supports expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. He is not as passionate about TransCanada. He says the first Keystone pipeline that runs through Brown County brought only a brief uptick in jobs for transient workers but no lasting economic boost. He does not support laying Keystone XL across West River.

I keep looking for a candidate who has a plan not just for winning his district but for boosting the Democratic Party statewide. The question of boosting Demcoratic fortunes is particularly relevant in Brown County, a traditional Democratic stronghold that just saw Republicans surpass Democrats in registered voters. Remily says there are plenty of Democrats around Brown County; they just aren't registering. he did his part to solve that problem by carrying voter registration forms when he circulated his own petition and earlier when he circulated the minimum-wage initiative petition. Remily says he and his fellow circulators registered nearly 100 new Democrats. "Most people want to be registered," says Remily, "but don't take the time to do it." If you want to build a party, says Remily, you've got to do the work.

Whoever wins tomorrow in District 3 faces Republican Rep. David Novstrup, who is trying to trade seats with his dad, Senator Al Novstrup. Remily ran for House in 2008 and lost to David Novstrup by about 900 votes (hey! at least Remily beat Isaac Latterell!). Remily says he's ready to bring bigger heat this election. He says his 40 years of "very public life" in Aberdeen, plus his friendly connections with Democrats, Independents, and Republicans around town make him "the only candidate who stands a chance of keeping David home next legislative session."

District 3, Mark Remily offers you a Democrat who takes pretty strong positions on wages and education funding. Remily is also willing to rattle cages with his suggestion of legalizing marijuana to generate revenue for the state. He pairs those strong positions with an assertion of long-time familiarity and electability in the community. Will you prove Remily right tomorrow, or will you choose a newcomer who prefers the "moderate" brand?

7 comments

Before Mike Rounds adopted Northern Beef Packers as his legacy-building EB-5 visa investment project, NBP's organizers were already using EB-5 style magic math to guide their business planning. We already know NBP was wildly off on their job creation projections. Now this week's $2.1 million lien trail in Aberdeen reveals NBP was built on bad math, quite literally, from the ground up:

The man hired to oversee construction of the Northern Beef Packers plant testified in federal bankruptcy court Thursday he didn’t know how much fill was needed for the Aberdeen project site.

Bob Breukelman of Huron said he took the fill estimate developed by three Aberdeen earth-moving contractors who were recruited but weren’t hired. He then used it to recruit another contractor from Huron in 2006 who was hired and now claims to be underpaid by $2 million.

...Breukelman said the Aberdeen contractors estimated the fill needed at 200,000 cubic yards total of clay, gravel and sand. Olson’s invoices show 596,000 cubic yards of materials [Bob Mercer, "Northern Beef Lien Trial: Project Began with a Bad Guess on Dirt," Aberdeen American News, 2014.05.30].

Off by a factor of three?

Breukelman testified Thursday that he made his own determination of the fill needed and his estimate came within “a few thousand” cubic yards of the Aberdeen contractors.

“It grew somewhat as the project slightly changed,” Breukelman said.

The site configuration changed, the parking lot’s size was expanded and the one-story plant’s elevation was increased twice, so that its 320,000 square feet of main floor rested nine feet higher than the local terrain [Mercer, 2014.05.30].

Boy, and I thought Marty Jackley was having trouble counting when he said several means two. In NBP-Land, few means 396 and slightly means off by 198%. That's worse than the fuzzy math USCIS uses to evaluate EB-5 projects, in which one job is really 2.66 jobs.

Rep. Stace Nelson disapproves of the EB-5 visa investment program and other projects of the Governor's Office of Economic Development in part because they are government programs picking winners and losers in the marketplace. Such programs aren't so bad if government is actually good at picking winners.

But Nelson's primary opponent Mike Rounds was much better at picking losers. Northern Beef Packers couldn't even calculate its opening earthwork costs correctly. Yet Mike Rounds rewarded NBP's bad math by obliviously shoveling $4.3 million of state funding and $95 million in EB-5 money towards what now stands bankrupt and idle on a bigger-than-expected pile of dirt. Such is the judgment of the former governor who now wants to bring his bad math to Washington.

19 comments

...Contractor Still Out $2.1 Million; Workers Unpaid

I have frequently cited Scott Waltman's July 2013 summary of the costs of building Northern Beef Packers to discuss how much money that failed EB-5 project made disappear. Dirk Lammers now offers updated figures showing the state lost more than I was saying. His breakdown of the $4.3 million we handed to the now bankrupt and fire-saled plant includes the $2.1 million that then-Governor Mike Rounds hurriedly shoveled toward NBP in his final days as Governor.

  1. $67,600: Future Fund grant to Mentor Group in November 2010 for plant appraisal;
  2. $150,000: Future Fund grant to Aberdeen Development Corporation in December 2010 for economic impact study and marketing;
  3. $1 million: Future Fund grant to Northern Beef Packers in December 2010 for construction costs (actually to fill Richard Benda's golden parachute);
  4. $200,000: Future Fund grant to Brown County in December 2010 for road construction;
  5. $582,000: portion of $843,000 Future Fund grant in January 2011 for workforce training;
  6. $300,000: grant to South Dakota Department of Agriculture in January 2011 for the South Dakota Certified Beef Program (another Rounds failure);
  7. $1.2 million: grant in June 2010 "to provide a conditional loan to Northern Beef Packers for construction costs and employment recruiting";
  8. $845,000: state construction tax refunds.

Lammers's total: $4,344,600.

Now that's a small portion of the $167 million in total investment that Northern Beef Packers made go poof. Neither figure is the $80 million that Senate challenger Jason Ravnsborg offhandedly said during last Saturday's debate that we had lost. Senate candidate Mike Rounds tells Lammers that the state loss figure is actually zero, because NBP generated tax dollars and will generate more tax dollars in the future.

The Governor's Office of Economic Development estimates that Northern Beef would account for at least $3 million in sales and use taxes and contractors excise taxes paid to the state, based on filings made during the bankruptcy proceedings.

Rounds added that he expects that the plant will eventually be processing cattle.

"In essence, the taxpayers of South Dakota did not lose any taxpayer money on the bankruptcy of the Northern Beef plant," Rounds said. "And we still have the plant. It has been built, and it will be operational" [Dirk Lammers, "South Dakota's Help for Northern Beef was About $4.3M," AP via AgWeb, 2014.04.17].

Evidently did not means will not, and balancing a Mike Rounds budget requires a time machine.

Rounds also does not account for the losses suffered by Scott Olson Digging, which is still suing to get the $2.11 million it says NBP (now bankruptcy raiders White Oak/New Angus) owes it for work done in 2007. Rounds does not account for the paychecks that hundreds of NBP workers did not get last year.

Rounds of course is playing word games, as seems his wont. He forgets (check that; he wants us to forget) that had we not poured money into the NBP money pit, we could have invested in other projects that might still be operating and employing hundreds of South Dakotans. Instead, he wasted money on an unsustainable business plan that satisfied his dreams of a legacy on which to run for Senate in 2014.

6 comments

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