Some of my friends and readers (lots of overlap in that category!) have been asking why we're not hearing more from South Dakota Democrats on the investigations of financial misconduct in the Governor's Office of Economic Development and South Dakota's EB-5 visa investment program. Have folks forgotten that we're talking about South Dakota Democrats, perhaps the most cautious Democrats in the country?
But don't fret, friends of open government and justice: Democrats are paying attention to the EB-5 mess just like everyone else. And one Democrat, Rep. Kathy Tyler from Big Stone City, is ready to have the Legislature audit the EB-5 program:
This past week, I had a very good discussion with a person who knows more about the EB-5, ($500,000 buys foreigners a green card) issue than most. The more I dig, the more questions I have. It’s a black mark on something; I haven’t figured out for sure yet (Has anyone?). More than one knowledgeable person has suggested a fiscal audit of the EB-5 program. A few others and I think that it is an excellent idea. It will not only find the guilty parties, if there are any, but it would find the innocents as well. I have a distinct feeling that it will be on next week’s legislative E-board meeting agenda [Rep. Kathy Tyler, "Your Government in Action (or Non-Action)," Kathy's Corner, 2013.11.11].
Rep. Tyler is digging. Like her constituents, she has questions. As an elected representative of the people of South Dakota, Tyler has every right to ask those questions of Joop Bollen, Pat Costello, Dennis Daugaard, and Mike Rounds, and have those questions answered. Executive Board, legislators, let's get that audit rolling.
Related: Mayor Mike Levsen says we should all be patient and wait for all of the facts to come in. Waiting's nice, Mayor Levsen, but facts don't come in if we don't demand them and go find them.
Mayor Levsen is not waiting to insist that, with respect to the EB-5 program, the City of Aberdeen exercised "absolutely no local government oversight or involvement whatsoever."