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At Least Two Republicans Sign GOED/EB-5 Audit Petition; Here’s Why All Should

Republican state representatives Elizabeth May (R-27/Kyle) and Stace Nelson (R-19/Fulton) have bravely signed Rep. Kathy Tyler's (D-4/Big Stone City) petition calling for a special session to authorize a forensic audit of South Dakota's troubled EB-5 visa investment program.

Rumblings suggest that the Republican leadership is pressuring its members not to sign the petition and contending that the federal EB-5 investigation is all political machinations by U.S. Attorney and known Democrat Brendan Johnson. The latter is hogwash, given that great impetus for an investigation of the EB-5 program is coming from Republicans.

Recall that the federal investigation (read: the only serious investigation) of South Dakota's EB-5 program got rolling in part thanks to concerns raised at the national level by Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa. Senator Grassley has been raising questions about the United States Customs and Immigration Service's supervision of EB-5 under Alejandro Mayorkas, who Grassley charges has fast-tracked Chinese EB-5 applicants as favors for well-placed Democrats Terry McAuliffe (now Virginia's Governor-elect) and Anthony Rodham (Hillary Clinton's brother). Mayorkas is President Barack Obama's nominee for Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. While the DHS inspector general is still investigating Mayorkas's conduct in USCIS, Senate Democrats have decided to push ahead with his nomination.

In 2008, the percentage of EB-5 investors coming from China was 25%. Under the Obama Administration, that percentage has jumped to around 80%. Immigration rules ban members of the Chinese Communist Party from receiving U.S. visas, but enforcing that ban requires diligent oversight. Senator Grassley is concerned that such oversight is taking a backseat to political favors.

Conservative Republican Senator Tom Coburn shares Senator Grassley's concerns. He offers this damning assessment of the EB-5 program:

I have serious concerns about national security and criminal threats associated with the EB-5 program.... The program is vulnerable to fraud, and we are not doing nearly enough to ensure that program participants are not a security threat. The administration needs to have a candid conversation with Congress and the American people regarding the program’s problems [Senator Tom Coburn, quoted in Jeffrey Anderson and Shaun Waterman, "Homeland Security's Fast-Tracked Checks of Foreign Investors May Put U.S. at Risk," Washington Times, 2013.10.27].

Since its inception in the 1990s, the EB-5 program has been a disappointment and an embarrassment. Key national Republicans are raising alarms that Democrats are using EB-5 to do political favors, at the expense of national security. If that's true, then a politically motivated Brendan Johnson would be the last person who would be giving the EB-5 program more scrutiny... and anti-Obama, anti-immigration, anti-Communist South Dakota Republicans ought to be the first.

The only people who don't want to look into South Dakota's EB-5 program are the people who are afraid they may find their friends implicated in green-card-buying schemes that have offsprung corruption, local economic damage, and possibly national security risks. But if those harms are happening, we must find out and stop them. Republicans should be as committed to that goal as Democrats.

Republicans, join your colleagues Rep. May and Rep. Nelson. Sign Rep. Tyler's petition. You may be doing the Chinese Communist Party and President Obama a favor if you don't.


  1. Disgusted Dakotan 2013.12.08

    Well this post explains Power's newest attack on Nelson over at the Dakota Water Closet (toilet).

    Since Powers is a paid operative of the Rounds campaign, why does his blog post not require FEC disclaimers & SDCL disclaimers that his operation is paid for by Mike Rounds?

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.12.08

    Well, we could ask Rep. Tyler to expand her petition and call for a special session, but there we're talking about investigating a violation of federal election law. But then we would be going beyond the Legislature's purview. EB-5 offers much bigger potatoes to roast than DWC.

  3. grudznick 2013.12.08

    Aren't Mr. Nelson and Ms. May two of the least effective and most marginalized legislatures? Of course they signed it. They'll probably sign onto every law the Democrats propose this year because they just want to be against the Conservative Republican leadership.

  4. Bree S. 2013.12.08

    Grudz, you crack me up.

  5. Bree S. 2013.12.08

    It will be important for Republican voters to know what "conservative Republican" legislators didn't sign it come June. If the R's want to walk off a cliff with "conservative Republican leadership" .. let them.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.12.08

    Far be it from me to defend May's and Nelson's wrong-headed policy proposals. But if you are committed to open and accountable government, and you're serving in a Legislature controlled by corrupt leaders committed to protecting the status quo and their own power, it becomes even harder to pass legislation.

  7. grudznick 2013.12.08

    Who are you calling corrupt, Mr. H?

  8. Disgusted Dakotan 2013.12.08

    I am starting to think that Grudznick = Anne Beal. Both have knack for posting obvious lies, and both appear to be elderly women.

    I saw responses to her over at DWC that showed that Nelson was much more effective in actual work product produced and past this last session than Conzet, Norvstup, and another "leadership" favored moderate.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.12.08

    Grudz: I'm calling corrupt anyone who tries to keep us from looking into GOED and EB-5, finding wrongdoing, and holding wrongdoers accountable.

  10. Bree S. 2013.12.08

    Grudz the elderly woman.. LOL

  11. grudznick 2013.12.08

    No sir. I'm calling Mr. Nelson the least effective in the legislatures.

    If you don't follow my reasoning let me summarize it for you. Mr. Nelson is the least effective in the legislatures. Scorecards prove it.

  12. Disgusted Dakotan 2013.12.08

    Is it the idiot that is the fool, or the fool who argues with the idiot?

    Despite your dedicated efforts to appear the buffoon, there is an underlying underpinning of dishonest statements that show your guile to be calculated and with ulterior purpose. It makes your efforts that much more insidious.

  13. grudznick 2013.12.08

    Mr. DD are you telling me that you are a fool or an idiot? I am confused and jiggernumbled.

  14. Disgusted Dakotan 2013.12.08

    Mrs. G, If I continued such factually challenging conversations with you? I would be overwhelmingly and redundantly both..

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