Last updated on 2014.03.07
Governor Dennis Daugaard affirms what I've been telling you since October and what some of his allies have been striving mightily to deny—the investigation of the Governor's Office of Economic Development and South Dakota's EB-5 program has serious policy implications:
All of these audits and reviews are expected to be completed by the end of January and will be shared with the Legislature and the public. When the results are known, I will work closely with legislators to decide how the state should respond to the results, and to determine if further reviews are warranted.
This is a serious matter and it deserves serious attention from state officials. It is important to be thorough and comprehensive, even if doing so takes more time. My goals moving forward are three-fold: to continue to aid in the federal investigation, to recover misappropriated state funds, if possible, and to use these extensive audits and reviews to find ways to improve our processes.
Human beings are imperfect. They make mistakes, and sometimes, they act intentionally to benefit themselves, against the public interest. Although we can’t always control individual behaviors, we must do all we can to protect the public interest, through policies and processes designed to foresee, detect and prevent mistakes and intentional wrongdoing. Nothing less is acceptable [emphasis mine; Gov. Dennis Daugaard, press release, 2014.01.10].
Mr. Powers posts this press release (like so many others) without commentary... because the only commentary he could make that would be consistent with his paltry body of text on the GOED investigations would be to accuse Governor Daugaard of hyping this story for political gain.
I have no doubt the Governor has an eye on the potential political gain, or at least minimization of political loss, to be had in his handling of the GOED/EB-5/Benda/NBP story. His statement above shows he recognizes that the best path for him and for state government involves acknowledging the seriousness of this scandal, telling the public what the investigations uncover, trying to get our money back, and (the angle that's least juicy but most important) reforming state government to make sure whatever went wrong doesn't go wrong again.