Press "Enter" to skip to content

Daugaard Agrees: GOED Scandal Serious, Requires Public Knowledge, Policy Reform

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.


  1. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.01.12

    Yes but at the same time, according to the Front page headline story in the Argus Leader, his main goal for the legislature is Focus on the State's workforce. It is still not the job of government to educate the workforce per se. It is their job to keep the cost of education low, i.e., don't pursue Division 1 status in athletics thus forcing higher tuition rates on the students. Encourage businesses to provide scholarships to the schools and apprenticeships at the technical institutes in order to train the workforce. I repeat, it is not the job of State Government.

  2. Troy 2014.01.12


    I have no commentary because this has been my position from the beginning.

  3. jerry 2014.01.12

    Maybe why Denny agrees with such full throated voracity is because the shredding is complete and the computers gleaned.

  4. Rick 2014.01.12

    What starts on Labor Day and ends Nov. 2 this year?

    You answer: Prime campaigning for the 2014 election. Right?

    That would be wrong. The election ends Nov. 4.

    Saturday’s Associated Press article by Chet Brokaw announces the 125th anniversary of South Dakota statehood will be celebrated in virtually every town in South Dakota from Labor Day to Nov. 2, according to the committee picked by Gov. Dennis Daugaard. According to the AP, the “125th anniversary of statehood will include a wagon train that will travel from Yankton to Pierre in September” and “is expected to end with an event in Pierre on Nov. 2.”

    Further: “The commission came up with a report that ranks proposed events and other activities in terms of priority, and recommends the governor do as many as possible after considering the availability of money and volunteers.”

    How convenient. It’s great to be the king. If you were DD’s campaign manager, your job is done. Democrats, Republicans and independents will be working together in every county to put DD at the head of every parade and hosting community events where DD will be the keynote speaker.

    What will news reporters be focused on from Labor Day to the overwhelming huge event crowning our state’s 125-year history on Sunday, Nov. 2? It sure won’t be the governor’s race.

    Game over, Governor. You win. Well played, sir. Don’t worry about the GOED Scam. Stick a fork in it. Nobody’s going to be talking about it after Labor Day.

  5. chris 2014.01.12

    The longer it takes, the more seriouser and thorougher you can be.

  6. Tara Volesky 2014.01.12

    You're right Rick, If you approach 100 people and ask them about the EB-5 scandal, 95% won't even know what you are talking about. Independent Michael Myers and Caitlin Collier is our only chance to clean up the corruption in SD and roll some heads. Lora Hubbel can do some major damage to Daugaard because she will expose him and the Republican regime. She did serve in Pierre and Daugaard campaigned against her and she lost. The Democrats have run great Gubernatorial candidates over the years and they get their usual thirty-some percent. Jesus Christ could run on the Democrat ticket for Gov., and he would lose. A republican will never vote for a Democrat, but they will vote for an Independent. Then you wonder why the Democrat Party is on life support? Like I told the Democrat Party, if you don't run someone for Governor, the Republicans will. Figure it out.

  7. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.01.12

    And Ms Volesky, it also carries over to the US Senate race. There is only one candidate on the Republican ticket, that has shown that he is not owned by the party, or can be corrupted and that is Stace Nelson. I shouldn't make that broad of a statement, because I know nothing of Ravensburg. There is enough evidence in the past on the other three however to assure us that if they get to DC, it will be same old, same old. The only way that we will ever change the culture is when we vote for our State and Country first and not for our party.

  8. Tara Volesky 2014.01.12

    You are so right Lanny. Stace and Lora are getting hammered by their party because they won't be part of the cover-up and the good ole boy system. This corruption scandal we have in SD should not be decided by voting a D or R, we need to elect the people who will change the culture of corruption in SD. Don't be fooled by a party, vote your conscience not your label.

  9. mike from iowa 2014.01.12

    "They make mistakes,and sometimes,they act intentionally to benefit themselves,against the public interest." Lordie,you can say that in lights. Not exactly a mea culpa,not exactly a confession. More like a half-hearted plea for understanding that crooks will be crooks,imho.

  10. jerry 2014.01.12

    @Rick, Denny is just following the same path that the Egg Roll did with the Vietnam Veterans memorial in Pierre at about the same time of the year. This always is smart politics. The only thing that may put the hurt on all of this is Johnson's report on the EB-5 story. Ole Denny may be leading the parade with a perp walk, along side his old side kick, now that would be funny politics.

  11. chris 2014.01.12

    Daugaard would make a great high school or junior high school principal.

  12. Rick 2014.01.12

    Damn lucky. The people around him are smart, jerry, and they're not going to allow a scandal penetrate the inner circle of Pierre's power clic. What we're going to see is a lot tap dancing, window dressing and distractions to let them slide by another election. Hell, Daugaard is even going to attempt re-enacting the Reconciliation ceremonial efforts that Gov. George S. Mickelson did as part of the 125th anniversary stuff. He won't have to spend a dime, and that's smart and shrewd of his inner circle to do that.

    It's no accident they're holding all of this from Labor Day weekend until two days before the election.

    Tara, I get your point. Yours is the calling song of every third party candidate that's ever been on the ballot since 1901. Also, the only people who say they vote for the person on the ballot and not their party -- and mean it -- are Democrats and independents. Republicans always vote Republican and reward their friends and punish their enemies, and that's why they have had a lock on the State Capitol since Harvey Wollman turned off the lights and headed back to Hitchcock.

    Elections are about addition. Causing independent, non-party types to organize behind anything is like plowing the ocean in this state. Unlike a few other states, South Dakota has had no culture of third party victories since the non-partisan era of William Jennings Bryan. Let's be real here, and with all due respect to you and your candidates, who are bright and wonderful people, splitting up the anti-GOP vote in a South Dakota statehouse race makes victory exponentially and impossibly harder.

  13. Steve Bulle 2014.01.12

    Tara Volesky,

    Both of your posts are right on! To anyone who doubts that 95% of folks won't know what you are talking about if you ask them about the EB-5 scandal, I'd say conduct your own poll. I have, and the percentage may be even higher than that.

    The number of voters (that's the scary part) in SD who never take the time to get informed or involved in the real issues of governance, but base their voting decisions solely on feel good ads, orchestrated sound bites by politicians, and propaganda that doesn't stand the smell test, is astounding.

    Sadly, the apathy of the vast majority of voters is what prevents the election of folks who would work to change the culture of corruption in South Dakota. Sure wish someone could figure out a way to change that reality.

    By the way, Denny is nothing but a Mikey in sheep's clothing. He's just a little better at hiding his baggage, and he has surrounded himself with some pretty slick operatives.

    One can only hope that whatever reports are released between now and November serve to blow the lid off the entire EB-5 scandal and exposes those with the dirty hands.

  14. Roger Cornelius 2014.01.12

    When you make a mistake once, it can be a mistake. When you make the same mistake twice or more, it is called a decision.
    The whole GOED/EB5 scandal appears to be one of continued criminal actions.
    Daugaard has offered very little, it is a safe press release that is typical of a cover up, "somebody did a no-no and I'll get to the bottom of it". In the meantime Daugaard is looking intently at who to blame.

  15. tara volesky 2014.01.12

    Rick and Roger and all the above are correct. You are all politically astute. The only way we can un-seat Daugaard is to team up. I know most of you think that Lora Hubbel is crazy, and so did I. I was very tough on her with emails, and phone calls, but I change my mind when she told me her friends told her she should be a Democrat because she cares about people. I really believe she does because who in there right mind would go up against the corrupt republican establishment and run against an incumbent?

  16. Sid 2014.01.12

    Bottom line is that Jackley and Daugaard have been lying since they were approached in 2011 about the problems with this program. Jackley in particular refused to allow the information to be given to him claiming he was booked for a full six months and had no time to spare. So, the only conclusion which is reasonable is that Jackley has been receiving some sort of compensation for burying this.
    Of course, Jackley only got his US Atty. position because he was agreeable to prosecute political cases without regard to whether or not the law was really violated. So what can one expect?

  17. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.01.12

    If 95% of the public have no idea what EB-5 is about, then Lora Hubbel, Joe Lowe, and Mike Myers all three need to talk about EB-5 at every campaign event. They need to print off my articles and Bob Mercer's on the topic and hand them out to people at campaign events. They need to do the first job of candidates, which is to educate, lead conversations, get voters thinking and talking. Which candidate can do that?

  18. Roger Cornelius 2014.01.12

    Cory is right.

    I'll vote for the Independent or Democratic candidate that makes to most noise about the GOED/EB-5 scandal.

  19. Tara Volesky 2014.01.13

    You can bet, there is going to be a lot of noise on the Myers/Collier ticket. This team will not hold back. The mainstream media is going to be very uncomfortable because they have millions locked up in advertising for Rounds and Daugaard. Hopefully the voters are paying attention. This will definitely be a game changer. It's up to the Sheeple....oops I mean People.

Comments are closed.