Last updated on 2014.09.30
Some Internet toodling brings me to this video hammering Mike Rounds for his involvement in the EB-5 scandal:
Here's my transcript of the voiceover:
Mike Rounds, career politician, the kind of politician that Washington, D.C., is already full of. Mike Rounds made a mess here in South Dakota, wasting millions of your tax dollars on a government giveaway to his foreign cronies. Is that the "common sense" Mike Rounds would bring to Washington, D.C.?
At that point, this video could be a Rick Weiland ad. Heck, Rick could even leave in the Harry Reid bobblehead, if Harry Reid continues to be a poopyhead about South Dakota's best hope for helping Dems keep their Senate majority.
Not conservative. South Dakota needs a real conservative in Washington—
O.K., so it could be a Gordon Howie ad in the general...
—like Jason Ravnsborg, not more of the same with Mike Rounds.
...or a Jason Ravnsborg ad right now.
Now first, let's quibble:
- The headline montage centers on what looks like a news paper clipping leading with "Rounds' EB-5 Disaster" dated Monday, April 21, 2014. To the best of my knowledge, no such newspaper article was published on April 21, 2014. There is no South Dakota newspaper I know of whose masthead beings with South Dakota (nope, not even the SDSU Collegian). The text visible in the article at 0:07 comes directly from the latter portion of Greg Belfrage's KELO-AM Daily Dose blog post of April 21.
- I'm not convinced that Rounds's EB-5 program was a "government giveaway to his foreign cronies." The foreigners involved didn't get a giveaway; they had to pay $500,000 for their green cards, plus another $45K or so in fees to Rounds's domestic cronies processing the EB-5 apps through the secretive SDRC Inc. (unless the videomakers are counting Joop Bollen as a foreigner, or unless they have some new info about whoever profited from NBP's crazy offshore financing deals).
- The $80,000,000 flashed on the screen as the price tag of EB-5 is wrong. Dirk Lammers found that the state lost $4.3 million in taxpayer dollars on the EB-5-backed Northern Beef Packers fiasco. Joe O'Sullivan finds that NBP burned up $95 million in EB-5 capital and $167 million overall. We've covered this on my blog, and the presence of my July 19, 2013, headline in the video montage shows that the videomakers pay attention to this blog. Keep those numbers straight, fellas!
But beyond the facts of the text, consider that this campaign ad does not appear on Jason Ravnsborg's website, at least not as of this moment. Ravnsborg still displays his potshot at Stace Nelson's military service. He's mentioned Rounds's EB-5 scandal before, but so far, he hasn't stamped his name across this video and run it on his own channels. The video was uploaded to the YouTube account of Lee Stranahan on May 4, two and a half weeks ago, four days before Ravnsborg uploaded his "relevant military experience" ad and three other clips (travel, IRS, and funny name). Does Ravnsborg not know the EB-5 video exists? Or is Ravnsborg choosing not to upset the frontrunner... when, as The Displaced Plainsman makes clear, upsetting the frontrunner is all that any serious primary contender should be doing?
And if Ravnsborg won't run it, will Stranahan mind if Weiland, Howie, or Nelson borrows it and puts it to work to beat Rounds?