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Video Hammers Rounds on EB-5: Why Hasn’t Ravnsborg Run It?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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?


  1. CK 2014.05.22

    I checked the SDNA, and my suspicions were confirmed. The only member of the association that has SD in the name is the South Dakota Mail based in Plankinton. As for college papers, I don't know.

    So this is or is not a Ravnsborg ad?

  2. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.22

    At first I thought it was a Bosworth give 'em heck annette video

  3. Bree S. 2014.05.22

    He's constantly making videos about the plight of Christians in the Middle East, being killed by Muslims etc. Clearly a strong interventionist.

  4. Bree S. 2014.05.22

    Yeah, the style is very similar to a Bosworth video.

  5. Bree S. 2014.05.22

    Oh, tell us all about Chris McDaniel's "extreme position on national security" and how Justin Amash wants to "destroy the National Security Agency" (notice the author doesn't use the acronym "NSA") and how Rand Paul is an "incendiary figure." NeoCons ugh. Oh look, Rubin talks about "groups claiming conservative purity." Where else have I heard someone's constant complaining about "purists."

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.22

    Great, Bree. So what is these fellows' objective? Are they trying to defeat Rounds? Do you have a problem with that? Should Ravnsborg approve and run this ad?

  7. Tim S 2014.05.22

    You definitely didn't just happen across this video by just doing "Some Internet toodling", as this video is UNLISTED. Someone would have had to share the link with you. This video is not authorized for release by the Ravnsborg campaign.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.22

    That's what I said, Tim S: Ravnsborg hasn't released this video. Why on earth not, when it is exactly the sort of shot a serious challenger needs to take at the wealthy but vulnerable frontrunner?

  9. Tim S 2014.05.22

    The Ravnsborg campaign has had several videos created that may, or may not be used during the primary. I don't know if he will use the video or not, but it wouldn't make him any less of a "serious challenger" if he chooses to take the high-road and not run any attack ads.

  10. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.22

    Well thanks for one thing that I gained from this, if nothing else. I finally went to Jason's website and watched the ad about his relevant military service. I noted that at the end of it, he said the typical, "I am Jason Ravenborg, and I approve this message."

    I am still waiting for Cory and or any of the others who attacked Stace Nelson for his 10 to 15 second laughing "gaff" on "100 eyes" yesterday to explain to me how that was similar to Ravansborg's ad. Mr Nelson didn't get a chance to review what he said and approve it and it certainly was not like Jason saying that his was the only relevant experience.

    You want to take down the one guy who has gone after Rounds and his Crony Capitalism and call him on being the liar he is, I guess that is on you, but good luck in defeating him by taking down his harshest critic.

  11. G-Man 2014.05.22

    In SD, it's EB-5. In OR, it's Cover Oregon. I've lived here since 2012 and I've witnessed millions and millions of tax payer dollars wasted on an enrollment system that has been pretty much flushed down the toilet.

  12. Kal Lis 2014.05.22


    1. Cory, PNR and I all did posts about Ravnsborg's comment.

    2. Nelson and anyone engaged in politics should know that the second guy to make the error always gets hit hard.

    3. Nelson should know that he has the image of being a loose cannon who can't keep his mouth shut. Whether that image is accurate or not is immaterial. His comment confirmed the perception that has been created. He should know people are waiting to pounce on the moments such harder than Cory has.

    4. If ever an incident demanded one to practice the Christian virtue of turning the other cheek, it was Ravnsborg's comments. Nelson chose not to exercise that restraint.

    5 Ravnsborg's comments are/were a low blow. Saying that one's experience is relevant because it has a TV program named after it smacks of either hubris or a lack of the virtue of your choice. I'll say Nelson's words and laughter were imprudent.

    6. I'll repeat what I said on my blog. Nelson's target should be Rounds and only Rounds.

    7 I apologize for all typos. Lack of a physical keyboard on a tablet makes my typing skills worse than usual.

  13. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.05.22

    Kai Lis, I don't read your blog, as I barely have time to try to keep up with this one. But I will repeat what I said before. You folks and particularly Cory, are making a mountain out of a molehill on this 10 to 15 seconds on 100 eyes.

    I guess, Stace was starting to look like he might have a chance of beating MMR, so it was time to take him down. If that is what you want, go for it. I have lost respect for anyone who can actually say that Mr Nelson did something as reprehensible as you, all, make it out to be.

  14. G-Man 2014.05.22

    Unfortunately, Rounds is going to win it. I keep posted to Madville Times, but, I just don't think this drama is going to work. My gut-feeling is Rounds already has majority support. I predict Mike will win the Primary and go on to win in the General Election of 2014. As time goes on, my gut-feeling is that most voters don't pay attention to the political details in these blogs and all of the comments come from a very slim, but, vocal bunch like us. But, it won't even register with most voters. They don't pay attention to this stuff. In the end, the GOP will unite behind Rounds and I predict he will win the U.S. Senate Seat from Johnson some where in the 50 percent margins. Weiland will probably win around 36 -38 % of the vote, which will not be enough by far. Sorry, but, I just don't see this drama leading to anything that some wish it will.

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