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Tidemann: Legislature Pretty Much Done Probing GOED/EB-5

Sen. Larry Tidemann (R-7/Brookings): "Nothing to see here..."
Sen. Larry Tidemann (R-7/Brookings): "Nothing to see here..."

Senator Larry Tidemann (R-7/Brookings) says the Government Operations and Audit Committee's probe of financial misconduct in the Governor's Office of Economic Develoment and the EB-5 visa investment program are pretty much over.

Over? I didn't even notice that they'd begun.

Michael Larson describes Tidemann and GOAC as rookie cops telling us there's nothing to see here. Rep. Kathy Tyler (D-4/Big Stone City) reminds us there's plenty to see, like...

That's not an exhaustive list of topics related to the Governor's Office of Economic Development and the EB-5 program that legislators of good conscience thought they were directing Chairman Tidemann and GOAC to address. But it's a good starting list of the symptoms of the culture of corruption in Pierre. Chairman Tidemann and his Republican colleagues have ignored this list of symptoms, put their stethoscope to GOED's big toe, declared the patient healthy, and gone golfing.


  1. Bill Dithmer 2014.07.30

    I'm just going to come right out and say it.

    I told you so!

    The Blindman

  2. Loren 2014.07.30

    So predictable! :-(

  3. mike from iowa 2014.07.30

    I'll bet that was the most exhaustive three minutes in political history. What's the Latin words for we didn't look,we didn't see,we gave up?

  4. bearcreekbat 2014.07.30

    Today's RC Journal described some pretty disrespectful treatment of Rep. Wismer, as the lone Dem attending the hearing. If the Journal's reports are accurate, which many times they are not, it seems to me that our state has reached another low with our one party bullying.

  5. bearcreekbat 2014.07.30

    Cory, my apologies. I posted my above comment before reviewing the multiple threads you posted addressing the treatment of Rep. Wismer. That said, it still seems to be another low point for state Repubs.

  6. 96 Tears 2014.07.30

    Vladdy Putin would be proud of these guys!

  7. Roger Cornelius 2014.07.30

    I'l be direct!

    How much money did Rounds, Daugaard, Bollen, and other profiteers of GOED/EB-5 pay Tidemann and other Republicans on GOAC to shut this hearing down?

    This is how corruption works, you have the scandal of NBP, and the next steps are paying hush money to people to keep quiet and not investigate.

  8. MJL 2014.07.30

    Roger, I don't think he was paid anything. I think he just doesn't want to do the hard work. Who is running against Tidemann? Is it Vanduch (sp?)? This should be his campaign issue. He will fight for all of Brookings and South Dakota and role up his sleeve to do the hard work that Tidemann refuses to do.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.30

    No sweat, BCB—there's a lot to read!

    Steve, I don't think this is a standard-template liberal/conservative story. Does anything on that scorecard correlate to vocal support or opposition on EB-5 or facilitation of the corruption?

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.30

    Vanduch is running against Tidemann.

    I agree with MJL, Roger: nobody had to pay Tidemann to stifle the investigation. It's more plausible that the SDGOP is reading from a script that most players have agreed serves their common interest.

  11. Big Daddy 2014.07.30

    I am a sincere right-wing nutcase conservative, but the Republican establishment in this state makes me sick. I probably disagree politically with a lot of people on this sight, but I'd rather have someone I disagree with and respect than the snakes that say they represent Republicans in South Dakota and just do whatever they want whenever they want.

  12. Lynn 2014.07.30

    Hey Big Daddy,

    Welcome! I was previously a registered as a Democrat but switched to Republican to vote for Stace Nelson in the primary. I may not agreed with Stace on many issues but I had a great deal of respect for him for challenging his own party and trust him. He stuck his neck out there and the establishment cronies definitely targeted him for character assassination.

  13. Steve Sibson 2014.07.31

    "I don't think this is a standard-template liberal/conservative story."

    Looks like Big Daddy and Lynn made statements that does not support that premise. If we are going to only focus our attention on the EB-5 component of the system of legal corruption, then we will not fix the source of the problem. Second, conservatives have been given a black eye due to policy positions taken by RINOs. It is time people come top understand that the mess created today is one that has been created by collectivists in both parties. They came together a couple of years ago and passed Cory Brown's economic development legislation. The conservatives have the solution, Democrats have contributed to creating the system of legal corruption. And Democrats did not support the effort to destroy that system in 2008 with ballot initiative 10. Both examples (Brown's legislation & the failure of IM10) I give happened because the Democrats were fooled by the education special interests. Once you guys understand that the education special interests don't care about teacher pay, but teacher control, perhaps we can find the right solution to this problem, pun intended.

  14. Lora Hubbel 2014.08.25

    The more I think about it, Jonathan Ellis (ArgusLeader) must be on the secret list for the Governor's Hunt and really wants to go again. Let's see what Jonathan is purposely ignoring: Jim Johannneson found Benda's body. He states that Benda looked like he had a heart blood (WHAT!!!??) and that the shotgun (you know the guns that shoot shot and not bullets) was up against a tree (that always how a shotgun lands when barely held up against a tree, right Jonathan?)
    But it wasn't until Benda was rolled over that Jim saw the BULLET HOLE (are you kidding me, a shot gun doesn't leave a "bullet hole" and one would expect a LOT of blood). Then Jim doesn't seems to like taking to the reporter and says, "Whats the big deal... I thought he had a heart attack but the police said it was just a hunting accident.." ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? His brother, Ray Johanneson says that Jim thought it was a heart attack, no blood or anything, but added "when he turned him over he saw the "bullet hole" "
    So let me be conspiratorial will be the very first conspiracy in SD because Jonathan knows all conspiracies stop when they reach SD borders:
    Jim Johanneson finds his brother in law, Benda, dead which he thought was heart attack because there was no blood. He doesn't role him over to view the "bullet hole" (his brother had to say that to make the hunting accident lie stick). Jim calls the authorities (and the US MARSHALL investigates??? they investigate fugitives!) and they DO think this is a big deal. They tell Jim to go home and they will tell him what to think and say about this death as soon as they investigate. They call him back and tell him Jim committed suicide and its really important they stick with the talking points and don't talk any more to the media.
    Then a reporter comes and takes pictures and we notice...THERE IS NO CRIME SCENE CAUTION TAPE! Im saying maybe Benda was NOT killed at the abandoned farm house...maybe he was dumped there and his pool of blood is at some other location.
    How's that, Jonathan, do I earn your coveted Tin Hat award...or are you going to do some substantial reporting on this? You may lose your ticket to the Governor's Hunt and you may get your hands dirty, but you will have earned the name "Journalist".

  15. Bill Dithmer 2014.08.25

    Lora Hubble, the evidence you seek, like Elvis, has long since left the building.

    The Blindman

  16. mike fro iowa 2014.08.25

    One correction,Ms Hubbel. Shotguns do shoot bullets,ie slugs or sabots, which could have been the cause of a bullet wound to the cadaver,but are not used to hunt pheasants,at least not legally. They are also designed to smash and penetrate with unbelievable force to penetrate and break large bones. Atclose range there is little chance of their not blowing clear through a puny human body and scattering blood everywhere. So the notion that a human would gut shoot his self with a shotgun doesn't hold up either way,imho.

  17. lesliengland 2014.08.25

    you effing people know a little about guns, a little about CSI, but I assure u u know nothing about real world suicide, or perhaps war or politics, crime or lawyers. a suicide will occur by whatever means is available at that moment. it is a deep and complex brain function that is little understood, like alcohol, drugs and lots of other things that simple answers do not serve. give up the late-night conspiracy theory b.s. because you are in a hurry. what u are accomplishing is leaving a grieving family with trauma upon trauma they will be lucky themselves to survive.

    perhaps jackley and daugaard and rounds are sinister co-murderers for political purposes. I doubt it. they are certainly bungling their explanations of what happened on their watch. just glad the democrats weren't callous enough to pull what Meyers just did with props. he is either too old to know the damage he has caused or not old enough, despite his resume. if u are not a criminal investigator, STFU ( recent federal court justice terminology)

  18. Bill Fleming 2014.08.25

    I agree. The whole rehashing of the suicide thing turns my stomach. Let's please have some simple human decency and respect for Benda and his grieving family.

    The problem with obsessively looking for monsters is that often as not, we become what we hate.

    Hubble... Myers, please. Please. Give it a rest.

  19. mike fro iowa 2014.08.25

    If it was a suicide. ???????

  20. Bill Fleming 2014.08.25

    Mike, my observation goes even double if it wasn't, doesn't it? What benefit is it to Benda's family for us to keep publicly and amateurishly raking through the coals of their family's tragedy?

  21. Bill Dithmer 2014.08.25

    lesliengland, that is pure bullcrap and you know it.

    The friends and relatives of someone who commits suicide are traumatized by the death of that person and the stigma of the suicide, not the reasons that suicide happened. And yes I've been there, not my family but two good friends. To a person, everyone wanted to know why it happened.

    I'm just curious here, who wouldn't want to know why their friend, dad, or x committed suicide? And why wouldn't they want to know? I can see not wanting to look at the pictures at the scene, but not finding a reason for the action leaves a hole in the story that couldn't be found on the autopsy table.

    I have never seen a case where the wishes of an x wife meant squat. Wasn't that chain cut during the divorce?

    You talk as though this should only matter to the family. When the man was a public figure, had ties to the biggest financial screwing ever in SD, and had access to vast amounts of taxpayer money, why?

    Does a families right to secrecy outweigh the publics need to know even when that public has more of a vested interest then normal?

    You say yes, and I'm saying no.

    The Blindman

  22. mike fro iowa 2014.08.25

    Bill,if crimes were committed,Benda's family feelings or concerns are irrelevant in the pursuit of the facts and quite frankly,officials of SD gubmint don't instill confidence in their ability to find facts.

  23. Bill Fleming 2014.08.25

    Mike and Bill D. I hear you. What I'm talking about is the idle speculation, gossip mongering, and especially the street corner faux reenactments by people who admittedly have no hard evidence to back up their specious sensationalist claims.

    Proper scientific investigation, yes of course.

    But turning a family tragedy into a public 3-ring circus complete with clowns in clown cars? Not just no, but hell no, imo.

    If there really is something there, the absolute worst way to find out is to have a bunch of goofballs shooting their uninformed mouths off about it just to draw attention to themselves for political purposes.

    I think you guys know who I'm talking about.

    I'm not willing to give them any more name ID than is absolutely necessary.

  24. mike fro iowa 2014.08.25

    My apologies,Bill. I may have misunderstood who you were talking about. :)

  25. Bill Fleming 2014.08.25

    No problem Mike. Perhaps I could have been more clear from the start.

  26. Bill Dithmer 2014.08.25


    The Blindman

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