I'm looking for the air quotes around "Brilliant":
Yes, Rep. Susan Wismer can claim victory. But Sen. Larry Tidemann played it smart today.... He declared today that he’s inviting Bollen to testify at GOAC’s next meeting scheduled for Sept. 24. Republicans took some tough hits on editorial pages for their treatment of Wismer, so the Tidemann decision today takes some of the steam out of the Democrats’ complaints claiming an EB-5 cover-up by Republicans.
...But here’s the smartest piece of Tidemann’s move. He’s essentially run an entire month off the calendar.... That takes Republicans four weeks deeper into their election campaigns [Bob Mercer, "The Persistence of Rep. Wismer and the Brilliant Move by Sen. Tidemann," Pure Pierre Politics, 2014.08.22].
I'm not sure what's so Republicanly brilliant about giving in to Democrats with a complete reversal. Last month Republicans didn't think Bollen was worth discussing. Tidemann maintained that the Government Operations and Audit Committee that he chairs had no authority and no need to ask Bollen questions.
If Senator Tidemann were "brilliant," he wouldn't have obstructed Rep. Wismer's Bollen-subpoena motion. He wouldn't have provoked statewide editorial outrage at the Republican cover-up. He wouldn't have set the stage for KELO to finally pick up my story from eight months ago showing that when the state privatized its EB-5 program, it put Bollen on commission and lowered his official salary below the legal threshold that allowed the state to issue a no-bid contract (now that contract was "brilliant"). A brilliant Tidemann would not have set the stage for Mike Rounds to get his glass EB-5 jaw hammered and Daugaard to get caught without a bucket by a Susan Wismer on fire at the Dakotafest debates. A brilliant Tidemann would not have provoked Democrats to retain formidable attorney Patrick Duffy to dig into the EB-5 documents and identify legal missteps (and Duffy won't sit silently twiddling his thumbs until September 24).
"Brilliant" (not to mention sensible, logical, responsible, practical...) would have been dragging Joop Bollen's butt before GOAC at its very first EB-5/GOED hearing on March 7 and demanding answers for the people of South Dakota. "Brilliant" would have been taking the EB-5 issue away from Dems before the primary.
"Brilliant" is the full-court press Democrats put on this week to force the SDGOP into a bad position.
Tidemann didn't shine yesterday; he surrendered... to Democrats. He scheduled a media spectacle in the heat of the campaign season. The least damaging outcome of Tidemann's delay is the GOP trotting out an arrogant and secretive foreigner as their Oliver North to declare EB-5 "a neat idea." The middle damage comes when Bollen either pleads the Fifth or declines to appear. The most damaging is Bollen smells the GOP throwing him on the fall-guy pile with Richard Benda and starts talking.
Democrats have known all along that Republicans would try to run out the clock on the EB-5 scandal to protect their candidates. But we have pressed anyway for answers, and now we may get them. Brilliant!
Laugh Line of the Week:
Craig Lawrence, the chairman of the South Dakota Republican Party, said Democratic calls for more investigation are fruitless.
"This is probably one of the most investigated matters in the history of South Dakota," Lawrence said. "Through all this, there's no smoking gun" [David Montgomery, "GOAC to Ask Bollen to Testify Despite Refusing Subpoena," that Sioux Falls paper, 2014.08.22].