Press "Enter" to skip to content

Weiland Airs “Auction” Ad, Showing Rounds Selling Citizenship and Senate Seat

Expect more whining from Mike Rounds, as Democrat Rick Weiland lands another haymaker on the Republican candidate's glass jaw:

When Mike Rounds ran the EB-5 program, U.S residency cards were for sale to the highest bidders, putting millions into the pockets of the Governor's hired cronies while South Dakota taxpayers took a massive hit.

Rick Weiland believes citizenship shouldn't be for sale, and neither should a seat in the U.S. Senate [People for Weiland campaign ad, released 2014.09.04].

The Weiland campaign supplements this ad with the following documentation, shipped to the press this a.m.:

Rick Weiland opposes selling U.S. residency cards, and a pathway to citizenship, for a half a million dollars to foreign millionaires and billionaires. He believes it is fundamentally wrong and goes against everything we stand for as a state and a country. Weiland has called for the elimination of the EB-5 program. Mike Rounds remains a steadfast supporter of the EB-5 program:

Rounds Defends EB-5 Program (Rapid City Journal; January 16, 2014):

Former Gov. Mike Rounds offered an enthusiastic defense Wednesday of the state's now-shuttered immigrant investor program known as EB-5.

"Personally, I hope they continue the EB-5 program," Rounds, 59, said. "Because it's one more tool available. We don't exactly have a lot of capital in South Dakota."

“When it is all said and done EB-5 has been good for South Dakota and I hope we continue to utilize it in the future.” – Mike Rounds, South Dakota Newspaper Association GOP Senate Debate, Pierre, SD April 12, 2014

Rounds Lone Candidate Supporting EB-5 Program (AP; July 5, 2014): Former Gov. Mike Rounds stands alone among the four candidates for U.S. Senate in South Dakota in his support of the state's troubled EB-5 immigrant investor visa program.

SDRC Inc. For-Profit Business: One of issues raised by everyone’s unwillingness to answer questions under oath is how much money the private SDRC, Inc. made from its visa for sale program. The South Dakota media has suggested it amounted to millions of dollars a year in commissions and on-going fees:

EB-5: Investment Recruiter Took Cut of EB-5 Money (Argus Leader; August 1, 2014): “SDRC Inc. wasn't paid any money by the state in its contract to run South Dakota's EB-5 program. But it did get a cut of every investment, a cut big enough to add up to millions of dollars per year.”

Copy of the State of South Dakota’s contract with SDRC, Inc.

Taxpayer Money Lost: Mike Rounds also continues to maintain that the state didn’t lose any taxpayer money on EB-5. However, the state’s media has clearly documented how taxpayer money has been lost:

South Dakota’s Help for Northern Beef was about $4.3 Million (Associated Press; April 17, 2014): Figures from the South Dakota governor's office show that about $3.5 million in state Future Fund Grants supported the Northern Beef Packers project. The Aberdeen plant also received nearly $845,000 in state construction-tax refunds, according to the South Dakota Department of Revenue [People for Weiland, "Auction" ad documentation packet, 2014.09.04].

Go ahead, Mike. Keep skipping debates. Keep avoiding questions. The words and actions you've put on the record are already enough to make clear to voters that you view public office as just another business venture, with the benefits of citizenship and elected office going to the highest bidder.


  1. 96 Tears 2014.09.04

    Chicken Mike Rounds lost his nerve again and failed to show up to the East River Electric Cooperative candidates forum. This time-honored forum is a lay up for any candidate and if you took a look around the room, you'd see more Republicans than Democrats.

    If Chicken Mike was the incumbent with an easy win in November, some people might dismiss this insult to the East River cooperative and its very large membership. But the incumbent is Sen. Tim Johnson, who served his state honorably and admirably. It is an open seat. Chicken Mike is on the ballot with three other non-incumbents. He doesn't owe showing up and earning our vote to Tim Johnson's legacy, but to the people of South Dakota who are selecting a new U.S. Senator.

    Chicken Mike doesn't get it and doesn't care. He's buying this seat. He expects you and me to shut the hell up and get out of his way.

  2. Troy 2014.09.04

    I hope Weiland spends every last dollar running this ad. It will be very effective.

  3. larry kurtz 2014.09.04

    I hope Tike Mike Rounds spends every last dollar then goes to jail.

  4. Bill Fleming 2014.09.04

    Do you think EB-5 is a good program, Troy?

  5. Jenny 2014.09.04

    The Golden Boy thinks EB5 has been good for SD?? Ask the 200 Northern Beef Plant workers that.

  6. Troy 2014.09.04


    I think the intent of the program is good. I think it was also doomed to fail because its administration was in the Customs Bureau (part of Homeland Security) and not the Commerce Department. Seriously, what does HS/CB know about raising capital for business. I also think think it should have oversight by the SEC. This failure is the source of much of the abuse.

    President Obama has said that he intends to move it (I support that) but I have also seen absolutely no action (Don't support the inaction).

  7. Jenny 2014.09.04

    Did the SD press ever interview the 200 NBPers that lost their jobs? Did Golden Boy and Digger (Daugaard) ever acknowledge them?

  8. Bill Fleming 2014.09.04

    Thanks Troy. I get it. So do you see a similar way that poor people can be allowed to work their way into citizenship via their labor (as opposed to their capital)?

  9. Troy 2014.09.04


    First, none of these visa's are related to citizenship. That is a misnomer (intentionally used too often with the term "amnesty") that does not enhance the discussion.

    Second, we have at least four distinct visa's. The EB-5 is just one. We have the temporary worker visa which can lead to a permanent worker visa (labor). We have the student visa which can lead to a work visa. We have the skills visa where the person has skills in short supply in the US.

    In short Bill, I support them all in concept. Execution leaves something to be desired but execution can be fixed.

  10. El Rayo X 2014.09.04

    Exactly how many foreign millionaires and billionaires have US citizenship as a direct result of the EB-5 program?

  11. PNR 2014.09.04

    EB-5 is a federal program, not a state program, so Gov. Rounds never ran it. No state is given jurisdiction over immigration matters like this. The statement, then, that "When Gov. Rounds ran the EB-5 program..." is simply false.

    The EB-5 program does not include an auction element, although it does include a minimum investment. The statement, then, that "...US Residency cards were available to the highest bidder..." is also simply false.

    Which gets at the problem you're having in making this stick. It's not EB-5. It's the Governor's Office for Economic Development - GOED - which used EB-5 (not "ran it") as one component of their effort to attract foreign investors to South Dakota. Nobody paid Mike Rounds for a visa or for residency status.

    That said, it is clear that state funding to and through GOED went awry to the tune of several hundred thousands at least. The late Richard Brenda seems to have ended up with a significant portion of that cash. We hope to find out if Mr. Bollen was involved and to what extent. GOED was run by Gov. Rounds and his appointees.

    By making the issue EB-5, you allow the GOP and Gov. Rounds to deflect your criticism very easily - it's a federal program run by the feds, so Gov. Rounds didn't run it and didn't auction off residency cards - without having to answer for what happened with GOED.

    Tactical error.

  12. Bill Fleming 2014.09.04

    Good to get all this straight, Troy. Seems like we agree ("at least in concept.") Clarification on "citizenship" is paramount. If the term is being used in error, it should be corrected, absolutely.

  13. lesliengland 2014.09.04

    troy-skills in short supply in the u.s.-where would that be exactly? how many non-educated in usa people are we talking about to fill how many such positions. I kno I could look it up, but perhaps you would share? the reason I ask is because jobs are short in usa and it is fairly easy, though expensive, to get educated with skills in short supply.

    pnr-thank you for quality info. i doubt brenden Johnson will make such a tactical error. pretty much a semantics error, though really. that said...what does that mean really?

  14. bearcreekbat 2014.09.04

    I also sense a moral error. The focus seems to be on "those foreigners," which is not substantively different than arguments against helping refugee children from South America because they aren't "Americans."

    I suppose I am naive to think it is morally correct to reject efforts to appeal to tribalism to win an election in SD. Nevertheless, I find it abhorrent to attack other humans based on the accident of where they were born.

  15. larry kurtz 2014.09.04

    It's important to note that Bendagate is the result of a loan scheme that finances the riskiest projects while at least $2.5 trillion languishes in South Dakota banks.

    Mayor Tim Reed of Brookings is next to wonder what will happen to the French cheese factory in his town after all the dairies are exposed as immigrant labor camps.

  16. Troy 2014.09.04

    I could be messed up in my nomenclature but I think it is "H-1B" visas that are for foreigners who have skills in short supply. Examples are engineers, certain science and math degrees, computer programming (basically things that emphasis in STEM at the high school level is designed to mitigate over time).

  17. JeniW 2014.09.04

    Have the people who had money owed to them when the beef plant went into bankruptcy been paid?

  18. larry kurtz 2014.09.04

    Cheap housing for immigrant workers is making Elkton a predominantly Spanish-speaking community.

  19. lesliengland 2014.09.04

    oh troy, Obama has been pretty busy since the bush ect. inaction, mis-action ect.

  20. mike from iowa 2014.09.04

    Green cards,ie permanent residency is a necessary step towards becoming a US citizen.

  21. mike from iowa 2014.09.04

    BTW same sex spuses are now allowed to apply for green cards.

  22. lesliengland 2014.09.04

    bat-don't see it yet acknowledge white priv. but rick is talking about rounds and daugaard inviting foreign capital into sd from privileged foreign residents, carrot/stick...not by virtue of their place of birth. then our republican gov., lt. gov. used the program as a reward for political supporters. sibby would have a name for them sd citizens in the republican boys club.

  23. mike from iowa 2014.09.04

    As far as EB-5 being a federal program,primary elections for US Senate is federal,too,but administered by the Sec of State Gant when you could get him to do his job and finally investigated by Casper Milque-Jackley,when you could finally get him to do his job. Did the fed hire Bollen and Benda or did the state do that? Seems like the state had a contract with Bollen. How is that possible if he is a federal employee?

  24. larry kurtz 2014.09.04

    What prevents Joop from suing the state for breach of contract after DD pulled the plug?

  25. Troy 2014.09.04


    Good question- the reality Joop will lose all 5th Amendment protection in such a civll suit.

  26. larry kurtz 2014.09.04

    If he's not a US citizen he has no 5th Amendment rights.

  27. Bill Dithmer 2014.09.04

    " What prevents Joop from suing the state for breach of contract after DD pulled the plug?"

    Larry that's simple, he is trying to keep from answering questions and will continue to do that as long as he can. A law suit would open the door to all kinds of things Joop would rather keep quiet.

    I for one would welcome that suit just for that information, but it will never happen.

    The Blindman

  28. larry kurtz 2014.09.04

    Why no grand jury? Why no federal grand jury?

  29. lesliengland 2014.09.04

    we hope brenden Johnson is working along those lines but alas, it may all come out too late, so its up to susan wismer right now. she better read the inch thick info by then.

  30. larry kurtz 2014.09.04

    My bad, bat: i should have looked it up. Curious whether Joop enjoy multiple citizenships: so far can't find out googling.

  31. bearcreekbat 2014.09.04

    larry, no problem, a lot us make the same error. Perhaps it is because of the language of the 14th Amendment's section 1 privileges and immunities clause, which specifically applies only to "citizens." Interestingly, however, other language in section 1 of the 14th amendment covering due process and equal protection rights then uses the term "person" in the same manner as the 5th amendment.



  32. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.04

    Anybody that follows this blog or has a remote understanding of government, knows that EB-5 is a federal program, that being said, since GOED had a very direct involvement with SDRC that makes it a state government issue and therefore since GOED is a responsibility of the governor's office, Rounds and Daugaard are responsible for oversight.
    Additionally, since the state contracted with Bollen's SDRC reinforces the governor responsibility for oversight. By the way, why didn't Daugaard tell us about the cancellation of the SDRC contract until well after he cancelled it?

  33. larry kurtz 2014.09.04

    Interesting: the 14th is contentious among the Sibbites, too. Contrast Justice Breyer's living Constitution and Scalia's dead one.

  34. Bill Fleming 2014.09.04

    This is why we need an objective, easy to understand, step-by-step overview of the EB-5/GOED/SDRC situation in SD

  35. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.04

    About that East River Electric Cooperative debat or candidate forum that Rounds dodged, I did hear that he showed after the debate and had an interview with KELO. Anybody know about this?

    I'm guessing he missed the debate to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony at the newly opened Koch Buy A Republican Store in Sioux Falls.

  36. Bill Fleming 2014.09.04

    Good find, Kurtz. Thanks!

  37. Troy 2014.09.04


    I agree. Just remember it starts with an analysis of the root (Customs) to understand what happened at the fruit (SDRC).

    This is a program designed and promoted by a Congress where Dems had 60% control of both Houses, was set up administratively in the early Clinton administration, and languished with little activity for almost two decades until the spigot was opened with direct instructions from the White House.

    In the end, I am pretty sure there will be some negative determinations regarding my friend Rich and Joop (who I suspect or want to believe is the real bad guy) but these determinations will pale compared to what will reflect on others. I just hope this blog will be as interested in the truth as they appear to be now.

  38. Troy 2014.09.04

    I will be anxious to see the interest in the truth when the dirt starts splashing on some Dems.

    That said, I think Joop will have much to answer for and I look forward to that day.

  39. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.04

    Troy, I've already posted on SD Dem chair Deb Knecht's responsibility for bringing NBP to creaky life. I've included Senator Johnson in my criticism of our Congressional delegation for supporting EB-5. You show me documents of equivalent credence and relevance as the ones I've used to hang Bollen, Benda, and Rounds, documents that show Democrats participated in squeezing the EB-5 program for their personal gain rather than the general welfare, and I will post on them quite mercilessly. You know where to send the documents. Let the dirt splash as it must [p.s., if it's splashing, isn't it mud?].

  40. Bill Fleming 2014.09.04

    Well, Troy, if both parties start getting dirty, I'm thinking Sibby will be just about impossible to live with. ;-)

  41. Bill Fleming 2014.09.04

    Now we're talkin'.
    Good recap, Cory, thanks.
    Nice to have it all in one place.

    Maybe Mr. Waddams and Mr. Powers need to come over here and take a look. Couldn't hurt, right? :-)

  42. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.04

    Troy seems to be on to something here, if Democrats are involved with EB-5 corruption we need to know who they are and before the election.
    Here's hoping can post Troy's soon, the sooner the quicker would be great.

  43. lesliengland 2014.09.04

    troy, are you sure you are not a republican?? i am confused

  44. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.04

    PNR: "Nobody paid Mike Rounds for a visa or for residency status." A lot of money disappeared in EB-5. Some went to offshore bank accounts. Are you sure no one paid Mike Rounds for a visa or residency, directly or indirectly?

    But PNR, you seem to be saying that my/Dems' main problem here is picking the wrong part of the Rube Goldberg device to name the device. Out of GOED/EB-5/SDRC/NBP, we picked EB-5, which more easily allows Rounds and his apologists to dodge the real issue with semantics. Joop Bollen chose SDRC Inc. as a meaningless abbreviation for his private corporation in what seems like a deliberate attempt to confuse the issue. Are we too be blamed for having difficulty naming in just three symbols a scam of this complexity?

    Call the scandal SDRC. Call it GOED. Call it Bendagate, Bollengate, Roundsgate, or just That Really Big Scheme That No One Understands But That Should Not Have Been Happening. Does the name matter?

    Saying, "You call it EB-5, but EB-5 is a federal issue, so you're all wrong" is a complete dodge of the substantive issues in question:

    1. Mike Rounds allowed Joop Bollen and Richard Benda to privatize the state's use of a federal program in their quest for more personal profit.
    2. Mike Rounds supported a program that lets rich foreigners buy their way to the front of the immigration line and dump their money into projects that the local money says aren't safe investments.
    3. Richard Benda killed himself. The official story is that he killed himself because he did bad enough things in doing GOED/EB-5/SDRC/NBP business that he didn't want to live. Did he do bad things? Did anyone else? If so, what did Mike Rounds know about those bad things and when did he know it?

    PNR, you know as well as I that there is no one word, no one tag we can put on this scandal that sufficiently captures the whole thing. Let's not give the GOP excuses to dodge the substantive issues by playing games with whichever one word inevitably bubbles to the top of the headlines to symbolize the whole mess.

  45. Jim Post author | 2014.09.04

    Troy, are you of the opinion the EB-5 program was abused right here in South Dakota? That is not exactly what Rounds and his handlers want you putting out there.

    [comment moved to proper thread by CAH]

  46. Coltar.The.Barbarian 2014.09.05

    I really wish the ad focused on NBP instead of EB-5. I don't find the "citizenship for sale" rhetoric to be persuasive.

    Hundreds of people still have not been paid for their work done at NBP and won't ever see a paycheck because NBP filed for bankruptcy. Interview one of those people. Put them and their family front and center in the ad. While EB-5 was a fedral program overseen by the governor, NBP was championed by Mike Rounds. It was a bunk idea. It didn't work, there's missing money, revolving doors, and its got Rounds' people's fingertips all over it.

    The citizenship for sale line misses the boat on what I see to truly be a scandal.

  47. Coltar.The.Barbarian 2014.09.05

    I fear the "citizenship for sale" rhetoric not only draws attention away from some really damning stuff, but that it devalues the more legitimate objections and causes people to consider those issues less sincerely.

  48. Troy 2014.09.05


    I think that Joop exposed the fundamental flaws in a federal program and the flaws were created at the direct instruction of someone in the White House. I also want to believe Joop duped my friend Rich into a place he never should have gone.

    Cory, I know you want to hold Mike responsible for everything occurs in state government but you don't seem to want to hold Barack responsible for anything. It is really hard to see anything you say or do as anything more than blind and vigorous partisanship. Too bad since your party is wholly incapable of performing its role as opposition. Someone has to do it but it only works if done with both moral and intellectual honesty.

  49. larry kurtz 2014.09.05

    South Dakota has made the governor a unitary executive: anyone believing Rounds knew nothing is delusional.

  50. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.05

    Coltar, is this just a branding issue? Do we just need to call the scandal NBP instead of EB-5?

    Indeed, we could use more talk about the specifics of Northern Beef Packers. We need to hear from the working people who lost paychecks while Richard spent the Benda Bonus on trips to see his girlfriend in the Philippines.

  51. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.05

    Troy, my own sins do not excuse Mike's. We both deserve punishment. Nothing Barack Obama or his minions have done erase the moral or criminal culpability of Richard Benda, Joop Bollen, or Mike Rounds.

  52. Troy 2014.09.05

    You really can't be morally or intellectually honest can you.

  53. larry kurtz 2014.09.05

    Cory is exactly right, Troy. You have the luxury of going into the Confessional and turn over the Etch-A-Sketch as do your compatriots.

    Makes me want to puke.

  54. Jana 2014.09.05

    Troy, I know you want to hold Obama responsible for everything occurs in government but you don't seem to want to hold Mike responsible for anything. It is really hard to see anything you say or do as anything more than blind and vigorous partisanship. Too bad since your party is wholly incapable of performing its role as one party controlled leaders. Someone has to do it but it only works if done with both moral and intellectual honesty.

    I might be coming around to seeing what you are trying to say Troy about being morally and intellectually honest.

  55. mike from iowa 2014.09.05

    Exposed flaws? More like exploited them for personal gain. Bollen was a state employee and at no time did he work for the fed while administering EB-5 for the state. Who was governor and who appointed Bollen? Wasn't Obie. Obie wasn't Potus in 2003-4 when Rounds brought this program into South Dakota. Obie doesn't own the first trillion dollar deficit. Obie didn't get us into 2 unwinnable wars. Obie didn't cause the housing crash. Obie wasn't born in Kenya.

  56. mike from iowa 2014.09.05

    You want answers from Bollen,let's waterboard him. According to wingnuts it is not torture,it gets valuable information and by Bollen's own admission he is a Dutchman,so he is not one of ours. I'll bet he'll talk.

  57. Steve Sibson 2014.09.05

    "Cory, I know you want to hold Mike responsible for everything occurs in state government but you don't seem to want to hold Barack responsible for anything."

    Especially for funding the SDGOP agenda with federal debt. That adds up to more dollars than the EB-5 fiasco. But don't get me wrong, they are both wrong.

  58. Jim 2014.09.05

    Troy, the federal government gives all kinds of money and grants of authority to the states. When the authority or money is then misused at the state level, it is not the Feds fault. Bottom line is that this federal program was administered by, and under the control and direction of the state. You say Joop exposed flaws in the program. Don't you mean Joop's flaws were exposed? Should we be thanking Joop for exposing these flaws? Perhaps Dennis should declare sept 24 Joop Bollen day, and we could have a parade to the GOAC hearing and Joop could receive a special commendation. Afterwards we could all enjoy a picnic featuring sd certified beef...wait, might have to eat turkey legs. Somebody call sveen and Jewett to line up some birds. Joop hasn't exposed anything. He hasn't answered questions, nor has he turned over state records in his possession. If he had his way, none of this would have come to light and he'd still be selling visas. No amount of spin cycles from you, rounds or wadhams is gonna wash the stink off of this one.

  59. Steve Sibson 2014.09.05

    "might have to eat turkey legs"

    Supplied by the Huron Neo-Fascist plant run by socialists and partially funded by communists?

  60. larry kurtz 2014.09.05

    Drive-by sliming, Sib?

  61. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.05

    Flaws, Troy. Really? How simplistic of you.

    How you reduce the NBP and EB-5 criminal activity to flaws is remarkable.

    How's that list of Democratic benefactors of this whole scandal coming along? We are all awaiting confirmation of that allegation. Would also be interested to see you spin this.

  62. Troy 2014.09.05

    If I thought there was any intellectual honesty here, I would spend the effort. My time is better spent elsewhere.

  63. mike from iowa 2014.09.05

    From the mouths of babes...

  64. Bill Fleming 2014.09.05

    Roger, I think I get what Troy meant by "flaws."

    He noted above that EB-5 should have been part of the Commerce Dept, not Customs (Homeland Security) and that there should be SEC oversight (a point Cory touched on also. If it's a bank, it should be regulated like one.)

    I think Troy's point is, it's an easily corruptible program from the git-go. And maybe he's right. And apparently there were Dems who were part of setting it up.

    That doesn't excuse the abusers, of course, and I don't hear Troy trying to do that. He know's there's some local culpability there. But right now, he's just thinking it's Benda and the Joopster.

    Time will tell if he's right about that, right?

  65. Steve Sibson 2014.09.05

    It doesn't matter if the players are Democrat or Republican. The EB-5 program and economic development thru government is a collectivist policy that breeds corruption. Putting Democrats in charge won't change anything other than a slightly different allocation of the monies.

  66. larry kurtz 2014.09.05

    You don't believe in the prosecution/defense model for American politics, Sib? There is a net outflow of Democrats from your chemical toilet, Steve. Rejoice: you and your extremist views have won.

  67. Jim 2014.09.05

    Oh Troy, you'll be back. Please don't go looking for intellectually honesty over at Powers page. You won't find it there.

  68. larry kurtz 2014.09.05

    Wow, Fleming: is reason working on some of the bozos like PNR over at Pat's Privy?

  69. Bill Fleming 2014.09.05

    I know. Pretty cool, huh?

  70. Bill Fleming 2014.09.05

    p.s. Obviously s/he's not a bozo.

  71. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.09.05

    I often get the impression from Troy that he imagines himself 'morally and intellectually' superior to just about all of us here, with the possible exception of Bill. Troy appears to see himself as superior to us, since he believes we are not up to his standards.

    There are certain parameters he has designed and defined for us, without any input from us. Interesting that the fault is always ours, never his. I'm tired of that routine.

    Woe be unto us if we stray!
    With a sniff, Troy walks away.

  72. larry kurtz 2014.09.05

    PNR, a veteran, was trained that the industry that built the grenade you throw into the hole is the one Troy financed.

  73. Lynn 2014.09.05

    Deb I have observed the same regarding his comments. It must be a terrible burden at times knowing that everyone else is intellectually and morally inferior and although in an attempt to be generous with sharing his intellect by commenting here at Madville it must be a tiresome exercise.

    Chief apologist and enabler for the SDGOP

  74. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.09.05

    I doubt we're the only 2 who feel that way, Lynn.

    I often feel that it's too bad there are a few who are quick to turn to personal attacks and/or insinuations. I think we all miss out on some interesting, and perhaps helpful conversations in those instances. I'm very glad that, overall, we have a tolerant, smart, and passionate crew of Madizens.

  75. grudznick 2014.09.05

    Lar knows not to get sideways with me. That didn't work out so well back in the day, init?

    Bill, I hear the gravy will be fresh in the morn!!!

  76. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.05

    Morally and intellectual honesty coming out of the mouth of a South Dakota Republican is a contradiction in terms, or maybe it is a oxymoron or something. What was that Bill said one time about oxymorons and morons?
    Troy's translation of morally and intellectually honestly is, if you don't see it my way, you are inferior.
    Actually Troy can't face challenges to Mike Rounds and Richard Benda's dishonesty, he never will, even when the prison door slams on Rounds.
    There is absolutely no comparison between Madizen's comments on this blog and that Powers to be guy's blog.
    Troy, don't trip on your pouty lips on your over to cry on Pat's shoulder.

  77. Bill Fleming 2014.09.06

    From my perspective, Troy came as close to admitting there are problems with EB-5 in general, and with SD's handling of it in specific as any Republican is likely too. My hunch is, he'd like to know what's in Joop Bollen's files just as much of the rest of us here would. I would expect him to try to protect his candidate and to be critical of ours, but beyond that, I'm guessing he was looking for a more open discussion of the issue so we could all learn how to fix EB-5 (if it's fixable.) And compared to Sibby and Bob Ellis, Troy doesn't even come close to being condescending. But maybe is stings a little more when he does it because we expect more from him. As I suppose he does of us.

  78. Bill Fleming 2014.09.06

    Grudz, seriously. It's time to lay off the gravy. We're turning into lardasses. Try the spinach and bacon omelette with sausage with a little sharp cheddar cheese on it. Them carbs are gonna kill ya brother. Just sayin'.

  79. Lynn 2014.09.06

    Bill It's just a matter of courtesy at times. I have a feeling being face to face in a discussion the outcome would be different. It's just rather annoying to attempt to contribute to a reasonable discussion and not be acknowledged unless I'm worthy.

    There has just been a pattern of subtle arrogance which just breaks down communication since others or I would probably not put in the effort to into backing up points.

    I value discussion with those I may disagree with. One can learn their perspective, appreciate it and bring new information which I was unaware of and possibly change my position. Otherwise how can one grow if all they are surrounded with everyone that agrees with you. Life would be boring!

  80. Bill Fleming 2014.09.06

    I hear that Lynn. I've learned at least as much from people who disagree with me and force me to rethink, reinforce and refine my knowledge and skills as I have from those who agree with me. I had an art history professor way back when who later became one of my dearest friends. One day when he was frustrated by our lack of attention in class, he said "Look people, if you're not going to listen here, don't waste my time. I already know this stuff." Yeah, it was a pompous, self-centered put down, and it hurt. But he was right. My good pal John died recently, but his lessons stuck with me and have served me well. Troy's younger than I am, but when it comes to certain subjects, he pays a lot more attention and knows a lot more stuff than I do. So, at least to me, he's worth listening to, conversing with, and yes, challenging from time to time. Even if he does go upside your head once in a while. That's just how he rolls.

    I don't know very many Lakota words, but one of the best ones I've learned from the people I get to work with sometimes is "yuonihan." (I don't think the keyboard here has the right characters to type it exactly right.) Anyway, the usual translation is "respect." But in listening to the people who know tell me about the real way the word is used, I get the feeling there are elements of trust and hope in the meaning too. Not sure we even have a word like that in English, but we probably should.

  81. Troy 2014.09.06

    There are multiple issues here that too often get blended into one issue with the only intent of the discussion to serve a political electoral purpose.

    NBP's viability and whether or not the state should have encouraged its development/construction/financing.

    Rich's conduct with regard to serving his fiduciary duty to the state (double billing of expenses and potential linkage of grant to pre-paid loan fees which was compensation to himself).

    Joop's administration of SDRC on whether or not it was done legally in accord to federal regulations/law or not. And, if there was anything illegal done, it is under purview of the US Attorney. And, if it was done legally, does this expose inherent flaws in the EB-5 program that should be fixed if it is to continue.

    And, finally, with regard to Governor Rounds, did he have knowledge of anything nefarious (hard to prove but there hasn't even been a hint of knowledge while evidence of it have been concealed from him) so even to make any charge of malfeasance, one would have to proffer a viable motive for being involved in any breach of law (except for double billing, I don't know of a specific law broken) or fiduciary obligation.

    Personally, I think this Democrat passed concept (EB-5) has merit and deserves to be fixed. At the same time, I think it was doomed to failure because of design (not intent) mostly related to being in Customs and not oversight by the SEC. About a year ago, Obama made commentary of fixes (moving to Commerce and SEC regulation) that I think are prudent. I've seen no concrete evidence of movement toward those fixes which disappoint me.

    I would also consider it prudent putting this administratively under SBA (with some input on actually approval of the applicants fitness for a VISA to be remain in Customs/Homeland Security) might be even better than Commerce but need to hear more pros and cons.

    Bill, if I ever got whiff where I believed Rounds was tainted, I'd have been all over supporting another Senate candidate. And, been pointedly critical of everyone I think deserves criticism.

    1) So far, I have indications of things it is likely my friend Rich Benda did but I see no purpose of that discussion.

    2) I've always had serious reservations about the viability of NBP. The fact I happen to be right doesn't make me smart and others dumb because I also know of deals I didn't participate in that were very successful. Investing is fraught with risks and trying to look back with 20/20 is only useful for looking forward. Since I'm in this business and I don't feel competent to criticize bad investment decisions, I'm not sure people who've never done it are more competent.

    3) I have suspicions that SDRC was administratively run "poorly" but what I don't know if it was just poor decisions, nefarious intent but permissible under the law, or if laws were broken.

    Personally because I knew Rich for over 30 years and still have a hard time believing what has occurred, I want to believe there was a "someone" who tempted Rich to a place he normally wouldn't have gone and if there is that someone, I want him to pay dearly.

    Despite everything, I still believe Rich is one of the good guys who may have done something bad.

  82. larry kurtz 2014.09.06

    Well-reasoned and thoughtful, Troy: then Rounds would be happy to turn over to GOAC all his administration's email records for the period in question?

  83. larry kurtz 2014.09.06

    Anyone believing Marty doesn't have access to all the phone calls between the players in Pierre and the ones at SDRC is delusional.

  84. John Tsitrian 2014.09.06

    Yes, Troy, there are multiple issues. However, they have a common thread: they all occurred under the auspices of the Rounds administration, which at best can be called to account for its institutionalized ineptitude.

  85. Troy 2014.09.06


    First, I guess under that standard, in ineptitude of the Obama Administration with regard to Obamacare, HAFA, VA, Solyndra, Arab Spring vs. Middle East meltdown makes Rounds look like Solomon.

    Second, considering the reality the state broke even on NBP (grants lost vs. taxes collected) and a lot of smarter investment professionals lost nearly everything, an investment with only upside is a prudent investment people should make all day long.

    Third, did anything occur at SDRC impermissible under the federal regulations/law since EB-5 is a federal program?

    And, finally, since Rich Benda had a stellar professional record, Rounds hiring of Benda is certainly one that can only be criticized with 20/20 hindsight is almost exclusively related to a breach of fiduciary. If Rounds (or any executive) must be responsible for every subordinate who breeches fiduciary, we would have nobody fit to run anything.

  86. mike from iowa 2014.09.06

    Obama isn't the inept wingnut guv of South Dakota. Maybe it was dumbassdubya's fault,huh?

  87. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.06

    The Middle East has nothing to do with Mike Rounds's incompetence.

    The stellar record of an employee does not excuse privatizing a program and depriving the state of millions in revenue for his personal benefit.

  88. John Tsitrian 2014.09.06

    Yes, Troy, call me old-fashioned, but I believe the buck stops with the exec. A gigantic floppola occurred in Aberdeen during his watch. That's a fact. You and his other apologists can continue to parse away, but I think those of us exercising "South Dakota Common Sense" know where the ultimate responsibility lies.

  89. bearcreekbat 2014.09.06

    Troy, I agree with Cory that it seems intellectually inappropriate to compare Rounds to others that have nothing to do with SD. It seems you are arguing that Rounds has not yet been indicted or convicted so he must be better than Gov's. Perry and McDonald, and Rounds has not opened fire on innocent people yet with a semi-automatic weapon so he is not a serial killer. That seems an awfully weak argument to support ignoring his action and/or inaction on a matter that directly affects South Dakotans.

  90. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.06

    (Of course, if Troy wants to argue that EB-5 is like the M-5 computer, got installed in Captain Rounds's Enterprise, took over and started doing all sorts of bad stuff beyond Rounds's control, well, hey! Let's crank up the phasers and go! This campaign needs more Star Trek!)

  91. Lynn 2014.09.06

    Adding to what has been mentioned above why was there a no bid contract with Bollen? When he removed those records from the campus of NSU without permission wasn't he breaking state law?

  92. John Tsitrian 2014.09.06

    lol, Cory. The simple application of "South Dakota Common Sense" to the EB-5 fiasco is devastating to Rounds and his apologists. I also cringe at the conflation of Rounds' administrative shortcomings with Obama's. Seems to me if Rounds is running against Obama, as he often makes clear, he'd want to contrast their respective administrative efforts, not use Obama's failings as an excuse for his own.

  93. 96 Tears 2014.09.06

    I understand the political motive to shift focus on how EB-5 was created and to shift responsibility to Democrats as the primary component of the Mike Rounds defense. It’s like the John Dillinger defense: “It’s not my fault they kept putting money in those banks; it’s the banks’ fault.”

  94. Bill Fleming 2014.09.06

    At a minimum, from what I can gather via news reports, it seems like all the files Mr. Bollen took without permission when he left the state office should be returned. Seems like they belong to the people of South Dakota and that Gov. Rounds, et al could have demanded their return, no?

    It was already rare for a state to administer an EB-5 program (isn't Vermont the only other state that does it) but we did. So don't records of days when the state was in charge of the program belong on file with state governmment, and not exclusively in Mr. Bollen's possession?

    In other words, how can Bollen legally withhold them when they're not his to begin with? Should't any of us be able to see them? Wasn't the state's EB-5 Program "our" program? At least for a while?

  95. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.06

    Yes, Bill. Yes, Lynn. Yes, 96. Yes, John.

    Using South Dakota common sense, the Governor's Office of Economic Development said, "Let's use EB-5 to promote economic development." Using South Dakota Common Sense™, Mike Rounds said, "Let's privatize our management of EB-5 recruitment, divert millions of dollars from state coffers to my pals' pockets, and promote a doomed beef plant that's already years behind in construction!"

  96. Lynn 2014.09.06

    Do "South Dakota Values" include mysterious investors with all the intentional layers and accounts located in places like the Cayman Islands? Some of those investors in NBP could of been the Russian Mafia as far as we know. Talk about trying to hide things and raising red flags!

  97. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.06

    If you read EB-5 threads and comments on DWC you will see that Troy is carefully following Republican talking points. Their first talking point is to paint EB-5 as a tinfoil hat conspiracy theory.
    The next step is to confuse and complicate EB-5 into a incomprehensible haze that the average voter could not possibly understand it, so therefore it is not true.
    Troy is right in one respect, we don't know for absolute fact what we are alleging is fact and if any criminal activity took place and what Rounds involvement was. Why don't we know? That is the question that moves this conspiracy to a scandal.
    Troy's attempts to discuss EB-5 the flaws of the program and to lay blame for Republicans sticky fingers on Democrats is ludicrous and serve only as a distraction. I'm not seeking answers to the merits or faults of EB-5, I'm looking for answers to the particular failure of GOED-EB-5 and particular to what happened with Northern Beef Packers. Troy has failed to answer any particular aspects of this failure except in generalities.
    Even the Benda "suicide" and investigation, although important, serves as a distraction to why NBP failed and who profited from that failure.

  98. mike from iowa 2014.09.06

    Immigration Act of 1990,which included EB-5-passed the Senate 89-8 with three wingnuts not voting. Nays were split between parties 4 and 4. The House passed the bill 231-192 with 65 Dems and 127 Reps against. Signed into law by George Hitler Weasel Bush in Nov 1990.

  99. Bill Fleming 2014.09.06

    I think Troy's asking people to name one thing that Rounds did that was illegal is setting the bar way too high. This is an election, not a trial.

    The critique of Rounds has to do with whether or not he was paying attention when something went bad with SD's EB-5 program, or worse, if he knew it was funky but chose to turn a blind eye to it.

    It goes to whether or not we can trust the guy to represent our best interest, or will he instead always just be looking out for his pals? Or, perhaps even worse, just be oblivious to what's going on all together?

    It's kind of a pickle for Mr. Rounds, regardless of whether or not he actually did anything "wrong." Maybe it was that he just didn't do anything, period.

  100. Troy 2014.09.06

    Bill, it is not to high since the essence of the charges, including what Weiland claims in his ads, against Rounds was he directly did something nefarious/illegal. See my point below to Mike. I do know a lot of Chinese and Korean investors lost a lot of money in NBP but other investors in the other projects seem to be doing ok so except for the plant failing (which isn't a crime and not something to pin on Rounds in any case), we don't really have any evidence of anything illegal or even funky occurring in the EB-5 program. We do have some smoke of at least funky that points to Joop and Rich, especially because of the missing/unavailalbe records. But, again we go back to the jurisdiction of the federal government/law enforcement because this is a federal program.

    Mike, good information and that goes to my point. Its first flaw as it was administratively set up as an immigration issue (vs. raising capital for economic development). Clinton recognized the flaws when administratively it was made cumbersome to use and was that way until 2010 when Obama decided to ignore the flaws and prime the pump. I still don't know if Joop did anything illegal, he drove trucks through the flaws with ill-intent or he drove the trucks through as designed and intended by Obama. You don't know the answer to that either. In the end, we'll find out if there is any action by federal law enforcement.

    For the record, my above comments are confined to the EB-5 program. I'm not defending or addressing the double billing and grant/loan fee issue as they are separate and are related to a betrayal of a fiduciary obligation of a person who can't defend himself.

    Sidenote: The irony in this is the Dems have made this a pivotal issue in this election. As I don't think either in substance or politically it impacts Rounds, they have hitched their horse to an issue that forestalls any issue/debate which could have done so. It is a symptom of the reality I don't think the Dems have any really smart people advising the party or its candidates.

  101. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.06

    Come on, Troy: there is nothing smarter right now than highlighting Northern Beef Packers, the single best symbol of everything (corporate welfare! cronyism! bad business judgment! lack of oversight! fiscal loss!) that Mike Rounds is about and the main reasons common sense South Dakotans would want to vote for someone else.

  102. 96 Tears 2014.09.06

    One thing the Attorney General, the Governor's Office and the GOP legislative leadership have proved consistently in the Benda/Bollen/EB-5 Scam is you cannot take their word for anything. That goes double for Rounds, who demonstrated a disregard for ethics and transparency when he was governor and a state senator. You're nuts if you think anything approaching justice would occur if it weren't for pressure from a few members of the press, this blog and some noisy Democrats who've been blowing the whistle on corruption in Pierre even before Benda's mysterious death and Jackley's farcical announcement of suicide.

    Yes, there is an election in a couple months. But this thing has been out there since last Oct. 22 and we, the South Dakota public, have been getting a pack of lies and obstructions ever since. This is a campaign issue, and a damned good one, precisely because the unified effort of the SDGOP to stop the truth from coming out.

  103. Troy 2014.09.06


    Now that would be a political argument fitting for the loyal opposition/minority party: should the state advocate, encourage, and incentivize financially value added agriculture processing? You make your arguments and Rounds can defend his action. Let the people decide.

  104. larry kurtz 2014.09.06

    Troy, Rounds is going down and not just because of Bendagate: the national press is swarming over his failed policies: twitter is aflame with it.

  105. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.06

    Are you on SDGOP payroll? You seem to be following the EB-5 talking points they set forth.
    Did former President Clinton or President Obama put their hand in South Dakota GOED/EB-5 cookie jar?
    We all can acknowledge the flaws in EB-5 and have done so, but is it legal to have enormous amounts of money go missing because of those flaws?
    While the Bend double billing and the questionable accounting of that million dollar check can be separated only to a degree, they remain a whole part of the saga.
    Your explanations are often like the Watergate apologist that said the break-in was the only crime committed. That despite a president's resignation, a former attorney general convicted and jailed for obstruction of justice and any number of high ranking government officials that got caught up in stonewalling and cover ups.

  106. Troy 2014.09.07


    I am not on any political payroll. Nice try to impugn what I say and not have to deal with it intellectually.

    Re Clinton and Obama, has anyone accused them of stealing? I haven't.

    What money has gone missing? So far, nobody has claimed any money didn't go to building the plant or operating it. The money was lost in a investment that didn't perform. Nice job asserting theft without any evidence.

    Except for the double billing and pre-paid loan fees, what other breach of fiduciary do you have evidence?

    Nice job on throwing in Watergate to create additional innuendo.

  107. mike from iowa 2014.09.07

    I've seen this argument before. We deny you access to the necessary info to determine if any crimes have been committed then we claim you have no info whether any crimes were committed. See? Nothing to see there. Go away.

  108. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.07

    Asking about your involvement with SDGOP is not an intellectual question, it is a simple question which you answered.
    You have basically blamed Presidents Clinton and Obama for the flaws in EB-5 which helped create this scandal. How were they to know that Mike Rounds and associates would use at as a personal ATM.
    Theft without evidence, now that is the heart of the scandal, Daugaard provided an audit of GOED/EB-5 and Jackley determined that Benda not only double billed the state for travel expenses, but likely diverted a half million dollars to his personal use calling it "prepaid expenses". Daugaard and Jackley both have problems with this and Denny is planning to sue to recover some of the money.
    What other breach of fiduciary evidence do I have? None and that is the question that hasn't been answered.
    I think we all have a good understanding of what happened to the Future Fund give away to the Daugaard's cronies.
    My concentration has always been on the millions lost by investors, sorry Troy, but the bad investment thingy just doesn't fly. Those millions seemed to have been skimmed off the top and that lead NBP to not having necessary operating capital that resulted in its failure.
    Watergate was not meant to be an innuendo, the Watergate scandal and resulting attempts to cover it up is an excellent example of how scandals unfold and become a cancer, it is fair game. I doubt that anyone will be snared for stealing NBP money, but when others start lying, stonewalling and covering up, they fall into the trap.
    People went to jail for Watergate and not just because the break-in, they went to jail for lying to a grand jury and obstruction of justice, other nefarious activities.
    Troy you seem to have some intellectually and moral superiority with your inside knowledge of the EB-5 scandal, perhaps investigators, if there are any, should be interviewing you.

  109. 96 Tears 2014.09.07

    George S. Mickelson had the guts and integrity to raise the state sales tax 25 percent for a year to generate the $40 million REDI Fund, which would be used for 3 percent loans. He took political heat. He kept the fund, its loans and its management transparent to the press and the public. He won the respect and cooperation of people in both parties because he delivered on his promises and remained inclusive.

    Mike Rounds found a much bigger pot of gold with EB-5. He handed it over to Benda and Bollen to manage in a secret private bank they invented. He didn't need a tax to generate the public funds. He eliminated transparency to the public and the press while the money was wasted on the NBP boondoggle in Aberdeen by laundering it through the secret bank. This was clearly Mike Rounds' intention, to launder money to pals and cronies and maintain a window of deniability for himself. I believe that to be true, but how do you prove it?

    Richard Benda is dead. Joop Bollen won't reveal what he doesn't want to (or have to) reveal. Mike Rounds is running for the U.S. Senate, and he won't allow the truth to be revealed, and he's got the cooperation and complicity of his hand-picked Attorney General and his hand-picked successor as Governor to keep the secrets in the vault.

    Back in the day, we had a Governor who respected governance and the people he represented. He valued transparency as a fundamental necessity for honest, productive government. Mike Rounds is a different kind of person: An arrogant, sinister manipulator who thinks government is a cash cow for pals, family and cronies -- as long as you never get caught.

  110. Troy 2014.09.07


    For the nearly year this has been discussed, I've read every document publicly available and assessed it myself vs. relying on others to spin it for me. If ever I saw anything that I thought would either Indicate Rounds had done anything legally or ethically improper or would jeopardize his election, I'd have found another Senate candidate.

    Barring new information, I have reached the following:

    1) Rich breached his fiduciary obligation to his employer (State of South Dakota) by the double billing and not disclosing that effectively a portion of the last grant would go to him personally.

    2) I do not know if the pre-paid fees between NBP and SDRC was a fraudulent transfer or not. It should be noted that pre-paid professional fees are not defacto improper. Lawyers collect retainers, banks can charge origination fees, landlords sometimes require pre-paid rent. I want to stress, if the pre-paid fees were appropriate, Rich still had a fiduciary obligation to disclose this to his employer.

    3) I don't know if SDRC ran the EB-5 program properly under federal regulations, it was run bending regulations with ill-intent, or it was run intentionally outside federal regulations. Neither do you. It is a clear federal jurisdiction issue. I find it wholly ironic, if not hypocritical, that the same people who oppose the states from enforcing federal law regarding illegal immigration seem to think the SD Attorney General should be pursuing a potential breach of federal law/regulations regarding a federal program.

    4) The State of South Dakota invested roughly $4.5mm into this value-added agriculture beef slaughter plant and collected more than that from various taxes. We have a new plant which may re-open under new ownership/management which would generate jobs, greater farm income, and additional tax revenues. Again, I find it ironic that the same people who are lamenting the loss of private equity investment from Chinese/Korean investors are not more incensed by the loss of $500+million of TAXPAYER funds with Solyndra plus another $300mm of future tax revenue via tax loss carry forwards.

    5) Finally, I've seen neither no smoke or fire that any state employee besides Rich knew or should have suspected anything was being done improperly. A few years ago, one of our state's best run banks pursued a former officer for breach of fiduciary and fraud/embezzlement which occurred over several years and was missed by bank management, internal and external auditors and federal regulators. Two points from this: First, if the bank fraud had involved another employee, it would have been discovered sooner and, second, even with the best of controls, a person intent on stealing will succeed for awhile before getting exposed.

    I know you want to believe Rounds was in on this. But wanting something to be true doesn't make it so. In short, if this issue didn't involve the necessity of discussing my friend who died by suicide, as a partisan, I'd welcome this being the primary issue in this election. It shows that on substantive political and policy issues, the Democrats and Weiland/Wismer/Robinson are bankrupt.

    But then again, I guess if I were in your shoes, I wouldn't want to have to defend the Obama record and agenda, explain how Wismer's campaign keeps reinforcing the perception she'd be like the dog that catches the car (now what does she do with it) or highlight the wholesale decimation of the Democrat Party as viable political opposition either.

    Roger, in all sincerity, I fondly remember with great respect when the Democrat Party had as leaders Kneip, McGovern, Dougherty, Wollman, Lars Herseth, Berg, Daschle, Hauffe, et. al. because they actually had the skill and vision to challenge the GOP on issues that meant something to most South Dakotans and not just the hard core partisans. I suppose when the skills are roughly equal, it is possible to allow the issues to be front and center. But, when the skills are unequal, maybe all you got is to impugn and make reckless charges. I just wish it was different.

  111. Bill Fleming 2014.09.07

    Troy, thanks for your analysis. Do you have any insight as to why the state decided to privatize its EB-5 operation?

  112. mike from iowa 2014.09.07

    Keeerist,here we go again. I am incensed that wingnuts got 4500 soldiers killed for nothing,plus wasted trillions of dollars destabilizing the entire Middle East w/o a clue as to how to fix the EB-5 freaking program that idiots in South Dakota mismanaged! I'm mad as hell that Nixon,Ford and Raygun died before they could be impeached for something Obama might have done.

  113. Jana 2014.09.07

    Your honor, I submit that since Troy opened the door to Solyndra that we can now submit the full crony Republican abuse of taxpayer dollars to the jury.

    Can we begin with Haliburton and the fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars perpetrated on the public by former GOP hero, phony war architect, GOP Vice President and war monger the Dick Cheney?

    How about it Troy...can you name any other failures of GOP crony capitalism on a national level that are in the same league as your dreaded Solyandra?

    Let me help you out a little bit here Troy:

    I'm sure there's more...but since Troy is trying soooo hard to deflect attention from Rounds, Daugaard and company we should probably give him some context and perspective since he wants so badly to cherry pick.

    Thanks Troy for the opportunity to display what happened nationally under total Republican rule. Sure worked out well, didn't it?

    I'll let others pick apart the hypocrisy in his other points.

  114. Jana 2014.09.07

    And since Troy opened the door...anyone want to add crony contracts from Daugaard and Rounds to the list for examination?

  115. grudznick 2014.09.07

    Bill, I thought it was often reported that the President of NSC decided Mr. Bollen's little project wasn't really in the mission of his school and told him to take it elsewhere.

    Ms. Jana, yes, we should really dig into all the crony no-bid contracts from Daugaard and Rounds. Give us some places to start.

  116. Jenny 2014.09.07

    Now that you mention it Troy, your Golden Boy does have many similarities to Obama - arrogance, a bit of naïvete, too trusting, and a poor manager of other people's money.

  117. JeniW 2014.09.07

    Grudz Here is a link to the State ending its contract with Canfield Furniture:

    If I recall correctly, the State ended its long term contract with Lewis Drug in favor of doing business with a company in Minnesota.

    I thought the ending of the contracts was in insult to South Dakota. It meant that our taxes were/are being used to support out of state businesses rather than South Dakota businesses.

  118. grudznick 2014.09.07

    It reads to me, Ms. Jeni, that back then in 2005 when I was 9 years younger and eating far more per sitting at breakfast that this Mr. Kinsman fellow acted with integrity and the whole process was very clean. Where is the crony no-bid blather in that decade old process? I am looking for some recent cheese. Something juicy and fresh that we can dig into and find out what Mr. Howie might have signed off on when he was in the legislatures, or what Ms. Wismer might have rubber stamped with her failure to read reports or do her job. Give me some fresher grubnuts to call and rail at the state houses.

  119. Troy 2014.09.07


    Thanks for proving the everything is political. Can't question Obama for anything. In fact, I didn't question him or imply anything improper. Just asked a rhetorical question about why Obama isn't held to task for that bad investment but Rounds is for NBP. $800 million of federal taxpayer dollars vs. no net loss to the South Dakota taxpayers but you guys are outraged over NBP. You are definitely a phony and not very smart. Most on here were smart enough to keep out of the trap. You were as easy as Stace and his minions. LOL


    I have suspicions on why Joop chose to privatize but if I am correct the federal investigation will get to the heart of it. It is wholly plausible there could be a good reason. And, I am not objective enough regarding Joop to speculate out loud.

  120. Jana 2014.09.07

    In another stroke of hypocrisy, Troy...the man who courageously eschews ad hominem attacks for the intellectually lazy says..."You are definitely a phony and not very smart."

    Once again showing the ability of the right to hold two opposing thoughts in their head without recognizing the conflict.

    Troy...please show me where I said Obama. Then show me what deals that Rounds and Daugaard have championed and spent South Dakota taxpayer money on that have lost proportionally as much as Solyndra lost. the champion of lambasting anyone and everyone for ad hominem attacks would go on a public forum and degrade someone with a personal attack calling them a phony and not smart...?

    What a hypocritical dick of the first order!

    Please proceed.

  121. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.07

    I can appreciate your wanting to defend your candidate at all costs, maybe I would to if I were in your shoes. It is often difficult to accept that a friend or family member may have serious chinks in their armor.
    Seriously, do you think that everything Cory, Bob Mercer, and David Montgomery are all wrong in their reporting and conclusions. Bob Mercer had an editorial today on the Benda death investigation, he is still asking some of the same questions as when Benda's death happened. Is he wrong to ask questions and expect answers?
    Troy, you may have read and have had access to more documents and investigative reports than the public has, but does that answer the unanswered questions?
    Every denial, every Rounds spin, only brings about more questions, whether legitimate or not.
    It is not that I want Mike Rounds and his associates to be guilty, it is that I want the same questioned answered that many South Dakotans now have, many of them Republicans.
    How do you explain the no-bid contract with SDRC that was revealed by Cory to have cost the state millions of dollars in revenue. What that just out of goodness of Mike's heart?
    Do you expect Rounds and Daugaard to appear at GOAC hearing on Sept. 24 and put their hand on the Bible and tells us in detail what happened not only with Future Fund grants to NBP but to other businesses that in turned donated his campaign. That action would suggest to a simpleton like me that Future Fund money went directly in Mike Rounds coffers.
    Troy you have blamed Clinton and Obama for Bollen's and Benda's taking advantage of flaws in EB-5, you have brought up Soylndra as if American jurisprudence allows for "well, he robbed the bank, why can't I".
    Just as you can recall great South Dakotan Democrats, I can recall a great South Dakota Governor George Mickelson, he represented the best of the Republican Party. For Democrats he was seen as a man with integrity, honesty, transparency, and truth. What has gone so terribly wrong with the Republican Party of today that represents crony capitalism corruption.
    Mike Rounds may well win the senate race, if he does, he will be taking a lot of state criminal baggage to Washington with him.
    His election will not end the questions or investigations.

  122. Jana 2014.09.07

    Gosh Troy. Here's another thing I'm trying to figure out in my not so smart mind is why two people who would call Richard Benda a friend would take such different paths to defend their friend.

    Bob Mercer is a friend and he is looking for the truth...your a friend and you want to bury the whole thing along with your friend.

    Seems to me that Mercer is the better friend in trying to uncover the truth. You and the rest of the GOP that loved him when he was driving your agenda seem to want to bury the facts.

    Of course I'm not smart so please tell us again why you are so intent on hiding the facts. Could it be that as a former GOED guy who cut deals that failed at no expense to yourself and only taxpayers that you would like to keep all of us in the dark and "not smart?"

    Please proceed.

  123. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.07

    Troy, your question about Obama can be answered by a broader editorial question that I could be asked by any number of observers: why don't I blog more about President Obama, Congress, and national and international affairs? Arguably Putin's invasion and dismantling of Ukraine is of greater import than anything happening in South Dakota. Arguably most of Barack Obama's decisions are of greater import than most of Dennis Daugaard's. Why bother writing about South Dakota?

    But there are already plenty of people writing about Putin, Obama, and the great big world. There are already plenty of people keenly interested in calling Putin, Obama, and other global leaders to account.

    There are not so many people writing about South Dakota. That's my bailiwick. So I don't have to apologize for not writing every day about Crimea or Solyndra. The fact that I don't write on those topics is no argument against the factual or logical merit of anything I do write, any more than one can denigrate the content of South Dakota Magazine just because Bernie Hunhoff doesn't write about the Grand Canyon or New York City.

    Mike Rounds screwed up. His screw-up may pale in cost and impact to the screw-ups of Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and several other national and international figures. The money his buddies skimmed of this Dr. Moreau monster of state economic development and federal immigration policy is peanuts compared to what drug lords and oil sheiks make.

    But Mike Rounds screwed up here, in South Dakota. His buddies scammed South Dakota. That matters here.

  124. Jana 2014.09.07

    You want to know Troy, as long as you opened the door to Solyndra, why don't we examine your record at GOED.

    What deals did you facilitate during your tenure at GOED? Let's just look at the success of ALL of those deals and then tie it back to donations to the GOP in South Dakota.

    I'm sure you can provide us with the details. I'm a little slow, as you are so quick to point out, so please list them out for us.

    I'm sure you will be quick with these details as I'm also sure that you would not want to be called a phony.

  125. Jana 2014.09.07

    "Thanks for proving the everything is political. "

    Who was trying to prove anything? Are you projecting here?

    Actually, I do believe that everything in the Rounds and Daugaard administration has been political, especially when it comes to economic development. Follow the money for those of us who aren't smart like you.

    The GOP stopped governing a long time ago. Now it's all about the power, blind allegiance and money. Congrats on being one of the ambassadors of this new order.

  126. Jana 2014.09.07

    Troy, were you the money man for South Dakota Certified Beef?

    How much taxpayer money went into this failed deal? Who made money? Obviously not the producers. Again, who made money on this and what promises were broken?

    Was this the precursor to Northern Beef? A failed attempt by GOED and Mike to make a political populist ploy come to life funded taxpayer money?

    How much money did Mike spend on this effort? Did he throw good money after bad to make this self aggrandizing deal work?

    Troy, were you the GOED guy here? Or who should get the credit for this prudent investment of SD taxpayer funds?

  127. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.07

    You would have to be totally naïve or live in a turtle shell to not know that virtually anything that comes out of Pierre is not political.
    Is GOED/EB-5/NBP political? Damn straight it is. We don't have a real choice in determining what is political and what is not, if elected representatives of our government make the laws and run the state on a daily basis, it is political.
    And when those elected representative fail to tell the people the events they govern, it is only right that citizens cry foul, we have that obligation.

  128. Jana 2014.09.07

    Sorry Troy, but you pissed me off.

    But if you are right that I am a phony and stupid, I will leave the Madville Times rather than have this sight become a home for phony (Bill Clay) and stupid commentators like the ones that are embraced and flourish on your own South Dakota War College.

  129. Jana 2014.09.07

    OK, I am stupid. Site vs. sight. Sheesh or in the high intellect of the idiot of Texas Rick Perry, who the GOP embraces as the next Messiah...“Ewwps.”

    I just wish that I could be as smart and genuine as Sarah Palin...the poster girl fantasy and Kristi Noem and Shantel Krebs role model of what the future of leadership in America should be.

    Non-phony and smart...just like Palin.

  130. Jana 2014.09.08

    Troy? Bueller?... Bueller? Anyone?

  131. Jana 2014.09.08

    Hey Stace and Minions..Troy just threw you under the bus with ...

    "You were as easy as Stace and his minions. LOL"

    Troy, you certainly didn't mean 'easy' in sexual way did you? Define 'Easy' please.

    Who are the minions in your elitist world? Someone like you, only different?

    Oh, that's right...Troy, your with the cool kids and mean girls in the mean girl junior high clique. sorry...please don't beat us up or steal our lunch money.

    Hey Stace and minions. Want to share any thoughts with Troy as he has chosen to classify you as a separate class of South Dakota citizen?

    Sounds like there is a new "cool kid" test to be with Troy and his gang.

    Should he be LOLing?

  132. Jana 2014.09.08

    Troy? Bueller?... Bueller? Anyone?

  133. Bill Fleming 2014.09.08

    Stacy has minions? Is it contagious?

  134. Bill Fleming 2014.09.08

    Jana, Glen Beck tells us that Hillary is going to be the next POTUS. So pretty soon (maybe even before November) we can blame SD's EB-5 mess on her. Because, you know.




  135. Bill Fleming 2014.09.08

    Troy, how could Joop "choose to privatize" a State program? Does Mr. Bollen have the authority to make decisions on the State's behalf? If so, how did that happen?

  136. Jenny 2014.09.08

    Troy tells Jane "You are definitely a phony and not very smart" Cut the rudeness, or I'll unleash Kurtz on you.

  137. Jenny 2014.09.08

    I mean Jana, sorry Jana.

  138. larry kurtz 2014.09.08

    Jenny, Troy is trapped in the elitism the Church teaches and is blind to a world outside South Dakota's culture of corruption where Bendagate is just the tip of a submerged iceberg ripping the Rounds boat apart.

  139. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.09.08

    Great imagery Larry. I like it. Very vivid.

  140. larry kurtz 2014.09.08

    Thanks, Deb: looks like you found the next wave of bad news for Mike Rounds!

  141. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.09.08

    You're welcome Larry.

Comments are closed.