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Mike Rounds Lies Again: Recruited EB-5 Investors in July 2005

How many more documents? Maybe just one....

In a set of written responses to questions about the EB-5 visa investment program submitted to him by journalist Bob Mercer four months earlier and published last week, Mike Rounds said, "I did not personally travel or recruit investors."

This morning, Bob Mercer posts this July 2005 EB-5 dairy investment recruitment letter from Governor M. Michael Rounds:

Governor M. Michael Rounds, EB-5 investor recruitment letter, July 2005
Governor M. Michael Rounds, EB-5 investor recruitment letter, July 2005. (Click to enlarge.)

Mercer has no comment yet on apparently being lied to by his interviewee.

Rounds wrote this letter in July 2005, before Richard Benda became his economic development secretary, before he approved Joop Bollen's privatization of the EB-5 office, before Northern Beef Packers became an economic disaster, before anybody sued anybody over monkey business in South Dakota's EB-5 program, and long before Mike Rounds the candidate, unsure how to deal with real scrutiny of his record, simultaneously took credit for creating more than 5,000 jobs with the EB-5 program and said he had nothing to do with the transactional details of the EB-5 program.

But there he is, in July 2005, encouraging investors to transact with his EB-5 program.

Excuse me, now, while I look for the portion of the Darley ruling that says I'm making stuff up... and as I look for the campaign handbook that says lying to a major political reporter is a good idea when you need good press four weeks before the election.


  1. JS 2014.10.10

    Is this letter a sample of Joopster turning on his pal? The ground hole is getting bigger, yet the house is not going under. How much more is required to take the needed steps to save the face of this state?

  2. Rorschach 2014.10.10

    Mike Rounds took pictures with these Asian investors in the Governor's office, did he not? Was he wining and dining them on the SD end of things? Flying them around on the state plane? Or profiting from chartering out his own plane to these investors when they came to SD?

  3. jerry 2014.10.10

    What corruption this Rounds has manufactured. My next question is why on earth would you buy an insurance policy from the firm he is in charge of? You just know that "a fish rots from the head down", that is as true in the business of running the state to the business of running your firm. The dude is simply a crook.

  4. Francis Schaffer 2014.10.10

    Looks like a busy day. I imagine you will sleep some prior to the election; not much but some. Thanks for keeping me informed.

  5. Liberal Stuck In SD 2014.10.10

    I hope the mainstream media picks up this story!

  6. Francis Schaffer 2014.10.10

    Do you suppose 'Grandpa' Don ever told young Marion; 'Tell the truth it is easier to remember'? It must not have stuck.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.10

    JS, with Rounds declaring to his own supporters that he's in trouble, the threat is real. If his fundraising appeal doesn't draw big cash next week, his nervous allies may start running for cover. Notice that already, we don't hear Dennis Daugaard leaping out in front to say, "Yeah, Craig is right: those ads are defamation! Mike and Joop did a heck of a job on EB-5!" The utility of Mike Rounds to other GOP candidates may be waning.

  8. bearcreekbat 2014.10.10

    The plot thickens. Cory, see what you started you young whippersnapper!

  9. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.10

    Mikey has had a bad week it ain't over yet.
    First his campaign learns that DSCC and PAC's are injecting a couple of million dollars into the Weiland campaign.
    Then he has to use time and resources to threaten a law suit to have an ad taken down that says "auction" in it.
    And now there is a new poll that has gotten national because Larry Pressler is a real and viable threat to him. If you don't think Pressler is a threat, go over the Powers Dump Site and see, there are no less than 7 threads on his blog attacking Pressler just in the last two days.
    Mikey, it ain't gonna get any better, next week will start off with The Ed Show on MSNBC telling the nation about all your dirty little secrets.

  10. Jana 2014.10.10

    Take a good look at the names listed in the letter.

    I'm guessing that each and everyone of those knew exactly what Round's involvement in the GOED/Northern Beef/EB-5 scandal was.

    Why they remained silent in the face of the Rounds denials is for them to explain as public officials and business leaders why they stayed silent and were complicit in this scandal.

    And like a Concentrated Feedlot, this sh*t is going to flow downhill and pollute the entire party.

  11. lesliengland 2014.10.10

    Sat. 8 am est UP with STEVE KORNACKIE, MSNBC I believe is featuring the SD senate race.

    As each day goes by Rick has more time to develop the best presentation to take down Rounds and help Susan, who had a great SDPR debate, dismantling

    RACHEL MADDOW expressed excitement about being there for
    Kornackie's show. Triple-teaming this for SD, with Ed Schultz, MSNBC is doing the nation a great service.

    Ed is now somewhat an expert after going to NE previously to cover anti-KXL sentiment.

  12. lesliengland 2014.10.10

    Careful of Bill Taylor, Cory, Rounds probably didn't mean recruit when he said "Dear Dairy Investor: *** Please consider being a part of this...." And of course he didn't actually write the letter or think about its content. I suppose since it is not to someone specific, it is not specific??

  13. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.10

    Meet the Press host Chuck Todd was a segment with Rachael Maddox last night, maybe Todd will feature more of the EB-5 scandal on his Sunday program.

  14. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.10.10

    This is all looking better and better. Great work everyone.

  15. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.10

    Lest we forget how this all got started, a good short read is "Who profits off factory dairy farms?" by Bill DuBois.

    I hope that when and if the rest of this group goes to prison, Larry Gabriel goes right along with them.

  16. Greg 2014.10.11

    A lie is a lie no matter who is doing it. If Mike Rounds is lying he should not be our next senator. We South Dakotans deserve better than this. The lying goes clear to the White House with the many scandals. A lie is a lie and Americans we should not tolerate it, Don't vote for liars and if they lie in office impeach them. We as voters deserve that.

  17. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.11

    There are errors. There are overstatements. And then there's the pattern of blatant, arrogant falsehood that Mike Rounds has established in what he says about his involvement about EB-5. I'm with Greg—these lies have to end. In Mike's case, they won't end until we hand him a loss in this election... and then put him under oath in whatever judicial proceedings ensue on EB-5.

  18. mhs 2014.10.11

    I gotta call BS on this, Corey. Thousands of letters go out from the Governor's office every week. Look at your state map: it's got a letter from the Governor on it. When I worked for Mickelson, we sent out thousands of letters like this on every topic under the sun, from business recruitment to welcomes to the state livestock growers convention.

    Likewise, we received hundreds of letters from who: Daschle and Johnson. So-and-So didn't get a approved for a culvert, or an easement, or an SBA loan. or a student loan deferment. Direct solicitations to intervene in a private cause.

    It's a little thing call Constituent Service. We voters demand it from our elected officials. To call this anything else is way over the top.

  19. larry kurtz 2014.10.11

    Mike Rounds is a white supremacist, an earth hater, a member of a pedophile cult; and, he's a crook.

  20. john tsitrian 2014.10.11

    mhs, Rounds is on the record as saying he did not personally "recruit investors". This is a letter under his letterhead and over his signature recruiting investors. Are you saying he shouldn't bear responsibility for it?

  21. owen reitzel 2014.10.11

    How many times does Rounds have to change his written testimony to match the facts mhs?
    Sorry I can't buy what your saying. Rounds has and is lying

  22. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.11

    MHS, you don't get out of owning things with your name on them. That recruitment letter employs the governor's good name to give more weight to Joop's sales pitch. That's the governor recruiting investors, in direct contradiction to his plain words in his October 2 response to Mercer.

    But hey, if the Governor's best defense is that letters with his name on them aren't really letters from him and shouldn't be taken seriously, by all means, trot that line out. How do we tell the difference, mhs, between authentic gubernatorial communications and apparent gubernatorial communications that the governor can disown whenever necessary?

  23. Lynn 2014.10.11

    It's really unfortunate the Mike Rounds was the SDGOP nominee. Our state could of done much better than this.

  24. mhs 2014.10.11

    This is an advertisment, gents, not a solicitation. It's no different from a letter the tourism dept would put out at a trade show saying "Dear Travel agent . . . "

    There is no evidence anywhere yet shown of any of the following:
    -Rounds was involved with the solicitation of any particular investor or specific project.
    -Rounds ever met with any prospective EB-5 investor, had a call with such person.
    -NO personal letters to such people are part of the record.

    Corey, in your own post above you note he said "I did not personally travel or recruit investors" A blanket "dear dairy investor" a solicitation? Doesn't even meet the current, ridiculously-extreme, Obama-Dodd-Frank definition of an investment solicitation.

    Per your definition, his name on the border signs saying "Welcome to South Dakota" would be construed as recruiting.

  25. Bill Fleming 2014.10.11

    MHS, you've got to be kidding. I've been making advertisements professionally since 1972, and I can't think of any faster way to get my agency fired from an account than to put the client's chief executive's name on a sales letter and send it out without making sure both the executive and, if necessary, the legal department signed off on it, in writing.

  26. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.11


    If we are to believe your analysis on this, why didn't Mike Rounds say, "No, I did not actively work to support the EB-5 investment program, but I have a 2005 letter that gives my generic support to dairy industry".
    He could of done that, but instead he lied about it.
    The question would be, why did he lie about his connection to EB-5?

  27. jerry 2014.10.11

    Compliance compliance compliance. That is beaten into each persons melon regarding sending information. Who has reviewed and who has tweaked and who has proofed it completely before the wet signature of the boss man. I am sure Governor George did the same, but why do you say differently? Mike Rounds owns this, branch and root.

  28. mike from iowa 2014.10.11

    ET Section 502 - Advertising and Other Forms of Solicitation

    .01 Rule 502—Advertising and other forms of solicitation.
    A member in public practice shall not seek to obtain clients by advertising or other forms of solicitation in a manner that is false, misleading, or deceptive. Solicitation by the use of coercion, over-reaching, or harassing conduct is prohibited.

  29. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.11

    What Bill said. Plus, Rounds's statement to Mercer was a blanket, general statement, without qualification. He said he did not recruit. The letter above is a recruitment letter. Rounds lied.

  30. lesliengland 2014.10.11

    "ridiculously-extreme, Obama-Dodd-Frank". oh for Christ's sake:

    paul krugman said,

    "There's much more in the financial reform, including a number of pieces we don't have enough information to evaluate yet. But there's enough evidence even now to say that there's a reason Wall Street – which used to give an approximately equal share of money to both parties but now overwhelmingly supports Republicans – tried so hard to kill financial reform, and is still trying to emasculate Dodd-Frank. This may not be the full overhaul of finance we should have had, and it's not as major as health reform. But it's a lot better than nothing."

    Read more:
    Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

  31. Bill Fleming 2014.10.12

    Rick Weiland and Larry Pressler are live on Up/w Steve Kornacki on MSNBC right now. Rounds bowed out. Big surprise. :-)

  32. Lynn 2014.10.12


    Rounds limiting exposure to questions unless a controlled environment with pre-approved questions and answers and running out the clock?

  33. Nick Nemec 2014.10.12

    Coin flip to see who goes first.

  34. Nick Nemec 2014.10.12

    Coin flip, Weiland goes first.

  35. Bill Fleming 2014.10.12

    Ricky loses coin toss, Rounds loses debate.

  36. Bill Fleming 2014.10.12

    Rick did well. I wish he'd have mentioned minimum wage increase.

Comments are closed.