Press "Enter" to skip to content

EB-5 Recruiter: State Status Gave South Dakota EB-5 Program Competitive Edge

I have contended that in allowing Joop Bollen to privatize South Dakota's EB-5 program, Mike Rounds sacrificed a key competitive advantage that we had over other private EB-5 regional centers.

Robert Stratmore, head of EB-5 recruiter Darley International, agrees. In his testimony on Day 2 of the Darley v. SDIBI arbitration hearing last April, Stratmore said that the association of our EB-5 agency with the state made it easier to recruit Chinese investors for South Dakota projects:

I actually was quite attracted to the fact that not only was it Northern State University but that it was the state of South Dakota and that would give a leg up for credibility in China that it would be a mandate that was given from the federal government to a state government [Robert Stratmore, transcript, Darley v SDIBI arbitration hearing, 2014.04.29].

EB-5 chief Joop Bollen pressed this advantage even after completely privatizing the EB-5 operation, as indicated by Chinese press material from October 2010.

If we accept Mike Rounds's thesis that EB-5 is a good program, if we accept the idea that raising capital from foreign investors more interested in green cards than business results is healthy, then we should expect state government to run the EB-5 program as competitively as possible. Yet Mike Rounds gave up the official state control of EB-5 that an EB-5 recruiter said would draw more EB-5 money.


  1. leslie 2014.10.23

    agreed. also the state colluded w/joop allowing or by ommissions, misrepresentation to Chinese prospects that it was a state eb5 (rounds-"NO, ITS FEDERAL!!) operation with the full backing of the STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA.

    Just who was overseeing where all this federal/state/ptivate investment money was going?? Rounds- THE REGENTS, NSU, the interim NSU president, joop, cheri, GOED, other boards, my brother at Risk Analysis...ANYBODY BUT ME. I only knew and approved the big picture but NO DETAILS. MY STAFF LET ME DOWN. (PLAGERIZED FROM CHRIS CHRISTIE)

  2. Bill Fleming 2014.10.23

    Holy smokes, Larry! I didn't find Cory's site, but that article is pretty heavy duty. Here's the lede:

    "Revealed: A New Ethics Scandal Involving the GOP's South Dakota Senate Candidate

    Documents obtained by The Nation show former Gov. Mike Rounds’ campaign manager may have improperly awarded state economic incentives to firms in which he and the candidate held investments.

    Lee Fang October 23, 2014

    Once viewed as a lock for Republicans, the race for the open US Senate seat in South Dakota is now very competitive as corruption allegations plaguing GOP candidate and former Governor Mike Rounds boost the prospects of his challengers, including Democrat Rick Weiland and independent candidates Larry Pressler and Gordon Howie. In particular, Rounds has been dogged by accusations that an EB-5 visa program heavily promoted by his administration violated the law as it provided American visas to wealthy Chinese investors.

    Now, records reveal that the same state agency that oversaw the controversial visa program also extended taxpayer assistance to companies in which Rounds and his campaign manager, Rob Skjonsberg, are investors. Governor Dennis Daugaard, Rounds’ successor and former running mate, appointed a number of Rounds allies along with Skjonsberg to the board that made the investment decisions."

  3. larry kurtz 2014.10.23

    "The claim that Skjonsberg wasn’t aware of his own investments surprised Cory Allen Heidelberger, a left-leaning watchdog blogger in the state. “What’s disturbing is that he did not recognize this when he got on the board. I find it incredible that he claims he didn’t know that big chunks of his money were going to this particular project,” Heidelberger told The Nation.

    “This situation, when we look at the context of what was going on with EB-5, they seem they think they are entitled to pad their own interests, and no one will catch them with their hand in the cookie jar,” he adds."

  4. 96Tears 2014.10.23

    This is what I've been saying for months. Don't look just at Rounds and Benda, look at the people who needed to know what Benda, Bollen, Jewett, Sveen et al were doing. Rounds' chief of staff had to have known and some other cabinet members had to have known, including their aides.

    Also, isn't the unauthorized use of the state seal a crime?

    Jackley ... Jackley ... Jackley ...

  5. Bill Fleming 2014.10.23

    Ah, okay, there it is. Down deep in... Thanks, Kurtz!

  6. leslie 2014.10.23

    one para. summary EB5 (see last para. below):

    The claim that Skjonsberg wasn’t aware of his own investments....
    ...[was a surprise and] the value of Rounds’ investment in Lake Sharpe, the firm with a stake in Novita and other start-ups, increased from between $15,000 and $50,000 in 2012 and early 2013 to between $50,000 and $100,000 in the following reporting period.
    Other Economic Development Board members hold close ties to the former governor. Board member Mike Lukens, who raised the permit extension for Novita, was originally appointed by Rounds. Board members Dale Clement, Ted Hustead, Greg Heineman, and John Calvin are donors to Rounds’ US Senate campaign committee.
    As governor, Rounds used the Office of Economic Development to effectively privatize the EB-5 program by providing a no-bid contract to a private company called SDRC Inc. to administer the effort, which grants American visas to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 into job-creating US companies. Northern Beef Packers, one high-profile EB-5 project in South Dakota, raised nearly $100 million from the EB-5 program, while executives from SDRC pocketed millions of dollars through fees. Just two days before leaving office, Richard Benda, then-secretary of development under Rounds, approved a $600,000 loan to Northern Beef Packers. Benda then joined SRDC and was accused of using investment project money to pay a personal loan. Soon after Northern Beef Packers received increased state assistance, the firm declared bankruptcy.

    Lee Fang October 23, 2014

  7. larry kurtz 2014.10.23

    Are these criminal acts and Marty covered them up or merely sleazy everyday Pierre dealings?

  8. leslie 2014.10.23

    wonder what susan wismer can do with this against daugaard? I think rounds is toast. jackley will be in the dog house w/ a new gov. the loss of evidence is really serious. susan will be formidable having gone thru this baptism of fire. if we, and everyone of SD women do not elect her, we are fools. a woman's touch in SD would be the best thing to happen here for good government. and she knows numbers. WOW. can yu beat that? Daugaard has a wasted law degree, hates Medicaid expansion and minimum wage.

  9. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.23

    I have served on a number of profit and non-profit boards over the years and the first thing you do is to sign a conflict of interest statement, that statement is renewed every year and is incumbent on the board member to make any declarations of conflict. If South Dakota doesn't have a policy like this in place, it is another aspect of what makes South Dakota one of the most corrupt states in the union.

  10. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.23

    Where did Mike Rounds get the money to invest in this business? Future Fund, Redi Fund, Joop Bollen?

    96 Tears, you are absolutely correct; Benda's murder, Northern Beef Packers, Joop Bollen, NSU and BOR are all the other parts of this scandal are all part of the really big corruption that has been going on under the Daugaard/Rounds regime. Now we add the most recent scandal.

  11. JeniW 2014.10.23

    Roger, perhaps the federal stimulus monies?

  12. Susan 2014.10.23

    He is the epitome of corruption in politics. Between EB-5 and having his cronies direct money to companies in which he has a financial interest, why would anybody vote to send him to DC?

  13. John Hess 2014.10.23

    The problem with this scandal is it can't be explained in one sentence or even three or four very easily. Before this no one had ever heard of EB5. Cory's work on this is very impressive but the public at large is not interested in all the ins and outs. Could it be communicated super simple? It would be interesting to know how many people right now even know what it's about. A sex scandal would have been so much easier for everybody.

  14. jerry 2014.10.23

    Lee Fang knows what voters against Rounds and Daugaard know, they are the originators of the EB-5 ponzi scheme. As Daugaard was the most educated in the fields of both law and banking, he is as guilty as Rounds and maybe even a little bit more so with his background. We also have AG Long, along with the Aberdeen mafia, that was in on the fix and passed this steamer onto a very willing Marty Jackley. The list goes on forever with the corruption.

    What is funny in a not so humorous way is that real law enforcement does not have a clue about it. The FBI is investigating is not to comforting at this stage of the game. If they do not have what we can freely read in just about any sources without arrests, is amazing.

  15. Jim in DC 2014.10.23

    J. Hess -- That is a cop out. The reason it is hard to explain is due to the multi tenecaled monster that this is and is becoming. I spoke to friends and family about this as far back as x-mas 2013 and they certainly get it and have followed it. Even if this may be muddied for some, just the fact that more and more is coming out, and new pieces such as this in The Nation pile on to this GOP crapstorm, is not hard for anyone to understand that something is seriously wrong with their state government with out knowing all the minutiae. No need for a sex scandal here.

  16. leslie 2014.10.23

    Again, Hess:
    Rounds used the Office of Economic Development to effectively privatize the EB-5 program by providing a no-bid contract to a private company called SDRC Inc. to administer the effort, which grants American visas to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 into job-creating US companies. Northern Beef Packers, one high-profile EB-5 project in South Dakota, raised nearly $100 million from the EB-5 program, while executives from SDRC pocketed millions of dollars through fees. Just two days before leaving office, Richard Benda, then-secretary of development under Rounds, approved a $600,000 loan to Northern Beef Packers. Benda then joined SRDC and was accused of using investment project money to pay a personal loan. Soon after Northern Beef Packers received increased state assistance, the firm declared bankruptcy. lee fang, the nation

  17. leslie 2014.10.23

    another: The states EB-5 program was a federal program run by the state that was designed to bring investments in to South Dakota in exchange for green cards for foreign investors who brought in a minimum of $500,000. The program has become a subject of scrutiny due to the failure of the state to make good on some of the contracts, a draft indictment for one of the state’s employees prior to his suicide, and the continued unveiling of documents that have tied republican senatorial candidate Mike Rounds to the program. Joop Bollen, the programs former director, has not been brought to testify in front of any government accountability board despite efforts from Wismer and others.

    (he might be in the phillipines!)

  18. Jim 2014.10.23

    Did I read that Nation story correctly, in that the company Rob S. and Rounds are invested in received 900K in REDI funds? Nice work if you can get it.

  19. Jim 2014.10.23

    Add another acronym to this most unsavory alphabet soup.

  20. mike from iowa 2014.10.23

    Simply amazing how many wingnuts cannot recall relevant information in these scandals. Kurtz,I can't recall my last name. Although it would be McClaren if I could recall it.

  21. bearcreekbat 2014.10.23

    Great catch on the Nation article larry! Following the money reveals even deeper issues. I was pleased to see Cory get some over do recognition of his efforts.

  22. 96Tears 2014.10.23

    Hogs will feast and feast until someone comes to shoo them away.

  23. Steve Sibson 2014.10.23

    "Are these criminal acts and Marty covered them up or merely sleazy everyday Pierre dealings?"

    The report is calling them "ethical" issues Larry. Such is the case in a system of legal corruption.

  24. Susan 2014.10.23

    Why haven't the news outlets picked up on this latest scandal?

  25. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.23

    Thank you Cory, Thank you Larry Kurtz. This latest piece in The Nation, if it finally makes the local news should be the final nail in the coffin for the former governor and hopefully for his full cadre of compadres in this unending scandal.

    From the article, it is amazing that neither the chairman of the board or its secretary could remember if Skjonsjberg recused himself, one had to check the minutes of the meeting to figure out that he had not.

    Roger to your question of where Rounds got his share of investment money, could it have been a percentage of the annual fees on the green cards?

  26. Bill Fleming 2014.10.23

    "Why haven't the news outlets picked up on this latest scandal?"

    Someone send a link to Mercer, Epp, Monty, Tupper & Ross.

    (lol, sounds like the name of a law firm)

    Oh, and of course, Pat Duffy.

  27. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.23

    96Tears, "hogs will feast and feast until someone comes to shoo them away" or slaughter them.

  28. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.23

    We have a debate tonight, I'm looking forward to Rick putting it to Rounds over this most recent scandal.

    By the way, has this scandal earned its own name yet?

  29. Jenny 2014.10.23

    Roger, who is sponsoring the debate. Will it be live on the internet?

  30. John Hess 2014.10.23

    You guys live and breathe this stuff. Leslie's quick couple of paragraphs would make an uniformed voter's head swim. Sorry, but you are unable to make a sound bite or anything close out of it. Your thorough understanding is quite meaningless unless it is very simply conveyed. During the last stretch of the race some people may finally start to digest a portion of it, but don't count on it having the impact that you think is warranted. It's too much like a home work assignment. Don't blame the messenger.

  31. leslie 2014.10.23

    you like simple, go to the mall, go to the convenience store, read a bumper-sticker. there are already cartoons out there that say it all.

    the reason no one is in jail yet is because its complicated, and your party covered up the felonies. kinda like "too big to go to jail".

  32. Bill Fleming 2014.10.23

    John, try this:

    Mike Rounds doesn't like to pay attention to his job, so he let $150 million walk out the South Dakota door, leaving a dead guy in its wake, a whole lot of new jobs up in smoke, and a big mess for his successor and us hard working taxpayers to clean up.

    We need a Senator like him like we need a hole in the head.

    News at 11.

  33. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.23

    There is a football game on KELO tonight so the debate must be on SDPB.

  34. Shirley Schwab 2014.10.23

    Roger - go to SD Public web site and there will be a live stream beginning at 8:00pm Central covering the debate.

  35. Jenny 2014.10.23

    Thanks Roger and Shirley, it should be interesting. They wouldn't dare pull the 'No EB-5 questions' I hope.

  36. Jenny 2014.10.23

    Weiland will have to be at his best tonight. Rounds will be going in for the kill.

  37. Shirley Schwab 2014.10.23

    Jenny - do you suppose Mike Rounds has read the latest information that has surfaced today?

    I really do hope the other candidates have done their homework on the latest revelations. One almost needs to make a visual to follow all of this :)

  38. Jenny 2014.10.23

    I don't know, Shirley, but I hope it is brought up. This latest scandal is even more damaging for Rounds - major, major conflict of interest.

  39. mike from iowa 2014.10.23

    Privatizing EB-5 had the intended consequences-taking much needed revenues out of gubmint coffers and putting them into the hands of a few whitey wingnuts who may not have paid legal taxes on their largesse. And it still looks possible the state is on the hook for more losses which privatizing ,according towingnuts, is supposed to be prevented.

    Furthermore,there appears to have been zero oversight and zero accountability which are 2 more wingnut virtues. Toss in a dead man(collateral damage) and a one party gubmint not interested in details or truth and you have a nearly perfect scandal with the help of an uninformed/complacent electorate. What has whitey wingnut got to say about all this? Look,over there,a squirrel with Obama ebola from Benghazi.

  40. John Tsitrian 2014.10.23

    Mr. Hess, while Michael Rounds was Governor his lax administration, either by complicity or poor oversight, allowed a state employee to divert as much as $140 million in foreign investment management fees from the State of South Dakota to himself.

  41. Bill Fleming 2014.10.23

    John, good. Accurate, objective, succinct. Kudos.

  42. grudznick 2014.10.23

    Mr. C, I hope somebody videotapes this debate because tonight's football game is the Denver Broncos against the Sandiegos. I am sure this debate will be lightly viewed if at all. Is Mr. Howie actually showing up to this event? I am surprised he even has gas money for his Howiemobile at this point.

  43. Bill Fleming 2014.10.23

    Monty tweets that Senator Johnson is busting Mike's huevos on his Ellsworth lies. Says if Rounds keeps it up, it means he cares more about himself than he does about the airbase.

  44. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.23

    I'd expect that if there are any no-shows at tonight's debate, it will be Mike Rounds given the revelation of his most recent scandal.
    The debate can streamed on the internet that frees you up watch the Broncos get beat.

  45. Nick Nemec 2014.10.23

    This debate will be rebroadcast on public radio tomorrow at noon central time.

  46. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.23

    John Hess, I think the 30-second ads on EB-5 are about the best we can get for the popularization of the message. Throw EB-5 and Skjonsberg-gate together, and the message boils down to this: Republicans think your tax dollars are their cookie jar. They make policy and appointments as gifts to their rich friends, and what do we get? Crappy roads, low wages, and a teacher shortage. Vote Democratic!

    Short enough?

  47. Jenny 2014.10.23

    Boy, these SD GOP scandals just keep popping out of the woodwork, and at such convenient times also. (Hee, hee!) Has anybody in SD even heard of Novita Aurora, LLC. I didn't think so since it is listed as having only one employee, but yet got a $770,000 loan from the state.

  48. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.23

    Grudz, Turn on your TV to SD Public TV, you do have that don't you? The Broncos and Chargers game won't change because you watch it. Your boy Howie showed up and just landed a couple of uppercuts on your other boy MMR.

  49. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.23

    Now Rounds want a travel ban because of ebola and ISIS. He also wants our borders secured. I wonder what he said when it was found that some of the CAFO dairy operation that his EB-5 program got going, hired illegal immigrants. He wants the borders closed but still wants the cheap labor for his crony employers.

  50. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.23

    Wow and then Howie hit Rounds and Daugaard in the gut with that illegal immigration here in SD about which they have done nothing. He then brought up that the an illegal had killed a SD citizen.

  51. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.23

    And then Rounds gets to be last for closing statement and makes his phony pledge that he will vote for Keystone XL pipeline. Why does no one call him on that statement. He will only vote to approve or disapprove of the treaty. The State department is the one who will approve or disapprove of it and that will probably based on what the President recommends. The Senate vote on treaties is a formality at best.

  52. Bill Fleming 2014.10.23

    Lol. Howie pounds Rounds over the head all night with a baseball bat and Mike tries to pretend Gordo's not in the room. Priceless. The very quintessence of someone ignoring reality.

  53. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.23

    If any of the three Republicans gained any support from this debate, it would be Howie for going after Rounds.
    Gordo done good.

  54. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.23

    Not only did Howie beat Rounds brains out, he won the debate, because he was the only one who answered every question as it was asked without doing the usual politician dance around the question to say what he wanted to say about something else. He even used his rebuttals well.

  55. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.23

    I'll bet Rounds supporters are really miffed at Howie for his kind words about Wieland. It was kind of ironic, I watched Dr On Call ahead of the debate and Dr Kevin Weiland and his wife Dr Weisensee were Dr Rick Holm's guests tonight. Isn't he a cousin of Rick W?

  56. Jenny 2014.10.23

    Howie won the debate, as he had the balls to tell it like it is to Rounds and his cronies.

  57. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.10.23

    Grudz, here in MN I cannot get the debate, so I did watch the football game. My boy Peyton won and he was great. No surprise there.

    Roger, Ha Ha Ha. The Broncos won.

    I'll see if I can watch the debate online tomorrow.

  58. Bill Fleming 2014.10.24

    Lanny, Rick and Kevin are brothers.

  59. Les 2014.10.24

    Wasn't a person in the room who held a candle to Gordon. Sorry folks, Rick only has the musical edge on Gordie.

  60. lesliengland 2014.10.24

    compare gordon's gunz, god & gays (or whatever it is) platform w/ rick's. imo, and the polls, gordon is not happening in our democracy. didn't see debate though.

  61. JeniW 2014.10.24

    Better be careful Leslie, I am not so sure that Gordie wants to be associated with people who are gay. His slogan is Guns, God, and Gordie.

    It could have gone with Guns, God, and Guys... that might have worked, but not too sure that women would see that favorably. LOL

  62. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.24

    Sorry I got carried away with my boxing comparisons last night. I am not a boxing fan, but if that had been a heavyweight fight, Rounds would still be on the canvass or in the hospital. Rarely, if ever do you see politicians in a debate, go for a knockout but Gordon Howie may have put an end to the job Mike Rounds started on his political career.

  63. John Hess 2014.10.24

    The problem is John T's second post (repeated below) is accurate and more easily digested but no smoking gun. No strong statement for the average voter.

    John T: "While Michael Rounds was Governor his lax administration, either by complicity or poor oversight, allowed a state employee to divert as much as $140 million in foreign investment management fees from the State of South Dakota to himself."

    Sounds so too much like what we've come to expect. What crosses the line, is accurate and repeatable?

    Rounds allowed a state employee to divert over $100 million in foreign investment fees from the State to himself.

    Is it enough?

  64. Jane 2014.10.24

    Of course state backing assured the foreign investors. But by privatizing SDRC they would not be regulated by state and made bank. They double, triple dipped and made lots of money. Looks like this was leveraged to solicit foreign investments. James Park targeted Koreans in Canada and Korea, and then there is China. Pyush Patel in India.

  65. jerry 2014.10.24

    I find it hard to believe that a judge would rule that South Dakota is not on the hook for fraudulent business practices in this ponzi scheme. If I do a serious crime, I want that judge to preside over my case.

  66. Jenny 2014.10.24

    Deb, I watched the debate last night. All you had to do was go on the SDPTV website and they were live streaming it. Howie kicked butt and was pretty entertaining. I'm sure he got some undecideds.

  67. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.24

    Jenny, Hopefully, he got some nose holders who were going to vote for MMR.

  68. Les 2014.10.24

    There was one Senator in the room last night and it wasn't Pressler, Rounds or Weiland. Pressler:weak, Weiland:timid, Rounds:ineffective common sense and Ol Gordie polished and precise....
    As I looked at the Howie website for an address or to paypal him I noticed "a dinner with Mike Rounds and Joop Bollen," a spinoff of Bosworth's cardboard Mike. It doubled my contribution. He won't get the nose holders, Lanny, but he will get a gop vote for Weiland. That 12% Gordon pulls is gonna hurt someone.

  69. chris 2014.10.24

    Somebody needs to start asking Mike Myers hypothetically who he would replace Senator Rounds with when he is elected governor, if the senator is unable to serve. Would it be Lora Hubbel?

  70. Lynn 2014.10.24

    Chris don't suggest that! That would be a nightmare fit for Halloween!

  71. Lynn 2014.10.24

    Besides a vote for Myers is a vote for Dennis Daugaard since it will only take away votes from Susan Wismer.

  72. tara volesky 2014.10.24

    Lynn, you really don't know Professor Myers. You need to get your facts straight before you start antagonizing him as to who his selection would be. I am waiting for a return call from him and will let you know, otherwise that is a great question that should also be asked to the other candidates. Thanks.

  73. Lynn 2014.10.24

    Tara Mike is a nice guy, accomplished, intelligent and quite the character but he has zero chance of winning. Zilch!

    I stand by may statement that a vote for Myers is a vote for Dennis Daugaard.

    Unless he drops out and endorses Susan Wismer which will increase their the odds of winning. Wismer/Blake clearly have the best chance in winning which will be the first step of cleaning up Pierre.

    Otherwise for Myers to continue the campaign believing they will miraculously win is not being realistic and could be looked at as being selfish and the ego getting in the way. If Mike really cares about making a change in Pierre Nov 4th he should endorse Wismer. People are early voting now so the sooner the better.

  74. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.24

    Right Tara, especially Daugaard, since he is the likely (ugh) winner.

  75. tara volesky 2014.10.24

    I tend to disagree with you Lynn. Mike was in the race months before any Democrat candidate decided to run. Behind the scenes, I met with some of the party leaders to team up and get behind Myers, than everybody wins. Well, it didn't turn out the way I hoped. But that's politics. I really didn't think a Democrat would jump in the race. So Mike announced and then months later Joe Lowe decided to run. I am not upset because anybody has a right to run if they want and I believe Joe thought he could win.

  76. tara volesky 2014.10.24

    Mike could be God and Susan could be Mother Theresa and I believe the Republican establishment Kool Aid drinkers would still vote for Daugaard.

  77. tara volesky 2014.10.24

    Just heard from Mike, if Rounds is indicted he would select the 2nd place winner in the Senate race.

  78. Lynn 2014.10.24


    Whether someone enters a race two years or 5 years ahead of the other candidates makes no difference. We have gone over this before. Wismer has taken the fight to DD and is putting it all on the line. Their have raised money and have a far greater number of volunteers making phone calls, going door to door, putting up signs and seeking donations. These people are putting their heart into it knowing what is at stake. Look at the attacks they have endured from the SDGOP establishment feeling threatened that their schemes are being exposed and threatened.

    If you really are serious about making a change in Pierre than put your full support behind who has the most realistic chance of winning against the regime we are all fighting against. It's that simple! Otherwise your not serious! Don't complain after Nov 4th if that same corrupt and poorly managed regime stays in power.

  79. tara volesky 2014.10.24

    I know this is an old saying, but doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same results........I just think sometimes you need to be a risk taker and try another way. You just can't take the Governors race for granted and think a Democrat can win it alone. I have always felt that way. Just my opinion.

  80. Lynn 2014.10.24

    A vote for Mike Myers is a vote for Dennis Daugaard.

  81. Craig 2014.10.24

    Tara: "You just can't take the Governors race for granted and think a Democrat can win it alone. "

    All the more reason for Myers to throw his support behind Wismer right?

    Yet we know that won't happen - there are always third party candidates who refuse to hit the brakes even though they are headed into a sinkhole. Myers knows - and Tara knows - that he doesn't have a chance of winning this election. Daugaard could be hit by a train a day before the election, and he would still be re-elected Governor by a large margin, because more than half of South Dakota voters would rather vote for a dead incumbent Republican than a living Independent. That is reality, and thus Myer's only motivation to stay in the race is either due to some strange desire to be seen as important, or because he has a desire to make a statement. The problem is - the statement he is making is that he enjoys surrounding himself with incompetence and needs a new set of trifocals so he can clearly see the writing on the wall.

  82. tara volesky 2014.10.24

    What are you so concerned about? Some Democrats on this site and on SDWC have stated all along he is irrelevant and won't get 1 or 2% of the vote. That's not going to make the difference for Susan.

  83. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.10.24

    How quickly we forget. In 2010, Dennis Daugaard refused to answer any questions regarding education funding prior to the election. Everything was hunky dory as far as the sales taxes coming in. We were not in any type of financial mess. That was just prior to the election. Six weeks later as he was preparing his budget address, he suddenly realized that we needed to have across the board cuts which proposed cutting education 10%, As he says now in this years debate, we only cut 8%. That amount was never restored and he has only partially funded education since then. But I digress. At this time in 2010, it felt like Scott Heidepriem was running fairly close to neck and neck. The reality two weeks later was DD had 61.5% and Scott got 38.5%. So no matter this year whether there is a third candidate in the race, not enough of the EB-5 stuff will stick to DD and probably not enough to MMR to change the outcome.

    Vote, but don't set your dreams too high.

  84. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.24

    Voting and electing Democrat Susan Wismer for governor is hardly doing the same thing over and over.

    South Dakota has a real opportunity to not only elect a woman as governor, but a governor that will clean up Republican corruption that has festered for too damn long.

  85. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.24

    There is a clear distinction between being a risk taker and being a calculated risk taker. The latter takes numbers into account, calculated risk takers generally see success because they take reasonable risks.

  86. JeniW 2014.10.24

    Myers probably will not be elected, but by campaigning now, he is building name recognition. If he implements a plan of action to keep his name public, he might have a chance to be elected for a different position, perhaps as a state legislator if he decides to do so.

  87. tara volesky 2014.10.24

    Actually, he is running to be an advocate for the working class. He was on top of the world being the top dog of the most prestigious hospital in the world. He help create the big corporate hospital takeover of healthcare. He wants to make right with the people of SD. Corporate Healthcare has gotten out of hand and Myers wants to make a mends. Maybe people are happy with status quo, or will they put their trust in Myers. I am betting on they will vote corporate monopolies over Myers, who wants to break up the strangle hold of vertical integration.

  88. tara volesky 2014.10.24

    Myers will fight for the downtrodden until the day he dies.

  89. Lynn 2014.10.24

    Tara what percentage of the vote do you expect Myers to get on Nov 4th? Do you or he feel he can still work for change outside of running for Governor? Does Mike plan on running for the legislature in two years after his run for Governor?

  90. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.24

    Larry, flesh out that Valhalla vector for me. Who stayed at the Norbeck house? Any Chinese investors?

    John Hess, what John T. said should be enough. Candidate Rounds sees government as his personal piggy bank. That should disgust us all and make us vote for someone else.

  91. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.24

    Myers and Wismer both should hit Governor Daugaard hard for appointing Rob Skjonsberg to the Board of Economic Development and demand that he fire Skjonsberg for voting to give money to a company in which he and Rounds have investments.

    Similarly, everyone should hammer Rounds for giving us bogus defenses of his sloppy administration of EB-5. If he really believed in EB-5 for economic development, he'd have maximized the return for South Dakota by keeping it tightly run by the state to preserve the competitive advantage Stratmore said we had among Chinese investors.

Comments are closed.