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Mines Brings Skunk Works Chief, Wilson Donor for Graduation Speech

The December graduates at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology will get to hear from the guy who runs the Skunk Works. Delivering the December 20 commencement address is Alton D. Romig, Jr., Lockheed Martin VP and program manager for the aerospace company's secret weapons program, which over the last 70 years has produced weapons like the U-2 spy plane, the SR-71 Blackbird, the F-117 stealth fighter, and now the F-35 fighter jet.

Romig is also a frequent donor to Mines President Heather Wilson's political campaigns in New Mexico. According to, Romig has put about $3,350 in Wilson's campaign kitty. Romig's Lockheed Martin also manages the Sandia National Laboratory, which hired Wilson as a consultant after her stint in Congress. Wilson's consulting for Sandia has been implicated in a Department of Energy Inspector General's investigation of improper lobbying for a no-bid contract for Lockheed Martin.

But hey, it's graduation! Don't bug Alton about his pal Heather's consulting troubles. Let's just talk about how we can put our best and brightest to work securing global dominance through the military-industrial complex and how three-quarters of them will leave South Dakota right away to do such work.


  1. jerry 2014.12.12

    They really don't care who sees them pal around together. These arrogant fake trustees that we have allowed to take over our government by any crooked means at hand. The truth is, we are governed by millionaires that only look out for they own interests. These two are just more examples of how corrupt our system has become. As long as we act to only protect our own personal interests, above standing for the interests of all, we play into the hands of these scoundrels. In short, we get what we ask for so don't be surprised at who shows up for ceremonies.

  2. WayneF 2014.12.12

    How true, Jerry. And how sad that our republic's values have become "for sale" to the highest bidders.

  3. grudznick 2014.12.12

    Your blue web link to the Skunk Works story was a very interesting one, Mr. H, and shows how you do good research. Thank you I enjoyed it.

  4. Rorschach 2014.12.12

    Regardless of who this guy may have donated money to, is the guy who runs the Skunk Works not a good choice to give a speech at a science and technology university?

  5. larry kurtz 2014.12.12

    Richard Benda wasn't available.

  6. Rorschach 2014.12.12

    larry kurtz said no.

  7. grudznick 2014.12.12

    I cannot walk up that big M hill any longer but I bet Mr. Stan could and would have been a good idea to talk. I bet they have a really good breakfast beforehand for the talkers at these graduations.

  8. larry kurtz 2014.12.12

    Jon Lauck: slime ball to the stars.

  9. jerry 2014.12.12

    Mr. Rorschach is on the right path. As long as you understand that Mr. Romig is to Ms. Wilson what Joop Bolleen is to Mike Rounds. Both are involved in investigations with their sponsors, so I guess it is okay then that they should speak to graduates about the fundamentals of what they do as if nothing is wrong with those fundamentals. It is clear that in South Dakota, an honest days work is for chumps.

  10. CLCJM 2014.12.13

    Agree with you completely, jerry. They've gotten by with the corruption and mismanagement (to their own advantage) for so long that they believe their own rhetoric and think no one can refute anything that say or stop anything they want to do!

  11. leslie 2014.12.13

    i think there are aliens and craft drowned in the homestake shaft :) skunky!

  12. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.13

    Rohr, I'd enjoy hearing a speech by a guy who's had access to top-secret military technology projects. I'd be all the more excited if I were a young graduate with tech skills that guy could hire. It's nice that President Wilson has strings she can pull for her campus's benefit.

    But her string-pulling is also what has embroiled her in controversy with the DOE over the Sandia lobbying.

  13. jerry 2014.12.13

    DC needs to put common cents in Rounds pocket is what the title should have said, because we all know that is what it means.

  14. Donald Pay 2014.12.13

    Actually, I think "pulling strings" is exactly what's wrong with our society. There are far too many people with very little talent, knowledge or empathy running things.

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.13

    We'd certainly build the best airplanes relying on a team hired on talent, not string-pulling.

  16. leslie 2014.12.13

    i hazard to guess don's point is the full implementation of the SDGOP in pierre $$ pipelines thru-out the state.

    a dem. lawyer running for AG would be up against that deadly equation.

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