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Second Benda-Bollen Bill Lets Governor Permit Conflicts of Interest

Members of the Government Operations and Audit Committee have brought forward two bills that appear to target the gross conflicts of interest in South Dakota's EB-5 visa investment program. GOAC only glancingly acknowledged these violations of state law and policy and blamed what little it acknowledged on the dead Richard Benda while ignoring the violations committed by the very much alive and enriched EB-5 czar Joop Bollen.

One bill would make things better. One bill would make things worse. Guess which one GOAC members appear to prefer?

House Bill 1023 was the first Benda-Bollen bill submitted by Rep. G. Mark Mickelson (R-13/Sioux Falls) and six other 2014 GOAC members who returned to Pierre this session. It amends SDCL 5-18A-17 to extend an existing conflict-of-interest prohibition on state contracts (which already bans the kind of goofy contract Bollen signed with himself in January 2008) to cover state officials and employees for one year after they leave office (which would have banned Richard Benda's golden parachute with Bollen's state-contracted EB-5 management company SDRC Inc.). HB 1023 is short, simple, and sensible.

Rep. Mickelson threw his second Benda-Bollen bill, House Bill 1064, into the hopper just today. It has the same seven sponsors, plus Senator Deb Peters (R-9/Hartford). HB 1064 repeals the statute that HB 1023 amends, indicating this later Benda-Bollen bill is meant to replace the first. HB 1064 amends and expands SDCL 3-16 to ban self-dealing contracts as well as define exactly what kinds of "interests" the state will consider conflicts.

But check out the power Section 5 gives to the Governor and other executives to make exceptions:

A governing body may authorize an officer or employee whose responsibilities include approving, reviewing, or negotiating a contract on behalf of a state agency or supervising any employee who has these responsibilities to be a party to or derive direct benefits from a contract if:

  1. The governing body has reviewed the essential terms of the transaction or contract and the state officer's or employee's role in the contract or transaction; and
  2. The transaction and the terms of the contract are fair, reasonable, not contrary to the public interest, and fully disclosed in writing to the governing body.

The authorization, which may not be unreasonably withheld by the governing body, shall be in writing. The governing body may adopt a written plan to manage any perceived, potential, or real conflicts of interest associated with the state officer's or employee's role in a contract or transaction.

Any authorization given pursuant to this section is a public record. Each authorization shall be filed with the commissioner of the Bureau of Human Resources, who shall compile the authorizations and present them annually for review by the Government Operations and Audit Committee [House Bill 1064, Section 5, as published 2015.01.20].

House Bill 1064 defines conflicts of interest, extends the prohibitions against them, then grants the Governor, the Attorney General, and other Pierre potentates the power to pish-posh those prohibitions.

As an anti-bonus, Section 3 says the one-year post-employment extension only applies to contracts that would benefit the state official or employee in question to the tune of $100K or more. In other words, use your state job to write yourself a private contract that kicks in after you leave Pierre, and as long as you limit your pay to $99,999.99, you're in the clear.

Making sure we look out for our friends, Section 4 further dilutes the conflict-of-interest prohibitions by exempting state officers and employees whose ownership interest in a contracting entity is only 5% or less and by narrowing the definition of "direct benefit":

A state officer or employee does not derive a direct benefit from a contract based solely on the value associated with the officer's or employee's investments or holdings, or the investments or holdings of other adults with whom the state officer or employee lives and commingles assets, in an entity that is a party to the contract provided the officer or employee does not meet the requirement contained in subdivision (1) of this section [HB 1064, Section 4].

Call this the Skjonsberg Provision: last October, Lee Fang of The Nation discovered that Rob Skjonsberg, manager of the Rounds for Senate campaign, had cast a vote on the state Board of Economic Development to invest state dollars in Novita LLC, a company in which his investment company Lake Sharpe Investments had an interest. Skjonsberg said there was only a perception of conflict of interest, and state officials backed him up, saying Skjonsberg did not have a direct interest in Novita LLC. But the above passage of HB 1064 seems crafted to make explicit the fact that no, really, high rollers on the Board of Economic Development can keep voting money to projects in their indirect portfolios.

Both bills have been referred to ouse Judiciary, which Rep. Mickelson chairs. We'll see if he uses his position there to withdraw the simpler, stricter HB 1023 and promote the diluted, exemption-riddled HB 1064.


  1. Roger Elgersma 2015.01.20

    A major mistake is to not define what 'a governing body is'. It does not say the legislature. It could be Rounds, Daugaard, Bollen and Benda which would constitute the governing body of the office of Economic Development. If you add in the old Janklow deal by handshake, you might subvert the documentation effort. Janklow said that he could not make it public so the people in New York could start to implement the Citibank move without telling all their people right away.
    But you have to define what a governing body is.

  2. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.20

    This is a joke, right?
    Why even bother.
    These bills appear to be legalizing corruption.

  3. Roger Elgersma 2015.01.20

    As long as we have a gag law, a small 'governing group' can do anything illegal and no one in the group can report it without going to jail. This combination is a disaster waiting to happen.
    Oh, it has already happened in EB5. So no one can tell and the committee did not require anyone to answer any question they did not like. So not only do the people involved not have the legal right to tell about a bad situation, but the legislature makes sure they will not be uncomfortable if they do wrong.

  4. grudznick 2015.01.20

    It is beyond my small and fairly unsophisticated brain to understand all these bills, but all of you complainers have huge brains and know all about things like this. It boggles my small brain that you big brained fellows did not write your own bills and put them into the law process. How can you even sleep with yourselfs at night knowing that you had the answers and you didn't put them into the law process? I could be wrong here, and maybe Ms. Wismer will effectively put your laws into the process. But come on fellows, do or do not. But do not bitch if you not do.

  5. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.20

    Just how far do you think a binding ethics bill would go in in the state legislature where there is a Republican super majority?
    How can you sleep with yourself knowing that Rounds, Daugaard and company stole millions of revenue dollars from the state with the EB5 scandal and then protected the thieves by not investigating and prosecuting the culprits?

  6. grudznick 2015.01.21

    Mr. C, I don't think that all these fellows stole millions. I think that you and others say so without maybe understanding. I don't really understand either, but I think the anger is just that the libbies are angry that they didn't get to spray their one garden hose all over the cake of the last election. I think there were some bad stuff things but this will go down like that area 51 alien that Rounds still hasn't acknowledged.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.21

    Roger, I apologize for not being clearer in the original post. HB 1064 does define "governing body" in Section 2:

    "'Governing body', the Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council, the Supreme Court, the Board of Regents, the Public Utilities Commission, each constitutional officer, or the Governor."

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.21

    Grudz, Benda didn't steal millions. He double-billed a few thousand, then finagled a few hundred thousand out of that Future Fund grant, which Rounds knew about, and which these bills' sponsors say they are targeting.

    Bollen used an illegal contract to secure millions for himself that otherwise could have flowed into state coffers. Is "stole" too harsh a word to describe those actions?

  9. Tim 2015.01.21

    Cory, Grudz and republicans like him don't want to know the truth, it would be their fault for continuing to turn their heads and vote for these crooks if they knew and understood the truth. It's easier to claim ignorance then blame those damn libs for playing politics. Let the corruption continue.

  10. mike from iowa 2015.01.21

    Grudz-your small brain suffers from "gravy-taterisis." Yup,it is insaner than most.

  11. leslie 2015.01.21

    help me get this list right, and chronological, based on what we know:

    1. gov. rounds' office o' economic development (& tourism??) [GOED] employed benda as its director, and as a member of his cabinet.

    2. rounds hired joop bollen as an employee of South Dakota Regional "EB5" Center (sdrc), a quasi-governmental agency of the state.

    3. joop's office space was provided at NSU School of Business, in aberdeen where NBP was constructed as a center-piece of the governor's program (GOED).

    4. An entreprenuer, joop butted heads with the university's business school, reporting to the governor's office through another quasi-governmental agency, SDIBI perhaps (the correct name of the state international business institute, which i am forgetting).

    5. Hundreds of millions of dollars flowed through these entities with some lack of transparency and accountability.

    6. Joop, once an immigrant in the U.S. worked as a bartender before obtaining a business degree.

    7. Sometime after his hire by rounds, joop (a non-lawyer) "defended" South Dakota Regional "EB5" Center (sdrc) in a federal lawsuit in CA, subnitting pleadings and "collaborating" with co-defendant, a los angeles lawyer/business associate that joop had "partnered" with, until NSU, state Regents' and Attorney General's lawyers discovered this unauthorized "legal representation" and undertook the state's own legal defense at a total cost of $500,000.

    5. joop, it appears, may have leveraged the state in exchange for his assistance.

    6. Democratic analysis of some law firm invoices (obtained despite state refusals to disclose) during the last months before the 2014 election, suggests wrongdoing despite limited partisan state audits and committee (GOAC) meetings. the committee refused legislatively authorized and requested subpeonas of witnesses and documents after closed meeting(s) with the Attorney General.

    6. Secret FBI and US Attorney investigations are active.

    7. The federal CA lawsuit was completed in arbitration right before or after the election, while simultaneously another federal lawsuit was initiated to prevent preserve and retreive evidence.

    8. email archives were destroyed by the state.

    9. joop incorporated SDRC, INC. as his own private corporation, 5 days before he signed a contract on behalf of the state as its director of South Dakota Regional "EB5" Center (sdrc).

    10. This contract transferred the state's authority to administer the federal EB5 program, thus privatizing the state's authority to collect fees in administration of EB5, to joop's own new corporation, SDRC, INC.

    11. (Total EB5 fees privately collected, while not publicaly investigated, are speculated to be as much as $100 million.)

    12. Joop hired benda to monitor loan(s) from the state to NBP.

    13. Just before leaving state employment to take on the new job with joop's private corporation, benda allegedly manipulated state-withheld loan proceeds so that $550,000 was required to be paid by NBP to joop's corporation, SDRC, INC. to apparently cover benda's next two years of future salary at $200,000 per year.

    14. benda hand carried the state's check to NBP.

    15. thereafter he worked for joop as SDRC, INC.'s "NBP loan monitor".

    16. later benda's lawyer met with the Attorney General's office as felony charges were in process.

    17. Joop may be involved, as well as rounds, daugaard, jackley and other members of state government and private parties, in various roles resulting in the EB5 debacle and election coverup to the detriment of the people of the state of SD.

    18. it is difficult for democrats to effect appropriate prosecution or consequences for mismanagement because of apparent partisan cover up of fundamental facts.

    19. Benda's suicide was determined by investigation a year before the election, initiating revelation of much of the above.

  12. Roger Elgersma 2015.01.21

    What I like about blogs is that we get a full state coffee shop discussion. All the brains, no matter what size they are all get added together to find our way through the maze to get a solution. Since I was the first to complain, I will be the first to follow grudsnick's good advice to find a solution. Thanks Cory for clarifying the problem.
    So for a solution. I am sure there are other ideas and others can add to my idea or prove it wrong or tweak it a little.
    Some things are done better by government and some by business, church, school or family.
    Whatever is done best by government is probably being done by government. If not government should start doing what it should be doing. Whatever is best done my business should be done by business. But when someone decides that what is being done by business should be done by or regulated by government, then it takes an act by the legislature and signed by the governor to change that. The same process should be used if someone wants to take something that is being done by government and switched to business. So if a government function that is being funded by government is to be privatized, that should only happen if it is passed by the legislature and signed by the governor.
    This would eliminate the chance of a small group in government from privatizing a small part of government for their or their friends personal profit.

  13. Roger Elgersma 2015.01.21

    Some do not like complainers. But no problem gets fixed unless it is first recognized as a problem. So the complainer actually is part of the process. Some complainers are thinking clear enough to find a solution as well. Some complainers have been abused so bad as kids that they may not have seen enough of right to find the best solutions. Do not blow those people off since they are were they are at for a reason that may be totally beyond their control. But they do make problems evident.
    I once met a Native American at a homeless shelter. He told me that he had been sober and a Christian for fifteen years. And he was now at a homeless shelter and stating that he wished that there was a purpose for his life. This did not fit my mindset since I had assumed that when one becomes a Christian that their life becomes better. So I said a quick prayer for understanding. I immediately remembered from hearing the entire Bible read at meal times as a child, that in all those wars in the Old Testament that normally no matter how bad a massacre happened in war, usually there remained a remnant that survived a they would come back to one degree or another. Also a few times a group was so totally corrupt that they would totally get wiped out. So I told him that there had to have been some good in them because there are a lot of tribes with a remnant. I told him that since there are reservations in all fifty states I think that God saved remnants all over this country so that we would all see the problems caused by trying to wipe out people to take their land. So that no matter how bad the drinking and problems of poverty, their presence would teach us to never try to wipe out people again. A year later the Museum of Native Americans opened in Washington and over five hundred tribes were represented. That is a lot of remnants. I also told him that I sincerely hoped that his purpose would include something positive and not just such a negative purpose for his life. A week or two later he was appointed to the homeless coalition in Sioux Falls. There is a purpose for everyone, yes even the complainers. I hope all their lives get better.

  14. mike from iowa 2015.01.21

    Wingnuts whine and cry about how the gubmint can't do anything right and then they do everything in their power to prove that point.

  15. Troy 2015.01.21


    I can't remember if it was here or DWC but I talked about how the "simplicity" of the first bill had some broad reach that would touch scenarios nobody intends.

    I agree we have to address the specifics of what occurred. Let's just be prudent that we don't do more than we intend.

    The primary "problem" with what Benda appears to have done was the contract/expenditures never had the light of day shown on it until it was later discovered. One of what Mickelson has done is provide a mechanism for bringing it to the attention of others.

    i know many think there are a lot of conspiracies but there are not. Whether it be in business or government, people who divert resources do it in darkness because there aren't controls in place (lights). Mickelson's bill provides for authorization and then making it a matter of public record. This is good for the taxpayer, it is good for the entity contracting with the State, and it is good for the state employee because all can see there is nothing nefarious. Nobody likes working under even the perception of something bad. Average state employees will rejoice.

  16. larry kurtz 2015.01.21

    lol. the great oz has spoken.

  17. Troy 2015.01.21


    Please. I'm only speaking as a former state employee who had several employees who left for the private sector. Every department has "newbies" who work up to be supervisor or sometimes Division Director in departments like DOT, law enforcement, social services who leave Pierre with a narrow set of skills and often to work for companies they worked with as state employees. The first bill would catch DOT engineers, land surveyors, etc. or social services people going back into the field maybe as manager at Lutheran Social Services, or Education employees running the special ed program decides to go back into the classroom.

    As written, the first bill cast way big a net. If you think it good we catch hundreds of state employees who are just doing the people's business and prevent them from having options out of state government, the first bill was for you. Otherwise, precision and thought needs to be given and this bill is a better start and might have be be tweaked later as seldom is legislation geared to do one thing in reaction to something specific perfect the first time around.

  18. Jim 2015.01.21

    So, with that second bill, one can fly under the radar for one year at 99K, then get one's parachute in years 2-3 and beyond?

  19. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.21

    Your comment also raises the question on whether or not there is a limit on $99K contracts.
    Would it be possible to get a $99K contract from social services and two more from DOT?
    When thieves have one door closed they will often find a way to open another.

  20. Roger Elgersma 2015.01.21

    If any employee decided to outsource a particular part of their department and then quit to do that business themselves, as Benda and Bollen did, with approval of the governor of course, this would be the same problem that we already had. However if that function was already outsourced and an state employee decided to go into competition with the current company that was hired to do the outsourced job, that would not be a real change.
    So if all changes in what is or is not outsourced would have to be approved by the legislature this would reduce the possibility of a new no bid contract situation where someone could make a killing by their own setup.
    An example would be, if a department had been servicing their own vehicles and then decided to outsource it and the department chair quit to run that business and got a no bid contract on it, that would be a problem as it was with EB5. On the other hand, if a department had always outsourced the repairs of its vehicles on an open bid and the department chair resigned to go into competition with the company or companies that did this job because the department chair knew a better way that would serve the state better, and did it on a bid basis, that could be a good thing. With no change in what was a bid contract before there would be minimal chance of fraud.

  21. Troy 2015.01.21


    I think that section is an effort at focus on big graft. State government is big (bigger than I want it to be) and the sheer multitude of contracts is daunting. I could be wrong but I could see how they don't want to create so much process and monitoring cost is more than the benefit. Plus, there is a cost-benefit analysis. Do you want to make doing business with the state so cumbersome, it becomes less effective and we use the resources of government for accountants or getting out to the people intended to help? That is my guess but I could be wrong.

    I think the reason for the one year is that I can't imagine how one really pulls off what Benda did after a quarter. (he did it as he walked out the door). Once you are gone, you are persona non-grata. The focus needs to be on where it is most likely to occur.


    Besides the reality that thieves are thieves, 99% of state employees are honest and diligent from top to bottom. But again, using money for monitoring controls or getting out to the people? Cost-benefit that is art as much as it is science.

    That said, I was high enough up in State Government and i can't think of a single instance where a person could commit graft across departments. Turf protection is such that you go outside your department, it is like you went into another world.

  22. larry kurtz 2015.01.21

    Meanwhile, legal graft is the order of the day in Pierre.

  23. Troy 2015.01.21


    Your last point: I think you are raising issues that need to be considered but the complexity is greater than that. I suspect this will be something always to be tweaked trying to get the right balance and impossible to be perfect (unless of course we substantially reduce the size of government).

    Thievery is a non-partisan temptation and the desire to minimize it is also non-partisan.

  24. larry kurtz 2015.01.21

    said the spider to the fly.

  25. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.21

    There is another loophole that doesn't seem to be covered and that is nepotism and cronyism, what is to prevent the spouse, children, or any old body to pursue state contracts and later join their company. After all, they owe you for turning them on to the state ATM.
    It would not surprise me one bit if this cozy situation already exists.
    About that cost analysis, how do you put a dollar cost on contracts should be monitored by state government? Why should their be a limitation to money and time spent on thievery?
    I'll agree that 99% of state employees are honest and do their jobs, it is the 1% (Benda, Bollen, Rounds, et al) that can do the greatest financial damage to state revenues. The paper clip and pen thieves in state government can't hold a candle to the EB-5 graft.
    Again I'll agree with you that thievery is non-partisan and I'll a but. That 1% you talk about are likely to profit the most and it is likely that state government is loaded with Republican appointees, etc., there is more of a chance that that 1% are Republicans.
    After all, despite warning to the electorate, South Dakota consistently ranks in the top 10 of the most corrupt states, there is a reason for that.

  26. mike from iowa 2015.01.21

    You won't ever fix the problem until the public knows the entire extent of the thievery and how it was allowed to happen. Records should be made public and readily available,not hidden by cost or design. Independent investigator/panel is the way to go.

  27. Troy 2015.01.21


    Nepotism and cronyism is an easy thing to toss around. Was President Kennedy practicing it with his brother and brother-in-law? Or was his desire to have people in position he had absolute trust in a legitimate justification.

    I grew up in Pierre during the Kneip administration and there was a person in his office who placed brothers and/cousins (I think there were four from the clan if I remember right) in various agencies of import. Was that nepotism or the same as Kennedy wanting people in trust? Is cronyism just a sin by Republicans?

    The family during the Kneip administration all left and have been very successful. One of them is a friend of mine now in Sioux Falls and to infer cronyism is wholly undeserved. Loyalty and commitment to "the agenda" of the Executive is legitimate and good for government. Slurring those you disagree with is unfair.

    When I got appointed to my position, my first hire was a guy I went to high school with and the second was the wife of a friend from college. Proof I hired them by their level of competence, they both started getting offers from private business within the year and when I finally lost them, they doubled their salary and have achieved great personal success.

    On the surface, I'm sure someone uninformed could have cried "cronyism." But, SD is a small state and getting competent people with the requisite experience and skills to move/live in Pierre isn't a cake walk. After those two, most of the team I built, I "stole" them from other agencies (again, the pool of who wants to live in Pierre isn't big) and was able to get them to move at least partially because I knew them and they knew me.

  28. larry kurtz 2015.01.21

    Because the Kennedys were such an important part of Pierre's rampant culture of corruption.

  29. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.21

    Here's the thing about John Kennedy's nepotism by appointing Bobby and Sargent Shriver to high government positions, the whole damn country knew about it immediately.
    In Pierre, like Troy states, the justification seems to be that "oh well, we are a small state and kind of have to". We aren't that small.
    I'm mostly trying to discuss the nepotism and cronyism involved with state contracts and the conspiracies behind them. An no, I'm not talking about a conspiracy theory, I'm talking about a fraudulent plan to obtain profitable government contracts whether in office or out (i.e. Benda, Bollen, Northern Beef, etc.).
    Who you employ in your own private sector is nobody's business but yours and can't logically be compared to state government.

  30. Troy 2015.01.21


    First, my example was I was working for state government and so were those in the Kneip administration.

    Second, the abuse you are talking about, everyone is desiring to stop that but we have to make sure the net isn't cast so broad it catches fish that aren't doing anything wrong. That is my point. It sounds easy but its not. If it were easy, we'd do it.

    Finally, nobody is sicker than me about the Benda deal.

    1) I still consider him a friend and what he is accused of doing is still hard to believe. Maybe it just proves you don't find these things out until they are caught.

    2) This entire affair has cast all state employees with a pall that is undeserved. People who choose to work for state government and live in Pierre don't do it with an expectation of getting rich. They are simply committed to doing the people's business. They put up with enough indignities by being referred to as bureaucrats. Calling them thieves just compounds the unfairness.

    3) The fact this cast this pall on all of those doing the people's business is what upsets me most. Traffic jams are at 7:30 and 5:30 in Pierre because routinely most work more than 8-5. They travel away from their family overnight or leave @ 4 a.m. to be in Sioux Falls to have another night with their family. Nobody thanks state employees for what they do for our benefit but instead treat them like indentured servants. And is why I desire a good and appropriate solution. They aren't lazy and they aren't thieves. They deserve a good solution. The hard part is not making the cure worse than the disease (making government even more bureaucratic and unworkable). Republican or Democrat, we should want good government that works.

    Your beef with State Government is policy. I get that and part of living in a democracy. But, translating that to an accusation of corruption is unfounded and unfair.

    The Benda affair is an exception and everyone who works for the people deserve better than being painted with what he did.

  31. larry kurtz 2015.01.21

    Shorter Troy: corruption only bad when Dems do it.

  32. larry kurtz 2015.01.21

    Note that Troy admits sickness.

  33. larry kurtz 2015.01.21

    Someone call the waambulance for Troy.

  34. grudznick 2015.01.21

    Mr. kurtz, do you hate Mr. Sibson or Mr. Jones more? If you tell me I won't goad you into rage with it.

  35. larry kurtz 2015.01.21

    shorter grud: look, a squirrel.

  36. larry kurtz 2015.01.21

    shorter: squirrel sex.

  37. grudznick 2015.01.21

    I admit a fondness for squirrels.

  38. larry kurtz 2015.01.21

    "A Rabbi and a Priest buy a car together and it's being stored at the Priest's house. One day the Rabbi goes over to use the car and he sees him sprinkling water on it. The Rabbi asked, ''What are you doing?'' The Priest responded, ''I'm blessing the car.'' So the Rabbi said ''Okay, since we're doing that....'' and takes out a hacksaw and cuts two inches off the tail pipe."

  39. mike from iowa 2015.01.21

    The Benda affair-he and Bollen were F@#$%ing an entire state out of rightful revenues and you call it an affair. Makes one wonder what you consider a crime.

  40. Bill Dithmer 2015.01.21

    MFI, I'm setting here using thr reader on my tablet. I was doing just fine until I got here. "F@#$%ing"

    Now the damn dogs are barking, and I blew Crown out my nose. I swear the things I put up with just to keep up.

    The Blindman

  41. Roger Cornelius 2015.01.21

    Please. I have issued no blanket indictment that all state employees are corrupt, please point out where I said that and I will correct it. My comment was actually contrary to all state employees having dirty hands, it was the 1% that do have sticky fingers that I was talking about. That 1% is your number.
    You could say I have a beef with government policy in terms of contracts, nepotism, cronyism, etc., my beef is a lack of good government policy and ethics legislation with some real teeth. And, I don't care how far that net is cast to catch financial abuse, cast it.
    I know about the sacrifices and unrewarding work most state employees do, my mother was a Pine Ridge Reservation State Home Economist for over 20 years, at the time she covered 2 large counties.
    Now, the pall that has been cast over state politicians and employees has been cast by Rounds/Daugaard/Benda/Bollen and the whole cast of characters that created and caused the EB5 scandal. By Democrats and some Republicans calling out this regime, we did not create the negatives applied to state government, they did it to themselves.
    By continuing to question the actions of the Rounds regime is not unfair at all, what is unfair is that South Dakotans have not been given a full accountability of all these questionable actions by the former governor.
    There must be some substance to our questions since it has reported widely that the FBI is conducting an ongoing investigation.

  42. mike from iowa 2015.01.21

    Mynhumblest apologies,Blindman. You see,I'm shy and introverted.

  43. Bill Dithmer 2015.01.21

    MFR, yaw I hear ya. I also have naturally curly hair and gigantic man boobs, and all the women are jealous. I dont go to bars anymore. Maybe when I start showing my age it will be safe.

    But at least I'm not from Iowa.

    The Blindman

  44. mike from iowa 2015.01.21

    I wuz born here. I've lived here all my life. I'll die here,but I won't rot here. My next life has got me on the move. After cremation and a moonlight dump into my beloved Little Sioux River,it is on to the Gulf of Mexico by river water and features a return engagement every year when hurricane winds and rain return my soggy ashes to haunt everyone everywhere. This cycle repeats forever. When I'm gone,head to Palmyra,Mo where my folks were married and wave as I sweep by in the mighty Miss., or not.

  45. Jenny 2015.01.21

    I'll always remember when SD state employees that worked Medicaid reimbursement would send the doctors appeal forms to the Pierre hospital that would specifically lower the diagnoses rating and therefore lower the amount the state would have to pay for Medicaid newborns. These were usually high risk Medicaid babies from the reservations with a lot of medical problems. The state of SD just didn't want to pay the Medicaid bills on these babies. Is that business as usual, Troy? I remember I would be the only one pissed as hell that the state of SD would do this and no one at the Pierre hospital ever seemed to be bothered by it. Of course, I was also one of the very few progressives living in Pierre. But who could I have reported this behavior to when the whole state is run by the one party system?

  46. Jenny 2015.01.21

    What is the latest with the EB-5 Reservation and has Joop left town?

  47. Jenny 2015.01.21

    Investigation I meant (not Reservation)

  48. leslie 2015.01.21

    CORRECTION as numbered: SDBIB CONTRACT (MOU) W/ SDRC, INC. (joop's contract giving himself EB5 administrative authority!!:)

    disclaimer: none of this above in the earlier post to this thread or text below is legal advice. this is purely for blog discussion purposes.

    I HAVEN'T HAD A CHANCE TO REVIEW POSTS BUT WANTED TO clarify this, and mention NBP's bankruptcy was filed, ch. 11, July 27, 2013 (other important dates below).

    Spring 2013 is apparently when USA Johnson subpeonaed (?) the state. Daugaard then instigated Jackley's investigation which was still ongoing in October 2013 when benda died.

    1. GOED, formerly known as SDTDSD, ONE OF WHICH benda served on or was appointed to or employed by somebody, maybe rounds , i don't recall. anybody??

    i dont recall when NSU pushed out joop. i think 1.10.08 was when he incorporated SDRC, INC. (as sole director, i think), & eventually in summer 2009 i think Sveen or joop amended corporate records assumedly taking Parks, Esq. out as an initial director who had signed for SDRC, INC on the 1.15.08 MOU. Joop was president in the 2008 or 2009 year end report, i think.

    later (8.29.12) when aberdeen bankwest got scared of joop, i assume, they contracted w/ commissioner costello to receive all payments from SDTDSD, delivered to him only, AS COMMISSIONER OF FINANCE DIVISION, on behalf of SDGEOD in pierre. termination could only be by the state, SDRC INC seems to have been kept out of the loop any further. why they kept calling this outfit by different names shows unclear thinking in this 9 page Deposit Agreement.

    2. SDRC is a state agency, confusingly similar to joop's later incorporated brand new private company, SDRC, INC.

    when he incorporated, he was also acting as the state's DIRECTOR of SDIBI and perhaps SDIBI/DEDR (dairy region).

    he was also, practically, a state employee of GEOD, successor of SDTDSD, what ever it was called at a particular time; i believe cory at one time explained, from other docs it was clear that he took what little marching orders he was or was not given, from GOED (who there i wonder?).

    i think they paid him too, some lower wage so the contract (MOU) didn't have to be bid, apparently. His office at NSU, School of highfalutin' International business was apparently not his employer, sorta!!

    Was rounds the one who hired him? i recall that maybe rounds asked who would be good for EB5, but who hired and supervised him.

    The MOU says joop shall be supervised. it also says joop "desires" assistance of SDRC, INC to administer the EB5 projects ect ect.

    i can specifically clear up all specific questions about what the MOU requires, from my reading of cory's various posts and docs, if you have questions, for our purposes here anyway, of discussion.

    joop had an obligation to report quarterly to SDIBI, and to report on job creation ect, and to facilitate I-526 petitions on a fee basis. i mean of course, SDRC, INC., his corporation, had the various rights, duties and obligations.

    6. there is also a pending banking commission investigation and i remember how self-satisfied the hearing commissioners were when they exempted these transactions, as said maybe to Sveen, Esq., but i can't recall for sure.

    7. prevent "destruction" of evidence ect.

    back to the MOU, joop (the corp.) indemnifies, defends and holds the state harmless. eouwwww! that should be funny if enforced.

    also, he commits to perform the MOU "honestly, fairly, consistently", despite signing as SDIBI director while Park Esq. signed for the corp. as director.

    finally, the cancellation paragraph was interesting considering how he was dumped by the state (when was that, was that GEOD commissioner costello who dumped him for daugaard?).

    was benda a commissioner too, of GOED or its predecessor before he went to work for joop??

    the MOU signatures were signed "witnesseth", but not notarized that i can see but don't remember if that is important in this verbose, alphabet-soup, yet somewhat simple, mere 5 page MOU.

    i tried to be neater and more chronological, but let me know if there are questions or corrections. this was mostly all from memory, except for this post.

  49. Jane 2015.01.22

    Bollen left out the time he worked at Pyush Patels liquor store as a clerk in Griffen Georgia. During the time his work visa was cancelled. There he was introduced to a woman whom he married to get his Green Card.

  50. Jane 2015.01.22

    When one pays $20,000 for a Green card, but turns around to charge others min $50,000 + $500,000 plus other fees, what do you call that?

  51. Roger Elgersma 2015.01.22

    I have met some very honest people working in government and it irks them when people have a general attitude that government is wasteful. I even knew one who put someone out of business for cheating the government. He actually stopped a contractor that was incompetent and made an FHA loan go bad. That is good in my point of view. My compliments to those who do right.

  52. Jim 2015.01.23

    Troy, state government too big? I don't understand how that could happen with your party running the show for forty years. I thought you guys liked smaller gov? Did the government bloat under kneip, and the GOP doesn't know how to trim it? Or did your party bloat the government during the last 40 years of control? Our situation in SD shows that your party is more about power and control, tab it is about good efficient government. People just can't see past your party's slick and well organized campaigning to see this. Much of the bloating occurred under rounds, as did EB-5, and we make him a senator. Ridiculous. The real crooks in eb-5 are Bollen and sveen and a few others. Benda was not cut in on the big fat, and became a victim of his own greed.

  53. mike from iowa 2015.01.29

    China and Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway are cozying up for EB-5 investments. 85% of 2014 visas went to China with S Korea, Mexico,Taiwan and Vietnam next in line.

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