So Is There Anything to This EB-5 Mess?
South Dakota Democrats see an opportunity before them and they are taking political advantage. Whether it will bear fruit is another matter.
On Tuesday, two of the higher-ranking Democrats in the South Dakota Legislature will hold a news conference to point the finger at Mike Rounds and Dennis Daugaard. As we march toward the November election, the EB-5 scandal is still drawing headlines. State Senator Jason Frerichs who leads the Democrats in that chamber and State Representative Bernie Hunhoff the House Minority Leader will spearhead the effort.
Understandably people still want to know what happened to over $500,000 that was diverted to Richard Benda. There is also the matter of the reported figure of over $4 million that South Dakota taxpayers contributed to the Northern Beef Packers before the plant was closed and subsequently sold in a bankruptcy auction.
That’s a lot of money in the Rushmore State. Political ramifications aside, the questions need answers. The truth overrides anyone’s ambitions. Thus opponents of Rounds and Daugaard are not satisfied with the facts as they are currently known. Even supporters of Rounds and Daugaard would likely want reassurance that these men handled things forthrightly.
Joop Bollen who is in charge of South Dakota Regional Center which assisted the state with administering the EB-5 program during that time probably has some helpful knowledge. Whether that information will come to light outside of a court of law remains to be seen.
Former Governor Mike Rounds obviously has the most political points to lose as this unfolds. Recent polls show a gap of 8 to 12 points between Mr. Rounds and his closest pursuer Rick Weiland. Rounds has been a prohibitive favorite in this race and still leads. Keep in mind that the salvos from Democrats could also backfire as voters could grow weary of hearing the drone of EB-5 allegations.
Certainly there are other interesting questions out there but these are the ones that could use some answers.
1) Is the EB-5 information currently available enough to satisfy potential Rounds voters in the U.S. Senate race?
2) Will the Federal Investigation be complete before or after the election?
3) Is the release of information or lack thereof be politically motivated?
4) If corruption seeps into important matters in front of people’s noses, how much easier can it permeate in D.C. all those miles away?
5) (This one is just for fun) Do Democrats in their rush to find the truth in South Dakota continue to dismiss the issues that are still somewhat murky on the national scene i.e.: Benghazi, IRS, and NSA spying?
Voters should be cautioned by the seduction of power. By voting to put a party or person in a position of power will enable them to use it. Therefore the citizenry had better pray (or for the non-religious hope) that the power you give to an elected official is not used against constituents. Both sides are seemingly willing to play the power game.