“Governor Daugaard drops the microphone,” said the GOP spin blog earlier this week, as if Black Hills Corporation’s decision to build a new corporate headquarters in Rapid City (with money gained from the Black Hills Power rate hike?) to replace the five buildings it currently uses around town somehow puts an end to debate about the merits of South Dakota’s approach to economic development.
I’m still waiting for the Governor to pick the mic back up and explain why South Dakota’s job creation lags behind other states.
I’m waiting to hear why the Governor didn’t detour up to Spearfish after the BHC announcement and explain why Champion Investments is closing the Lehman Trikes facility in Spearfish instead of moving here from its home base in California.
I’m waiting to hear why Eagle Creek software reneged on a deal to set up shop in a new facility built by the Vermillion Area Chamber and Development Corporation* for over $4 million dollars. Back in 2013, Eagle Creek promised to bring maybe 1,000 jobs to Vermillion. Last September, Eagle Creek said they were close to opening in Vermillion. Last November, the Vermillion Chamber sued Eagle Creek for four months of unpaid rent on the empty building. Now that lawsuit is asking for $154,000 in past rent and $3.1 million future rent to make up for Eagle Creek’s apparent breakage of its long-term lease on a building custom-designed for Eagle Creek’s needs. Eagle Creek contends that the Governor’s Office of Economic Development made fraudulent promises of corporate welfare.
I’m waiting to hear why, despite all the the great business rankings cited in GOED’s 2014 Annual Report, not one of the 19 Fortune 500 companies with headquarters in the Twin Cities has said, “Hey! ALEC says business is better in South Dakota—let’s move to that new building in Vermillion!”
Pick up the microphone, Governor. We’d all like to hear what you have to say.
Related Reading: Read Slate’s January 2013 history of the mic drop, and tell me if a white, middle-aged realtor’s application of the meme to a building announcement by a Governor officially puts the meme over the hill.
*Update 12:12 CDT: A well-informed Vermillion reader corrects me: it was the Chamber, not the city, that built the Eagle Creek building.