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Pierre Needs Reform, Leadership; GOP Blog Shields Corruption Behind Gravestones

Republicans are so scared that South Dakotans will demand accountability for corruption in Pierre that their spin blogger Pat Powers now must distract us from the rotten fruits of corruption by accusing reformers of dancing on children’s graves.

The GOP spin blog has no response to the substantive charges afoot on the corruption of GEAR UP, EB-5, and Jason Gant. But Sioux Falls columnist Stu Whitney does: transparency in government.

It’s an attainable goal to place glass walls around the machinery in Pierre, but it takes leadership. Daugaard and Rounds are so busy distancing themselves and finding scapegoats in the GEAR UP and EB-5 aftermath that the ability to learn from these debacles is lost.

That’s a non-leadership response. That’s petty self-preservation reserved for lower-rung public officials, not the person in charge of the state.

We need someone with the guts to step up and say public funds were mismanaged to the point where people lost their lives, and that will never happen again. We need someone to lay out steps to avoid such calamities in the future and ensure citizens that stronger background checks, stricter oversight and greater transparency will restore confidence in the process.

Leadership. Courage. Taking risks. Finding solutions.

That’s what the role of governor used to be about. For the sake of our state’s reputation, let’s hope that it is again soon [Stu Whitney, “Financial Misdeeds Put State in Poor Light,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2015.11.04].

Whitney isn’t dancing on anyone’s grave. He recognizes the horror of the killings in Platte that are widely suspected to be connected to corruption in the DOE–MCEC GEAR UP contract. But he also recognizes that two generations of visionless apparatchiks in Pierre have led us to a dysfunctional political climate in which corruption like GEAR UP, EB-5, and the Gant Secretaryship can blossom. Whitney recognizes that fighting corruption requires courageous leaders, and Whitney recognizes that, right now, we don’t have one in Pierre. Every candidate for Legislature next year should talk about that absence of leadership and what he or she will do to bring transparency to and restore public trust in state government. That’s not dancing on graves; that’s trying to stop the corruption that keeps leading to shotgun deaths in Charles Mix County.

The only dancing here is Pat’s—his constant dancing around the truth. (Check the record: Powers hasn’t written one word about EB-5 since we learned about the USCIS’s affirmation of South Dakota’s corruption of the program from Bob Mercer on October 18.) We aren’t dancing on the graves of the Westerhuis children; Powers is trying to hide his complicity with corruption behind their headstones.


  1. Disgusted Dakotan 2015-11-04

    Well no Sh*t Stu!

    Where the heck was the Argus when past legislators on the Left and Right were fighting the good fight?

    The Argus, and other newspapers across SD, aided the establishment of this corruption by running fluff stories instead of running stories about politicians who brought bills to open up transparency, and failing to inform the public of politicians opposing bills that pushed for transparency.

    I may disagree with our hosts political views; but, he is heads and shoulders above the rest of the “political reporters” in SD.

    And that, Stu.. Is an indictment of our news media.

  2. grudznick 2015-11-04

    I think Messrs. Mercer and the brothers Woster are pretty good political reporters and professional journalists to boot. They may post bloggings too but they have years and years of media experience and are usually pretty fair and balanced in the newspaper things they did and do.

  3. owen reitzel 2015-11-04

    DD I totally agree with you.
    The mainstream media should have been investigating this stuff a long time ago.

  4. David Newquist 2015-11-04

    Every organization that deals with integrity in government has ranked South Dakota has a hot bed for corruption long before the EB-5 fraud broke. Folks in South Dakota like to point to Illinois as the epitome of corruption while they insert their crania into that place where colonoscopes tread. However, in Illinois, as many recent governors can attest, the people expose the corruption and call the officials into account. Much of that is done because of the Better Government Association ( which works with the media to achieve decency and justice for the people. In South Dakota, it will take such an effort because the state’s Kremlin, Pierre, has control of the legislative and justice systems and can prevent any investigation or judicial action which threatens the corrupt.

  5. Troy 2015-11-04


    Stu Whitney was a mediocre sports reporter. Compared to Dave Kranz, his knowledge of politics and actual IQ isn’t even able to be measured. If he is ever right, it is purely accidental.

  6. Roger Cornelius 2015-11-04

    Attack the messenger, Troy, attack the messenger.

    It shows a sign of weakness.

  7. mike from iowa 2015-11-04

    Troy sounds like he is describing,in detail,the furry denizen, rat-bastards in Pierre.

  8. Roger Cornelius 2015-11-04


    Good find on the Denise Ross story, just think that was written in 2012 and the state has had at least 3 years to start cleaning house, instead they continue to dig a deeper hole.

    In an AP story in the Rapid City Journal, the state Audit Department will began examining contracts and grants beyond GEAR UP.

    In addition, Attorney General Jackleg has stated there in a ongoing state-federal investigation.

    What will be the next state department on state contract will be next to be exposed? Anybody’s guess!

  9. mhs 2015-11-04

    Mid-States is run by 14 school superintendents, each hired by locally elected school boards. Each is an education professional, the top employee of their district, trained to manage large budgets, big staffs and multiple programs. Trying to pin the program problems on the Dept of Ed. I think is one heck of a stretch, CH. The board oversaw the finances and the implementation of the program, they bear primary responsibility for the failure. In an earlier post you mention they were likely buffaloed to some extent by the staff. I don’t buy it. They’re the CEO’s of their districts, not a bunch of ordinary citizens with limited backgrounds in administering education programs. They failed and should be the first held to task.

    The state failed by trusting them to run the program and performing insufficient oversight, however it’s worth remembering that’s how we want DOE to work. You don’t want them telling you how to teach, boards don’t want them telling them who to hire etc. Tension is inherent in the way we run education. I think it’s good in the long run, don’t you? The alternative is one-size fits all and that’s bad for everyone.

  10. 90 Schilling 2015-11-04

    Yes, mhs. Sit you down, the professional you are, at the other end of the table with Harv and his BOR’s. You are the best of the best but I still want to watch you straighten Harv out. That’s ok though, after all you weren’t brought in for your audit experience when we obviously have the best checks and balances in place.

  11. LK Burghardt 2015-11-04

    Most people in South Dakota are honest, hard working and, quite frankly, way too naive. Those of us that are honest would expect everyone to have the same moral compass. South Dakota is a great place for dishonest politicians to take advantage of the tax paying citizens who voted them into office. With no independent ethics committee to oversee their actions. It’s become a free-for-all s**t show. With exorbitant consultant fees being paid and no-bid contracts being awarded, the tax payer dollars continue to be flushed down the political toilet that our state has become. It’s time we take out a giant plunger! Then let’s all demand that the flush begin. Shame on every one of you South Dakota citizens who doesn’t get out and vote in the next election. It’s time we move in a different direction. The next Gubernatorial candidate who promises to actually oversee the business of the state and taker personal responsibility for that business wins my vote…Democrat or Republican. This is about doing he right thing, not the POLITICAL thing.

  12. rwb 2015-11-04

    1. Corey, why would you even mention that slug over at the fake blog? No one could think higher of Pat Powers than I do and I think he’s a weak-minded, lazy slob bully who has not been able to proceed past second grade psychologically. My nephew, who has a PhD in psychology thinks that maybe the slug had some sort of a very painful psychological event occur when he was eight or nine because his behaviors are much like those of an angry boy of eight or nine. I do respect one thing about Powers, though – the way he can mow through those plates of Chinese food at the little Chinese buffet in Brookings. RESPECT on that one…

    2. The involved Republicans in South Dakota really just want this to go away. Since Republicans have had complete control over the state for the long-regrettable past, this is entirely their fault. But most of them being psychopathic, they simply can’t digest the levity of their ills.

    3. The slug over at the fake blog gets to put up on his blog whatever he wants, including giving the username and password to Thune, Rounds, Noem, Daugaard and Jackley staffers. You can always tell when one of the staffers have been in the blog because they have taken the minimal effort to put up some art. They are not lazy.

    4. We are actually observing the manifestation of the old axiom that “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

  13. Roger Cornelius 2015-11-04

    Isn’t there ONE South Dakota Republican that has the courage to step up and fact the Rounds/Daugaard regime and tell them “enough is enough”.

    Where is that Republican Party that once represented true fiscal conservation and economic responsibility? Where are they, have they all given into the corruption as a way of life in South Dakota.

    South Dakota Democrats don’t have a voice in this state and probably won’t have for a long time, therefore it is the responsibility of a true Republican to step up and save the party before they all end up in federal prison.

    Pat Powers, Troy Jones, et al., don’t think about the possibility that their party has done wrong by the people, they immediately rush to the defense of their masters.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that anybody that defends the state republican party from all the corruption and graft is themselves a part of the corruption.

  14. grudznick 2015-11-04

    Mr. C, my good friend, you put me in a tough position. You cannot castigate all Republicans just as Mr. Wiken cannot castigate all Indians. People are individuals. You know darned well that I am a past president of a group of Conservatives who argued for Common Sense. I simply don’t have that pull any more because some people who are insaner than most are running the boat these days. But do not give up on fellows like Mr. Jones and others who espouse common sense. You cannot just hate everybody with an (R) on their registration card any more than you can hate everybody who decides to be in favor of gays marrying or having long hair. Please don’t castigate all of us, my friend, and abandon us all hope of working together with you.

  15. Roger Cornelius 2015-11-04

    grudz my friend,

    I think you may have taken my comment a little too personally, it was said a manner to castigate all republicans, I questioned where is the leadership in your party that should be working to bring back honesty and credibility they once had.
    It is a legitimate question to wonder about the intentions of republicans that immediately rush to the defense of the players and the party when issues of corruption come up.
    I don’t hate all republicans, I have numerous friends that are Republicans and that I socialize with. I count Senator Bruce Rampleburg (R-RC) as a friend and have excellent discussions with him. Even Senator Stan and I served on several community boards together and I regard him as a friend.
    I am saying that the honest republicans, like yourself and others I know, come forward and use your influence to correct the atrocities in Pierre. None of us are too old to do that, grudz.
    Best Wishes

  16. Donald Pay 2015-11-04

    Having Cory and other SD journalists digging into the obvious corruption in Republican-led government isn’t going to make any difference. It can be spread all over the paper, blogs and SD airwaves, and the dumb crowd in South Dakota won’t vote much differently. What would make a difference?

    When the sewage ash scam was going, papers in South Dakota and the Twin Cities did a pretty good job of coverage. I mean by that that the Technical Information Project uncovered all the facts, and the media dutifully reported them. The media uncovered very, very little on its own.

    What made things change a little? When the Wall Street Journal put it on the front page in a scathing, sarcastic article that made SD state government officials, including George Mickelson, look like rubes and boobs who were repeatedly hoodwinked by Twin Cities sewage bureaucrats and a couple Reno, Nevada, swindlers. The ridicule that resulted from that article shamed state government officials into making some actual changes in law and process. And they put one of the crooks in prison.

    Ridicule is a potent weapon. Facts didn’t seem to matter. The scam kept going even after the facts came out, because it had the backing of several well-connected West River business folks, who had invested some money and wanted the ash to keep flowing into South Dakota. It was only when state leaders felt shame from being held up to the ridicule of the nation that there was some change. Mickelson did a far better job after that ridicule than he did before it.

    So, get this on 60 Minutes or in the Wall Street Journal if you can. Shame the bastards into being honest.

    Let’s be clear.

  17. grudznick 2015-11-04

    Thanks, Mr. C, I appreciate you and your clarification

  18. Spike 2015-11-04

    The comments here are a reflection of why it will be too difficult to put any democrat candidate in office in SD. No matter the reasonable arguments put forth. Niave, (or is it denial) good, honest South Dakotans will always vote for what they believe are SD values represented by the SD GOP. And national GOP.

    Unfortunately the reality is different.

    An open ballot like Nebraska that recognizes the individual could make this much more representative of what South Dakotans want. Let’s do it. People registering as Independents left and right (lol) indicate this.

    Gone are the times when our great democrats were accepted by both parties in SD because of those people’s great talents. Daschle did so much for every person in this state and country it’s really amazing. I would always argue he never lost his roots in his success. E Y Berry was a Republican senator and Representative that I know for a fact helped many Democrat’s, natives and had great support. Replaced in House by Mr. James Abourezk.

    Ben Riefel was an Indian. From Parmelee on Rosebud. SDSU and Harvard. 5 time House of Representatives member. Republican. East River Representative. Chose not to run after 10 years. Replaced by George McGovern in 1970.

    We somehow need to vote in our best people , not our party.

  19. John 2015-11-04

    There is as little honor in defending Rounds or Daugaard now as there was in defending Nixon in the 1970s. Republicans who defended the later found themselves as irrelevant as those will whom are now defending the former pairing. Donald is correct – the problem is the ignorant, disinterested South Dakota voter.

  20. Curt 2015-11-05

    For once I mostly agree with Troy. S Whitney has attained his level of incompetence and D Kranz had vastly greater knowledge of state politics – not to mention superior writing ability. And when Whitney’s insight is on point, it may be accidental. Nevertheless, even Whitney is not always off base and in this instance he is able to see facts for what they are.
    No one should be surprised that Powers would attempt to twist comments made by Sutton and Hawley – that’s what he does.
    The important thing to remember is that lax oversight from SD DOE led to gross mis-management of millions of dollars. It’s tragic that a man was driven mad in the process and children died as a result. There is no ‘dancing’ but serious questions need answers … before the next shoe falls.

  21. larry kurtz 2015-11-05

    In South Dakota corruption is an acceptable way of life but cannabis is the slippery slope to Hell.

  22. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-05

    Donald, a little national-level shame and humiliation? What got the Wall Street Journal to take notice on the sewage ash scam? What gets the national press to take notice now of our trifecta of of hot topics?

  23. mike from iowa 2015-11-05

    Spike and Cory and Roger C and bcb and Bill Fleming and Paul Seamans and the Blindman and John Tsitrian and David Newquist and others to be named later are hereby officially elected leaders of South Dakota gubmint. I have so decreed.

  24. larry kurtz 2015-11-05

    Donald can’t expose his own state’s culture of corruption why is he credible?

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-05

    MHS, if we have to hang some superintendents, so be it. But the buck stops with the boss, the captain, right? If Rick Melmer moved primary responsibility for overseeing GEAR UP from the state office he was leaving to the co-op back in his home county so he could stay closer to the money, and if Melody Schopp let that scheme remain in place and didn’t ask for the proper oversight back, don’t those state officials bear blame? If state officials came up with the scheme and set it in motion, if MCEC staff carried it out, and if the MCEC board supes let it happen, who gets the longest jail sentence? Who pays the highest fine? On whom do we voters exert our response?

    And if the scheme played out as described above, what’s the most effective way to stanch the corruption? We can run around urging every local school district to elect new school board members who would in turn fire their superintendents and hire new (and urge them not to fall for Rick Melmer and Tom Oster’s pitch to be their search committee consultants), or we can lop the head off in Pierre by electing a Democrat governor in 2018. Which approach more surely gets the job done?

  26. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-05

    (Unnecessary lash-out, Larry.)

  27. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-05

    LK, I’ll work for that vote for whoever runs on the D side in 2018, as well as for legislators running on your simply platform of accountability in 2016.

    But can a candidate win by telling South Dakota voters that they are good, honest people but that they’ve been too darn gullible for the last 40 years?

  28. larry kurtz 2015-11-05

    Bull, Cory: Paul Ryan is from Wisconsin.

  29. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-05

    I feel another needless squabble coming on. Donald offered an intelligent and apt observation on the failure of us bloggers and journalists to convince the rest of our neighbors to act on corruption. The fact that similar problems arise in Wisconsin does not negate the truth of his statement.

  30. mike from iowa 2015-11-05

    Wisconsin whitey wingnuts don’t need to have their corruption exposed. They are right out front about it and every move they make is to further entrench wingnuts in the majority.

    Activist wingnut soopreme court of Wisconsin determined that John Doe investigations are illegal and Walker and his campaign contributors are free to coordinate all activities and shell out as much money as they want. These same justices ruled in favor of Walker’s campaign contributors,many of whom had contributed directly to the justices campaigns for re-election.

    Donald Pay doesn’t need me or anyone else to defend him. Check out Madison Capital Times for corruption coverage. They and other papers have been all over this story dating back before Walker was elected.

  31. Lynn 2015-11-05

    Every state has it’s issues right Larry Who Resides in New Mexico? Just discussing the issues there would take up quite a bit of time such as poverty and on and on. There are a number of New Mexico blogs where they would appreciate your input.

  32. larry kurtz 2015-11-05

    The New Mexico Democratic Party is light years ahead of me.

  33. Lynn 2015-11-05

    That’s not saying much but either way New Mexico has some very serious issues with terrible poverty and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

  34. larry kurtz 2015-11-05

    Yep, New Mexico is flailing under Susana Martinez and the NMGOP for sure.

  35. larry kurtz 2015-11-05

    Colorado and Montana are thriving under Democratic governors, though.

  36. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-05

    South Dakota needs a Democratic Governor to right this ship. Adding ten Democrats to the State Senate next year would be a big step toward supporting that goal.

  37. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-05

    …or maybe eleven new Democratic Senators, because then, after those Senate Dems wage war on corruption for two years, one of them can step up and win the Governor’s chair in 2018.

  38. Rorschach 2015-11-05

    I’d like to see more Democrats dancing on Graves – Joe Graves. That guy has a contract requiring him to work only as the Mitchell superintendent and violated that contract by taking a very lucrative second job that paid him more for part-time work than he pays some of his teachers. This is one of the corrupt conflicts of interest in which Republican insiders are able to double-dip at the public trough without any accountability. So by all means Democrats, put on your dancing shoes and get to it.

    If only Stu Whitney knew more about politics, he would just understand that everything he criticized Republicans for is actually hunky dorry, right Troy? No criticism is warranted, right Troy? Nothing to see here, move along, right Troy?

  39. Spike 2015-11-05

    I agree Cory, but I remain disappointed in last year’s democratic governor primary.
    Joe Lowe had the experience, education and intelligence to deal with this crap out of Pierre. Because Sue was a chosen one by SDDP we were blasted embarrassingly in the general election. She apologized for being democrat, complained it interfered with her accounting work. Unprepared on local issues in her visits around state. Said she would campaign after tax season. We all know it was a poorly run campaign.
    Joe deals with facts n would have been a more than worthy debater. Understands the media, worked in Pierre, was a mayor, etc… But apparently since he’s not SD born he was a thorn in SDDP elite circles. He has the respect of many west river repubs….n possibly could have got something started for SDDP. Damn disheartening scenario.

    We on the reservations try to do our part. I understand the sometimes apathy of democrat voters tho. Unless we open a West river office, develop a true grassroots district by district organization and agenda, we will continue to get pummeled. N our little contingent in Pierre will decide with the Sioux Falls group who’s going to get the butts kicked in statewide.

  40. Rorschach 2015-11-05

    I peg 2018 as the year of Democratic Party resurgence in SD. After the voters give Republicans a pass on all the scandals and ineptitude in 2016, non-Republicans will finally be motivated to vote after 2 miserable years of President J.E.B. Trump-Carson. 2018 should be a good year for Governor/Lt. Gov. Herseth-Sandlin/Lowe (or /Huether), and Congressman Brendan Johnson.

  41. Rorschach 2015-11-05

    Jeff Barth for PUC.

  42. 90 Schilling 2015-11-05

    Yes, put Brendan in. While you’re at it put his classmate/buddy/confidant Marty Jackley in there somewhere. More of the same, Rorschach.

  43. jerry 2015-11-05

    Brendan who? The dude is a ghost.

  44. Rorschach 2015-11-05

    Same .. how so, 90 Schilling?

  45. 96Tears 2015-11-05

    Stu Whitney added nothing that wasn’t already in the Pierre Capital Journal editorial this week. It’s shameful that the Sanford Leader’s editorial board has steered clear of this, the continuing Rounds/Daugaard EB-5 scam and the amateurish corruption of Jason Gant’s SoS office. It’s one thing to have a resident columnist spout off. It’s quite another for an editorial board to speak truth to power.

    The Sanford Leader, South Dakota’s largest seven-day weekly, has established its editorial policy on corruption in Pierre: Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

  46. Rorschach 2015-11-05

    What South Dakota really needs is an Office of Inspector General. How about that for a ballot initiative? An Inspector General with a small staff including a secretary, investigator(s) auditor(s) tasked with conducting independent investigations of government agencies/programs and police shootings with authority to subpoena records. The federal government has dozens of inspector general departments. South Dakota just needs one good and independent Inspector General.

  47. The King 2015-11-05

    Here’s a Republican’s perspective, take it or leave it. About half of the SD voters were not even alive when Dick Kneip was Governor. About half of the remaining voters were not registered voters when Kneip was Governor. My point? Most registered SD voters cannot imagine a Democrat Governor. All these Republican scandals help reduce the thought of the unknown. However, you blue guys need to go with a candidate that is familiar to the entire voter base to have a chance for change, one that they have trusted before. There is only one viable Democratic option, Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin. Given all the recent crap coming from Pierre I am ready to board the Republicans for Stephanie bus.

  48. larry kurtz 2015-11-05

    For SHS to have a shot at governor she needs to beat Kristi first in a rematch.

    It’s impossible for me to imagine either Stephanie or Max Sandlin living in a wasteland like Pierre.

    But, if she does decide to plug her nose to move to Pierre in 2019 she needs to overcome her loss to a novice like Kristi Noem, would have to redeem herself by taking Kristi on again in the House race and serving in DC for a term could help her chances in the gubernatorial contest.

    If SHS has learned anything it’s that she’s over getting into any election where she could lose. Her campaign would have to expose John Thune for the political opportunist he is and it would take a boatload of money to do that.

    On Monday’s 100 Eyes broadcast the conventional wisdom suggested that if SHS beat Noem in 2016 Kristi wouldn’t run for governor in 2018.

    South Dakota needs an executive who would go to Pierre, treat the sewage and flush the culture of corruption into Lake Sharp.

    Honestly? I believe there isn’t a single Democrat in South Dakota with the gonads to do that although Cory Heidelberger would make an excellent governor and he’s used to living in s—hole towns like Pierre.

    If Democrats want to make a difference in Pierre we should be twitter-bombing the White House to put a radical into the US Attorney’s office because Randy Seiler is sandbagging as acting USA for the District of South Dakota. Seiler lives in Fort Pierre so he’s been doused in SDGOP kool-aid.

  49. Rorschach 2015-11-05

    The King is right. Larry, you’re wrong. Stephanie will not run for US House again. She has nothing to prove in the House, and she’s looking forward not backward. It will be either for US senate or governor. Stephanie could win a governor’s race against anyone. If it were a governor race between Noem and Stephanie Noem would get clobbered.

  50. larry kurtz 2015-11-05

    I stand by every word i write…and use my real name.

  51. larry kurtz 2015-11-05

    SHS can run for both offices in 2018 and if she wins the governor’s race she can appoint her own replacement in the US House after she beats Noem in 2016.

  52. Rorschach 2015-11-05

    You can stand by every word you write, Larry. But South Dakota law prevents anyone from running for two offices on the same ballot – with the one exception being if someone from SD is up for re-election and also running for President or VP.

  53. larry kurtz 2015-11-05

    Read my comment(s) again.

  54. mike from iowa 2015-11-05

    Rorschach-that was the Tom Daschle rule that said Daschle had to give up his Senate seat to run for Potus(he didn’t) That law was ushered through wingnut Dakota to force Daschle to choose. I wasn’t aware it had been changed. I heard some rumblings about Thune wanting it changed.

  55. mike from iowa 2015-11-05

    King,with the stench of corruption wafting out of Pierre,Dakotans ought to at least know and believe there are better alternatives available. Wingnuts have proven they can’t and won’t police themselves. They just push the manure under the rug and tell you you are smelling money.

  56. Jana 2015-11-05

    Pierre is broken!

    The one party system that has been allowed to fester like a boil in this state is as embarrassing as it is tragic. 7 dead from a culture of corruption that feeds on itself for no greater purpose than to promote their own power and profit.

    The South Dakota Republicans will scream that Washington is broken and yet are so blind to what is happening here that you wonder if they didn’t take Karl Rove’s admonition that “we will create our own reality” just a little too seriously.

    Our economy is lagging, but the Governor will ignore main street for fast easy EB-5 and out-state-corporations…blindly thinking that the voodoo economics that have failed in the past will work. Knowing full well that their goal was to pad their pockets and throw up artficial success as a measure of their own making.

    While they falsely champion smaller government, they have built the bureaucracy in Pierre even bigger to benefit themselves and their friends. Filling not just top positions with appointees, but putting patronage over performance when hiring people. The kind of patronage that makes stealing a flag seem inconsequential because they aren’t working for the people, they’re working for themselves and their benefactors.

    The GOP has fooled people into thinking that the Free Market is king, while all the while making sure that the “Friend Market” thrives with their own brand of shadowy crony capitalism.

    The GOP will turn their noses up at those needing assistance and yet at the same time have their hand out for welfare from the Federal government that they claim to hate so much.

    The GOP looks at the tragedies, fraud and corruption of EB-5, MCEC, Gear Up and being last in the nation for supporting education and feel no shame because those are just the unfortunate consequences of the business model they’ve adopted for all of South Dakota.

    To mask their lack of morality in governance, they wedge us apart with false fear of social issues and demagoguery.

    They’re disregard for the environment is diverted by breeding distrust in the government so that they can look the other way when stewardship of the soil and air get in the way of cheap production. But if you asked them to drink or swim in the Big Sioux River, they would probably rather vote for Hillary Clinton.

    Pierre is broken!

    The GOP owns it and every Democratic or Independent candidate, or those thinking about running for to actually serve the public, should hang this albatross on the necks of their opponents and the GOP.

  57. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-05

    96, remind your Democratic friends thinking about the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial primary that Senator Sutton is calling out corruption and putting his name on that charge, while Mayor Huether is… what? I can’t hear you, Mike….

  58. Spike 2015-11-05

    Cory, IMHO, Billie is not ready to be governor. ..Mike is…Mikes running Sioux Falls. Billie is State Senate Minority leader. .Mr. Sutton should be out front here.

    I’m aware this impacts Mike. IMHO he is deferring.

    Have a good evening Cory wish we could all be there.

  59. 96Tears 2015-11-05

    Huether? He would never rock the boat with the special interests. He’s too desperate for money and places little value on friendships unless there’s money involved. T. Denny owns Huether.

    T. Denny also hand-picked Daugaard to be governor while he kepted the puppet strings tight on Rounds. Considering Huether is infamous for arrogance and a complete lack of transparency as Sioux Falls mayor, he’d be a massive disaster as governor. I’d vote for a known crook before I’d waste my vote on Huether.

  60. moses 2015-11-05

    Please run Mike I want to vote republican against you.

  61. Donald Pay 2015-11-05

    My name has been taken in vain. Oh, well.

    Everyone here knows about Walker’s corruption. As someone said, the Republicans here don’t make any pretense of that they aren’t totally corrupt. They relish in it. Tomorrow will be just another day in furthering that effort, as they screw around with our campaign finance laws.

  62. larry kurtz 2015-11-05

    Sorry for lashing out, Mr. Pay.

  63. mikel 2015-11-05

    The first responsibility goes to the MCE board itself. Investigate the crap out of those board members, then work your way up. I’m not giving the GOP a pass, but start at the beginning.

  64. mike from iowa 2015-11-05

    Wingnuts in Wisconsin know that everyone in Wisconsin and the Midwest know wingnuts are corrupt and they could care less. They have the solid majorities in Wisky’s legislature,the have the guv’s seat and they have a bought and paid for majority in the soopreme court who have proven time and time again that the law means what they get paid to say it means.They don’t hide their disdain for Dems or citizens. Who is going to stop them? Just like South Dakota and Texas and Kansas and North Carolina and the rest of the 25 states that wingnuts have total control over. Dems,by the way,totally control 7 states.

  65. Donald Pay 2015-11-05

    South Dakota does have the initiative and referendum, which can make a difference if used strategically. Ballot measures are not available in Wisconsin. So far, Republicans haven’t been able to touch our fairly strong open records laws, not that they didn’t try to sneak something by everyone on the 4th of July weekend. A huge uproar ensued and they Republicans backed off.

  66. Donald Pay 2015-11-05

    I don’t mind, Mr. Kurtz. Lash away.

  67. larry kurtz 2015-11-05

    @coralhei brat.

  68. larry kurtz 2015-11-05

    for the record i’ve called out larry lucas, too.

  69. larry kurtz 2015-11-05

    scott parsley is next.

  70. bearcreekbat 2015-11-05

    Yay larry! But I worry about Sartre’s “No Exit” – what if larry, Donald and Lynn end up together in a room for eternity?

  71. grudznick 2015-11-05

    Mr. Bat, I am sure Lynn and Mr. Pay would be as polite as they could with good old Lar, even though through most of his life he the union rep for the proprietors of douchbaggery.

  72. larry kurtz 2015-11-05

    the cat in the bag eats a diet of worms.

  73. leslie 2015-11-05

    Newquist makes many connections as we slowly expose EB5, Regents, NSU, AG’s office, lawyers, auditors, banking commission.

    MCEC is now in a similar light, as we wonder who was benefitting from exploitation of state-run programs with access to significant sources of funding.

    Don Pay is suggesting some of these players are setting up a nuclear waste business model for the state. And it’s residents will never be able to get away from it once established. These players have one motive, greed for profit–with no concern for the welfare of the citizens. Uranium is looking like DENR’s contribution to this SDGOP philosophy. Seth Tupper’s (poorly edited) reporting is welcome, exposing Hollenbeck’s bid to join the elite despite mining’s nefarious history.

    the next big thing is foreign purchase of ag land and water rights, stripping a region of its historic ground water reserves by irrigation and exportation of non-replenishable groundwater via export of the crop. South Dakota’s seeming gullibility to the “Joops” and “Sveens” and “Westerhuises” of the neighborhood leaves us ripe for these shell games.

    I believe the Board of Regents is composed of con-men/women. The real cowboys need to get a rope on these steers! And a lot of those cowboys are Indians.

  74. Les 2015-11-05

    I don’t know if it’s just late or if I’m getting soft, leslie, but you’ve just made some great observations, every one of them.

  75. leslie 2015-11-05

    aaahhhhhhhhhhh :0 but see comment to grudz only

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