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Hawks Questions Noem’s Vote to Extend EB-5 Without Reform

Rep. Kristi Noem, Facebook photo, 2015.12.25
Why couldn’t Noem stick to her NO on EB-5?

Welcome back to the campaign trail, EB-5! 

Remember how Congresswoman Kristi Noem said she wouldn’t vote to extend the EB-5 visa investment program without reforms, and then sixteen days later did?

State Rep. Paula Hawks, the Democrat who’d like to replace Rep. Noem, certainly remembers and wants you to, too:

The new criminal charges [against South Dakota’s former EB-5 czar Joop Bollen] are part of a troubling widespread pattern associated with the EB-5 program. Just this last Christmas, my opponent promised not to extend EB-5 without significant reform. Unfortunately, she broke her word and voted to extend the program with no additional safeguards despite our state’s first-hand problems with its corrupt administration and testimony from leading members of her own party. I will continue to champion accountable and transparent government when I represent South Dakota in the U.S. House [links mine; State Rep. Paula Hawks, press release, 2016.04.05].

The Hawks for House campaign began sponsoring Dakota Free Press this week, but their cash in my kitty doesn’t buy this meowing. Rep. Noem’s vote to extend the scandal-plagued EB-5 program deserves our attention, and South Dakotans deserve an explanation from their Congresswoman as to why she would talk as if she believed EB-5 needed reform then vote as if nothing were wrong with EB-5.


  1. Bill Dithmer 2016-04-05

    Hawks, the invisible campaign.

    The Blindman

  2. Jenny 2016-04-05

    Smart move by Hawks campaign. Why on earth would Kristi vote in to not reform EB-5? For god sakes the whole corrupt program needs to be scrapped but yet SDs Noem didn’t even vote to reform it? WTF? Must have gotten some big money from an EB-5 lobbyist. Guys, our corrupt system is never going to change until our dirty politicians (dems included) quit taking money from crooked lobbyists and corporations.

    Bernie Sanders is the only candidate talking about campaign finance reform.

  3. Bob Newland 2016-04-05

    I agree that Kristi’s wrongness deserves attention, but little limp-wristed schoolgirl swipes like this press release are not going to bring it.

  4. Jenny 2016-04-05

    I don’t mean to say Kristi is a dirty politician, she’s just doing what they all do. The politicians to me are to be blamed more than the lobbyists b/c they don’t have to take their dirty money.

  5. Rorschach 2016-04-05

    Bob is right. The criticism should have been coupled with a reform plan that Hawks would support.

  6. Roger Cornelius 2016-04-05

    Even among South Dakota Democrats it appears that Paula is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t.

  7. mike from iowa 2016-04-05

    Now, two years after Iowa Senator Charles Grassley started beating the drum about the possible national security risks posed by EB-5, ABC News goes to town and trumpets the evidence we’ve had for two years that EB-5 is rank with fraud and corruption: From Madville Times Feb 3,2015

    What happened between times to cool the ire of these obstructionist wingnuts and their national security BS?

  8. Porter Lansing 2016-04-05

    ATTN. DAKOTA OUTDOORSPERSONS: As a retired chef/hunter I highly recommend this website and monthly newsletter to be valid in it’s content, focus and direction. Mr. Shaw has great wild game recipes and tips for foraging, fishing and hunting nature’s bounty. PS … a sure way to garner loyal political support is through wild game recipes because we all know that Democrats are better hunters and cooks. #grins
    PS … many of you SoDak Democrats are way overly critical. You’re letting perfect be the enemy of better. It seems you’d criticize Jesus for walking on water, asking why he couldn’t swim.

  9. mike from iowa 2016-04-05

    And we can’t allow vetted Syrian refugees in because they might be terrorists.

  10. Stace Nelson 2016-04-05

    Running a state wide campaign is tough, folks. Tougher when you don’t have the money or staff to compete against an incumbent (or established career politician DC special interests pour money into). Her efforts are doubly difficult with the diminished Democratic registration numbers and the palpable malaise amongst grass roots mom & pops SD Democrats.

    Disagreed with Paula on some obvious issues; however, I found her to be genuinely friendly, sincere, and easy to work with.

  11. Porter Lansing 2016-04-05

    There’s little to be gained by having more concern for what’s wrong with a new idea than what’s right with it. That’s “negativity bias” and it’s detrimental to our progress and a strong reason why SoDak is often the last to acknowledge new things, methods and ideas. The youth sense it and hot foot it away from the state for more creatively receptive states. (e.g. Minnesota and Colorado)

  12. leslie 2016-04-05

    Paula will be an outstanding candidate. Dems are behind her. yes, we are a minority. she is an exceptional person. Rick Weiland should be running again, too for something.

  13. Porter Lansing 2016-04-05

    … good one, Leslie

  14. leslie 2016-04-05

    not meant to be funny.

    perhaps SDDP in another ad can juxtapose the LINCOLN Day activities w/ the obvious fraud and cronyism exposed by the twin tragedies exposing EB5 and MCEC. MIGHT MAKE FOR SOME EMBARRASING VISUALS FOR THE REPUBLICANS. we need to play hard ball when possible. imo.

  15. Porter Lansing 2016-04-05

    Not used to getting compliments, huh Leslie? See what I mean. Even our party won’t praise each other when it’s so much easier and enriching than complaining and criticizing and going down the negative road. That’s exactly how those conservatives act and govern. They can’t even nominate a candidate that’s the least bit likeable (e.g. McCain and Romney).We can be better. We must be better and even if we grow slowly it’s growth with the right motives. It’s growing a party of the positive which will always overcome the party of the negative.

  16. Mark Winegar 2016-04-05

    I stand with Paula Hawks & other Democrats for ethics in government. Don’t you?

  17. scott 2016-04-05

    Is Stace endorsing Paula?

  18. MOSES 2016-04-05

    Called her office no one answered.

  19. Stace Nelson 2016-04-05

    @Scott Only a coward would return professional friendship, even amongst disagreements on the issues, with petty acrimony for political pandering. I have relatives who are registered Democrats, who I love dearly. I have many friends, that count themselves as Democrats, who are also dear to me. I have diligently campaigned amongst all of the voters in my district, regardless of their party registration, and told them honestly where I stand on the issues and how I have and would serve them. I didn’t care what people’s voter registration were for 23 1/2 years risking my life serving them, I’m too old and set in my ways to start now.

    “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.” – Abraham Lincoln

    Words of principle to live by.

  20. grudznick 2016-04-05

    That’s good to know, Mr. Nelson. But you sure tried to make a big deal about Mr. Rhoden’s previous registrations when you got whooped by him in the elections. You care, big fella. You care.

  21. Stace Nelson 2016-04-06

    @GRIDS These type of political opportunists are the problem in US poliics:

    Voters had a right to know the man lied when he claimed he was a “lifelong, Reagan conservative.” Whiooped up on? Surely you smoke too much weed. He lied about his record, and about me. Can’t fault the voters for being fooled by him and His buddy RINO Rounds.

    Now scurry off to your safe zone or a sand box.

  22. Porter Lansing 2016-04-06

    That’s great, Mr. Nelson. Voters love to hear Republicans politicians talk about themselves. It helps us know how you prioritize your concerns. Your S.O.P (selfish old party) is foundationed on self-aggrandizement.

  23. Jenny 2016-04-06

    Stace is probably one of the very, very few ‘Pubs in the party that wants to fight state govt corruption.
    Don’t let the boys annoy you on here, Stace. Cory will ban them if they get too nasty like he did Kurtz. By the way Cory, it is sooo nice to not have mean Kurtz on here bullying everyone!

  24. Stace Nelson 2016-04-06

    @Porter If I declined to answer pointed questions, you’d assail this public servant for being like the rest of the politicians that ignore you. There are many rightful complaints you can throw my way; however, being assessable and willing to interact with the voting public, is a contrived and asinine grievance.

    @Jenny Such petty internet bullying wont dissuade me. It is good to see that folks like you understand that such ignorant pettiness hurts the public debate of issues. It’s refreshing to see it called out and rejected.

  25. Porter Lansing 2016-04-06

    C’mon, Nellie. You’re kicking the ball in the wrong direction and thumping your chest while heading for the wrong goal. I said you’re a braggart, not that you won’t make yourself a public spectacle. You do have a bucket of insults (contrivial, asinine, bully, ignorant, petty) for your detractors, though. Can you take it as well as dish it, sir? Let’s hear some more about you. Because the people really do long for a leader that’s selfless and not interested promoting himself.

  26. Roger Cornelius 2016-04-06

    Silly me, I thought this thread was about Democrat Paula Hawks not Republican Stace Nelson.

  27. Stace Nelson 2016-04-06

    C’mon, Potty… Calling me a braggart is an admission that I have accomplishments worthy of being braggadocios about. Your insecurities with those factual accomplishments are your own demons, not mine. In that you took my proper denouncement of your comments as insulting, indicates an acceptance from you that your comments and actions were properly characterized. Maybe some self reflection on your petty pugnaciousness for the sake of being ignorantly partisan, for the sake of being partisan, is in order?

    The obstacles facing the public, and a candidate, is that first the public must get to know who the candidate is before they can get to like them, before they can trust them, before they will vote for them. Not sure what comments where you are taking the over the top offense to? In all honesty though? I would be lying if I gave any impression that it was a concern.

    I’m your huckleberry, if you had anything to bring? It would have preceded the juvenile mewling attacks already posted.

    You got me, Potty.. I’ve really hit the mother load opposing the establishment corruption. Any time you would like to compare altruisms, just start posting yours and I’ll list mine.

  28. Porter Lansing 2016-04-06

    I don’t smoke pot, Colonel. Do you still yell at your wife when you get angry?

  29. Porter Lansing 2016-04-06

    Last word in yours, jar.

  30. Porter Lansing 2016-04-06

    oooops…Last word IS your’s.

  31. Jenny 2016-04-06

    Don’t fall into the trap, Stace. Porter is beginning to sound like Kurtz now.

  32. Stace Nelson 2016-04-06

    @Porter You do everyone on here a disservice with such ignorant juvenile attacks and distractions. Please exclude me from any of your future comments.

  33. Jeff Endrizzi 2016-04-06

    Back to the point of the original post…I believe the EB-5 issue was part of a larger bill….with other parts very valuable to South Dakota.

  34. Darrell Solberg 2016-04-06

    The Legislative committee set up to investigate EB 5 (9 repubs, 3 dems), so the majority quickly shut down any hope of an Independent Investigation, having the principles (Rounds, Daugaard, Bolen and Warner) testify under oath. Paula & Democrats on the Legislative Committee pushed very hard for a open investigation instead of the protectionist 9 on the committee that quickly shut that down. Power wins in these types of situations. And we all know, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” We can only pray for an Independent or thorough Federal Investigate, as we need to quite allowing the fox to guard the hen house!!!

  35. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-04-06

    Did you guys really just allow Stace to turn about Noem’s inconsistent posturing on EB-5 and Hawks’s effective call-out into a discussion of Nelson’s state legislature bona fides? We are easily distracted!

    Jeff, sure, but a vote’s a vote. If Noem were really concerned about EB-5, she could have rounded up the Grassley caucus and said, “HOld on, the basketball game back home can wait. We’re not letting you use this big bill to sneak in more EB-5 corruption and handouts for developers.” If she wasn’t going to do that, she shouldn’t have piped up about wanting reform so soon before that vote.

  36. Roger Cornelius 2016-04-06

    Powers at the Dump Site is claiming that Paula hates Noem because she voted not only to extend EB-5, but to fund IHS, veteran services and other misc. programs.
    Of course that does not explain Noem’s claim that she wants EB-5 reforms, when she wants them is only politically expedient.
    It is anybody’s guess why Noem didn’t have the courage to demand that the EB-5 extension and funding be a separate bill.

  37. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-04-06

    Predictable, isn’t it, Roger? Fact remains, Noem didn’t do anything to put her money where her mouth was on EB-5 in December, and she’s not doing it now. What reforms, Kristi? And when?

  38. Stace Nelson 2016-04-06

    @CAH There was no complicity on my part in the pointed personal comments that incited appropriate responses. I would not have my good name sullied with any indications that I was in anyway providing cover for the congresswoman to hide her establishment votes behind.

Comments are closed.