On May 15 the Governor’s Office of Economic Development hosted a webinar on its new CAFO-county bribe program. GOED appears not to have YouTubalized that webinar yet, but the slides are available online. Here are the highlights, with translations:
Joe Fiala, GOED Community Development Director, looks sharp and ready to deal. But why do we call the position “Community Development Director” when the factory feedlots the state is bribing counties to permit will drive neighboring community members to live elsewhere?
The state refuses to let counties levy sales taxes of their own to pay for all the law enforcement and corrections costs that the state has shirked onto them. But if counties will surrender to corporate livestock producers who need special exceptions from the zoning rules us commoners follow to build their massive meat-, milk-, and poop-generating facilities, then the state will dribble out some sales tax dollars.
The GOED CAFO bribes follow a slightly circuitous route. The GOED statutes don’t appear to allow for direct transfer of sales tax rebates to counties, so it looks as if GOED will strike the same deals with the factory feedlot developers but write a clause into their contract requiring that the developers cough their cashback back to the county. I suppose the CAFO developers will figure they still come out ahead, since without the bribes, they wouldn’t have been able to build anything in the target counties.
For a ten-million-dollar CAFO, a county could get $450,000, to do with however they please. Note the emphasis on fixing roads. If the county has any money left from its CAFO bribe, maybe the commissioners can offer some matching funds for a water quality grant.
And look who gets to handle the GOED CAFO bribes closest to Pierre, in the Huron-Aberdeen-Mobridge quadrangle? The Governor’s imminent son-in-law, Kyle Peters. Boy, the Governor sure wants to make sure Kyle is home every night for supper….
Local control. 100%. You bet. Pierre waves a six-figure check at you, and you don’t see the wisdom of Mark Mickelson’s narrow vision of turning every corner of South Dakota outside Sioux Falls city limits into a CAFO for his clients, no problem—you have every right to stay in the dark ages with your silly fresh air and clean water.
Sign up now! GOED is excited to work with you county commissioners… because three or five guys whom we can buy off with a windfall that prevents hard budget decisions are a lot easier to persuade than the rural residents who will have to sell their homes at a loss when they move to someplace with breathable air.