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Legislature Wants to Divert More CARES Act Dollars from Real Economic Needs to Political Cronies

I thought that if we called a Special Session, the Legislature might do a better job of using our CARES Act dollars better than Governor Kristi Noem has to provide direct, necessary, and helpful coronavirus relief. But this week the Legislature reminded me that we’re not talking about a deliberative body committed to serving the people, but a good-old-boys club as focused as the Governor on frittering away public resources on crony capitalism:

The Legislature’s Joint Local Government Committee suggested adding owners of rental housing, non-profit economic development groups, chambers of commerce, county conservation districts, workforce development organizations, meat packers, and new or expanding businesses [Bob Mercer, “S.D. Legislators Want More to Get Covid-19 Funds; Governor Aims $100 Million at Health Care,” KELO-TV, 2020.09.18].

Economic development groups, chambers of commerce, and workforce development groups are already tangential to South Dakota’s economic well-being. They don’t produce the real goods and services that consumers need; they just advise, advertise, and subsidize favored entities that are supposed to turn profits on their own by satisfying market needs. Throwing money at economic developers, workforce developers, and chambers of commerce doesn’t provide sure and direct relief to South Dakota workers and businesses any more than Governor Noem’s ridiculous, vanity-driven national TV ads for South Dakota tourism.

These parasitic groups put the con in economy. They don’t need direct coronavirus relief; aid to chambers and economic development offices only benefits the political pals of legislators trying to keep their seats. Instead of diluting our resources by dumping them into the non-productive barnacles of our economy, let’s focus the relief dollars on the workers and their families who have fallen ill and on the businesses who are losing money due to the sensible and necessary public health precautions we’re taking to rein in the pandemic.


  1. Curtis Price 2020-09-20 11:07

    If you want to help landlords – pay their tenant’s rent.

  2. Donald Porter 2020-09-20 12:00

    Per Governor Noem’s numbers there is plenty of money for all – 1.25 B one thousand two hundred fifty – $1,000,000 lump sums to put it another way. Fed Chairman Powell says the virus drives the economy; so why not get AHEAD of the virus, drive the economy by “aggressively” testing, contact tracing and isolating. Hiring, training, maintaining several hundred contact tracers; buying and testing up to recommended targets (we are about 80% short), would put us on path to zero. Treasury CRF Guidance as of Sept 2 at SD Bureau of Finance & Mgt site list public health measures first. When we hear school officials doing contact tracing we KNOW we are short staffed; Pierre schools closing abruptly reveal lack of testing tracing. Spending $70 M + would be well spent money – leaving only say $800 M for other pandemic related needs.

  3. mike from iowa 2020-09-20 16:40

    drumpf’s body count continues to get fed. Why not feed the economy on the low end where it will actually do some good?

    2 moar milestones will be reached today, including 7 million cases which I believe is more than 15.

    United States
    Coronavirus Cases:

  4. James 2020-09-20 22:46

    And the Democrats are in on it also. Troy Heinert wants to get rodeo contractors paid. Guess who is filling his pockets once again. Troy is a rodeo Pickup man, for those that don’t know.

  5. jerry 2020-09-20 23:02

    James. Did you know that rodeo contractors (key word contractor’s) provide services for the sport of rodeo. They are a legitimate business. A rodeo pickup man, does work for the contactor. In other words, a business to business operation. Democrats are business people too James. If Troy Heinert is working to get the rodeo contractors that have been harmed by the trump virus, a fair shake, then he is doing his job for his constituents. Thanks for that update though, that makes me feel like we’re all in this together.

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