SDGOP: Did Susan Wismer Finally Read the EB-5 Reports?

SDGOP: Did Susan Wismer Finally Read the EB-5 Reports?
After admitting “I didn’t read it” in March,
Wismer is now playing politics with investigation.

Pierre, SD – Today, the South Dakota Republican Party called on Rep. Susan Wismer (D-Britton) to stop playing politics with the investigation into the late Richard Benda and the federal EB-5 program.

At a legislative hearing in March, at which state officials answered numerous questions, Rep. Wismer said the following to a state-retained auditor: “Your report takes up about an inch of this book or more. Could you talk – I didn’t read it. Could you talk a little bit about what else takes up the rest of the inch of paper?”

Since that March hearing, Rep. Wismer has gone on to become the Democrat nominee for Governor.

Dick Wadhams, a spokesman for the South Dakota Republican Party, had the following to say:

“As a member of the committee looking into this matter, Susan Wismer didn’t even take the time to prepare by reading the auditor’s report. It is hard not to wonder if Susan’s sudden interest is motivated by her own political ambitions – especially when the South Dakota Democrat Party is live-tweeting scripted partisan attacks as Wismer recites them in the hearing room. If Susan Wismer really cares about this investigation, she must direct her campaign and the state Democrat party to stop playing politics.”

Wadhams finished by saying:

“Just today, Attorney General Jackley discussed his plans to file criminal charges as a result of the investigation that Governor Daugaard requested. It is clear that they are doing what they can to get to the bottom of this, despite Susan Wismer’s bizarre claims.”


Attorney General Jackley Addresses Legislative Government Operations and Audit Committee on Individual Financial Misconduct Related to Northern Beef Packers

Attorney General Jackley Addresses Legislative Government Operations and Audit Committee on Individual Financial Misconduct Related to Northern Beef Packers

Marty JackleyPIERRE, S.D – Today in open session of the Legislative Government Operations and Audit Committee (GOAC), Attorney General Jackley provided a summary of the Division of Criminal Investigation’s (DCI) investigation into allegations of individual financial misconduct at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). Attorney General Jackley provided a chronology of events including the Governor’s request of April 8, 2013 for the Attorney General to investigate the allegations of financial misconduct. Attorney General Jackley advised the Committee that DCI commenced a criminal investigation involving thousands of voluminous financial records including personal bank records, loan documentation, correspondence, emails, as well as witness interviews, preparation of criminal process documentation and meetings with Benda’s defense counsel. The Attorney General further advised the Legislative Committee that throughout the investigation the GOED was cooperative, and that the investigation file was opened to the Legislative Auditor General consistent with court supervision.

The Attorney General provided the Legislative Committee with the draft criminal complaint and arrest warrant prepared and finalized on October 8, 2013 at 2:36 p.m. The Attorney General further provided the Committee with the grand jury letter of October 11, 2013 scheduling grand jury for October 28, 2013. Based upon the events of October 22, 2013 wherein state, federal and local law enforcement authorities responded to Richard Benda’s death in rural Charles Mix County, no further state criminal action has been taken.

On November 21, 2013 Attorney General Jackley provided the Governor and federal authorizes with the investigation results on both voucher concerns and the investigations discovery of $550,000 of future fund monies being redirected from its intended purpose and used to prepay EB5 loan monitoring fees for the South Dakota Regional Center. Because the EB5 program is a federal immigration program run and controlled by federal immigration authorities the Attorney General’s Office has provided its investigative findings and access to its investigation file to federal authorities.

All documents provided to the Legislative Committee outside of executive session are attached. Further comments from the Attorney General were limited based upon privacy protections of the grand jury and witness material. Additional disclosures would require a court order.


Gordon Howie 2nd Quarter FEC Report: $16.5k raised, $29.6k spent, $2.4k on hand, and a $15.5k Loan. And basically no South Dakota support.

And here’s another State Legislative Race masquerading as a US Senate contest. Gordon Howie’s first FEC Report is so awful, it makes the Nelson reports look good:

Howie 2014 2nd Quarter FEC Report

$16.5k raised, $29.6k spent, $2.4k on hand, and a $15.5k Loan.

So, what are the nuts and bolts of the report? The big money item was the $20,150 of the $29.6k he spent went to Libertarian activist Emmett Reistroffer’s petition firm for petition circulation, just to get on the ballot. And aside from website and design fees, he paid Stace Nelson ally Ken Olson $500 to go switch out a bunch of Nelson signs for Howie ones.

And that’s as far as the report goes for expenditures. But for the income, there’s where is gets interesting.

Of the $16,574 that Howie raised, how much of it came from South Dakota? According to the itemized contributions, about $400. $15,750 came from out of state. $2000 from Alexandria, Virgina. Over ten-thousand ($10,400) from Boston. And $2600 from San Francisco. (Am I reading Rick Weiland’s report, or Gordon Howie’s?)

The near universal lack of South Dakota support from Howie’s report speaks volumes. Here’s another campaign driven purely by ego, as opposed to popular support. I don’t think this is going to end well.

Fellow US Senate Candidate Michelle Nunn ranks Rick Weiland as least likely race for DSCC to invest in.

The National Review has an article about Georgia Democrat US Senate Candidate Michelle Nunn, and her leaked campaign plan which they posted for the world to see, which are garnering a bit of attention in political circles.

And, generally, South Dakotans largely shouldn’t care.

Except for Rick Weiland.

Why? Because as part of that campaign plan, the Nunn campaign ranks Rick Weiland’s race as least likely race for DSCC to invest in. As in dead last.

These may sound like attacks from the Senate candidate’s Republican rival, but in fact, those are a few of the concerns expressed in her own campaign plan, which sources say was posted online briefly in December and appears to have been drafted earlier that month. Drawing on the insights of Democratic pollsters, strategists, fundraisers, and consultants, the document contains a series of memos addressed to Nunn and her senior advisers.

From all appearances, the document was intended to remain confidential.


The documents reveal the campaign’s most sensitive calculations. Much of the strategizing in the Georgia contest as is typical in southern politics, revolves around race. But the Nunn memos are incredibly unguarded.

2014 Michelle Nunn Campaign Memo

Read it all here.

For South Dakotans, the Weiland Salvo is way back on page 140 (you can click on the image to enlarge):


Now, this was 11 months out, but out of 15 races, Weiland’s race was ranked 15th.

And I really doubt that much has changed since then.

Weiland Who? South Dakota GOP Conducts Random Street Interviews with Voters in Sioux Falls

(Okay, this is funny. -PP)

Weiland Who? South Dakota GOP Conducts Random Street Interviews with Voters in Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls, SD – The South Dakota Republican Party released a video today of random street interviews with South Dakota voters. Those who participated were asked a simple question as they were shown a photo of Rick Weiland: “Do you know who this is?” You can watch the video here or by clicking on the image below:

Rob Burgess, Communications Director for the South Dakota Republican Party, had the following to say:

“Rick Weiland has had no shame promoting the fact that he ‘has been everywhere’ in South Dakota. Yet, of those people interviewed in Sioux Falls, an overwhelming percentage had no clue who he was. It is becoming very clear that South Dakotans not only don’t know who Rick Weiland is, but what office he is running for. Maybe this is why Mr. Weiland has chosen to focus on his music video career rather than representing the people of South Dakota.”

Argus: New York Times/CBS on-line poll showing Mike Rounds 25 points up

The Argus Leader has a notation on a New York Times/CBS on-line poll showing Mike Rounds 25 points up over his opponent Rick Weiland.

I can buy that.

The online survey, conducted by YouGov (whose online polls were pretty accurate in 2012), surveyed 631 registered South Dakota voters and has a margin of error around 4.5 percent.

It found 59 percent of voters supporting Republican Mike Rounds and 33 percent supporting Democrat Rick Weiland. Only 3 percent support another candidate, who weren’t named in the poll question.

Read it here.

Now, I’m not ready to bet the farm, given that it’s an on-line poll, and it doesn’t include Larry Pressler, as that could make the margin greater than 25 points, given how hard Pressler is pulling votes away from Weiland. And the poll doesn’t mention the “Other,” as they usually term Gordon Howie when they include him.

But, a 25 point lead over awful Rick Weiland? I can certainly consider that plausible.

Thune Unveils Rail Service Website

Thune Unveils Rail Service Website

-Includes latest updates on grain car orders and rail service developments-

John_Thune_official_photoWASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) today announced the release of a new rail service section on his official website where South Dakota shippers concerned with inconsistent rail service can find the latest South Dakota rail developments. On the site, South Dakota shippers and consumers will find the most up-to-date actions taken by Thune, access grain car reports, find contact information for the Surface Transportation Board (STB), and can leave a message for the senator about the problems they’ve experienced.

“We are reaching a critical juncture in South Dakota as wheat harvests begin,” said Thune. “I will continue pressuring Canadian Pacific Railway, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, and Rapid City, Pierre, and Eastern Railroad to deliver the needed rail service to our state. I urge all South Dakota shippers to continue their discussions with the STB and to keep me informed of concerns by contacting me through my website. Since this winter, I have been committed to working with our producers and shippers to ensure our state’s rail service problems are addressed, and urge shippers to visit my website for regular rail service updates.”

Rail service in South Dakota continues to be challenging for all shippers. South Dakota’s agriculture producers have been hit particularly hard by the ongoing rail service backlogs resulting in lower grain prices and diminishing grain elevator storage capacity due to unmoved stockpiles of last year’s crops.

A link to the new rail service site can be found on Thune’s homepage, or can be found at:


Chairman Craig Lawrence’s Statement on New Statewide Teenage Republican Leadership

Chairman Craig Lawrence’s Statement on
New Statewide Teenage Republican Leadership

Last week, the members of the South Dakota Teenage Republicans elected their new leadership team. The elections took place during their annual TARs Camp in the Black Hills. The members elected Jordan Blades (Sioux Falls) to serve as the next chairman of the South Dakota Teenage Republicans. Chairman of the South Dakota Republican Party, Craig Lawrence, released the following statement:

“On behalf of the South Dakota Republican Party, I want to extend my congratulations to Jordan Blades on his election to become the next chairman of the South Dakota Teenage Republicans. I look forward to working shoulder to shoulder with Jordan, and the entire leadership team of the South Dakota TARs, to ensure victory this November. Without a doubt, the future of the Republican Party is very bright because of people like Chairman Jordan Blades.”


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