Northern Valley Beacon

News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to MinneKota@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Lakota medicine man charged with rape dies in prison

A well-known South Dakota medicine man who had been charged with abusing and raping at least six girls on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation died in prison Tuesday night, according to law enforcement officials.

The entire Washington Post story can be read here

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Disrespecting the police in the hinterland


As a newspaper reporter and editor, I never had the police as a regular beat.  But I often filled in for regular police beat reporters, and dealt with the police often on an investigation team of which I was a part.  When interrogating suspects in the investigation of crimes, police often play the roles of good-cop, bad-cop.  In reality, outside the role-playing, there are good cops and bad cops.  And there are times when police departments give in to the temptation of corruption.  JT,  the managing editor of the last newspaper I worked for and a longtime city beat reporter, said police corruption had about a ten-year cycle, when crooked cops came to light.

The corruption involved bribes and pay offs, not police killings and racial harassment—although those things did happen.  Shootings by police did not become common until police departments began to form SWAT teams, which put police into combat roles.  Up until that time, police regarded themselves more as peace officers with armed conflict a comparative rarity.  They did not face as much danger from shootings because gun laws were much stricter and the police did not encounter as many people who were armed as is common now.  The combat role of police emerged as necessary when they began to encounter the use of military-type automatic firearms used in the commission of crimes. 

I witnessed a number of police scandals over the years.  One night a vice team of officers composed of county sheriff deputies and city police raided a brothel in Rock Island, Ill.  The whorehouse was such an institution in the town that it was nominated for inclusion as a  historic site.  When the madam was taken to the police station and allowed her telephone call, the person she called was the chief of police at his home.  She said, Claude, you know we are supposed to have a warning before police raid our place.  That’s what we pay you guys for. 

Needless to say, Claude was not the chief of police much longer.  He went into the antique business.

My first encounter with police corruption was as a student reporter on a university student newspaper in Chicago.  The editor was an ex-Marine Korean War veteran going to school on the G.I. Bill.  An acquaintance of his was arrested at a basketball game for soliciting a prostitute.  The acquaintance said he had been approached by a woman who asked for a cigarette light and he found himself taken into custody by the police.  He was asked to post a hefty bond, which he did to the police, not to a court.  He was told that his court date could be foregone, if he wanted.  The incident motivated the editor to investigate the situation and see if the police had an organized extortion system.  A mentor for the student newspaper was a Pulitzer-winning reporter for the Chicago Daily News, who helped us find more victims of the scam.

One was an Ohio businessman who was arrested at the Lincoln Park Flower Conservatory, when a woman approached him and engaged in a conversation.  He posted a bond and was given a court date.  He returned from Ohio with a lawyer to keep his court date.  When they  got to the court, they found he was not listed on the schedule, there was no record for his arrest, nor any record of the bond he posted. 

We found other victims who had been arrested in the men’s room of the basketball arena for making homosexual approaches to other men.  At that time, it was a felony in Illinois law for being homosexual.  Bonds were readily posted.  The young student reporters, however, were able to work with some of the scam victims to identify the police officers involved, and that led to a series of stories in the student newspaper that exposed the scam and sparked a purging of the offending officers from their jobs.  Actually, most of them were merely transferred to a different precinct.  However, the stories alerted a Chicago watchdog group, the Better Government Association, to the scam, and brought the department under public scrutiny.

Police departments throughout the nation have histories of corruption and malfeasance which form the backdrop for the concerns and protests over the killing of unarmed people, particularly of African American men. The New York Police Department in its petulant dissing of Mayor DeBlasio is earning the contempt of many people who have experienced and witnessed crookedness or unwarranted violence and oppression on the part of the police. Department members are angry that the Mayor has listened to the complaints of citizens and has been tolerant of demonstrations in which citizens have protested the actions of the police, particularly in the deaths of unarmed citizens.  The police turn their petulant backs on the Mayor rather than face up to the problem actions some of their fellow officers have done that have created distrust and even contempt of the police.  Rather than work with elected officials to confront and correct their problems, the police want to be praised as heroes who put their lives on the line everyday to serve and protect the public.  Their real problem is that too much of the public do not see heroes, but see bullies who are only protecting and serving their inflated and often corrupted egos. 

 The bad attitudes toward the police extend to the hinterlands in places such as Aberdeen.  Devious and incompetent police actions taint the entire justice system.  Prosecutors and judges go to court with evidence of questionable integrity because of they way it was handled by police. 

In recent years, I have spent quite a bit of time monitoring court proceedings.  These proceedings have largely involved matters concerning judicial intervention into religious matters, such as disputes in Hutterite colonies,  Indian reservations, and cases in which South Dakota’s laws that permit government secrecy are involved.  I came across a comparatively minor case involving assault charges against an individual in which evidence provided by the police was disputed.  The state’s attorney and the defense attorney chose to ignore the dispute of evidence.  The defendant in the case was convinced by the defense attorney that going to trial would be so expensive that the defendant could not come up with the money and that it would damage the family involved.

I have often worked with wrongful conviction projects in checking out information and court actions.  In that assault case, I recognized that it was a classic example of how wrongful convictions are made.  The defendant, because of financial reasons, took a plea bargain to a lesser charge, although he contended the testimony supplied by the police was false.

This case led to an examination of other cases that came to the attention of wrongful conviction organizations.  Many young people, we found, have pled guilty to minor offenses because they could not afford the price of a trial, and court appointed attorneys do not think a full-scale defense is worth the money the courts provide them. 



One night I was in an emergency room with a child that had developed a dangerously high temperature.  That night, EMTs rushed in with a young woman who had overdosed.  The police were there trying to get evidence of what drug the woman had taken and where she got it from. The ER physician was getting very agitated.  He finally told the EMTs to “get those fucking idiots out of here so we can do our jobs.”

There is a consequence to this situation.  Most of the young people we have interviewed in Aberdeen regard the police force as a gang that is claiming turf over which it wants to rule.  They respond with derision to the idea that the police have any connection to the administration of justice.  They feel that the police are a force they need protection from, not which protects them.

Police say they feel betrayed by President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.  They ignore how much of the public feels betrayed by them.  It is not just the killing of unarmed citizens that shape the public’s perception;  it is the multitude of miscarriages of justice in less publicized incidents and the history of corruption that clings to many police departments.

I have many friend who have been law enforcement officers.  In Aberdeen, the shooting death of a professor on the NSU campus involved the resignation of one of the investigating officers.  Most of the friends I have who were police officers have resigned because of the internal politics of their departments and the taint of corruption that fellow officers cast upon those who were trying to be upstanding. 

In South Dakota, the cases that earn the suspicion and mistrust of law enforcement are those such as the malicious prosecution and false accusations involved in the Taliaferro-Schwab case and the refusal of the Attorney General to release the investigative record in the death of Richard Benda. 

If the police want respect and support, they need to earn it.  To earn it, the good officers will have to help weed out the bad, not whine petulantly that they feel betrayed.  Instead, they have decided to castigate officials who have bothered to listen to the citizens’ reasons for mistrust and disrespect. 

The whining from the police departments, instead of efforts at reform, merely deepens the suspicion and mistrust that the departments have earned over time.  They could remedy the public disrespect by facing the killings and miscarriages of justice their fellow officers have wrought  and by showing some respect for those they are supposed to serve. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

No access to Congress for Aberdeen



An aspect of Congressional offices that is never mentioned in campaigns or accounts of representative’s and senator’s service is the work their staffs do for constituents.  Senator Tim Johnson’s office went through the closing process this month.  It won’t be replaced.  His successor as U.S. senator for the state will not have a field office in Aberdeen. 

Rep. Kristi Noem does not maintain a service office in Aberdeen, either.  She has a staff member who comes to Aberdeen occasionally, but she does not have any staff members who consult with constituents and  on their behalf to resolve issues.  Sen. John Thune has an office in Aberdeen, the one vacated by Tom Daschle’s staff.  However, that office was literally forced on him.  As a congressman, Thune decided not to have an Aberdeen office, but prominent members of the Republican party in the Aberdeen region were incensed by
his neglect of their part of the state.  He was opposed to or showed no interest in projects for developing this part of the state.  Party members dragged him into the area and “educated” him on the projects and insisted that he have a functioning line of communication that a field office provides for the Aberdeen area. 

In contrast, the Democratic congress people have had fully staffed and very busy offices in Aberdeen.  My spouse worked on the staffs of Sen. Daschle and Rep. Herseth Sandlin.  While staff members worked on legislative business in representing their employees, a huge part of their job was helping constituents navigate the government bureaucracies. Such help might range from someone encountering visa problems in a foreign land and needing action by the state department, someone needing help in solving a social security problem, a farmer needing advice and assistance with a conservation program matter, or someone who has encountered confusion and difficulty with any aspect of government.  Often people seek federal help in coordinating matters involving state and local government.

After Tom Daschle and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin lost elections and their offices were closing down, the staff members spent days shredding the case files the offices had accumulated working in behalf of constituents.  Staff members not only worked in their offices to be available to constituents, they were assigned counties which they visited regularly to represent their  Congressional employer and meet with people to answer questions or offer assistance.

The question in the operation of the field offices is not a matter of big government.  It’s a matter of making government work for the people and providing direct communication between constituents and their elected representatives.  For 8 hours a day, the offices were busy with people who needed consultation or assistance from Congressional representatives, and the phones were ringing constantly.  As one who volunteered for work in the offices,  I was often asked to fill in when the staff members had to be out of the office at staff meetings or constituent business to take messages so that staff members could get in touch with any constituents who came to the office or called.  The staff members conscientiously followed up on all inquiries and concerns.  The field offices were incredibly busy and productive in providing information and services to constituents and making government work for the people. 

The GOP congress people make nominal staff appointments of people who occasionally visit the county, they don’t believe in providing the vigorous service that actually solves problems and otherwise makes government work for the people.  The difference between the parties is most starkly apparent in they way they regard and treat their constituents.

When Democrats were in office, Aberdeen had three offices carrying on the business of government.  Now it is down to the one office that John Thune grudgingly established when his party supporters insisted that he have a presence in our part of the state. 

Noem has never offered much in the way of response or service to this part of the state.  Rounds has indicated he will follow her lead. 

The voters ultimately get what they ask for.  In the cases of Noem and Rounds,  nothing. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

How do you build a progressive political party in a state that the smart people leave?




As the steward of a list of Democrats who contributed to the county Democratic party with funds and organizational support, I have been alarmed at the rapid shrinking of that list.  I have often mentioned it and have offered evidence from it to indicate that a factor in the decline of registered Democrats in South is that intelligent, talented, and educated people leave the state, and those who stay withdraw from social and political interaction.  Brown County has been a Democratic stronghold, contributing leaders like Tom Daschle and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin to national politics, but has shown a decidedly Republican drift in recent years. 

Attrition accounts for a great deal of the names that vanished from that list.  Many long-time Democrats have died; many have moved to gentler climes to live their senior years, and many have left to pursue more rewarding jobs, and many have left for more vital and sustaining cultural climates.  Loyal South Dakota Democrats resist facing the fact that many people, even those raised and schooled here and with family connections here, do not like South Dakota.  And their dislike extends to the people.  Many people who have been raised in South Dakota want out.

John Tsitrian who writes The Constant Commoner blog examines a study from Drexel University which analyzes the outmigration from South Dakota.  The statistics show:

  • In 2012,  47 percent (488,000 persons) born in South Dakota live in other states.
  • Of 1.03 milllion people born in the state, 570,000 remain, making it among the lowest ranking states in terms of birth residents who have remained in the state.  
  • Although, 262,000 people have migrated into the state, they are heavily weighted toward people with high school diplomas, while those leaving are heavily weighted toward those with  college and post-graduate degrees.

After the drubbing Democrats took in the national and state elections, efforts are being made in South Dakota to rebuild the party.  The problem these efforts face is that the people who incline toward liberal and progressive politics have left or want to leave the state.  Many people who habitually vote Republican are in the economic class that is harmed and discriminated against by Republican policies.  They are not intellectually inclined to examine how GOP policies and political schemes affect their lives, but rather think their Republican votes makes them part of the managing class. 

The harsh fact is that educated people leave the state, while the semi-educated vote for the people and policies that regard them as serfs whose virtue rlies in their docile acceptance of low wages and suppressive work rules. 

Rebuilding the Democratic Party in South Dakota will have to involve educating and then giving voice to a constituency that is held in economic bondage, but does not understand how their “right to work” limits their opportunities and their standard of living.   The question is, if you can educate them about their plight, will they leave the state, too?


Monday, November 17, 2014

Why America is not the greatest nation in the world anymore

Kristal Nacht

Faulty link below has been repaired.  *An edited transcript of the video link is included at the end of this post.


The terrorist attacks of 911 were a huge success.  They succeeded in exercising control over the minds of Americans and pushing a plurality into a state of incoherent fear and confusion.  The attacks sparked a campaign of events that sent Americans into a state of mindless rage which reduces them to a helpless babble as those who would exercise power over them manipulate the strings of propaganda and make them incapable of an effective response.

With every beheading of innocents by Islamic mass murderers, with every mass killing by so-called jihadists or Mexican drug cartels, and with every school shooting or killing in the name of self-defense on our own streets, Americans slip further into mental dysfunction and respond only to commands from their chosen masters.  They can only respond to rage-induced resentment and hatred, and many have become incapable of discerning facts from fantasies composed solely to feed their rage and their mindless obedience to those attitudes to which the propaganda directs them.

This month on the ninth marked the 75th anniversary of Kristal Nacht, the night that launched the Holocaust in Germany.  It was a night of rage against the Jews during which synagogues were burned, Jewish businesses and homes were attacked, leaving the German streets covered with shards of broken glass. After the U.S and its allies defeated the Nazis and liberated the Jews who had not been killed, they vowed to never let such an atrocity happen again. 

One of the results of that vow was the intensification of the study of rhetoric and propaganda in our schools and colleges.  Kristal Nacht was instigated and led by Hitler’s regime, but the German people turned out massively on the streets to take part in attacking and capturing the Jewish people.  That participation was the result of a propaganda campaign by Joseph Goebbels and his propaganda ministry.  Goebbels was overwhelmingly successful in manipulating the people to think and do as he determined.  Americans and other western countries were convinced that a people educated in the differences between good rhetoric and false rhetoric and propaganda were a powerful antidote to appeals to political and racial hatred.  During my freshman year in college, we had a textbook for English composition that rigorously analyzed the false premises of propaganda and logical fallacies in rhetoric.  In high schools and colleges, the  techniques of legitimate rhetoric and the discipline of critical thinking were a feature of curricula up until the 1970s. 

Most Americans today are not equipped with educations that make them capable of critical analysis of the blizzard of communication they find themselves in from those who try to control their thinking.  Business corporations see such knowledge as a barrier to the success of their advertising effectiveness.  Political factions see it as a barrier to their indoctrination.  In response to these objections, school boards and many college administrations have eliminated courses in the language arts and humanities which expose students to critical thinking skills and the analysis of good language and literature.  As school boards no longer function as conduits of information between the public and the professional teaching staffs but as corporate boards of directors that dictate curriculum and policies, the curriculum has been reduced to preparing students to be docile, obedient employees.  Their learning achievements are measured by standardized tests used to determine how well schools are performing in their role of creating docile, obedient automatons who will not resist or protest if they are assigned to the class of impoverished serfs that America’s corporate managers want as a workforce.  A large portion of Americans have been rendered mentally defenseless against even the most crass propaganda ploys used to control them.

The denials of climate change and the baseless accusations against Barack Obama of being born in Africa and of being Muslim demonstrate the severe intellectual deficiencies that possess many Americans.  The conservative war against liberalism, as conducted by Rush Limbaugh and his imitators, uses the hate-based false accusations as Joseph Goebbels and his minions used them against the Jews.  A plurality of Americans are mentally incapable of recognizing and dealing with the recognizable falsehoods and appeals to religious and racial hatreds used to control them.  The war against public education has taken its toll in America.  In no category of excellence can America be saidto be the greatest country in the world anymore.  In large measure, that is  because of the way education has been compromised to serve a managing class, not the people. 

These factors in what has been called America’s culture war dominate politics.  There is little honest debate over the problems that afflict the American people and solutions to those problems.  Politics is all about character assassination and false accusations.  And the American people tolerate it all as business as usual.

In 1935, Sinclair Lewis wrote a novel, later made into a drama, titled It Can’t Happen Here,  in which he explored and satirized how what Hitler was doing in Germany could happen in the USA. In his literary work, Lewis explored those weaknesses and defects in American society that undercut democracy and tended toward social and political oppression.  The political party that takes over the country is called The American Corporate State and Patriot Party.  As in all of  Lewis’ satire, there are a significant number of people who embrace a gullible ignorance and a placid stupidity as a mode of life.  The attacks on education have produced that kind of constituency in our time.

Another book that foreshadowed what has happened to American education is Neil Postman’s 1971 Teaching as a Subversive Activity.    If the nation is to resist  being manipulated into its own versions of Kristal Nacht,  the liberals will need to abandon the dysfunctional government and focus on education, even if they have to go underground to accomplish it.  Our young people are our best chance of trying to restore freedom, equality, and justice as  the nation’s operating principles.  They need and deserve a chance to be educated in how our nation overcame oppressions and gave people respect and freedom.

South Dakota is a prime case in point of a state that has deteriorated into intellectual dysfunction.  It has been ruled by one political party which has withheld from the voter-taxpayers information about government transactions and the right to knowledge about what officials are doing.  It has allowed education to be neglected in its funding and tampered with in its function.  It has developed an uncurious and disinterested attitude toward government corruption.  In an instance that is defined with documents and the testimony of participants, the Benda-Bollen-Rounds EB-5 scandal, it has chosen to dismiss hard evidence and embrace the mendacity of its deniers.  It has lost the ability to function mentally and examine the evidence in a suspicious death, the misdealing in state funds, the vicious ripping off of foreign investors, and the incompetent, devious mismanagement of the Northern Beef Packers plant.  Instead, the people endorsed the perpetrators of the fraud and overwhelmingly elected them to control the state.  South Dakota has strongly defined itself as a corrupt state  by the will of the people.  And it demonstrates the reasons why Americais not the greatest nation in the world anymore.

A corrupt political system does not provide the means for decency to prevail.  Those who care will have to devise their own means to provide genuine education and make another try for a new world. 


*

We're seventh in literacy, twenty-seventh in math, twenty-second in science, forty-ninth in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, number four in labor force, and number four in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next twenty-six countries combined, twenty-five of whom are allies.

We sure used to be. We stood up for what was right! We fought for moral reasons, we passed and struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were, and we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and cultivated the world's greatest artists and the world's greatest economy. We reached for the stars, and we acted like men. We aspired to intelligence; we didn't belittle it; it didn't make us feel inferior. We didn't identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election, and we didn't scare so easy. And we were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered. The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one—America is not the greatest country in the world anymore


Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Rounds-Benda-Bollen EB-5 scandal is not going away



As it became apparent Tuesday night that the Democrats were headed for a debacle, some of nature’s malevolent twits crawled out from under their rocks to put on display their magnificent characters and intellects at Cory Heidelberger’s Madville  Times. Here are a couple of examples:


Dave D.
What an ASS kikkin these Liberals are getting tonight!! Well deserved!!! The people HAVE SPOKEN!!!

Tom w
I learned bully talk from kathy tyler, shes real good at it.
Did u sleep at all cory or r u just stunned that the rounds won by so much. Ppl dont care bout  eb5 stuff that u have been wasting ur time writing bout for the past 6 momths

Models of intelligence and literacy.

The term “liberal” in the posting above refers to those radical people who don’t think that secrecy, subterfuge, and graft are the way business should be done in government or anywhere else.  They, indeed, took a beating and this election defined  the kind of thinking and people who dominate the culture of South Dakota.

Other states, such as Illinois, have corruption, too.  But they expose it, make the misdeeds public, and put the culprits in jail.  In South Dakota, the misdeeds are kept secret, denied, and the perpetrators are voted back into office. In this election, the plurality has defined itself:  it condones secrecy, subterfuge, fraud, and embezzlement as the standards for doing business between government and corporations.

The case against Mike Rounds is not a political contrivance by the opposing political party.  It is a case revealed by official documents which have been made public and by his own testimony.  Even the state’s major newspapers made that point in their denials of endorsement for him.

The Rounds-Benda-Bollen scandal over the handling of EB-5 investments will not go away.  There is much more to be made public.  The FBI has indicated that an investigation into the affair is taking place.  If its investigation is thorough and detailed, all the information will be revealed.

South Dakota does not have a freedom of information law.  Its legal code gives public officials discretion about releasing information about their indiscretions committed as official acts.

The federal government has Freedom of Information Act based upon the premise that the public has a right to know what its elected officials and appointed bureaucrats are doing and have done.

When the U.S. justice department  completes its investigation, the public will know  the facts about the Rounds-Benda-Bollen affair.  And it will know a lot more names complicit in it. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

EB-5 is not the problem. What South Dakota did with it is.



The EB-5 program is not a great idea.  It came at a time when outsourcing jobs and wealth to other countries by major corporations seemed to need a balancing factor.   EB-5 invited foreign investors to put money into American business.  There are examples of where the investments did launch sound businesses.  However, the program was a very minor factor until the great recession.  Although U.S. corporations were rescued and benefitted from stimulus efforts through which they accumulated capital, they held on to the money rather than make investments in enterprises and jobs which would bolster the economy.  The reluctance of corporations to invest in America caused developers to do some serious recruiting of EB-5 investors.

The major defect of the EB-5 program is that it did not provide any regulatory means to vet would-be developers of business or to assess their competence and honesty.  Consequently, the program attracted the usual contingent of connivers and schemers with business plans that were suspect from their inception.  South Dakota’s handling of EB-5 projects is among the most flagrant for its fleecing of investors with shoddy business schemes. 

The bankruptcy of Northern Beef Packers triggered an examination of the EB -5 program in South Dakota and produced the revelations of a graft scheme between state government and business interests.  The beef plant scheme was shady and conniving in its origins.  Originally, the beef processing plant was to be a subsidiary operation to the turkey plant in Huron.  For a number of reasons which were never disclosed because of the secrecy with which business and government operates in South Dakota, the plan was canceled.  One of the reasons in circulation was because the governor, Mike Rounds, took issue with the people who were trying to promote the plant.  Then the promoters took their plan to Flandreau, where money invested by the Flandreau economic development and the South Dakota Farmers Union for planning was lost when the planning company sort of evaporated.   The schemers then contacted people in Aberdeen who revived the plan for a beef processor.

The plant was beset from the beginning by poor planning, the number of grafters who are always attracted to money schemes like flies on a dung heap, and a bevy of incompetents who had not the foggiest idea of how to build any legitimate business, let alone one as complex as a beef processor.

However, beef producers in the region saw a regional beef processor as a potential boon for their operations.  The challenge was to find a niche in a market that is dominated and controlled by the Big Four beef producers in the U.S., who control over 80 percent of the market.  There were smaller operations that found successful business, particularly those that were offering hormone and anti-biotic free beef and were also specializing in grass-fed beef, which was earning a premium price in high-scale restaurants.  Promoters of the beef plant, particularly Richard Benda, indicated that the plant was being set up to serve that specialty market, but there did not seem to be anybody developing the market.  NBP was signed up with a marketing organization to distribute its beef, but the agreement was canceled because of the bumbling and constant delays in the construction of the plant.  When the plant finally was operating, it produced boxed beef, the ordinary cuts of meat found at grocery cases.  Word was that this beef was shipped to Korea.  If that was the case, it meant that NBP did not have a U.S. market, no place in this country to sell its beef.  When it began layoffs leading up the bankruptcy, the company said it did not have funds with which to buy beef.  But generally, if a processor has a market to serve, it can find funds to buy the beef to process.  It appears that NBP lacked the most essential element for a viable business:  a market to sell its product.

The financing of NBP was a mess, covered up by business and governmental secrecy.  One must conclude that operation was doomed by incompetence, ignorance, and scamming schemes from its outset, and the people who understood the market did not have enough influence to establish the firm in a way that gave it a chance to succeed.

While EB-5 is not a well-conceived and administered program,  it has had its successes, but its failures are cases of incompetents posturing as business successes and fraud.  EB-5 is a negative title in South Dakota because of what the collusion between state officials and purported business interests did with.

As people go to the polls in the state, they need to remember that EB-5 in South Dakota is what the state made it.  They have a chance to change the way politics and business has worked.  By Tuesday night, we’ll know if the people of the state want to eliminate the secrecy and fraud, or if it will be business as usual. 

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