Entries Tagged 'Governor Rounds' ↓

Either former Gov. Mike Rounds is incompetent, in denial, stupid or all three when it comes to the EB-5 investigations

Bosworth-Cardboard-Rounds-by-Bob-Ellis-Dakota-Voice-20131121

I’m just a cardboard cutout, how could I have known Richard Benda was pulling a fast one? Why don’t you ask him? Wait he’s dead. Oh darn.

You can HEAR & READ all about the EB-5 investigations to your heart’s content, but I’m not buying Round’s story of ignorance;

“One of the documents in question is the letter of authorization that basically said that they could receive a Future Fund payment for construction costs had been changed slightly and it had a different date on it than the one I authorized,” Rounds said.

It’s pretty easy to take Rounds’ word on this? Right? Because our chief witness is dead. Benda, who was originally hired in 1979(?) by another dead guy, Bill Janklow.

While I am NOT sure that no criminal charges against Rounds can be brought up, with the whole document altering and such, one has to own up a bit about ‘what Mike knew.’

• While a document manipulation can certainly go under the radar of the Governor’s office, you can’t tell me ‘other’ (alive) people are not involved.

• Who cut the check to the SDRC? Isn’t that the job of the auditor and treasurer? Why didn’t they inform Rounds about the check?

• There obviously would have been a lot of legal commentary that goes with such a contract? No one in the AG’s office questioned these fees?

• No one in the GOED office, auditor’s office, SDRC office, heck, the freaking Post Office, told the Rounds administration that they thought this payment was a little suspicious?

• Richard Benda (who is conveniently dead) masterminded this whole scam on his own? No help from anyone? No oversight? No whistle-blowers? No patsies? Nothing. Zilch. Zero?

My speculative conclusion is this on the EB-5 programs;

Rounds might have known what happened after the fact and failed to investigate or inform Federal authorities. While manipulating his signed documents is certainly out of his control, knowing about something that was possibly illegal after the crime is committed and not telling authorities, then you have a problem. “Because, like, you were in charge and all of the state, like, you were the governor, man.” (sorry, that was my best ‘Dude’ impression)

All I can say, is let’s hope my speculation is wrong, would hate to see (another) former governor go to jail. No worries Mike, probably only get a 99 days. It’s not like you killed a man, governors only get a 100 days for that.

Oligopolies

Not sure what to think of this;

A former University of South Dakota law professor announced Friday that he plans to run for governor as an independent candidate.

Mike Myers taught health care law and elder law at USD for 23 years. He also worked in the early 1960s for the Argus Leader and the Sioux City Journal.

But it’s in health care where Myers has his most significant experience. He was CEO of Mayo-St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn., and an executive with other hospitals.

Myers has been an outspoken critic of the vertically integrated health systems reflected by Sanford Health and Avera McKennan, which he called “oligopolies.” And he said that health care and criticism of “corporate medicine” will be the crux of his campaign.

The Dems would be smart to get behind him and not have a candidate of their own. The amazing part is he is about 900x smarter then our current governor, and has given the middle finger to the political party system.

This will be fun. Dennis better get out his cod piece.

This stuff is starting to sound like a broken record

Another example of nepotism and golden parachutes for Repugs in our state;

Former Gov. Mike Rounds has been named to the board of directors of a company that plans to build a multibillion-dollar network of transmission power lines across the Dakotas – a job that will pay him $75,000 next year, plus that amount in stocks.

While it’s not unusual that a former politician such as a governor would be named to the board of directors of a private company after leaving office, this appointment has raised concerns about a potential conflict of interest.

That’s because ITC Holdings of Novi, Mich. – the company for which Rounds now works – eventually will need its project to be approved by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, where most employees are carryovers from the Rounds administration. That includes analyst Brian Rounds, son of the former governor.

I read about half the story, and got tired of reading all the f’ing excuses and didn’t finish. Kinda reminded me of Chico from SDSU sitting on the board for Monsanto. While it is clear there is a conflict of interest, doubt anything will be done about it, as usual. ITC isn’t that bad of a company after all, they support green energy. Wonder if Rounds knows that? But like a typical Repug in our state, all he cares about is if the check is good.

Rounds; It’s okay to fund the arts as long as Obama pays for it

We love the arts in South Dakota! We also love Federal Pork!

It seems our culturally retarded governor had a change of heart;

“I have directed my staff to work with legislators on a plan to try and reinstate funding for the arts office, based upon the fact that the stimulus package has been signed by the president, and it may free up some state funds for the arts,” Rounds said during the Governor’s Awards for the Arts event in Pierre.

“Because I just couldn’t bare to take money from no-bid tourism contracts that actually lost the state $3 million last year, I mean, gee whiz, these are my campaign contributors.”

“The revised budget that would eliminate all state funding for the state arts agency stunned South Dakota’s arts community,” Boyd said Wednesday.

Trust me, this has nothing to do with King Rounds having a change of heart. He saw Washington cutting checks for stuff and saw an opportunity – plain and simple. If the FEDS would not have put arts funding into the stimulus, Mikey would have still cut the arts.

The governor’s hobby funded by taxpayers

Trailer up the skid steer – we’re going to Pierre!

SD education funding three ring circus

Once again Mike Rounds refuses to cut his do nothing-big government programs in Pierre to help fund education;

Democrats have said they want to cut elsewhere in state government to find money for aid to schools. Senate Democratic Leader Scott Heidepriem of Sioux Falls said state government in previous years has forced agencies to cut spending by a certain percentage, and that approach could work again.

“It’s so simple it’s amazing to me,” Heidepriem said, adding that he doesn’t believe the Republican governor is willing to control the size of state government.

It doesn’t surprise me one bit. Even when the economy was good, Rounds refused to properly fund education, now he has an excuse and he is going to run with it.

While more than 90 percent of Democrats said they wanted to boost state aid to schools by more than the 3 percent recommended by Rounds, only about a quarter of Republicans said they believed state aid should increase by more than that.

Even if the legislature gets a super-majority to be veto proof on an education bill (which I don’t see) Rounds will still find a way to overstep the legislators, just like he did with the blender pump tax and laptops (how did that work out for yah, Mike). He simply doesn’t like to be told what to do. This will be a true test for the legislators. Will the typical Republican cheerleaders like Krebs cave to their favorite state Republican? Will the Dems do more then mouth off to the media and internets about how much of a brat Mike is? (seriously, that’s my job, not yours.)

It’s time to show Rounds that he has been extremely ineffective as a governor and quite possibly, unethical (another thing legislators are too chicken-shit to do something about).

POVERTY HAS AN EFFECT ON EDUCATION FUNDING

One has to wonder though, maybe education funding is sufficient in South Dakota. Student test scores are always pretty decent, but high school dropout rates are high. One reason may be the growing problem of poverty in our state.

A couple weeks back a SF School district representative gave a presentation to the city council about poverty in Sioux Falls. Some scary stuff, here are a few highlights.

- 40% of caucasion children in the SF school district are on FREE or reduced lunches, and that number is as high as 75% in minority community.

- Supt. Dr. Homan doesn’t like to have late starts with bad weather because she wants to make sure these kids get something to eat for breakfast.

Some of the other numbers are hard to swallow to. A lot of these kids also have little winter clothing to wear, and often go hungry on the weekends. The amazing part about it is, it is not discussed much by our local or statewide politicians, it is kind of a ‘silent problem’. After the presentation, one councilor even had this to say, “Thank you for the presentation, but what is this council supposed to do with this information?” And maybe this is the problem. I think politicians think if at least 51% of people in the community are doing OKAY, we can ignore the minority. I find it ironic that Sioux Falls spends more per year on mowing an acre of parkland then they do educating a child. Who knew grass was more important than a decent education? Nice priorities, Huh? I also wonder how much money in education funding is going towards feeding, counseling and healthcare for some of these kids? Something that parents should be responsible for, that is, if they can afford it. The problem isn’t just funding education properly, it is also about creating a business atmosphere in SD that creates more living wage jobs. Government can’t create higher paying jobs, but they can help attract those kinds of businesses. Just imagine if we spent half the money we do on tourism for business development, what kind of impact that would have on the state? (of course than Lawrence and Schiller would have to go out and find real clients).

It’s time for our legislators (it’s too late for the governor) to realize the root problem of education funding – Poverty and low wages.

Apocalypse Now!

Mayhem Mike Rounds warns us again about the economy;

Revenues to the state treasury are sinking faster than officials estimated even a few weeks ago, forcing Gov. Mike Rounds to revise the budget he proposed in December.

All of a sudden Mike is paying attention.

While vowing to do the job as painlessly as possible, Rounds indicted that funding for some programs could be in jeopardy, and he refused to rule out additional tax and fee increases.

“I wish I could tell you today we have the answers,” he said. “As of today, we don’t have the answers.”

“There is nothing, in my opinion, that will be considered sacred.”

It’s like what John Stewart said about Shrub, running a country (state) isn’t like going to college. You can’t just dick around all semester then make up for it in the finals.

Only in South Dakota

It’s not ‘Criminal’ it’s ‘Unethical’

 

eth⋅ics

–plural noun

1.

(used with a singular or plural verb ) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture.

 

2.

the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics.

 

3.

moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence.

 

 

Did the Rounds administration do anything illegal in reference to the pay-to-play no-bid contract controversy? I don’t see that, and neither did anyone in the RCJ columns. But just because something is legal doesn’t make it ethical.

Do some of us do unethical things, whether it’s in our personal or professional lives? Sure we do. But I also think there are different levels of it.

Besides government other organizations provide a code ethics. Though subject to interpretation (as I found out when I asked for an ethics opinion about a couple Sioux Falls city councilors) for the most part they keep members on the up and up.

Last year the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Sciences (finally) changed their code of ethics barring board members from participating in exhibits or providing professional services to the Pavilion for payment. This didn’t happen overnight. It was a long drawn out process after years of complaints about a certain board member by not just me but several other artists and advocates in our community. In my opinion it took to damn long and I think the only reason it happened was this board member no longer serves (but I could be mistaken).

The irony of all this was that this person was one of the founders of the ad agency that got the lucrative no-bid tourism contracts from the state. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

In one attack on me in a letter to the editor he vehemently opposed openness at taxpayer funded institutions like the Pavilion. No surprise looking back now, huh?

Bill Clinton cheated on his wife in the White House. Over $40 million was spent trying to impeach him for lying about it. It was unethical (the cheating part) and probably cost Al Gore a lot of votes (even though he still won).

Last year we had to endure the Sutton hearings because the legislature thought it was unethical for an adult male to climb into bed with another adult male. Maybe it was, even though the DCI could not find proof a crime was committed. Sutton was censured.

Mike Rounds gives not just a handful of no-bid contracts to campaign contributors, but hundreds and hundreds of them and there isn’t an ethics investigation?

There should be.

Maybe Rounds will be cleared of any unethical practices, maybe an investigation will find something illegal was done. Who knows, but it’s worth the effort.

No one should defend cronyism, whether you are a Rep, Dem or Indy, even if it is being practiced legally.

Even if you don’t have a problem with the ethics of what Mike did, I would think fiscal conservatives would take issue with the irresponsibility of no-bid contracts. And if the State Legislature is truly made up of mostly conservatives the law would have been changed years ago.

I don’t think it is. We have become a Big Government state, and that is why most politicians just turn away from this issue.

So is Rounds a criminal? No way. Is he a sneak? I think so, but an ethics investigation would be the only true measure.

I hope some legislators have the guts to pursue one. It’s way past due.