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.

11 Thoughts on “This stuff is starting to sound like a broken record

  1. So Mike Rounds paves the way for the company to be in SD and then they give him a job after he is not the governor. And his son is on the approval committee. Geee, do I whiff the odor of mendacity, is there a conflict or is there a conflict? The teabaggers are so disgusted with corrupt government, but yet do you hear them say one thing when one of their own gets himself a cushy $75,000 job, plus an equal amount in stocks? $150,000, worth of mendacity. They really are the biggest group of hypocrites. They whine about Stephanie Herseth Sandlin getting a job as a lobbyist but Kristi Noem hired a lobbyist for her staff. And don’t forget that is what Thune did while no longer a congressman and just before he became a senator.

  2. In that SD republicans have made sure government ethics laws for almost 4 decades are thin and far between, we’re starting to see the results of Mike’s covert parties. Round’s lovefest with the coal companies is now surfacing with $150K part time job he appears to have garnered before leaving office by giving ITC Holdings of Novi, Mich a hefty contract. I always thought Rounds was preventing SD from getting into the wind industry and now I see why. It would be interesting to find out where our tax dollars (his personal slush fund) went under the guise of economic development money. We know Rounds placed more than a dozen relatives on the SD pay rolls and no doubt has included them in some nice deals such as uranium mining in SD. It’s time the whole story of the Transcanada pipelines Rounds negotiated surfaces. I would guess this is only the beginning of the ventures, Rounds paved for himeself. I doubt we’ll hear about most of them. Sadly we have another Governor who’s son in law is working for him, his son one level below him and maybe his daughter is working for a multimillion dollar SD contractor, and is following his old boss’s footsteps. Janklow is sliding by with his midnight cement plant sale, but we must not let Rounds get by with his shenanigans. Republicans are so bent on cleaning up Washington when all they have to do is look in their own back yard. Bring your own shovel. Corruption at any state level is no less than the federal level.

  3. I’m wondering when South Dakotans are going to wakeup from the trance Repugs have on them? I think they believe any BS that is spoon fed to them. I have yet to meet a SD Republican that doesn’t like a delicious shit sandwich.

    I was walking by a table the other night and guy was saying to a group of his friends, “The recession hasn’t really hit SF.” I busted up laughing out loud and I know one of the people at the table heard me. I wanted to walk back there and say, “Really? Wait tables sometime.” As I talk to servers who have waited tables as long as I have (almost 10 years) we all agree tips were much better 6-7 years ago then they are now. I know this isn’t a scientific measure, but is pretty telling. People have less money to work with. SD has always been a modest state to begin with, of course a recession hasn’t hit us as hard, kinda hard to notice people going from poor, to MORE poor. I guess we thank Repugs for that. South Dakotans know how to weather recessions, because we have been in one for over 30 years.

  4. $150K/year for WORK that amounts to to attending meetings once a month for a few hours. Essentially $12,500/day (assuming he spends and actual whole day “preparing for” and attending those meetings).

    And remember – this is not RICH in regard to “taxing the rich” rhetoric. This is “middle class”. Do you underdstand now where exactly on the economic ladder you stand? Or rather, which part of your anatomy it is the foot of that ladder rests upon?

  5. I guess owning one of the largest indy insurance companies in the state and getting all of your relatives cushy state or energy jobs just wasn’t enough for Marion. What a snake.

  6. When running Marion’s books don’t forget the likely tens or hundreds of thousands of subsidies, bailouts, and aid he personally benefited from for his trophy house in the floodplain.

  7. Raise your hand if you wouldn’t have taken the position had it been offered to you.

    Get real… any of us would love to have such a gig and it is only too much money when you aren’t the one getting it.

    However none of us have been governor and thus don’t have the political or business connections to benefit ITC. Do you think they hired him because if his experience in the insurance biz? No… they hired him because they feel he has connections and they probably assume he may even have a poltical future since many people assume he may run against Johnson for Senate.

    We all know this. It is nothing new.

    I really can’t fault the elder Rounds for taking the gig – although I could fault him for his actions that led him to this point. Since that is a little off tangent, I’ll just say overall this isn’t really an issue for Rounds, but rather an issue with his son.

    First of all his son had/has no business serving on the PUC due to the blatant issues of nepotism and conflict of interest, but in this case the conflict of interest is massive therefore he should recuse himself from any decisions that surround ITC.

    That said, I don’t think it will really matter. Our state has been complaining about a transmission line network for years and if ITC can get it done it could open up a lot of doors for wind energy which is a good thing. Therefore if the PUC does the right thing they would approve the deal – however when they do I’m sure there will be people out there complaining that it is all due to behind closed doors back scratching… so for the most part the PUC can’t win this one.

    I know we all hate dirty politics and everyone hates the in-your-face nepotism and favortism that seems to go along with it, but one does have to admit the end result should be a win for the state.

  8. Costner – And isn’t that the crux of the whole deal? It would be a good thing to have green energy transmission lines added to our state, but couldn’t this deal be accomplished with a Rounds involved? It does make you question what sort of back door deals that are going on.

  9. @ Costner – that’s what I’m saying – anyne who thinks that $150,000/year is rich – MUST be a South Dakotan – ’cause believe me – that’s not a lot of money. It is smack dab solidly in the center of MIDDLE CLASS in America – as a whole.

  10. Costner on September 6, 2011 at 2:32 pm said:

    @DL: Yes it could be accomplished without Rounds, but ITC must think they are getting something for their money… and sadly they are probably right.

    I don’t actually question what sort of back door deals are going on, because the ones we know about are disgusting enough that thinking about those we don’t know about would probably cause me to lose what remaining faith I have in humanity.

    @rufusx: Keep in mind this $150k a year is not for an actual full time position, but rather for a position on a board of directors. Couple that with a few other board positions and whatever income he pulls off of his businesses etc… I’d say as a whole Rounds is probably a very wealthy man.

    Then again, even $150k is ‘richer’ than over 99.5% of the world’s population. So I’m going out on a limb and saying it would be ok to consider someone making $150k rich.

  11. I guess I really wasn’t looking at the money as an issue, that comes with any board appointment. It’s just the same old shit, different day sorta thing coming from SD Repugs.

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