Friday, August 29, 2014

So If Republicans Complain, No EB-5 Questions Will Be Asked?

A few days ago, Pat Powers complained that South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke was too biased to moderate today's gubernatorial debate because Sombke tweeted "northern beef plant has a suspicious history...."

Today, Carrie Law moderated the debate. That may have been the intention all along. David Montgomery reports Ms. Law saw no need to ask any questions about EB-5 and, presumably, the beef plant.
One of the most intense topics at last week's Dakotafest debate was the EB-5 program, which South Dakota has used in the past to recruit foreign investment for local projects. Most of the EB-5 support came under Daugaard's predecessor, Gov. Mike Rounds, but Democrats have criticized Daugaard for not investigating the program aggressively enough.
None of the audience-submitted questions chosen by the moderator addressed EB-5. Wismer said after the debate that she respected that and didn't try to shoehorn it in. The only mention of EB-5 was from Myers in his closing statement.
With the caveat that correlation does not equal causation, it beggars belief that no one in the audience submitted an EB-5 question. The results of the event leave the impression that Republicans complained and the debate hosts and moderator caved to the pressure. Even if one grants that there are other issues more important than EB-5, public events worthy of being called debates cannot avoid uncomfortable issues.

If EB-5 was not discussed because Republicans complained, then, as the young'uns say, it's time to throw the BS flag because those sorts of expectations of elite privilege belong only in a banana republic.

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