Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wadhams Response to Democrats' Press Conference Prompts A Few Questions

Yesterday South Dakota Democratic party leaders held a press conference to demand further investigation of EB-5 cash for visas and failed meat plants affair.
At a Sioux Falls news conference Tuesday, five Democratic legislators said GOAC{Government Operations and Audit Committee] should question [Joop}Bollen, [Dennis] Daugaard, [Mike]Rounds and other top officials as part of its investigation.
Republicans quickly responded and Dakota War College dutifully posted the press release. Republican spokesperson Dick Wadhams screamed scandal-mongering.
“Today’s farce that masqueraded as a news conference tells South Dakotans everything they need to know about the South Dakota Democrat Party and their failed candidates for governor and senator. Rick Weiland and Susan Wismer have nothing to run their campaigns on but to smear two of South Dakota’s most respected leaders.”
Usually, these faux outrage announcements contain assertions that the persons involved have fully cooperated with investigations and have nothing to add. There is also a protestation of innocence of any wrongdoing whatsoever.

Interestingly, Wadhams did not say that Rounds and Daugaard had done nothing improper in their management of EB5. More importantly, he did not assert that Rounds, Daugaard, and Bollen  can provide no new information that would clear up the matter.

Sometimes what's unsaid is more interesting that what is said. In this case, where are those standard denials?


Mike Larson said...

Good catch, but this seems to Wadhams standard operating procedure. It doesn't seem to matter if it is EB-5 on vouchering medicare, He can't tell you what Rounds is for, because no one can.

P&R said...

The assertion that there is perhaps some implied admission of guilt because they did not directly deny any wrongdoing is rather thinly based. I haven't said that I don't beat my wife, either. To conclude that I am, thereby, admitting to doing so is a pretty basic fallacy.

You're going to have to do better than this to tar them with anything relating to EB5 and South Dakota economic development funds.

Kal Lis said...


I don't think your analogy holds. To the best of my knowledge, no one has accused a Sioux Falls, South Dakota clergyman of spousal abuse. You, therefore, have no reason to deny a charge that has not been made.

Although there have been no formal charges against Rounds and Daugaard, people have questioned whether some with friends in high places were given sweetheart deals. People have rightfully questioned their oversight when millions of dollars has been lost and cabinet officially allegedly used some of the funds to create a rather cushy retirement position for himself.

Throughout my lifetime, these events have followed a script whenever an investigation is called for. Those opposing the investigation always issue a claim of "no wrong doing to see here." Sometimes that claim then morphs into "we've always said that one should ignore the man behind the curtain because we know he's done nothing wrong."

It's also standard to proclaim that full cooperation has been extended and that all reasonable requests for information have been accommodated; it's time to get on with governing.

Those standard denials and proclamations were curiously absent here.

Maybe it was just laziness that accompanies being perpetually in power and knowing that the political opposition is all but impotent.

I continue to find the deviation from the standard script rather odd especially when Wadhams is involved. He is extremely competent but he usually follows scripts that have a record of success.

P&R said...

I still think you're grasping at straws.

I'm sure there were some sweetheart deals. Any time government gets involved in such economic decisions, political needs and desires often overcome actual market incentives. This is true in Solyndra, Northern Beef, the entire ethanol subsidy racket, and the near-endless crazy quilt of federal and local tax subsidies, loan guarantees, and outright grants that all levels of government use to manipulate businesses.

My preference would be to dispense with all of them (including the ag subsidies) - a pipe dream, I know. But as long as they're there, it seems strange to me that people are surprised or offended when politicians behave like politicians in the way these programs are applied.