KATIE ZERR: Vote for the candidate, not the political party
South Dakota is in the national news this political season as the race is heating up for retiring Tim Johnson’s seat in the U.S. Senate.
Once a shoe-in for Republicans, the race has tightened as South Dakotans take a long look at the Republican candidate, Mike Rounds, and his involvement in the EB5 program and the failed beef processing plant in Aberdeen.
The investigation is long and involved, but if South Dakotans are interested in what kind of a man they plan on casting their vote for in November, it would behoove them to pay attention to what is going on with this incident.
I have never held back when it comes to Mike Rounds and have expressed concern about his politics, his sense of entitlement and his dishonesty in the past. His attitude toward those who disagreed with him while he was governor was appalling. He acted like a spoiled child who was raised to believe that he was the golden child and those who would question him needed to be put in their place.
Rounds has skirted the EB5 issue as he has always danced around when being pushed in a corner.
He denied knowing about or ever seeing the subpoena that was delivered to his office concerning the Darley lawsuit. Then he said it wasn’t a subpoena, but simply a notice of arbitration. It was not an arbitration notice. It was notice of a new lawsuit demanding the state’s appearance in court.
He made a false statement to the legislative committee in his answers concerning the subpoena, and then backtracked and asked if he could change his answer once it was proved the legal papers had been served to his office.
The tougher the questions about what he knew about Joop Bollen’s finagling of the program, the louder he yells about repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and defeating anything the president has to offer.
In the first candidate debate, Rounds harped long and hard every chance he got to push that agenda.
His answer to every question was to avoid answering it and parroting the same mantra of taking back the Senate, repealing ACA and stopping this president.
It’s the attitude that has held this Congress and this country back from recovery from the recession and has kept them mired in the do-nothing cycle that pushed this nation to the brink of a disaster on numerous occasions in the past six years.
It is getting old and tiring to hear the only purpose of the next two years is more of the same.
South Dakotan Republicans are being pressured to vote for Rounds because the Republicans need this seat to take control of the Senate in order for them to push their agenda through both houses of Congress without opposition.
But we are people of common sense. We are honest, kind to our neighbor and patriotic. We have always stood head and shoulders above others in support of our military and in our country in times of war. We are ahead of the average American when it comes to history and tradition because we hold on to ours with pride.
We embrace the labels of backward and behind the times because what we hold onto is better than what others have.
We still have the pioneer spirit, work our butts off and accomplish more in a couple of days than most do in a week.
We accomplish more in a couple of days than this Congress has accomplished in a full year of work. We do it for a lot less than Congress gets paid. Yet we are considering sending another do-nothing politician to the U.S. Senate.
Despite what the commercials are telling us, Mike Rounds does not have the same values as most South Dakotans. Listen to what those sound bites are conveying. Think about the dishonesty of the Rounds campaign.
This is the candidate that used information about the ACA robbing $750 million from Medicare in order to frighten seniors despite the fact that the information was false and he knew it. He admitted to that.
This is the candidate that keeps changing his story when pressed about the EB5 Program and his role in it.
It is this candidate who vilified federal stimulus then accepted money earmarked for education and used it to balance the state budget so he could claim he worked with a balanced budget all his years in office.
There are other options besides Mike Rounds.
Do we really want to send another man to Congress who may just end up coming home to face criminal charges in connection with EB5?
- Katie Zerr -