|Democratic State Senator Hunhoff|
Just who are those "certain parties," Senator?
(photo from legis.sd.gov)
Actually, the feds, in the form of the FBI have already stepped in. Last October the federal investigators announced that an investigation into the fiasco is "active." Nothing about the matter has surfaced from the agency since, but presumably the federal gumshoes are sorting through this incredibly complicated mixture of events and participants. The federal EB-5 program designed to accelerate the immigration process for foreigners willing to invest sizable ($500k) chunks of money into American enterprises was a lucrative source of cash to its operators in South Dakota, who apparently took the program away from its state overseers and ran it privately for themselves. They subsequently pocketed significant sums of money in the form of fees and charges for their services. Last September the non-partisan Washington, D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies calculated that $120 million was the amount that South Dakota gave up by letting the operation go private. Just who was responsible and how they let it happen is at the heart of the matter.
The poor excuse for an investigation conducted by South Dakota's GOAC didn't turn up much, mainly because it wouldn't exercise its subpoena powers and get the main players to testify under oath in front of the committee. GOAC blamed it all on a dead guy who committed suicide and drew its conclusions after accepting the probably intensely lawyerized written statements from the other main participants, a character named Joop Bollen who engineered the transfer of the program from the State of South Dakota to himself, and Senator-elect Mike Rounds, who was governor at the time the mess cowas occurring.
I can't say that I blame South Dakota State Senator Bernie Hunhoff, a Democrat from Yankton, for being frustrated and fed up by the cursory look at the fiasco by GOAC. Mercer quotes Hunhoff and his complaints quite extensively in the RCJ piece, mainly drawing from written statements that Hunhoff made on the heels of the committee's final report. That I agree with Hunhoff on every count doesn't stop me from wondering why Hunhoff made this intriguing comment: ". . . a deeper search might have been too embarrassing for certain parties." Say what? That sounds an awful lot like Hunhoff has "certain parties" in mind and that he possesses some information that would be "embarrassing" to them.
I've followed Hunhoff closely enough over the years to know that he's too smart to toss around incendiary remarks like that without being able to back them up. So my questions to the Senator is this? Who are the "certain parties" you alluded to when you made that remark? And what information do you have that "might" be "embarrassing" to them? As this fiasco occurred under the noses of the state's leading Republicans, it's reasonable to conclude that Democrat Hunhoff is playing politics here unless he can attach names and information to his otherwise coy observation.