Bollen Is A "Scapegoat"
(photo from lawyers.com)
If I'm wrong I certainly invite Rasmussen to correct and clarify here. Not saying there was a conspiracy to divert millions of dollars that should have gone to the State of South Dakota to Bollen's company instead, just saying that this whole shebang reeks of incompetence and a culture of complacency that seems to have settled on the state government. That a conspiracy may be buried in that morass of indifference would come as no surprise, especially now that Bollen's defensive posture is that of a scapegoat. As this story evolves I expect Rasmussen to identify those who are scapegoating his client and shine some light on their involvement in this, even if their ineptitude doesn't sink to the level of criminal involvement. If Bollen isn't to blame, who is, Mr. Rasmussen?
As to the overall condition of gross laxity if not gross negligence in South Dakota state government, Attorney General Marty Jackley made a stunning statement, virtually simultaneously with Rassmussen's claim that others were scapegoating Bollen. Jackley characterized this action against Bollen as "my desire to bring back integrity to state government, and that's part of what this process is." Go to 19:30 of his radio interview yesterday and you can hear Jackley's remarks in full context. Three years ago, during the early stages of the drama, Jackley's general position was that his office didn't find enough evidence to pursue further investigation, that
"Bring Back Integrity"
(photo from keloland.com)
Jackley's epiphany notwithstanding, his comment about bringing integrity back to Pierre stands out as the words of a crusader with truth, justice and the South Dakota way leading the charge. No question that the EB-5 fiasco and the Education Department's utterly bungled handling of federal "Gear-Up" funding have put SD government oversight in a bad light, but to go from there to making the sweeping claim about the lack of "integrity" in state government is quite the leap for a top elected official whose establishment credentials are self-evident. It sounds to me like Jackley's well known interest in running for Governor may evolve into a campaign as a reformer. That would be most interesting indeed, considering that he'd be running against his own party's entrenched leadership. "Bringing back integrity to state government" is a statement that has the makings of a platform. If high-level scapegoaters are at the heart of the EB-5 disaster, they have good reason to keep their eyes on this Jackley fellow.