Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lederman linked to Bendagate, too

On the anniversary of the BP ecocide in the Gulf of Mexico, South Dakota's Bendagate just gets weirder.

State Senator Dan Lederman and lawyer Joel Arends have teamed up to run Annette Bosworth in the earth hater US Senate primary in South Dakota to deflect attention from former governor Mike Rounds, the current cash leader in the race and to siphon resources from viable candidates: it's likely there are two fraudulent runners. Rounds is stained by the EB-5 Bendagate scandal as are his successor, Gov. Dennis Daugaard and Attorney General Marty Jackley.

Jonathan Ellis writes in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader:
SDRC Inc., a South Dakota company that managed the state’s EB-5 immigrant investor program, wanted to supply financing to TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, a project that ignited a fierce national political battle between environmentalists and pro-business groups. A state investigation revealed that Richard Benda, the former secretary of economic development and tourism under Gov. Mike Rounds, diverted $550,000 of a $1 million state grant to Northern Beef Packers shortly after Benda left state government to work for SDRC. [Ellis, Documents link state-sponsored company, Keystone XL]
Scott Waltman from the Aberdeen American News:
Dennis Hellwig was answering a series of questions in February 2013 about the plant’s financing and a $2.11 million mechanic’s lien filed against the plant by Scott Olson Digging five years earlier, in March 2008. He also testified in the deposition that he once tried to call Rounds’ office to discuss the plant and left a message for the governor. A couple of minutes later, Hellwig said, Benda called him back and said, “You go through me to get to the governor." [Waltman, Beef plant deals fired up, froze]
Bob Mercer sez:
And for what it’s worth, the public-affairs trio whose firm is running the U.S. Senate campaign of former Gov. Mike Rounds — the former governor’s former chief of staff Rob Skjonsberg, former senior aide Jason Glodt and former state Sen. Bob Gray — also are involved in the effort to put together the money to get the line west to Lyman. It all might be a coincidence, but it’s also worth noting that the former governor’s father, Don Rounds, was a long-time lobbyist for the petroleum industry. The Obama administration will be in office through 2016. With a new South Dakota permit becoming necessary, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the next move would be proposal of rail shipping that could send trains of oil in any direction from South Dakota. [This matter bears watching.Bob Mercer, Pure Pierre Politics]

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