Home > Aberdeen, South Dakota > Governor Daugaard doesn’t really think the State of South Dakota spent a lot of taxpayer dollars on Northern Beef plant

Governor Daugaard doesn’t really think the State of South Dakota spent a lot of taxpayer dollars on Northern Beef plant

August 16, 2013

SONY DSCToday Aberdeen is the honorary South Dakota Capital for a Day. As part of today’s Brown County Fair festivities there was a town hall meeting held with Governor Daugaard in attendance (he was late, but even I won’t blame dense fog on politicians). Last week I wondered if Daugaard would mention the vast amount of taxpayer dollars that have been poured into the now bankrupt Northerm Beef Packers plant. Today’s town hall was the perfect opportunity to find out his thoughts on the subject. He chose the stance that the State hasn’t really given much money to the beef plant.

The town-hall meeting was very short and had six panelists. Most of the time was taken up by the panelists giving short speeches touting how much they have done to support the economy in Aberdeen and South Dakota. Sadly touting their support for corporate welfare with taxpayer dollars appeared to be a winning topic. Below are the six panelists that were in attendance:

  • Governor Daugaard – Much of his speech talked about the energy tax credits that Molded Fiber Glass relies upon to run the plant in Aberdeen.
  • Dan Thielsen, Aberdeen coordinator for South Dakota Department of Labor – His little speech focused upon the vast amount of jobs available in South Dakota.
  • Joe Fiala, GOED – Joe was there to represent the governors commitment to corporate welfare. He didn’t really have much to say.
  • Jim Barringer, Aberdeen Development Corporation – Barringer spoke a lot about the housing expansion in Aberdeen. Also said how much he loves getting government money for ‘workforce training’ and that he would love to get more taxpayer dollars for that purpose.
  • Julie Johnson, Absolutely Aberdeen – Julie spent most of her time thanking the Governor for the continued support of corporate welfare in Aberdeen.
  • Dave Giovannini, representing Molded Fiber Glass (MFG) – Due to energy credits MFG is very thankful to any source of corporate welfare, espcially Governor Daugaard.

Most of the remaining town-hall after the speeches was fluff. The group of ex-employees from the beef plant that planned on attending where nowhere to be seen. Luckily towards the end a reporter asked about the State’s involvement in the beef plant. Daugaard’s answer was short and obviously prepared. The cliff notes version: South Dakota only provided a few million dollars here an there, no big deal.

I’ll leave it up to the reporter to actually pass his words on to the public. But I would like to address the impression I got from the Governors answer. He really tried to play it off as if Pierre had little to do with the beef plant. There were no mentions of how hard his office (and former Governor Rounds office) worked to get taxpayer dollars involved in the project. Also absent was any mention of the EB-5 (green-card for investment) money that was used on NBP. Instead the Governor focused upon “how little” direct money South Dakota has invested in the plant. I guess millions of dollars amongst cronyist friends is “not a big deal”.

Maybe I’ll be able to catch up with the Governor while he roams the Fair Grounds. I doubt he will give a better in-person answer than the one given at the town hall. Now is an opportunity to say this yet again: Norther Beef Packers and Governor Daugaard help make the case for a Libertarian Governor in South Dakota.

  1. August 17, 2013 at 8:39 am

    [Check spelling on headline!]

    • Ken Santema
      August 17, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      Dang. These long days at the fair must be getting to me. Fixed. Thanks!

  1. No trackbacks yet.
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: