Thursday, September 3, 2009

Two Blind Mice

August 5th, 2009
Two Blind Mice
As did many of you, I had the opportunity to go to the Union County Fair in Alcester last weekend, and had a great time. One of the big reasons I had a good time was that I had an opportunity to visit with 2 Republican candidates for Governor in 2010. I talked with Lt. Governor Dennis Dugaard and the mayor of Brookings, Mr. Scott Munsterman. Both of these gentlemen were greeting people as they came through the line for their free meal for the fair.
Just to prove that I wasn’t biased, I asked them the same questions. I was not surprised by the answers of either man. Mr. Munsterman said that he was a little bit familiar with the Hyperion situation, but that since it was a local issue he really didn’t look into it with great detail. I told him that it might seem like a local issue, but since this is the largest refinery in the history of the state of South Dakota, it seems to me to be a state issue. I said “let’s suppose you are governor in 2010 and it comes to light that Hyperion lied to us about its operation just to get the license to build what would you do?” he responded that he would look into the issue and if there were irregularities he would deal with them.
I don’t understand why someone campaigning for governor would come into its area and not know what the hell is going on down here. I realize we are at the tip of the state, but come on. You want my vote, talk about issues that concern Union County, especially one that is as contentious as this one.
Next I ran into Lt. Governor Dugaard in the commercial exhibit building. I met Mrs. Dugaard as well (Linda). I mentioned that Governor Rounds is for this 10,000% so I’m presuming that he is as well. He said that he was very much for the refinery because of jobs and economic development. I asked him if he realized what a contentious issue this was in Union County. He said he did and he sympathized with us. So I asked him – You are Governor and we find out that Hyperion isn’t completely truthful with us about the refinery what would you do? Well, he said, first of all this is a local issue that was voted on by the people of Union County and it should be solved here. I said Mr. Dugaard this is not a local issue this is a state issue and the state has the responsibility. If it wasn’t a state issue we wouldn’t need to go to the state for permission to build the damned thing. But anyway, pollution doesn’t stop at the county line and this affects the health and welfare of the entire state and surrounding area, what are you as governor going to do? He said if they violated the law he would shut them down. I asked about how you shut down a 10 billion dollar company once they have started production. – long pause – no answer. I told him that in 3 weeks the BME will vote to approve this application and the vote will be unanimous 9-0. I asked that when he gets back to Pierre to please take the time to read the case as we presented it to BME. We made them look like idiots. We refuted every fact they presented. We show their figures were in error. We showed where they used the incorrect data when they figured their application. Not only that, the EPA sent a 33 page document disputing DENR and Hyperion’s application, yet the permit was still approved. How can he stop the process? No answer. Pollution doesn’t stop at the county line, and when this affects the health and welfare of the entire state I can assure you sir it will be your responsibility. He didn’t say he would do anything.
Folks, do you see what is happening here? We are being patronized, and it is politics as usual. These people are here pressing the flesh for your vote, and don’t have a clue. They want your vote, but when you ask them questions, you get the “politically correct” answer to them. “I’ll look into it.” And in 5 minutes they will have forgotten what you talked about. They will go home hoping that when it comes time to vote you will say “Oh I recognize that name; he actually came to Union County. I’ll vote for him.” They will climb into their cars and head home, another day of campaigning in the bag. And they wonder why the American People hold politicians in such low esteem. DUH - - someday, why can’t someone come barnstorming through here and say I’m going to make changes and by God this is how I’m going to do it. Vote for me and I’ll make it happen. When that happens, I know hell is in the process of freezing over, but I’ll vote for them. Quite frankly, I’m pretty much disgusted with the whole process.


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