And the fall campaign is out of the starting gates..
Jack Billion started the campaign off immediately out of the starting gate by taking shots at Governor Rounds in this story by the Rapid City Journal's Kevin Woster:
Billion said he sent a letter to the governor asking for a list of companies attracted during Rounds’ 3½ years in office. Billion also asked for information on the number of jobs created, average hourly wage, amount of state assistance each received and whether the business was recruited through the governor’s invitational pheasant hunt or other recruitment programs.Read it all here. And you too can be giddy with excitement with me as the fall campaign starts off after the stunning conservative victory Tuesday night.
“I’m dead serious about it,” Billion said of his request for the information. “I think it’s part of good government, open government. When he says he’d be happy to share that information and discuss it with me, I’m certain he means it.”
Rounds staffer Roxy Everson referred a Journal call about the Billion offer to Rounds re-election campaign coordinator Michele Brich, the governor’s sister. Brich didn’t address Billions’ letter, saying it would be “handled like any other letter they receive up in the governor’s office.”
But Brich said the Rounds administration had created more than 10,000 new jobs, helped lift annual visitor spending to a record $800 million and generated a record gross state product of $29.4 billion — with a $34 billion goal by 2010.
That is part of the governor’s 2010 Initiative, which Brich said is having positive effects throughout the South Dakota economy.
“It’s a very aggressive plan, put together with input from people from all over the state. It set goals, and people are working very hard to meet those goals,” she said.
Billion intends to challenge the effectiveness of the 2010 campaign, as well as what he considers to be Rounds’ failures in health care, education funding and openness in government.