Kloucek v. SDFU Round III (updated 2/12/07)

If you recall, I've been monitoring the sordid tale of back and forth between Senator Frank Kloucek and the South Dakota Farmer's Union which started with Frank's inadvertent personal e-mail that ended up being sent out to the world. In it, he had some less than kind words about the SDFU's involvement with Ridgefield.

In response, the SDFU booted Frank from their board.

Now, the latest (according to a press release from Frank) is that Frank is pushing for the Attorney General to investigate the Ridgefield matter:
Senator Frank Kloucek announced today that he and a Ridgefield investor met with Attorney General Larry Long on Feb 7th and presented documentation to help convince Long to do a complete and thorough investigation into the Ridgefield Farms fiasco. “Information and valuable contact information were presented to the attorney general that should convince him that there is a need for a full and transparent investigation of Ridgefield Farms.” said Kloucek.

So far the state has written off on 7-11 06 $459,025 dollars to Ridgefield Farms of South Dakota. Also the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council has written off $100,000 to the same entity. Flandreau economic development board has outstanding loan balances to Ridgefield of $100,000 for operations and $750,000 for purchase of livestock, none of which has been paid back.

The South Dakota Corn Utilization Council also has written off $89,088.64 owed from Dairy Development LLC a part of SD. Ag Producer Ventures. The Corn Council has given money to groups such as AG United as well. I have requested an attorney generals opinion on the use of Corn Utilization Council funds given to three entities Ridgefield Farms, Ag Producer Ventures and Ag United? The question is: Was SDCL 38-32-13 violated by the Corn Utilization Council by giving money to these entities?

There will be a meeting of concerned Ridgefield investors on Feb 24th at 10 am at the Beadle County Extension office in Huron to discuss the future of Ridgefield.

“Whether there were any irregularities or not in the whole Ridgefield project, the benchmark or standard must be raised. We must ensure that proper steps were taken in the past and will be taken in the future to protect our state tax dollars, corporations, cooperatives and private investors so that something of this magnitude can not happen again!” concluded Senator Kloucek.
Will this be the last we hear of all of this? Somehow, I doubt it.

2/12/07 - UPDATE -

In the interest of fairness, I would note that Frank did pass on to me in an e-mail that he doesn't necessarily agree with my portrayal - noting that "with all due respect this is not a kloucek vrs anybody or oraganization iissue. The money is gone gone gone.."


Anonymous said…
Argus loves this man and his crazy conspiracies. I guess that's because there are folks like him including their political writer.

Kloucek talked to the AG many times through the last year according to Farmers Union. He and his attorney have threatened lawsuits for years against the Farmers Union.

If he wanted an investigation or oversight, why didn't he introduce legislation. I wonder if Sutton sees it Kloucek's way or the other way around.
Anonymous said…
PP isn't this the guy with the bald head that is in the Argus all the time? I think he is one of Heidiprim's friends. What a bunch of losers!

They would eat their own before establishing ethics.
Anonymous said…
" . . . so that something of this magnitude cannot happen again". As far as failed development projects go, Ridgefield is actually pretty mild. Excelsior-Henderson's collapse, for example, cost the taxpayers and investors in Minnesota north of $50 million.

The incredible naivete' of those investing in Ridgefield is breathtaking. They were investing in one of the toughest industries in America and now they're shocked the deal failed? You gotta be kidding.

The sad fact is that there were voices that advised caution before putting money into Ridgefield, voices that were drowned in the tide of hubris from too many cheerleading politicians like Sutton and Wiese that were far, far outside their element.
Anonymous said…
I'm told the Farmers Union Industries and Flandreau are both considering how to get their money back. Good Luck!
Anonymous said…
I think contrary to Kloucek's statement there were thousands of cattle purchased. Is he on some controlled substance?
Anonymous said…
Interesting we hear from this lunatic when the investors are looking into how to move forward. Oh, he isn't an investor is he!

He had a lot failures to deal with and I guess his little tirades keep his voters happy. Hey, they elect him in spite of emails and his lack of integrity and honesty.
Anonymous said…

You are so right about the investors. The state, the Huron people, the different ag and econ organizations and so on.

It was not worth trying to save before it left Huron.
Anonymous said…
SDCL 38-32-12 provides that the Corn Council may "[]contract and cooperate with any person, organization, or with any governmental department or agency for market maintenance and expansion, research, education, transportation, and for the prevention, modification, or elimination of trade barriers which obstruct the free flow of corn and corn products to market"

The question on the minds of many here in central South Dakota is just how does an investment in Ridgefield Farms further the mission of the Corn Utilization Council?

The real issue here is how the CUC misappropriated taxpayer funds in an illegal manner in an ultra-risky scheme to bring a business to Flandreau that should have never attracted the kind of money it did.

Meanwhile Klocheck is the posterboy of incompentence and any serious efforts by him to investigate wrongdoing are worthless.

Because of the convoluted network of the same members on each of the boards making these kinds of projects come to fruition is not difficult. For instance the CUC members and SDFU and others all tend to be connected through the same political and social circles.

In short there is probably some fire where the smoke is coming from but Frankie K is the wrong guy to be fanning the flames.
Anonymous said…
Ha, I love that acronymn, SDFU. The irony is not lost, especially where Krazy Klocek is involved.
Anonymous said…
"They would eat their own before establishing ethics."

The Republicans would know something about that. Just as Bob Sahr.
Anonymous said…
Just a few things to ponder on this little tale.

If you know anythng about farm organizations, the Farmers Union does not run in the same circles as the Corn Council.

The Farmers Union uses its own funds through investments over 90 years to do its work and the Corn Council uses all corn farmers' money (including Farmers Union members). This hasn't gone over very well with Farmers Union members in that they have projects but the corn growers/council aren't interested in the same types of projects.

The Corn Growers (a commodity group) only have a few hundred members but the Farmers Union and the Farm Bureau (general farm organizations) have thousands of members who raise corn.

Why doesn't Heidiprim do this for Kloucek since their allies now? No legislation from Kloucek just more words. Funny thing is the press conference came off when I see the SDFU was holding their meeting in Huron Saturday. Apparently, Kloucek has realized how unwelcome he is and decided to rain on their parade.
Anonymous said…
No news here, the Moody County newpaper named the person they are seeking. It is Philip Friend who was the CEO.
Anonymous said…
I think Frank is on record being against Ridgefield investments from the very begining. He knows introduceing a bill is not the right way to go. And by the way, how many times has he introduced a bill in the past to have it shot down by the repubs only to see it come back a few years later as a repub bill. abortion ban for example. Crazy like a fox is Frank.
Anonymous said…
Frank votes no on everything it seems.

I do think the abortion bill was not adopted that year because it had Frank as the sponsor.

He is viewed as someone not to be associated with. His choice.
Anonymous said…
9:55am -

I read that in the moody county enterprise also. Phil Friend, President & CEO of Ridgefield, is the one that the lawsuit goes after. I can't remember exactly what the article stated - but I believe he was the one that started Ridgefield and he got so money hungry that he destroyed it - and everything and everyone that was involved.

One other tidbit...

Visit this link:

Go to page 7 of this document...and who is that shaking hands with Mr. Phil Friend?? Is it our wonderful Governor?
Anonymous said…
I think the Ridgefield deal DOES need to be looked into. Bad business deals fold everyday but this thing stunk from the get go. I wouldn't have as big of problem with it going under if the big wigs wouldn't have been drawing such HUGE salaries, like above six figures (many of them) In Flandreau South Dakota six figure incomes are not main stream by any means and these people took advantage of this business deal, the people of Flandreau, and the Farmers Union while all along living high off the hog buying vehicles and property in town....Just plain WRONG!!
Anonymous said…
HEY! Anon 8:20! Kloucek might be whatever you think he is...but WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH PEOPLE WHO HAVE BALD HEADS?????
Anonymous said…
Anon 7:26

You peaked my curiosity. Where and when did the board/company by vehicles in Flandreau? What kind of vehicles did the board/company buy in Flandreau? What property did the board/company buy in Flandreau? Haw about the answer to these same quesions while the board/company operated in Huron?

What is a large salary for a company such as this?

Not that I disagree with your statements but you seem to have some knowledge and it would be useful if you anonymously listed what you 'know'.

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