Information, observations, and analysis from the James River valley on the Northern Plains-----
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The South Dakota Attorney General's office keeps announcing things it is doing in behalf of South Dakota consumers who got dry-shaved by the Dan Nelson Auto Group. (If you aren't sure what "dry-shaved" means, please consult the African American Dictionary of Military Nomenclature, or your neighborhood jiveass.)
Its latest deal is with FSB Financial Ltd., which bought loans from the bankrupt and thoroughly disgraced Dan Nelson Auto Group's in-house loan-sharking operational called Car Now Acceptance. Day-amn. This is probably all very boring, unless you are one of the 369 South Dakotans who got dry-shaved. Under new terms agreed to by the Attorney General's office, the loan rates will be only 17.95 percent and some other provisions are included, according to an Argus Leader story.
In other Dan Nelson-connected news, the Subaru dealership that Nelson crashed will be taken over by the guy who originated it, Terry Schulte, if all the folks who have to approve the deal approve it.
In case you forgot, this story made blog space because the bank that lent Dan Nelson Auto a bit of cash--almost $30 million--had Nelson's good friend and stick-buddy (also a military term) John Thune on its board of directors. The question raised is whether John Thune provided the bank lubricant for Nelson while he dry-shaved a whole bunch of cats out there in Iowa and South Dakota of uncertain financial means who needed cars with a bunco scam. (If you are uncertain about what "bunco" is, ask your Attorney General.)
No evidence has emerged that John Thune helped arrange the loans with MetaBank, even though Dan Nelson Auto was a dubious candidate for such loans at the time they were made. His company was in shaky financial condition and was engaged is some shady practices. The main thing that makes John Thune a suspect in collusion is the dishonest and utterly malicious campaign he conducted in 2004. He can save every friggin' air base in the nation, but that won't lift the huge, stinking albatross from around his neck. Whether the boys were getting it on with lots of lubricant down in the bank vault is not really the issue. The issue is the screwings that take place in the loan departments of various financial organizations.
Now that the Cold War has been declared over for more than 10 years, is there anything that can be done about Little Kremlin--Pierre, South Dakota?
We don't expect Republican legislators to take any interest in all this, but they have, in fact, squealed of late about some of the dry-shaving going on. (Here we continue the operating analogy with an allusion to the movie Deliverance.
) They thought it was something of an outrage when the state entered into negotiations with Burlington Northern Santa Fe who wants to buy a state-owned rail line, but keep parts of the deal secret. You see, the Dan Nelson-John Thune-MetaBank arrangement is just a symptom of a state government that does strange things with bankers, and nobody ever knocks on the vault door to ask what is going on in there.
The Democrats in the state legislature are a minority and get dry-shaved often, and we fear that they are beginning to enjoy it. For people without much of a voice, a little abusive attention can be better than no attention at all. We sincerely hope that the Democrats have not reached that state of desperation. But why aren't they making an audible and constant noise about the totalitarian goings-on in state government?
- Why do we still have a gag law?
- Why do they allow state officials and Burlington Northern to decide what to do with our money and resources in secret?
- Why don't they keep proposing open meeting and open record laws that don't have loop holes big enough to drive North Dakota through?
- Why don't they give a shit about honesty and fair play?
- Why don't they think that democracy should work in South Dakota?
Do our politicians want to operate South Dakota as a sovereign state or as a bank-controlled gulag? It may be late to rattle the tumblers on the bank vault door, but maybe something of democratic principle can be salvaged in this state. Unless our representatives enjoy the dry-shaving.