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January 03, 2013 05:10 PM

SD Democrats Criticize Appointment To State Board

pierre, sd

South Dakota Democrats have criticized Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard's appointment of a man to a board that awards state economic development loans to businesses.

Daugaard has appointed Rob Skjonsberg of Pierre to the state Board of Economic Development. Skjonsberg was a banker, a chief of staff for former Gov. Mike Rounds, and now is a partner in a consulting firm working on Rounds' campaign for the U.S. Senate.

South Dakota Democratic Party Chairman Ben Nesselhuf says the appointment is a blatant political effort to help Rounds' campaign. He says those who get state loans could be influenced to contribute to Rounds' Senate campaign.

Daugaard's communications director, Tony Venhuizen, says Skjonsberg's support of a Senate candidate doesn't change the fact he's qualified to be on the Economic Development Board.

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