In the week and a half since federal and state authorities accused a pair of Northeast Kingdom developers of massive fraud, some of the state's most powerful politicians have sought to walk back their support for the projects.
But there's one top pol who has little walking-back to do.
Doug Hoffer, the Democratic and Progressive state auditor, has long been critical of the federal EB-5 investor visa program, which the developers used to attract more than $350 million in foreign financing. Under EB-5, those who invest $500,000 in certain economic develop projects are eligible for a green card; if they can later show the investment generated 10 jobs, they and their families can become permanent residents of the U.S.
In a March 2012 interview with Seven Days, most of which was never published, Hoffer questioned the program's moral underpinnings, its economic utility and its oversight structure. At the time, he called EB-5 "offensive on some levels" because it allows those with means to bypass the nation's restrictive immigration procedures.