Jackley Setting Noem up for “Gone DC—Out of Touch” Primary Narrative

Kristi Noem may be the Tom Daschle of the Republican primary in 2018. Stuck in Washington for seven years, gubernatorial candidate Noem is looking out of touch with the South Dakota issues and events around which her race may revolve.

At this month’s Government Operations and Audit Committee meeting, Democratic candidate for governor Senator Billie Sutton proposed legislation that would make more correspondence and records of government officials’ activities public record. One Republican legislator huffed and puffed that such openness is bad, but Republican candidate for governor Attorney General Marty Jackley, smartly recognizing that secrecy and corruption are issues that might resonate with 2018 voters, jumped on the PR bandwagon this week and said he supports Sutton’s proposal. Rep. Kristi Noem, distracted by her DC tax cuts for billionaires and her busy Instagram account, uttered a below-the-fold platitude about how government transparency is “essential” but avoided committing to Sutton’s proposal, which she’s probably never heard of.

Jackley played another advantage this week, challenging Noem to sign a clean campaign pledge. Noem declined, and of course she would, because it is an obvious campaign stunt, but the practical point is that Jackley is here in South Dakota able to launch these campaign stunts any time he wants, and now, because his campaign team had the time and bandwidth to launch this particular stunt first, he can run around the state saying Noem refused to promise not to attack his family and childrenThe bitter attack politics of Washington must be rubbing off on Kristi; she’s lost touch with South Dakota values—the campaign lines write themselves.

Noem is also missing important local events. She missed the McGovern Civic Engagement Forum in Mitchell on Tuesday, which all three of her Republican challengers attended (but not Democrat Sutton, dang it… though he is hauling his hat around the state on his listening tour). And check out who’s not listed on this flyer for the GOP Gov Club Hunt hunt next weekend:

SDGOP Oct 29 fundraising hunt flyer, screen cap from Dakota War College, 2017.10.21.
SDGOP Oct 29 fundraising hunt flyer, screen cap from Dakota War College, 2017.10.21.

Jackley will be there, as will both GOP Congressional candidates Krebs and Johnson, but no mention of Noem yet.

In running for governor while serving in Congress, Kristi Noem is attempting a political move unprecedented in South Dakota. Seven of our 31 governors have gone on to serve in Congress after governing South Dakota (Crawford, Norbeck, McMaster, Bulow, Bushfield, and Rounds went to the U.S. Senate; Janklow is the only South Dakota governor to win a U.S. House seat), but no one has served South Dakota in Congress and then come back to be our governor. These small examples from this week’s news indicate why making that switch is difficult. Noem hasn’t been in Pierre dealing with state-level policy since 2010. She’s completely missed the EB-5  and GEAR UP scandals that have prompted Sutton’s transparency push. She’s been reading the Boehner-Ryan script for four terms instead of forging her own state-level agenda. And now she’s facing a primary opponent who’s on the ground every day in South Dakota and better able to stay in touch with the Republican base in his work and his play.

Kristi Noem gone Washington—watch for that narrative to develop as we head for the primary.


41 Responses to Jackley Setting Noem up for “Gone DC—Out of Touch” Primary Narrative

  1. owen reitzel

    Hopefully this race will get ugly really fast making both Jackley an Noem show their true colors.
    It’ll be interesting how each will try to get the vote of the far right-wing Republicans who think they’re RINOS.
    Maybe they’ll get g a threesome going and really sling the muds.

    With Sutton coming through and winning. We can hope!!

  2. Since when has running a clean campaign been an issue here? Republicans have been slinging that garbage at Democrats for decades.

  3. Jeff Barth

    I remember the Republican Gubernatorial primary where AG Barnett said Steve Kirby was cloning human beings and Kirby said Barnett was a liar. So… Rounds won!

  4. Jeff Barth

    When Richard Benda “killed himself” there were questions about his emails as a State employee. The claim was that they had been destroyed when he left the State employ. Did they destroy the emails from Governor Rounds to Benda? Did they destroy Round’s emails when he left the Governor position?

    Most emails from Government officials should be open to freedom of information inquiry. In New Jersey the “Bridgegate” emails put the crooks in their place. Why the crooks here get to keep scratching sand over the stinking pile is unclear.

    Go get’em Billie.

  5. They should sign a dirty campaign pledge.

  6. Tim, I do look forward to Jackley extending a similar agreement to Sutton after the primary. I also hope that, as leader of his party’s ticket, Jackley will issue that edict down through the ranks to tell all Republican candidates to make no negative, misleading attacks. They’d have a pleasant, policy-oriented election (for once), and they’d put Pat Powers out of business. :-D

  7. Jeff, we could use a nice, centrist Republican insurgent to steal the primary from Noem and Jackley when they start mud-wrestling. Or wait—maybe it would be better for 2018’s clean Rounds surprise to be Hubbel, LaFleur, or an as-yet undeclared hard-right Stace Nelson/Citizen for Liberty-style Republican with whom Sutton could mop the floor in November.

  8. Jeff notes one aspect of Sutton’s transparency bill that could make for awkward conversations with Jackley. He’s never put anyone in jail over EB-5. Joop Bollen borrowed over a million dollars that were supposed to be locked down for the state, and he only charged him a couple thousand bucks. Sutton’s proposal would have made available far more of the internal memos and e-mails that might have helped as see who knew what when in EB-5. Jackley might not want to give Sutton much opportunity to talk about such things, so maybe that’s why he’s trying to defuse the transparency bill as a debate issue by agreeing to it.

  9. I wonder where Mr. Sutton stands on the feeding of the big, out-of-state egos and money funneled into a few pockets on that Marsy’s Law. I wonder if Mr. Jackley will come out with a number on how much it is costing tax payers and doing nothing. I bet the Council on Legislative Research is hiding those numbers to protect the party in power, under orders.

  10. Jackley will definitely want to hide that information, Grudz, since Jackley’s campaign staffer Jason Glodt made the big money on directing the Marsy’s Law campaign and probably used that drive to gather updated information for Jackley’s campaign-targeting database.

  11. I think Marty is going to trounce Noem, and then have a head of steam coming out of the Republican primary. Kristi’s only professional credential is that she’s not a liberal.

    I hope Billie has some big guns in his back pocket as Marty’s gonna play some exceptional hard ball.

  12. Adam, another perceptive friend told me this weekend about talk from Republicans along the same lines: Marty may coast to a big primary win. Perhaps Kristi was the perfect Republican candidate for Congress, someone who would do nothing but raise money and win elections, but even Republicans recognize that their governor has to be a competent executive.

    Still, Republicans could nominate an empty hat (or Carharrt cap) like Kristi, and Billie Sutton would still need very big guns to win.

  13. But thank goodness Kristi was out this weekend shooting birds, pictures, and videos.

  14. Cory, that’s interesting, because most of the republicans I know tell me that they can’t stand Jackley and he’s not too popular with the rank and file; he’s seen as “oily” and “slick”, or a ‘slimy opportunist” as one put it. I wisely restrained myself from asking something along the lines of “doesn’t that just mean he’s a typical republican”, lol.

    I will say that, hubby being a part of the state’s legal community, many of the state’s attorneys and bar association members do not appreciate Jack Hole (sorry, that’s what he is to me) using the bar membership as one of his personal fundraising lists, sending them fundraiser mailings “asking”” them to either attend and contribute generously, or just contribute generously. Hubby, a staunch Democrat, has already received a couple of these mailings and believes it’s because the bar membership listing was used.

    Trouble is, Mary is very vindictive and is the type of “leader” who believes he can not only do whatever he wants because of his position, but that power is to be used for his own benefit, not for service, and that he has the right, and WILL USE THAT RIGHT, to express vindictiveness against those who aren’t supporters or disagree with him. I know that there’s quiet consternation in the bar association over that, even if they’re not coming out directly with such concerns (and they’re not going to, either, for good reason).

    Marty would be an extremely dangerous governor, and that’s not even getting into his fundagelical theocratic tendencies. Noem is just stupid. I can’t stand her, either, but stupid and clueless is better than evil and dangerous,

  15. I can’t see ANY indicators that Marty might plan on doing ANY coasting, at all. He seems to be laying the ground work and aspiring for long term installation into national GOP politics – and he seems to be working the GOP financial system exceptionally well. Against Kristi, Marty is most certainly aiming to set a big precedent for what he can/will do to any candidate he runs against down his long political road into the future. He seems to understand that crushing your opponent is the best way to steal all their business away from them and into his pocket.

    Kristi is going to look like the ditzy dipsh!t she truly is when Marty gets done with her. I’m sure of it.

    The trouble is, Billie is going to have to exude more charactor and punchy personality traits than possibly any Democrat who ever ran for SD Gov. before him – in order to stymie Marty’s huge momentum.

    Sutton camp needs to make DAMN SURE that Marty’s popularity peaks in the primary and then only dwindles from there.

    We will all find out, soon, and for certain, if Billie’s got a lively enough character to persuade rural state voters, and if the Sutton family name actually carries the weight we all hope it does, in his very own home state amongst his very own rural people.

    Quiet, respectful, mild mannered rural folks are not persuasive or interesting to anyone who lives in SF or RC. People want to vote for Batman and Superman – NOT Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent.

    So far, Billie is Clark Kent; the dude needs to step into a phone booth and get changed. I recommend a trip to DC to visit Adam Green at the PCCC as well as a 3 hr. consult with Steve Jarding in order to find ones inner hero.

  16. Hoping the Sutton camp is reading this, I HIGHLY recommend taking a video (of Billie speaking to an audience) to SJ – and let him pick apart all the strengths and weakness of the speaker within the provided segment.

    If a SD Dem candidate wants true, and homegrown, genius to impact his/her life, or perhaps just his/her candidacy, one owes it to ones self to get the big man’s critique as often as possible.

    And THAT – is all I have to say about that.

  17. I don’t actually know if Sutton has or has not consulted with SJ, but leading up to this moment, it looks, to me, 100% evident that he has not.

  18. Mr. Adam, I have been told that Mr. Sutton does read blogs every day, and much of his team’s planning is based on the way the wind is blowing in the blogs on any given day. Watch you for the remodel of the LRC bathrooms, very soon. Millions spent. Wait for more.

  19. Jarding strikes me as an ally of the deep state who’d covertly undermine both Noem and Sutton to install Jackley. You can get better advice elsewhere, Billie.

  20. The color ‘purple’ strikes Kurt Evans as ‘Orange.’

  21. Adam writes:

    The color ‘purple’ strikes Kurt Evans as ‘Orange.’

    If I were in charge of a blog, I’d probably only allow an empty smear like that from someone commenting under his real identity. Commenters like “Adam” and “grudznick” substantially lower the quality of the product.

  22. A sure sign that the argument is over is when the demand for the “real identity” comments comes up from Mr. Evans. Cory allows open discussion and that is important to First Amendment rights, I like that and you should too Mr. Evans.

  23. Jerry writes:

    Cory allows open discussion and that is important to First Amendment rights, I like that and you should too Mr. Evans.

    I do like it, Jerry, and I’ve explicitly said so here before:

    That’s probably the biggest reason I support letting people comment anonymously. Anonymity can be a kind of equalizer between the weak and the strong. As I’ve already indicated, though, I think maybe anonymous commenters should be kept on a shorter leash when they engage in name-calling and other obviously rude behavior.

    http://dakotafreepress.com/2017/09/18/russian-propaganda-online-anonymity-and-reestablishing-accountability-for-what-we-say/#comment-88640

  24. Kurt whines, like a standard conservative, about name calling, when no one even called anyone any names. Sad.

  25. Grudz, I I don’t know what you might perceive about how Billy’s campaign might be a fair weather politician sort of thing.

    I, also, think it’s sad – that a person might see it that way. It, truly, takes a dishonest kind of person who would lie to themselves, repeatedly, about the facts – to think that Billie licks his finger to see which way the wind blows.

  26. So why then are you miffed at Mr. grudznick and Adam? What one earth have they done to upset your universe with their anonymity? They have always, for the most part, seemed very genuine to me. Me being just jerry, also anonymous. And also you Mr. Evans, how do we know that it is really Mr. Evans posting at 1.00 in the morning and not some kind of Russian bot? In the end, what do we know and when do we know it?

  27. Just because I take the time to attack the argument of another person doesn’t mean I am somehow ‘miffed.’

    I don’t give a crap about their anonymity.

    Right now, we know that conservatives are gullible fools. They believe in lies MORE than they believe in facts – and that’s a fact. It’s all about *when* we choose to argue with them not *whether we choose to argue with them* or not.

  28. Jerry, I was too gungho and I misunderstood what you were saying.

    My bad, dog.

  29. Evans’s commentary is no different from Russian trolls. Why do we suppose that is?

  30. Laurisa’s indictment of Jackley’s naked opportunism and power politics is what Sutton should be prepared to offer when he takes off the glasses and becomes the hard-swinging superhero Adam says he needs to be to win with SF/RC (is that an abbreviation for “sofistercated”?) voters. Whatever the proper tactics, Sutton needs to assure us Dems that the question of “who’d be worse, Marty or Kristi?” remains a diverting parlor game and not a real political choice for how we plan to survive after Daugaard.

    Adam, remind us of Jarding’s record. When’s the last time he helped a South Dakota candidate win? And is it possible that, even more valuable than a three-hour consultation, Jarding could help a South Dakota candidate with three-second e-mail to which he would attach a mailing list of donors Sutton could re-engage?

  31. On coasting: the person who mentioned that possibility did not mean “coast” as in “not work to win.” Clearly, with his statewide rollout, this early “clean campaign pledge” trick, and the mailings Laurisa describes (hey, Laurisa, please send me copies!), Jackley plans to work very hard, as he ought.

    Sutton should work as hard as well, but I wonder if there might be a method to his not taking those superhero swings against his opponents yet. Can we argue that, until the primary is settled, he does well to hold the punches he would aim at any specific Republican, just to let them focus on beating up each other? The Republican primary is a free focus group, an opportunity to see which attacks resonate best with a large set of voters, not all of whom are crazy right-wingers.

  32. Very interesting historical observation Cory. I see you recall the pounding that Kirby and Barnett gave one another, what a mucky slug fest. In the end, Stan put up the $30 or so grand and boom, we then had Rounds, Mr. EB5 himself. Dude was setting in the shadows and kept his powder dry for the big fight, you have to give Stan and Rounds credit for the gamble even though the pot had a booger in it, called Joop.

    Jackley and NOem are both flawed terribly. They both have worked diligently to deny healthcare to South Dakotan’s by hurting their chances for coverage and by making it more expensive than a mortgage. They have taken away the American dream of home ownership and even the simple care of existing homes all to line their pockets and those of their owners.

  33. Roger Cornelius

    Billie called me a couple of weeks ago as a part of campaign fund raising efforts and we had an opportunity to visit and discuss a few issues.
    I asked Billie explicitly if he read blogs, especially Dakota Free Press, and he admitted that he really doesn’t have time to be a dedicated follower, but reads them when time allows. That is understandable since he is on the road so much of the time.
    From Billie’s emails and Facebook postings , I have yet to see him respond to blog postings. To suggest that Billie has based any part of his campaign on blogs is wrong.

  34. I’d written above (2017-10-22 at 23:31):

    I do like [open discussion], Jerry, and I’ve explicitly said so here before…

    Jerry asks:

    So why then are you miffed at Mr. grudznick and Adam? What one earth have they done to upset your universe with their anonymity? … And also you Mr. Evans, how do we know that it is really Mr. Evans posting at 1.00 in the morning and not some kind of Russian bot? In the end, what do we know and when do we know it?

    (1) I’m not miffed.
    (2) My universe isn’t upset.
    (3) My last comment was at 11:31 p.m.
    (4) I’m not sure what you know.

    “Adam” writes:

    Evans’s commentary is no different from Russian trolls. Why do we suppose that is?

    Apparently because you suppose absurdities. When was the last time Steve Jarding helped a South Dakota candidate win?

  35. Oh you are miffed alright, So much so that you prattled on with this. “If I were in charge of a blog, I’d probably only allow an empty smear like that from someone commenting under his real identity. Commenters like “Adam” and “grudznick” substantially lower the quality of the product.”

    A supposed smart feller like you should not want others to believe that you are getting all worked up over Mr. grudznick and Adam simply giving their opinion. For a supposed libertarian constitutionalist, you seem, well you seem kind of like you don’t quite fit in to that.

    Now for your question, I give up, it is back to you Mr. Evans, when did Steve Jarding help a South Dakota candidate win?

  36. I’m not sure Tom Daschle or Tim Johnson would’ve had a truly successful political career, if Steve Jarding hadn’t been on the team when it mattered the most.

    The provision of old donor lists can be helpful, but it doesn’t solve likability/chemistry compatibility of donating to a different candidate – or changes in donors personal finances over the years.

    Also, if a donor gave to Tim Johnson, it was a very different time and different issues ruled the day. Donor passion to invest in a campaign is ruled by so many factors. A candidate simply has to do everything right.

    Specifically, it’s Jarding’s particularly distinct ability to aid in fine-tuning a candidate’s presentation skills and hone in on their preferred messaging that is invaluable for nearly all varieties of political correspondences. Moreover, South Dakota is his family’s backyard, and he studies our politics, because he naturally cares.

    Cory, yeah, the Republican Primary definitely has more thoughtful voters than the Rs in the General Election. I just don’t think that the race will be close enough for them to actually get dirty. When Kristi sees that she’s down by 20-30 points, 4 months before the Primary, she might back out of the race to save her enormous war chest for different battle, on another day. Maybe she’ll soon want to ‘spend more time with family’ after her long stint in DC. And then, Marty would get 100% of the Republican funding for an extra 4 months – making it even harder for Billie to convince donors that he could win. I am concerned about this possibility.

  37. Fine-tuning presentation skills and messaging versus a look at proven donors—I’d still rather start with the latter.

    Marty can certainly wish Kristi would drop out, and it’s a Doomsday Eve scenario of which Team Billie ought to be mindful. But she’s not going to quit four months before the primary: four months is a lot of time to wage all the attacks that are just waiting to be made against a weak candidate like Jackley.

  38. I’d written:

    I’m not miffed.

    Jerry replies:

    Oh you are miffed alright …

    Well, I’m a little miffed now.

    Jerry continues:

    A supposed smart feller like you should not want others to believe that you are getting all worked up over Mr. grudznick and Adam simply giving their opinion.

    I don’t want others to believe I was getting all worked up, because I wasn’t, and the statement that the color purple strikes me as orange was an empty smear, not an opinion.

    For a supposed libertarian constitutionalist, you seem, well you seem kind of like you don’t quite fit in to that.

    It’s Constitutionist:
    https://www.constitutionparty.com/about-us/faqs/why-does-the-constitution-party-use-the-term-constitutionist/

    Now for your question, I give up, it is back to you Mr. Evans, when did Steve Jarding help a South Dakota candidate win?

    I’m not sure he ever did.

  39. Miffing looks good on you Mr. Evans. That color question makes me smile, fits you will. Thanks for answering your own question.

  40. Cory, we’re seeing longtime Republicans dropping out of their Primary races because hero worship of Trump is now the definition of Republican. Marty is not only gonna win the deplorable vote, he’s going to win the Christians too.

    You just watch, and note, apparently I am the first and only one to predict that Kritsi will end up dropping out months before her primary. She’s part of “the swamp,” she gonna get drained, however, she won’t have the integrity that these first two Republican dropouts have in rebuking the new conservative politics of continuous, bold, narcissistic lies.

  41. I’ll watch, Adam, and if you’re right, remind me to do a big “You heard it on DFP first!” post giving you credit.

    The idea that Kristi is part of the swamp fits my original thesis. But could she still pull off a win with the primary base by worshipping Trump more than Jackley does? Does Trump hero worship apply only Congressional races (watch out for Shantel and Dusty), or will it extend to gubernatorial and state legislative races?