SD Farmers Union President Disputes Noem Claim of Universal Ag Support for Cmte Switch

Did Rep. Kristi Noem lie to us about her abdication from the House Agriculture Committee?

Facing criticism from Democratic challenger Rep. Paula Hawks for abandoning South Dakota’s agricultural interests in favor of a seat on the prestigious House Ways and Means Committee, our sole Congresswoman made the following statement to the Watertown Public Opinion two weeks ago:

Rep. Kristi Noem, Facebook photo, 2015.12.25
I’d suggest Kristi take a look at her own t-shirt, but reading backwards in the mirror makes her head hurt.

“It has been interesting to listen to her speak,” Noem said, “because she’s talked about it being a bad move to go to the Ways and Means Committee, and that it’s not beneficial to agriculture. But what she needs to know is that all of the ag organizations in the state advocated and supported me getting on the Ways and Means Committee. So by her criticizing that, she’s criticizing every single ag organization in the state of South Dakota [Roger Whittle, “Rep. Kristi Noem Disputes Claims Made by Challenger Paula Hawks,” Watertown Public Opinion, 2016.08.11].

Rep. Hawks told Whittle that she wasn’t hearing ag industry leaders backing that story. And now Doug Sombke, president of South Dakota Farmers Union, says his ag organization never supported Rep. Noem’s move:

I am confused by this comment, because although I knew Noem was making the move, and I understand that for her political career this is a great move for her, as a representative of one of the state’s largest agriculture organizations, I did not and do not support her move because it is not in the best interest of South Dakota’s number one industry of agriculture.

I want to make it clear that South Dakota Farmers Union neither advocated nor encouraged Rep. Noem’s decision to leave South Dakota without a seat on the Ag Committee. When I visited with Rep. Noem and her staff, I shared with her that although we understand her position, we prefer her serving on the Ag Committee first and foremost [Doug Sombke, “SDFU President: Noem Should Have Stayed on Ag Committee,” Farm Forum, 2016.08.22].

Rep. Noem says “all of the ag organizations in the state” supported her committee switch. Sombke says his ag organization did not support the switch. It’s not spin but a straightforward logical conclusion to say that one of the above two speakers is not telling the truth.

5 Responses to SD Farmers Union President Disputes Noem Claim of Universal Ag Support for Cmte Switch

  1. It may be that the Farmers Union would prefer to have Noem’s vote on the Ag committee. But from her perch on the Ways and Means committee Noem may be able to control multiple votes on the Ag committee. “So, Rep. (insert name here), you want us to find ways and means to support (insert project here) in your district?” Funding for everything goes through Ways and Means, which is why a seat is so highly sought after.

    Noem looked at the teeter totter and got first choice of which side she wanted. She chose the side with the longest lever. Why don’t parks have teeter totters anymore?

  2. But Noem’s comment in question doesn’t address the question of relative committee power. Noem claimed all ag orgs supported her committee switch. Sombke says his ag org didn’t. The falsehood of one of those statements does not depend on the relative power of any committee.

  3. Noem has consistently put the obstructionist interests of her party above the needs of South Dakota farmers. Dump her.

  4. Joe Nelson

    Yep, looks like Rep. Noem lied. But if lying was a reason for not voting for someone, I reckon everyone will have to vote for someone other than Clinton or Trump.
    But, she is at least engaging the populace by answering questions, which is good to see. I am still waiting to hear back from Paula Hawks campaign (I think I am the only one who has commented on her youtube channel, so you would think they would answer….)
    But tell you what, I will e-mail Rep. Noem right now, and let you all know how soon she gets back to me.

  5. Joe Nelson

    Automatic reply!

    Dear Mr. Nelson,

    Thank you for reaching out to my office. I want you to know that I value your input. It is an honor to represent the people of South Dakota, and I want to be responsive to your thoughts and concerns.

    Please consider this e-mail an acknowledgement that I have received your comments. My staff or I will respond with more detail in a timely manner.


    Kristi Noem
    Member of Congress

    Might be of value if the Hawk’s campaign set up something like this if someone e-mails; my e-mails to that address have yet to receive a reply :(