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Noem Says Jackley Would Bloat Government with Task Forces and Roundtables

Kristi Noem is teasing Marty Jackley for trying to make government bigger:

Kristi Noem and Marty Jackley on horses.
What, no Horse Agriculture Committee? No study on providing low-income South Dakotans with affordable Governor’s Horses? No Blue Ribbon Task Force on Horse-Tie Culture?

“Unlike her opponent who has already proposed creating more than a half dozen new commissions, task forces and roundtables, Kristi believes the infrastructure that’s currently in place has the ability to adjust to the needs of South Dakota,” Noem campaign manager Justin Brasell said. “She does not believe a bigger government is the type of reforms South Dakotans want.”

…“Under my administration, there would be no new boards, no new commissions, and no new blue ribbon task forces,” Noem said. “Instead, we would look to scrub each agency, refocusing and streamlining existing departments while cutting red tape” [Bob Mercer, “In Split from Jackley, Noem Stands Against Any New State Boards,” Rapid City Journal, 2018.04.30].

No blue ribbon task forces? So Noem is saying wouldn’t have supported the governor’s creation of the task force that laid the ground work for our teacher pay raises in 2016?

But wait: did Jackley really say he wants bigger government?

Jackley meanwhile has promised to create a blue-ribbon commission on pheasants; conduct economic development roundtables with mayors, county commissions and business leaders; host an open-government task force; hold an annual summit of faith leaders; and launch a cybersecurity group to develop a 10-year plan.

“Government doesn’t have all the answers. That’s why as governor, I would make it a priority to work with citizens across South Dakota to find solutions to the challenges our state faces,” Jackley said.

“We will not hesitate to utilize volunteer commissions or task forces to bring citizens and stakeholders to the table so we can work together to make South Dakota even better,” Jackley continued. “Government can learn a lot from hardworking taxpayers and business leaders, so our team will encourage them to participate and welcome their ideas.”

Jackley said his approach “is ultimately about bringing more private sector expertise to state government, and as a conservative, I believe government should operate like a business” [Mercer, 2018.04.30].

The 2015 Blue Ribbon Task Force on Teachers and Students still has a website, but it wasn’t an expansion of government. Jackley’s Pheasant Phorce (please? can we?) seems similarly impermanent, just some nice folks who’ll get meals and mileage for spending a few days shooting the breeze about shooting the state bird. The Cybersecurity Consortium plan just directs existing entities (DSU, sure… but GOED? Why is the economic development office integral to security?) to pay attention to keeping the Russians at bay. Having economic development roundtables with local business leaders is the same thing Noem has done as Congresswoman and in her own gubernatorial campaign.

Noem is stretching here. Her attack sounds like something her campaign consultants pulled out of their focus groups: Hey, “bigger government” makes the needles twitch 23.4% more; let’s find a way to accuse Marty of pushing bigger government! The items Noem’s flack Brasell is pushing into Noem’s wordstream don’t really look like bigger government, and Jackley can do a pretty good job of making Noem sound silly for saying so. Thus, this “bigger government” attack will fall flat, if not backlash on Noem like her ill-advised false attack on Jackley’s travel budget.


  1. grudznick 2018-04-30

    We do not want the bloating of government. No bloating.

  2. grudgenutz 2018-04-30

    Ooooooooohooooooohoooooh! My head hurts so bad! One of these two is almost certainly gonna be governor. And even the most likely other choice (Sutton) after one of these two gets eliminated appears to be opposed to allowing women to control their own health and family choices. Oooooh!

  3. mike from iowa 2018-04-30

    No bloating? Is that why government grant money disappears in crony pockets before it gets where it was headed so as not to bloat those budgets?

  4. Donald Pay 2018-04-30

    I was on a couple of these task force/committee things, one state, one local, in the 1990s. I found them to be manipulated and manipulative. Some good things came out and got aired, but everything these committees did could have been done without the committee. Mostly they papered over or ignored the real problems. They served mainly as public relations for the powers that be.

    Today you can use technology to improve communication with the real folks out there. You don’t need these committees. If you respect citizen input then you will respect the initiative and referendum and cut the needless nonsense in that process that has crept in since 2000.

    The blue ribbon committee on teacher pay did propose something, but I think what was proposed didn’t address the long-range issues. It took the heat off the issue for a couple years, and papered over the problem. It didn’t solve it long-term.

    If you don’t mind paying tax dollars for a paper over job and public relations, yeah, go ahead and set up a ton of these committees. Otherwise, you would do better to improve open records and open meetings laws, do townhalls, and use technology to gather ideas and input.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-05-01

    Donald offers a fair critique, one I made about the Blue Ribbon teacher pay panel and the I&R task force. We knew what needed to be done, and we knew the Governor and Legislature wouldn’t do it. We knew they’d use their task forces as cover for what they had already chosen to do (although one key difference: they only did half of what the teacher pay panel was supposed to do, while they moved in the opposite direction of what the I&R panel should have done).

    But Kristi is missing that critique and instead mispackaging it as “smaller government.” Done correctly, the task forces could be what Marty says they could be, opportunities for more citizen participation (but Marty mispackages, too, saying his task forces would be about making government run more like a business, which is the wrong approach and which means less attention to democratic participation, not more). Kristi is offering a generic critique that avoids the thorny problem that I mention above: if she says task forces are bad, she sounds like she’s saying the results of the Blue Ribbon teacher panel were bad and that the people on that panel didn’t do any useful work. Noem needs to butt heads and get specific. If she wants this critique to stick, she has to say specifically what went wrong with the teacher pay panel, the I&R panel, and others.

    But there again, her DC campaign team fails. They’ve had their attention so locked on Washington and national politics for eight years that they can’t refine their campaign messages to deal with the details of South Dakota policymaking. Ask Kristi or Justin Brasell about the new 2016 K-12 funding formula or the I&R bills passed this Session, and they’ll go hommina-hommina.

  6. Dana P 2018-05-01

    The only thing that Ms Noem has ever done/wants to do is sloganeering and “buzz word-i-ness”. That’s all she has ever done and all she will ever do. Why South Dakotans have let her get away with her “all hat no cowboy” antics is beyond me.

  7. El Rayo X 2018-05-01

    The money Attorney General Randy Seiler won’t spend on frivolous litigation will more than fund Jackley’s task forces and boards.

  8. Roger Cornelius 2018-05-01

    What difference does it make whether the next governor is Noem or Jackley?
    The result will be the same for South Dakotans, either one will continue to bloat state government and call it something else.
    Why would Noem and/or Jackley deviate from a 40 year pattern of tax, spend, and borrow to support ill- fated government programs and themselves?

  9. Donald Pay 2018-05-01


    Has Jackley exhibited any tendencies to greater public openness in his current position?

    The Gilt Edge Superfund Site Settlement Agreement has the signature of an Assistant AG. I wonder why that agreement wasn’t subject to some public meetings. Jackley could have called for some meetings prior to even negotiating that agreement. He could, right now, withdraw that signature from the agreement pending public meetings. He could suggest that EPA and the State have a Citizen Board that oversees the Gilt Edge cleanup. Why doesn’t he actually show us about his openness to these sorts of citizen boards by actually doing it when he has some power?

    By the way, the EPA Superfund director has resigned under corruption charges. Kind of makes you wonder about what this Gilt Edge Settlement Agreement is really about, doesn’t it?

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-05-02

    Donald, I agree, Jackley does not look like any greater paragon of government openness or participatory democracy than Noem. But Noem isn’t attacking Jackley’s openness; she’s trying to stretch this small part of his platform into a “big government” critique, and that’s the wrong attack.

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