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Flustercluck: Greenfield, Novstrup Nuzzle Noem’s Nepotism, Needle Nelson

“In my small business, we practice nepotism,” said Senator Al Novstrup (R-3/Aberdeen) yesterday in defense of Governor Kristi Noem’s hiring of her low-20-something daughter as a $50,000-a-year policy analyst (and, while not mentioned yesterday, the State Treasurer’s hiring of Noem’s imminent son-in-law Kyle Peters as a Legislative liaison).

Open.SD.Gov, payroll listing for Kennedy Noem, daughter of Governor Kristi Noem, screen cap 2019.01.27.
Open.SD.Gov, payroll listing for Kennedy Noem, daughter of Governor Kristi Noem, screen cap 2019.01.27.

The question of nepotism was raised pointedly last week when Senate State Affairs took up and ashcanned Senate Bill 39, an attempt by Republican Senator Stace Nelson (R-19/Fulton) to ban state officials from serving in a supervisory capacity over or contracting with their kids, kids-in-law, siblings (full, half-, or step-) or parents. Senators Novstrup and Brock Greenfield (R-2/Clark) both joined the unanimous Senate State Affairs vote to kill SB 39 Wednesday; both defended their vote at the Aberdeen crackerbarrel yesterday.

Local radio newsman Adam St. Paul (who is giving the Legislature extra coverage this year) asked if, independent of how we feel about Kristi Noem herself, rules against nepotism are reasonable.

Senator Greenfield seemed to want to answer the question affirmatively, to admit that, yes, nepotism is bad. But at the crackerbarrel as in committee, he could not separate the policy from the person. Senator Greenfield spent a lot of time insisting that Kristi and Kennedy Noem are both great people with a “very strong relationship” and that Kennedy is one of “the best possible people” to have around Governor Noem, in whom “the people of South Dakota” have “placed their trust”—all of which mingles the personal that St. Paul explicitly asked Greenfield not to mingle in the policy question.

“[S]he knew that she was going to come up under scrutiny by hiring her daughter and she chose to anyway,” said Senator Greenfield, suggesting that nepotism is excused by Trumpishly acting with obvious disregard for general standards of proper conduct.

Senator Greenfield slogged further into the personal slough: “[E]specially at this time, given the immediacy of the issue and how raw a nerve it strikes, because it’s very—because it does tread too closely… I thought it was an ill-timed bill.” Here Senator Greenfield seems to be saying that we can’t talk about nepotism when it’s happening right in front of us, kind of like how we can’t talk about gun control right after a mass shooting, or we can’t talk about building a wall when people are crossing the border. Feelings are too raw when actual harm is happening, Senator Greenfield is saying. Let’s not talk about solving problems until there are no problems…

…or until there’s a governor Brock doesn’t like:

I’ll be honest, you, you— it’s a valid concern. I mean, if somebody that I had a little more objectionable, or that I was a little more objectionable toward was the Governor, I’d probably already be like, not trusting, and would see decisions being made, and think, well, there’s another, you know, bad decision, so I get it, but… with respect to this hire, I think it was a good one, and I do support the Governor’s ability to make those decisions [Senator Brock Greenfield, response to crackerbarrel question on nepotism, Aberdeen, SD, 2019.01.26, timestamp 4:10].

Having thus taken the position that one (A) shouldn’t bring legislation against hiring close relatives immediately after the Governor’s hiring of a close relative and (B) may bring such legislation later under a Governor about whom one feels differently, Senator Greenfield then criticized Senator Nelson for not bringing such legislation immediately in 2011, when Governor Dennis Daugaard hired his son-in-law Tony Venhuizen and the PUC hired Daugaard’s son Chris.*

Senator Greenfield then spoke vaguely of a similar situation in the Rounds Administration when legislation arose in response to an apparent instance of nepotism, didn’t succeed while the issue was ripe, but passed years later. This comment prompted St. Paul to follow up and note that the question of nepotism has arisen multiple times.

Apparently sensing (like others in the audience) that Senator Greenfield’s seven-minutes of self-contradiction were losing the argument, Senator Novstrup rose (around the seven-minute mark) to blow some smoke. He cited the dictionary definition of nepotism (and kids, understand: your English teachers leading off with a dictionary definition as a sign that they’re in for a weak paper) as “when you hire your friends and family.”

Now I know everyone in this conversation is using the word nepotism, but it is worth noting that Senate Bill 39 does not contain the word nepotism. It does not mention hiring friends. It speaks only to hiring certain close family members. So right out of the gate, Senator Novstrup is trying to stretch the debate beyond Senate Bill 39 itself.

Senator Novstrup pulled us further from the topic by distracting by quip: “I go wow: I can’t hire my friends, so I hire my enemies? That’s not a good idea.”

Nowhere did SB 39 demand that state officials hire their enemies.

Senator Novstrup went on to endorse nepotism in business:

In my small business, we practice nepotism. I try to hire my friends and family because they’re good people. At one time we had nine family members working my small business, and that was nepotism at its finest, people that worked and people that I could trust—what a deal [Senator Al Novstrup, crackerbarrel, 2019.01.26, timestamp 7:30].

There is a vast difference operating a family go-kart business and governing a state. Al’s business is his business. He can hire his son David and all the other kin he wants… although even within that business, if he has a cousin and a non-relative working the gate, and both have been working equally hard for equal years, but Al gives his cousin $12 an hour and the other guy only $10 an hour, that’s not fair.

Governor Noem is not running go-karts. She is running the State of South Dakota, a great public enterprise. She and the people she hire wield far greater influence than any small business, and that influence must be shared and checked with far greater care. To favor her immediate family members for jobs crafting public policy that will affect 870,000 South Dakotans represents a an unhealthy concentration of power that warrants greater scrutiny than Al’s summer hires.

But Senator Novstrup self-righteously barreled on, plowing through his misrepresentation of Kennedy Noem’s salary (it is now $50,000, already a $10,000 raise from her starting salary in November on the transition team) to declare that Kennedy is great gal and definitely not overpaid. He assailed Senator Nelson for daring to say South Dakota has a “culture of corruption.” Senator Novstrup said the EB-5 and GEAR UP scandals were clearly no big deals because hardly anyone was convicted of anything. He said legislators and lobbyists are all “good ethical people” and vowed that “I’ll push back all day long on people that attack the integrity of South Dakota and South Dakotans.”

Novstrup’s closing tactic here is to make his audience think that a bill he doesn’t like is really an attack on the audience, on South Dakota, on something holy and inviolable. If there were logic to his attack—if proposing a law prohibiting state officials from hiring close relatives were really an attack on the integrity of all the residents of the state—then several other states are attacking their own citizens’ integrity with anti-nepotism laws. Alabama prohibits state officials from appointing or contracting with relatives out to the fourth degree of kinship. Iowa’s prohibition extends only to third-degree relatives. Alaska says close relatives of legislators can’t work for the legislature. Nebraska forbids nepotism in the executive branch.

Restrictions on nepotism don’t attack anyone’s integrity any more than the governor’s veto power says legislators are idiots. Both are reasonable checks on the power of elected officials. Senate Bill 39 was an effort to prevent elected officials from concentrating public powers in private clans.

Nepotism in government is bad for democracy. Confronted with that principle, Senator Novstrup and Senator Greenfield get all flustered and can do nothing but cluck about personalities.

Stay tuned: more crackerbarrel coverage coming up! But you don’t have to wait: view all fifteen of my videos from yesterday’s crackerbarrel on this YouTube playlist!

*p.s.: On Venhuizen and Daugaard: Both of those young men came to their state jobs with résumés that dwarf Kennedy Noem’s. Both were Briggs Scholars at SDSU and studied in the Honors College. Venhuizen won a Truman Scholarship. Daugaard made significant marks in student government and other activities at SDSU. Venhuizen served for five years on the Board of Regents and brought a law degree to Pierre. Kennedy Noem has done nothing of public note other than work on Mom’s campaign. When Greenfield and Novstrup say, Dennis (with help from the PUC) nepotized, so why can’t Kristi?, they are comparing reasonably juicy apples to an unripe orange.

69 Comments

  1. Francis Schaffer 2019-01-27

    It does amaze me that with 8 years in Washington D.C., Kristi Noem apparently knows no one with better qualifications than her daughter for this position. Of course, maybe she does yet couldn’t convince her/him to move to South Dakota. Is this position her daughter has an appointed position or one which requires application? One of my points is to improve South Dakota it is time ideas come from outside this state. As for Al Novstrup’s comment on his business, Al you do what you want with your business hiring practices and policies; when it comes to public dollars we need rules in place to prevent hiring relatives over other qualified people – even Brother Billy needs a job, just not at the expense of tax dollars.

  2. mike from iowa 2019-01-27

    Used to be an honor to be elected and serve the sate. Now, the state serves as a dispensary of beaucoup bucks to unqualified relatives of many unqualified electees.

  3. Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) 2019-01-27

    Nepotism is govt corruption “it is a bad thing” as Sen Al Novstrup states, it is a problem in SD state employment, SB39 addressed that problem, it had nothing to do with @govkristinoem daughter, SB39 was not personal, it was made personal to defeat it. Senator Novstrup’s quote of my response about “nepotism”of employing friends is NOT what I said: http://sdpb.sd.gov/SDPBPodcast/2019/sst10.mp3#t=3133

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-01-27

    You know, Francis, I’m unclear on how many policy analysts the Governor is allowed to have or are budgeted for and what the hiring process is for that position. One would think that, if it were a normal state job, one would have to apply, and there’d be rules about advertising the position, conducting interviews, following EEOC rules, etc.

  5. jerry 2019-01-27

    Kennedy is a grifter, just like her mom. Al is a grifter and has proven it with his go kart exclusions ( seems like the only legislation he has ever done), Greenfield comes from a long line of grifters. So there ya go. Gotta teach grifting in the practical sense instead of at the supper table. I think that Kennedy will go far in this grifting world as South Dakota cannot seem to do much else in governing. Work on that smile girly girl and you will grift far and mighty. Now all Kennedy has to do is work on a sob story that isn’t true and it’s off to the races!

    Nelson is an wannabe opportunist that thinks this is gonna grease the skids for a senate run. News to him, ain’t gonna happen. As much as many would like to see him rise to the occasion, his load of bs baggage will not allow it, always the bridesmaid.

  6. grudznick 2019-01-27

    Mr. Nelson, why did you engage in cronyism corruption by hiring all the EB5 people to work for you in the legislatures and on your hobby farm?

  7. jerry 2019-01-27

    This reminds me of trump and a perfect description of trump and South Dakota’s governor. From the Salt Lake City Tribune, see if you can see the similarities with this description and what we are seeing and will see more of from Pierre.

    “Trump’s approach to governing seems to be, essentially:

    1) Take a dump on the carpet
    2) Complain loudly that there is a turd on the carpet
    3) Blame the turd on everyone but him
    4) Demand someone else clean up the turd
    5) Smear the turd around
    6) Say he cleaned up the turd better than anyone else could have
    7) Declare victory

    And somehow, 35% of the country still thinks he’s great because Obama never took a dump on the carpet.”

    Credit for this great comment goes to George Romero of Salt Lake City, Utah”

    We are tired of the Mickey Mouse games that are being played in Pierre so no one has to work and all get to play act while there are still smeared turds on the carpet.

  8. Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) 2019-01-27

    Mr. Heidelberger,
    “Grudznick’s” comments are as ignorant as they are libelous. I have hired no one in the Legislature nor on our little hobby farm.

    @Jerry your ignorant assumptions about my political plans have no standing. Furthermore, they place my safety in jeopardy with my wife who was not in favor of my current answer to civic duty.

  9. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr., 2019-01-27

    US House and US Senate rules do not allow for nepotism to take place with congressional staffing. Given that, do our Republican friends in Pierre believe that Senators Thune and Rounds, and Congressman Johnson, should work to change those rules? And if nepotism is so good, why didn’t Governor Noem fight to change House rules during her eight years in Congress?

  10. mtr 2019-01-27

    The spoils system is as old as politics itself. I do believe however, Senator Nelson’s bill would find more support in a world were South Dakota had a Democratic governor.

    There was a time in state government when only one “family member” could be employed by the state. If the husband worked for the state, the wife, children, niece/nephew, etc. couldn’t be employed with the state, regardless of their position/job.

  11. Kal Lis 2019-01-27

    Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) is correct that nepotism is corruption. In a sane political universe, the legislature would check the executive. In this instance, party ranks closed and the natural system of the checks and balances inherent in government divided between three branches failed.

    Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) may return to thunder that what follows is ad hominem. c’est la vie

    Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) is bomb thrower who publishes scorecards to attack members of his party , challenges a nominee’s choice for lieutenant governor, and has not been known to utter the phrase “half a loaf is better than none” when it comes to politics. Further it seems as if his views on this subject have evolved over recent years.

    It’s fun having Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) around. He engages with people on blogs and he is anything but boring.

    That said,this fight was an important one. It was lost before it started because he’s burned too many bridges.

    I enjoy Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton)’s frequent tweets that include scriptural affirmations. Lyndon Johnson allegedly used Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together…” as start to many political discussions. A little reasoning together might get important anti-corruption legislation passed.

  12. jerry 2019-01-27

    Nelson. say what?? “Furthermore, they place my safety in jeopardy with my wife who was not in favor of my current answer to civic duty.” You seem to be the one who’s putting my safety in jeopardy with your dumb arse legislation. Please sir, spare me the crocodile tears, they just rust my spurs.

  13. Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) 2019-01-27

    @Kal Lis You associate yourself with the juvenile HS mean girl petty political attitude that is so prevalent in SD politics. The attitude that one needs to go along to get along and be petty on people’s legislation based on who’s name and party is behind the bill, if they don’t. I don’t play those games. I do my best to vote on the merits of each bill regardless of who is the sponsor, or what party they are registered with. You making excuses for such nonsense perpetuates the juvenile practice. You also spread fake news in regurgitating the idiocy posted on SDWC that I am ineffective in passing legislation, when the opposite is in fact the truth. I don’t engage in the cherry-picking many legisaltors do in only bringing agency or establishment bills that have a good chance of passing. It’s why I receive requests across the state to bring bills that address actual constituent concerns, to include SB39. What you describe is the very culture of corruption that I described, and it is systemic on both sides of the aisle. Unless you really think that Democrats voted against an anti-nepotism bill because they thought the plagiarized bill was so poorly written in ND 20+ years ago, without offering any amendments to make it better as the process allows.. We should be thankful they were considerate of our intelligence not to say it was because of LRC’s choice of font..

  14. Matt 2019-01-27

    While I don’t necessarily agree with the all the rationale here, I believe this was a junk bill that was rightfully DOA .

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-01-27

    Senator Nelson: Democrats were AWOL on this bill. The only active opposition party in Pierre appears to be the Nelson wing of the GOP. Woe unto the Republic.

  16. Kal Lis 2019-01-27

    Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton),

    There’s a difference between quixotic and principled. The more one engages in the former, the less likely one is to have enough Sancho Panza’s accompanying him when the giants are actually giants and not windmills.

  17. Porter Lansing 2019-01-27

    You tell ’em, Sen. Nelson. You’re a highly successful writer of bills that become great laws. Something’s wrong with the internet because I GOOGLE’D “south dakota senator stace nelson successful bills in legislature” and none came up. Give us a quick list of the one’s you’ve been successful with and shut these haters up.

  18. Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) 2019-01-27

    @Kal Lis History is the judge of both, and a long distinguished record shows the former is clearly the evidence of record: https://www.facebook.com/stacey.nelson.547/media_set?set=a.1253864788384&type=3 But you & Senator Novstrup enjoy your South Dakota that purportedly doesn’t have any corruption..

    @Porter Lansing I’ll play your game.. I’ll list one and then after you list the bills you have gotten passed into law, I’ll list some more. I am the only person LRC can recall that has ever been able to get a bill entered after the cut off date, and hand carried the bill through the process with no listed sponsors or cosponsors, and had it passed into law. I brought this bill for my (then) constituents: https://sdlegislature.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Bill=1256&Session=2011

  19. Porter Lansing 2019-01-27

    Sen. Nelson enters a House bill from eight years ago from a group he was a member of not a bill he wrote.

  20. o 2019-01-27

    Have read 39. When it is referred to being a “bad bill” is that in the context of it’s structure – or in the context of political climate? On face, it seemed clear to me. I am troubled with Sen. B. Greenfield’s comments that this seems to be OK because he is OK with the Governor now. I wonder if he is inside enough to know about other applicants for the position Kennedy received or not. More troubling, and again I ought not put unstated motives on others, but does that mean that had we a governor he does not support, then this bill would become a good idea? That seems like “rules are for the other guys” to me.

  21. Kal Lis 2019-01-27

    Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton),

    Now, you’re just trolling. I said in my comment at 14:11 that nepotism is corruption.
    I don’t do Facebook, so I won’t follow your link. Enjoy your windmill jousts.

  22. Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) 2019-01-27

    @Porter Lansing You choosing to be ignorant and not review the actual hearings on the bill, and being unaware that I in fact drafted the bill with LRC, and ignorantly claiming I was a member of a committee I was not a member of, does not change the facts that it was one of the first bills I passed in a fete none other has replicated.. especially you over in Colorado. 😉 Go ahead and list your bills you passed into law so I can list a whole bunch more of my own, don’t want to be accused of bragging..

  23. Porter Lansing 2019-01-27

    Sen. Nelson … I have passed as many bills as a South Dakota State Senator as you have.

  24. grudznick 2019-01-27

    grudznick has passed more bills than Mr. Nelson.

  25. grudznick 2019-01-27

    Mr. Nelson, the law bill you link to was sponsored by the tax committee of the legislatures, and was written by staffers in the office of Governor Daugaard, a Conservative with Common Sense. I am glad, however little your bucket was, that you helped carry some water for a real elephant of the GOP.

  26. Porter Lansing 2019-01-27

    grudznick … Pay your bills. Mr. Howie tells me you still owe him.

  27. Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) 2019-01-27

    @Porter Lansing Your ignorant dillusions not withstanding, I passed the following pieces of legisaltion as the primary Senate sponsor in 2017:

    Bill Title
    HB 1055 revise certain provisions regarding the need for a driver license or permit to operate certain motor vehicles.
    HB 1056 authorize law enforcement officers to issue certain citations not signed under oath.
    HB 1112 revise certain provisions related to construction managers on certain public improvement projects.
    HB 1155 revise the penalty for aggravated assault with the intent to disfigure the victim.
    HC 1020 Celebrating and honoring Tabor’s Annual Czech Days festivities on the occasion of its sixty-ninth anniversary on June 15th, 16th, and 17th 2017.
    HCR 1011 Recognizing and honoring Sitting Bull, Tatanka-Iyotanka, a courageous warrior, statesman, dedicated leader, one of South Dakota’s first ambassadors to the world, and a man who remains an essential figure in South Dakota and United States history.
    HCR 1014 Expressing the strongest support for, and unity with, the State of Israel and recognizing Jerusalem, as Israel’s undivided capital.
    SB 102 require that the name and telephone number of an organization fighting to end sex trafficking be given, in writing, to any woman seeking an abortion.
    SC 4 Posthumously honoring USAF OSI Special Agent Staff Sergeant Peter W. Taub.
    SC 5 Posthumously honoring, commending, and remembering Roger Allen for over forty-five years of dedicated service as an educator to the youth and families of the Mitchell School District and Dakota Wesleyan University.
    SC 6 Honoring, commending, and thanking South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Mike Thomas upon his retirement for his many dedicated years of service to South Dakotans as a highway patrolman.
    SC 7 Honoring, commending, and thanking South Dakota Highway Patrol Lieutenant David Berkley upon his retirement for his many dedicated years of service to South Dakotans as a highway patrolman.
    SC 8 Honoring ,commending, and thanking South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Greg Dirk upon his retirement for his many dedicated years of service to South Dakotans as a highway patrolman.
    SC 9 Honoring, commending, and thanking South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Derek Mann upon his retirement for his many dedicated years of service to South Dakotans as a highway patrolman.
    SC 10 Honoring, commending, and thanking South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Matthew Peterson upon his retirement for his many dedicated years of service to South Dakotans as a highway patrolman.
    SC 11 Honoring, commending, and thanking South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Mike Adam upon his retirement for his many dedicated years of service to South Dakotans as a highway patrolman.
    SC 12 Honoring, commending, and thanking South Dakota Highway Patrol Sergeant Tim Cerny upon his retirement for his many dedicated years of service to South Dakotans as a highway patrolman.
    SC 13 Honoring, commending, and thanking South Dakota Highway Patrol Sergeant Jeff Twite upon his retirement for his many dedicated years of service to South Dakotans as a highway patrolman.
    SC 14 Honoring, commending, and thanking South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Jeff Riley upon his retirement for his many dedicated years of service to South Dakotans as a highway patrolman.
    SC 15 Honoring, commending, and thanking South Dakota Highway Patrol Sergeant John Koenig upon his retirement for his many dedicated years of service to South Dakotans as a highway patrolman.
    SC 16 Honoring, commending, and thanking South Dakota Highway Patrol Captain Alan Welsh upon his retirement for his many dedicated years of service to South Dakotans as a highway patrolman.
    SC 17 Honoring, commending, and thanking South Dakota Highway Patrol Captain Kevin Karley upon his retirement for his many dedicated years of service to South Dakotans as a highway patrolman.

    But please, tell us all here in South Dakota about everything you don’t have a clue about over in Colorado.

    https://sdlegislature.gov/Legislators/Legislators/MemberDetail.aspx?Session=2017&Member=1163&Cleaned=True#divBills

  28. grudznick 2019-01-27

    Mr. Nelson is right that Mr. Lansing is but an out-of-state name-caller who besmirches Mr. H’s ability to get elected here in the great state of South Dakota, but he is wrong to list his noshing and commemorations as law bills. Those are time wasters and vanity papers of those who are the most ineffective in the legislatures.

  29. David Newquist 2019-01-27

    This thread contains one of the most self-destructive documents of futility you’ll ever see in any public record.

  30. Porter Lansing 2019-01-27

    grudznick … My mind is world wide. Your’s however, is as shallow as Willow Creek.

  31. Debbo 2019-01-27

    A. Nepotism is bad government and a form of corruption.

    B. B Greenfield is a poor legislator who apparently makes political decisions based on how much he likes or dislikes the people affected by it. Legalities, merits of the bill, etc are not relevant, personalities are.

    C. SDGOP has worked hard to achieve it’s high ranking among Most Corrupt and is fighting just as hard to maintain it.

  32. Debbo 2019-01-27

    Cory, good headline, attention grabber. 😉

  33. Roger Cornelius 2019-01-27

    As I read Nelson’s long list of “accomplishments” in bills he had sponsored and got passed there seemed to be something missing and then it hit me.
    There wasn’t a single piece of legislation that Nelson sponsored that had any grit to it, nothing even to chew on and certainly nothing that would improve the lives of everyday South Dakotans better.

  34. jerry 2019-01-27

    Roger, the only “accomplishment” missing is the naming of the Polo International Airport. Yeah, he should be commended for that with its new motto for the gun goofs “No TSA at the PIA”

  35. Roger Cornelius 2019-01-28

    jerry
    And don’t to forget those two all important bills supporting Donald Trump’s southern monument to himself and the bill commending Thune and Rounds for the Kavanaugh SCOTUS appointment.
    Or were these bills brought by another state legislator?

  36. Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) 2019-01-28

    @Roger You put into text, the undeniable truth of how blind and ignorant racism is. The legislation that was my idea and which I coauthored and was the Senate prime, celebrating Sitting Bull, was on the front page of Native Sun News. When I first discussed it with my friend Kevin Killer 9 years ago, he thought it was a bridge too far. Happy to compare the other legislation I passed with all 0 of yours 😉

  37. Anne 2019-01-28

    It’s like asking a person what work he has accomplished in his life and he brings out his tiddlywink collection.

  38. mike from iowa 2019-01-28

    Nice deflection, Nelson.

  39. jerry 2019-01-28

    Ms. Anne, you rascal, that was a good one!

  40. Francis Schaffer 2019-01-28

    Jerry nice one about PIA. I wonder how many even know about Polo. I thought my Brother Billy comment would get at least one response, which means I am the only one with a six pack of his beer in my basement.

  41. Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) 2019-01-28

    @anne Thanks for the Wollmann reminder! You wanted “grit” Roger? Let’s not forget the other fine piece of legislative effort of the joint rule I got passed having sexual contact between legislators, pages!

  42. Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) 2019-01-28

    oops! That was already passed by Anne’s favorite disgraced legislator, I passed the rule prohibiting such unethical and illegal workplace sexual harassment

  43. Porter Lansing 2019-01-28

    Gracias for your list of legislative accomplishments, Sen. Nelson. Now, get out there and continue trying to make women and people of color into the second class citizens you know they are. #WhiteSupremacyIsForWhitesOnly … and don’t you forget it

  44. o 2019-01-28

    I guess my fundamental question remains, would this legislature have passed SB39 IF a democrat governor had been elected and hired a son/daughter in this manner? In case of an election of the opposition in the future, will the legislature leap into action, or is this a wait-and-see-who-is-elected “ethics” issue?

  45. Donald Pay 2019-01-28

    I’m not sure anyone should count SCs or HCs as legislation. They are nice gestures that take about a nanosecond. SCs and HCs used to be handled as HCRs and SCRs, and voted on separately. People being honored would usually be in the gallery and a legislator would make a short speech about someone’s career or accomplishment. That changed in the 1990s (maybe late 1980s), and are now just printed in the journal and vote on en bloc. No speech. If someone shows up for that, they must be disappointed. All of that speechifying and voting over nothing ate up a lot of time on the floor, so they went to the new way of doing it.

    The legislation doesn’t seem to be earth shattering, but I actually prefer “little bills” that fix a particular statute to make it work better. Noting wrong with making little improvements in government.

  46. Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) 2019-01-28

    @Porter we are very fortunate for Colorado keeping your racist ignorance out of South Dakota.

    It’s always hilarious to be given an opportunity and show how Ignorant some people truly are. We’ve gone from ignorant lying comments that I’ve never passed legislation, to nonspecific whining about the substance of bills not even examined in their entirety 🤣

    I digress. Please, feel free to post your legislative success in comparison. 😁

  47. jerry 2019-01-28

    Indeed Mr. Nelson, “It’s always hilarious to be given an opportunity and show how Ignorant some people truly are.” You’re proof positive of that.

  48. jerry 2019-01-28

    Wow Mr. Schaffer, hang on to that six’er of Billy. I remember when that castor oil came out. I thought Schlitz was green, but that Billy won for sure. Gwadd awful stuff. Never was drinkable, but could be worth some sawbucks down the road.

  49. Porter Lansing 2019-01-28

    Sen. Nelson needs (not wants) to have the last word. Done!

  50. Ed 2019-01-28

    Does anyone know if Miss Noem and her fiancé are living together in the governor’s mansion for free while taxpayers pay their government salaries? That is a rumor going around. Also, I applaud Sen. Nelson for sponsoring the anti-nepotism bill, but I’m wondering why, then, does he continue to support a corrupt President who hires his daughter and son-in-law for jobs in the White House when they can’t even pass security clearances? If you want to have credibility and consistency on the issue of nepotism, you should be outraged at the actions of both Noem and Trump.

  51. Francis Schaffer 2019-01-28

    o
    It is a relative legislative issue, if Brock knows the relative it is fine, it he doesn’t he is not. Simple. Wrong, but simple.

    Jerry,
    what makes these cans valuable is the labels are printed upside down; yet maybe all of them were printed that way and still full; imagine how bad they have become.

  52. Roger Cornelius 2019-01-28

    I am not a legislator, I don’t have to be to question the credibility and ability of a legislator. I am a citizen that feels it is my civic responsibility to advocate for or against any legislation that brought for forward or left in the shadows.
    A short list of legislation with true grit would be elimination of the food tax, Medicare expansion, a fair livable wage and affordable housing.
    Certainly others can add to this list that would make all South Dakotans lives better.

  53. Porter Lansing 2019-01-28

    I support Roger’s platform.

  54. jerry 2019-01-28

    Indeed Roger, indeed. NOem was and is a good teacher. NOem voted over 60 times to eliminate the ACA/Obamacare, then lied and said that she and the dummies had an alternative plan for the ACA. One thing for certain, the best thing these guys do is lie and take a subsidy for doing nothing but whine and groan.

  55. mike from iowa 2019-01-28

    Honesty is certainly not the best policy if you are a non- wingnut in South Dakota and wish to be elected.

  56. Porter Lansing 2019-01-28

    Exactly, Jerry. Another thing they do consistently is start wars to deflect the attention. Trump’s about to start one in Venezuela.

  57. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-01-29

    Stace’s foibles, multitudinous as they are, as is the case with all mortals, are not the main point here.

    The main point is that a South Dakota Senator exerts himself to defend nepotism in general as a good practice in business and government.

  58. fretwalker 2019-01-29

    About 10 days ago no his FB site I very politely asked Stace Nelson to explain and / or substantiate claims he made while speaking in favor of “the wall”— In his 2 responses it was obvious he could NOT explain nor give proof of the things he claimed—– he then blocked me from his FB—- He is a liar void of integrity—

  59. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-01-30

    Thank you, Francis, for recognizing that fundamental hypocrisy. Brock’s excuses for Noem are an off-shoot of exactly the kind of nepotism that Stace wanted to ban: special consideration, special favors, based on relationships (ah, that’s another word Al loves) instead of honest and fair principles applied equally to everyone.

  60. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-01-30

    Ed, I’d love to see some logs on comings and goings at the Governor’s residence.

  61. clara hart 2019-02-09

    I am sad for the State I dearly love that is turning into a bad example of NEPOTISM and CRONYSM. I think I am in a twilight zone, I thought we did not have enough money to fund for Early Childhood programs that we dearly need just to name a few and yet there is no hesitation in forking over a hundred thousand dollars to pay outside council for WHAT? I thought we elected an Attorney General whose duty is to interprete the law and support the Governor’s office if needed. Where are our priorities as South Dakotans? Let us make it mandatory for anyone running for State legislature take a civics test. A different one for those running for Federal Office must pass a test showing their knowledge in foreign affairs should they get seated in Foreign relation’s Committee instead of sending interns/staffers to visit e.g Jordan to observe how Syrian refugee camps and bring back reports that do not tell the urgency of the situation. I know those staffers are good people but are under strict rules to go along with what the majority wants. To show less humanity.

    CAUTION: No bashing

  62. Roger Cornelius 2019-02-09

    Dear Clara
    My dear mother had a saying that, “South Dakota isn’t a state it is a condition.
    After watching our state’s politics and government for over forty years I’m inclined to agree with my mother.
    Surrounding states and far away states are blooming every year and taking advantage of growing opportunities while South Dakota wallows in the corruption and stagnation that they created and love.
    There are solutions to this state’s many problems, but it doesn’t include this crop of republican legislators or a governor constantly seeking glam shots.

  63. Lora Hubbel 2019-02-12

    So follow the lineage….aren’t Greenfield and Noem kissing cousins?

  64. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-02-12

    Brock mentioned that at the Feb 2 crackerbarrel; they’re related through Byron, it seems, but not to any haymaking extent.

  65. Certain Inflatable Rubber Devices 2019-02-12

    When relevance is an issue, Lora comes to mind.

  66. Lora Hubbel 2019-02-12

    Oh come on….pretend like you have a clue…im not going to give you everything I know a a silver platter…learn to figure a few things out on your own. Here is for the 3rd graders who “need relevance”….We have a lobbyist-Governor who loves Crony Capitalism of which nepotism is a part and Ive heard Brock Greenfield and Noem are related, some cousin relation…just more undue influence when people have to vote against a relative who happened to be the Governor.

  67. grudznick 2019-02-12

    Indeed, Ms. Hubbel. Simply the resemblance alone between Mr. Greenfield and Ms. Noem smacks of nepotism. They are nearly identical twins.

  68. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-02-13

    Let’s not spoil this useful thread on Greenfield’s and Novstrup’s absurd defense of nepotism by delving into Greenfield’s distant relations. Going down that path reinforces the narrative Greenfield was trying to offer, that the concerns Senator Nelson and the voter who raise the question share are just overblown hype.

    Kristi Noem has hired her daughter and her future son-in-law. The Legislature refused to take action against that blatant nepotism. The Legislature and the Executive Branch are broken.

  69. grudznick 2019-02-16

    The Executive branch hires who they want, be it cousins or kids, and the Legislative branch hires who they want, be it Mr. Nelson’s E-B5 antagonists or employees of the Democrat party.

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