…in hopes that competent advisors soon would be there!
Kristi Noem didn’t give her chief of staff and communications director one measly present for Christmas; she gave them the full sack:
Governor Kristi Noem today announced the addition of Maggie Seidel as Senior Advisor and Policy Director, as well as the departures of Joshua Shields, Chief of Staff to the Governor’s Office, and Emily Kiel, Communications Director [Office of the Governor, press release, 2019.12.23].
Kiel had been communicating from the Governor’s office since May. After lieutenanting off and on for Noem since her first campaign for Congress in 2010, Shields survived chiefing her staff for less than three months.
Gee, what on earth could the Governor’s staff have done so wrong as to warrant being sent home for the holidays?
Kassidy is busy and Booker hasn’t finished high school, so Governor Noem had to look outside her family and outside the state to bring revolving-door lobbyist Maggie Seidel back from the Beltway to tighten her ship. Before lobbying, Seidel worked for conservative New Jersey Congressman Scott Garrett, who joined Noem in voting for weakening the Clean Air Act in 2011 and voting against the Violence Against Women Act in 2013.
Noem at least had the sense to bring Tony Venhuizen back to help her manage the Legislative Session:
Tony Venhuizen, who is outside legal counsel to the Governor’s Office and previously served as Chief of Staff to Governor Dennis Daugaard, will take on additional duties, on a temporary basis, for the 2020 Legislative Session. Venhuizen will focus on legislative relations and administrative matters [Office of the Governor, 2019.12.23].
Whether Venhuizen can be said to be exercising good sense in returning to Pierre from Sioux Falls for another Session is open for debate. But with the Governor’s attention distracted by useless flights to the White House and Florida conferences, continual staff churn that is starting to rival Trump’s, and a chief of staff who knows nothing about South Dakota or our Legislative history, the Noem Administration clearly needs Venhuizen’s focus, intelligence, and experience to avoid a complete Executive debacle during the 2020 Session.