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New Spinster Seidel Calls Noem “Visionary”

Requirement #1 for working for Kristi Noem: having your horsehockey down pat. Hear Beltway lobbyist turned Noem flack Maggie Seidel demonstrate her necessary disregard for fact:

Maggie Seidel
Noem chief-of-laff?

Seidel’s first official day on the South Dakota governor’s staff was November 19. Seidel came from the Washington, D.C., offices for the American Property Casualty Insurance Association.

“She’s a visionary and I’m drawn to helping her succeed,” Seidel said. “I want to help her and that’s why I’m here” [Bob Mercer, “Governor’s Policy Director Wants Public’s Attention on Noem,” KELO-TV, 2019.01.03].

Visionary? What vision has Noem ever laid out? Where are the monuments to this marketingly professed vision? What legislation has she proposed that has clearly revolutionized the way we govern ourselves?

Even when she speaks in glittering generalities, she offers young listeners no defined vision. The central Noem bromide—Say yes to things!peddled to  youth far and wide since early in her statewide political career, contains no firm vision, only a vague, undiscerning, and dangerous boostery exhortation to jump into whatever crazy scheme people may offer you.

Vision does require saying yes to some good new things, but this Governor’s agenda, like her name, starts with No. Her entire career is built on negation: No to Pelosi, No to Obamacare, No to estate taxesNo to dust regulations (here Noem was an imaginary, not a visionary) No to task forces, No to hemp, No to raises for teachers and non-kin state employees… good grief! Noem doesn’t even follow her own bland say-yes advice to youth, let alone express any sort of defining, creative vision. Noem’s vision does not appear to extend beyond gaining power and press.

Calling Noem a “visionary” requires an overarching commitment to lying to South Dakotans’ faces. No wonder Noem had to reach for an out-of-stater to continue telling us such lies.


  1. Kal Lis 2020-01-05 08:05

    I’m getting old.

    When I saw the headline, my default definition for “spinster” was “an unmarried woman, typically an older woman beyond the usual age for marriage” and wondered if “Spinsters for Noem” was going to be a new PAC.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-01-05 09:25

    Such a PAC is unlikely, Kal Lis; I’m betting most of those women were Jackley voters.

  3. Eve Fisher 2020-01-05 09:55

    Well, she used to work for an insurance company association in Washington, D.C. that “promotes and protects the viability of private competition for the benefit of consumers and insurers.” (In other words, no universal health insurance for YOU.) She’s fluent in fungibility.

  4. Bob Newland 2020-01-05 10:05

    Cory, did you have any plans to visit the capitol during session? If so, I suggest you try making a reservation to be admitted. I suspect any impromptu appearances at the jackboot line will result in several hours of body cavity searches.

  5. Bob Newland 2020-01-05 10:15

    Mercer’s reporting sometimes exudes irony. Mercer and I had become friends during the course of my several runs for office, and one morning around 20 years ago, he called me: “I wanted to let you know that I have accepted Governor Janklow’s offer for me to be his press secretary.”

    I hesitated, stunned. “Well,” I said, “I imagine it’ll pay better than what you’re doing now.”

    He replied, “It’s not the money; I want to be able to direct reporters to the real stories.”

    I saw Mercer a few months later in the capitol. I asked how that real story thing was working out. He hasn’t spoken to me since.

    For what it’s worth, Mercer has reverted to being a REAL reporter. I imagine the money sucks.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-01-05 10:52

    Bob, I find the notion that I have to pre-apply for easy access to my legislators and state government officials deeply offensive.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-01-05 11:00

    Very interesting story, Bob, about how a reporter could rationalize working as press secretary for the governor. Journalists should recognize that they can never act with full integrity as a government official to direct journalists to the “real stories” any more than we can trust the government to tell us what is “fake news.” That’s like saying the Executive Branch should tell the Legislature and the courts how to exercise their checks and balances properly.

    Journalism must execute its role as the Fourth Estate independently of the three branches of government. I certainly welcome public servants to recognize they have a duty to inform the public and to commit themselves to presenting honest, useful information that helps the press inform the public. I certainly welcome public officials to engage in real explanation of and dialogue about real public policy issues rather than to burp out the claptrap Seidel adoringly says about her new boss.

    But when you take a $140K annual paycheck from a power-hungry regime, be it Noem or Janklow, you have to accept that you will be kept on a leash that first and foremost serves the regime, not the public. Journalists not co-opted by the regime have a duty to look with skepticism on any direction they receive from the Governor’s press secretary on what they should be covering. When the Executive Branch says, “Here, look at this!” good journalists should look, but they should also look around to see what the Executive Branch may be trying to keep them from looking at.

  8. Porter Lansing 2020-01-05 12:17

    The “negativity bias” Cory talks about permeats not only Noem and her staff but the majority of voters in SD. I assert it’s the biggest problem the state has. It’s why SD ranks in the bottom five states in innovation. It’s why young people with fresh ideas move away. It’s also why businesses with vision look elsewhere when expanding. Negativity bias is ingrained in the culture and comes from the Russian-Germanic heritage. It’s spending three times more energy trying to find reasons an idea won’t work than simply believing it will work and believing you can fix any problem that will arise. It’s a cancer on South Dakota’s future.

  9. grudznick 2020-01-05 13:08

    Bah on Mr. Lansing’s wrongheaded opinion. BAH!

  10. Bob Newland 2020-01-05 13:11

    I nominate the thing which calls itself grudz###k for the post of SoDak State A**hole.

  11. grudznick 2020-01-05 13:16

    Bob, that motion was made this morning at the breakfast meeting of the Conservatives with Common Sense, presented by another but with your name on it. As such it was hammered down as being out of order, and you will need to be on-hand next week personally to make said motion.

    I’ll second it for you.

  12. Porter Lansing 2020-01-05 13:20

    grudznick could have been a contender. Such a waste. Without positivity, he’s what bright kids turn into.

  13. bearcreekbat 2020-01-05 13:21

    Statements that assert or imply that “we can[not] trust the government to tell us what is ‘fake news’” are misleading and potentially harmful to continuing our current form of government.

    In reality, of course there are certain individuals or adminstrations elected or employed by the government, just as in every single other endeavor or organization, that cannot be trusted to avoid spreading “fake news,” such as the Trump Administration. As for Noem and Janklow, they too may well fall into the Trumpist category of liars, but to declare that this is an inherent characteristic of our particular government institutions per se seems a serious mistake.

    For example, if Cory were elected SD Governor would we expect him “to tell us what is ‘fake news’” or would the institution of government require that he too become a liar? In the unlikely event he decided to become a liar, I would contend such a decision would have everything to do with his value system and literally nothing to do with the intrinsic nature of our current “government.”

  14. Bob Newland 2020-01-05 13:24

    High elected officials become “the government” to most. Therefore, it’s accurate for most to say that we can’t trust the government.

  15. bearcreekbat 2020-01-05 14:30

    As a matter of numbers, “high elected officials” seem to be a very small segment of individuals that are part of our government as there are reportedly approximately 2.1 million federal government employees alone.

    Here is a link that purports to indicate the number of government employees in the various states. It states that

    Nationally, state and local governments employed about 7.4 million full-time equivalent (FTE) workers in 2014. . . . Including teachers and those working in education, the total more than doubles to about 16.2 million public employees (excluding federal government) nationwide.

    Applying derogatory labels to our “government” doesn’t do any of these people any favors.

  16. Sam2 2020-01-05 18:31

    Where is the Vision in the Noem administration? It appears she is taking us back to the roaring 20,s. (1920)

  17. Debbo 2020-01-05 18:45

    “Visionary” applied to Klueless Kristi is one of the funniest things I’ve read on DFP.

    I too, thought of an unmarried woman in the 19th century when I read “spinster.” Had to cogitate on that briefly.

  18. leslie 2020-01-05 20:51

    Yeah, and trump is up to 15K lies. Atlantic

    Seen RCJ Thune editorial. He lies saying the house impeachment denied Repubs an “opportunity to be heard.” Hahaha

    Like his minder moscow mitch, he wants the voters in November decide on impeachment conviction. Mitch prevented Obama’s SCOTUS CENTRIST NOMINEE GARLAND A SENATE HEARING. Both positions violate the constitution. Mitch prevented Obama from taking further action against Putin prior to the 2016 election. Mitch and Boehner were the primary GOP obstructionists DURING OBSMA’s entire eight years in office. Kentucky, like SD are nightmares of Republican corruption.

    Thune denies GOP divisive hard ball acid drenched politics drives the culyural divide.

    15K lies, John, Mitch, and Kristi,

  19. grudznick 2020-01-05 20:56

    grudznick thinks this young woman seems a most brilliant and conservative sort. I, for one, expect her to drive much of the agendas of the sessions and be a true voice of reason amongst all those who are insaner than most. She might run your lives, people, so settle back and just enjoy it.

  20. Diane Olson 2020-01-06 13:25

    Noem is seriously uninformed and antiquated in her thinking. Her position on Hemp is ridiculous. Come into not just the new decade but a 20 yr old century. She is in the 1950’s in her thinking

  21. Wayne Rasmussen 2020-01-06 15:56

    Vissionary??? More traditionary unhampred by progress!!

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