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Governor Noem Says Don’t Wear Masks, Don’t Take Online Classes—Start the Primary Now, Republicans?

A friend forwarded me a fundraising e-mail from Kristi Noem that was so bad, so irresponsible, that I needed to take some time to determine if it was real:

Kristi for Governor, campaign fundraising e-mail, recipient redacted, received by Dakota Free Press 2020.07.31.
Kristi for Governor, campaign fundraising e-mail, recipient redacted, received by Dakota Free Press 2020.07.31.

Crowning a week of baldfaced bullshittery, the elected Governor of the State of South Dakota, amidst a growing and deadly pandemic, discourages citizens from adopting a simple, inexpensive personal health practice that could check that pandemic and denigrates a viable teaching and learning alternative that would make schools safer by decreasing the number of children crowded into each classroom.

I don’t know what Kristi Noem’s problem is. Maybe she’s just that ignorant. Maybe she’s just that incapable of envisioning or even accepting systemic change. Maybe she just wants to keep those hundreds of millions of dollars of federal coronavirus aid that she has not spent in her hot little hands so she can pay for grad school for her other two kids.

I don’t know what has turned Kristi Noem into the tone-deaf ditz who Monday touts all-online job training courses and Friday says online education is bad. I don’t know what has turned Kristi Noem into the lying sociopath who tells people to abandon a proven health practice that helps many and hurts no one.

But there Kristi Noem is: saying stupid things that will hurt people.

*     *     *

Earlier this year, another prominent Republican, House Majority Leader Lee Qualm, preached a similar kind of anti-science hogwash, promoting a shocking and dangerous bill and offering testimony that discouraged vaccinating children. In response to Qualm’s unhealthy behavior, establishment Republicans primaried Qualm’s sorry butt right out the Legislature.

And now with 152,000 Americans killed in five months by coronavirus, Kristi Noem is saying anti-scientific things that will drive that number higher.

Republicans, if you thought Lee Qualm was worth primarying (and you were right, he was!), then it’s time for you to apply the same thinking to the far greater menace to public health and reason that is our Governor, Kristi Noem. Announce the TenHaken/Allender ticket, start fundraising now, start scaring Kristi back to safety and sanity, and make it clear to her that she has forfeited her shot at a second term in the Governor’s chair.


  1. grudznick 2020-07-31 17:36

    Mr. H, you seem to be coming unhinged. Get a grip on yourownself. You are starting to lash out and call people names, and as soon as you do that you know you have lost in the debates.

  2. Jenny 2020-07-31 17:58

    Cory isn’t becoming unhinged, and even if he has called Noem some names, it’s his blog. He has every right to. My daughter’s highschool in MN has mandated for all students, teachers and anyone coming into the building to wear masks and masks will be provided if one doesn’t have one. MN isn’t a stingy scrooge when it comes to having to spend more money on education because of this. SD is just the oppsite where they will do everything they can to get out of having to pay out more than they have to. Million dollar Presidential celebrations at Mr Rushmore are more important.

    As a parent, I would be very concerned if wearing a mask at a public school wasn’t the rule. I know plenty of parents around my town that are still concerned about sending their kids back to school. Such a different world in SD where the GOP think mandataory mask wearing is losing one’s freedom. In MN it’s all about keeping students and teachers safe.

  3. jerry 2020-07-31 18:01

    Tinker Belle is high, and as Mr. grudznick says, unhinged. Must be that Adderall kicking in. Rhoden, just beered up and always ready to listen and have some brews with the lobbyists. What a team, dopey and happy.

  4. John 2020-07-31 18:18

    Herman Cain died for their sins. The trump virus got him. No mask. No social distancing, until now – when it was too late.

  5. grudznick 2020-07-31 18:31

    Ms. Jenny,

    As a peace leader, my good friend Ruth Henriquez Lyon from Duluth says

    Wouldn’t it be more constructive for some people to initiate a respectful dialogue with other people about their differences. We need conflict transformation professionals to help us all learn how to communicate constructively, rather than modeling name-calling as a response to disagreement.

    It seems difficult to argue with her on that. grudznick views Mr. H as a sort of a “peace leader”, and perhaps even a conflict transformation hobbyist, so I hate seeing him backslide into being a name-caller. It’s just disrespectful and seems below his caliber of person.

  6. Mark Anderson 2020-07-31 18:55

    I like the fact that South Dakota is advertising itself to Minnesota and the nation as being safe from golly, protestors who are black and brown. I left South Dakota in 1987 to teach art in Reno and Sarasota. when I went to college in Vermillion, South Dakota had the two most liberal senators in the nation. Now it’s trumpland and a female trumpie governor. Do they really think he cares about anyone but himself? It’s sad but I’ll be back next year for my 50th reunion in Highmore, South Dakota. My buddies and I used to refer to ourselves as Highmorons, now it seems to be true after the float they put in their parade last year. Glad I found this site, keep up the good work fighting for liberty.

  7. grudznick 2020-07-31 19:03

    If grudznick is still kicking next year for your 50th reunion next year, Mr. Anderson, and you fellows need a speaker, I would be available of you can arrange transportation for me and a decent motel room with a good breakfast platter. I’d love to deliver a rousing Opening Rant to all you Highmorons.

  8. Bucko Bear 2020-07-31 19:14

    What’s happened to our gubner ?? Simple …… everything rtump touches turns to …….
    well you get the drift.

  9. jerry 2020-07-31 19:58

    Pixie Dust spreader, Tinker Belle GNOem should read the CDC reports on a Georgia kids get together.

    “A new report suggests that children of all ages are susceptible to coronavirus infection and may also spread it to others — a finding likely to intensify an already fraught discussion about the risks of sending children back to school this fall.

    The analysis, released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, details an outbreak at a sleep-away camp in Georgia last month in which 260 children and staffers — more than three-quarters of the 344 tested — contracted the virus less than a week after spending time together in close quarters. The children had a median age of 12. The camp had required all 597 campers and staff members to provide documentation that they had tested negative for the virus before coming. Staff were required to wear masks, but children were not.”

    Parents, it’s up to you. If you wanna kill your kids, follow Tinker Belle’s directive. She dosen’t care if your kids die, but you should.

  10. grudznick 2020-07-31 20:12

    Mr. jerry, I’ve been reading Science that says kids might be super spreaders, spewing the covid bug eggs at a level hundreds of times higher than us old folks, or the medium aged fellows like yourself. Clearly the children can be covid spreaders. grudznick is starting to think they should all be homeschooled this year.

    Imagine how much money we could save!!! Shut down schools, keep the kids home. That might be how we save the budget. The feds will pick up the unemployment for the teachers, and the fatcat administrators have all sorts of lard stored to live on.

  11. jerry 2020-07-31 20:25

    Dump Tinker Belle GNOem will save lives and money. Keep the children out of regular classrooms and allow remote learning. Clearly Tinker Belle GNOem and her pixie dust ideas are just fever dreams from hanging around trump jr’s gal pal.

    There are no republicans left in the state of South Dakota. Didn’t even get to say g’bye to them. If there were, they would be on the campaign now to save what little dignity they have left by dumping the current trash out of Pierre as it really really reeks.

  12. grudznick 2020-07-31 20:53

    Only somewhat related, grudznick will be taking short readings regarding Mr. Ferebee that will be read and then debated on Sunday morning at the breakfastings. Some will miss George, but Mr. Pay and I and the rest of the environmentalist science fellows will not. Submit your musings on George and the “pigs by the creek” to grudznick before bedtime tomorrow night, please, if you want them considered for a reading.

  13. Debbo 2020-07-31 20:54

    Wow. I’m shocked by how low Kruel Kristi has sunk. My nickname for her is too kind.

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-07-31 21:11

    Noem is unhinged, urging people not to take health precautions and putting all of us at greater risk of coronavirus and making that irresponsible behavior a fundraising dogwhistle.

  15. grudznick 2020-07-31 21:42

    I’m sure she has read it all, Mr. H, as has grudznick. I note that the children can absorb more covid bugs than most, but they spew them around a great deal as well. I have come around to your side that schools should be shut down, and all kids schooled at home. We can have 1 teacher do the work of dozens, checking in with the parents by zooming into 100 homes a day. Money can be saved on teacher salaries and not heating schools this winter. No school lunches needed as the kids can eat at home. No janitors needed, or very few, because the schools will not be getting dirtied up. Property taxes can be reduced a large amount with these savings to help out the taxpayers.

  16. Nix 2020-08-01 07:32


  17. mike from iowa 2020-08-01 07:50

    Use this anti-drumpf protest video on Noem Nothing as she is just as guilty as drumpf. Plus you can dance to this .

    Hillaryous and factually true.

  18. Chris S. 2020-08-01 08:11

    Is there a way to block “grudznick” and others like him? All he ever does is troll and clutter up the blog. I’ve never seen him offer anything interesting or informative, so I’ve trained myself to scroll past his posts and those of anybody drawn into arguing with his pointless nonsense. If there were a “block” function it would make it a lot easier to focus on comments pertinent to the actual post, and we all might learn something rather than indulging grudznick’s desperate cries for attention.

  19. Ray Tysdal 2020-08-01 08:11

    Camp Judson in the Black Hills…61 test positive.

  20. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-08-01 08:24

    Noem is using the passive voice to claim she didn’t say what her fundraising e-mail said:

    Noem’s spokeswoman Maggie Seidel clarified the governor’s position on masks on Friday, calling the email “in-artfully crafted.”

    Seidel said the governor is opposed to requirements for face coverings but does not discourage people from wearing them. She pointed out that some medical experts have raised concerns about whether it is practical to have children wear masks properly for long periods of time [“Noem Campaign E-mail Discourages Masks in School,” AP via Rapid City Journal, 2020.07.31].

    Sorry, Kristi and Maggie, you don’t get to pawn this off on inartful campaign flunkies. During a public health crisis, elected officials have an obligation to make all of their public statements consistent. The fundraising message said the Governor herself is discouraging online education and masks. The Governor herself is responsible for that mixed message. The Governor herself is responsible for creating confusion, lying about the science, and endangering South Dakotans’ lives.

  21. Nix 2020-08-01 08:32

    Chris S…
    What part of free speech don’t you understand?
    If we all lean the same angle, we fall
    You need to talk to people that have a different opinion.
    Get in the barrel and play some verbal

  22. Donald Pay 2020-08-01 08:52

    Clearly, she is a woman on a mission. She’s not content to be known as South Dakota’s worst governor ever. She wants to make her mark as South Dakota’s best serial killer.

  23. jerry 2020-08-01 10:10

    Speaking of serial killers, nursing homes. $8,500.00 a month for a dorm room with 4 residents and 2 bathrooms. This compares with our current situation with classrooms.

    “Legacy website describes the facility as having a serene and healing environment, spaces that provide a sense of tranquility and restfulness. I did not see nor feel this. My mother had a twin bed against the wall in a shared room, a shared bath with 4 residents for about $8500 per month. That is not quality of life conditions. I am hoping that Legacy improves the physical structure, continue to provide better staff training and that people responsible for the day to day operations see that residents are provided proper care and that families and residents are treated with respect and concern.” Advantara article from Rapid City Journal 8.1.2020

    This also goes to Tinker Belle GNOem for her inept and gross handling of leadership.

  24. Debbo 2020-08-01 13:42

    Chris S, I’ve been skipping grudz’ comments for a long time. He’s just an angry, impotent little man who actually enjoys creating anger and pain. I’ve found DFP much more useful and informative without him.

    In addition, he hates being ignored most of all because he craves attention. I do enjoy knowing that I’m depriving him. Ignoring him is a surefire way to get his goat all the rest of his livestock of every kind. 🤣🤣

  25. Chris S. 2020-08-01 16:57

    @Nix — I understand free speech just fine. The First Amendment has nothing to do with trolls posting nonsense on someone else’s private blog. Also, the admonition to “listen to different opinions” is kind of rich. None of us is obligated to listen to some rando’s incendiary ranting in the name of Free Speech™.

    @Debbo — I’m going to follow your approach. Some blogs have a “Hide” or “Ignore” function that lets users avoid trolls or other abusive people they’d rather not interact with. However, I think those types of comment engines like Disqus require a login to enable that function. I think Cory’s blog is just fine as-is, so if there’s no other way to avoid known trolls, I’ll just keep scrolling past them and instead pay attention to people trying to have a real discussion.

  26. Eve Fisher 2020-08-01 17:48

    Well, Gov. Noem got her speech about back to school without masks printed in The Federalist, and there she cites the science! Huzzah! Except that it’s old science.

    The AAP article she cites has been updated to “Evidence continues to mount on the importance of universal face coverings in interrupting the spread of SARS-CoV-2.”

    And the evidence she cites “Toronto’s world-renowned Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)” and “Daniel Koch, Switzerland’s head of public health” (which was from April, 2020 – we’ve learned a lot since then!) have both changed their tune and updated their message. (BTW – everyone who’s noticed the irony of citing Europeans and not the CDC? Or Johns Hopkins?)

    Basically, she’s using “science”, but old science. Sort of like if you went to a doctor for gangrene and he said, “Science has proven that the only thing that works for gangrene is leeches. And make a will.” Personally, I prefer more updated science.

  27. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-08-01 19:04

    Rock on, Eve! Great work pointing out that Noem is not reading all the science but clearly stops reading when she finds one or two old articles that excuse not only her non-action but her counterproductive ideological suggestions.

  28. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-08-01 19:05

    (This discussion is about coronavirus and Kristi Noem’s reckless lies and active encouragement of actions that will worsen the pandemic. Comments on other topics here should be ignored.)

  29. o 2020-08-01 21:47

    I really do not understand the Conservative/Right/GOP/Trumpist stance on masks — I really don’t. Of all the issues to latch onto surrounding the Covid crisis, why go all-in on the “freedom” to exhale airborne pathogens at your fellow man/woman? What happened to “my right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins” common sense? This new level of libertarian/Rand/selfishness is a new low point, demonstrating both the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of Conservative/Right/GOP/Trumpist philosophy.

    I fully expect that bullying will be an issue when school returns; too often, that is how these Conservative/Right/GOP/Trumpist issues manifest from the family through children into the schools.

  30. Debbo 2020-08-01 22:51

    Yes, emphatically. “intellectual and moral bankruptcy of Conservative/Right/GOP/Trumpist philosophy.”

    Yes, very sadly. 😥 “I fully expect that bullying will be an issue when school returns; too often, that is how these Conservative/Right/GOP/Trumpist issues manifest from the family through children into the schools.”

    Their determination to poison their children’s minds is heartbreaking. Failure to do so feels threatening to them. They experience that as repudiation of them, their parenting and preceding generations.

  31. mike from iowa 2020-08-02 11:34

    Be some more milestones passed by the wazy, today…

    Coronavirus Cases:

  32. jerry 2020-08-02 12:30

    trumps virus reports 1 death and 88 new cases in South Dakota today. West River is being represented as well. Who knew that the trump virus would come to rural areas of our unpopulated state? What a mystery. Get ready to rumble folks because the stupid is just about to begin in earnest.

  33. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-08-02 13:54

    Unfortunately, we’re careening toward making South Dakota classrooms the control group in the global experiment to see what we can do to stop the spread of coronavirus. While other nations and other states bring kids back to school with masks and investments in sensible interventions, Governor Noem is determined not only not to do anything but to actively discourage anyone else from doing anything. She’s rolling the dice that South Dakota’s relative isolation will still give us an advantage on child/teacher infection numbers, even if we don’t wear masks at school.

    Most university human research boards would reject such an experiment as unethical. We need to reject Kristi Noem as unethical.

    We also need the USD Med School, the SDSU Nursing Department, and other qualified researchers in our state to start collecting baseline data for coronavirus spread in all of the major school districts in South Dakota, start coding the levels of coronavirus response each school is deploying, and keep an eye on what happens at the end of this month and through the fall. Our kids should not be guinea pigs, but they are, and we have to study what happens and learn from it.

    And this year we can elect new legislators who are open to learning and acting on that data and overriding the Governor’s vetoes of any serious coronavirus response..

  34. jerry 2020-08-02 14:59

    Sorry Cory, looks like the USD Med School and the SDSU Nursing Department are only busy denouncing the Marijuana Initiative and are just to busy to buck Tinker Belle GNOem and her pixie dust spreading.

  35. Debbo 2020-08-02 17:50

    “She’s rolling the dice that South Dakota’s relative isolation will still give us an advantage.”

    SD’s relative isolation is a real advantage. So why in the world would Kruel Kristi seek to shatter that with Fireworks Fest, school openings, no mask rules and the motorcycle rally? She’s just piling stupider on top of base stupid. How can we tell when stupidest has been reached? Is there a ceiling?

  36. o 2020-08-02 18:17

    Resources (human or otherwise) are for exploiting not conserving. The GOP/Conservative/Right/Trumpist mantra seems to be in play again with SD’s relative isolation.

  37. grudznick 2020-08-02 18:27

    Zero covid bugs have been traced to the spectacular and successful economic event at Mt. Rushmore where the ecologically sound fireworks were blasted high into the air, and the water stayed clean and pure. But this motorcyle festing needs to be stopped.

    grudznick insists all the motorcyclists from out of state go home, back to Minnesota and Wisconsin, from whence they came.

  38. jerry 2020-08-02 19:43

    Of course you don’t know that Mr. grudznick. You, yourself, laid claim that those around you at that place, were from out of state. This of course makes sense as how can you have rooms in Keystone filling up when you live in Rapid City like you do?

    The out of state participants went home to their home state to go on those statistics.

  39. grudznick 2020-08-02 20:09

    Mr. jerry, taking into your accounting which is generally accurate, it remains true that zero covid bug infestations have been traced to the spectacular fireworks extravaganza held at Mt. Rushmore, the Shrine of Democracy.

    As an added bonus, there are still zero forest fires attributed to the event, despite all the libbie hand wringing and whining. No forest fires. No covid bug infestations.

    Stay home, stay safe, do not come wandering about the town square ice rink. Get your breakfasts delivered, and answer the door with a sheet on your face.

  40. jerry 2020-08-02 21:05

    Again, you don’t know that Mr. grudznick. There was an outbreak at a religious camp and we know that most of those nuts there and their parents, go for Fat Nixon like flies to crap. When you cut down the forest, surprisingly enough, you don’t get forest fires.

    BTW. there are some here in western South Dakota that do answer the door with a sheet on their face, a long one that not only covers the head but also to the feet. They have little eye holes in the hood so they can see who is in the hood. We call them republicans., but I digress…

  41. grudznick 2020-08-02 21:22

    Those were Baptists, Mr. jerry. Nobody really counts them.

  42. Joe 2020-08-02 23:19

    Concern troll grudsznick is concerned.

  43. Debbo 2020-08-03 15:39

    Here’s what a Real Governor does who cares more about his citizens than his political future:

    “AG Keith Ellison launches action against rodeo that violated COVID-19 crowd limit” no paywall

  44. robin friday 2020-08-07 16:47

    There’s no point in Kristi saying she didn’t write the bit about no masks, her campaign people did so shame on them, they are “inartful”. That’s probably not the worst thing they’ve ever been called. But what it does is point out how Kristi follows “our” president in everything he says and wherever he leads. Said something you shouldn’t have said? Blame someone else, your staff if there’s someone close enough to the offensive comment to bear the burden for it. Whatever he says, wherever he leads. Don’t know what she has in mind for the future that doesn’t include SD or some other citizenry, but let’s hope it happens soon.

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