- Governor Kristi Noem is such a bad manager, she can’t even keep her daughter from leaving her office.
- Governor Kristi Noem has made South Dakota so unappealing to young people that her own daughter is joining the brain drain and seeking opportunity elsewhere.
- It took Tony Venhuizen four months to get one clueless Noem out of the Capitol; how long until he can coax the other into resigning?
- Kassidy and Booker must need jobs.
- Hey, everybody! We’re buying Kennedy Noem’s MBA!
Departing a gubernatorial administration marked by frequent turnover, the Governor’s younger daughter announced online this week that she’s moving to Tennessee to get her master’s degree in business administration. Evidently South Dakota’s “new opportunities,… wide open spaces and low population” aren’t enough to keep Kennedy down on the South Dakota policy farm.
Kennedy’s opportunities came thanks to naked nepotism. Kristi Noem promoted her daughter Kennedy in fall 2018 from a paid position in her successful gubernatorial campaign to a $40,000 spot on her transition team before Kennedy finished her undergraduate degree at SDSU. Kennedy’s pay bounced up to $50,000 within just a couple months as she stayed in the Capitol as a “policy analyst”. Kennedy got the administration-wide 2.5% raise in July 2019 plus another 13% boost that put her at $57,912.50 annually. Kennedy leaves with a final annual salary of $59,070.75.
I don’t have all the timing perfect, but I estimate we paid Kennedy over $90,000 to help her mom come up with bad ideas. Kennedy had the opportunity for free room and board at the Governor’s mansion, which her mom inhabits only part-time. If she was smart and saved a big chunk of her state paycheck, Kennedy could cover the full program fee at, say, University of Tennessee–Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business (16-month program, $49,500) out of pocket.
In-state graduate tuition and fees per credit hour in South Dakota are $233 per credit hour. USD’s MBA program requires 33 credits, plus up to 18 credits in foundational business courses for entrants lacking business background.
Kennedy’s departure leaves just one other Noem clan member, Kyle Peters, husband of older daughter Kassidy Noem, on the state payroll. Kyle’s pay has grown from his starting salary of $53,000 in the Tresurer’s office near the beginning of the Noem Administration to $60,377.63 in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development today.