The consolation prize young Republicans are supposed to get for selling their souls to South Dakota’s corrupt one-party regime is lots of juicy patronage jobs. But under the Noem Administration, even that perk is disappearing, as she continues to fill her plum positions with out-of-state politicos to run her 2024 Presidential campaign:
Mark Miller starts Monday as general counsel to Governor Kristi Noem. He comes from Pacific Legal Foundation, where he was a senior attorney. He replaces Tom Hart, who left earlier this year for private practice.
…Allen Cambon began Tuesday in Simmons’ previous role as the governor’s agriculture adviser. Cambon was legislative director for U.S. Representative Ralph Abraham, R-Louisiana, and oversaw agriculture issues.
Another new face is Caroline Thorman. She is the governor’s new federal liaison, succeeding the governor’s daughter, Kennedy Noem. Thorman came from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and previously was on the staff of U.S. Representative Congressman French Hill, R-Arkansas.
The South Dakota Telecommunications Association meanwhile has hired Kara Semmler as general counsel. Rachel Oglesby starts in November in Semmler’s previous role as an adviser to the governor. Oglesby previously was industry communications manager for the U.S. Travel Association [Bob Mercer, “Governor Noem Is Shuffling Some of Top Staff Again and Adding More ‘D.C.’ into the S.D. Mix,” KELO-TV, 2020.10.14].
Florida lawyer, a couple DC Capitol critters, another DC lobbyist… such are the outsiders Noem is picking over homegrown talent to replace the experienced South Dakotans who were working in the Capitol before Noem brought her agenda to Pierre.
But on the good side, with Noem forgetting to use her patronage to reward her local base, she may be opening the door for Democrats to recruit more talent to their side and back a gubernatorial candidate in 2022 who might actually hire locally and focus on serving the public instead of filling the halls of Pierre with immediate kin and the hacks Corey Lewandowski says are necessary for a national campaign.