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Noem Bails on Chance to Vote for Trump in Electoral College, Bails on DC MAGA Rally

I thought Jason Ravnsborg would be too distracted to show up for tomorrow’s Electoral College vote. But the first South Dakota Elector to bail on Trump is the Governor herself, Kristi Noem:

South Dakota Republican Party chairman Dan Lederman will replace Governor Kristi Noem on Monday as a presidential elector for Republican candidate Donald Trump, KELOLAND News has learned.

State elections director Kea Warne confirmed on Saturday the switch will occur.

…The governor’s communications director, Ian Fury, didn’t respond to questions Saturday from KELOLAND News about what led to Lederman’s substitution for her.

…South Dakota’s two other Trump electors are Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden and Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg [Bob Mercer, “Lederman in, Noem out as S.D. Trump Elector,” KELO-TV, 2020.12.12].

Hey, if I had a choice, I’d rather not be in close quarters with Jason Ravnsborg and Larry Rhoden, either, even if there weren’t a pandemic. And if I were running for office, I wouldn’t want to hand my opponents a picture of me seated between a lieutenant who covers for drunk Senators and an A.G. who killed a man and lied about it.

Noem was supposed to jet off to Washington, D.C., yesterday to speak to the rabid thousands at another “Million” MAGA March alongside pillow- and mad-conspiracy-hawker Mike Lindell and Trump pardonee Michael Flynn, but she abruptly and without public explanation canceled that appearance. (Strangely, Noem spokesboy Ian Fury angrily tweeted that USA Today was “inaccurately” claiming that Noem was speaking to the “Stop the Steal” mob in D.C., even though organizers listed Noem as the opening speaker in their permit application materials to the National Park Service, and USA Today reporter Mike Valerio appears not to have heard from the Governor’s office until right around her planned speech time at noon yesterday.

In a subtler retreat from Trump, last week Governor Noem declined to join Jason Ravnsborg in filing an amicus curiae brief in Texas’s great failure of a lawsuit seeking to throw out the Electoral College votes from Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. Instead of pandering to Trump by singing on to that seditious lie, Noem conspicuously filed her amicus brief in a different election law case, Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, which deals with an Arizona statute prohibiting third parties from collecting and delivering voters’ early ballots. That lawsuit fits into the broader Republican effort to make voting as difficult as possible, especially for people who tend to vote for Democrats, but it has nothing to do with trying to overturn the valid results of the superlatively secure 2020 Presidential election.

Could Governor Noem be quietly distancing herself from the biggest loser in the Republican Party? Or is she just tuckered out from all her budget-address prepping and photo-taking?


  1. Eve Fisher 2020-12-13

    Someone I know told me years ago that Kristi Noem is the most political animal in South Dakota. Whichever way the wind is really blowing, she’ll go with it. Proof positive, I’d say.

  2. cibvet 2020-12-13

    I did not realize that a person could use name recognition to be voted into a position and then pass it off to someone of their choosing.Is this a republican thing,or a South Dakota thing?

  3. jerry 2020-12-13

    Let’s see how it all came about…

    Biden gave that trump boy a thrashing. Took him to the woodshed. Beat trump like a piñata. trump is a loser and GNOem is a fraud. Add them together and you get Stephen Miller, their offspring.

  4. Nix 2020-12-13

    I believe that the conspirators that backed the delusional Texas lawsuit
    Should be charged with Sedition.
    This is a Federal crime punishable up
    to 20 years in prison.
    The GOP are truly dangerous and a threat to democracy.
    Be careful people, there are Human Beings out there.

  5. Jeff Barth 2020-12-13

    The Governor’s sudden schedule change makes me think she may have a health issue. Pierre has been a virus incubator this month.

    A personal appearance could put that concern to rest. Come on out Governor. Tell us what is wrong with you.

    PS – A statement by your press secretary doesn’t help.

  6. Scott 2020-12-13

    thinking the same thing as jeff. she was with others who are positive, so she could be under quarantine.

  7. mike from iowa 2020-12-13

    Georgia’s high court late yesterday told drumpf to kick rocks in his latest denial of un-sourced election fraud lawsuit. How many shots does he get?

    I clearly remember wingnuts pushing to limit death penalty appeals to one only and it had to come less than thirty days after sentence handed down.

  8. Curtis Price 2020-12-13

    Apparently she was hunting in Arkansas on Friday, so my guess is she’s doing electoral math instead. I think your theory of avoiding a photo op between her fellow electors is certainly worth consideration.

  9. scott 2020-12-13

    Wow, Noem just can not behave or set a good example of what to do during a pandemic.

  10. mike from iowa 2020-12-13

    Comments from Cory’s 13:46 post were interesting and entertaining, somethings never associated with wingnuts of the wingnut persuasion.

  11. Anne 2020-12-13

    Noem obviously feels free to do as she pleases with the legislature overwhelmingly composed of GOP members. In some other states, her absences and preoccupation with campaigning for Trump would be regarded as a gross negligence of duty, amounting to malfeasance. The opposing party and the press could be keeping a record of her conduct and its expense to the state as something they have an obligation to do. Just what can be gleaned from press accounts is a strong indictment of her performance in office.

  12. jerry 2020-12-13

    GNOem proves we don’t need her. Seriously, someone please adopt her and take her away. She is like the unwanted mongrel in the dog pound.

  13. Mark Anderson 2020-12-13

    Oh, it’s just the jet set lifestyle that has her hooked. It can hook any pretty girl.

  14. o 2020-12-13

    I was initially thinking one of two possibilities: 1) she has taken ill or 2) she made the realization that any run she has in mind has to be through the man she is being cast into a supporting role for. Maybe a third: fawning over a looser doesn’t put you ahead in any real way?

  15. grudznick 2020-12-13

    Mr. Barth, who breathes heavy and with much difficulty when marching down hill at the Great Bear before covid bugs even appeared, should not comment on other’s apparent health issues. Much of his own constituency is morbidly obese.

    The real news here is that Mr. Rhoden, he of the square jaw and old-fashioned cowboy common sense, will have the Rhoden Rhangers patrolling the area around where the ballots will be cast. With Mr. Ravnsborg and this other fellow Mr. Lederman voting, that makes Mr. Rhoden the leader of the voters and much weight upon his shoulders, which are fortunately very broad.

  16. mike from iowa 2020-12-13

    Over a thousand dead bodies for drumpf/noem body count on a normally slow Sunday….

    United States
    Coronavirus Cases:

    Wonder how many would be alive (health problems notwithstanding) had people been considerate enough of others to wear masks and socially distance from others? Wingnuts apparently are more concerned with religious freedumbs since that seems to be the dog whistle that makes drumpf and Grudzilla salivate in harmony.

  17. DaveFN 2020-12-13

    mike from iowa

    How many would have been yet alive indeed. People just don’t get it, and considering their leadership it’s not that surprising.

    Being responsible during any deadly pandemic means thinking it entirely possible that one—including myself—could be a viral vector at any given time, no matter how often one might be tested for a virus, and that being so, doing everything in one’s power to prevent the spread of the virus in oneself to others. The idea one could well be a viral vector and therefore a public health nuisance flys, of course, in face of the fact that the ego has a mighty fine opinion of itself and therefore couldn’t possibly be responsible for the death of another let alone others.

    I wear a mask because I could be positive unbeknownst to myself. I socially distance and minimize public contacts for the same reason.

    Noem has entirely failed to convey such a fundamental message to her public.

  18. grudznick 2020-12-13

    Mr. mike, I realize you are in Iowa lockdown with the covid bugs dancing merrily everywhere down there, thriving in the stink, but could you show a little bit of concern for Mr. Nesiba here in the Great State of South Dakota. He has been out prancing in public spreading covid bugs, but we all need to be concerned with his well being.

  19. DaveFN 2020-12-14


    Your concern is as good as flowers at a funeral.

  20. John 2020-12-14

    Who’s going to primary noem? The repubs need a semi-reasonable, generally acceptable candidate to primary her. Certainly wilder wingnut, farther right clowns will also primary her without a chance at beating her.

    As another observed, even cannabis received more votes than neom. Her 2-year absence, acts of commission and omission, her lack of pandemic leadership – all should relegate her to 1 term, if not a shortened term. Certainly neom is high on a list of SD worst governors.

  21. John 2020-12-14

    Glance at this map. This map represents what makes trump voters rage. It’s as if dirt votes. It’s as if dirt is the US economy. Yet, dirt almost runs the electoral college.

    Observations include:
    + there are 5-year olds who pick up 5 pennies instead of one quarter, makes sense.
    + democrats ignore rural America.
    + NPR reported this for years, that trump appeals to rural voters who think they are left out of the nation’s economy.
    + trump’s motivated to keep the rural folks out of the economy for their votes; if trump includes them in the economy he loses their votes – very insidious.
    + vicious cycle. They’re under-educated and can’t keep up with the modern economy and they demonstrate how ignorant they are by electing officials who aren’t going to help them catch up to what the modern world needs, putting them increasingly further behind.

    The 2 variables mattering in a young person’s financial well-being are 1) higher education, and 2) zip code. A young person can do without the higher education if they well-learn a trade and move to a city. Young folks who desire financial well-being should move to one of the US’s 22-25 cities with the highest performing economies. -Prof Galloway, summary of The Algebra of Happiness, and talks.

  22. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-12-14

    John, I’d love to see Jackley try again or rally his team to get behind Dusty or some other strong GOP primary candidate. But the republicans won’t do that. They’ll have a big fight when there’s an open seat, but they won’t challenge an incumbent. They lack the guts of Bill Janklow. They’ll fall in line with Kristi the same way they’ve fallen in line with Trump, not just ignoring the obvious failures but talking them away, dismissing them as false attacks by the liberal media. A primary challenge in 2022 is more likely to come from a Gordon Howie or Liz May, one of the radical fringe who lack the organizational power to crack 20% in a statewide vote.

  23. mike from iowa 2020-12-14

    John Tsitrian for guv!

  24. james 2020-12-14

    Is Kristi Noem going to run for re-election in 2022 or just go “all in” for 2024?

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