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Noem Pushing Ravnsborg to Resign as She Preps for Big Texas, Florida Fundraisers

Governor Kristi Noem needed to get in front of Jason Ravnsborg’s impeachment and call for his resignation, not only because he’s a lying sack of crap, but also because she has two big fundraisers this weekend, and out-of-state donors might not be as free with their cash if they had questions about why Kristi was covering for a killer.

Last I heard, Governor Noem is headed down to Texas Friday angling for more $4,000 donations from her big Lone Star constituency:

Kristi Noem Cameron Texas Fundraiser invitation 20210225
Invitation to fundraiser for Kristi Noem, hosted by Janet and Orlando Salazar, Cameron, Texas, 2021.02.25.

The fours in “44 Farms” stand for “$4,000 from donors as individuals, another $4,000 from your corporate accounts, thank you!”

Host Janet McLaren Salazar is a great-grandchild heiress of the beef barons who launched 44 Farms; she and hubby Orlando are co-owners of the operation. They live in Dallas, a 150-mile plane hop from the 44 Farms site near Cameron, Texas. Orlando Salazar is on the advisory committee for Charlie Kirk’s brownshirts and Kristi-bators at Turning Point USA.

Noem then jets to Florida to join Kirk, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and other insurrectionists and dead-enders at the podium at CPAC. Noem speaks in Orlando Saturday at 3:50 p.m. EST, right after a young athlete who plans a speech titled “My Pronouns Are First Place and Winning: Protecting Women’s Sports.” CPAC, local ordinances, and the hotel require masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus:

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said everyone is expected to wear a mask and follow the county mandate at the event at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on International Drive in Orlando.

…Demings said if the county receives complaints, the strike teams will be dispatched to the hotel for a check-up.

“This is not the time for individuals to not wear face coverings. We’ve done a good job in this community to keep the positivity rate low,” he said.

The mayor said if there is non-compliance, the blame will fall primarily on the hotel.

Hyatt issued a statement Tuesday indicating it will be in compliance with COVID rules.

“At Hyatt, the safety and wellbeing of our guests and colleagues is always a top priority,” the statement said. “Hyatt Regency Orlando remains focused on enhancing and enforcing health, safety and security protocols ahead of and during the CPAC 2021 event, and all other events that follow.

“All Hyatt hotels, including Hyatt Regency Orlando, continue to follow COVID-19 local mandates and ordinances, as well as Hyatt policies as part of our Global Care and Cleanliness Commitment. All Hyatt hotels work to inform guests of important local travel guidelines before they arrive and when they check in. All guests attending CPAC are asked to sign a Code of Conduct, developed by CPAC organizers, which includes specifics on Hyatt’s face coverings policy and Orange County, Florida’s face coverings mandate. In addition, the Orange County Fire Marshall has reviewed and approved applicable seating plans from a safety and security perspective.”

CPAC said it plans to do its part as well. Guests will be sent a health questionnaire to complete online beforehand and must show that confirmation when receiving credentials, it said. Temperatures will be checked too, CPAC officials said [Justin Soto, “Mayor Demings Expects CPAC Guests, Organizers to Follow Mask Mandate,” SPectrum News 13, 2021.02.23].

Noem will be flying out of state next weekend, too, back to Florida for a fundraiser at Mar-A-Lago hosted by her friends Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle.

With all those engagements, the last thing Noem needs right now is bad publicity about her Attorney General getting three misdemeanor charges for a car crash that was his fault and that killed a man. Her South Dakota base may passively accept the notion that members of the SDGOP club should never be held accountable for their mistakes, but farther from the ranch, folks not tied to the Pierre machine may actually question how a governor can allow such a criminal to remain in power. (I know, these are Trump people, but Trump has personality and money, while Jason Ravnsborg has no such advantages to hypnotize out-of-staters.)

Then again, with all those engagements, maybe a little extra publicity and a tardy resignation or lightning impeachment pushed by her unusual release on a state website of police investigation interviews that make Ravnsborg look like a pathetic liar is just the sugar Noem needs to sweeten her pitch to all of her adoring donors in Texas and Florida.


  1. Loren 2021-02-24

    Can we please get this poor women a new jet so she doesn’t have to show up is a ratty old turboprop. Make SD Great Again! (OK, only kidding…)

  2. Mark Anderson 2021-02-24

    I could use some cash, anyone want to bet on mask wearing? The lying loser trumpies aren’t going to cover up after all they are all so essential that I’m sure they all have their shots. It’s always been a super spreader event anyway.

  3. Buckobear 2021-02-24

    What (if any) action is being taken against the county sheriff for failure to administer a BAC test ?

  4. scott 2021-02-24

    The Sheriff is just as corrupt, the cops found a flash light still on the next morning that belonged to Joe..Correct ? Than how the hell did the Sheriff and AG not see that. And I guess standard equipment for the police is to carry a cell phone just for the “flash light” … There seems to still be a very bad stink here..

  5. Scott 2021-02-24

    So if the AG is removed, that means Noem and the Republicans can appoint somebody who would be extremely friendly and protect Noem.

    Think about that a bit. Noem has some issues with misuse of the State Plane.

    Based upon comments at the end of the 2nd interview, I suspect Noem and the AG were not best friends.

  6. grudznick 2021-02-24

    No, a new AG would be impartial and do the right thing. Which would probably be to discount the bogus and exaggerated claims that the Governor is misusing the state plane. Mark down grudznick’s words here.

  7. John 2021-02-24

    The governor can remove the Hyde County Sheriff, and should. His ‘retirement’ is not the peoples concern. He made his choices. He should live with those choices.
    The Hyde County voters should reject their AG, presuming she doesn’t resign or fail to run for re-election.
    Tom Lawrence penned an analysis of the area that bit. Mr. Lawrence could have included next-door Hand County which had its own similar law enforcement and health provider (doctor rape and cover-up) crimes within the past generation. As Tom wrote, quite the little Payton Place of public and semi-public corruption.

  8. Jenny 2021-02-24

    OK I was just looking at the reckless and careless driving laws in Minnesota and MN clarifies the differences of the definitions much better than SD law does.

    In Minnesota, a reckless driving charge could include a death, and careless driving would not include a death. Sd laws in regards to recklessss and careless driving stink. These SD laws were most likely written to protect someone’s son or daughter when they were made. You know, the upper class white boy, maybe a judge’s son that always got in trouble speeding and so the laws were made in Pierre to protect delinquents like that.

  9. Jenny 2021-02-24

    BCB, you should take a look at MNs statute on reckless or careless driving. It is so much more clearly written than SDs dumb backwards statute. Just look up 169.13 MN statute, I’m on my cell so I can’t cut and paste.
    In MN, in a reckless driving with death charge you also don’t have to have been under the influence like in SD.

    Senator Nesiba and Heinert and Rep Cwach, let’s get those laws amended. Its time.

  10. Whitless 2021-02-24

    Yes, Kristi wants to avoid being tainted by Ravnsborg, and calling for him to resign gives her protection. Even if she had not called for his resignation, Ravnsborg should resign. As the top law enforcement official for the state, Ravnsborg should be held to a higher standard. Under normal night time driving conditions, he failed to keep control of his car, and killed Joe Boever who was walking on the highway shoulder with a flashlight. Ravnsborg’s negligence cost Joe Boever his life, and even if he is not convicted of the charged misdemeanors, that negligence is sufficient reason by itself for him to resign.

  11. Mike Livingston 2021-02-25

    The party of scofflaw and disorder will provide JR with a soft landing and then it will be business as usual. The big liars will keep perpetually repeating the big lie until the next scandal breaks. If they were half as good at making laws as they are at making up lies than I might not be as ashamed of our state government as I am.

  12. bearcreekbat 2021-02-25

    Thanks for the cite to the Minnesota statute Jenny. That made it very easy to find. To me it doesn’t look all that different from South Dakota’s reckless driving statutes, except it seems to add a element to the crime that is missing in the SD statute, namely that “The risk must be of such a nature and degree that disregard of it constitutes a significant deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.” If anything, the claimed amibiguity in SD reckless driving and/or second degree manslaughter statutes would seem to work against a defendant and actually make it easier for the prosecution to obtain a guilty verdict.

    That said, I admit that my opinion about SD’s reckless driving statute seems to be much different than the prosecutor (and some other folks) that concluded that reckless driving, which is a necessary predicate to second degree manslaughter, could not be proven against Ravnsborg due to his self serving factual exculpatory claims. In my view the defense would have an incredibly hard time due to the physical evidence alone that contradicts Ravnsborg’s statements. And I came to this conclusion before the video interviews were published. The facts described by investigators in these interviews along with Ravnsborg’s responses, including his body language, would be even stronger evidence of guilt and easily support a conviction for reckless driving and second degree manslaughter in my opinion.

    I simply do not understand how the prosecutor came to the conclusion that the forensic evidence could not establish the necessary evidence to justify seeking a grand jury indictment or probable cause finding by a magistrate, and then easily overcome Ravnsborg’s exculpatory claims at trial and support jury verdict of guilt. Dicta offered an explanation in an earlier comment on a related DFP thread and maybe that is correct, but I simply am not yet convinced. The inconsistent behavior of Noem and SD Trumpists toward Ravnsborg as contrasted with Trump, however, seems a bit more predictable, even if just as objectively incomprehensible.

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-02-25

    Bearcreekbat, on that seemingly inconsistent behavior: Trump still has something to offer. Ravnsborg does not. No county GOP party will censure Noem for calling for Jason’s resignation. No donations will dry up.

    On the strength of the evidence: yes, I’d think the reckless driving charge would hold up. His phone distraction was not a brief interruption of attention to the road sparked by an urgent call. Ravnsborg admitted he was on his phone pretty much the whole drive up to and back from Redfield. Even when he claims he put his phone down on his way out of Highmore in the second before the impact, he told investigators he was deliberately seeking to reduce his distractions so he could focus on a couple of big cases, not so he could focus on the road. According to his own words, he was not paying attention to the road.

  14. bearcreekbat 2021-02-25

    Using a cellphone just before an accident seems like the icing on the cake, but in my view driving at highway speed on the shoulder of the road and killing someone is sufficient by itself to support reckless driving and second degree manslaughter charges. I acknowledge that there may be extremely rare excuses that might justify a prosecutor’s decision not to charge reckless driving and second degree manslaughter for driving at highway speed along the shoulder and killing a pedestrian, such as being forced to swerve to the shoulder to avoid a head on collision with an oncoming car in your lane, or perhaps an unforeseeable mechanical failure of the car that put it on the shoulder despite the driver’s best efforts to stay on the road. Thus, in my view, since no such rare circumstance is claimed for Ravnsborg, he should have been charged with both reckless driving and vehicular manslaughter even if hadn’t touched his phone the entire trip. Driving at highway speed along the shoulder of the road is incredibly dangerous behavior and seems to be sufficient in and of itself for charging reckless driving, and when a pedestrian is killed as a result of unexplained driving along the shoulder the driver should be charged with second degree manslaughter.

    I thought perhaps that falling asleep behind the wheel might might be an adequate excuse to somehow escape a reckless driving charge because that seems a bit less irresponsible than simply driving on the shoulder for no reason at all, but it appears even then that the driver can be charged with reckless driving in many jurisdictions, that like SD have no specific law against falling a sleep while driving. And as I told Jenny, I don’t think SD reckless driving law is that much different than most states, whether on the face of the statute itself or as interprepreted by the SD Supreme Court.

    As for Trumpist Republicans, such as the SD Governor, et al, supporting Trump simply because “Trump still has something to offer despite the repetitive documentation of his criminal and immoral behavior, the same thing could have been said about Nixon or Janklow in the past, although it seems clear that neither of them ever sunk to Trump’s level. The open willingness of todays Trumpist Republicans to look the other way merely because they think thjey might reap some political or financial reward reveals a sad state of devolution for the Republican party.

  15. mike from iowa 2021-02-25

    Field Negro posted this article from Mother Jones about an in depth look at wingnut party through the eyes of Romney’ 2012 chief campaign strategist. Not a pretty sight.

    The entire accident , accident investigation and months long, drug out, finding of facts was a wash from the start. Unprofessionally done by incompetent party flacks, imho. Lastly, Noem’s intervention and demand for resignation is a political stunt to try to get the public to ignore her dismal record on keeping South Dakotans safe from pandemic. Cynical, thy name be mfi.

  16. bearcreekbat 2021-02-25

    Thanks for that link mfi, it is an interesting prespective from a former insider to the Republican party.

  17. mike from iowa 2021-02-25

    You are welcome, bcb. Field is a lawyer from Phillie by way of Jamaica and allows the Powers type of commenters to speak their minds. and make fools of themselves.

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