The Legislature’s swat last month against Governor Kristi Noem’s pitch to buy a new plane for her interstate campaign travels was, like Noem’s ask itself, only a brief distraction. Amidst the spending binge made possible by the misappropriation of federal coronavirus relief dollars, the Legislature approved $5 million to help Governor Noem keep up with the jetset and show up at her Texas fundraisers and Florida fascist-fests in a fancier flying machine.
The $5 million added this year’s Transportation budget in Section 12 of Senate Bill 64 could buy a lot of plane. AVBuyer.com lists five private jets—three Cirrus Vision SF50 G2s, a Cessna Citation M2, and a Honda HondaJet—only three years old or less for under $3.5 million. Wow—add the money we’ll make by selling off two of the planes Kristi deems beneath her tastes, and we could get the $3.4M HondaJet (the coolest-looking of the five bargains available) and $3.25M 2020 Cirrus (it comes with gold-tinted windows and a parachute for the whole plane!). They each seat five behind the crew, which is just right for Kristi to haul Bryon and the kids around America, and she could have the pilot and co-pilot be her bodyguards in Bangor and Laguna Beach. And when she has a date with Corey Lewandowski at Mar-a-Lago, she could take the Honda to Florida and leave Bryon the Cirrus to fly around the state making more small-town videos.
Governor Noem may economize on her jet-get to buy some new signs and letterhead. Now that Governor Noem’s plan to bury the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources has withstood Legislative opposition, a Pierre source tells me the Governor plans to rename the Department of Transportation as the Department of Roads and Bridges… because she can’t stand having anything trans- in South Dakota.