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Noem Claims Trans-Bullying Website Is Her Private Project… Done on Work Time?

Governor Noem’s pirating of images from the Hudson City School District in Ohio for her trans-bullying website probably didn’t cost her many votes for President; Hudson sits in the greater Cleveland metro area, which voted safely and smartly for Joe Biden in 2020. But it does raise questions about whether she’s doing state business or whether she’s boosting her personal brand on our time.

Jacob Newton’s account of the minor-photo controversy includes some odd details about this shouting little webpage which Kristi Noem calls a multi-state coalition (remember, Noem has trouble using words correctly):

KELOLAND News also reached out to Noem’s office and received this response from her communications director [Ian Fury]:

“The website is not run by the State. The web developer obtained the rights to all the photographs. They reflect the very girls that Governor Noem’s coalition is fighting to protect.”

The web developer’s identity is not currently known. The domain was created and purchased March 21, through godaddy.com, and a request to them for more information was denied. The Governor’s office has also not responded to a request for more information on the web developer.

Noem stated during her Monday news conference that her new coalition is not using any taxpayer money, and that no state funds are going to it and no state resources are going to it.

A news release about the coalition was posted on the South Dakota government official state news site. Fury was also present at the news conference on Monday [Jacob Newton, “Ohio Lawmaker Demands Answers on Why Pictures of Teenagers from His District Appear on Website Pushed by Noem,” KELO-TV, 2021.03.24].

The Governor commissions a new website, calls a press conference, travels 225 miles from her office on a workday to hold a press conference to promote her new webpage/coalition, promotes the same webpage/coalition on the state website, and all that work happened without the expenditure of a single tax dollar?

I work a paying job, regular hours, Monday through Friday. Outside of that job, I run this website, which is wholly unconnected to my regular job and my regular employer. If I used my work time, my work computer, or my work website to produce or promote my private website, I’d expect my backside to incur chew marks or boot marks. So if Governor Noem’s trans-bullying website really is her private side project, I’d expect her not to use any of the public resources We the People place at her disposal for that private project.

I can take a day off from my regular work and spend a weekday working on my website. I can take a Monday to update my CSS, go out and take new photos (to which I have total rights and thus will face no fuss about some public school district claiming trademark over its publicly funded “brand”… but don’t get me started), record some interviews, make a funny video. have tons of blog fun! (Or I could take a sunny spring day to ride my bike and teach geometry lessons to someone I love outside with sidewalk chalk and a homemade theodolite….)

But if I take such a Monday off work as a blog day, I’d better not open my blog posts or interviews or soapbox speeches with any hint that I am speaking on behalf of my regular employer. I’d better not use my authority or title from the organization that employs me to recruit people to participate in my blog videos. I’d better not go on national TV promoting my private website while using my work title and speaking from my employer’s video studio.

If Kristi’s new trans-bullying website really is a purely personal project, we should ask why a full-time Governor has such a side project completely separate from her busy public duties. And if it really is a personal project, they had better check again why so many state resources—time, title, authority, and that state-owned video studio—are going into that personal project… or they’ll have to check their backsides, not just for lashes from that Ohio school district, but for their employers’ teeth and boot marks.

16 Comments

  1. Caroline 2021-03-24

    You have eloquently and succinctly described simple and common work ethics. Apparently our Governor and her “people” either have no knowledge or total disrespect of these principles. And “we” complain about the work ethics of our younger generation.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-03-25

    Thank you, Caroline. I just want fairness for all private activists. I don’t want anyone pretending to be a private activist competing against real private activists who aren’t using government positions and public resources to promote their messages.

  3. leslie 2021-03-25

    People like Vanita Gupta, Merrick Garland, and Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and

    My, my! MM is backed in a corner furiously slashing as minority leader. “Oh the filibuster!” Thune is mentoring Dusty now. It is not the pretty. And Noem? Cory has given her a “national coalition”, alright!

    Our precious 20 something red-state RAGA slashing and burning so often at the SCOTUS-on divisive issues-abortion, voting suppression, you name it. Guns, God and Trump.

    But in “Virginia just became the first Southern state to repeal the death penalty. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation bringing the total number of states to abolish capital punishment to 23.” Years

    Lindsey Graham, so often the hard edged flippflopper, now squawks “ where is AOC? Why isn’t she at the border?” This has been the party of the chicken hawks since the sixties and their Vietnam debacle. Distraction, obstruction and division are all it , the flaming GOP, has left before it soams into the ground.

    The party of cruelty in all things for the sake of power. The only thing it excelled at was messaging. Not governing. “Stop the steal.” Meth, were on it. “Not on my watch”—Oath Keepers and riot buster Kristi Noem. Transparency. Cancel culture. On and on.

    “100,000,000 vaccinations in one hundred days.” And “more than 40 states saying they will meet or beat President Biden’s goal of making every adult eligible for a vaccine by May 1.” Empty messaging? Not on your life.

    They literally bet on sacrificing democracy to sidestep the election. 1.06.21. They. Trump. Noem. Rounds. Ravnsborg. Chad Wolf. “Them” you might say, in a message. Putin’s puppets. Rebbecah Mercer’$ PARLER.

  4. leslie 2021-03-25

    … Rev. Warnock (D, GA), and Deb Haaland. And Megan Rapinoe to Psaki: “Do you get nervous up here?”

    The “lefties” have it! And…

    The GOP death spiral is slamming into the ground.

    And yet “17 states have no mask mandates.” Can we avoid a 4th virus surge in the short term?

  5. Francis Schaffer 2021-03-25

    I read on the internet that the World Archery Championships 2020 was to be held in Yankton, SD but was cancelled because of COVID. I am wondering how the transgender bill would affect events like that being held in South Dakota. That being said, maybe archery doesn’t technically qualify as a sport, but that is a different debate. What does it take for an activity to be recognized as a sport? We haven’t discussed that at all. Now a whole new list of questions need to be asked and answered by Governor Noem. That could be a curious press conference. It could bring back tiddlywinks, marbles to our youth. I am reasonably certain there is a World Yo-Yo competition. With that I say; sign Kristi up. Francis

  6. bearcreekbat 2021-03-25

    Francis makes a great point and I will add: what about chess? After all, tournaments are often divided into men and woman divisions. To the best of my knowledge our private chess associations don’t ask if a player is transgender so maybe we need another state law? Are men naturally smarter when it comes to chess or vice versa?

  7. bearcreekbat 2021-03-25

    And my spouse asks: what about spelling bees? Maybe they should have men and women divisions because of the inherent advantages that some believe one sex has over ther other sex?

  8. Donald Pay 2021-03-25

    Chess: “The Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix is great mini-series to watch regarding the sexist chess world in the 1960s.

    Spelling Bees: I always watch the Scripps spelling bee on ESPN. Best competitive event on there. The boys used to dominate, but the girls are now winning.

    Debate: Didn’t debate used to have gender divisions? My daughter used to say that boys had the edge because it was mostly males judging and they didn’t like aggressive girls. Any comments?

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-03-25

    Debate did have separate divisions for the sexes; I think they merged to co-ed competition in the 1980s, if not a snudge before.

  10. Francis Schaffer 2021-03-25

    On a side note, 64 days with no mention of injecting or ingesting lysol to cure Covid.

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-03-25

    Much as I prefer the co-ed model in debate, chess, and school in general, we could discuss whether segregating students by sex might provide some academic benefits. Maybe Kristi would like to spread the argument and talk about how we should protect girls in the classroom from boys who bully and interrupt them and prevent them from enjoying equal access to learning….

  12. bearcreekbat 2021-03-25

    I concur with Donald on “The Queen’s Gambit.” It was probably the best show I have seen all this year and in 2020. My memory doesn’t go back much beyond that, but I am sure the show is a contender.

  13. Donald Pay 2021-03-25

    Cory, I think co-ed is best for these more academic activities. Real life involves getting along with and competing against everyone, no matter what sex, gender identity, race, ethnicity or religion.

  14. Arlo Blundt 2021-03-26

    well…its my understanding that Governor Noem’s website is having trouble gaining traction and supporters,,,it may bomb badly as it deserves to….unclear who is manning this “part time, hobby side project”…its pretty obvious Republicans would just as soon put some distance between themselves and Kristi on this issue.

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