Governor Kristi Noem is so lazy—
—How lazy is she?!—
—Noem is so lazy that now she hires people to hire people:
The state will pay Bird Dog Recruitment and Consulting, LLC, up to $30,000 to hire the new staff member, according to the contract.
Bird Dog was paid $10,000 on May 26, according to the state checkbook [Rae Yost, “South Dakota to Spend up to $30,000 to Fill Position on Noem’s Staff, According to Contract,” KELO-TV, 2021.06.04].
Noem outsources mismanagement of hundreds of millions of dollars of coronavirus relief money (and gives the private consulting firm a 67% raise and contract extension after they botch the rollout). Noem outsources selling state planes and shopping for her luxury jet. Now she can’t even be bothered to post a public job ad, look through résumés, pick her own flunky to write and recite her talking points?
If there’s any justification for this dereliction of duty and waste of tax dollars on out-of-state firms, it’s pure political insulation. When Guidehouse hands her brothers over $600K in coronavirus relief checks, she can claim she didn’t handle the money. When Verity Jet acquires a cushy jet for Kristi’s Presidential campaign flights, she can say she’s only following the advice of experts:
But, Fury added, the governor is not set on a jet. That’s why the Verity Jet Group was hired, at a cost of $195,000, to make the calls on the sale of two of the three airplanes in the fleet the governor uses, and the purchase of a new one. “She’s trusting the experts to identify which plane makes the most sense for the state’s needs,” Fury said [Tom Lawrence, “Noem Is Investing $5 Million for a New Jet—But Let’s Make Sure It Is Only Used for South Dakota State Business,” South Dakota Standard, 2021.06.02].
And now when she hires another Beltway toady to spout her propaganda and work with Corey Lewandowski on her divisive Presidential campaign, she’s using a private firm run by former Sam Brownback campaigner and current Kansas Republican national committeewoman Kim Borchers to vet candidates for proper ideology and insulate herself from criticism for hiring another out-of-stater. (And tell me again: why can’t the most powerful woman in South Dakota find dozens of talented young South Dakotans eager for the chance to work for their Governor and serve their state?)
And now by contracting with a Kansas Republican and fellow Stop-the-Steal-er to do her hiring, she’s also greasing an important party palm in a state that might field its own Presidential candidate, Mike Pompeo. And she’s outsourcing work that we usually get done for us by the state employees we’ve hired to carry out our public business.
$30K to hire a spokesperson, $180K to shop for a jet, $10M to manage coronavirus cash—all of this is your tax dollars at work… and your Governor not at work.
Related Reading: Bird Dog Recruitment and Consulting LLC of Topeka, Kansas, isn’t exactly a big dog in recruiting for top-level public-service positions. The company appears to be a one-woman show incorporated just two years ago and still run from Kim Borchers’s house in an expensive subdivision on the north edge of Topeka. Far be it from me to criticize anyone for working from home, but jeepers—for $30K, I’d expect we’d be hiring someone with a bit more track record and support staff. Commissioner Darin Seely, who signed this consulting contract with Bird Dog, could assemble a bigger team within our state Bureau of Human Resources than Kansas Kim in her kitchen.