Press "Enter" to skip to content

Noem Cash Cry Ignores Facts and South Dakota

Governor Kristi Noem is sending out a plea for “emergency” contributions to for a gubernatorial campaign that is still year away and in which, according to her party, she faces no credible, viable challengers. Let’s check out the exaggerations and lies she’s telling for money:

Noem Fundraising Letter reply page 20210610
“Kristi for Governor” fundraising letter reply page, received and annotated by DFP 2021.06.11.

“Lies and attacks of the radical left”—What lies, and what radical leftism? I see no signs of either in South Dakota, and based the chances of the South Dakota Democratic Party nominating a radical leftist to challenge her are slim to none. But “radical left” must be focus-grouping well, because Noem refers to them continually in her letter to scare her marks into handing over their cash.

Noem fundraising letter, June 2021, p.1, annotated by DFP.
Noem fundraising letter, June 2021, p.1, annotated by DFP.

“Biden, Schumer, Pelosi, and the media”—Noem is not running against any South Dakotan here; she’s invoking the national figures whom her targets see villainized on Fox News all day long. Noem isn’t talking about governing South Dakota; she’s practicing for a national campaign in 2024.

“their goal is to blame and ultimately ‘cancel‘ the 74,216,722 Americans who voted for Donald Trump over the despicable actions of a fractional minority”—This sentence stands out for what it leaves unsaid. Noem appears to be referring to the January 6 Capitol insurrection, but you couldn’t hold her to that with this sentence. She’s not directly condemning the insurrection or any of its instigators, and certainly not the chief instigator. Instead, she’s touting the vote tally of the Insurrectionist in Chief. She’s speaking of “canceling” those voters as if Democrats are trying to erase their votes, as if those votes somehow should have constituted a victory over the 81,283,786 Americans who voted for Joe Biden.

Bonus: Noem actually appears to cancel some 5,830 voters for the loser: CNN reports her candidate’s November 2020 vote total as 74,222,552.

Nancy Pelosi…AOC…Kamala Harris”—Again, Noem invokes national figures, not the South Dakotans who might challenge her. And again, she avoids the issue of accountability for the January insurrection by raising false equivalencies. Noem presents no evidence that Speaker Pelosi, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, or Vice-President Harris have ever conspired to overthrow the government the way Noem’s Presidential candidate and his followers did and continue to do. Were she to do so, were such evidence credible or even extant, I would drop everything and call for the removal and prosecution of the coup plotters in my own party as surely as we ought to call for the same disposal of the coup plotters in Noem’s party. But Noem doesn’t want real accountability for any bad behavior. She simply asserts that people in the opposing party have done bad things, so her followers shouldn’t feel bad about members of their own party doing bad things.

“Big Tech and Big Business are ending Free Speech in America in a way that government never could.” Now Noem is sounding like the radical leftist attacking big business. If only she meant it! Instead, she’s the one handing out coronavirus relief dollars, CAFO bribes, and other corporate welfare to her business friends in South Dakota. She’s the one saying big business is more important than public health or local control or fair taxation or any other conceivable public policy objective. She’s the one cozying up to Big Ag, Big Oil, and other corporate donors. She’s the one burying our environmental protectors in the Department of Agriculture to favor big corporate farms.

And as for ending Free Speech (o.k., I don’t mind adopting Noem’s emphatic capitals for that vital principle), Noem’s the one who pushed anti-protest legislation to stifle the First Amendment and favor big corporations. She’s the one who has defended multiple government infringements of the First Amendment in court. Corporations pose real threats to our freedoms, but you can’t count on pro-corporate Kristi to take any real action against those threats. She’s too busy using her government power to attack speech she doesn’t like.

Noem fundraising letter June 2021, p.2, annotated by DFP.
Noem fundraising letter June 2021, p.2, annotated by DFP.

“Right off the bat I can tell you that I didn’t seek out this fight which requires a national response.”

  1. “Right off the bat” does not happen on page 2.
  2. Noem totally sought out this fight. Her controversies are an attention-seeking concoction of her own making, as she carries out the playbook of pot-stirring that Corey Lewandowski has coached her to ride to demi-stardom.
  3. “national response” is code for justifying Noem’s ignoring South Dakota and spending her time on the national campaign trail. (Tennessee a couple weeks ago, Arkansas last week, Montana this weekend….)

“…[Democrats’] fundraising capacity means they can spend tens-of-millions of dollars against me without blinking an eye.” Noem is talking potential, not empirical evidence. In the 2018 campaign, her opponent Billie Sutton never came close to raising “tens of millions of dollars.”: he raised $3.71 million, significantly less than Noem’s $6.67 million. If national Democrats have tens of millions of dollars to spend, they aren’t going to spend it on a South Dakota Democrat running right of Joe Manchin. If anything, the South Dakota Democrat who runs against Noem in 2022 probably has more chance of getting big bucks from national Republicans who would like to black Noem’s eye and protect their own prospects in the 2024 Presidential primary.

Noem fundraising letter June 2021, p.3, annotated by DFP.
Noem fundraising letter June 2021, p.3, annotated by DFP.

“…the kind of voter abnormalities and ‘vote by mail’ schemes we saw in 2020. This is no joke.” Ah, so she does believe the 2020 election was stolen.

Voter abnormalities are rarer than ever, and when they do crop up, they tend to come from scheming Republicans. And voting by mail is no “scheme”; it is secure enough for the President himself, as well as the rest of us.

“…after crashing their economies…”—California has a huge budget surplus built on strong business income.

“…seeking a bailout from Washington”Bailouts from Washington made South Dakota’s budget surplus possible.

“Because, if you make nice, the Democrats and their media allies will attack you nonetheless…”—says the woman who trashed the endlessly nice Billie Sutton in 2018.

Noem fundraising letter June 2021, p.4, annotated by DFP.
Noem fundraising letter June 2021, p.4, annotated by DFP.

“I need to fight ‘on the ground’ by building and maintaining a 66-county grassroots organization…”—What? She doesn’t already have a statewide party with offices in every county and a volunteer list from 2018 that she can just switch on to turn out another winning majority? What, did Kennedy take all the campaign spreadsheets to college on her computer?

“…that’s the day you and I lose our country for good”—Again, Noem stokes the absolute fear that we are in a battle for the life of the nation, the kind of rhetoric that mobilized the insurrection on January 6.

Whew! reading four pages of Noem tripe tires me out. Unfortunately, those four pages will scare vulnerable, easily fooled donors from across the country, folks who don’t witness or live with the daily consequences of Noem practical failure to govern in South Dakota, to cough up their cash in fear that the nation will collapse if they don’t fight the bogeyman radicals Noem evokes in this tiresome pitch.


  1. David Mcfarland 2021-06-11

    Sorry, as rare as this is, I am without words.

  2. Loren 2021-06-11

    Dump the Trump-ette! !@#$%^&*!

  3. Ryan 2021-06-11

    i can barely stand to read all the way through that letter. the ability of kristi noem, and people like her around the world, to be successful in life is one of the best arguments for atheism that i have ever pondered. i wouldn’t be able to look at myself in the mirror every day if my name was attached to something like this. i feel gross having read it.

  4. O 2021-06-11

    This letter demonstrates the elevation of politics from disagreement on issues to absolute existential crisis of the enemy tribe. “Our nation” furthers the scope of what is at risk from the others.

    this is why compromise is impossible. Bipartisanship is dead. Moderates have no voice in the screaming echo chambers.

  5. Mike Livingston 2021-06-11

    Shame on the voters that put this trumpeon tramp in the Governors office.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-06-11

    Ryan, I somewhat regret spending my entire pre-breakfast writing time going through this letter and trying to identify all the falsehoods and exaggerations and language tricks and not getting to the other more important news of the day. I didn’t even hit all the bunk.

    But this letter shows the level of uncompromising deceit, manipulation, and fear-mongering to which Noem will go to get money and boost her Presidential campaign. She’s campaigning to a national audience for 2024. She knows the Democrat she runs against in 2022 won’t raise tens of millions of dollars. She’s building the base for the Presidential primary.

  7. Ryan 2021-06-11

    Cory – i know i certainly appreciate the effort, and i have no doubt many others do, too. If I had a platform, I would blast this disgusting piece of garbage everywhere so more and more people could join us in being appalled at kristi, yet again. it was even worse the second time I just read it. I need a shower and a beer.

  8. Arlo Blundt 2021-06-11 seems to me this is a solicitation of people who live outside the state of South Dakota. How rare is it that a fund raising letter from a sitting Governor does not reference even one issue relevant to the state of South Dakota. Blatant pandering is what the letter is with no relevance to South Dakota voters. You’d think she’d at least mention Ag and the looming drought.

  9. W R Old Guy 2021-06-11

    Unfortunately she is viewed by some in other states as a hero. I have a stepbrother who lives in the Philadelphia, PA area tell me how much he liked her since she didn’t shut the state down because of the virus. I got the same comment from a couple from North Carolina while visiting Mt Rushmore. Both were astounded when I told them that local governments closed or restricted businesses because Noem would not.

    Noem also overlooks the fact that social media is owned and run by private companies. They are not required to accept everything posted and can set their own rules. The First Amendment is not absolute. Private companies can regulate speech on their properties or platforms. Fox News recently refused to run an ad on the January 6th storming of the Capitol from a liberal media group and has apparently refused to run other ads from the same group

    Noem should take note of this week’s New Jersey Republican Govenor Primary. There were 4 candidates. The winner who did not align with Trump got 49% of the votes. Two candidates closely aligned with Trump got 26% and 21%. The fourth candidate got 3%.

  10. Donald Pay 2021-06-11

    Much is boilerplate for getting money out of the right, but she’s got some male chauvinist pigs writing this crap. Anyone else notice they have Noem, the little lady, playing the victim? It practically screams, “I just a poor widdo girl. Those bad peepo make fun of me. I don’t back down, rewee. Send me money.”
    Gawd, what a weakling. Is she trying to appeal to snowflakes?

    Another thing: it’s way too long for a begging letter. Get to the effing point (don’t waste people’s time), cut the whining (you look like a loser), tell people what your are going to do (you look like a winner).

  11. Francis Schaffer 2021-06-11

    So I get the message, this isn’t my country, too. Does anyone have a written list of her convictions? I kind of need to see if mine match up/align with hers. I am surmisizing not so much. Although, maybe hers aren’t even convictions.
    Radical left? So people who believe the United States needs to improve our roads and bridges; airports and airline industry air traffic control systems; broadband; define climate standards and the path to achievement; etc. are Radical left; count me in.

  12. Guy 2021-06-11

    We need a rematch in 2022. I believe Stephanie Herseth, who has the support of Independents like myself, could beat Kristi Noem in Round 2. Herseth could remind South Dakota voters of the huge mistake they made in choosing Noem over her ten years ago.

  13. Porter Lansing 2021-06-11

    Ted Cruz will be the next Republican Presidential candidate because he’s next in line.

    After Cruz loses to Biden then Gov. Noem can try again.

    However, Republican men and especially Republican women won’t trust that a woman can lead USA.

  14. RST Tribal Member 2021-06-11

    America’s Governor needs to be canceled in 2022. The Gov is reaching out beyond the voters in South Dakota to an audience who doesn’t know the likes of her. The handlers are preparing for 2024 believing the country hacks and bumpkins in South Dakota are too backwards to know right from wrong, truth from lies. Just because the inbred Republican legislators in Pierre are near sighted to the long term success and have and will do most anything to remain in control and power has given belief to America’s Governor’s Washington handlers to write this trashy fund raising letter. Embarrassing. One day the people will come to terms with their voting preferences or the state will drop further towards the bottom.

  15. Whitless 2021-06-11

    Any sucker who responds with a financial contribution will be inundated with repeated pleas for money at least through 2024, and henceforth will be identified as a Noem supporter. From my perspective, this screed that was written for Noem has almost nothing to do with raising money for the governor’s race. Instead its primary intent is to help build a database of small donor supporters for 2024. The sad reality is that the power of incumbency in this conservative state nearly guarantees reelection for one of the most inconsequential governors in South Dakota history.

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-06-12

    You guys get it. Noem doesn’t mention a single South Dakota issue. She doesn’t talk about K-12 funding, farming, county budget shortfalls, addiction treatment, or any of the practical issues that should be on the Governor’s plate and are on the plate of every other practical policymaker in this state. She doesn’t talk about defending South Dakota or improving South Dakota. She just talks about defending herself from radical attacks.

  17. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-06-12

    You know, when I make a fundraising pitch (and I ought to—this blog runs on your donations as well as my love and graphomania, so ring that Blog Tip Jar!), I don’t say, “Rightwing radicals are attacking me! Send me money so I can defend myself!” Who cares if people are attacking me? Who cares if they call me “ill-informed” or “reckless”? I’m not worth your money, and I don’t fundraise by victimhood. I try to produce information, resources, analysis, policy perspective, and a platform for community discussion that are worth, first, your time and, maybe second, your money. I do more public service with this blog, by providing legislators and voters with information about public policy, than Noem does cooking up boilerplate letters and partisan tweets during her part-time appearances in the office on the Second Floor.

  18. I’m No Dr. Suess 2021-06-12

    She went there and called national Democratic leaders a “cabal.” Yep, she is aligning herself with the Q-Anon.

  19. Mark Anderson 2021-06-12

    Come on guys, I’m sure she’s the best barrel racer running.l k

  20. mike from iowa 2021-06-12

    What was Noem doing today? Allegedly fishing Lake Oahe with Jimmy Houston Outdoors and some other people. She is not on the long winded video so save your time and energy and don’t bother.

  21. mike from iowa 2021-06-12

    KAT FIGHT! Noem Nothing versus Reba Mcintire. Ms Country Music says she was not invited to Noem fundraiser and does not get involved in politics and Ian Furry claims he has proof Reba was set to attend.


    Guess which witch be lying.

  22. 96Tears 2021-06-13

    Four pages of trite boilerplate clichés and dog whistles for QAnon believers. So, why did so many Democrats and others who detest Noem get this letter? Apparently The Lew and Noem don’t understand that politics is a game of addition. Putting lies and insults to constituents in writing and mailing them to thousands of people who will decide your next election is not smart.

    If this letter marks the first time many South Dakota voters got a letter from Kristi Noem, this one makes a very poor first impression.

  23. grudznick 2021-06-13

    Isn’t this mailing kind of old news? Seems like it was nearly a month ago those came out.

Comments are closed.