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Top Ten Ways Ethically Unfettered Donors Can Deploy South Dakota National Guard for Private Missions!

Governor Kristi Noem’s Beltway spokesboy Ian Fury claims that his boss and her staff, in reporter Arielle Zionts’s words, “found no legal or ethical problem” with the one-million-dollar private donation from Tennessee auto-salvage billionaire Willis Johnson gave her to pay for the South Dakota National Guard’s stunt-trip to the Mexico–Texas border. But Team Noem only looks hard for headlines, not Hegelian dialectics. But all those headlines indicate how immediately everyone else senses the ethical problems that lie in pimping out the military to rich partisans:

Dwight Stirling is a law professor, expert on the history of the National Guard and reserve military lawyer in the California Guard. He said the donation goes against state and federal law.

The donation raises issues beyond the law, Stirling said.

“If we allow a private citizen to donate money for a particular operation or mission, then it looks like those soldiers are working for the billionaire or for the donor and that puts the chain of command in doubt and so what that really does is raises the question about the whole legitimacy of that mission,” he said [Arielle Zionts, “Experts Say Private National Guard Donation Raises Legal, Ethical Issues,” SDPB, 2021.07.01].

But hey, why bog ourselves down in ethical restraints? Let’s just talk numbers:

Governor Noem wants to send 50 South Dakota soldiers 1,400 miles away from home for 30 to 60 days. Let’s go in the middle an assume it’s a 45-day mission. Kristi’s billionaire pal’s one million dollars breaks down to $444 per soldier per day. I don’t know what their daily shifts will look like down in McAllen or Laredo or elsewhere along the Rio Grande, but those deployed soldiers will be on call and away from their families around the clock, so $444 for the entire day reduces to $18.50 per hour. And that’s not just paying for labor; that’s paying for all the trucks and guns and whatever other equipment our mercenary Guards need to carry out their sponsor’s mission. So $18.50 an hour is the cost of renting out not just one National Guard’s labor but all the material necessary to support the mission.

So suppose I have just a hundredth of the wealth that Willis Johnson has jingling in his fat pockets. Suppose I want to donate $10,000 to the State of South Dakota to get the Governor to deploy the National Guard on a mission of keen personal interest to me. At the rate Willis J. is getting, I can buy 540 person-hours of National Guarding. What could I spend that on?

  1. Given it takes me an hour and a half on average to shovel my patio, sidewalks, and driveway when it snows, I could get one Guard to come shovel me out after 360 snowfalls. If it snows enough to warrant shoveling ten times each winter, I can get Guard snow removal for 36 years.
  2. I could rent a platoon of 20 Guards nine times for three-hour stints to accompany me as armed bodyguards as I report on Republican hate rallies in Aberdeen.
  3. I could rent 65 Guards to march into the South Dakota Capitol with their guns (we’ll call ahead for Capitol Access Passes) to accompany me for a full day of committee hearings, blogging from the galleries, and interviews with Legislative leaders and other government officials (I walk up to Ian Fury with my camera and 65 soldiers: “Governor, could I ask you a few ethical questions?”)
  4. I could rent one Guard to chauffeur me on a three-week vacation in the wilderness in a really cool off-road Army truck.
  5. I could rent 540 Guards to stand behind me on the Brown County Fairgrounds racetrack stage at my own patriotic campaign kick-off rally.
  6. I could rent 54 Guards to set up and tear down the stage and work the gates at my campaign kick-off rally.
  7. I could rent 100 Guards to each spend 5.4 hours helping distribute absentee ballots to voters on the reservation.
  8. I could rent four Guards to provide security at and give women rides to Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls for nearly 17 eight-hour shifts.
  9. I could have the whole 153rd Engineer Battalion assemble in Sioux Falls and march in rainbow uniforms in next year’s Pride parade.
  10. I could rent 20 Guards to spend three consecutive Saturdays going around the state and removing vulgar, unpatriotic flags from public view.

I can think of many more valuable missions, and surely so can you, neighbors! We can pool our cash and come up with great uses for our great Guards, if we just be like Kristi and get past our niggling ethical considerations.

29 Comments

  1. John 2021-07-02

    The first problem is it’s unlawful.
    The second problem is noem and her fascists have no idea what public service looks like. “…spokesboy Ian Fury claims that his boss and her staff, in reporter Arielle Zionts’s words, “found no legal or ethical problem” with the one-million-dollar private donation from Tennessee auto-salvage billionaire Willis Johnson gave her to pay for the South Dakota National Guard’s stunt-trip to the Mexico–Texas border.”
    The third problem, if the first two are overcome or ignored by fascism, the provided funds in no way cover the total lifetime cost of the escapade. These people do not even try acting ‘republican’.

  2. mike from iowa 2021-07-02

    This is South Dakota where oversight is an oversight. Magats don’t find ethical violations in their own ranks because they don’t look for them.

  3. Loren 2021-07-02

    OMG, we are being overrun, send in the 50 troops from SD. They will make the difference. Rest assured this is not a political stunt. SD is there to save the day. Maybe they can finish “the wall” while they are there. Mexico won’t be paying for it, but Tennessee will! LOL! What a bunch of fools we are here in SD. !@#$%^&*!

  4. Jeffrey Barth 2021-07-02

    If someone gets hurt who will pay for a lifetime of VA benefits?

  5. Guy 2021-07-02

    “It was a surprise!!!” she now says. Kristi went on to say: It was “A wonderful happenstance” that Mr. Willis Johnson just happened to call her while she was deliberating with her staff on how to her national guard border mission. Apparently Mr. Johnson and Ms. Noem only met briefly one time over a hand-shake. So, I guess Willis was so impressed with his first impression of her, that he decided to call Kristi and tell her he would send $1 million at the same time she just happened to be discussing the subject with her staff. Yeah, ok…I believe that…ha, ha, ha….
    https://www.gowatertown.net/noem-gop-donors-million-dollar-donation-for-national-guard-was-a-surprise/

  6. mike from iowa 2021-07-02

    Magat Kevin McCarthy has avoided punishing any other magats for cavorting with white scumacysts, praising capitol intruders, sex scandals with Matt Gaetz, but, he did remove Liz Cheney from committee assignments for voting to impeach drumpf and then threatens the same with any magat that joins Jan 6th select committee to investigate magats. So much for ethics.

  7. V 2021-07-02

    They aren’t called the NATIONAL GUARD for nothing. They are paid by the national government, not S.D. government. They are public servants not private rent to hire mercenaries.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-07-02

    O mentions on the earlier thread that California State Senator Tom Umberg, who served as a Colonel in the U.S. Army, suggests that California bid to rent SDNG personnel to come to his state to fight hate crimes. Indeed, why not deploy the SDNG against the domestic terrorism of radical right-wing white supremacists groups? Why not fight the #1 threat to our national security? No one has identified Mexican immigrants as a comparable threat to American security. It seems rich white donors from Tennessee are using their wealth to distract our vital security resources from the primary threats to our security.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-07-02

    But we shouldn’t have to get into a bidding war to decide where we deploy troops.

  10. mike from iowa 2021-07-02

    Most of the immigrants on the border are not Mexicans. More like from Ventral America war torn countries seeking asylum, which drumpf denied them their opportunities when they were first here.

  11. mike from iowa 2021-07-02

    State of Florida is sending Game Wardens to Texas border I assume to hunt down 2 legged coyotes bringing in people seeking asylum. Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of magats and who cares?

  12. Mark Anderson 2021-07-02

    Come on folks, every trumpie running for Prez next time is gearing all their policies to appeal to the Q crowd. Its going to be fun, its just too easy, fish in a barrel easy.

  13. Francis Schaffer 2021-07-02

    This is the 1st step with the goal, sending the guard units to help Georgia, Arizona, Texas, etc. with the 2022 elections.

  14. O 2021-07-02

    If the Governor REALLY wanted to help the crisis on the border, she would put the state of SD to work building housing and lining up sponsors to take in these refugees. I would guess there are plenty of workers to help in our agriculture and other industries.

    But this isn’t about dealing with a crisis or helping people; it is about keeping what is “ours” ours, and ensuring “they” don’t get what is ours. Selfishness and greed is the central tenet of GOP philosophy — especially the MAGA crowd.

    As an aside, I wonder if the American College of bishops will have a follow-up position paper about the Catholic church’s stance on politicians rejecting refugees taking communion?

  15. Korey Jackson 2021-07-02

    As. 30+ year Army veteran, I, too have strong ethical and moral concerns with this military deployment reportedly reimbursed by a private individual.
    In most circumstances, in response for requests for assistance from a Governor, states are reimbursed for deployment of their national guard troops and units either by the requesting state, or by the federal government. In this instance, we can assume the federal government would not reimburse South Dakota.
    It would be reasonable, then, for Texas to reimburse South Dakota…not a private party.
    Since these SDNG individuals, all volunteers, will be on state orders, the state ultimately is responsible for all associated pay and allowances, medical, etc.
    While I have significant ethical concerns, and this appears to be unprecedented;
    exactly what South Dakota or federal laws are being violated?

  16. mike from iowa 2021-07-02

    Noem’s patriotic fervor is a mile wide and an inch deep. She rented out troops because it was a perfect segue into bashing Biden or drumpf’s failures to handle the asylum seekers in a noble, American way. She is the perfect spokesmodel for the dumbing down of the magat party into talking points and no solutions.

    She is so clewless it is frightening she could have gotten elected to any office.

  17. Porter Lansing 2021-07-02

    Noem should be sued and Tennessee Tuxedo should be audited.

  18. Arlo Blundt 2021-07-02

    well..Korey Jackson’s question “What laws are being broken??” deserves a response.If Governor Noem is not breaking a state or federal law its because her actions in sending 50 of our Guardsman to the Texas border are just so bizarrely far fetched that legislators and congressmen have never imagined such a scenario.Certainly no one has envisioned the “private pay” aspects of this adventure in creative governing through cronyism.I’m hopeful there may be a statute that prohibits Guardsmen and women from accepting pay from private sources while on government duty. Other state employees are prohibited from doing this, I believe. Its unfortunate that to find a solution to this mess we have to jeopardize Guardsmen who are victims of the Governors utter lack of knowledge of public administration.

  19. John Dale 2021-07-03

    This is classic sociopathy in my opinion; moving the goal posts.

    Premise: The border needs our national guard (debatable, but I don’t see that debate happening here, and I think I know how it ends, anyway).

    So, Noem funds it with SD money and she gets heat for using taxpayer dollars to put kids in cages or some other egregious lie. Or, she funds it as per and takes heat for some alternative egregious lie.

    Conclusion: So, this is about opening the borders and stressing the US (Cloward-Piven).

    The value of having a fight like this not palpable.

    We have so much real work to do.

    Have you noticed that only one side seems to be fighting?

    Like .. shadows?

    This was over before it started, folks:
    https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/election_executive_order_13848.pdf

  20. John Dale 2021-07-03

    I guess more than anything, I just want to warn the people shadow boxing to stop before dad comes home.

    It’s empathy.

  21. Francis Schaffer 2021-07-03

    Korea,
    Would this violate Posse Comitatus as the troops are not federalized in this case? I was hoping you as a military veteran could shed light on domestic use of military personnel.
    Francis

  22. Francis Schaffer 2021-07-03

    Korey.
    Would this violate Posse Comitatus as the troops are not federalized in this case? I was hoping you as a military veteran could shed light on domestic use of military personnel.
    Francis

  23. Korey Jackson 2021-07-03

    Francis Shaffer ,
    The Posse Comitatus Act might apply if the Guard were in Federal status and conducting law enforcement activities, such as apprehension, arrest, and detainment. In this case, the Guard will be on State orders; additionally, I have not heard what, exactly, the mission of the Texas-deployed SDNG will be.
    Some other states voluntarily sending small Guard units will be performing support functions.
    Technically, this time these National Guard units will not be augmenting US CBP, but rather support duties controlled and coordinated by the Governor of Texas (or Arizona). They remain under the command of their respective state Governor. As far as I can ascertain, in this case, Governor Noem remains the commander of the Texas-deployed SDNG unit.
    You do have a good point: if the SDNG were and are indeed deployed to Texas to directly enforce USG immigration laws and border laws, even though not requested by the USG, it would seem to me to violate the spirit and intent of the Posse Comitatus Act.

  24. RST Tribal Member 2021-07-04

    This tribal member is kinda concern as America’s Governor gave a white privileged domestic terrorist living on the Rosebud Reservation a couple $500 thousand grants with CARES socialist funds. He and others near and dear to him journeyed to the Jan 6 “Let’s Free America” takeover in Washington. Now, he learned he can hire the SD National Guards folks to care out the mission of the white privileged to rid SD of the Rosebud Tribe, or maybe fix his road as the county wants to turn it from paved to gravel with his free money, priorities!
    But he has his socialist money and kristie has her guard folks. Dangerous, like fireworks and dry conditions. Just takes 1 stupid move; we know America’s Governor is capable of several a day.
    How far will America’s Governor and the lobbies push us SD voters around before we say enough? November 2022 might be the time to sent the queen bee to FL without SD travel assistance and SD Highway Patrol to help with that fool’s 2024 campaign.

  25. Korey Jackson 2021-07-04

    Francis Shaffer ,
    The Posse Comitatus Act might apply if the Guard were in Federal status and conducting law enforcement activities, such as apprehension, arrest, and detainment. In this case, the Guard will be on State orders; additionally, I have not heard what, exactly, the mission of the Texas-deployed SDNG will be.
    Some other states voluntarily sending small Guard units will be performing support functions.
    Technically, this time these National Guard units will not be augmenting US CBP, but rather support duties controlled and coordinated by the Governor of Texas (or Arizona). They remain under the command of their respective state Governor. As far as I can ascertain, in this case, Governor Noem remains the commander of the Texas-deployed SDNG unit.
    You do have a good point: if the SDNG were and are indeed deployed to Texas to directly enforce USG immigration laws and border laws, even though not requested by the USG, it would seem to me to violate the spirit and intent of the Posse Comitatus Act. Are solldiers from a northern state not being mobilized and sent to a former Confederate state to enforce US laws and other duties as directed by law enforcement authorities?

  26. jerry 2021-07-05

    Alan West is challenging Texas governor Abbott, so now you get why the white gov boys and the white gov girls are so up in arms. You have a nut job black dude going against a nut job white dude with the brown folks as cannon fodder for this charade. Enter NOem, a kook, and you have the perfect $#i+ storm.

  27. SuFu Matt 2021-07-06

    For those interested, the Mutual Assistance Compact is codified in 33-9. I lack the expertise to break it down, so I’ll refrain. But, it is my understanding that the requesting state covers all expenses and (again, totally shooting from the hip here) any private donation goes into the state piggy back to be directed upon approval of the legislature.

  28. KOREY JACKSON 2021-07-13

    Hmmm…
    South Dakota is sending security assistance to Texas Governor Tim Abbot in response to his request, while he is ordering his own law enforcement to retrieve his own wayward legislators?

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