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Guard Excursion to Texas Shows Sloppy Noem Budgeting

Here’s what happens when you put Kristi Noem in charge of budgeting. Back in June, Governor Noem got one million dollars from Tennessee junk-car billionaire Willis Johnson. She decided she could use that private donation to send our National Guard to Texas for pop and a photo opp at What-a-Burger without costing the taxpayers a bunch of money. But now, since the Governor launched South Dakota’s military occupation of Texas without a clear timeline or measurable objectives (does this sound familiar?), she’ll have to ask for more money:

Its top officer says the cost will reach about $1.4 million for the 48 members of the South Dakota National Guard who are in Texas helping guard the U.S.-Mexico border.

The estimate covers approximately 60 days through mid-September, Adjutant General Jeff Marlette told the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee on Wednesday [Bob Mercer, “General: Tennessee Million Won’t Fully Cover S.D. National Guard Deployment to the Texas Border,” KELO-TV, 2021.08.18].

Oddly, KSFY reporter Beth Warden tweeted from the committee meeting that state director of emergency management Kristi Turman said that the state requesting assistance from another state is supposed to reimburse the assisting state for its National Guard deployment. So it appears Tennessee billionaire and mercenary hirer Johnson sent his money to the wrong state, or just skipped the Texas middleman.

But Marlette told the committee that Texas will pay the deployment costs incurred so far of $850,000. If we have that much cash coming from Texas and if we already have Johnson’s cool million in the bank, we have $450,000 above the cost Marlette is citing for the deployment. Will South Dakota refund Johnson the leftover cash?

We could have avoided this confusion earlier by doing some math and setting some deadlines before deploying this fake military adventure, but Turman says the instructions were to proceed with the mission without asking about finances. If we ran out of money, Turman says the state would just ask for a special appropriation.

That’s the real Kristi Noem at work: not looking at the details, not doing the math, and certainly not balancing the budget herself (see also eight years in Congress), just leaping at opportunities for political grandstanding.


  1. SuFu Matt 2021-08-19 09:54

    SDCL 33-9-12, Article III, subpart f. I believe that is the basis for the tweet.

  2. mike from iowa 2021-08-19 10:04

    Fiscal responsibility, magat style.

  3. Jake 2021-08-19 10:09

    Also notably, the article quoted daily pay for each guardsman of $200/$250 per day plus $50 per diem meal pay: Average @ $275.00/day X 30 days = $8250/month X
    2 months = $16,500.00!

    Pretty good pay, in any body’s book, right? National Guard “Not for HIre” anyone?

    How many South Dakota citizens live for a year on slightly more? Quite a few under $22,146–14.6 % of us! ….129,453 SD citizens………..

    Sure makes our National Guard look like a Mercenary Outfit to me1

  4. Amy Blair 2021-08-19 12:57

    I’m sure that overage will end up in her re-election campaign fund.

  5. Mark Anderson 2021-08-19 18:28

    Hey everybody, it was a late Spring Break.

  6. ds 2021-08-19 19:45

    Kristi, Texas is more in need of mortuary refrigerator trucks and heath care workers due to Corvid-19 hospitalizations and deaths. . It would make more sense to help them with these items instead of spending taxpayer money to facilitate SD guardsmen suntanning along the border. Anyway what are the statistics of how many illicit drug carriers the SD guard has captured?

  7. Jake 2021-08-20 11:56

    Facts don’t seem to matter to Republicans but fact is that most drugs come thru major border crossings instead of remote areas along the border. Or by air. This deployment ordered by Noem is a gift of $8,250.00 a month to soldiers normally making many thousands less.
    Reminds me, in 1966 having been drafted to serve this state against my will and sent to Vietnam into a war I never believed in I was earning a big total of $66.00/month-paid in cash. Big bucks. But, as South Dakota conservatives would say-“Heck, you were getting free meals and a bunk-what else do ya want?!”

  8. Jake 2021-08-20 12:08

    To add, our Guard is there to “plug” routes that desperate people wanting to change their lives the way our ancestors did when they scraped a few $$$ together in the old European or Scandinavian countries to ‘Come to America’; now we have an erstwhile governess telling refugees “Call me when you’re an American” (but I’m not gonna let ya in cuz yer a dang furiner!)

  9. RST Tribal Member 2021-08-24 08:28

    America’s Governor is what she is, or what the Washington handlers direct. To help matters along the inbred legislators of the SD Republican Party seem to have brain fog or other mind blindness when it involves the Noem’s governance.

    Let’s see how her act plays out; put beak bent hat on for outdoors look, hubcap belt buckle shined and centered, long sleeve western shirt tucked in with couple top buttons unsnapped, show up at a down to earth burger franchise joint named What-A-Burger for a photo opt with the boys and/or girls dispatched, then off to a fund raiser for the future and beyond. The routine of governance for our very own America’s Governor.

    The My Pillow nut case is starting to look more and more sane when put along side our very own America’s Governor. Yikes.

    November 2022 cannot come soon enough, unless the virus causes a time of reckoning for the inbred Republican leadership in Pierre and Washington.

  10. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-08-24 11:11

    Good morning, RTS Tribal Member. Kristi, Queen of Covid-19, is a dull, philandering narcissist; that’s her zenith and only talents. She’s the perfect Reptilian.

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