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Noem Spokesboy Claims Governor Didn’t Ask Legislature to Expand Coronavirus Shutdown Powers; Record Shows She Did

Ian Fury, foot headed for mouth.

In today’s gaslighting report, Kristi Noem’s spokesboy Ian Fury tries telling a fellow radical right-winger that the Governor never supported the emergency coronavirus response legislation she asked the Legislature to pass at the end of the 2020 Session.

This little dust-up goes back to Nate Hochman’s National Review article questioning Noem’s commitment to the conservative death cult. Citing a July article on the topic, Hochman says Noem was for coronavirus lockdowns before she was against them:

It’s true that South Dakota never issued mask mandates or stay-at-home orders. But whether that conservative victory is creditable to Noem is more complicated than her rhetoric suggests. Some conservatives have raised doubts. Among their ranks is Jon Schweppe, director of policy and government affairs for American Principles Project (APP).… In a Substack post back in July, Schweppe reported that Noem tried to lock down South Dakota: “On March 30, 2020, at the request of Gov. Noem, South Dakota Rep. Lee Qualm introduced House Bill 1297, a bill that would declare a state of emergency in South Dakota and give the Secretary of Health unprecedented powers to impose mandates and lockdowns, allowing for the placement of ‘reasonable restrictions’ on any public or private location, including a ‘business, park, school, or other location that promotes public gathering.’”

That bill was decisively rejected by a 50-17 margin in the staunchly conservative South Dakota House of Representatives. But if Noem had gotten her way, it would have expanded her power to unilaterally mandate the very coronavirus restrictions that she built her reputation on opposing [Nate Hochman, “Who Is Kristi Noem, Really?National Review, 2021.09.15].

2020 House Bill 1297, requested by the Governor’s Office, would have delegated to the Secretary of Health the Governor’s authority to restrict or close activities at public and private locations. Even this liberal blog thought that measure was a bad idea: the Governor already has that emergency power; such awesome power should only be exercised by an elected official accountable directly to the public, not an appointee who could take the heat for her.

Anyway, on Tuesday, CPAC board member Terry Schilling evidently got into a Twitter fracas with Ian Fury about this issue… because, you know, we pay our Governor’s spokesman $115,122.80 to sit around debating out-of-state grouches on social media all day long. (And hey, we pay Ian for that vital service, yet he never drops by South Dakota’s own Dakota Free Press to challenge mean comments about our Governor? Come on, Ian, where’s the love?) As the exchange rolled on to Wednesday, Fury said Noem “asked the legislature to take up this bill, not to pass it, but to clarify what authorities she DIDN’T have.” Schilling called that spin “the silliest thing I’ve ever heard*”.

Terry Schilling and Ian Fury, Twitter exchange, 2021.09.22.
Terry Schilling and Ian Fury, Twitter exchange, 2021.09.22.

“…[S]he would have vetoed the legislation if the legislature passed it—after asked them to pass it?” demands Schilling. “She was for it before she was against it?”

“Show me where she ‘asked them to pass it’,” snarks back Fury.

Enter interested observer and journalist Joe Sneve, who has paid more attention to South Dakota politics over his career than Schilling and Fury put together:

Joe Sneve, tweet of SD House Journal from March 30, 2020; 2021.09.23.
Joe Sneve, tweet of SD House Journal from March 30, 2020; 2021.09.23.

According to the South Dakota House of Representatives Journal of March 30, 2020, Melissa Klemann from the Governor’s Office testified in favor of House Bill 1297. Policy advisor Klemann told the House on March 30, “I would like to voice our support of House Bill 1297.” She referred to reasonable restrictions that would allow the Department of Health to “ask [a] gathering to be stopped.” She said the Governor had been clear about not wanting to shut things down and preferring local authorities and businesses to “have conversations” but wanted the Department of Health to be able to shut down activities that are “impacting and not abiding by our executive order” and large gatherings with “thousands and thousands of people.”

So, yes, Ian, Governor Noem asked legislators to pass 2020 House Bill 1297. You might have missed that, since you didn’t move to South Dakota and start working for Governor Noem until the following week. But since you’re speaking for our Governor and our state, we’d prefer that you use your very well compensated time to do some basic research before you pop off about things that happened before you moved here. Otherwise, you might give folks the impression that you’re lying just to win a Twitter spat.

*Schilling needs to get out more. Wednesday one of my local banks had this joke on its sign:

—Why don’t pirates take the mountain road?


Come on—that’s at least as silly as the things Ian Fury says!


  1. grudznick 2021-09-24 16:38

    Mr. Fury is a spokesman, Mr. H. You may not like him, and he may have shaved off his mustache, and you may not currently live Out-of-State but your Blogline is no better than any other out-of-state name caller here. You, sir, are a blog man, not a blog boy, so don’t behave like a name caller and debate your position on facts Mr. Harens would judge relevant. By Mr. Harens’s debate standards you have already lost.

  2. Eve Fisher 2021-09-24 16:46

    Well, the way I see it, Ian Fury spends most of his time living up to his name as he tries to make sure that we all understand that Governor Noem has never done anything that is not 100% conservative – per the requirements of the Trump version of the Republican Party – in her entire time on this planet, and thus cannot and should not be questioned about anything, because she is always right, no matter what those meanies over at the National Review say.

  3. Donald Pay 2021-09-24 16:50

    I kind of wonder why Boy Fury can’t read the sponsors of HB1217 and get the idea the bill came from the Governor.

    Representatives Qualm (prime) and Smith (Jamie) and Senators Langer (prime), Greenfield (Brock), and Heinert at the request of the Office of the Governor”

    I always thought that bills numbered above 1200 should die. I think the Governor already had this power, but I understand why you would want the order coming from a competent professional health official and not a political figure.

  4. Donald Pay 2021-09-24 16:51

    Sorry, BH 1297,

  5. Donald Pay 2021-09-24 16:51

    Sorry, HB 1297,

  6. Mark Anderson 2021-09-24 18:48

    Hey, Kristi’s policies killed another 10 today, give her a break. Just think of all those New Zealanders who had to wear masks, social distance and shudder, get vaccines. They still do, 27 dead in a nation of over 5 million but oh boy the freedom they had to give up, not showing their smiling faces, that’s the worst. Ian would get this, he’s such a mild mannered fury.

  7. ArloBlundt 2021-09-24 19:10

    Well…its time South Dakotans ask “Are we getting our money’s worth.”

  8. Porter Lansing 2021-09-24 19:45

    Hi, Ian.

    When GOP oppo research, for the primaries, turn on your boss, she’s as vulnerable as a Texan in a ground blizzard.

    Ted Cruz and Jim Jordan will have no mercy on the Castlewood Con Queen.

  9. jerry 2021-09-24 19:59

    Good news for vaccinated men, we get the girls!! Yep, covid in men gives them erectile dysfunction (when your junk don’t work). So there ya go redumblicans, limp on. “Researchers are piecing together that surviving COVID-19 may be associated with erectile dysfunction (ED). The research points to three factors that can lead to the potential onset of ED in men who have had the virus:”
    As the old bull tells the young bull when the young one looks upon a herd of cows and says to the old bull, “let’s run down and service a couple of those cows” The old bull then says, “Let’s walk down and service them all”.

    Fellow vaccinated boys, life is about to be even better, even if they’re redumblicans. Booyah!

  10. David Newquist 2021-09-24 22:29

    The one good thing the National Review article does is something the state’s media hardly ever does: check the records and the facts. However, from the author’s point of view, death by Covid is a cherished conservative principle and Stanford Health is a threat to it. He suggests that what might be good health policy on Sanford’s part is really corporate greed: “Whether motivated by business interests or deeper ideological principles, the company’s commitment to cultural liberalism is striking…”

    Points that the state media studiously ignore are Noem’s tales about herself. She insists that she dropped out of college, for example, at the death of her father to run the family farm. She dropped out about a year prior to his death and got married and pregnant, according to a timeline from internet sources. Her life seems to be something she fabricates as she goes along. And that she gets away with it says much about the state

  11. Jake 2021-09-25 09:56

    David, your last paragraph says it all so well.

  12. Sam@2 2021-09-25 10:01

    So you liberals are trying to convince us that we need someone like Gov. Waltz in Minnesota. He has allowed a beautiful city to be destroyed followed by last weekends 26 shooting in 26 hours. Crime is out of control. Citizens are asking for the National Guard to protect them. Remember they are the ones that elected these fools.

    He has also destroyed small family business, while allowing crime to spiral out of control, while being anti law enforcement.

    Before throwing spears at Gov Noem. Look at what is happening in our Democrat control states and cities.

    Just look at Illinois in particle Chicago-need I say more.

  13. larry kurtz 2021-09-25 10:16

    I am often called a liberal by Trumpettes on Faceberg but liberals want to convert GOPers or convince them to be kinder and gentler. Me? As a progressive I’m actually working to destroy the Republican Party and erase it from the collective cultural memory.

  14. Jake 2021-09-25 10:31

    Sammie boy, those conditions you illicit above stem mostly from 4 1/2 years of your trumpism chaotic stress on society along with your fantasy that you have the “right” to own any weapons of mass destruction you desire without showing the responsibility behind owning it!
    Also, you believe you have the “right” to distribute your Covid bugs anywhere you go-others be damned. Right?

  15. cibvet 2021-09-25 10:39

    Sam@2 says “need I say more.” As a pub propagandist you might appear more intellectual if you said less instead of repeating fox,newsmax pundits.

  16. tara volesky 2021-09-25 11:13

    Rumor is, the Conservatives west river are looking for a solid candidate to primary her.

  17. Porter Lansing 2021-09-25 11:46


    You’ve had a rough and tough life, huh?
    Who do you blame for all the unfair things that have come your way?

  18. Mark Anderson 2021-09-25 14:08

    Well Sam, those pub governor’s in Texas and Florida are doing great protecting the virus. Florida is almost caught up with New York in Covid deaths and now we know how to treat patients. It’s amazing, DeSantis has done well banning masks and vaccines, only those pesky Norwegian cruiseliners beat him, but their basically socialists anyway. Texas same deal, almost caught California and California has 10 million more people. The virus really has to thank the GOP, their freedom from masks and vaccines has really given it new life.

  19. larry kurtz 2021-09-25 16:55

    Rand Williams has worked his entire life for the fortune he’s amassed. Williams owns property all over western South Dakota and rents to white refugees like John Dale. Dale joined fellow egomaniacs Sam Kephart (Sam above), Gary Coe, Scott Odenbach and others who have parachuted into Lawrence County expecting to change the good ole boy network Rand Williams actually helped to create.

  20. John Dale 2021-09-27 11:02

    My research suggests that she usurped the power from the SD healthcare bureaucracy, then didn’t use them.

    It all belies the fact that, because SD is so small, it can be managed through various organizations laced throughout the state.

    South Dakota’s Shadow government runs the show, and it is unelected and unaccountable.

  21. CA Escapee 2022-09-27 15:00

    Has anyone read if Mr. Fury has acknowledged H.B. 1297? Does he know that Speaker Qualm, who introduced it, actually voted against it? Does anyone know him well enough to know if he’d actually acknowledge his mistake after given proof of H.B. 1297?

  22. mike from iowa 2022-09-27 15:11

    Magats control half the lege in Minnesota. Magats are the ones who want everyone to have guns and no restrictions on them. Cops want gun controls, magats don’t.

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