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GOAC Needs E-Board’s Permission to Subpoena Noem Daughter’s Appraiser-Improvement Plan

The Government Operations and Audit Committee would really like to see the Kassidy Peters’s remediation plan—you know, the document Labor Secretary Marcia Hultman told GOAC last month is proof that Peters’s mom, Governor Kristi Noem, couldn’t have been exerting any pressure on Appraiser Certification Program chief Sherry Bren when Noem called Bren to the Governor’s Mansion for an unusual meeting with Noem, Peters, Hultman, three lawyers, and the Governor’s chief of staff (also a lawyer). But thanks to the firewalls the Republican Legislature has put between investigative committees and facts about nepotism and other corruption, GOAC has to play “Mother May I?” with another committee before executing a subpoena to support its investigatory purpose:

The Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee is readying to initiate a subpoena on Monday if the Department of Labor and Regulation doesn’t hand over a signed agreement between the governor’s daughter, Kassidy Peters, and state regulators. Peters won her appraiser certification after a state agency moved to deny it last year. Noem’s labor secretary has said the agreement was a road map for how Peters could improve her work.

Two lawmakers on the committee — Republican Rep. Randy Gross and Democrat Rep. Linda Duba — said the committee was ready to issue the subpoena. However, any subpoena would also require approval from the Executive Board, a ranking committee of top legislators that will meet later next week [Stephen Groves, “South Dakota Lawmakers to Press for Noem Daughter’s Records,” AP, 2021.11.12].

GOAC did not use to need the Executive Board’s permission to subpoena information and witnesses. In December 2017, Attorney General Marty Jackley issued an official opinion noting that the law plainly authorized GOAC to subpoena witnesses. Alarmed at GOAC’s ability to demand facts, GOAC’s then-chair Senator Deb Peters (no relation to Kassidy that I know of) got the law changed to not only require GOAC get the E-Board’s permission to demand testimony and documents but also to limit the witnesses and information GOAC can subpoena.

The immediate result: GOAC meets Monday for its second discussion of Noem’s intervention in her daughter’s appraiser certification, but it can’t subpoena anything from the Department of Labor or the Governor or Peters or anyone else until the Executive Board starts its big two-day meeting on Wednesday. If E-Board says o.k. to subpoenas, GOAC may have to meet again just to draft and issue the subpoenas, and that may not happen until after Turkey Day.

The general result: getting to the bottom of any corruption in state government involves more haggling and delay, giving nepotists and other ne’er-do-wells more time to shred and forge evidence, cook up better cover stories, and shush potential witnesses (or just wait for them to keel over from natural causes).

If any legislators are working on bills to prefile for the 2022 Session, I suggest an emergency bill to reclaim GOAC’s subpoena power. Strike the last sentence of SDCL 2-6-4 (“However, no subpoena may be issued until the decision to issue a subpoena by the Government Operations and Audit Committee has been ratified by the Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council”), and completely repeal SDCL 2-6-4.2, Deb Peters’s unnecessary hair-splitting about what GOAC can and cannot subpoena.


  1. ArloBlundt 2021-11-12 14:26

    Well…More Bizarro World politics from the Republicans…they really don’t want to know what went on at the Governor’s mansion and they don’t want you to know either.

  2. Mark Anderson 2021-11-12 16:07

    Come on folks, she was just protecting her little girl.

  3. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-11-12 16:41

    Dear gawd almighty, this article makes me want to top myself; I cannot imagine the strength Cory must have to investigate and publish this stench.

    2020 hindsight being what it is, Ms. Bren should have never been ordered to The Kristi Lynn Palace despite the Royal summons and should have taken a printed “Consent to Record” form for her Majesty to sign, and then flipped her C*ntness off and said “bite me, b*tch” and walked out.

    I have the best fantasies.

  4. grudznick 2021-11-12 17:14

    Goodness, Ms. Fairbank, that’s a lot of hate you have in you. That’s probably not healthy.

    But on a more pleasant note, it was refreshing to read about young Ms. Peters again. It has been a while since she came up.

  5. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-11-12 17:40

    Thank you, Grudz. It is merely displaced hatred of you for your blow remark. Speaking of which, how many goats have YOU blown lately?

  6. Bob Newland 2021-11-12 18:02

    My good friend grudznutz finds it a bad day when he can’t put gravy on a goat and blow it.

  7. grudznick 2021-11-12 18:18

    I don’t recall any “blow” remarks, but grudznick is very old and feeble of mind. If I made such a remark, I bet it was super funny and many people clicked on the “like” button.

    Or perhaps it was a different grudznick. There are several, you know. But I still bet it was super funny. I’m chuckling now.

  8. Bob Newland 2021-11-12 18:39

    So, Larry, what did you accomplish with that weird, offensive proto-question?

  9. larry kurtz 2021-11-12 18:41

    The word, “grudznick” is a Jewish derivative.

  10. Bob Newland 2021-11-12 18:41

    Now grudznutz is playing the “what did I do?” card, as if its purpose were ever to do anything but disrupt.

  11. Bob Newland 2021-11-12 18:42

    I am not at all satisfied with what you said in reply, Larry.

  12. Bob Newland 2021-11-12 18:45

    As for the implication, it just doesn’t strike me as probable that Don Frankenfeld would stoop to the nothingness of “grudznutz.” Let’s just say that I consider Frankenfeld a firend and that I would be deeply disappointed if he were “grudznutz.”

  13. Bob Newland 2021-11-12 18:52

    You have made it my responsibility by posting it to an international audience. You have accused a fairly-well-known “public” figure of activity that might be considered less-than-acceptable among a large segment of people. If I were Cory, I would demand some evidence, or I would banish you.

  14. larry kurtz 2021-11-12 18:55

    FWIW: seven of my eight great-grandfathers we’re Jewish so my query comes from the heart.

  15. ArloBlundt 2021-11-12 19:02

    Well…Mr. Grudz and other Republicans have a reflective need to defend their Governor and their legislature, no matter how “insaner than most” they act in their administrative and government oversight capacities…the strategy is to overlook the basic chaos created by “amateur hour” in Pierre and just forge on..”.There are bigger fish to fry” they allege, “our Governor and her minions in the legislature need to protect the established nobility
    in South Dakota and their millions of ill gotten dollars from an unruly mob of state citizens demanding accountability.”

  16. mike from iowa 2021-11-12 19:05

    How many traffic officials did you blow, Ms. Fairbank, that it was not enough?

  17. larry kurtz 2021-11-12 19:05

    Maybe someone could explain how GOAC’s actions aren’t metaphorical blowing.

  18. ArloBlundt 2021-11-12 19:18

    Well…as an aside to this nonsense, I always thought Mr. Frankenfeld was an excellent legislator, always well prepared, thoughtful and many times a truly progressive Republican in his positions. Ms. Bonnie is a feisty observer of the passing scene with a valuable point of view. While she can be exasperated by the class warfare conducted by the nobility in this state, she does manage to keep her sense of humor and her perspective.

  19. larry kurtz 2021-11-12 19:23

    Looks like Elkton’s Randy Gross is one of the Republican legislators who wants to see the records of Mrs. Noem’s alleged gross overreach.

  20. larry kurtz 2021-11-12 19:24

    Or was it a gross reach-around?

  21. grudznick 2021-11-12 19:26

    ’twas but an inquiry following Ms. Fairbank’s post, thusly. Please read her last sentence. It did seem a bit risqué for one as stuffy as Ms. Fairbanks seems to be, but nonetheless she wrote it. Enna! All goats belong to grudznick tonight!!!

    Bonnie B Fairbank
    John, I dunno what to tell you. I’ve had three automotive-related tickets my whole life. A jaywalking ticket on the Auraria campus in Denver in 1977. A speeding ticket for doing 78-mph in a 75-mph zone in the right lane of I-25 in Platte County, Wyoming, in 1994. And parking facing the “wrong way” on a residential cul-de-sac in Denver, CO, in 1997. These three mortal sin tickets cost more than $300.
    I did not know or blow enough traffic officials to make these fines disappear.

  22. mike from iowa 2021-11-12 19:57

    Grudzilla is trying, like usual, to weasel his way out of accepting responsibility for what he said.
    Ms Fairbanks is my hero.

    OT 76 acres of Obrien Co cropland on my North corner sold for $19,100.00 per acre yesterday.

  23. ArloBlundt 2021-11-14 18:28

    Well…GOAC is going to hear from Ms. Bren. After that bombshell goes off they may not need to see the alleged plan for Ms. Peters to miraculously ascend to the next level of appraiser licensure without meeting the criteria and qualifications.Ms. Peters may become a footnote in a broader discussion of the legality of the Governor’s unilateral decisions to spend millions on “separation agreements”, lawsuits of all descriptions, and fence building.

  24. grudznick 2021-11-14 18:40

    Indeed. It should be wildly entertaining. If there are some fellows with a nice car who can haul grudznick along from Rapid City to Pierre for these meetings, please attend the Conservatives with Common Sense breakfast next Sunday. Nothing of note will happen tomorrow, it is the latter meetings at which the fun happens.

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