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Haugaard Announces Gubernatorial Bid at Non-Profit Fellowship of Christian Athletes Office

Rep. Steven Haugaard has officially announced his candidacy for Governor of South Dakota. His new whiz-bang website opens the sloganizing with “People Are Priority”, “Return to Principles”, and “Service Above Self-Interest”, all of which Haugaard targets at his only announced opponent, incumbent Republican Governor Kristi Noem:

Said Haugaard of the decision to run, “We need a full-time governor who puts South Dakotans first. Period. Kristi Noem has been beholden to special interests, from the NCAA, to big business, to corporate lobbyists. We need leadership that focuses on serving the needs of our people, not using the office as a stepping-stone.”

Added Haugaard, “There are problems in this state that can be solved with hard work and leadership. That’s how I plan to govern, and I very much look forward to travelling the state and contrasting my vision with that of Governor Noem’s.”

Steve Haugaard brings a wealth of knowledge, deep relationships throughout the state, and a humble, stalwart work ethic to serve South Dakotans [Steve Haugaard, press release, 2021.11.17].

I look forward with great enthusiasm to hearing Haugaard enunciate the conservative case against unprincipled, self-serving opportunist Noem. But I would be  remiss in my objective journalistic duties if I didn’t point out this photo from Haugaard’s launch press conference taken this morning by KSFY’s intrepid Austin Goss:

Austin Goss, Twitter pic of Steven Haugaard press conference set-up, 1601 E 69th St, Sioux Falls, SD, 2021.11.17
Austin Goss, Twitter pic of Steven Haugaard press conference set-up, 1601 E 69th St, Sioux Falls, SD, 2021.11.17.

Banners and balloons—check. Grandkids in campaign swag—check. But what’s that on the floor…

Austin Goss, Twitter pic, zoom on SDFCA floor logo by CAH/DFP, 2021.11.17
Austin Goss, Twitter pic, zoom on SDFCA floor logo by CAH/DFP, 2021.11.17.

Right there next to the podium where a partisan political candidate is about to announce his partisan political campaign is the logo of the South Dakota Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a non-profit charitable organization that “is not able to support or endorse any political candidate or cause” and gets darned sensitive when it appears any candidate makes it look like they do… or at least their state director Brian Hansen did when Democratic candidate for Congress Stephanie Herseth mentioned her FCA participation in an ad in May 2004. Former NFL punter Hansen is still on the SDFCA team; he must have been surprised as heck to walk into the SDFCA office at 1601 E. 69th Street in Sioux Falls and find his organization providing material support in the form of office space for a campaign announcement to a partisan candidate and allowing its logo to appear right next to that candidate’s banner and the candidate’s podium.

I wonder what we’ll hear first: Hansen disavowing any SDFCA support for Haugaard, of Governor Noem announcing an investigation of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ status as not merely a non-profit but as part of a recognized church?

Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 2019 Form 990 Schedule O, excerpt, retrieved from ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer 2021.11.17.
Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 2019 Form 990 Schedule O, excerpt, retrieved from ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer 2021.11.17.

I’m glad to see South Dakotans take a stand against Kristi Noem’s corruption and incompetence. I just recommend they take that stand not inside a non-profit office.

Update 2021.11.24 09:16 CST: While the FCA rug next to the podium may have been a careless improvisation to cover the mic wire, a much larger FCA logo appears on the floor in front of the podium, as shown in this screen cap from KSFY’s video:

KSFY, screen cap, 2021.11.17.
KSFY, screen cap, 2021.11.17, annotated by CAH/DFP.

Fellowship of Christian Athletes has yet to disavow its apparent hosting and endorsement of Haugaard’s partisan political campaign.


  1. I'm No Dr. Suess 2021-11-17

    I was excited to see that Kristi has an opponent..but then read he voted “no” to investigate Ravensborg. What?!

  2. ArloBlundt 2021-11-17

    Well…the Republicans are moving to the right, as far right as necessary to put the Governor on the defensive ….we’re going to be revisiting the transgender controversy and casting our Spanish speaking friends and neighbors as a threat and menace to “South Dakota Values”…The Governor will be portrayed as soft on mandates, a sympathizer with child porn loving billionaires, and a self serving plutocrat unworthy of our trust. She will fight back by promoting some similarly absurd far right positions. There is no limit to how far right these candidates will go.

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-17

    Arlo, will Haugaard thus create more room for Sutton, Heinert, Nesiba, et al. to run as the party of sanity? And will South Dakotans vote for sanity?

  4. Porter Lansing 2021-11-17

    NO, Cory. Sanity starts with S and that means socialism. I know this because the Brookville Bloggster says the opposite of business isn’t household. It’s socialism.

  5. Mark Anderson 2021-11-17

    Well conservative red states like South Dakota always suck at the teat of the federal government. They just don’t like it, it’s sour to them, but they don’t turn it down. With integrity you might turn down those billions from the feds in the infrasructure bill, but no of course not. Complain about socialism, but spend it nevertheless. Haggard would build those bridges and roads through sweat and determination, with it being payed for by California. Just never mention the truth.

  6. ArloBlundt 2021-11-17

    Cory..Yes, I think Democratic candidates have an opportunity to pick up more support from the general public and start building back the party. .I’m not a very good judge of the political leanings of the public at large as I am sympathetic to Democrats in general. This proclivity to the left came after 30 years of being a nominal Republican, but as they say, I’m tired of being trickled on. The Republican right loves to create chaos and controversy through “culture wars” while turning the country over to the whims of the extremely wealthy. Chaos, controversy, even violence are entertaining to many, the notion that civil war is imminent is the most disturbing trait of the far right and it is insane talk. Its a fantasy world that a limited, and I hope a non majority of folks will support at the polls.

  7. John 2021-11-18

    Haugaard is more of the same rightwingnuttiness. His ‘announcement’ at a Sioux Falls tv station whines on about vaccine mandates and other freedum nonsense. Small pox “vaccine mandate” George Washington’s rolling in his grave.

  8. Joe 2021-11-18

    When I attended SD Boys’ State back in the day, our self-selected group name was “The Fellowship of Heathen Athletes”

    Simpler, more innocent times …

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