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:
Banners and balloons—check. Grandkids in campaign swag—check. But what’s that on the floor…
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?
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:
Fellowship of Christian Athletes has yet to disavow its apparent hosting and endorsement of Haugaard’s partisan political campaign.