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Noem’s Daughter Quits Appraising, Joins Labor Secretary in Smokescreen Attack on Press and GOAC

Sister Kennedy must need some help directing Mom’s campaign finances….

In a vituperative letter, Kassidy Peters, daughter of Governor Kristi Noem, announces to the Department of Labor and Regulation, Legislative leaders, and the public that she is quitting real estate appraisal and releasing the remediation plan the Department approved in August 2020 to help her complete her “long and difficult path” to appraiser certification. Seething with “disappointment and anger” at press for investigating her mom’s nepotism and at the Government Operations and Audit Committee for actually looking into the scandal, the second daughter of the most powerful woman in South Dakota plays the victim, blaming GOAC and the media for doing “irreparable damage” to her business and saying that she has “nothing left to fight for nor hide.”

Hmmm… maybe if Peters had studied harder in the first place, not complained to her mom, and not gotten involved in the star-chamber chewing out of the appraiser certification chief in July 2020, the media and GOAC wouldn’t have had anything to look into. But there I go again, suggesting that Republicans acknowledge personal responsibility….

Right after Peters sent her pouty letter and released her August 2020 remediation plan,  Department of Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman launched her own two-page attack on the press (two pages, ready to go—do you sense the coordination from Team Noem to change the narrative?). In a letter to Legislative Executive Board chairman Speaker Spencer Gosch and GOAC chairman Senator Kyle Schoenfish, Hultman says the press—specifically prime Noem target Stephen Groves of the Associated Press, who broke the story of Noem’s intervention in her daughter’s appraiser certification on September 27—has misrepresented her testimony to GOAC on October 28:

In the two weeks since my testimony, Associated Press reporter Stephen Groves has written news reports to give the impression I testified at the hearing that there was an agreement in place with Ms. Peters before the hearing. That is inaccurate and a false narrative created by Mr. Groves. My hearing testimony clearly demonstrates as much [DLR Sec. Marcia Hultman, letter to Speaker Spencer Gosch and Sen. Kyle Schoenfish, in Austin Goss, “Gov. Noem’s Daughter to Quit Appraisal Job, Training Agreement Turned Over,” KSFY, 2021.11.16].

Groves pulls out his notes and articles to check Team Noem’s distracting attack with, gosh darn it, facts:

Lawmakers were zeroing in on the timeline of a meeting Noem called last year that included Peters and key decision-makers in a government agency that had moved days earlier to deny her application for an upgrade to her appraiser certification.

…The Republican-dominated Government Operations and Audit Committee had requested the document to confirm what Hultman had told them last month — that state regulators had already decided to give Peters another chance to win her appraiser certification prior to the meeting in the governor’s mansion. Noem echoed that defense in a later news conference.

“The details of that agreement were discussed and in place prior to that meeting,” Hultman told lawmakers at the October meeting.

But the signed agreement with Peters is dated the week after the July 27, 2020 meeting.

…The AP has not reported that Hultman said the agreement was signed before the meeting. She told lawmakers in October that state regulators had worked out an agreement to allow Peters to seek further education and resubmit work samples to be reviewed for compliance with federal standards.

Hultman also told lawmakers she assumed that the former director of the Appraiser Certification Program, Sherry Bren, was part of the discussion to give Peters another opportunity to win her license.

However, the agreement with Peters was signed by another state employee, Amber Mulder, who was Bren’s supervisor. Mulder was also in the meeting with the governor last year [Stephen Groves, “Noem’s Daughter Says She’s Quitting Real Estate Business,” AP, 2021.11.17].

Secretary Hultman told GOAC on October 28 and repeated in her letter to Gosch and Schoenfish yesterday that there was an agreement “in place” before the July 27, 2020, meeting at the mansion. Groves isn’t creating any narrative; he’s simply reporting what Hultman said.

Hultman and Peters are kicking up this faux-fuss to distract the Legislature’s Executive Board and deter lawmakers from approving the subpoenas GOAC has asked permission to issue. GOAC’s subpoena for Peters’s remediation plan is indeed moot, as Peters has released it. But GOAC’s subpoena for the testimony of ousted appraiser certification chief Sherry Bren is the potentially far more revelatory call which Peters, Hultman, and Noem surely hope will not be issued. The Executive Board meets today and tomorrow, and GOAC chair Schoenfish is on today’s afternoon agenda to give his committee report. The Professional Appraisers Association of South Dakota is pressing for the Legislature to get all the facts about this troubling case, but the E-Board has a lot of good SDGOP soldiers, like DUI-recovering Senator Gary Cammack, close neighbor and chum to Noem’s Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden, who may sense the clear signal Team Noem is sending with the blame Peters is putting on GOAC (“I had hoped that the Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee (GOAC) would put a stop to this at their October 28 meeting, but instead it seems the questions won’t stop until every aspect of my long and difficult path to certification is made public…. After the GOAC has met again and taken the action they have taken, it is clear that none of this will stop until my reputation and that of my young family are destroyed.”) and seek to get the Legislature’s and the Governor’s blackening bacon out of the fire.

But don’t let this coordinated smokescreen make lose your nerve or your sight of the facts, E-Board. Governor Noem called the appraiser certification to an unusual meeting at her mansion with her daughter, her chief of staff, Secretary Hultman, and three lawyers to chew out the appraiser certification chief. Three months later, the administration told that appraiser chief to quit. That chief filed a discrimination complaint that the administration had to pay over $200,000 to settle and keep quiet.

Something really wrong happened there, and it wasn’t any destruction of the Governor’s daughter’s career. Sherry Bren’s career, the office she created and served, and possibly the entire real estate appraisal industry were damaged by the actions of the Noem Administration. We need to know what happened and who made it happen so we can hold accountable anyone who did wrong.

Related Smokescreen Whining: The Governor’s son-in-law Kyle Peters, a great beneficiary of SDGOP nepotism and cronyism himself, joins the pity party, posting his wife’s letter to his Twitter feed (and Mrs. Peters retweets it, thus making clear Mrs. Peters’s letter was no simple internal notice to the DLR but a carefully crafted campaign letter intended for a public audience) as further evidence of maleficent media:

Kyle Peters, Tweet with page 1 of Kassidy Peters's letter to DLR, 2021.11.16.
Kyle Peters, Tweet with page 1 of Kassidy Peters’s letter to DLR, 2021.11.16.
Kyle Peters, Tweet with page 2 of Kassidy Peters's letter to DLR, 2021.11.16.
Kyle Peters, Tweet with page 2 of Kassidy Peters’s letter to DLR, 2021.11.16.

Mr. Peters moans that the media is “after” his wife, who “put more time and effort into this than anyone even when the odds were not in her favor.” Hmm… saying Mrs. Peters worked harder than all the other appraisers in the state seems an unprovable and somewhat self-centered assertion that might not sit well with the other 453 appraisers on South Dakota’s roster who surely worked hard to earn their certifications and serve the public. Even if that claim is true, needing more time and effort to qualify for appraiser certification than any other appraiser might not actually speak to one’s merits. And what does Mr. Peters mean when he says the odds were not in Mrs. Peters’s favor? Is he saying she lacked the usual skills, training, and intelligence that it takes to become a real estate appraiser?

32 Comments

  1. Donald Pay 2021-11-17

    My guess is Bren was told that Peters would be given a mulligan, and so her participation, if any, in this plan was to carry out the Governor’s desires to give her daughter that second chance. That decision would have been sent down from the Governor through the chain of command. It makes sense that the plan was developed prior to the meeting, and the meeting served no purpose other than to bully Bren. Bullying is a big thing for Noem, and, even though the plan was largely developed before the meeting, Noem wouldn’t want to pass up a chance to try to humiliate someone. I doubt Bren got much of an option, or much say in whether this free pass was going to be given. She might have been involved in some details of how it could be done without making a complete joke of the Appraiser Certification Program.

    Noem should be impeached and removed from office.

  2. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-11-17

    I’m thinking she could probably get a job with her mommy.

  3. Eve Fisher 2021-11-17

    Well, the rumor is that Mrs. Peters flunked the exam 4 times, so she did put in “extra effort” – and failed each time she did. Mrs. Peters, Mr. Peters, and Gov. Noem all need to shut up and go home about this one, because it’s stunk like week-old fish from day one.

  4. jerry 2021-11-17

    Facts are stubborn for Hop a Long Kassidy. Good news though, Smithfield is hiring. Booyah

  5. Sh 2021-11-17

    Poor Kassidy playing the martyr. How about some empathy for the woman who was forced out of her job because you failed. I am so tried of hearing these poor me stories from people who want special treatment because they don’t make the grade. To sit back and think you did not get special treatment and that you have suffered because it came out your mommy was trying to bully people so you could get what you want is a sad statement on your character

  6. Loren 2021-11-17

    Awww, cue the violins! Thoughts and prayers. Life isn’t fair, especially ally for those of us who don’t have a Queen mama!

  7. mike from iowa 2021-11-17

    Kassidy meet Barstool Palin, another real estate appraiser cum victim of the media.
    Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

  8. buckobear 2021-11-17

    Since the ledge is thinking of impeaching jason, why not kristi. They can have a twofer.

  9. Vi Kingman 2021-11-17

    If she worked harder than anybody else and still could get her license tells me that she isn’t qualified.

  10. Bll Kennedy 2021-11-17

    Two old sayings come to mind.First is to Take one for the team”, and the second is to “Fall on your sword”. Let’s have some pity on poor Kassidy. Queen Kristi really has her t– in the wringer on this deal. Daughter is just trying to take some heat of her Mommy. A private meeting in the Governors mansion with the attendees being Kristi, Kassidy, Hultman, three( yes three!) state lawyers, and the sacrificial lamb – Ms. Bren. It would seem doubtful that this type of meeting would take place for the normal applicant who had failed a certification test or licensing test in South Dakota.

    And regarding something said in an earlier comment, Please don’t call Kristi a barrel racer – it insults all the fine ladies in the state who taking barrel racing seriously!

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

    Buck, I’d support that twofer, but the Special Session declaration authorizes impeachment discussion around killer Jason only. They’d need to muster two-thirds support from both chambers to open discussion of Noem impeachment… on which I’d love to hear Steven Haugaard’s position.

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

    Hmm… Eve, I wonder: does GOAC need to subpoena the copies of Peters’s exams to see a final passing score?

  13. Richard Schriever 2021-11-17

    The “odds are against” one in passing a proficiency exam? So – being qualified to do a job has nothing to do with actual knowledge, skills and abilities then Kyle? It’s all just a matter of “getting lucky”?

    The characterization of his wife putting in “more time and effort than anyone” is straight out of the Trumpist “greatest ever” rhetorical bible.

  14. DaveFN 2021-11-17

    This Governor Noem is a true bumpkin. She can’t follow the biblical injunction of 1 Thessalonians 5:22 to “Abstain from all appearance of evil” but does exactly the opposite.

  15. Guy 2021-11-17

    Noem claimed she was going to have the “most transparent administration”. Instead, she has done everything from refusing to be open during active investigations of her conduct, deflect instead of answer questions in a straight-forward manner, grandstand and play victim. Once again, this is classic from her: everyone else is to blame, from the media to the GOAC for her daughter’s “damaged career”. She campaigned that she was going to be transparent…then the Legislature called for transparency and somehow she’s turned it around and made everyone feel like they are the predators. The classic MANIPULATIVE trait of narcissist personality disorder is one who can bully and intimidate and then turn around and play the victim card when they’re called out on such behavior.

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

    I’m thinking about Guy’s observation about the narcissist/bullying psyche throwing blame and playing the victim. Peters’s claim that the media and GOAC “successfully destroyed my business” doesn’t make sense. Appraisers are in short supply in a hot real estate market. If an appraiser does solid work, the bankers aren’t going to cast that valuable professional aside because of some media uproar that so far is much more about the appraiser’s mom and has not produced any evidence that the appraiser has botched any appraisals. And heck, in deep red South Dakota, a decent appraiser with strong connections to the GOP establishment would likely enjoy all sorts of referrals from brownnosing players. Remember: Peters had already erased her appraiser website by the time the nepotism story broke at the end of September. It seems more plausible to say that the Republican Governor’s daughter’s own professional performance had more to do with the destruction—or, less dramatically and more likely, abandonment— of her business than the impact of any liberal media narrative in conservative South Dakota.

    An even simpler explanation could be that Peters just wants to spend time raising her new baby than doing a job that maybe she found she didn’t like that much. But with Mom under the gun, she can’t just walk away from the job; she has to turn the departure into a political opportunity to protect Mom from sagging approval and a primary challenge.

  17. Mark Anderson 2021-11-17

    Well it’s about as profound as an episode of Leave it to Beaver. Eddie cheated and got caught. Same Eddie reply too. Nobody believes he didn’t cheat except Eddie. Will Eddie ever learn?

  18. Porter Lansing 2021-11-17

    Covid Kristi’s spent a lot of column space bragging on herself as a mother, who instilled South Dakota values into her brood.

    “When the going gets tough and you’ve had just about enough.”

    “Be a quitter, not a bullshi**er.”

  19. ArloBlundt 2021-11-17

    Cory…you are so correct…what’s happened here is that the Governor and her daughter have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar…Ms. Peters has “turned in her licence” …a licence she received without meeting the basic requirements every other advanced appraiser candidate must pass…the requirements for Ms. Peters were adjusted and abridged in her favor, at the least, there is no evidence that she ever really passed any exam or met the requirements for a licence at any time. Through the use of blatant political influence and nepotism she secured a licence which would enable a talented individual to establish a professional business that can secure for a talented person a competitive income. Ms. Peters is not qualified for the licence because she does not have the talent and intellectual horsepower to be qualified for that licence….nobody has done irreparable damage to her reputation, young family, or business, except Ms. Peters, her mother, the Governor, and various spear carriers in the employ of the State of South Dakota.

  20. Guy 2021-11-17

    Very good observation, Cory! Straight out of college, I was actually in a working relationship, as the subordinate, where I had a superior who had played this game with me. It had a very exploitative and corrosive effect on my own psyche. Bosses who have this type of narcissistic personality disorder make the subordinate feel like they are the one’s losing their own minds. It’s a mentally abusive working relationship and when I heard what happened to Sherry Bren, I did take it a little personally because I’ve experienced work place abuse from a bullying boss.

  21. mike from iowa 2021-11-17

    Fruit of Noem’s loins is getting publicity from everywhere, except right wing media, as far as i can tell. WAPO weighed ion today, with AP, Dailey Beast and some Black Hills outfit, I forgot who it was.

  22. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-11-17

    The most distressing observation I have is Kristi’s spawn shall continue spawning and getting dumber, more priveleged, and narcissistic. Fortunately, I believe the sixth extinction shall occur before before too many generations occur.

  23. Scott 2021-11-17

    If this had happened to me, I would have taken the South Dakota exam again and asked that the exam be scored by an independent organization, to prove that I had truly passed the exam. I would go even further and apply in another state such as Minnesota to prove that I can get licensed in another state, a state that can not be influenced by my mom the governor.

    The actions of Ms. Peters and her statement yesterday do not reflect very favorably on Ms. Peters, her mother or her family.

  24. grudznick 2021-11-17

    Mr. Scott, I thought I read that young Ms. Peters exam was scored by some independent organization. Perhaps grudznick’s ears failed me but I thought that is what I heard. It matters not, my bank has a good old fellow who does appraisals for me and they usually get me up near the top of the list. Mainly because I send nice holiday cards.

  25. DaveFN 2021-11-17

    Ms. Peters would better be blaming Noem’s church for not transmitting Christian values to her mother if she’s looking for causation. “Abstain from all appearance….”

    Noem invokes systemic problems and claims the deck was stacked without evidence, yet valid claims of the same by CRT theorists applicable to entire populations escape her.

    Myopic, similar to claiming to look out after individual freedom without being able to operate from the standpoint of the greater collective good of public health during a pandemic.

  26. ArloBlundt 2021-11-17

    Grudz..yes, her tests were scored by people in another state to avoid any appearance of irregularity (according to Ms. Bren). She did not pass but was scheduled to take the tests again which is according to the rules she can take the tests several times…we don’t know if she took the tests again, if she passed or who scored those tests…that information was apparently included in her “plan” which the GOAC Committee has previously asked to subpoena but which must be approved by the Legislative Executive Committee….Secretary Hultman now says no subpoena or approval by the Executive Committee is necessary because Ms. Peters has “turned in her licence” and the whole matter needs to be flushed down the memory hole. I think that’s the correct information, the letter from Ms. Hultman has its share of double talk, as does Ms. Peters correspondence.

  27. mike from iowa 2021-11-18

    “I know as the governor’s daughter I am always going to be in the public eye,” she wrote. “I can’t stop these attacks, but I can choose whether to keep being hurt by the fallout.”

    Don’t be bitter, Toots. Sounds like you choose to be butt hurt.

  28. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-18

    I like Scott’s approach. Skill speaks for itself. Take the classes, pass the test, do the job well. Prove yourself.

    But as Arlo notes, ACP director Bren sent Peters’s scores to an out-of-state evaluator to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest and get an independent look. The Governor seems to have been unhappy that Bren took that action, as it appears to have delayed Peters’s certification. So it actually looks like Noem and Peters were counting on the local crew under Mom’s thumb to swiftly approve her application.

    Peters, Hultman, and Noem have yet to issue any statement on this matter that makes them look better.

  29. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-11-18

    mfi: I’ve clearly been living under a rock, because this is the first time I’ve seen the phrase “butt hurt” so I looked it up. BWA-hahahaha! Perfectomundo.
    BTW, who do you suppose ghost wrote her precious tantrum? Surely not her mom; she’s scarcely literate herself.

  30. mike from iowa 2021-11-18

    Ms Fairbank, likely Sarah Failin’s ghost writer on her blog.

    That particular term has been around awhile. Was connected to the word spanking, butt, I can’t seem to find an origin. Some people/blogs find it disgusting and will let you know.

  31. Aaron 2021-11-19

    Advice to Mr. and Mrs. Peters: chins up, buttercups. You both will look far more dignified that way.

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