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Noem Loses Fourth Chief of Staff

Maybe Team Noem’s remediation plan is another staff shake-up. Or maybe Kristi Noem just can’t stand having a smart South Dakotan as her chief of staff.

For the fifth time in three years, Governor Kristi Noem is looking for a chief of staff.

Noem’s first chief of staff, Herb Jones, did the job for nine months. Chief of staff #2, longtime staffer Joshua Shields, lasted only three months. One of the smartest Republicans in South Dakota, Tony Venhuizen, spent a year trying to keep Noem on track (during which effort he was the chief of staff in the room at the Noem family chewing-out of appraisal chief Sherry Bren) before returning to private practice and the Board of Regents last spring. Worldly Aaron Scheibe took the job May 1. And now, less than six months later, Scheibe’s out—well, not all the way out, but kinda out:

…Scheibe will stay on with the office as a legislative consultant, specifically helping shepherd American Rescue Plan funding through the state legislature, Noem’s spokesperson Ian Fury confirmed Friday.

Mark Miller, who has acted as general counsel for the Governor’s office for over a year, will serve as interim chief of staff [Austin Goss, “Noem Shakes Up Staff; Chief of Staff to Depart,” KSFY, 2021.11.19].

Scheibe has managed to keep his name out of the headlines; Miller has spoken up as part of the Team Noem smokescreen against her latest nepotism scandal. Miller is also one of the out-of-state politicos with whom Noem has surrounded herself in apparent focus on her bid for national attention.

So if you’re looking to pad your political résumé, do you apply to be chief of staff or fill Miller’s counsel position… or, especially if you’re a South Dakotan, do you look for a job more likely to last?


  1. larry kurtz 2021-11-19 17:57

    Maybe she’s just a poor judge of character, a lousy executive who impossible to work for or worse.

  2. buckobear 2021-11-19 18:09

    Interviews will be held at Merde-a-Largo.

  3. Porter Lansing 2021-11-19 18:48

    “YOU’RE FIRED!!”

    Sound familiar?

  4. grudznick 2021-11-19 19:41

    grudznick is trying to get some “Hillary Victory” funding for a couple of projects. Do you fellows know who I should talk to?

  5. ArloBlundt 2021-11-19 20:07

    Well…the Governor is seeking perfection and there is a big broad country out there in which to search….maybe next, she’ll go global.

  6. DaveFN 2021-11-19 20:14

    “Remediation plan” or is it an “agreed disposition” or is it a “stipulation agreement”?

    [I sense the latter term is to Noem’s liking if not her suggestion when it came to her daughter’s appraiser failure to deflect any polysemy inherent in the terms “remediation” and “agreed.”]

  7. lrads1 2021-11-19 20:15

    The budget is where the power is. Jeff Partridge, former legislator and appropriator from RC is the new budget director. Check out his age and occupation and compare it to normal people’s retirement age… This is a man who doesn’t need to worry about making a living…all he needs to worry about is getting along with the boss, and he’s free to roam in this unprecedented age of COVID federal money Worse things could happen to this state.

  8. jerry 2021-11-19 20:33

    Looks like the job doesn’t require intelligence, so Kassidy seems like a logical choice to be with ma NOem.

  9. John 2021-11-19 20:38

    Larry’s spot on, again. Fewer things signal a part time governor’s lack of judgment and incompetence than hiring 5 chiefs of staff in one term. Hiring lawyers, to boot is ridiculous. Lawyers have zero training (and often almost no experience) in leading large, complex organizations – every day is on-the-job-training. Send in the amateurs.

  10. jerry 2021-11-19 20:40

    Jeff Partridge is tall, that’s all. On a plus note, a Partridge can fly fast and are from Hungary, a former Soviet Union satellite country.

  11. lrads1 2021-11-19 21:09

    Jeff Partridge also has a commanding voice…perhaps it belies a commanding intellect…a bit too soon to tell, though the JCA (public) performances were encouraging.

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

    Kenosha Killer Kyle is currently between engagements and is locked and loaded. Corey Lewdandlusty is still likely in need of a job and is familiar with Noem’s pecadilloes.

  13. Lottie 2021-11-20 01:17

    What about the Donald? He seems to be job hunting.

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-20 07:21

    Lottie, that would be a brilliant PR stunt. Donald would be perfect for responding to accusations of corruption and misconduct with complete distractionary bluster and bullying.

    But Donald has never worked for anybody, including the voters. He’d never take an underling position. He’d demand that Noem appoint him Lt. Gov., step down, and allow him to take over.

    But even then, he’d never move to Pierre.

    Maybe the logical hire would be Ivanka.

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-20 07:53

    Lewandowski could use gainful employment. He’d be a perfect fir for chief of staff for Kristi, given her focus on campaigning over governing.

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-20 07:54

    Mark MIller gave a speech in 2017 warning that the deep state was working against Trump. That’s the kind of nut Noem has picked to set her daily agenda.

  17. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-20 07:57

    A bio provided for his 2017 speech to the Property Rights Foundation of America says that New Jersey-born and -raised Miller “learned to fight for justice from his two grandfathers” who “taught Mark to believe in the greatness of our country but also to keep its government honest.” I’m not sure he’s done a great job so far of keeping South Dakota’s government honest.

  18. Mark Anderson 2021-11-20 08:02

    You could talk to Biden grudz, he’s funding South Dakota these days.

  19. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-20 08:07

    In April 2020, Miller told KDOV-TV that the Founding Fathers were familiar with the power governments have to order quarantines to prevent the spread of disease and said that, while the President might not have the authority to order a nationwide quarantine to stop the spread of coronavirus, the Constitution, particularly the Tenth Amendment, implicitly recognizes the states’ police powers to order quarantines.

  20. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-20 08:12

    Miller laid out the case for the states’ legitimate use of quarantine to protect public health in this April 9, 2020, essay:

    The most significant early decision from the U.S. Supreme Court to mention the state power to quarantine occurs in an 1824 case known as Gibbons v. Ogden. Considered a landmark decision on the federal power to regulate commerce on the interstate waters, Chief Justice John Marshall — our greatest chief justice; the competition is only for second — explained that one of the powers the state possessed was the power to quarantine.

    This was not controversial; as Marshall put it, the power to quarantine was seen as a power “flowing from the acknowledged power of a State to provide for the health of its citizens.”

    The Supreme Court’s most direct comment on the power to quarantine arose in Compagnie Francaise de Navigation a Vapeur v. Louisiana Board of Health —a case from Louisiana, when the court considered a broad quarantine order — not unlike some of the quarantine orders our state leaders have considered over the last few weeks.

    Louisiana had faced outbreaks of Yellow Fever two out of every three summers throughout the 19th century, leading to a very aggressive state stance on the power to quarantine. The order the court considered read: “hereafter in the case of any town, city, or parish of Louisiana being declared in quarantine, no body or bodies of people, immigrants, soldiers, or others shall be allowed to enter said town, city, or parish so long as said quarantine shall exist.”

    The Supreme Court, by a vote of 7-2, approved that order as constitutional when it was challenged by individuals who attempted to enter the state on a ship from Italy. Even though there was no evidence of symptoms of the fever or other disease on board, the court held that a state was justified to keep people out in order to protect the citizens of the state; that to do so did not violate the U.S. Constitution [Mark Miller, “Are Quarantine Orders Constitutional?Inside Sources, 2020.04.09].

    Perhaps Noem’s conservative opponents will pick up on the fact that she has named an outsider who supports lockdowns to be her closest advisor….

  21. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-20 08:19

    Keeping government honest is less important to Miller and Noem than keeping the identity of big donors working to influence government secret:

    A watchdog group says legislation presented by Gov. Kristi Noem as a nonprofit protection effort could hide political contributions.

    Noem sent her lawyer, Mark Miller, to testify on the bill during legislative committee hearings.

    “What is this bill about? It’s really about the American way of life,” Miller told a House committee.

    …There are a handful of lawmakers who oppose Noem’s bill. Democratic State Rep. Ryan Cwach, of Yankton, is one of them.

    “We expect accountability and we expect transparency from our government,” Cwach said, “and so the idea that we want to try and keep how people are influencing our government anonymous goes against the whole bedrock of our society.”

    …The man who testified on the bill for Noem – her general counsel, Mark Miller – started working for the governor in October. Prior to that, he worked in Florida for the Pacific Legal Foundation, which works to keep nonprofit donor information private [Seth Tupper, “Nonprofit Privacy Legislation Could hide Political Donors, Watchdog Group Says,” SDPB, 2021.02.10].

  22. ArloBlundt 2021-11-20 12:54

    Well…I think the Governor will task Miller with stopping embarrassing leaks to certain reporters…she fears her own “deep state”.

  23. Jake 2021-11-20 13:19

    Secrecy in government-that’s where it’s all at in this state (and some others). Check out the editorial in today’s Rapid City Journal; one of the best, most progressive editorials I’ve seen from this normally, deep Red, mostly right of center paper. The Journal had to pay $124 to the city to see the compilation of how many city employees partook of the offer to be paid over $100 to get a Covid shot, even after getting a bonus under Covid funds for working during the pandemic. Then, to add to this sin, the city charged them state and city sales tax on it: them checking on the use of our tax dolllars!
    Being able to hide who yur donors are is very important to a Republican party that has lost the popular vote in so many national presidential elections (the GOP has won only ONE in the last eight).
    They have adopted the frame of mind that the ony way they’re SURE to win such, is to cheat. Hence the 160+ new state laws restricting the right to vote-especially in RED states.
    This bill of Noem’s is to enabe them further in their cheating efforts….

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