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Noem-Sponsored Blog: Students Should Shun Haugaard for Opposing Handouts to Students

While part-time Governor Kristi Noem runs away to promote herself in Las Vegas and Pennsylvania, the Republican spin blog she sponsors fires some flak at her primary challenger, Representative Steven Haugaard.

After Noem’s spending on expensive rugs and a sauna for her 2019 move into the Governor’s mansion came to light Monday, candidate Haugaard criticized Noem’s mansion updates as part of a pattern of self-indulgent extravagance at taxpayer expense that belies her professed fiscal conservatism. On Twitter, Haugaard noted the SDSU Collegian‘s swift condemnation of Noem’s luxury purchases and followed up with a pitch to college students to work for his campaign.

Hoping we will ignore the core question—how can Kristi claim to be conservative when she spends so much of our money on herself?—Noem’s spin machine seizes on that last point and tries to impugn Haugaard for voting against 2021 Senate Bill 171, in which Noem and the SDGOP gave up years of resistance and finally approved a need-based college scholarship fund:

Unfortunately, Steve doesn’t feel the same way about putting them first to help them attend college….

And as you’ll note, he’s joined in his opposition to the needs based freedom scholarships was also joined by fellow candidate Taffy Howard.

Senate Bill 171 was to endow the scholarship with $50 million, an investment that has grown nearly four-fold, at $175 million and counting.

It’s one way the state is trying to keep top talent in the state, instead of forcing them to go elsewhere.

Interestingly, at the Lincoln County Lincoln Day Dinner as it was related to me, a number of College Republicans were fuming as Haugaard took them aside and was ‘steve-splaining’ why this scholarship was not something the state should do. It went over about as well as you think it would [Pat Powers, “Gubernatorial Candidate Haugaard Seeking College Students to Work on Campaign. After Opposing Need Based Scholarships to Help Them with College,” Dakota War College, 2021.12.03].

This response from Noem’s lackey, like most of Team Noem’s responses to honest criticism of the Governor, hilariously mismashes euphemism and self-contradiction.

  1. The core argument is that handouts to students are good and that students thus should not support any candidate who doesn’t offer them handouts. That position sounds like a clarion call from a Republican for all college students to sign up to campaign for Bernie Sanders.
  2. The last time we voted for Governor, Kristi Noem wasn’t saying anything about need-based scholarships. Democratic candidate Billie Sutton was the only one saying we needed to catch up with other states in spending state money to help low-income students pay for college. By the SDGOP spin blog’s own argument, the college students who helped the Noem campaign in 2018 were all misguided.
  3. Republicans for years resisted creating need-based college scholarships, leaving South Dakota as the last state to provide such assistance. If college students are to scorn Haugaard for his conservative vote against this year’s bill (which still relies largely on private funding—see #6—and lucky gimmick-surplus dollars, not full investment from our cheapskate Republican Legislature, and which won’t pay college students’ bills until next school year), are they also wise to avoid volunteering for the campaigns of Representatives Chris Karr, Rhonda Milstead, Tom Pischke, Bethany Soye, and Speaker Spencer Gosch, who voted with Haugaard against this year’s scholarship bill? Should college students abandon Senators Greenfield, Duhamel, Bolin, and Novstrup for abandoning a need-based scholarship plan in 2020? Should young volunteers shun Reps. Jon Hansen and Fred Deutsch, who resisted a scholarship bill in 2019? Does this argument exist now as an overarching principle or merely an excuse of the moment to defend the party’s Snow Queen by distraction?
  4. The spin blog says College Republicans were “fuming” over Rep. Haugaard’s explanation of his opposition to giving them more handouts. Again, that makes the College Republicans sound like the free-college Sandersnistas whom the Republicans usually ridicule.
  5. Instead of addressing Haugaard’s argument, the SDGOP spin blog tries to dismiss his argument as “steve-splaining.” Co-opting an originally feminist term reeks enough of smirking Republican hypocrisy. But the intellectually lazy notion that you can dismiss an argument simply by putting your target’s name on it carries shades of the cancel culture that Republicans usually cry about. Can we dismiss everything the SDGOP spin blog publishes as “Pat-splaining”? Can we dismiss all the excuses the Governor’s spokesboy puts out as “Fury-splaining?” If that were the case, why would I bother writing 800-word blog posts? Governor Noem issues another press release—Pish-tosh! Kristi-splaining!
  6. The “investment” (notice how Republicans, too, can use “investment” to refer to big government spending they like) has not “grown”. The state is pledging $50 million to match the much larger private dollars that led the way to the creation of this scholarship fund.

If the SDGOP spin blog wants to argue that college students should not volunteer for candidates who don’t support students and higher education in general, that’s fine. But the logical conclusion for student’s taking that advice is to run from any South Dakota Republican candidate and sign on to carry petitions, placards, and parade candy for Democrats.

Or at the very least, if students are going to stick with Kristi, they should at least demand a nice rug and a sauna for the dorm.


  1. grudznick 2021-12-05 09:26

    Warning, young college children: Do not let Mr. Haugaard’s ‘stache tickle your ears when he ‘splains stuff to you.

  2. Mark Anderson 2021-12-05 10:14

    Well Cory, Republicans believe they are the tops so why help the bottom. It’s a penetrating analysis.

  3. Porter Lansing 2021-12-05 11:09

    No ‘splaining necessary.
    The majority of South Dakota voters are “mean spirited” and proud to be that way.
    Move to Minnesota, young minds, before the vortex of hate sucks you in, too.

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

    Noem better save some money for flowers, Bob Dole bit the dust @ 98 today.

  5. Porter Lansing 2021-12-05 13:12

    “South Dakota has a history of being clear that white lives matter. I don’t think they yet value what the concept of diversity means beyond the political rhetoric they see.” – Bruce King (USD’s inaugural diversity officer back in 2005)
    – Gov. Kristi Noem announced, via governor’s executive order in August, that public college campus diversity centers — which she accused of “advancing leftist agendas” — would be “replaced” by “opportunity centers.
    – My observation reveals that to SD’s majority, the support of diversity exposes the low self-esteem of white people labeling themselves “the REAL victim” and anyone that looks and acts differently than the majority does.
    – Of course, the “will of the whites” is allowed to stand on the necks and stifle the lives of Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

  6. Arlo Blundt 2021-12-05 13:20

    Well…Governor Noem and her well paid “splainers” have not much to explain…the Republican majority agreed on the format for another corporate and wealthy individual tax break. period. By the way, the bill provides some funding for very limited needs based scholarship, not much but it will do, and what do you expect from Republicans. Its a wasteland.

  7. jerry 2021-12-05 14:08

    “– Of course, the “will of the whites” is allowed to stand on the necks and stifle the lives of Black, Indigenous, and people of color.” You seem to have forgotten the new, old ones on the list, women. Yepper, women folk, starting with girls and working it’s way up, will now break all the color codes for being stood upon on their very necks.

    White male republicans and bigots of all sorts now, have figured out that women are the true enemy. Women must be shelved and only be trotted out to be kid carriers, nothing more. We need cannon fodder along with day labor, so pump them beings out.

    Of course, there will be Judas Goats like NOem who will make women believe that they matter. Truth is Women don’t matter, one look at what the Supreme Court is gonna do and it’s clear. Hag will make it clear as well. Why would women trust a woman who has constantly tried to screw them? Hag will step up and be just like Trump, grab them by the _______y, seems to be how you win a primary.

    “Truly one of the most disturbing things I’ve witnessed in a long time. A Congressman (Madison Cawthorn (R) with a girly name), in a bid to overturn Roe V Wade and deny American women reproductive rights. Publicly referred to them as “Earthen vessels, sanctified by Almighty God.” Give me strength.

  8. Porter Lansing 2021-12-05 15:30

    Right, Jerry. Very on point. And, we can’t forget how Democratic Party women treated Hillary Clinton. Not any different than Republican women treated her. Same with Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. I did several research projects on why women can’t stand to see another woman succeed. It’s psychologically ingrained and beyond most women’s ability to stop.
    But, it seems, and who can blame her, Kristi Noem will do and say anything to get free trips (paid for by your taxes) out of South Dakota. She really doesn’t like it there. A couple years in Washington, DC and she’s “off the farm” for good. There must be a record of how much more time she’s spent away from her job than any other SD governor in history.

  9. Mark Anderson 2021-12-05 16:22

    Well Porter, I saw a great cartoon today with two young kids walking to school and one said to the other “I wish parents would get as upset about school shootings as they do about Critical Race Theory” I thought it was spot on.

  10. jerry 2021-12-05 16:39

    Luckily NOem has a man running things while she’s away, right? Hag can very easily run on that as well and he has the receipts to prove it without really saying it out loud. Middle school white republican politicos know how the mean girl system works, they created it. Hag doesn’t even need to be clever about it. How can NOem defend her argument to students when she is absent without excuse. Detention and no soup for you, NOem. Hard for students to not believe what their eyes are telling them.

    I don’t blame women for being jealous of one another as it looks to have been browbeaten into them as girls. As an example, how many years did it take for Title IX to come into being and how many years has it been disparaged?

    Democrats should be ringing the alarms and banging the drums to show support of women right now. With the exception of Cory and this blog, it’s pretty damn quite on the western front.

  11. grudznick 2021-12-05 16:53

    Mr. Rhoden steers a steady course.

  12. Porter Lansing 2021-12-05 17:12

    @ Jerry – I don’t blame white women, either. That’s the kind of childish snark grudznick has a corral full of. USA’s FLOTUS is an example of how Joe Biden treats ladies, unlike the rancid pig who was his predecessor. White women voted for Trump over Hillary and white women voted for Trump over Biden. It was black women who won the last election, plain and simple.

  13. grudznick 2021-12-05 17:16

    Stop showing your hate for white women, Mr. Lansing. The only reason they hate back is because of sloppy table service at your diner, so stop pissing off 35% of the population in Colorado.

  14. jerry 2021-12-05 17:40

    The sooner ALL women unite for their own well being, the better off the country will be. The Hag could beat NOem at her own medicine if he has a good manager to steer primary voters in the right direction. Maybe an old school nod to the Big Lebowski “NOem’s rug does not tie the room together” or maybe they should simply ask why NOem doesn’t have the power to bring those “handouts” to them? Maybe Hag should put that on the table, if elected, he would do exactly that. Could get a lot of crossover undecided voters.

  15. grudznick 2021-12-05 17:45

    Mr. Haugaard, called The Hag by some, forbid women to wear skirts above their knees and required hose, of the panty-hose style, the year he got sued for being a snuffelupagus. The Hag has a tough row to hoe, with women of all ilks.

  16. larry kurtz 2021-12-05 17:48

    Let’s be clear: Mr. Haugaard is a tick on the dog that whines before every late feeding. Pat Powers is the parasite feeding on that tick.

  17. jerry 2021-12-05 18:15

    The Hag can overcome that skirt thingy quite easily with his usual misogyny and by showing that men are the ones who are in control of the levers of power in Pierre, so who the hell needs her. His proof is NOem’s frequent trips of no consequence out of the state. It really would be a reverse gender Daschle campaign of out of touch lack of leadership. Also, toss in Cory Lewandowski in the mix and well, innuendo is everything.

    The real kicker for the Hag would be to make the promise to students, that would get results.

  18. DaveFN 2021-12-05 18:25

    If anything is forcing students out of the state it’s the poor employment prospects in this state after they graduate.

    The logical conclusion some will come to, however perverse such a conclusion may be, is that SD university graduates are over-educated for the jobs this state affords them. Hence, turn the crank and out pops an equally perverse solution: dumb down the quality of education SD university graduates receive as well as critical thinking about diversity to make the graduates more “job appropriate” for this state.

    Noem and her daughter’s appraisal licensing fiasco is symptomatic of this kind of dumbing-down. Noem’s intrusion into university diversity offices is symptomatic of her resentment an unfamiliarity with critical thinking and just what it means.

  19. grudznick 2021-12-05 18:28

    Mr. Haugaard, called The Hag by some, will have a lot of misogyny to overcome. At least he has no concerns of sexual improprieties to worry about. Mr. Haugaard, called The Hag by some, is squeaky church-going clean. Pay no mind to the ‘stache.

  20. Porter Lansing 2021-12-05 18:45

    Got your goat, grudznick. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  21. Bob Newland 2021-12-05 19:19

    So we have a rotten squash running for the office now held by a blighted potato. That either of these diseased vegetables can attract supporters smart enough to tie their own shoes is dismaying, to put it politely.

  22. Sion G. Hanson 2021-12-05 19:39

    What Bob said!

  23. grudznick 2021-12-05 19:55

    You still don’t understand the game, Mr. Lansing.

  24. Amy B. 2021-12-05 20:52

    Kristi and crew’s ‘Noem-splaining’ all the issues these days is becoming more ignorant and obtuse. Then her cheerleaders parrot her words… sometimes trying to set their version of facts straights makes my head hurt.

  25. Mark Anderson 2021-12-05 22:21

    Grudz likes Noem because she’s the Barbi Benton of right wing politics, what else is there? Expressing intelligence isn’t hatred Grudz, you should try it after breakfast.

  26. V 2021-12-06 06:06

    What’s real sad is that South Dakota finally elected a female governor, but instead we ended up with a blighted potato. (Thanks Bob)

  27. Laurie 2021-12-06 07:55

    “Noem-splaining.” I like that.

  28. Porter Lansing 2021-12-06 07:57

    Political incumbents get an unfair advantage from rules that let them hoard cash beyond a single election cycle.

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