Republican gubernatorial candidate Steven Haugaard will be in the House tomorrow when the incumbent he is challenging, part-time Governor Kristi Noem, delivers her annual budget address. There will be no salving the grievous wound both Representative Haugaard and Governor Noem must feel at the prospect of having to spend hundreds of millions of dollars more in federal assistance. But Representative Haugaard suggests Governor Noem could balm our conservative agonies reimbursing us all for her mansion sauna:
Like many of her previous pricy purchases, the folks I’m hearing from are pretty steamed up about Governor Noem buying a sauna for herself at taxpayer expense. There’s no excuse for it.
Kristi Noem has spent enough of the taxpayer’s money on herself. I am calling on Governor Noem to pay back the taxpayers for this vanity purchase, as well as for the unknown costs of its installation. For someone who has raised over $10 million for her campaign, there is no reason why taxpayers should have to pay for these unnecessary expenses [Steven Haugaard, campaign press release, 2021.12.06].
Haugaard nipped at Noem’s luxury spending last week; Noem did not publicly respond, but Haugaard’s release suggests enough other people (volunteers? donors?) did to make him think that bone is still worth chewing. Given that Noem’s budget address is just a brief rest stop amidst her freshly resumed and surely spendy coast-to-coast campaign travels, I’d say Noem is keeping that bone plenty fresh.