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Haugaard: Noem Should Reimburse Taxpayers for Sauna

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.


  1. grudznick 2021-12-06 19:44

    What if this new budget Governor Noem is going to unleash includes more gold plated sinks in the chambers of the legislatures, and perhaps a sauna in every office in the Capitol? They have gold plated sinks, you know. Or a gym in the basement of the legislatures chambers, where Mr. Haugaard could beef up his curling muscles? What if, as a stick in the eye, Ms. Noem says “And I am putting into the budget what the Speaker requested…a sauna and a wet bar stocked with the fancy tea…which will be installed within the Speaker’s office where he can invite any past Speaker to join him.”?

  2. Donald Pay 2021-12-06 20:50

    Grudz, I don’t remember any gold-plated sinks in the bathrooms. I remember some brass hardware, but nothing gold-plated. There may have been some gold-plated stuff in the Legislative Chambers. I remember they restored the Capitol Building in the 1980s and tried to match what was there when it was originally built. If there were some gold-plated hardware in the chambers, it was there in the original building.

  3. Donald Pay 2021-12-06 20:57

    Here is a little booklet describing the Capitol Building and its restoration. There is no mention of gold-plated anything that I could see, Grudz.

  4. grudznick 2021-12-06 21:14

    Of course they don’t promote it, Mr. Pay, but you may want to check out old bloggings related to an old law bill that stoked the fancy of the legislatures.

    It is known there are gold plated drinking fountains. Mr. H can confirm when he live-blogs from the speeches soon.

  5. Donald Pay 2021-12-06 21:47

    Nothing about “gold-plated” anything in that bill, Grudz. Do you have the as-built specs to prove your contention?

  6. Arlo Blundt 2021-12-06 22:09

    Grudz…no gold plated anything in the Capitol building…before restoration, the restrooms were right out of the 1920’s. The Governor is a big spender, it’s one of the things she does well, spend cash. There appears to be little, if any, legislative oversight. Not always that way….I remember Bill Janklow buying, from his pocket, a length of conduit in a local hardware store to repair his garage door, or so he said…just like any other Pierre resident. Those days appear long gone.

  7. jerry 2021-12-06 22:29

    The Hag needs to stay on track with all of this. The Nag may buck back a little, but this is a good beginning to hold her accountable. No one has done that since she has been governor.

  8. Tom 2021-12-06 22:43

    Geezzzz, I used to work in the capitol building…when Dick Kneip was the man…he never asked for a sauna, just did his job and stayed in town. Methinkss I would go blind if I saw Kristi emerge from a cloud of ‘replulikan cloth coat ‘steam….mmmmmmmm…Kristi…in a fog….

  9. Nick Nemec 2021-12-07 06:17

    All that glitters is not gold and that second floor marble staircase isn’t going to heaven.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-12-07 07:14

    I agree, Jerry. Haugaard should keep shouting about this issue right through the spring, when voters will be paying attention. The sauna is billboard material.

  11. Donald Pay 2021-12-07 08:49

    The sauna was put there to solve the anger management problems of the current Governor. An hour of steamy sex with Lewandowski kept a lot of people from being the butt of her bullying. What she does in that sauna is, of course, her bidness, but it is probably much cheaper than her weekend booty call excursions at taxpayer expense. I’d just let the sauna go. After a good sanitizing to clear Lewandoski’s stank out there and Haugaard and his good Christian church ladies can have a go at it.

  12. Mark Anderson 2021-12-07 16:14

    Well again you do have to ask how things are done. I worked assembling and designing a book for the state. I worked with five geeks from a small college in Illinois who used COMPUTERS. This was in 1976, Kneip Era. I used to get at most 3 pages a day done. You could get the entire book done in a couple of days now. They couldn’t finish anything other than the main text, like typing. Their was no printer. All headlines, etc had to be done at a separate facility, I used to walk to and wait for the text and glue everything onto the page when I got back. This was for the state planning bureau of all things. I used to line things up that matched my politics, like putting information from the reservations on the page opposite the cities. I never saw a gold plated trump toilet in the entire building.

  13. Arlo Blundt 2021-12-07 19:52

    Mark—worked across the way from you in ’76 and, yes, government operations were primitive…electric typewriters were a big deal. There was a typing pool as each section had two or three gals who typed up all reports and correspondence.We submitted drafts to them in long hand…the gals made multiple copies with carbon paper. The “State Computer” was located in the basement of the Highway building as I recall and it was hooked up to the “big computer” at the University…everything ran on Fortran or whatever it was called…thousands of cards. The whole system was a laughingstock of obsolescence then and it was maintained until the mid-eighties. Desk top computers didn’t become common until the 90’s as I recall. Government ground along, and things got done….state employees took a good deal of pride in their jobs, the political people were lost in space, confused and distraught.

  14. RST Tribal Member 2021-12-07 20:29

    The only fake plating in that dome building, housing drunks and killers, without an interstate highway near by is the collection of dimwits inbred Republicans. The stink of the place has miss fancy pants wanting to relax her bones with friends and “close friendly friends”, thank you sales tax payers.

    The handouts from the feds are keeping the state in low taxes, marginal service with wide open spaces topped by big belt buckles along turn the lights off faces.

    Miss fancy pants will be hard core campaigning throughout the U.S. for the governorship of South Dakota. Maybe she seen the report telling the best and brightest are heading out of state for better tomorrows. But, are leaving behind family and less able friends. The fancy pants candidate probably thinks calls home will happen after hearing her brag on the rally or criminal funds on a ledger in eastern South Dakota or the state’s freedom to catch the virus or its mutations. Ha, the virus is like the inbred Republicans, in that, the longer they are around the more deadly they become without a suitable antidote or retribution.

    The campaigning has started. 45 has a solid grip on the you know what he likes to grab; will she challenge the RINO or stay warm in the sauna until 2024? The redistribution of voters could be heading to the courts in the coming months as the sparrow plot could be a short distance jumping around kinda creature that was frankenstein together by the inbred fools. 2022 should be a challenge with all the dangerous mutations going around be it politicians or virus.

  15. grudznick 2021-12-07 21:17

    You fellows sure got all offended by the gold plated drinking fountain put in by Republicans. grudznick got your goat with truth. I go to the bed with my tummy all tickled with glee. Your goats are all belong to grudznick, and your tax dollars bought Mr. Haguaard a gold fountain and Mr. Nelson a fine new bathroom to hide in.

    You can’t be a libbie and defend that stuff, so all of you all need to square your own selfs away.

  16. Porter Lansing 2021-12-07 21:20

    Noem vs Pence vs Cruz vs DeSantis vs Boebert vs Haley vs Pompeo vs Scott vs Cotton on a national debate stage?

    Bless her l’il pea pickin’ heart …

  17. grudznick 2021-12-07 21:36

    Mr. Haugaard may vault onto that stage. He aspires. His ‘stache twitches with aspiring.

  18. jerry 2021-12-07 23:40

    The Hag has got so much material to work with on the Nag, where to continue. The Hag could go for the recent corruption of her daughters foray into the appraiser business. The old payola scheme. 200 thousand dollars! Blare that out for a couple of weeks and even the hard to reach would get the gist. Corruption!! Money!!! The Hag may have to get an out of state printer to make those glossy postcards though. The Nag has some outreach. Pretty cheap though once you get going, bonus the Hag has the same list as the Nag, so there is that.

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