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Haugaard Responds to Fury’s Lies with Call to Subpoena Noem and Peters on Nepotism; How About Venhuizen on the Stand?

Truth matters,” Governor Kristi Noem’s spokesboy Ian Fury shouted at every newspaper that would listen yesterday as he tried vainly to rebut the devastating testimony of fired Appraiser Certification Program director Sherry Bren, who made clear that the Governor’s daughter Kassidy Peters received special treatment in her struggle to obtain a lucrative certification to appraise real estate.

Today, the media breathlessly ran with a claim by Ms. Sherry Bren that there had never been a ‘stipulation agreement’ prior to Ms. Kassidy Peters’ case. The only problem? That claim was false. Worse, Ms. Bren uttered this false claim under oath. Worse yet, when given an opportunity to clarify, Ms. Bren doubled down on the falsehood [Ian Fury, email to media, in Michael Woodel, “Bren Testifies That Retirement Forced, Stipulation Agreement Unusual,” Pierre Capital Journal, 2021.12.14].

Fury is, as usual for Republicans, projecting his own sins. Fury and the Governor are lying about special third-try stipulation agreements issued by the Department of Labor being normal operating procedure. Senator Wayne Steinhauer (R-9/Hartford) carried that hot water at the GOAC hearing, waving a past stipulation agreement in our faces, but Bren explained to Steinhauer and the committee that the 2017 agree cited came from an appeal to the Office of Hearing Examiners, a normal process, not fiat from the Department of Labor, an abnormal process. Yet Fury doubled down on his lie.

Representative Steven Haugaard (R-10/Sioux Falls) doesn’t think Bren was lying. He takes her testimony seriously enough that he thinks his primary opponent Governor Noem herself and her daughter should testify “under oath” about Noem’s involvement in her daughter’s certification:

In light of today’s testimony from Sherry Bren, former head of the state appraiser’s program, state representative Steve Haugaard is calling for the Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee to subpoena Kristi Noem and Kassidy Peters to testify under oath as to the chain of events that led to Ms. Peters receiving her appraisers certification outside of normal procedures.

“In her testimony, Ms. Bren said that she was “intimidated” in her meeting with Governor Noem and her daughter at the Governor’s Residence,” said Haugaard. “She also testified that she could not recall an instance during her three-decades as executive director of the South Dakota Appraiser Certification Program that a struggling applicant received the opportunity to fulfill a “stipulation agreement,” which amounts to a third chance at getting their certification.”

Haugaard continued, “The intimidation of a public employee for the purposes of nepotism—in this case, special treatment for a family member—is a very serious charge. Ms. Bren’s testimony directly contradicts statements from Governor Noem and her spokesman. In light of this, I think it only appropriate that the Committee subpoena Governor Noem and her daughter to testify under oath as to what really took place at the Governor’s Residence, the actions of Marcia Hultman, and why Sherry Bren was forced out of the position she held for three decades. In the case of Ms. Bren, it appears that a serious miscarriage of justice has occurred, and I want to thank her for her courageous testimony today” [Steve Haugaard, campaign press release, 2021.12.14].

I suspect that, even under oath, Noem and Peters would just continue twisting the truth and whining that they are the victims of some vast conspiracy to wreck their careers.

You know whom GOAC should really subpoena? Tony Venhuizen. He was Noem’s chief of staff during the nepotism exerted to help Peters across the appraiser certification finish line. He was at the mansion for the meeting Noem called to intimidate Bren, and he has a sharp memory. Plus, he’s a smart lawyer, so he fully understands the consequences of lying under oath.

Sure, subpoena Noem and Peters. Challenge them to look GOAC in the eye and lie on the record with the Legislature. But then subpoena Venhuizen and get his account of the mansion meeting and whatever other discussions led the Governor had about getting favors for her beleaguered daughter.


  1. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-12-15 11:51

    This is idle, fruitless, and definitely off-the-topic speculation on my part, but I wonder what Ian Fury’s REAL name is. Surely no one associated with this squalid pack of jackals would use their given names.

  2. mike from iowa 2021-12-15 12:31

    Kurtz would likely know. I remember awhile back he mentioned Fury worked for some despicably deplorable magat congresscritter. I don’t remember which one. They are all despicably deplorable.

  3. Mark Anderson 2021-12-15 12:48

    Well you know issue 13 of Sgt. FURY and his Howling Commandos did star Captain America and Bucky. Maybe that shaped Fury. In the 60s, Fury became psychedelic as an agent of Shield drawn by Jim Steranko. That was a great series. This thingy with Noem is a very weak derivative. Trumpies totally ruin everything.

  4. Arlo Blundt 2021-12-15 12:54

    well…Haugaard definitely has an opening here. I don’t like his politics but I’m glad he’s around to punch some holes in Noem’s story telling. Given Bren’s partial information on the meeting there is plenty of incriminating information about just how blatant the Governor’s interference was in her daughter’s blighted certification. It is an outrage on several levels.

  5. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-12-15 16:06

    Wow. Thank you, gentlemen. I always get an education here and look “thangs” up when I’m not doing those pesky chores. Bonnie

  6. WillyNilly 2021-12-15 16:14

    What to do? What to do? Now that we are getting a clearer view of the actions of the governor, what shall we, the people of the state do? What are our options, what are the governor’s options? Clearly, as the facts are collected, she is not (and never was) the person to lead the state. So do we sit around and take verbal (written) shots at her on blogs or do we take action to remove her from office either by law or by election? Put our money where our mouth’s are? What to do?

  7. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-12-15 16:42

    WillyNilly. I feel the same as you. I am a huge fan of the French Revolution, but I’m sixty-five years old. I suggest an uprising of the peasants (like me) with nooses, guillotines, and outright slaughter.

  8. Mark Anderson 2021-12-15 16:46

    Well Willy-nilly, at least you let people know what she’s doing, it’s part of the record, I would say historical, trumpies would say hysterical. At least her face is only good for Mud Butte. Part of all of this is to keep the fawning trumpies from having all the say, its a way.

  9. Porter Lansing 2021-12-15 16:59

    This pub doesn’t hurt your Governor one bit. Her supporters don’t read or watch the news where this will be mentioned, in the slightest.

  10. jerry 2021-12-15 17:02

    Ian is a Jewish name for Yohanan. Fury was a horse, so this guy is a Jewish horse’s arse.

  11. mike from iowa 2021-12-15 18:06

    From the hit job Fury and South Duhkota’s magat party laid on Ms Bren today, the non-disparagement agreement must have only been valid one way. Misogynist much, cowards?

  12. Darrell Solberg 2021-12-23 15:24

    When a person tells the truth, they don’t have to remember what they said. When a person tells a lie, they must continue telling lies, so the even they begin to believe the lies!! We in South Dakota have a problem with Noem and her administration as they continually bend the truth!! It has become TRUTH DECAY!! Get those telling these lies to testify under oath, so the VOTERS of South Dakota wake up to the corruption that is so prevalent!!

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