Kristi Noem lost her shooting range; now Kristi’s Custer campground is going to flop.
In another blow to the Governor’s failing agenda, House Agriculture and Natural Resources vice-chair Representative Charlie Hoffman (R-23/Eureka) told KELO-TV over the weekend that House Bill 1048, the Governor’s controversial proposal to plow up scenic Barnes Canyon and lay 175 new RV state campsites, has stirred “negativity from all walks of life in South Dakota” that makes him “highly doubt” that the plan will make it out of his committee. Hoffman used even stronger language in describing HB 1048’s chances in the newspaper:
And while just last week, Republican leadership from both the House and Senate said they’re backing House Bill 1048, members of the House Ag and Natural Resources Committee where it’s set to be heard say the bill is dead on arrival.
“It’s going down in flames in committee,” said Rep. Charlie Hoffman, R-Eureka.
The vice chairman of House Ag and Natural Resources, Hoffman said he and the rest of the committee have been inundated with constituent outreach regarding the project, and all but one email he’s received urged rejection of HB 1048 [Joe Sneve, “Gov. Kristi Noem’s $10 Million Custer State Park Campground Project ‘Going Down in Flames’,” Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 2022.01.25].
Rep. Hoffman’s fellow House AgNR member Rep. Tim Goodwin (R-30/Sheridan Lake) was telling the press last week that expanding Custer State Park’s camping capacity would boost local business with “trickle down” economics from increased park visitors. But Goodwin is hearing the people speak:
“My position is to represent the citizens of my district and with 1,000 (plus) vote ‘no’ emails and one ‘vote yes’ email, I will vote to present my constituents with a no vote,” Goodwin wrote in his latest weekly report to constituents [Sneve, 2022.01.25].
Remember: HB 1048’s campground expansion is our Republican Governor’s bill. Hoffman and Goodwin are Republican Representatives say they are hearing from the Republican constituents who elected them that this Republican plan is a bad idea.
But hey, since the Governor spends most of her time pandering to her national Presidential primary base from her taxpayer-funded private video bunker and on her splashy trips to Las Vegas, it’s no wonder that she’s out of touch with her own Republican caucus and voters back in South Dakota. It appears the Governor needs to spend less time on Fox, on her plane, and in her sauna and more time at her desk working on legislation her constituents want.
Now Noem could still realize her Black Hills policy agenda is collapsing, take an interest, and try salvaging her Custer State Park campground expansion. House Agriculture and Natural Resources has not placed HB 1048 on this week’s agenda, so there’s still time for lobbying from the Second Floor.
But voters, take note: your feedback can sway your legislators, especially when the Second Floor has been vacated by an executive more focused on getting national attention than votes in the Capitol. Keep those cards and emails coming to Charlie, Tim, and the rest of the Legislature!