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Fake “Institute” Promises to Spend Millions Spreading Propaganda for Noem

Here’s a curious new channel for propaganda and dark money on Kristi Noem’s behalf. Rob Burgess is launching something—political action committee? 501(c)3 non-profit? blog?—that he calls the “Dakota Institute for Legislative Solutions” to “Support Noem Agenda.” And he claims he has $2.3 million to spend on this misinformation:

The Institute was formed to advocate for issues, educate citizens on how their representatives vote on critical issues, frame the debate to advance conservative principles and generate support for Governor Noem’s agenda.

“South Dakota has record setting momentum on so many fronts, with the number one economy in the nation and the second lowest unemployment rate. People are flocking to South Dakota because it’s a beacon for personal liberty and freedom,” Burgess said.

“Unfortunately there are politicians who want to block and even reverse all that progress. Dakota Institute for Legislative Solutions was formed to get the truth out to South Dakotans. Right now we have a budget of $800,000 for this calendar year with an additional $1.5M for the next two years following,” Burgess added.

Among other issues, the Institute will focus on educating citizens on the dangers of Critical Race Theory in our schools, economic prosperity, cutting taxes, encouraging business growth and innovation, supporting farmers and ranchers and providing opportunity for all South Dakotans [Rob Burgess, press release, Dakota Institute for Legislative Solutions, 2022.03.07].

$800,000 for this election year? Hmmm, where might that cash have come from? We’ll want to watch Noem’s pre-primary campaign finance report carefully.

It is funny that any pro-Noem group would claim to be for “Legislative Solutions” when Noem has proven to be such a spectacular failure at moving her legislation through our Republican Legislature. But that’s how Republican Newspeak works: say the exact opposite of what you are doing, say it over and over with millions of dollars, and hope your expensive words manufacture your own alternative reality.

There may be multiple Rob Burgesses out there, but one Rob Burgess directed communications for the South Dakota Republican Party in 2014. Rob Burgess is also a Las Vegas-based political consultant managing dreamy gun-toting Bo Hines’s campaign for Congress in North Carolina. Rob Burgess registered a Nevada PAC, Take Back the West, that funneled money to the consulting firm McShane LLC, where Burgess was chief of staff. Five days after the 2020 election, McShane LLC received a $50,000 donation from the South Point Hotel and Casino, which also hosted one of Kristi Noem’s three trips to Vegas over the past several months. McShane LLC also worked to rally the Proud Boys to promote Trump’s Big Lie about the 2020 election results.

Let’s see what Big Lies Burgess now spreads on Kristi Noem’s behalf through this new well-funded political website.


  1. Cully Williams 2022-03-08 07:18

    There may be multiple Rob Burgii out there, but there’s only one Unfortunately that doesn’t clarify much. It’s a hastily set up WordPress on a GoDaddy. Hell even the phone number is a burner number from Pinger.

    I’m sure his CFR paperwork is in the mail, because it sure isn’t filed with SDSOS or the FEC. You don’t put a financial disclosure in the footer of your site unless you know you’re doing campaign finance activities.

  2. All Mammal 2022-03-08 07:51

    This is truly scary. My mom and antie are so riled up everytime I see them. They say, “can you believe what the @&$!# did now?!” My concerned little heavy accented gals are just as weary and aghast as I and I really think: Ok. They want to call for more racist, confederate losers to our state. Lets go halves with them and invite some gun-toting freedom lovers here, all right. Cmon! Except, we will inundate our towns with NON-WHITE gun-packing, Americans or quazzi, wannabe Americans who would never pass up an opportunity to vote. And vote D and I! I love seeing the vintage footage of the Black Panthers taking back their impoverished neighborhoods to feed kids breakfast and educate their voters. Armed to the gills. I know that would stun people to see Natives and other minorities open carry. But why should it? (I know, just seeing weapons like that are signs of aggression in my book too)
    Peckerwoods do it all the time and I just want my mom and antie and all the wee ones to feel safe. I definitely do not feel safe welcoming more racist cops to come play at a magat shooting range and terrorize our people and punch 12 yr old girls in the face.

  3. larry kurtz 2022-03-08 08:12

    Under single party rule South Dakota has been a net inbound Whitopia for at least four years running and Republican Governor Kristi Noem has been adding fuel to the burning crosses.

    Spearditch is the seat of whiteness in LawCo so in the winter Exit 14 looks like a monument to the clear-span building that has been air-dropped into Antarctica. Main Street Spearditch is often ignored but a stroll reveals a few 60 or 70-somethings going into cafés, Ace Hardware or one of the banks. Life-long residents drive to Rapid City and Denver to shop forsaking local merchants.

    The resultant soaring median age of the retirees seeking deliverance from the cultural diversities thriving in Colorado, California, Minnesota, even Arizona and Oregon drives the exploitation of South Dakota’s regressive tax structure and reinforces the racially insulated Nazi enclave that Spearditch is today.

    To little surprise the assisted living, funeral home and florist industries do very well and now that brown workers can take the driver’s license exam in Spanish white people can spend more time snorting and shooting meth.

    Many, if not most, of these obese Republican slackers take advantage of the dynasty trust industry and flee the frozen tundra in their RVs ahead of consecutive six-month winters and strings of below-zero days.

    The more white Republicans move to South Dakota the less safe American Indians become. Native Americans represent at least 9% of the population in South Dakota, but by design they account for 14% of all deaths from the Trump virus.

    The reasoning is hardly mysterious: it’s all about the money prostitution, the Sturgis Rally, policing for profit, sex trafficking, hunting and subsidized grazing bring to the South Dakota Republican Party destroying lives, depleting watersheds and smothering habitat under single-party rule.

  4. Loren 2022-03-08 08:55

    Why doesn’t he concentrate on getting Mexico to pay for “The Wall” before he moves on to other RepubliQan issues? Promises, promises…

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-03-08 09:31

    Can any readers get a positive ID on Noem’s new flack, Rob Burgess?

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-03-08 09:33

    Cully, WHOIS tells me the domain was just registered yesterday.

  7. mike from iowa 2022-03-08 11:44

    If the Vegas resident Burgess is the one, then her frequent trips out there could easily be where they met. Of course, I wouldn’t trust her version of the story, if there is one.

    Rob Burgess
    Strategic Political Consultant
    Las Vegas, Nevada, United States500+ connections

    A veteran political operative and Congressional staffer with experience in creating and executing detailed political plans, communications/messaging plans, and Congressional franked mail plans while managing budgets spanning across postage, digital ads, and print media.

  8. Arlo Blundt 2022-03-08 15:59

    Well….I suppose being associated with this “Institute” makes Governor Noem more of a “serious” candidate and more attractive to donors. She’s got ooodles of campaign money to throw around on purposeless campaign activity.

  9. Donald Pay 2022-03-08 17:06

    There are many of these so-called “institutes” out there. It has been a way for rich people to dodge the tax system while still giving to political campaigns. The IRS should clamp down on this sort of activity.

  10. DaveFN 2022-03-08 22:10

    …alias though it may be…

  11. OldtimerDon 2022-03-09 18:30

    Can those people supporting Noem ever seriously imagine her occupying the WH in times like we are experiencing with Putin and Ukraine? It is horrifying enough to think of what Trump would be doing.

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