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Jess Olson: Noem Canceled Special Session to Allow More Public Input and Transparency. Everybody Else: Malarkey!

Democratic candidate for governor Jamie Smith says Governor Kristi Noem reneged on her promise to hold a Special Session to tighten abortion laws because she’s afraid of political blowback:

“She decided this wouldn’t be best for her campaign image, that people were going to be bringing bills that she didn’t want to deal with, so she is backing out of it,” Smith said [Austin Goss, “Abortion Special Session ‘Highly Unlikely’,” KSFY, 2022.07.15].

“We know that when Kristi Noem gets up in the morning, the first thing she thinks about is herself and how to promote herself,” Smith said. “I think Kristi Noem is looking out for Kristi Noem in this case and I don’t know if she’s looking out for women and girls in our state” [Eric Mayer, “Smith Says Noem Silent on Abortion Special Session for Political Reasons,” KELO-TV, 2022.07.13].

Representative Jess Olson (R-34/Rapid City) says the Governor’s balk gives citizens more time to participate in a transparent process:

“You can’t do the whole process of vetting things and hearing from people in a short two-day special session. So allowing us to have it during the regular session, it makes the process transparent and we can hear from all the stakeholders, from the hospitals, from physicians, from families,” Olson said [Renae Ortiz, “SD Lawmakers React: No Special Session on Abortion,” KELO-TV, 2022.70.17].

…which is why Kristi Noem is transparently seeking input from Condoleezza Rice in California and young brownshirts in Washington, D.C.

Representative Linda Duba (D-15/Sioux Falls) says it’s more likely that, just as the Senate put off voting on killer Jason Ravnsborg’s impeachment until after the primary, Noem and her caucus now want to put off any potentially inflammatory votes on abortion until after the general election:

“It would bring this issue front and center to the legislature prior to the election… and there are a lot of concerned citizens in South Dakota…and so this would probably force people to take some pretty difficult votes and in competitive races, that can sway people,” Duba said [Ortiz, 2022.07.17].

Noem isn’t seeking public input on abortion. She didn’t react to the Alito draft or ruling by going around the state to hold public forums on what women’s rights to take away next. Noem is just insulating herself and her Republican legislators from any direct, immediate accountability to the voters.


  1. Bob 2022-07-17 11:46

    Looks like the Rs picked up a hot potato.

  2. Nick Nemec 2022-07-17 11:53

    South Dakota has some of the most draconian abortion laws in the nation. What would be the next step? Outlawing the rape exception? Outlawing IVF? Outlawing contraception? Outlawing interstate travel by pregnant women out of fear they might have an abortion?

  3. grudznick 2022-07-17 11:57

    Mr. H is probably right to point out the smart approach Governor Noem is taking here.

    We know he would be pointing out the not smart approach if she were rushing to have less transparent sessions of the legislatures right away because that would allow some to bring bills that would be hard to face down by those who are insaner than most. Or maybe hard to face down by those who are not insaner than most and might be pressured to side with the libbies on this topic. grudznick does not want Mr. Haugaard legislating anything at all any longer.

  4. mike from iowa 2022-07-17 12:21

    Citizens may have more time to study the issue, although that remins to be seen. What can be said for a certainty is Noem had no personal skin in the game and this is just a stable hand cleaning up her messes.

  5. Richard Schriever 2022-07-17 12:47

    Bob – That potato’s been in the oven for quite a while. It may be a little crispy around the edges.

  6. Donald Pay 2022-07-17 14:30

    Yeah, if you were serious about getting public input from South Dakota citizens you would hold some meetings and take public testimony in South Dakota, not gallivant across the country with paramour Corey Lewandowski.

    This Jess Olson must be new to the legislative game. Legislators could be transparent, too. These legislative yahoos could schedule this sort of public meeting right there in Rapid City, but it isn’t an earful of South Dakotans from whom they seek their instructions on this issue. Out-of-state special interests who rule South Dakota politics on this issue want time to see how things shake out.

    Noem put one mammary gland in the grinder already when she took a dump on a 10-year-old rape victim who received an abortion. Granted, as far as we know that child was not anally raped, so she would not qualify for the Napoli exception to South Dakota’s medieval abortion law. Noem can’t afford to put her other gland in the grinder, because she’s dangerously close to sawing herself off the VP throne as it is. Business interests also want to go slow to assure the crazies don’t go too crazy, and hold them responsible for employees who use their constitutional rights and their health insurance to go out of state for reproductive health matters.

  7. 96Tears 2022-07-17 17:04

    After a big fat lie like Olson’s whopper, I had to look up this Rep. Jess Olson from Rapid City on Wikipedia. Not surprising at all:

    “Jess Olson (born yesterday) is an American politician and a Republican Representative of the South Dakota House of Representatives representing District 34.”

  8. Mark Anderson 2022-07-17 19:17

    Republicans definitely want abortion on the backburner nationwide. At least the last of the intelligent ones do. The rest or should I say the base of crazies won’t let them. It will be very interesting to see how they deal with it. I’m not sure losing a constitutional right is a winner for them.
    You know I have a signed copy of The Only Woman in the Room by Beate Sirota Gordon. She was the 22 year old translator for the MacArthur group that was told on their arrival in Japan in 1946, they had a week to write the new constitution. She was the told, “your a woman, why don’t you write the woman’s section”. So the progressive Mills college graduate gave the women of Japan equal rights in the Japanese constitution. It’s still a battle but she gave them a gift that still isn’t in the constitution of the United States. You can’t imagine a better being in the right place at the right time.

  9. O 2022-07-17 20:37

    Actually, even during session it is difficult to get public input. Hearings are scheduled for limited times and often inconvenient for “the public” to go to. So given that, I’m sure we will see LOTS of GOP proposals floated and discussed during this election season and beyond, leading up to session — to allow for more public input from both legislators and potential legislators (even those not opposed for their seats) to get the healthy discussion following in SD where everything is transparent and above board.

  10. P. Aitch 2022-07-17 20:46

    It took the Roman Catholics 49 years to convince natural woman hating evangelicals and ultra wing nuts that their church wasn’t against abortion just to keep the amount and total of new donations increasing.
    But, analysts predict this women’s rights ban by some states won’t even last ten years.

  11. Amy B. 2022-07-17 22:33

    We all know Kristi Noem doesn’t care about input from citizens or what the majority wants. She only put this off because she knows that this ban is very unpopular with the people of SD and she can’t afford any more blowback. She’s already dodging debates and spending more time out of the state. I’m sure she thinks she has this election in the bag and doesn’t think she needs to do much campaigning.

  12. Guy 2022-07-18 08:51

    Amy, let’s just let Kristi keep thinking that way.

  13. Ryan 2022-07-18 09:25

    Started seeing lots of shiny new Jamie Smith for Governor signs all around sioux falls. Haven’t seen any noem signs. I hope these trends continue. We might just rid ourselves of that idiot lady after all.

  14. Eve Fisher 2022-07-18 09:35

    Meanwhile, the GOP is more and more blatantly announcing they want zero exceptions to abortion, even for the life of the mother:
    Apparently, it’s never occurred to the “pro-life” party that if you require all women who suffer any complications in childbirth or miscarriage to die, you will eventually have no birth at all.

  15. mike from iowa 2022-07-18 10:40

    Here is some public input (from Sheila Kennedy’s blog today)…

    It’s unclear exactly how often this phenomenon occurs—and even a single instance of it is heartrending—but available numbers suggest it occurs with some frequency. Amnesty International reported last year that in Paraguay, which ranks between New Jersey and Arizona in population, more than 1,000 girls who were 14 years old or younger gave birth in 2019 and early 2020. An analysis this week by The Columbus Dispatch found 50 reports of rape or sexual abuse toward girls 15 years old or younger in Columbus, Ohio, since May of this year. Using data from the Ohio Department of Health, the newspaper also reported that 306 girls who were 15 years old or younger obtained an abortion in that state between 2016 and 2020.

    Young girls being impregnated is not rare at all.

  16. Arlo Blundt 2022-07-18 14:22

    Google the name Aimee Semple McPherson…that woman is the prototype for Governor Kristi Noem, who attends McPherson’s Four Square Church in Watertown. The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  17. Guy 2022-07-18 23:00

    This election for Jamie Smith will come down to Republican Women joining Independents and Democrats to defeat Noem. In 2018, Billie Sutton was more popular with women voters than Kristi. Jamie has to keep the momentum going with the Female Vote.

  18. John Dale 2022-07-19 21:21

    It’s smart not to rush into this.

    According to Adam Curry the SCOTUS decision has ramifications for other state medical decisions that could mandate the death shots and face nappies.

    It is very smart to wait to see if we can spring the trap without being in the trap.

    I think Governor Noem has a series of interesting opportunities in front of her, but most all of them are risky.

  19. larry kurtz 2022-07-19 21:31

    Pierre is where the truth goes to die, for sure.

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