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Noem Chose CRT Promoter St. John to Write K-12 Social Studies Standards

Sally Jo Sorensen brings to the top of the pile the undercard on my story about Governor Kristi Noem’s dishonest CRT attack on her Democratic challenger Jamie Smith:

We were warned by a friend who works as a congressional staffer that Kristi Noem was known among staffers serving both parties for being a nincompoop.

One of her new campaign ads—coupled with choices back in April for the second studies standard work group—provide another illustration of nitwittery.

A new Noem ad is scolding Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jamie Smith for supporting teaching critical race theory in South Dakota schools, citing a  February 15 nay vote on 2022 House Bill 1337 as evidence.

We can only wonder why one of our state representatives, Tamara St. John, was appointed as a member of that work group, since she cast the same vote against the bill. Apparently on Planet Positive Pants, such things happen [Sally Jo Sorensen, “Noem Nincompoopery: Ad Scolds Jamie Smith for Vote Shared by State Representative Appointed to 2nd Social Studies Standard Work Group,” Bluestem Prairie, 2022.09.02].

Two peas in the CRT pod? Gov. Kristi Noem and Rep. Tamara St. John.
Two peas in the CRT pod? Gov. Kristi Noem and Rep. Tamara St. John.

Noem tweeted her attack ad on Tuesday, claiming that Representative Jamie Smith (D-15/Sioux Falls) “actively promoted the training of Critical Race Theory within our state.” The ad splashes text saying Smith “voted to bring CRT to South Dakota.” The ad voice says “Jamie Smith even voted to bring CRT to our kids’ classrooms.” Noem bases all of these lines on the February vote Sorenson cites.

Noem’s claims are lies. But by the logic of her lies, Representative Tamara St. John (R-1/Sisseton) “actively promoted the training of Critical Race Theory” and “voted to bring CRT” to our state and our classrooms.

Two months later, Governor Noem appointed Representative St. John to the streamlined workgroup she empaneled to erase the sins of the original workgroup and revise the social studies curriculum standards for all K-12 schools.

Governor Noem says a vote against her thought-control bill equals active promotion of a dangerous theory that disqualifies one from public service. Yet Governor Noem appointed a person who cast just such a vote to help write the standards for our kids’ social studies classes, a position from which an active promoter of CRT could embed that theory’s dangerous principles in what every child, from kindergartner to high school senior, learns about America every day. Great Caesar’s Ghost—Noem might as well have asked CRT ringleader Ibram X. Kendi to write the standards!

By Noem’s own logic, Noem appointed an active promoter of CRT to the second social standards workgroup. The name of that active promoter of CRT is on the standards now proposed for every South Dakota K-12 classroom. Noem has endorsed those standards. Thus, Kristi Noem is actively promoting critical race theory in South Dakota classrooms. 


  1. AmyB 2022-09-03 07:51

    Just another shining example of Kristi Noem hypocrisy. She must think people are just too dumb to look into her bs claims and flat out lies.

  2. grudznick 2022-09-03 10:07

    Young Ms. St. John is probably wiser than her very young years. You can clearly see why she is a rising star in the legislatures.

  3. Donald Pay 2022-09-03 10:34

    “Nincompoop” was a word my mother used liberally. I never really knew what it meant. Usually she was saying it about me. “Don, don’t be a nincompoop.” I thought it had something to do with poop. It was one of those words she used when she was vexed about my behavior. I thought nincompoop and dummkopf, which she also said, were about the same thing.

    It strikes me that Noem’s behavior reminds me of mine when I was about six or seven. I admit I was a jackass little boy who wormed his way into “helping” bake cookies. My particular talent was tasting, but I’d try my hand in anything I didn’t have a clue about. I thought I knew more, much more, than my mom about cookies, and I had to set out to prove it. It seems Noem is a lot like me when I was seven. The difference is I grew up. Also, I had a mom who wouldn’t let me be too much of a nincompoop, but it appears Noem has no one who can curb her propensity for dummkopfery.

  4. o 2022-09-03 10:36

    Grudznick, what’s do you point to as evidence of St. John being “wiser than her young years?”

  5. Guy 2022-09-03 11:39

    AmyB writes: “She must think people are just too dumb to look into her bs claims and flat out lies.” Unfortunately, Amy, many people do not take the time to look in to her “bs claims and flat out lies”. The fact that Kristi Noem has been a household name in South Dakota politics for almost 12 years tells you that most South Dakota voters either don’t care about her hypocrisy or are taken in by her over-hyped cowgirl image. To this day, I scratch my head trying to figure out how Kristi Noem has lasted twice as long as Stephanie Herseth in state politics?!? The only conclusion I can come to is: the big money loves Kristi coupled with voters who take her at face value and nothing else. Now, what does THAT say about South Dakota’s electorate, as a whole?

  6. Bob Newland 2022-09-03 11:42

    Why? Oh, why do folks respond to grudznutz as if it is human?

  7. DaveFN 2022-09-03 11:58

    Once the camel’s nose is in the tent, the next thing you know….

    If you can get people to accept the fundamental premise (that they are sinners who are going to hell, that CRT is infiltrating the lives of our children, that….), the next thing you know, people will believe anything (that speaking in tongues is necessary for salvation, that social studies standards must be revised, that….).

    Religions, politics, advertising make fools of us all.

    And to Cory’s point, it’s Noem who is the instigator, the cowgirl behind the curtain manipulating the levers to control the public, and not CRT that is the real danger.

  8. 96Tears 2022-09-03 11:59

    Noem is a pathological liar and an ugly racist who is surrounded by idiots collecting paychecks from her campaign account. If a candidate takes a shot at an opponent over a vote, the campaign manager, the opposition researcher, the press ops person and the advertising consultant always — A-L-W-A-Y-S — check, double check and triple check to make sure it’s accurate and that there’s no splashback.

    So, now racist and liar Kristi Noem is bitch slapping a fellow Republican office holder who is also Native American for voting against Noem’s bullsh*t anti-CRT bill. Why would Rep. St. John vote against that bill? Because it’s a lie and it’s racist as well as a personal insult against Rep. St. John, her family, her friends, her Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate community and all Native people in South Dakota.

    As South Dakota’s Governor, maybe liar/racist Kristi Noem should pull that stupid ad and apologize to all South Dakotans. As candidate Noem, she should fire the dumb boobs who failed to check their dirty work and wasted her money on an incompetent advertising campaign.

  9. grudznick 2022-09-03 12:22

    Mr. O, young Ms. St. John is by all accounts a respected tribal archivist and genealogist and you can’t do those jobs if your not wise and smart like a whip, plus she was appointed to this very important group despite having voted in a way that some would view as being against this group. That means they want to hear her as a voice of reason.

  10. O 2022-09-03 13:01

    grudznick, I am perplexed with your addition of her as a voice of reason. You you say she is smart because of the jobs she has held; you acknowledge she (as the Governor framed as as you repeated) voted to let CRT into SD schools, and you have called her a voice of reason.

    Apparently this vote on “CRT” is not as damning as your and Governor Noem’s original condemnation, leading me to believe that you, the GOP/Right/Conservatives were again feigning outrage when it suited your purpose — then swing 180 degrees to settle the tempest when that suited your interests. If I did not know better, I would think partisan sophistry were afoot.

    Furthermore, I believe that Jamie Smith fellow saw through the Governors shenanigans in that silly legislations just like Ms St. John did. He should be given the SAME accolades; would you not agree?

  11. John 2022-09-03 13:31

    Social studies standards? Divisive concepts?
    Want to learn more about the Russian war on Ukraine?
    Audit a free course from Yale historian, Dr. Timothy Snyder, HST 247, The Making of Modern Ukraine.
    Snyder said he plans posting the class about a day after each lecture.

  12. grudznick 2022-09-03 15:22

    Mr. O, I missed where you got the impression that grudznick was outraged about this CRT business, which I still do not even understand. I am even unclear who is on what side of this silly business. What we, and Mr. Smith, need to be focused on, is getting some things done and stop playing political games. Yes, Ms. Noem plays political games, but so does Mr. Smith, so you can’t complain about that. I, sir, have some questions for Mr. Smith which I will pose to him in a public forum.

    Please stop trying to equate grudznick with all GOP/Right/Conservatives in toto, Mr. O. It is offensive and incorrect, so I have to correct you.

  13. larry kurtz 2022-09-03 15:32

    How any Indigenous American can be a Republican especially in a flagrantly racist state like South Dakota is a pathology presenting as Stockholm syndrome.

  14. larry kurtz 2022-09-03 15:44

    It’s worse than a Palestinian converting to Judaism — what sane person would do that? Her twitter account reads like it’s aggregated by a sane woman.

  15. O 2022-09-03 16:12

    Mr. Grudznick, this is where I got the impression of your ire for CRT (and fact you took time to post when you could have been sharing your considerable talents otherwise):

    2022-08-27 19:01
    Mr. Blundt. grudznick might be confused as I don’t understand CRT. I don’t know what it is. But it doesn’t exist and is very, very bad.

    A substantive discussion of the issues to move SD forward sounds like a wonderful way to engage Rep. Smith (and Gov. Noem). I’m willing to bet the cost of one breakfast that your will get the opportunity to ask those questions of Rep. Smith before you ever you ever get that opportunity to ask those questions of Gov. Noem this campaign season. That is a loss because SD voters should hear the answers from both — thoughtful answers, not just bumper sticker and fortune cookie one-liners.

    Now I have to get back to writing my lesson about the Declaration of Independence: How it was a delayed “bomb” Jefferson planted in the heart of this fledging nation — knowing it was not going to be realized when he wrote it, but it was instead aspirational. It would nip at our heels, reminding us of our failings; then some day it would explode when the US would TRULY commit to live up to the words that it expressed. “All men are created equal . . . ” you cannot think that isn’t going to cause good trouble over the next couple of hundred years! What Social Studies Standard would that fall under?

  16. grudznick 2022-09-03 16:30

    That is informative, Mr. O. And that first sentence still seems pretty prescient. grudznick still doesn’t understand CRT, doens’t know what it is, but golly everybody says it doesn’t exist but is so worked up about it that it must be a terrible thing. I am just very confused about the entire thing.

    I’m not sure the grudznick who blogged that blogging is the same as the grudznick blogging with you today, but I suppose it’s likely, since I do like fortune cookie one-liners.

  17. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-09-03 17:56

    I’ve no idea, Bob Newland. I’ve noticed when he posts indefensible opinions and members call him out for his incoherent statements, he turns into a babbling cretin to deflect further comments. (Yep, I know, “cretin” is not PC.)

    Grudz has a letch for our nasty liar, filthy racist, and gubernatorial thief, and he expresses that during his rare periods of lucidity. Well, who can tell when he’s lucid.

    But, by golly, don’t be foul-mouthed, vulgar, or sexually explicit here at Dakota Free Press. That’s the worst crime a woman can EVER commit, even if using hyphens, abbreviations, astericks, or oblique references.

  18. Arlo Blundt 2022-09-03 19:10

    Grudznick–sit down and take two aspirins, I think you’re having a stroke.

  19. Loti 2022-09-03 20:45

    I just hope people get out and vote. I know many who do not even bother. They say they forgot or don’t have time. Thats prb why KN can continue her wrath.

  20. Bob Newland 2022-09-03 21:15

    Loti, SoDakians vote in higher percentage than most states. The results reflect a rather nasty attitude.

  21. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-09-04 07:38

    Every one of the Republicans who voted against HB 1337 is more of a menace to Kristi’s apartheid plan as Jamie Smith, since every one of those CRT-promoting Republicans is, like Rep. St. John, in more of a position to effect policy, as St. John is on this all-important standards revision commission. What other CRT havoc have these CRT-promoting Republicans wrought? How many of them have found ways to dupe Governor Noem into facilitating their efforts to destroy South Dakota?

  22. Amy B. 2022-09-04 11:04

    Guy…I think the reason Kristi Noem has been able to stick around so long is that she was more middle of the road in the beginning. She was that farm girl who went into politics to do something good (or whatever lie she was using then). Then she got attention, a taste of power and “money pox” as she drifted further to the right. I think if she had stayed more in the middle and under the radar she would have no problem in this election..but she got pulled into the ‘circus peanut cult’. People are fed up by the extremes and all the hootin’ and hollerin’ from the MAGA politicans (and followers) and most of the politicians are starting to see that and are scrubbing and diluting their campaign websites. The doubled down and swung for the fences and it’s backfiring on them. Will Kristi Noem see that…probably not…she’s firmly tied herself to the former president and the fire and brimstone rhetoric thinking it’s a winning combination. South Dakotans may be conservative… but they are not extreme and have proved that at the ballot box.

  23. O 2022-09-04 12:09

    Amy, your analysis of Gov. Noem’s political ideology is spot on. What concerns me is that it also seems to be the SD GOP’s as well. I really want to believe that she is out of step with the rank-and-file GOP, but I know what the TVs and radios are listening to, I know what Facebook pages are being read, and I know the discussions happening coffee in SD. Those are not the same environment — certainly those extremist type messages did not get the same mainstream traction — as when Noem ran for the House.

  24. leslie 2022-09-05 03:14

    its clear as a bell she wants an Indian vote, and 96 (i think in a concurrent thread) laid out 3 talking points she is standing on and obviously believes Republicans buy it for the win: Smith is pro CRT, pro-sexual politics, and pro- i forget.

  25. Flavio Cabrita 2022-09-05 09:59

    Your argument is:
    Premise One: Anyone who voted for bill 1337 is presently an advocate for CRT.
    Premise Two: Jamie Smith voted for bill 1337
    Premise Three: Sally Jo Sorensen voted for bill 1337
    Conclusion: Jamie Smith and Sally Jo Sorensen are presently advocates for CRT.

    Although this is a valid argument it is not necessarily true because of the time difference of when the bill was voted on and the present time. For, with each person there could have been a recanting for having voted affirmatively. This is the gaping hole in this article. The writer never addresses their present views. So Governor Noem may have a change of mind by Sally as an unspoken assumption. The writer was simply not careful or objective enough when writing this article.

  26. Pat mcdonald 2022-09-05 10:09

    It’s is time to ask all of these candidates if they want control of the education of their children or let a governor who has proven without a doubt that she does not respect your vote or democracy decide what they learn? Who has the cahoonas to ask

  27. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-09-05 13:50

    The above commentor is in error.

    1. Sally Jo Sorensen never voted on HB 1337. Sorensen’s Representative Tamara St. John did.

    2. Rep. St. John cast her cote against HB 1337 at the same time as Rep. Smith and the other members of the House.

    FlavCab thus offers no basis for accepting Noem’s condemnation of Smith but embrace of St John re CRT as anything other than deceitful hypocrisy.

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