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Noem Campaign Dismisses Suit Against Governor’s Office as Political Attack

D.C.-based watchdog group American Oversight is taking Governor Kristi Noem to court over her refusal to release records relating to her interstate travel and legal costs arising from her vindictive nepotism. Team Noem claims it has to keep travel expenses secret for “security reasons”, to which American Oversight says bush-wah:

Under South Dakota’s Sunshine Law, the public has a right to access government records, including “any state … expenditure involving public funds.” While the law contains a narrow exception for sensitive security information, the request submitted by American Oversight specifically excluded records of “costs related to Governor Noem’s security associated with this travel.” But in June, the governor’s office refused to release any expense records at all, claiming that allowing the public to see any details of Noem’s travel spending would create a security risk, without explaining why it wasn’t able to redact only specific information that might reasonably be described as security-related. American Oversight followed up later that month with a formal request, which was again denied.

Notably, American Oversight has repeatedly obtained and published government records related to travel expenses — including those of high-level federal officials. “Even the Secret Service releases travel costs for the president,” said American Oversight Executive Director Heather Sawyer, “but instead of complying with the law, the governor’s office is trying to hide all of its travel spending behind vague arguments about ‘security,’ leaving American Oversight no choice but to go to court to uphold transparency in South Dakota” [American Oversight, press release, 2022.09.20].

Rather than make stuff up, the Noem Administration is simply ignoring American Oversight’s request for records on the Sherry Bren affair:

In December 2021, American Oversight filed a request with DLR seeking records related to Bren’s alleged forced retirement, but the department has failed to acknowledge the request. In August, we followed up with a written request to DLR but have not yet received a response or acknowledgment [American Oversight, 2022.09.20].

Team Noem is treating this records request as a political attack, not a matter of state. Noem appears to be assigning responses to the lawsuit to her campaign rather than to her elected office:

KELOLAND News reached out to the governor’s office on Thursday, Sept. 22, to get Noem’s reaction to the lawsuit. Communications director Tony Mangan told us the request was being sent on to Ian Fury, who has temporarily left the governor’s office to work on Noem’s campaign.

Fury gave the following statement to KELOLAND News:

“This is a baseless political attack by an activist liberal organization. They have no interest in the truth. Their tactics are typical election year propaganda” [Jacob Newton, “Why American Oversight Is Suing Noem,” KELO-TV, updated 2022.09.23].

Fury and Noem might want to check the court papers. American Oversight’s complaint names the Office of the Governor and the Department of Labor and Regulation as the defendants, not Kristi Noem as an individual or as a candidate. Responses to a lawsuit against the Governor’s Office ought to be coming from the Governor’s Office, not from her partisan campaign.

But Noem’s inability to properly separate her campaign and her personal affairs from her elected office is what sparked this lawsuit in the first place.


  1. grudznick 2022-09-25 08:52

    Today, at the Conservatives with Common Sense breakfasting, we will debate the typical election year propaganda, like this political attack from this out-of-state band of libbie loonies.

  2. larry kurtz 2022-09-25 09:00

    Since Mrs. Noem represents the extreme white wing of the Republican Party she should expect examinations from the common sense legal community.

  3. Bill Stocker 2022-09-25 09:18

    Release the information if you have nothing to hide! Her security is probably 1 or 2 HP, or DCI, so STOP with that BS Ian Fury.

  4. O 2022-09-25 09:48

    grudznick, if I may offer a second item for your discussion: was it the moral decay that lead to the intellectual decay of the conservative movement or visa versa.

  5. sx123 2022-09-25 09:55

    For security reasons? Lmao

  6. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-09-25 10:07

    Simply stated, all our money belongs to Kristi. The South Dakota State flag should depict the classic harpy with $100 bills clutched in her talons, sporting Kristi’s botoxed and filled features, and the motto “Mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine…encircling the monster.

    Probably too subtle for Reptilians. Not my fault they’re poorly educated.

  7. Jeff. Young America Mn. 2022-09-25 10:49

    She sees Trump doing the same things, so she’ll try it herself, monkey see monkey do.

  8. Jake 2022-09-25 11:04

    grudz, were it not for those “libbie loonies” your ilk sitting in the governor’s chair would rob this state blind of all its good traits and you could care less or even notice; as she would be one of your own doing the damage which your conservative blindness refused to see…… Get it?

  9. P. Aitch 2022-09-25 11:11

    Mr. Furry. In blood red SD there are no activist liberal organizations. There are a few centrist liberal organizations and they and they centrist citizens have a right to disclosure of travel records from a Governor who spends money like a drunk sailor in Singapore.

  10. Nix 2022-09-25 13:23

    Interesting that Mangan said that Noems little trained parakeet Ian Fury was out
    of the office to work on her campaign.
    It was certainly temporary.
    Just temporary enough to dodge the issue because Fury was right next to Noem
    and her stooge Larry at the Horse Nations Indian relay races in Pierre on
    Friday morning.

  11. Arlo Blundt 2022-09-25 14:17

    A request for government records, especially in a case that required a ruling by the Government Accountability Board, from any news organization, is not a “a political attack.” Mr. Fury, a political creature, is straining in harness. The Governor’s executive staff, all exceptionally well paid considering their experience and expertise, continue to fumble and mumble. The Governor could certainly be better served but does not trust South Dakotans to serve on her staff.

  12. grudznick 2022-09-25 15:48

    Mr. Blundt, if asked, nicely, would you serve on Ms. Noem’s staff?

  13. Jake 2022-09-25 16:36

    no grudz, bet he wouldn’t. There ARE people in SD that aren’t so enamored by fluff, tight designer jeans, pouty lips, dangly ear rings and conservative double-speak not be taken in by it. Wouldn’t you tho?

  14. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-09-25 18:48

    I’m with Jake on this one. Based purely upon Arlo’s posts, I could NEVER see him prostituting himself for this vain, ignorant, shallow, grasping, stupid, lying, thieving narcissist.

    But, hey, she’s the perfect governor for this glorious state given its stellar populace and intellectual voters.

  15. All Mammal 2022-09-25 19:06

    When Governor Noem lied at CPAC during her speech and claimed one of her previous occupations was a home nurse, she was so full of bs you’d need your hip waders on to make it out of there. It isn’t necessary to lie about the past. Her lie may be a form of stolen valor. A fed-up person might have thought it was a miscue and decide she meant to say she was an amateur fluffer instead…. certainly more likely than a nurse. Nurses work too hard to be associated with a wannabe.

    P. Aitch- although I am grateful for the group looking into Anti- Kristi’s crimes, it is a shame we lack any liberal group to keep our own crime syndicate/public servants in check. The bloggers associated with DFP are about it. And a bang up job they do. But I’m sure it’d be nice to glean from a pack of home-state crime sniffers on the scent once in a while. I’m simply wrong way too often to take up accusing Noemb for what my imagination conjures as a hobby:o
    But you make a good point.

  16. Dicta 2022-09-25 20:00

    Grudz: you’ve been acting like a tool lately. What gives? Whether or not the ad is politically motivated, which it likely is, a governor ignoring requests issued under sunshine laws because the cost of her travel “threatens her security” is bizarre and stupid. The fact that your addled brain doesnt like the ones requesting it is irrelevant. What is going on with you, dude?

  17. Arlo Blundt 2022-09-25 21:23

    Grudznick–not in a million years…nor would she ask me…I would be divisive and make her sad.

  18. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-09-26 04:42

    I’m still puzzled as to why Mangan, the spokesman for the Governor’s Office, didn’t field this question. It is inappropriate for the campaign to be answering questions of state.

    Fury’s response also gives another example of Team Noem’s selective invocation of the “no comment on pending litigation” rule.

  19. Loren 2022-09-26 10:17

    All these MAGAts claim “witch hunt.” No one ever addresses the fact that a lot of these hunts actually produce WITCHES! (P.S. Can we retire the words “witch hunt” if the Republicans lose, that and the words “fake news?” Getting very tiresome!)

  20. cibvet 2022-09-26 10:54

    Great idea Loren but let us add the word”woke”. All the conservative politicians and pundits on the fox station seem to parrot the word over and over. Lacking the education of the under education of conservatives, it appears to be something that once again, has been stolen from the black people by white people.

  21. P. Aitch 2022-09-26 13:23

    I’m liberal and woke and damn proud of being both. We must be on the right road because every Republican running for office is labeling themselves a victim; so we must be the “Woke Victimizers of False Billionaires.”
    I like the sound of that, MAGA’s. Haven’t seen your red caps lately, either. # grins

  22. grudznick 2022-09-26 16:40

    Mr. Dicta, I respect your opinion and without going into details or excuses I will endeavor to conduct myself less toolish than most.

  23. Dicta 2022-09-26 16:44

    Appreciate it, buddy. You know I appreciate your humor, but there have been a few recently that have rankled me.

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