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Noem Gets $99K Worth of Free Travel, Courtesy of Mike Lindell, Payday Lenders…

Bob Mercer digs into Kristi Noem’s federal PAC reports and finds South Dakota’s governor has received $99K worth of free travel in 17 months:

  • June 28, 2022 – $8,000 Falcon Air, Raleigh North Carolina. (Noem Victory Fund)
  • June 27, 2022 — $3,610 (in-kind) Select Management Resources, Alpharetta, Georgia. (Noem Victory Fund)
  • June 27, 2022 — $20,000 (in-kind) Republican Party of San Diego County, San Diego, California. (Noem Victory Fund)
  • April 12, 2022 — $4,114.20, James S. Brown, Littleton, Colorado. (Noem Victory Fund)
  • April 1, 2022 – $7,232 (in-kind), Lindell Management, Chaska, Minnesota. (Noem Victory Fund) 
  • April 1, 2022 — $12,000 (in-kind), Shane J. Guidry, New Orleans, Louisiana. (Noem Victory Fund)
  • January 19, 2022 — $900 (in-kind), Tami Nelson, Gettysburg, South Dakota. (Noem Victory Fund)
  • November 3, 2021 — $9,054 (in-kind), Republican Jewish Coalition, Washington, DC. (Noem Victory Fund)
  • October 14, 2021 — $2,850 (in-kind), Mike Lindell, Chaska, Minnesota. (Noem Victory Fund)
  • September 30, 2021 — $10,100 (in-kind), Dynalab, Reynoldsburg, Ohio. (Noem Victory Fund)
  • September 26, 2021 — $1,275 (in-kind), National Federation of Republican Women, Alexandria, Virginia. (Noem Victory Fund) 
  • September 25, 2021 — $6,000 (in-kind), Solomon Plumbing, New Hudson, Michigan. (Noem Victory Fund)
  • September 20, 2021 — $9,314.90 (in-kind), Holloway Frost, Houston, Texas. (Noem Victory Fund)
  • June 21, 2021 — $2,474.26, Capital Corporation, Greenville, South Carolina. (Keeping Republican Ideas Strong, Timely & Inventive Committee) 
  • March 10, 2021 — $1,167.80, Fabick Cat, Fenton, Missouri. (Keeping Republican Ideas Strong, Timely & Inventive Committee) 
  • February 26, 2021 — $463.69, Don Dyer, Austin, Texas. (Keeping Republican Ideas Strong, Timely & Inventive Committee) [Bob Mercer, “South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s Out-of-State Trips Shown in Her FEC Reports,” KELO-TV, 2022.09.26].

$98,555.85*—that’s about the same amount of salary that Noem has drawn for her last nine months of actual work (current annual governor’s salary: $128,872.18). Given she gets a dollar in free air travel from political friends for every two dollars she gets from South Dakota taxpayers, it’s no wonder Noem happily dedicates so much time to candidates and issues unrelated to South Dakota’s daily well-being.

Among the unsavory characters keep Kristi aloft are election-liar and poker-bluffer Mike Lindell, huge Houston GOP donor Holloway Frost, and, just this June, Select Management Resources of Alpharetta, Georgia. That opaquely named Georgia firm was the payday lender parent company that spent big money in South Dakota in the 2016 election cycle in a failed effort to prevent us from capping payday loan interest at 36%, effectively killing their predatory business model in South Dakota. Let’s hope their footing of Kristi’s summer travels aren’t an effort to get their foot back in to South Dakota’s money market to fleece more low-income workers… who won’t be getting a half-million in free airplane tickets from Kristi Noem or anyone else.

*Correction 2022.09.28: I missed a decimal point in my original calculations; I have edited the headline and text to reflect the correct value of the travel donated to Noem’s federal PACs.


  1. Mark Anderson 2022-09-26 20:12

    Hey Cory, my governor will fly her to Martha’s Vineyard for free,.

  2. Bob Newland 2022-09-26 20:55

    I added the numbers shown and got about $99000.00. WTF?

  3. larry kurtz 2022-09-26 20:56

    Dan Lederman’s Saudi salad is $120k so whatever is kosher for the goose is even seder for the gander.

  4. Arlo Blundt 2022-09-26 22:08

    Yes, Bob, looked at it and knew it wasn’t a half mil. My bet is $20,000 from San Diego Republicans is an honorarium which might include travel.

  5. Bill Stocker 2022-09-27 00:00

    Corrupt is, corrupt does.

  6. Loren 2022-09-27 08:47

    Why did we spend all that money on a new plane? Looks like she can just hitchhike! ;-)

  7. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-09-27 18:22

    Excellent question, Loren. I suspect we spent that money on “her” aircraft because she pouted her purty, plumped lips, shimmied her designer-clad *ss, stomped her Kowgirl Kristi boots in rage, pitched six kinds of fits, and demanded a jet.

    South Dakota Reptilians compromised with a turboprop. Never underestimate the persuasive powers of a conventionally attractive but brainless femme fatale; not-too-bright males fall for this sh*t daily.

  8. grudznick 2022-09-27 18:35

    Let’s avoid the body-shaming/women-objectifying and think about the math here. Math should be easy for Mr. H, he was a teacher who might have taught math.

  9. Arlo Blundt 2022-09-27 19:06

    Grudznick–I’d be willing to go along with your line of reasoning here…as a man I don’t feel comfortable discussing what a 50 year old grandmother does to hold on to her youth. I see a lot of men making fools of themselves pursueing the same goals…and, by the way, we had a bet on what Mrs. Noem was collecting by way of Honorarium for her special appearances at out of state Republican festivities…doesn’t that flat 20,000 bucks from the Maryland Republican group look like an Honorarium fee? What air fare costs 20 grand?? I’ll collect at your leisure.

  10. grudznick 2022-09-27 19:10

    Remind me the terms of the bet, please. Was it a breakfast, Mr. Blundt, or hard labor servitude?

  11. Arlo Blundt 2022-09-27 19:51

    Pardon me Grudz–she collected the 20,000 clams from San Diego.

  12. grudznick 2022-09-27 20:07

    I’m sorry for not being more clear, Mr. Blundt. I mean, what does grudznick owe…a gravy laden breakfast, 20,000 clams, or must I mow your lawn for a month? grudznick does not recall the terms of the bet.

  13. Arlo Blundt 2022-09-27 21:08

    Grudznick–I understand a failing memory, owning one myself, and I don’t intend to press you for some form of retribution whether in gravy or personal service. You said the Governor received Honoraria of 1,000 to maybe 3,000 dollars for her services. I said 5,000 to as much as 20,000 dollars dependiing on the fiscal bloat of the sponsoring Republicans. We still don’t know, other than this rather suspicious lump payment from the generous San Diagons what amount of cash is being raked in by her tireless toil in the gardens of otherwise, professedly, fiscally conservative Republicans. The beat goes on. Let’s wait and see what else shows up.As they say, with our Governor, “It’s a living.”

  14. grudznick 2022-09-27 22:26

    OK, Mr. Blundt. You had grudznick mostly convinced I was wrong, and I very well may be, but I still want to know what the bet was. If I lose, do I owe you a gravy-laden breakfast or a fancy hat or what? I want to start saving up for the payoff if/when I am shown to have lost the bet.

  15. Arlo Blundt 2022-09-27 23:19

    I trolled through several topics and can’t find the original exchange. If my memory serves, I believe you now owe me all your accumulated goats. I’ll start building an appropriate enclosure, out back.

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-09-28 04:59

    Well, there’s the thing, Loren: when Noem isn’t off campaigning, someone still has to do the business of the state, and we can reasonably use an airplane or two to spare those honest state officials some travel time.

    You know, if we had kept IM 22, we might be able to argue that these free plane rides constitute gifts in excess of $100 from lobbyists, which would have put Noem in more hot water. As it is, Noem is avoiding state campaign finance limits by marking filing all of these free rides on her federal PAC reports.

  17. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-09-28 05:08

    Thanks for the correction, Bob! $98,555.85 is the correct figure. f

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