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Four Years of Misconduct Win Noem 44,000 More Votes

It’s not just Republicans in high places who are soft on Republican crimes. South Dakotans in general are soft on misconduct by high-falutin’ Republicans.

Consider the reëlection of Governor Kristi Noem. As Governor, Kristi Noem has practiced nepotism, personal indulgence, and arrogant abuse of power. She has embraced sleaze, betrayed her own party leaders, ignored her duties and her constituents, and demonstrated a lack of vision and skill at the basic management of state government. She has achieved nothing of substance; her capstone policy is the reversal of her initial pandemic cautiousness to instead fight against science and sensible public health measures, leading to deaths from coronavirus that could have been prevented that she tacitly accepts as a fair trade ofr more sales tax and tourists.

And yet, presented with this stunning record of misconduct and incompetence, 44,099 more South Dakotans voted for Kristi Noem to spend four more years in Pierre than picked her for Governor in 2018. Noem won 61 of 66 counties; in 2018, Billie Sutton managed to win 22 counties. This year, the only non-Indian county where Democrat Jamie Smith drew a majority was Clay County, where Vermillionites and neighbors went 54% for the Dems and 43% for Noem.

I can only conclude that South Dakotans aren’t looking at actual performance when they vote. They aren’t thinking about holding public officials accountable for their actions. South Dakotans don’t really want a Governor. Like Corey Lewandowski, they just want a lady who looks good on posters with her cowboy hat.


  1. RS 2022-11-10 08:02

    Looks like majority of South Dakotans vote with their eyes, not their brains. Not unexpected after 60 years of brain drain leadership based economy. We keep the dull, uninspired while the vibrant creative thinkers find a better home out of state.

  2. Edwin Arndt 2022-11-10 08:10

    May I humbly suggest that if SD democrats would stop worshiping
    at the altar of abortion they would have better luck at the ballot box.
    (See Billie Sutton)

  3. larry kurtz 2022-11-10 08:26

    6. No foetus in the United States has any civil rights. Republicans preach civil rights for human blastocysts but deny the protections of the First, Fourth and Ninth Amendments to people who enjoy cannabis.

  4. Ben Cerwinske 2022-11-10 08:28

    Edwin might have a point. I was surprised Smith wound up doing so poorly at the polls because I thought he waged a more aggressive campaign than Sutton which is what many further left leaning individuals had wanted.

    I understand that abortion access is a strongly held concern for many, but it’s unlikely that Sutton would have gone out of his way to restrict access. Yet some on this blog expressed dismay at his lack of aggressiveness on this issue. I’m guessing others not on this blog felt the same way.

    I can understand feeling frustrated, even angry, about this, but was it worth withholding more outward support for him? If we can’t meet our neighbors where they are and encourage them to move in our direction, then what are we doing?

  5. O 2022-11-10 08:39

    I hope that Noem’s success was due to partisan tribalism and not the “extreme” label she was able to pin on Smith in the end. In a way, I’ll feel better if SD ignored all the “substance” from the governor’s campaign and elected her in spite of the rhetoric. If that rhetoric is what tipped the scale . . . I don’t know what to make of that. Bringing in Tulsi Gabbard to call someone else “extreme?”

  6. P. Aitch 2022-11-10 08:44

    I know hate speech. This is the altar SD voters’ worship at.
    ✝️ The Archdiocese of Denver is providing local Catholic schools with guidance that explicitly states transgender students should not be allowed to enroll. The guidance also advises that LGBTQ+ parents and their children be treated differently.

  7. Richard Schriever 2022-11-10 09:22

    A relative of mine who is an active participant in Republican affairs who voted for Sutton 4 years ago voted for Noem this time around. Why? This relative was “ranch raised” and identified with Sutton over the “fake cowgirl” Noem. This time around, the choice was between an “at least she’s a farmgirl” Noem and “big city” guy Smith. So no, SD voters for the most part do NOT pay aby attention at all to policies or even behaviors, they vote for people who they see as most “like me”, culturally. If that should happen to include “my parents were Republicans so I will be too.”; and “I’m a Republican, so I’ll vote that way.” that’s the extent of the level of sophistication involved in SD voter decisions.

  8. O 2022-11-10 09:23

    P. I suppose the way to get to heaven is to crawl up upon the mounds of those who are not?

  9. Donald Pay 2022-11-10 09:36

    If you read studies about organized crime, or gangs and or warlords you find the same thing: a citizenry that is duped, scared, terrorized or bought off. It takes a village to become a moral cesspool, which is what South Dakota is. The village can change it, but the longer the villagers live in the moral cesspool, the more it feels like home. They forget how to be moral citizens, and come to embrace the ineptitude and the corruption.

    In the 1980s I read about the garbage business in big Eastern cities. It was right at the beginning of exporting garbage out of state for this industry, the commercializing of garbage from a local health and sanitation issue to a big business. It was all controlled by gangsters and local politicians who were paid off by the gangsters. The gangsters and the politicians had lawyers who got the US Supreme Court to deem garbage as “interstate commerce,” thus turning a local health and sanitation issue controlled by the Mafia into a regional and, eventually, national issue controlled by a different sort of gangster, large corporate interests, who bought politicians off nation-wide. South Dakotan Republican politicians, including Mike Rounds, then a state legislator, got bought off, probably pretty cheaply. South Dakota citizens, through the initiative and referendum, stood up against such corruption, and put an end to it in South Dakota, but we never sufficiently punished the politicians who would have sold off the state to criminal elements.

  10. larry kurtz 2022-11-10 09:46

    Amen, Donald Pay. Pierre is a black hole by design.

  11. Ben Cerwinske 2022-11-10 09:50

    P. Aitch makes an interesting point. Yet what percentage of South Dakotans are true ranchers/farmers? How much of it is people liking to think of themselves as the rancher/farmer type without actually being one?

  12. Loren 2022-11-10 10:11

    Well, yah, all that, but I can hardly wait for my food tax relief that was promised. Oh, you say, she is only going to “look into it?” Suckers! ;-)

  13. John 2022-11-10 10:31

    Rhetorical question . . . the “voters” were the once kids you taught, Corey. Between those kids and their parents, would you trust democracy to them?
    Not blaming teachers here for with barely an hour a day for rump school year – teachers cannot undo the damage of bad parents, uninquisitive parents, bad media, and social media.

  14. P. Aitch 2022-11-10 10:49

    @ O – So very astute of your assertion. It’s a greasy totem pole of advancement. It’s a zero-sum game. It’s a push the poor people down and stand upon their shoulders to get your own false sense of self-esteem. It’s a shame …

  15. Mark Anderson 2022-11-10 10:54

    Oh Edwin, abortion is the reason there was no red won in every state there was a vote on it. I have a feeling 2024 will be the year of Roe. I’m just more catholic on this issue than you are.

  16. flopster 2022-11-10 11:09

    Yes Cory you are right on as usual. SDak’ns sure put a lot of stock in ‘looks’. Look at all the press pics…she is surrounded by MEN ! Why cannot they read & see her pathetic non -performance as phantom Gov and vote otherwise ? I believe its not just the (R) path, its also eye candy/lust.
    Jamie would of started a whole new turning of the ship out in Pierre and voters were foolish enough to reject that.
    To have 40 + years of re’bub’lican domination, well I guess we get what ‘they’ vote for. She’ll be on that jet till 2024 ‘promoting’ SD for ‘her’ benefit. Frustrating, maddening.

  17. Ben Cerwinske 2022-11-10 11:15

    True Mark, but I think someone like Sutton holds a view more closely aligned with the majority of the country. Most people are “pro-life” in some situations and “pro-choice” in others. I think both labels are useless because I think most people are making a good faith effort to balance everyone’s needs even if you disagree with their conclusions.

  18. sx123 2022-11-10 11:28

    clown world

  19. Edwin Arndt 2022-11-10 12:52

    Mark, when you look at the vote totals and percentages in both
    SD and ND you will find that quite a lot of republicans won by
    60 % or better. That could be fairly accurately described as
    a red wave in those two states.

  20. larry kurtz 2022-11-10 13:22

    7. Republican politicians drive their anti-woman crusade to raise campaign dollars so ending reproductive rights in red states is Balkanizing women’s health care.

  21. Bill Stocker 2022-11-10 13:34

    But her malfeasance was looked at by an “independent “ party, who just happened to be a Republican SA. I am astonished at the amount of people who basically said when they voted for her….corruption, nepotism, embezzlement, lying is all good. You go Kristi. I am losing faith in people have any sense of integrity.

  22. Donald Pay 2022-11-10 13:47

    Edwin, You could call it a “red wave,” or you could call it a “one party state.” I’m not sure I would call Putin’s electoral victories as “red waves.” Same in South Dakota.

    Many Republican policies are not that popular in South Dakota. They often get voted down when put on the ballot. When people have the opportunity to actually decide on individual policy, they often follow a more centrist, or even, progressive path than the candidates they elect to office. When they decide on candidates, people usually don’t get presented with the rundown of policy. At best they get one or two bullet points that the candidate puts in emotional or confabulated terms. So, yeah, Republicans are very good at boiling their pitch down to a few issues that move voters. Democrats tend to see more complexity in the world, and thus their pitch sounds a bit scattered or wishy-washy.

  23. Arlo Blundt 2022-11-10 13:48

    I couldn’t have been more wrong in my prediction. Richard Schriver is probably right on target as to what motivates the South Dakota voter. I felt Smith could win in Minnehaha, he didn’t come close. I felt he could make inroads in the old Democratic Counties like Davison and Beadle, he didn’t. Smith couldn’t win in the traditional Democratic strongholds like Day and Marshall. The turnout on the Reservations wasn’t there in the numbers that a Democrat needs. I thought Smith would do better in Hughes and Brown, and Brookings. Wishful thinking. Apparently, Noem had an insurmountable lead from the day she and her horse galloped across the TV screen. I liked Smith as a candidate but you can’t do much but show the flag, if you don’t have the cash.

  24. Richard Schriever 2022-11-10 15:07

    Ben Cerwinske – you can get an answer to that by simply counting the big pick ’em ups sitting in driveways in towns and cities and acreages. Although a few of the acreage folks MIGHT have an actual use for them a couple times a year.

  25. Ben Cerwinske 2022-11-10 15:34

    Richard- Touche.

  26. P. Aitch 2022-11-10 15:37

    Edwin can be proud of being part of a red wave if he wants. What does it hurt? Being surrounded by like-minded people is a comfort to young and old, alike.

  27. WillyNilly 2022-11-10 15:56

    My folks used to say that pigs were very smart. That pigs knew enough not to soil their sleeping areas. Apparently pigs are smarter than Noem’s voters who persistently soil the place where they lay their heads.

  28. M 2022-11-10 17:09

    I think Noem’s travels have paid off. The rednecks that have moved here from Texas and Colorado are gun toting, horse riding, rally going guys that love the freedom Noem spoke of during the pandemic. I bet those 44,000 new voters were Republicans that Noem recruited from other states.

    Sutton would have won had he run. I don’t think people in the north central part of the state even heard of Smith before, but they all know Sutton. I think he could have changed some Republican voters to his side because they do like their cowboys. Many are tired of Noem, but they did not know Smith.

  29. Bob Newland 2022-11-10 18:02

    SoDak voters elected Bill Janklow about six times to various push-me-around offices. They have now done likewise with The Snow Queen.

    It’s pretty obviously the same syndrome that afflicts a battered spouse who can’t address his/her miserable situation. Sally Koskan comes to mind.

  30. Robbinsdale Radical 2022-11-10 19:53

    About Corey’s sharp debate students: I would put down good money to bet that the vast majority of them are happily living elsewhere (like myself)

  31. grudznick 2022-11-10 20:01

    You know, Mr. Radical, they’re soon going to bulldoze down Robbinsdale Lounge and the area around it a build some high-end condos and some fine eateries and fancy pubs. And all of us will rue your old neighborhood, as it will begin to attract high-falootin’ socially liberal fellows who will buy into the Rapid City experience.

  32. cibvet 2022-11-10 23:37

    The parasitic red wave of SD and ND living off the hosts of the blue states continues. Since E Pluribus Unum is no longer the national motto,
    I think its past time for the red states to be taken off welfare and fend for themselves. See if God will step up for you.

  33. ABC 2022-11-11 01:17

    Democrats have lost governor s races for 44 years now!

    Democracy works! Republicans win, hick attitudes prevail.

    No surprise there.

    I have mentioned having nonprofit Governors and Senators, yes, you, dear reader! It called DO something every day every Sunday through Saturday.

    Actually YOU are a Governor now! You don’t need to be elected. You ARE!

    A thoughtful minority can DO things the majority never dreams of!

    Be BOLD! You can do anything great if you really want to!

    Go, Governors!

  34. Loren 2022-11-11 09:50

    I thought S. Dakotan’s, and midwesterners in general, prided themselves in their basic decency and common sense. When 2/3 vote for and support corruption, it has to make one wonder. What is it that this 2/3 find appealing about nepotism, favoritism, and abuse of power, not to mention the absenteeism? Same goes for Thune who got 2/3 of the vote. He supports crotch grabbing, obstruction of justice, blackmail, abuse of power and insurrection, or at least he supports those that do. But he is a pretty boy. Also look at Montana. They just elected Zinky to congress, the guy that was sent packing for corruption, not to mention their governor who likes to assault reporters. That “cowboy logic” that we think we have… HAH! @#$%^&*!

  35. P. Aitch 2022-11-11 12:49

    grudznichts agrees ~ A diverse America needs a few states like South Dakota. SD is akin to a museum of the way things used to be. Where things don’t change, don’t modernize, and don’t move in a progressive direction. If South Dakota is anything, it’s stable. Bless you all for staying there and yet you few liberals don’t give up. Prolly because of the stubborn “Germans from Russia” heritage, huh? #grins

  36. bearcreekbat 2022-11-11 13:50

    Sometimes I wonder whether whether Noem’s voters consider the four years of misconductto be a “badge of courage” that she earned by thumbing her nose at “the man” and openly breaking the rules and completely dodging any legal or moral accountable. After all it worked on Trump voters, why not Noem?

  37. Donald Pay 2022-11-11 16:00

    P. Aitch sums it up well. South Dakota is always behind the curve. While nearly all states seem to have cast aside the nutcase theorists, South Dakota seems addicted to them. It’s almost as if South Dakota’s citizens have joined some sort of cargo cult.

  38. Guy 2022-11-13 12:50

    Well, South Dakota, you can become stuck and isolated in your own corrupt political bubble. There is hope as the Democrats keep control of the US Senate and barely have the US House. There is also hope because the up and coming Generation Z voted to show they want nothing to do with Kristi Noem’s lying, corrupt, version of “freedom”. As, President Biden keeps up the good fight to rebuild our infrastructure and help pass legislation for working families, he will prevail and I have hope the Democrats will do far better in 2024. South Dakota can either join the rest of the nation or get left behind. I’m going to keep voting to ensure we move forward and it will not be for Republicans the rest of this decade and maybe a generation. Most of the rest of the nation is moving in a direction that does not include Republican dominance, manipulation, greed, and lust for power. One day, they will be left behind and I believe it will be as soon as we reach the middle of this decade.

  39. larry kurtz 2022-11-13 15:16

    Well, anyplace is better than Pierre even DC but even if the jack o’lantern full of raw sewage decides to run Mrs. Noem will be next door raising money and selling deep-fried christofascism on a stick at the Iowa State Fair.

  40. Jake 2022-11-13 16:24

    bcb-you could be so right on!, most probably are, for sure! The mentality prevailing in our state’s recent governor vote show that the “tough guy” attitude she espouses works well with Republican voters who can’t think in terms of
    what’s better for ALL South Dakotans but instead it’s “what’s good for me”!

    A fact they all (GOP) ignore to their own peril is that the last time ranchers received over $2.00/lb. for their calves was under Obama’s presidency, and the last time our nation had a balanced budget was under Bill Clinton. Who, careless and stupid as he performed with a staff member was simply still ‘heads above’ any GOP Republican “stalwart” of the recent past and present; tho McCain, Liz Cheney, Kinzinger and Mitt Romney come to mind as upright figures.

  41. Arlo Blundt 2022-11-13 18:10

    Donald is correct, again….South Dakotans have joined the far right “Cargo Cult” which promises prosperity for all if we all just worship and stay true to the Trump-Noem-Proud Boy Dogma.

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