At least Governor Noem found some local talent for the Department of Social Services. But in swiftly picking Matt Althoff to replace Laurie Gill to run the Department of Social Services, Noem goes for both theocracy and Republican machine legacy politics:
Matt Althoff has served the Diocese of Sioux Falls for the past 15 years, including for the past 13 years as chancellor. He assisted Bishop Swain in developing the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House, an outreach to homeless in the Sioux Falls area. He has also worked extensively with the administration of several social ministries carried out by or sponsored by the Church, including those involving education, healthcare, feeding, emergency shelter, and housing.
…Matt’s uncle and godfather, James Ellenbecker, served in the role of Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Social Services under Governors Janklow, Mickelson, Miller, and Rounds. Matt hopes to reflect some of the same charisms that his “Uncle Jim” shared during his tenure in office [Office of the Governor, press release, 2022.12.30].
Charisms—there’s a word you don’t hear much in government press releases. According to the Catechism of Althoff’s Catholic Church, a charism is “A specific gift or grace of the Holy Spirit which directly or indirectly benefits the Church, given in order to help a person live our the Christian life, or to serve the common good in building up the Church” [p. 870]. We should probably watch Althoff to use Noem’s gift to build up the Catholic Church on the taxpayers’ dollar.