Further demonstrating that she’s caught the strange Trumpist obsession with getting one’s face on things, Governor Kristi Noem went to Falls Park today to bubblingly reveal a race car with her face on it paid for by your tax dollars:
Live Fast Motorsports driver B.J. McLeod will race the South Dakota-sponsored NASCAR Chevy Camaro in two upcoming races in Bristol, Tennessee, and Richmond, Virginia.
…“We’ve looked at sponsoring NASCAR’s races before and partnering with teams in the past, because a lot of that demographic is who we’re talking to,” Noem said. “And so looking at who might be interested in moving to South Dakota, we knew it would be effective.”
The campaign has been funded with general marketing dollars, according to Chris Schilken, South Dakota’s commissioner of economic development. Some of the money also came in the form of leftovers from a less-successful workforce development campaign that offered direct resettlement payments to out-of-staters with in-demand skills.
Schilken confirmed that the NASCAR sponsorship dollars would be pulled from the $5 million pool, but said he can’t say yet what the final price tag of the car sponsorship would be.
…Noem’s photo and the number “605,” representing South Dakota’s area code, were on the vehicle displayed at Falls Park, but Noem said they will not be affixed to McLeod’s vehicle for the two races [John Hult, “Noem Turns Workforce Recruitment Focus to NASCAR Fans,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2023.07.27].
Yeah, boffo idea! We all remember how well Governor’s Houses sold when Governor Bill Janklow had his face painted on them:
And don’t forget Governor Mike Rounds’s smart branding of his face on the rump of every dairy cow funded by the Korean and Chinese investors to whom he sold green cards:
And we surely all remember Governor Dennis Daugaard’s wildly successful plastering of his handsome visage on South Dakota’s workforce recruitment kiosk at the Mall of America in 2013:
So I don’t want to hear any complaining from Noem-haters about her spending lots of tax dollars to put her face on a race car. She’s just following in the tradition of great South Dakota Governors who recognized that the state’s single most valuable asset for promoting the opportunities and quality of life South Dakota has to offer is the Governor’s comely face.