Governor Kristi Noem had time last week to fly to Ohio and talk to Republican donors, but she didn’t have time all week to talk to Pierre reporter Bob Mercer about her budget plans or her press availability during the 2024 Session:
As of Sunday morning, however, the governor’s office hadn’t answered a KELOLAND News question about whether she plans a briefing for news reporters about her proposals. For decades, Noem as well as previous South Dakota governors held media briefings as part of the annual budget presentations. The question was sent Tuesday to the governor’s communications director, Ian Fury, and several other administration officials, and was resent Thursday, but there’s been no response.
One of Noem’s “four pillars of protection” that her campaign promoted when she ran for election in 2018 was “making the government open and honest.” However, during her first week in office, she broke from tradition of three previous governors and stopped issuing the weekly News Tips that included listings of the governor’s schedule of public appearances. Last year, she stopped holding weekly news conferences during the legislative session, breaking from another long-time practice.
Her office hasn’t responded to a KELOLAND News question, also sent Tuesday and resent Thursday, about whether she plans to hold news conferences during the 2024 session, which opens January 9 [Bob Mercer, “Secrecy Surrounds Noem’s Budget Recommendations,” KELO-TV, 2023.12.03].
It’s too bad the Governor can’t make anything clear to her local constituents other than her aspiration for national celebrity.