A former senior advisor and policy director for Gov. Kristi Noem is still in Pierre and gearing up to make political waves in a more grassroots way.
Maggie Seidel confirmed in an email to the Argus Leader that she’s the chapter chair of South Dakota’s new and only Moms for Liberty chapter, based in Hughes County, where Pierre is the county seat.
Seidel resigned from the governor’s staff in March 2021, and shortly after announced she was tapped to lead communications for D.C.-based financial security company Finseca. She has lived in Pierre for nearly three years now.
Moms for Liberty is a political action committee that “welcomes all that have a desire to stand up for parental rights at all levels of government,” according to its website. The website says it's a 501c4, but an Argus Leader review of public records shows that the chapter is not yet listed on the South Dakota Secretary of State’s lobbyist filings of political committees, and not filed with the Federal Election Commission as of yet.
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The national group started in 2021 with a small group of Florida moms, and has grown to 100,000 members in more than 200 chapters across 38 states so far, according to its website.
Across the nation, Moms for Liberty chapters and other local PACs have driven interest in school board races, endorsing and raising money for candidates, many of whom rejected mask mandates in the wake of COVID-19 or opposed race-based education, according to USA Today.
The group opposes government overreach, promotes liberty and engages communities and elected leaders on “key issues impacting our families,” according to its website.
In Florida, leaders of the group have presented on ways schools were supposedly corrupting their children with “secret Marxist” beliefs and griped about social-emotional learning that teaches students empathy and emotional processing.
At the Moms for Liberty summit in Florida this summer, members told of a “cynical conspiracy infiltrating American public schools, with little or no evidence to support their claims,” according to the News-Press.
The group’s successes have been seen across the country in schools and libraries that have reviewed and removed books, and in states that have passed laws restricting what schools can teach about race and LGBTQ issues.