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CHRISTENSON: Noem continues to obfuscate
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CHRISTENSON: Noem continues to obfuscate

alan christenson

Alan Christenson

I am a semi-retired accountant and avid photographer (why I live in the Black Hills!), and politically moderate. My wife and I love Rapid City and the Black Hills, and are extremely disappointed in Governor Noem and some of the political directions in South Dakota.

Noem is more translucent than transparent.

Virtually all politicians tout their belief in being as “transparent” as possible. Governor Noem has vowed repeatedly that she wants her reputation to be that she was a “transparent” governor for the state. Sadly, that will NOT be her legacy, for she is far more translucent than transparent. Sometimes she is downright opaque.

The other day in a press conference, after describing the plight of a hotel owner in Midland who will be faced with the task of how to survive following President Biden’s termination of the XL Pipeline when she had incurred expenses in the remodel and expansion of the hotel in anticipation of business from the pipeline workers, Governor Noem went on to berate the “press” for their lack of coverage of the adverse impact the pipeline cancellation would have on the residents of South Dakota. She complained that the story of the women impacted was published in Washington D.C. and not in the press anywhere in SD. Please understand that I sympathize with the hotel owner and sincerely hope that she finds some solution to her situation. But her situation is one of the possibilities in a “free enterprise” society. And the economic impact to her area would have been temporary, just as the vast, vast majority of those jobs were temporary.

These are examples of Governor Noem allowing “some” of the light to shine through, but certainly not all of it

When the pandemic first appeared and businesses and governments across the country were trying to act to minimize the impact on residents as quarantine became more widespread and job losses began to skyrocket. One of the actions some states were taking was the suspension of evictions for people who could not pay mortgage or rent because of income loss as their jobs vanished in the pandemic, yet in SD Governor Noem walked away from implementing that in our state. Why did she not rail against the lack of reporting on the impact of eviction of people who lost not only their job but also their homes? Fortunately, some cities implemented relief for these residents, but not our Governor. Why would she be so aghast at the action of President Biden with the pipeline, but not from the impact of a pandemic when she herself could have taken action?

She is doing the same thing with the action against Amendment A. First she said that she had nothing at all to do with the action brought by Thom and Miller against Amendment A. Then in January, she said she directed them to bring the action! Then later she said that some of the issues in Amendment A that were problematic were brought to her attention by Thom and Miller. So what is the truth, Kristi? Can you actually speak the truth? Do you only believe in “Freedom of Choice” when the people choose what YOU believe?

She is “troubled” that no decision has been made in the investigation of the fatal accident near Highmore involving the State Attorney General. But can the Governor not take action to speed this process along? A fatal accident happened in Rapid City not long ago, and within 3 hours a determination had been made to prosecute the driver. Why are we taking so damn long to render a decision on the Attorney General? Is he a different class of human being than the driver in Rapid City? Does he have incriminating photographs of the Governor or some other official that is delaying this process?

Lastly, our Governor spent a fair amount of time away from our state in an effort to try to help President Trump retain the office of President. Apparently the Trump campaign did not cover her costs (it should have), and now the Governor is hesitant to be transparent with the cost and time of her absence. It is as if she believes we are her subjects, rather than the people to whom she answers as Governor. We, the people, have an absolute right to know the aggregate cost of those travels and how many days she was absent and not involved in state business. This is not a request for detail protection information, but a financial cost request and how many days she spent on other activities than what she was elected to do.

Translucent, not transparent.

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