Gov. Kristi Noem may have illegally used state airplane to attend right-wing political events

Kristi Noem, the GOP superstar governor who took one of the least densely populated states in the nation and turned it into a big-city-style COVID cluster*, appears to be Republicaning in other ways, too.

In other words, she’s following in the feculent footsteps of her ocher overlord by engaging in what appears to be some serious heavy grifting.


Newly unearthed flight logs show South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem used a state airplane to travel to right wing political events around the country, a revelation that has state lawmakers questioning whether she violated a state law forbidding political and personal use of the aircraft.

The flight logs, published for the first time in this report, raise questions about the propriety of tens of thousands of dollars' worth of taxpayer-funded flights to out-of-state events hosted by groups such as the National Rifle Association, Turning Point USA, and an organization affiliated with the late GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, South Dakota politicians and experts told Raw Story.

Noem has perfected the Michele Bachmann basilisk stare, so I’d hate to be the one to confront her over this lest my crops shrivel and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth—but it sure looks like someone might be interested in following up.

In the Mount Rushmore State, all this would not be just an ethics lapse; state law forbids the use of a state-owned aircraft for anything other than state business. There are no exceptions, and the law mandates fines of ten times the cost of the flight for a plane's misuse.

So, WWDD—what would Donny do? I mean, other than build a snow fort from millions of crushed Adderall tabs and retire there with his penguin henchmen before eventually collapsing face-first into a holiday tub of caramel corn. 

So after eschewing big-city ways in favor of down-home, shit-kickin’ common sense (and as a result rivaling—or surpassing—densely populated urban states’ COVID numbers), Noem has apparently decided she wants to join the big leagues when it comes to graft.

Way to go, Kristi! Your status in the GOP is now assured! Luckily for you, the party of personal responsibility is now the party of “get away with pretty much anything if you’re well-connected and white.”

*Sixth in the nation in COVID deaths per million population. Seriously, South Dakota.

”This guy is a natural. Sometimes I laugh so hard I cry.” — BETTE MIDLER on author ALDOUS J. PENNYFARTHING, via Twitter. Need a thorough Trump cleanse? Thanks to Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, Dear Fcking Lunatic, Dear Prsident A**clown and Dear F*cking Moron, you can purge the Trump years from your soul sans the existential dread. Only laughs from here on out. Click those links, yo!

  • February 15, 2021