It hasn’t been a good week for Kristi Noem.
A South Dakota ethics board just determined there is “sufficient evidence” to suggest the vehemently anti-LGBTQ governor “engaged in misconduct” when she intervened to get her slacker daughter’s application for a real estate appraiser license approved in 2020 after it was initially rejected because she hadn’t completed the required training.
After denying Noem’s motions to dismiss the ethics complaint earlier this month, South Dakota’s Government Accountability Board unanimously voted on Monday that “appropriate action” could be taken against her for her alleged bad behavior, although it didn’t say what exactly that action should be.
Now, the ball is in Noem’s court.
The AP reports:
The state’s Government Accountability Board appears to be letting Noem decide whether to defend herself in a public hearing or simply accept an “appropriate action” that the board hasn’t detailed. It presents Noem with a choice: Stick to her defense that she has done nothing wrong and fight the allegations in a public hearing or let the matter quietly die while accepting the board’s action.
How Noem handles the matter may not dent her prospects for reelection this year in a race where she’s heavily favored to win a second term. But it may be important down the road for a politician who has methodically positioned herself to move up in national politics, including for a potential 2024 presidential run.
In a statement, Noem’s reelection campaign spokesman, Ian Fury, accused the Government Accountability Board of not following the law.
“They have yet to point to one single statute the governor has violated in either of these complaints,” he said before suggesting that the whole thing is just a political hit job.
Fury did not indicate whether Noem plans to continue fighting the allegations. The governor herself also has not said how she plans to proceed. Instead, she’s been busy tweeting about all the other super important stuff she’s got going on right now, like planning the upcoming state fair. Because, you know, priorities!
I love how passionate my team is about making lives better for the people of South Dakota. Today, we also discussed planning for the upcoming State Fair. Hope I see you there! pic.twitter.com/m9L2E4CkY9
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) August 22, 2022
She’s also been busy jetting around the country to spread her usual message of anti-LGBTQ hate and create buzz for a possible 2024 bid for the White House.
In late June, she flew to Washington, D.C. to speak at Young America’s Foundation National Conservative Student Conference, where she said she doesn’t support codifying same-sex marriage into law.
“I think there’s a diversity of opinions within the GOP, and within the Republican Party, on how people would land on that type of an issue,” Noem told the crowd, adding that she’s “never supported gay marriage” and that “a lot of my faith has to do with that.”
She made similar remarks in July, shortly after the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v Wade, when she told CNN’s Dana Bash the “debate” over same-sex marriage is one “we will continue to have.”