Republicans are battling themselves in the 2022 election-- for the future of the GOP.
Part-time Gov. Kristi Noem will be campaigning for the South Dakota governorship later this week in my hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah. Pierre, a media desert on the Missouri River, stands in stark contrast to the skyscraper skyline of Salt Lake City located against the panoramic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Religious leader Brigham Young led the Mormon Pioneers to the Great Salt Lake valley. Upon their arrival, Young famously said, "This is the place." From the Wasatch Front to the Arches, Utah is internationally famous for the diverse range of its picturesque natural environment.
In 2016, Utah native Evan McMullin launched a long-shot bid for the presidency, running as a conservative alternative to Donald Trump. He surprisingly captured 20% of Utah's vote as an independent candidate. Fast-forward to 2022, the biggest threat to Utah Senator Mike Lee's re-election bid are his primary challengers. Donald Trump just didn't take off in Utah which, in a state as religious as this, could be attributed to Trump's unapologetic lifestyle as a serial playboy. Mormons also generally tend to be reserved, private, and polite- offended by Trump's combative style.
Utah public schools teach that Mormons fled religious persecution, but what they forget to mention is that Latter Day Saints founder Joseph Smith was a Freemason who founded a lodge in Nauvoo, IL. The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints is, factually, plagiarized Freemasonry repackaged as Mormonism: complete with aprons, handshakes, and the Masonic iconography decorating Salt Lake City's famous LDS Temple.
Religious leader, and presidential candidate, Joseph Smith had a lot of political enemies. In 1828, the Anti-Mason Party was founded in opposition to the fraternal organization, and became the first third political party in the United States. The Masons also wanted Joseph Smith gone because he brought the secret society into the light, and initiated women into the Masonic order, under the guise of his new religious movement known as Mormonism.
Immediately upon returning from CPAC in Florida, the next stop on Gov. Kristi Noem's jet-setting list is Salt Lake International Airport. Her ambitions are the worst kept secret in Pierre. While Gov. Noem checks the 801 area code off her fundraising list, her own South Dakota Republican legislators are back at home, writing checks to Republican challenger Steve Haugaard- or secretly promising support to Democrat Jamie Smith.
Gov. Noem accused House Speaker Spencer Gosch (R-D23) of a personality clash. She also accused Haugaard of misogyny, and an anti-woman agenda, after he pointed out the fact that she caved to pressure by vetoing the fairness in women's sports bill last legislative session. When Gov. Noem's attack-dog Rep. Tim Goodwin isn't getting caught milking a tragic death in the local papers or leading a coup against Speaker of the House Spencer Gosch, Tim can be found ranting about Sherry Bren on his blog. Just last October, Goodwin called Sherry Bren, who was summoned to the Governor's Mansion for an atypical meeting with Noem's daughter, "a lower-level state employee" who was "basically the problem."
Then again in January, Rep. Goodwin obediently barked at Caroline Woods, a former Noem employee who submitted an editorial to the Rapid City Journal calling Gov. Noem out for her veto on fairness in women's sports. Kristi Noem's spokesman Ian Fury accused Woods of not being from South Dakota, and called her a "disgruntled former staffer." Goodwin joined in, calling Woods a "relatively new resident to Rapid City and South Dakota" noting for a second time that she "relocated to South Dakota." He cited "irreconcilable issues."
Rep. Tim Goodwin has yet to make a public statement about the controversy surrounding his own campaign for District 30 State Senate, but it's almost like he has this act down verbatim. If I had a crystal ball, I would guess that Goodwin's former intern is probably a disgruntled former staffer who was basically the problem, is a relatively new resident to Rapid City and South Dakota, and left employment because of irreconcilable issues. Although, as recently as last October, Rep. Tim Goodwin submitted a glowing letter of recommendation on my behalf to the South Dakota Legislative Research Council.
That said, I'm really not sure which irreconcilable issue to be the most disgruntled about:
1.) Rep. Tim Goodwin's unprofessional behavior.
2.) Rep. Tim Goodwin's revenge legislation.
3.) Senator Lee Schoenbeck's plot to reshape the state legislature.
4.) The link between T. Dennis Sanford, Kristi Noem, and child pornography.