Jet-setting SD Governor Kristi Noem hasn't been shy about racking up her frequent flyer miles. From Jackson Hole, CPAC, to SLC, and more but Noem must've had a log in her eye when she took to social media to accuse House Republicans of holding the 2022 budget hostage because they wanted to go on "vacation."
Last August, I was wrapping my head around the political alliance between Governor Kristi Noem and the President Pro Tempore of the State Senate Lee Schoenbeck. At this time my former boss House Majority Whip Tim Goodwin (R-D30), Kristi Noem's West River Director Ed Randazzo, and Senator Jessica Castleberry (R-D35) were using shady tactics in an attempt to recruit me into running for the state House of Representatives in one of South Dakota's most conservative districts as a primary challenge to ultra-conservative Rep. Tony Randolph (R-D35). I served as Chairman Randolph's intern on the House Military and Veterans Affairs committee. Rep. Randolph is one of a number of Republican so-called "wackadoodle" legislators who have found themselves caught in the crosshairs of the King Cobra of the State Senate Lee Schoenbeck and his PAC South Dakota Strong.
Rep. Randolph has an extremely conservative voting record to say the least. He is a religious fundamentalist, unabashed social conservative, and is unafraid to be vocal about his Christian faith or radically right-wing views.
The bill's opponents called it one of the "most damaging, comprehensive, and retrogressive anti-LGBT bills in history." One aim of the bill was to nullify recognition of gay marriage in the state of South Dakota, but the bill also encompassed a wide range of other LGBT-related issues, such as banning Drag Queen Story Hour from public libraries and schools. The bill was later withdrawn at the request of Rep. Randolph.
During the 2022 legislative session, Tony Randolph scored a major victory for the pro-life movement after prime sponsoring HB 1113, which prohibited threats made with the intent to coerce a woman into having an abortion. HB 1113 was a solid piece of bipartisan pro-life legislation--even the South Dakota Democrats voted for it! It passed unanimously through the House and Senate, and was signed into law by Governor Noem. Randolph had this comment regarding HB 1113 and Republican wackadoodles,
I am grateful for the passage of HB 1113 and all the help I had getting it to the Governor's desk. As far as Senator Schoenbeck and the Governor targeting conservatives, I find it interesting that the Democratic wing of the Republican party is coming after those who work to follow the Constitution as well as the platform by those who regularly ignore both.
During the 2016 presidential election, populist movements shook up both sides of the two-party aisle in American politics. After the Democratic National Convention chaos in which Hillary Clinton stole the Democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders, many of his supporters made good on their promise of "Bernie-or-Bust" by abandoning the sinking Democratic Party and joining ranks with Republicans and Independents to elect Donald Trump in his blind-slide election night victory. In 2017, NPR reported that 1 in 10 Bernie Sanders supporters voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Today, during the 2022 midterms, the GOP Republican Establishment now struggles to wrestle back control of the party from the emboldened anti-establishment wing ascending through the local, state, and national level of the GOP. This anti-establishment wing is comprised of a strange somewhat ragtag and disorganized coalition of right and left wing populists, Tea Party conservatives, Christian fundamentalists, libertarians, independents, and disenfranchised moderate Democrats who want to push back against the woke mob.
This unusual, young and energetic political coalition spooks the war-hawks, big business interests, and entrenched bowtie conservative class who have long benefitted from being the red-colored boot in the march of tyranny. The South Dakota GOP's family feud is best summarized in the words of South Dakota's very own America First fraudster Kristi Noem,
We are now seeing a battle in the Republican Party between the populist wing and traditional limited government conservatism. Some so-called conservatives want to regulate businesses to prevent them from requiring a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment.
Call me a wackadoodle, but I believe that American citizens ought to have the right not to have their constitutional rights shredded by big corporations, such as Sanford Health. Gov. Kristi Noem is beholden to special interests like healthcare titan T. Dennis Sanford, the children's philanthropist currently under investigation for child pornography, who made her political career. Her pompous op-ed about true conservatism on vaccine mandates left a bad taste in my mouth. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, before launching herself into national stardom as the MAGA Barbie governor, I distinctly remember Gov. Noem shilling for a track and trace app. So it makes sense in hindsight that Kristi Noem would team up with Lee Schoenbeck to boot any conservatives from the state party who aren't on his payroll and down with the plan to reshape the state legislature into his image.
In contrast to the dirty politics, tire slashing, and other D.C.-style shenanigan's infecting other primary races within the state party; waking up to see pantsless Randy Deibert from District 31 on my Twitter feed was an ordinary day in the bizarre world of SDGOP politics.
Another GOP firebrand from Lawrence county is the up-and-coming conservative star in the state legislature, and proud wackadoodle, Rep. Scott Odenbach (R-D31). Odenbach is currently running for re-election to the District 31 House. As a freshman legislator, Rep. Odenbach squared up to Gov. Noem last fall when he called for a special session to address vaccine mandates, which prompted Noem to publish her aforementioned op-ed about what a true conservative is. Earlier this month, Rep. Odenbach posted the following photo and statement to Facebook:
THROWBACK THURSDAY: Pat Buchanan, JD Vance, and America First
Woke corporations with high-paid lobbyists who only see fellow citizens as part of "the workforce" - to be housed and fed to fuel greater growth - cannot form the basis of a successful political movement.
In South Dakota, we're currently in a battle to define what it means to be "conservative." Please do your homework and find out which candidates have been consistently conservative in defending your values vs. just latching on to the label for political gain in an election year. HINT: Using words like "common sense" to mask their real agenda, calling fellow Republicans "whackadoodles," voting for new big-government spending programs, and opposing tax cuts in Pierre - is NOT IT.
I've been defending this cause from the beginning. If you have questions about a candidate or their message, please give me a call or DM any time."