Kristi Noem's empty chair in House AgMatt Varilek is pushing Rep. Kristi Noem on her chronic committee-skipping... with evidence. Team Varilek has launched a new website,, that documents the statements that John Thune, Bill Janklow, Stephanie Herseth (no Sandlin then), and Kristi Noem placed on the record in Agriculture Committee hearings during each Congressperson's first term in office. Let's just compare quantity:

  • Thune: 40 pages in the transcript of questions and answers.
  • Janklow: 52 pages
  • Herseth: 16 pages (and that's just in her first few months after the June 2004 special election)
  • Noem: zero pages.

You can decide whether quantity equals quality. But when she was appointed last June to replace the Tennessee Congressman who was picked first for the seat, Rep. Noem said, "I had always planned on serving as a strong voice for South Dakota ag, now this new committee appointment makes it official." Now Noem says she "didn't go to Washington to talk."

But Kristi was talking on Fox with Greta Van Susteren again last night. Smile for the camera.