Congresswoman Kristi Noem can't make anyone happy. The day after her fellow Republican Dennis Daugaard proudly told a crowd of artists in Pierre that he supports extending the half-penny tourism tax (i.e., increasing the tax burden visitor-related businesses could have expected next fiscal year), Rep. Noem voted to cut $20.5 million from national funding for the arts. Says Pat Boyd, director of South Dakotans for the Arts, "The national picture is getting ugly fast. Rep. Noem has cast her first vote on public funding for the arts, and it is on the wrong side."
But Noem doesn't need paintbrush twirlin' hippies like Pat and me on her side. As she leans back in those stirrups and hauls back hard on those fiscal reins, she's got those Tea Bags snug in her cowgirl hip pocket, right?
Wrong. Rep. Noem tinkled in the tea by voting with those darned Democrats to block the deeper cuts some serious conservative Republicans wanted. "There's pee in the punchbowl," says conservative AllahPundit.
Wow: don't tell me Kristi Noem will end up in 2012 as a mirror image of Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in 2010: Too much her own party's girl for folks on the other side of the aisle, not true enough to her base's ideals to fire them up to re-elect her.