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Noem Cocktails with Exclusive Laguna Beach Club

Last updated on 2012.05.05

Congresswoman Kristi Noem isn't just going Washington on us; she's going California. Apparently governing is easy enough that Rep. Noem has the time and energy to fly out to Laguna Beach to have cocktails with Gen Next, an exclusive, invitation-only pro-business club. Price of membership: $10,000 a year.

Rep. Kristi Noem at Gen Next, Laguna Beach, CA, Feb. 25, 2011
Hey, where'd her cowboy boots go? (Photo from
Rep. Kristi Noem at Gen Next cocktail party, Laguna Beach, CA, Feb. 25, 2011
So cute when she smirks -- Rep. Noem tests her George W. Bush impression. (Photo from

Now if a South Dakota Congresswoman were to spend time hobnobbing with rich Californians with a liberal bent, up would erupt a great hue and cry about our Congresswoman schmoozing with West Coasters instead of focusing on her own constituents. But let those Californians be Orange County Chamber of Commerce types, and everything's fine and dandy, right?

So I wonder how many donors Rep. Noem found for her new PAC at this event?

Update 2011.03.10 10:34 CST: Oh, but Kristi hasn't forgotten her South Dakota roots. She and her Tea Party pals are only charging $15 a pop to have breakfast with her this Saturday in Sioux Falls. Those California high-rollers could have spent $15 on breakfast, $700 on a short-notice plane ticket, and still saved on their $10,000 club membership. Ha ha---who's the rubes now, Laguna Beach?


  1. mike 2011.03.09

    A newspaper should put this on the front page. I bet Noem would have to talk about it.

    She better be careful or she will look like she's no longer a south dakota rather than a SD Congresswoman.

  2. matthew siedschlaw 2011.03.09

    I knew the day of the DSU Parade when I saw this farmer eating a salad at a Dairy Queen and stealing her children's french fries...that she would be all about the average South Dakotan and would make sure to end the waste in Washington and not cave to the special interest groups......

  3. Barry G. Wick 2011.03.09

    What I've noticed most about South Dakota's Republicans in the last 17 years is how much they don't want South Dakotans influenced by outside opinions and laws...but they get on their horses and ride away as fast as they can to collect the wealth from other states to keep us barefoot and ignorant. Their fiefdom remains intact here as long as the citizens blindly follow...and it looks as if there will no change anytime soon.

  4. mike 2011.03.09

    Her hair sucks! I used to think it was pretty decent. But what is with the blonde stripe on the front and the big bump on the back?

  5. larry kurtz 2011.03.09

    It looks like she's standing in a puddle of her own bile.

  6. Stan Gibilisco 2011.03.10

    How dare one of our Congress people solicit contributions from wealthy pro-business folks in some remote coastal town, instead of sucking the maximum possible amount of dough out of happless, struggling South Dakota taxpayers!

    Having lived in southern California for awhile, I can tell you that Orange County in general, and Laguna Beach in particular, is solidly Republican. Or was, in 1997-1998, anyway.

    She might also try hustling residents of the Palos Verdes peninsula where I hung out during my sentence in the Golden State. Lots of money there, too, and the people are discreet about it and generous with it, too.

    I have to agree that the hair is a bit much. However, I think I can manage to look past that. I have not passed judgment on her performance in Congress, yet; it's way too early for my Vulcan logic to operate.

    I hope Kristi makes certain that not a single penny of my hard-earned South Dakota income goes to bailing out the State of California.

  7. Wayne Pauli 2011.03.10

    These type junkets are normal course of business and all of our people with South Dakota values that are sent to DC end up doing them. Maybe she was doing the Governor's work and recruiting new business for South Dakota? (You know, our plan for stimulating the "new" South Dakota economy) Maybe she was trying to understand their position on education where it does not say to cut the budget on education? Maybe she can explain that to DD. Or, maybe she was feathering her nest getting ready to run for Senate?

  8. Tom 2011.03.10

    So when the budget cuts that Krisiti is so committed to making hit South Dakota we can thank her for taking a little Cali trip instead of making sure that she was protecting and serving her constituents.

    Thank god she's charging people back home to hear her talk...gotta pay for the Cali trip somehow.

    Oh. you mean she was there to encourage voters in California to support farm and ethanol subsidies...nice!

  9. rufusx 2011.03.10

    What's with the ill-fitting London Fogish coat? Californians are notorious for their quickness to don winter gear when it reaches the 60's, and yet her "hosts" are jacketless.

  10. Tim Higgins 2011.03.10

    Tell me please all you Noem bashers. Did SHS ever take such a trip?

  11. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.03.10

    Probably. And she's not our Congresswoman any more, is she? And she got voted out by a lot of people who criticized exactly this kind of fancy-pants schmoozing, didn't she?

  12. Tim Higgins 2011.03.10

    No she is not our congressperson anymore. But did you blog about her trips when she was?

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.03.10

    No, but others did. And now Dakota War College is silent about Noem's big-roller turn. Either both sides are full of crap, or neither side is. I'll consider either conclusion a victory.

  14. Tim Higgins 2011.03.10

    No actually the way I see it, is in your camp there are one set of standards for democrates and another for republicans. You defended SHS for accepting a job as a lobbyist, yet when I asked you if you would defend John Thune you would not answer the question.

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.03.10

    No, no, no, Tim. I didn't defend SHS's lobbyist job on the political level to which you referred. I'm seeking parity: I'm willing to accept the argument that SHS's new lobbying job is a ding on her political acceptability in SD if others will accept that Thune should have taken an equivalent ding for his lobbying between House and Senate stints. I want a consistent standard. Either California cocktail parties and lobbying are small-potatoes diversions that don't help us figure out policy issues, or they do matter. Period. No party labels. Either way, I'm still perfectly consistent.

  16. Eve Fisher 2011.03.10

    And what Barry says about SD Republicans can also be said about Madison's Business Association: "What I’ve noticed most about the Madison business community over the last 20 years is how much they don’t want Madison residents to be influenced by or [God forbid] shop in Sioux Falls… but they get on their horses and ride away down to Sioux Falls or even further as fast as they can to spend their money rather than help out local industries/businesses, not to mention keep wages low here at home to keep as many as possible of us barefoot and ignorant. Their fiefdom remains intact here as long as the citizens blindly follow…and it looks as if there will no change anytime soon." Thanks Barry, and pardon me for changing it to apply to the Business Association.

  17. Tim Higgins 2011.03.10

    But hey: you’ve got to put food on the table, and you’ve got to do what you’re good at. Herseth Sandlin knows agriculture

    This statement is not defending her??

  18. caheidelberger Post author | 2011.03.10

    No, that is not a defense in political terms, only in personal terms. I would say the same thing about Thune on a purely personal basis. But asking about the merits of taking such work in terms of electability is a whole 'nother matter. The epithets hurled by conservative commentators on SHS's job prospects were political statements, just like the one I'm making above. Either we're both wrong, or we're neither wrong.

    But let's not forget, we're not talking about jobs we take after leaving office, we're talking about schmoozing with rich Californians while in office. After all of Kristi's bushwah about Nancy Pelosi, here's Kristi herself, playing to the big-money West Coast crowd when she could be in South Dakota interacting with the people who elected her. How do you defend that?

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