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Noem Uses Disaster as “Poster Child” for Overcoming Her Own Failure on Farm Bill

Monday's Dakota Digest from South Dakota Public Broadcasting quoted someone who really made me question the effectiveness of South Dakota's lone representative in the U.S. House, particularly as it relates to the Farm Bill that's awaiting yet another round of negotiations before taking effect. Perhaps not surprisingly, the person whose commentary calls into question the value of our current Congressional representation is U.S. Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-SD) herself:

Especially since this disaster has happened, I think it's been the perfect poster child for why we need a Farm Bill and what provisions are really included in a Farm Bill that help make sure that we have a viable agriculture industry [Kristi Noem, as quoted by Charles Michael Ray, "Ranchers Call for Farm Bill," Dakota Digest, 2013/11/04, timestamp 03:02].

That's right, Noem has found the silver lining in the storm clouds of a record-breaking blizzard that left tens of thousands of cattle dead and ranchers unable to reach the resources of a federal government she and her colleagues shut down. While West River ranchers still struggle to recover, Noem now has in their disaster the "perfect poster child" for sounding good to her colleagues on the Farm Bill Conference Committee.

Rep. Noem also says she's more popular than ever on the Hill:

Members walk by me all day long every day that said [sic], "Man, we're thinkin' about South Dakota. We gotta get a Farm Bill done." And a year ago, honestly, that wasn't happening; people didn't realize the urgency [Noem, as quoted on Dakota Digest, timestamp 03:18].

That's right, a year ago, when Kristi was more focused on getting re-elected than doing any governing, people didn't see the urgency of getting a Farm Bill done. Perhaps that's because at that point, uncertainty about the Farm Bill didn't even worry Noem.

If the reason a Farm Bill hasn't passed is that Congress doesn't understand its importance to the agriculture industry, it's the job of an ag-state Congresswoman like Noem (who's on the Agriculture Committee, to boot!) to get them to understand. If Noem had done that job from the start, ranchers wouldn't be relying on DQ burger sales instead of the Livestock Indemnity Program to recover from their October losses.

The basic job expectation of passing a Farm Bill is one at which Kristi Noem has failed every step of the way, whether because of intraparty squabbles in the House, attempts to separate feeding hungry people from subsidizing farmers, or good old-fashioned refusal to be part of a compromise solution.

If Noem can't get the job done without having a once-in-a-century disaster handy to make her case, it's time we give her job to someone else. South Dakota needs a Congressperson who's more interested in making the government work than in standing in its way and then complaining when it doesn't.


  1. Amy 2013.11.05

    Kristi could not be more of a disappointment. She's an embarassment to the state, and to women who should be in the political realm. Short story: campaigns pretty. Wins. Jets to DC, oooh the big city and capital hill are so pretty and exciting. She's fresh and obviously gullible to everyone there. Tea Party corners, buys her brain. Sends her to fantastic salon for updated look & gets her all the tv time she can dream of. On FOX. She's in over her head, doesn't even know how to process that she just sold her soul.... but you know... she feels like a rock star. Done working for SD. Period.
    Still can't figure out why Matt Virulak (sp? - can't quite remember for sure now) didnt beat her last election. Dumb, dumb voters. :s

  2. caheidelberger 2013.11.05

    T! Good tough post! You're absolutely right: we appear to be getting better representation in Congress from a natural disaster than from the political and intellectual whom we have twice sacrificed our state's well-being.

    And Amy, your summary of Noem's Congressional tenure is brilliant. Keep that writing coming!

    So Noem says we need a Farm Bill to ensure a viable agriculture industry. Funny: I thought she said government couldn't create jobs, that government just gets in the way of business.

  3. Lynn G. 2013.11.05

    I feel that unqualified and ineffective elected representatives like Kristi Noem are great examples of what can happen as a result of voter apathy due to people feeling, frustrated, powerless and disconnected from what is going on in government and some just simply trying to survive day to day. Otherwise I can't see how she would have ever been elected to national office. What a waste of valuable space!

    After she is defeated perhaps she can join Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin on a bus tour.

    No to Noem for 2014!

  4. Lynn G. 2013.11.06

    Amy your spot on about Kristi. It's the best job she ever had and most likely will ever have. A pretty face was found who would support a very narrow self serving agenda while being funded by big business and outside state special interests. It must have been a well oiled and funded political effort for her to get elected.

    I was in the process of moving back to SD from Minnesota when Noem was 1st elected so unfortunately I didn't have the time to follow and get more informed about the race. One valuable experience I did have was being a delegate in helping Al Franken unseat Norm Coleman. It was the first time I went beyond voting in volunteering politically.

    A person can only take so much before you realize enough is enough! lol

  5. Robin Page 2013.11.06

    Imagine if Kristi said: "104,000 South Dakotans, mostly children, elderly and the disabled are suffering in South Dakota because of cuts to the SNAP program. We've got to get a farm bill fixed to make sure that those who cannot meet their basic food needs are helped by a Nation that cares for the well being of ALL of it's citizens." Oh, but Kristi lives in the make believe world of Wonderland...where "Tea Parties" are more fulfilling than food!

  6. joseph g thompson 2013.11.06

    Lynn G,
    Not anything to do about Representative Noem, but just a curious question. My son, his wife and my grandchildren current reside in San Diego. They have talked a little about coming back here after the kids are out of high school. What brought you back to South Dakota, retirement, better job, family, school?

  7. Lynn G. 2013.11.06

    Joseph, Utopia is a state of mind. I've lived in other parts of the US over the years and even those places were beautiful and had much to offer South Dakota was just home and my heart has always been here with my ancestors homesteading here with deep roots. I love the open prairie, 4 seasons, the people and unique upper Midwestern culture, low cost of living, safety, clean air good education system, our cultural diversity, history and other things many may take for granted. The longer I was out of state the more I appreciated it. I love to travel and still can but now I can come back to a place I love and is really home.

    There are plenty of kids I went to school with who left the state and did really well regardless of occupation and some have moved back sometimes sacrificing income to raise a family for quality of life and others wish they could. Not all but many. Again it's a very personal decision depending on where they are really happy.

  8. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.11.06

    Lynn, I love the idea of a New Three Stooges Bus Tour! Palin, Bachmann, and Noem. Hilarious! For the SNL parody we'd need to get Tina Fey for Palin, of course. Kristin Wiig's ditzy pretty face for Noem. Who can do 'crazy zealot' well enough for Bachmann? Maya Rudolph?

  9. Lynn G. 2013.11.06

    Deb, Kate McKinnon from SNL might do a good Michelle Bachman for the New Three Stooges tour. :)

  10. Deb Geelsdottir 2013.11.07

    Yeah Lynn. Kate might be a good Bachmann.

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