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Noem Backing out of State Fair Debate

Last updated on 2014.08.29

Kristi Noem, State Fair debate chicken
Even guys in overalls can't get Kristi Noem to debate at the State Fair.

Rep. Kristi Noem is dodging the State Fair debate again. A source says South Dakota's sole Congresswoman has declined the invitation of the South Dakota Farmers Union to appear on stage with her Democratic challenger Corinna Robinson on Saturday, August 30.

Rep. Noem's chicken act repeats her 2012 debate-diss, when she refused to debate Matt Varilek. Noem claimed then that the Farmers Union was too partisan and unfair for her taste, even though other members of her party had no problem appearing at the State Fair debates. Noem did debate Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin at the 2010 State Fair, but apparently didn't like getting creamed.

If Rep. Noem claims scheduling conflicts, we should all shout bovine stool. During the busy last week of July, Rep. Noem found time to jet out to the Black Hills for a photo opp and to appear on Fox News to talk about one of her core competencies, our Ukraine policy. If she wanted to, she could find time in the long August recess to participate in a South Dakota political tradition and answer fair questions in front of her employers.

Robinson has accepted every debate invitation sent her way so far, and she and Noem are still scheduled to debate at Dakotafest in Mitchell on August 19. If Noem's political pals are still pulling the Dakotafest strings, maybe we'll see our Congresswoman for a brief moment eye to eye with her challenger. But who knows? When you think you're a princess, you make your own rules.


  1. owen reitzel 2014.08.02

    another Republican who doesn't believe in their values.(See Rounds).
    If you truly believe in what you are doing you shouldn't be afraid to stand up for them.
    Maybe one of her supporters could explain it. Congress is off the next 5 weeks. Scheduling shouldn't be a problem.
    Maybe your farm should be raising chickens.

  2. Tim 2014.08.02

    Noem, Rounds and Daugaard all consider themselves untouchable, I would love to see the looks on their faces if they all got tossed. Sadly, I am afraid voters here have not been screwed hard enough by republicans yet to make that jump. Maybe the pain will be harder to live with in 16.

  3. Jenny 2014.08.02

    Typical political game - avoid debates if you're solidly ahead.

  4. Roger Cornelius 2014.08.02

    We need a cardboard Noem.

  5. 96 Tears 2014.08.02

    Coward, Snookie!

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.02

    Jenny, Watertown, Sioux Falls Lincoln, Brookings, and other great debate schools never played the game that way with my small but gutsy Montrose squad. Those schools plunged into our debates, even when they were the heavy favorites.

  7. Kal Lis 2014.08.02

    I recall my young'uns losing a few of those debates to the Patricks.

    The politicians under discussion here lack the integrity of coaches like Roberts, Mittlestedt, Maass, and Kroll

  8. Steve 2014.08.02

    I'm gonna guess that since the Garden Gnome is going to win she figures why debate when I can drive at high rates of speed along rural highways?

  9. Jessie 2014.08.02

    Noem may otherwise be a fluffhead but she, or at least someone on her campaign staff, knows that it is never in the incumbent's interest to debate a challenger. I won't be surprised if she finds a way to weasel out of the Aug. 19th debate as well.

  10. SDBlue 2014.08.03

    I am guessing Noem will set up a totally unbiased (cough) debate officiated by Angie-baby on KELO like she did when she ran against Matt Varilek. It would be interesting to see if Angie shows Major Robinson the same blatant disrespect she showed Mr. Varilek.

  11. larry kurtz 2014.08.03

    Is the SDLP going to nominate someone? Has there been any noise about somebody running as an unaffiliated candidate for the seat Noem holds?

  12. Nick Nemec 2014.08.03

    Her excuse for skipping this debate is an insult to South Dakota Farmers Union. She claims they are a partisan outfit. SDFU has members from across the political spectrum and the moderator for their debates is always some local radio reporter otherwise unaffiliated with SDFU.

    She's worthless.

  13. charlie5150 2014.08.03

    She's pretty and she has an R next to her name. Why ruin a good thing and subject her to such nonsense. This is South Dakota!

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.03

    Roberts, Mittelstedt, Maass, and Kroll—Kallis, you just named the leaders of the ticket that would win the election for the Democrats or a new party dedicated to vigorous, logical, well-informed public discourse. Forget philosopher kings—I maintain the ideal society is ruled by debate coaches and their esteemed graduates.

    The Patricks never knew if they would win or lose. We entered debate from our own version of the veil of ignorance: we have no idea how we'll come out when it's done, but we're going to campaign with everything we've got, as if we can never afford to coast.

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.03

    Nick, can we get SDFU members and their friends to all vote in unison against Noem for this ongoing insult (not to mention the ongoing insult of her failure on the farm bill and generally bad policies)?

  16. Bill Dithmer 2014.08.03

    I sure dont blame Noem for not debating. She would be in the ring with someone who has years of experience asking and answering questions. She would have to deal with someone that can string words together to express a cohesive thought, not just launder dead fish talking points.

    An education does count Kristi. Your opponent has the equivalent of a doctors degree, and you have? From where?

    It would seem like the Noem team would want to showcase her ability to handle herself in a situation either in front of the midia, or on the house floor. I guess not.

    Lets face it, if Kristi cant or wont face her constituents here at home, how in the hell can we expect her to protect our interest with her limited debating and reasoning skills.

    Or is she just shy?

    Either way she has shown in the past that her Allegiance is to her national party and not the people that sent her to DC. You talk about a slap in the face.

    She has proven through her announcement yesterday that she has a deep fear, not just of her opponent, but of her own intelligence.

    Kristi has a challenger that knows how to "hunt with the big dogs." You dont soldier up for that many years, with that kind of success, without it defining who you are.

    I wouldn't debate if I were Kristi Noem either. She isnt smart enough to win the debate, she isnt quick witted enough to match wits, and her reality is what someone else tells her it is.

    Just what were Mrs Noems qualifications for office?

    Let's see!

    Oh ya, she was a cheerleader.

    The Blindman

  17. larry kurtz 2014.08.03

    Noem: Mitchell Invitation Like Fair.

  18. Loren 2014.08.03

    Kristi is our very own version of Sarah Palin. I am sure Noem would do OK in a debate if she were allowed to write Republican talking points on her hand! Sadly, that is all we ever hear from her, even when she is not debating and has time to prepare her thoughts. Oops, oxymoron... Noem/thoughts! :-)

  19. Todd Epp 2014.08.03

    We've just invited Kristi Noem and Corinna Robinson on 8/2/14 for a debate on KSOO-AM's Viewpoint University on10/22/14. Robinson has confirmed, I'm not sure anyone from the Noem campaign has had a chance to read our invitation yet because of the weekend. I'm hopeful that we'll have both candidates in attendance.

  20. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.03

    Yay, KSOO! Every media outlet should be asking the candidates in for conversation.

  21. Todd Epp 2014.08.03

    Having produced debates for KTWU-TV in Topeka, KS, SDPTV and now KSOO off and on since the late-1980s (yes, I'm old!), frankly, I'm shocked that more incumbents don't decline debates, particularly when they have healthy leads. But more often than not, at least in my experience, they debate.

    Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think I've ever seen a candidate win an election because their opponent(s) wouldn't debate them or debate them as often as they wanted.

    Perhaps we should go to a "Survivor" styled forum and put the candidates through a series of physically and intellectually challenging (but pointless) events, eventually whittling the field down to the winner. ;)

  22. Tim 2014.08.03

    Todd, that wouldn't be fair, "intellectually challenging" would leave most republicans at a huge disadvantage...I present Ms. Noem as my first piece of evidence. They do seem to excel at pointless though, maybe it equals out. ;-)

  23. bearcreekbat 2014.08.03

    I don't think anyone really needs the actual physical presence of Noem for a fair debate. If i was running the show and she was unable to come, I would still have the other candidates there. Noem's position on the various issues is easily identified from her voting record. I would take her record and use it to establish a series of questions for those in attendance to answer.

    For example Sunday's RC Journal reports that Kristi voted in favor of suing the President. So that is her position - our resources should be used to sue the President because he delayed enforcement of a provision of the ACA to help businesses make the transition. I would ask the debaters to explain whether they agree or disagree and explain why. Noem voted to reject information from scientists and instead to order the EPA to rely on the opinions of state and local governments as the "best available science" in making decisions about the protection of species. Again, I would ask her opponents to address the wisdom of that vote. There is literally so much in her voting record that could be used to identify policy questions it would be quite easy to hold a fair debate without her. Perhaps someone from Black Hills Playhouse could even act the Noem part and verbally articulate the matters she voted on.

  24. Tim 2014.08.03

    I agree Bear, but you know as well as I do the right wing would cry, scream and yell about that damn liberal media not allowing Noem to defend her record. It's all a plot you know.

  25. bearcreekbat 2014.08.03

    Tim, perhaps to offset that type of an outcry, the forum first requests her presence and if she declines, then requests her permission to identify and discuss her votes on various issues in Congress. Indeed, the forum could ask for her written explanation of each vote, which could be read to the debate audience.

    Now if she were to refuse permission to do this, and refuse to explain her votes, it would be hard for Republicans to assert that she did not have an opportunity to defend her voting record.

  26. mike from iowa 2014.08.03

    Better idea,Todd. Let's ask the candidates to define some of the terms they use to describe themselves or their opponents and when they start using redefined terms we get to stick knives in them. That will whittle them down or make honester people out of them.

  27. Tim 2014.08.03

    Bear, that is an excellent idea, any chance it happens that way, or do they just dance around it and give Noem, Rounds and Daugaard a pass?

  28. Tim 2014.08.03

    Mike, every time I click on one of your links I LMFAO, very funny stuff.

  29. mike from iowa 2014.08.03

    Tim,mike is my name and fun is my failing. :)

  30. bearcreekbat 2014.08.03

    Tim, I don't know if they will but let's encourage the idea. Maybe Cory could throw his weight behind it?

    mike - what Tim said - thanks for the smiles!

  31. lesliengland 2014.08.03

    since kochs are settling in sd, a good ques. to christie may be how she accomodated that move.

    for example, citizens koch claim they have spent $1.2 billion charitably, and perhaps included therein is their funding of carbon-dating of construction of giza pyramids.

    heavily invested in egyptian oil contracts with halliburton, i am sure they just "happened" to understand the finacial need of egypt's cultural study costs entitling them to favorable oil contracts. duh.

    for 60 years kochs have gotten rich off of illicit payments to win contracts, trading with a terrorist state, fixing prices, ignoring safety, and neglecting environmental obligations while promoting less regulation. in just one case they paid their own lawyers $59 million just to settle price fixing accusations. bloomberg news-loder & evans, 10.3.11

    so christie, are these guys your constituents?

  32. JeniW 2014.08.03

    By donating to any non-profit organization, if qualified, those donations are tax deductions.

    Koch donating big bucks to charities, it means less money/tax that they have to pay to the federal government. (That is true for anyone donating big money to non-profits.)

    They can brag about how they donate to charities, but they will not mention how those donations really benefits them.

  33. mike from iowa 2014.08.03

    I'd like to take credit,but I'm just a passer-oner. These come from another blog that does a Friday political cartoon segment. I don't want to rile Cory up by mentioning her name or blog.

  34. MJL 2014.08.03

    Grrr. I am a bit ticked at Al Franken too in Minnesota for ignoring the Minnesota State debate and others. Republican or Democrat, you should make sure that your ideas stand up to scrutiny.

  35. grudznick 2014.08.03

    Al Franken is a libbie hack and a very bad comedian. Only in Minnesota or California could such a goof become a career politician.

  36. larry kurtz 2014.08.03

    PP is a catholic hack and a very bad blogger. Only in West Virginia or Alabama could such a goof become a career politician.

  37. lesliengland 2014.08.03

    if yah got the money, yah don't have to expose yourself to debate. unless public media asks the questions and focuses the spotlight. so defund CPB, PBS and NPR, right grudz? oh, go after the young peoples ability to vote too. keep the little people in the dark.

    $9 grudz. half of a sd photo id. oh wait, we dems want to do things fer free, like vote!

    as i recall that mn. "goof" called out repub hacks rush limbaugh ect. effectively. then he put his money where his mouth is.

  38. grudznick 2014.08.03

    Did you get those gift coupons to the Elkton I sent you, larry?

  39. lesliengland 2014.08.03

    jeniw-kochs CREATE, then fund the charity, then take the deduction, and in their case it is a complex money and influence trail. am no authority but they have infiltrated media (like murdoch), public and higher education; positioned themselves and employees as directors; stolen crude from tribes and everyone else; and ... whaddyagot?


  40. Roger Cornelius 2014.08.03

    You'll have to excuse grudz, you know how those tea party types are, if you meet one, you've met them all.

  41. Bill Dithmer 2014.08.03

    Why do the people in South Dakota continue to vote Republican, when they all want to live Democrat?

    The Blindman

  42. Douglas Wiken 2014.08.04

    Why would we want another?
    "We need a cardboard Noem."

  43. bearcreekbat 2014.08.05

    Doug, - "a cardboard Noem" - exactly! That and an examination of her voting record should be enough for any debate.

    Blindman, thanks for the dog-love link on the other thread.

  44. Lee Schoenbeck 2014.08.07

    I've always, immediately, accepted every debate offer in every race, but I am a little curious how the partisan bent of this blog feels about Tim Johnson refusing all those appearances with his opponent last time? Would you call him all those same names? Seems to me you have to mean those same nasty things about him??

    Ok, I understand that it's political season and - like football - each one is anew - so that was the last one and it doesn't count in this one.

    But in fairness, in most races, you have to prove that the body of your campaign has a heartbeat to get the opportunity to debate. If you're getting lapped and look more like a corpse - probably no free publicity from a debate. So, if you believe in your candidate, where are all those handmade signs that should be popping up all over the state for her? I've seen none! Better get off your keyboards and get to work

  45. mike from iowa 2014.08.07

    I suspect wingnuts would have revelled at the prospect of mocking Senator Johnson's slurred speech,his overall appearance and the fact he uses a scooter to get around. But then,actually attacking an opponent on the issues has never been a right wing strong suit. And let us not forget the way one party treats women of the opposing party. Have a nice day.

  46. JeniW 2014.08.07

    IMO, when candidates are being selective about which debates to participate in, they are taking voters for granted.

    In SD, being a incumbent Republican means that the candidates do not need to put much money, time, or effort into being re-elected because they know that they are pretty much a shoo in.

    Yes, Tim has been ridiculed by some because of the physical effect of his stroke. It happens often that judging competency is based on appearance and speech. I know that because I have had to work hard, repeatedly, all my life to disprove that I am incompetent based on my appearance and speech.

  47. larry kurtz 2014.08.07

    Someone should ask Noem is a debate what she's doing to uncover the crimes committed against children by Schoenbeck's religious cult.

  48. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.08.07

    Lee, my blog is a homemade sign. :-) And for the record, this blog found no positive spin in Johnson's inability to debate Dykstra in 2008. Not debating is a sign that one is unwilling or unable to fulfill a primary duty of elected office, to face public questions and lead civic conversation.

Comments are closed.