Jay Duggan August 02, 2021

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem was hailed as a hero for never enacting a statewide lockdown or mask mandate. Local counties, cities, and school districts were allowed to make their own decisions. Kristi made the rounds, and even became the primary rival to Gov Rick DeSantis of Florida in the Presidential gossip circles. The reality of the mandates was Gov. Noem initially ordered at the outset all the shutdowns and mandates implemented everywhere else, but placed no penalties or state inspections for compliance so localities and people made their own decisions and enforcement.

Not long after rocketing onto the national scene in Presidential talk and a slew of national media appearances she faced her first test. The South Dakota legislature passed a bill to limit grade/high school and college locker rooms and sports teams to athletes of the same biological sex. Kristi Noem vetoed the bill not once, but twice. It was alleged then by many, including Catholic Vote, she vetoed the bill because she was not willing to confront the NCAA giant and corporate pressure in court or in the pocketbook. Kristi claimed later to be working on a multi-state solution to withstand NCAA pressure, that has never been mentioned since.

On July 22nd healthcare system behemoth Sanford Health, based out of Sioux Falls South Dakota, implemented a vaccine ultimatum to it’s employees to get vaccinated or get fired on Nov 1st. In a race to prove that corporate dollars speak louder than conservative values Governor Noem tweeted out “find a new employer” as her solution. As one of only 3 large healthcare systems in the entire state and the only one in Eastern South Dakota, North Dakota and most of Western Minnesota, where will the affected Sandford employees “find a new employer”? It was rumored that Sanford (who has former lobbyists on Noem’s own staff) pressured her on the NCAA decision, and it may be this second instance of Sanford Health having it’s way that displays who has the real power in South Dakota….and it’s not the people.

The Rocks & Cows once aspired to become part of South Dakota after Rep. Jeremy Munson introduced the idea, but after this latest episode maybe Jeremy was a little more spot on looking to Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa for real freedom.

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