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Noem Spending Money Like a Drunken Sailor

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Her annual campaign-spending report shows that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem spent five times more on political activities during 2023 than she took in.

Noem reported expenses totaling $661,926.08 and income totaling $139,736.53. That pace left her ‘Kristi for Governor’ account with a positive balance of $2,164,579.41.

Her listed expenses included:
$206,257.04 for consulting.
$125,052.98 for travel.
$120,313.09 for advertising.
$101,824.90 for sales and use tax.
$47,213.70 for promotional materials and gifts.
$16,164.46 for office expenses.
$15,946.75 for event expenses.

The remaining expenses of approximately $46,100 were spread across nine other categories. Unlike federal law, South Dakota campaign-finance regulations don’t require a political campaign to report specific recipients of spending.
The report listed categories of income. They included:
$29,684.09 of unitemized contributions that were $100 or less.
$71,699.85 of itemized contributions that were more than $100.
A $1,000 contribution from an entity, in this instance PHARMA.
$37,352.59 in other income, including a refund of $1,573.66 for a list expense and a refund of $35,356.10 for media placement.

The 184 itemized contributions of more than $100 were many fewer than previous years. Most of those in 2023 were less than $1,000 and the majority were from outside South Dakota. State law caps the annual itemized contribution per individual to a statewide candidate at $4,000.

The 17 contributions of $1,000 or more in 2023 included:
$2,082.03 Henry Carlson, Sioux Falls.
$2,000 Kay Smorawske, Sioux Falls.
$1,000 Rodney DiBona, Rapid City.
$1,249.20 Norm F. Hansen, Wheaton, Illinois.
$1,353.30 John Coudures of Pasadena, California.
$1,000 Page Allen Hudson, Rapid City.
$1,275 Mark Palermo of Brooklyn, New York.
$1,000 Bob Weisser, Sioux Falls.
$1,000 Gregory Wick, Rapid City.
$1,041.20 Bob Perry, Rapid City.
$1,228.80 Walter T. Wheeler of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
$4,000 Lee McCahren, Pierre.
$1,253.76 Richard Woodruff of Atlanta, Georgia.
$4,000 James S. Brown of Littleton, Colorado.
$1,000 Patrick Armstrong of Stuart, Florida.
$2,000 Rick Hustead, Wall.
$2,082.03 Joe Vardell of Anahuac, Texas.

Noem’s lieutenant governor, Larry Rhoden, reported for 2023 income totaling $260.00 and expenses totaling $73,299.03, leaving his account with a positive balance of $99,427.28.

Noem, running for re-election in 2022 on the Republican ticket, easily defeated Democratic challenger Jamie Smith. Smith reported for 2023 income totaling $3,752.97, all in unitemized contributions, and expenses totaling $36,339.17, leaving his account with a positive balance of $64,160.28.

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