Politics South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem's family got $600,000 in COVID relief grants
South Dakota House moves to impeach AG after fatal crash
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota House lawmakers on Tuesday began impeachment proceedings against the state’s attorney general, who is facing misdemeanor charges for striking and killing a man with his car and is already under pressure to resign. A bipartisan group of lawmakers filed a resolution in the House to impeach the state’s top law enforcement officer, Jason Ravnsborg, after he indicated Monday he would not heed calls for his resignation.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 27, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders to discuss issues important to them. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Family members of South Dakota's Republican Gov. Kristi Noem more than $600,000 from a state relief fund that was boosted by the governor herself to support small businesses struggling under the weight of the pandemic.
According to the Associated Press, a ranch owned by Noem's family benefited from a single relief payment of $500,000. Another family business owned by Noem's two brothers, Arnold Bros. Water Management Inc., took two payments amounting to more than $100,000.
South Dakota Lawmakers Aim to Impeach Attorney General Five Months After He Struck and Killed Joseph Boever
"I do not believe Attorney General Ravnsborg belongs in prison, but I know he does not belong in the Office of the Attorney General anymore," the Republican who authored the articles said. The post South Dakota Lawmakers Aim to Impeach Attorney General Five Months After He Struck and Killed Joseph Boever first appeared on Law & Crime.A bipartisan group of lawmakers began those proceedings in the South Dakota House of Representatives on Tuesday as a direct response to the attorney general’s adamant stance in the face of three misdemeanors over the tragic Sept. 2020 highway death.
South Dakota's relief program was drummed up last October and originally limited grants to $100,000 per recipient. However, just a month later, Noem raised the cap to $500,000 and tacked on a second round of the program to target businesses affected through the months of September to November.
According to the grant program's records, just 4% of the businesses were eligible to receive state aid, which amounts to 126 businesses total.
Noem reportedly retained part-ownership of twenty-two acres of the ranch's land and received annual rent of $2,200, but the lease expired on Jan 1, about a year after Noem had taken office. "The Governor has no financial interest in Racota Valley and hasn't for years," said her spokesman Ian Fury. Fury maintained that South Dakota's grant program's eligibility requirements were ultimately set by the state's legislature, and carried out by Guidehouse, an outside consulting firm.
Kristi Noem rips virus lockdowns in CPAC speech: 'COVID didn't crush economy. Government did'
Gov. Kristi Noem received several loud applause breaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference after slamming the government-imposed coronavirus lockdowns and touting her handling of the virus in South Dakota. © Provided by Washington Examiner "COVID didn't crush the economy. Government crushed the economy,” Noem told the crowd of conservatives gathered in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday. “South Dakota is the only state in America that never ordered a single business or church to close."TRUMP SET TO DOMINATE CPAC, WHILE WOULD-BE 2024 RIVALS LABOR FOR ATTENTION.
In October, as the state's grant program was being developed, Noem directly South Dakota's Supreme Court whether lawmakers would be able to benefit from the program, citing "potential conflicts of interest." The Court unanimously that state lawmakers would not be able to benefit from the program, adducing a 2001 court decision that came to a similar conclusion. However, that ruling did not apply to the governor.
Last year, many South Dakota businesses were dissatisfied with the pace at which the program was carried out. The $450 million program was instituted in October and only provided aid to twenty percent of its applicants by December.
The Bureau of Finance and Management did not provide any information regarding when Noem's family businesses submitted their applications, but according to program records, Racota Valley Ranch Partnership received funds on Feb. 19, while Arnold Bros. Water Management Inc., while Arnold Bros. Water Management Inc. received grants on Jan. 6 and Jan. 20.
Fauci on CPAC speech: 'I'm sure that you can get a standing ovation by saying I'm wrong'
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was applauded at CPAC when she rebuked Fauci's Covid guidance.The remarks from President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser came after Noem, a Republican and an ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump, received a standing ovation Saturday at the American Conservative Union’s annual political conference for rebuking Fauci’s public health guidance.
Last week, Noem attended CPAC and a standing ovation for attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The governor advocated for a hands-off approach to COVID-19, stressing the need to preserve people's personal liberties.
"I don't know if you agree with me, but Dr. Fauci is wrong a lot," she said. "South Dakota is the only state in America that never ordered a single business or church to close," she said. "We never instituted a shelter-in-place order. We never mandated that people wear masks. We never even defined what an essential business is."
According to a as of March 1, South Dakota has the eighth highest COVID fatality rate per capita of any state in the country and the second-highest number of cases per 100,000 residents in the country.
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