ISSUE: Noem’s new mansion at expense of our taxes


Editorial Board

A report was released by the Argus Leader announcing that Gov. Kristi Noem spent more than $68,000 of taxpayer money on decorations for the Governor’s mansion. 

The reports date back to Jan. 5, 2019, when Noem was inaugurated. The expenses include $13,000 on rugs, an $8,100 sauna and thousands more on lavish furniture and chandeliers. 

That’s $68,000 of taxpayer money, our money, that was spent on Noem’s chairs instead of improving the lives of South Dakotans. 

According to the Argus Leader, this number is on par with previous governor’s spendings, but previous governors didn’t have a global pandemic that killed off a portion of our population and left the rest to adjust to the new economic crisis of our country. You’d think Noem would be a little more frugal with personal spendings when she has to lead a state through a pandemic.

This isn’t the first time Noem has used state money for her own projects. In September 2020, Noem spent $5 million of COVID-19 relief funds on a tourism advertisement. 

Multiple times now, the South Dakota people were deprived of funding that could have been used for COVID-19 response, improving essential employees’ salaries or public assistance programs. 

What’s really rich is the backlash Vice President Kamala Harris has received from republicans after buying some fancy cookware for Thanksgiving. Harris purchased a $375 serving dish with her own money and the official republican party Twitter account claimed she was out of touch with the economic turmoil Americans are currently going through. 

Where is the same criticism given to Noem when she spends South Dakota’s money on lavish accessories to a home she doesn’t even own?

There are South Dakotans in economic turmoil; 14.6% of residents live below poverty, we’re in the lower half for average teacher pay and there were over 1,000 new COVID-19 cases today. These people could use support from their government, but I guess we can all just think about the nice rugs nobody will ever get to see inside the Governor’s Mansion. 


The Collegian Editorial Board meets weekly and agrees on the issue of the editorial. The editorial represents the opinion of The Collegian.