It certainly seems like South Dakota's governor bullied state employees to help her daughter's career
Despite having once insisted that Hunter Biden's personal business decisions did "grave damage" to then-presidential candidate Joe Biden's "credibility," South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem would evidently prefer it if people did not mention her apparently corrupt attempt to strong-arm state employees into granting her daughter a lucrative certification.
As the Associated Press reported on Monday, Noem seemingly interfered on behalf of her daughter Kassidy Peters last summer, after Peters — then 26 — applied to become a state-certified real estate appraiser, and was rejected. Per AP's reporting, that rejection was quickly followed up by an impromptu meeting called in Noem's office between the governor, South Dakota's labor secretary, the woman responsible for nixing Peters's application, that woman's direct supervisor, and Peters herself.
According to Sherry Bren, the agency head who managed the appraiser certification process for decades, the hour-long meeting included Noem digging into the appraiser certification process. A few months after that, Peters's application was re-evaluated and approved. A week later, AP reports, South Dakota Labor Secretary Marcia Hultman called Bren and demanded she resign. Bren subsequently filed an age discrimination lawsuit, before stepping down this spring with $200,000 from the state to drop her suit. Accordingly, she claimed she was unable to give further details on the meeting with Noem to AP, for fear of breaking her settlement's non-disparagement clause.
Nevertheless, the abnormal-seeming meeting between Bren and the governor strongly suggests that if Noem did not outright violate the law, then she at least entangled herself in an unseemly conflict of interest for the benefit of a family member.
"The Associated Press is disparaging the governor's daughter in order to attack the governor politically," a Noem spokesperson told AP, adding that "no wonder Americans' trust in the media is at an all-time low."
The spokesperson also attempted to frame the entire affair as proof positive of Noem's efforts to cut "bureaucratic red tape to [sic] get in the way of South Dakota's sustained economic growth."
Because, as everyone knows, a parent's job is never complete until they use their high-ranking elected office to allegedly clear every inch of bureaucratic red tape standing between their child and a hefty annual paycheck. It's heartwarming, really.