2 Daugaard family members join state gov’t

The RC Journal has a story today about two members of the Daugaard family being added to the state payroll…..

Read it here

If their resumes support their hiring — meaning were they qualified — I’m inclined to give it watchful approval.  The Journal story would suggest that the two men are qualified and are willing to serve.  Should they be disqualified because of to whom they are related?  That doesn’t seem fair — but neither is life (as we tell the Golden girls all the time) .  And while it may not be fair — these two men will need to be mindful that everyday they will have to prove they are worthy of the positions.

Similarly — I don’t think Bristol Palin should win Dancing with the Stars just because of her mom’s supporters.  While Bristol has improved over the season, she still is not as good as the other celebrities….and the tea party supporters are doing Bristol no favors by subjecting her to the added scrutiny and criticism.  The poor girl has already been through enough….

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

37 Replies to “2 Daugaard family members join state gov’t”

  1. now hear this

    Guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Giving family members jobs continues from Rounds to Daugaard. Can’t wait to see what else Denny does exactly like old Mikey. Should be a snoozer the next 8 years.

  2. caheidelberger

    Hey, we Dems offered you all alternatives, but do you listen? Nooo….

    Note that if Heidepriem had won and hired family, you’d all be screaming bloody murder.

    It’s going to be a fun four years.

  3. Arrowhead

    Probably not a good idea. I didn’t like the Brendan Johnson hire but I think he is doing a good job. I’m sure that Daugaard’s family will also be good state employees but this was a poor political move that will be great fodder for anyone who wants to slam Daugaard.

    I wonder what Kristi Noem thinks about hiring family to be part of her staff? I mean she was against SHS’s husband lobbying spouses.

  4. Arrowhead

    Does anyone know who Gant or Barnett are hiring as there new staff members? I would like to learn the makeup of their offices.

  5. Anonymous

    I’m pretty sure I heard Daugaard say at Dinners or other events that he would not hire family. Did he maybe say that at primary forums or am I dreaming this up?

    Both Tony and Chris are really good guys and I don’t particularly care. I probably have less trouble with Chris’ than Tony’s.

  6. PennantChaser


    Gant is keeping much of the Nelson team aboard. He hasn’t made any hires or appointments of notice yet. I would assume his campaign manager, Rollins, would make the roster somewhere.

  7. Stace Nelson

    Anyone who has met Chris Daugaard will vouch that he is a VERY intelligent young man with a monster work ethic. I am sure there are hundreds of people like me that would happily give him stellar recommendations solely off of his work performance on the campaign trail.

  8. anon

    Nice $55,000 “entry level” salary. Too bad some professors at BHSU don’t make that much or that a high school teacher with a pHd wouldn’t either. But hey he has a degree and the right last name.

    What a joke.

  9. Ron

    As a dyed in the wool Republican, this stinks. I don’t care that they are undoubetdly capable. There must be many that are as well or more qualified. Nepotism is never acceptable. And politicians wonder why the voters have lost faith.

  10. anoonymous

    Stace, nobody is saying he’s stupid. This is a stroke job and you know it. Normally, to avoid this problem, Dennis would call some fat cat and say give my kid a job, then he can later stroke the fat cat. Dennis just took out the middleman so he doesn’t own anyone a favor. Shows Dennis is very confident voters don’t care or have a short memory.

  11. Anonymous

    55k for a new graduate in SD? No advanced degree, no experience, just a member of the lucky sperm club. Ain’t SD great?

  12. Anonymous

    Anon 1:10, I think most Profs make way more than $55,000 and I know many teachers who make that much and they don’t have a PHD. Look at Chicoine, Pres of SDSU, and Abbott of USD, they get hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, many times more than the governor.

  13. dilligas

    Anonymous – I know of a professor, Phd, with 3 years experience making a little over $41K. The top people do ok, but the rank and file are way below market. But that is SD, what else is new.

  14. grudznick

    My granddaughter says Gant is canning half the staff, and that PP will indeed be running the office. No doubt Mr. Gant can appreciate PP’s help, but I hope he downsizes (his office.)

  15. Pierre Guy

    Well it just shows that no matter who gets elected into power jobs for the people bring along their famiies and supply their best buddies jobs in all sorts of office positions. PP running an office?

  16. shamrock

    Anon @ 6:10. Maybe you work in state gov, because you are out of touch with most teachers. the salary schedule for teachers in my district maxes out below 55,000. This just another example of bad state gov’t.

  17. grudznick

    Powers and Gant will be pulling down $60K, $70K, maybe $80K a year. And they deserve it. But they’d better be in the office every day.

  18. CaveMan

    If anyone remembers Spring graduation 2009 at SDSU the Student Body President; Chris Daugaard, gave the finest speech ever by a 20ish year old kid. Heck he could have been a toastmaster winner that day as he had the entire crowd laughing out loud. Rock the Mullet Chris!!!

  19. sd

    The difference between Chris Daugaard vs. a typical college professor – Chris Daugaard is actually worth what he is being paid.

    excellent person
    qualified candidate for the job
    good for the PUC

  20. Stace Nelson

    @anoonymous This wouldn’t even be a discussion if his last name was not Daugaard. Take that out of the equation and look at what the young man did for our new Governor’s campaign, his obvious intelligence, and the workhorse work ethic I saw first hand, and you have a brilliant young man that any employer would want on staff.

    I have seen government jobs given to unworthy candidates, this is clearly not the case here. Chris is good people and I believe he will serve South Dakota well.

  21. Elais

    Stace Nelson,

    Daugaard did the hiring himself, so this is nepotism, plain and simple, regardless of how stellar the candidate.

  22. Stace Nelson

    @Elais Actually, as indicated in the article, Chris was not hired by his father and an employee’s qualifications are an issue when considering a complaint of nepotism.

    Tony’s appointment is to a key advisory position that anyone elected to governor is allowed to choose who they want in that position as a personal trusted advisor. Clearly, his trusted advisory role in Gov.(Elect) Daugaard’s successful campaign earned him that appointment with our new governor. Persons appointed to that position are solely the prerogative of the elected governor.

    I would have less respect for our new governor if he did not reward those close persons that worked so hard, and successfully, to get him elected. I can also understand his desire to have someone close to him that he knows will be candid and loyal.

  23. Give Chris a break

    Chris wouldn’t take a job he hadn’t earned and a review of the hiring process would certainly show he earned it.

  24. Anonymous

    55k for a kid just out of undergraduate? Spin it all you want it still stinks to high heaven. Oh,I forgot, I’m sure it wasn’t because his last name was Daugaard. Prenty good start for a new administration. Two relatives hired right off the bat. I was afraid things were going to be different.

  25. Veritas

    It goes without saying that those who are defending this would be screaming the loudest if Heideprim had won. I hate partisan politics.

  26. Stace Nelson

    @Veritas “Truth” is not doled out with a cynical paint brush swipe; however, through deliberate measurement after situational examination of the facts. The truth of the matter is that both appointments, when examined without malice, demonstrate that both gentleman are capable qualified honest men that will serve South Dakota with the same virtuous ethic that earned them the respect of our Governor (Elect).

    An honest action, taken in the light of day, should not be discolored simply because you dislike the actor(s); otherwise, it becomes falsitas.

  27. Veritas


    It troubles me that you, an elected official enstrusted by the people to serve their interests in the state capitol, are instead spending your time defending an obvious abuse of power by the head of your party.

    What the governor has done is legal, but it isn’t right.

  28. Stace Nelson

    @Veritas (AKA Falsitas)I serve the Good Lord and the good people of District 25, they are the head of my party and they are who I answer to. Dennis Daugaard is good people and I have no problem defending his good name from dishonest attacks from the shadows, as I have done for others in the past on this very same blog. From your comments herein, I could see where an honest man using his God given name to address unwarranted attacks on good men would be offensive to you. I am good with that and I am glad to have been of service.

    The Governor (Elect) legally and publicly appointed two proven public servants into higher positions of trust and responsibility for the people of South Dakota. You have proffered no evidence that these two men did not warrant those appointments, nor evidence that they are unfit for continued service.

  29. Veritas


    I use a pseudonym. That doesn’t mean I’m hiding in the shadows. My name is Justin Warfel.

    Fore the record, you are misrepresenting my statements. I don’t believe it is an attack to point out that what the governor elect is engaging in is unethical, even though legal. I have nothing against Dusty or Chris, I simply don’t agree with the process by which they have been appointed. As to the governor elect’s appointment of family members, it’s disgraceful.

  30. Stace Nelson


    Donning a pseudonym affords such known cover & concealment.

    Your statements misrepresent themselves and good people that deserve better. You make personal condemning comments about these good people’s appointments/employment, without reflection or due credit for their qualifications, then you personally malign & insult me for daring to request these people’s employment/appointments be judged without malice.

    After your own apparent maligning by the press & POTUS, you think you would afford others the facts of the matter over projected misrepresentations…


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