Former Noem staffer starts war of words, attacks Governor and others, earns sharp rebuke from Governor’s spokesman

Caroline Woods, spouse to Family Heritage Alliance director Norman Woods, and a Noem staffer for a time, came out in the Rapid City Journal this past week with an editorial that took a surprising swipe at her former boss for taking a more measured approach on last years’ transgender participation in sports issue:

First, let’s start with last year’s women’s sports bill that promoted fairness in women’s sports. The South Dakota legislature put this strong bill on Gov. Noem’s desk prohibiting biological males from competing in women’s sports. It protected girls in K12 sports and college. She tweeted that she was “excited” to sign the bill. Well, she quickly changed her mind. She reversed course after getting woke pressure from people including Matt McCaulley, who double-dips as a Sandford Health lobbyist and a paid advisor to Gov. Noem, and D.C. elitist, Corey Lewandowski, who is just plain creepy.

Read the entire column here.

The entire column just popped up out of the blue without any prior indication of criticism on the issue from Woods, especially given the harsh tone. Which the mainstream media ate up, because of its anti-Noem tone.

But the coverage also afforded the Governor’s people the opportunity to clap back hard:

In a statement to Fox News, Noem communications director Ian Fury described Thorman Woods as a “disgruntled former staffer.”

“This op-ed is filled with misinformation and outright lies. It comes from a disgruntled former staffer that moved to SD [South Dakota] from DC and only worked in the governor’s office briefly,” said Fury. “This op-ed reflects more work than she did in her seven short months working here. Her DC agenda did not reflect SD values, and we were happy to see her go.”


“Given HB 1217’s problematic provisions, there was a higher risk of the entire bill being enjoined if South Dakota were to be sued by the NCAA. If that had happened, no girls in South Dakota would have been protected (at K-12 or collegiate level),” he said. “Now that other states have linked arms, as Gov. Noem urged at the time, she is excited to protect girls’ sports at both the K-12 and collegiate level, just as she’s done with her executive orders.”

Read it all here.

43 thoughts on “Former Noem staffer starts war of words, attacks Governor and others, earns sharp rebuke from Governor’s spokesman”

      1. She has gone through a lot of individuals in her staff, I heard it’s in the 20s. That’s a lot of people leaving her office because they can’t work for her.

  1. So funny that he calls her a DC staffer. Almost the entire staff is NOT from South Dakota. Where’s Ian from?

      1. This is false, my apologies. He’s from Texas and lived in DC, Michigan and Ohio. But somehow HE possesses those magical mystical (mythical?) SD values that other transplants lack.

          1. Definitely not. Hillsdale College is a private college in Hillsdale, Michigan. Founded in 1844 by abolitionists known as Free Will Baptists, it has a liberal arts curriculum, based on the Western heritage as a product of both the Greco-Roman culture and the Judeo-Christian tradition. Hillsdale requires every student to complete a core curriculum that includes courses on the Great Books, the U.S. Constitution, biology, chemistry, and physics. It does not take any governmental financial support, instead depending entirely on private funding to supplement students’ tuition.

  2. Noem is going to have to earn reelection.

    This is just the beginning of the attacks on a substantial attack surface.

    On one hand, it’s the price to be paid in SD for having a big tent (see her LG).

    On the other hand, her team was warned about what would happen regarding cannabis, her biggest attack surface in my view because of how this demographic cross-cuts so many other dispositions.

    We had the answer that would have 1) prevented state sponsored monopoly, 2) dis-empower the black market and 3) positioned Noem (and Trump) for large margins of victory.

    It was a slam dunk.

    A 7/10 slam dunk.

    Darn. Hate to see that kind of missed opportunity. If you can find the video of Arizona Wildcats’ Chris Henry’s fumble versus Washington State in Tucson in the waning moments of the game (Mike Stoops’ first or second year I think), it’s kind of like that.

  3. It’s obvious Noem is having a hard time juggling all these lies and political machinations she has in the air right now.

    She is being attacked from both the left and the right, and rightfully so. In her attempt to stand out nationally she has sold out her base in SD, and in an attempt to keep her base in SD, she has exposed herself to rightful criticism with her consistency nationally.

    Attempting to “otherize” a former staffer that is no different than mr Fury himself, other than the “former” designation, really belies the Noem team’s general comms strategy.

    The chickens are coming home to roost.

    1. Noem is a trainwreck. She spends too much time trying to run for President when she has no chance. Did she go from 1-2% to 0% last year in the polls? She is not viable on the national ticket and has not been here to govern.

    2. So, someone takes a swipe at Noem in the press, her spokesman responds, and you think this represents Norm having a hard time? Give me a break.

  4. Honestly, it is still early enough to recognize she made a mistake regarding cannabis and reach out to the 70% of voters that supposedly voted to legalize it. She is a two hour interview away from putting it to bed. I think she needs to get outside her team’s bubble and start leading THEM.

    1. Mr. Dale blue links over at Mr. H’s blog posted by Lar went to porn sites. We don’t need that here and you always promoting the Demon Weed. Tokers post at Mr. H’s blog as he has the Tokers Blog.

  5. it doesn’t matter.
    The women’s sports bill she vetoed was garbage, and anybody who doesn’t know that didn’t bother to read it. That includes many of the members of the legislature who voted for it.

    I seriously cannot understand how anybody could read that thing and not realize that unlisted “performance enhancing drugs” could be anything, including caffeine, that the idea a teenager would be verified drug-free if the parents or doctor write a note to that effect (have these people ever raised kids?) was nuts, and that allowing athletes to sue school districts for unidentified “indirect injuries,” whatever they are construed to be, was a really bad idea.
    HB 1217 was really really stupid. The Senate State Affairs Committee realized it and kicked it to the 41st day.
    It should have died there. The only intelligent explanation for passing it was to use it to embarrass the Governor by forcing her to deal with it. I can see that. They don’t like her and they wanted to shit on her desk. Well, they did that well. Embarrassed the whole state with that stunt.

    1. What? I thought that Noem was loved by everyone….that is what they tell us each day.

      She is so fake

  6. Ian’s ineffective at his job. There’s no reason to spend six figures on a staffer who just creates more problems without solving any.

    1. He pisses off reporters and mouths off on Twitter. Sadly, that is being effective at his job considering the state of politics these days.

    2. Blaming Ian for this also seems wrong. He’s not rumpelstiltskin, amd asking him to constantly weave gold from the governor’s hay is weird.

      1. Either way, he’s as useless as a dead skunk, so why pay 100k a year of our tax dollars when we can get the same result for free?

    3. Why do press secretaries even exist? How is him attacking Woods and Bren an essential service the taxpayers need to spend $120k on?

    4. I don’t know whether he’s effective, but I have seen his name far too much for a staffer. His job should be to promote the office, the state, or even Governor Noem herself. He should probably pull back a bit.

  7. The media isn’t anti-Noem, she is the governor, who wouldn’t report on this? Perhaps people see her in a negative light because she is more of an autocrat than a leader. She refers to us as “her state” and what she does for us and what she allows us to do. She acts like a mini-Trump, and is divisive and takes her own beliefs above all else. Quit blaming the media for her poor reputation.

  8. The one name not mentioned here is the slithering snake who is campaigning by hypnotizing anyone who will listen, and his initials are SH. Beware of this psychopath who is spewing lies and sitting back and loving how his evil campaign against the Governor is being picked up by weak minded people like this former staffer. Caroline W. sacrificed much for the sake of SH. Never mind the damage it will do to her reputation, FHA and her husband, Norman Woods. Because of this we will no longer be supporting FHA. Nice work, SH. Those supporting this dark unknown to any similar extent need to think long and hard.

    1. You think an uber conservative is selling herself out to a democrat operative? For what reason exactly? These conspiracies make no freaking sense.

  9. Of course Noem attacked Caroline Woods through Fury. That’s how they do it—attack the messenger instead of being truthful. Just like they attacked Odenbach over “chasing headlines.” If there’s anyone here in SD chasing headlines, it’s Kristi Noem. Her train went off the track here in SD when she started trying to cater to the big leftist businesses to get their money instead of to her conservative base. Unfortunately for her, her conservative base is beginning to wake up and expose her as the turncoat she actually is.

    1. I’m glad we can all agree that Noem doesn’t have SD’s best interests at heart. Let’s express that at that ballot box in November.

      1. 100% agreed, better for the state to vote her out and get someone in as governor that is willing to work for the state.

    2. Exactly. And her default is to run to Fox News and talk about “liberal attacks on her family” rather than standing up for the working families of South Dakota.

Comments are closed.