Jonathan Ellis over at the Argus Leader is writing today that the new Governor of South Dakota is quickly letting it be known that there’s a new Sheriff in town, hearkening back to a leadership style that didn’t put up with any nonsense:
There are likely other names for what happened at the Capitol last week, but they all describe the same event: Gov. Kristi Noem’s exercise of political power.
It came well before the halfway mark of a legislative session that has already had its share of bizarre moments. By way of a colorful example, a small group of lawmakers introduced a bill to block people from accessing certain Internet sites or television broadcasts. These lawmakers apparently aspire to offices in communist North Korea.
By all accounts, Noem was sick of the weird stuff coming from the Legislature, in particular the House, when she summoned legislative leaders to her second-floor offices last week. Her message was simple: Cut it out.
Running for governor, she vowed to be a strong executive. No power sharing with a lieutenant governor. It echoed the Bill Janklow school of how to run the state.
Her confrontation last week won her new admirers at the Capitol. In her first test of leadership, Noem came out on top. More tests are bound to come.
When she was in Congress, Kristi Noem’s leadership style never struck me as one that would suffer games or foolishness, a lesson that legislators serving alongside her were recently reminded of as she pointed out to them in her new role as Governor.