The Argus Leader has a new story up with Democrats trying to complain that Governor Kristi Noem is being active in selling South Dakota for tourism, development and for generally being a great place to be:
“We have heard many times from South Dakotans who are concerned about the way Gov. Noem uses state dollars to market herself,” said Berk Ehrmantraut, the executive director of the South Dakota Democratic Party. “Gov. Noem should be focused on solving South Dakota’s problems, not boosting her personal brand.”
GOED Commissioner Steve Westra said those kind of results don’t happen if Noem didn’t ensure businesses could operate here without fear of being shut down. And that’s something he hears regularly.
“Gov. Noem has been South Dakota’s most effective marketing resource, boosting both economic development and tourism to our state,” he said. “When people come here, whether it’s to visit or to move here permanently, they consistently point to her leadership as a reason why.”
“Personally, I think she’s the best in the country at it, a belief supported by the data, all the records we’re breaking and the fact that South Dakota currently has the strongest economy in America,” Noem’s spokesman, Ian Fury, said last week when asked about the governor’s role in the state’s marketing. “The voters will have a chance to make their own determination.”
The part in the story where Democrats and others who are mewling that the Governor is being used to market the state are utterly silly, as South Dakota Governors are part of the state’s brand and marketing tools as long as we’ve had governors.
Such as this example to the left from 1985 where a state tourism poster pictures Governor Bill Janklow in front of the old Governor’s Mansion with his corvette advertising for the 1985 Black Hills Corvette Classic. So that maybe we would look more cool than stodgy North Dakota, or otherwise more desirable than our other riff-raff neighbors.
I can’t help but shake my head at people complaining about our state’s success.
South Dakota is 46th out of all 50 states in population. But during the COVID pandemic, our isolation, the outdoors & wide open spaces, and our laissez-faire approach to government is what people across the country were – and continue to be – looking for.
It’s literally part of the Governor’s job to be the state’s salesperson-in-chief and ambassador of the state to the country at large as we try to get people to come here versus go to someplace with more amenities and attractions, not to mention a more hospitable climate.
To the complainers, I’m sure in time South Dakota’s interstate travel will become more sparse and not as many people will want to come here soon enough.
But until then, yes, Governor Noem, please be the face of our state and get people to come spend money, and maybe possibly get a few businesses to pick up and move here.
Let’s keep surfing the wave of success for as long as we can make it last.