Kristi Noem: Rising GOP Star

This essay could be called Politician In the Fast Lane or GOP Ticket to the Future. But you would never want to make jest of first-term South Dakota Republican US congresswoman Kristi Noem’s dark past as summarized in this wikipedia.org entry:

‘Noem received 27 traffic citations, including 20 speeding tickets from 1989 to 2010. Noem incurred stop sign and seat belt violations, no driver’s license, failure to appear notices, and two arrest warrants. Noem said, “I’m not proud of my driving record, but [I’ve] been working hard to be a better example to young kids and young drivers out there.” She has paid her fines and penalties.’

So what are we to make of congresswoman Noem?

We conservatives say: Welcome to the US Congress. Because Noem’s all-American resume – speeding tickets included, since the spaces indeed are wide in South Dakota – is precisely the kind of background that every congressperson in our great nation should have.

Noem’s resume reads like a Sarah Palin of the Prairie. The Washington Post described Noem as “a made-for-Fox News star” and a “mama grizzly” in the Palin mold. Noem is a pro-life evangelical Christian to boot.

Noem was born in 1971, and her profession is described as farmer, rancher, hunter, hunting lodge owner and restaurateur.  She was born to a South Dakota farm family, and when her father was killed in a farming accident – farming is statistically one of the most dangerous professions in America – Noem left college to help keep the farm operating. All three of her siblings since have joined Noem, her husband and her three children in nurturing the family farm through the difficult times that all farmers face.

Noem expects to earn her college degree in political science by 2014. To which we conservatives say: Don’t worry about it, congresswoman. Just be who you are – a genuine, hard-working, sensible conservative American. Traditional education does not matter. Common sense is the most crucial need in Washington today. It will take you and our nation much further than any college degree.

Because Noem is the precisely the type of person that we need many more of in the US Congress, people with real-world experience in an essential industry like farming. This is what the Founders believed in in anticipating a citizen-legislator form of government.

Noem represented the South Dakota 6th District in the state’s House of Representatives from from 2007 to 2010. She served as the assistant majority leader from 2009-2010, obviously showing great promise in her public life.

She was elected to the US Congress in the Republican landslide of November 2010 defeating 3-term incumbent Democrat lawyer Stephanie Herseth Sandlin for South Dakota’s single at-large congressional seat.

Noem was endorsed by 2008 presidential candidate Mitt Romney and defeated Herseth Sandlin by 48.1% to 45.9%. An independent candidate got 6% of the vote.  And with Romney a likely nominee for president, you may be seeing Kristi Noem in even higher roles in American government.

An attractive woman and a principled conservative, Noem has voted to repeal ObamaCare and has stated that she will work with like-minded House members to defund the act and to replace it with measures that are more affordable and private-sector oriented, including restraints on trial lawyers and allowing consumers to buy health insurance across state lines.

Noem is a fiscal hawk and a supporter of a balanced budget. She wants to see cuts in budgets for the Environmental Protection Agency, Medicaid and many other federal programs and departments.

Noem wants to eliminate the estate tax and simplify the tax code to make it less cumbersome She also wants to lower the corporate tax rate and has said that she would not raise taxes to balance the budget.

Her animus toward the estate tax comes from personal experience. Her father’s death left the family with a large estate tax debt which made it very difficult for the farm to remain in the family.

Noem also is a strong advocate of 2nd Amendment gun rights.

Noem continues to support offshore oil drilling and federal ethanol subsidies to farmers in South Dakota. This stance on ethanol, along with federal subsidies that her family farm has received, certainly seem not to be very conservative positions. But they might just be a response to the role that heavy federal taxes and estate taxes and regulations have played in harming farmers in the first place.

She opposes a bill introduced by Democrat South Dakota US senator Tim Johnson that would designate 48,000 acres of the Buffalo Gap National Grassland as protected wilderness. She says that the land already is managed like a wilderness and that raising its status will further limit leaseholder access to the land and threaten ranchers’ grazing rights.

So good luck congresswoman. And by the way, keep your foot on the gas. We need more people like you powering our nation as quickly as possible toward genuine reform.

Please visit my blog at www.nikitas3.com for more conservative insights.