This November, Republican Congresswoman Kristi Noem won a narrow election to become Governor of South Dakota.
Kristi Noem agrees with Donald Trump on a host of issues. She does not want the U.S to accept refugees. She voted to repeal Obamacare. She wants to cut Medicaid. She wants to cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget. She wants to get rid of the estate tax. She wants to cut corporate taxes. She wants oil companies to continue to receive taxpayer money. She supports the Keystone XL pipeline. She opposes regulations to limit air pollution.
As if that wasn’t all bad enough, Kristi Noem also agrees with Donald Trump about giving a job to your unelected progeny:
One of Gov.-elect Kristi Noem’s new hires has raised some eyebrows — not for their political positions or past statements, but for their relationship to Noem herself.
Kennedy Noem, a senior at South Dakota State University, will join her mother’s administration on Jan. 5 as a policy analyst.
This is evidently not against the law in South Dakota, unlike in many other states:
“Aren’t there anti-nepotism laws against that?” one Facebook commenter asked in response to an Argus Leader story published last week.
The short answer to that question is no — at least not here.
Had Kristi Noem become the governor of Nebraska, for example, it’d be out of the question, as state law says “an official or employee in the executive branch of state government shall not engage in nepotism.”
Whether it is against the law or not, there are certainly ethical questions that arise by hiring one’s daughter, who hasn’t even graduated college yet, to work in your own administration. Besides the fact that it sure looks like her daughter was given preferential treatment and will be drawing a taxpayer funded salary thanks to her family connection, having one’s own child as a policy advisor might not lead to receiving the best advice:
“The daughter might be treated differently,” Peterson said, “but there’s also the issue of whether the advice given by the daughter would be the same advice she’d give to a governor she was not related to. So there’s a potential for conflict of interest for both parties here that they need to be aware of and manage.”
One need only look to what has been happening with U.S. foreign policy thanks to Donald Trump’s hiring of his son-in-law Jared Kushner to be a Senior Policy Advisor (thanks to a technicality).
Once hired, Jared Kushner developed a close relationship with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia for what looks to have been reasons that involved soliciting funding for Kushner’s business, and using Saudi Arabia to pressure Qatar with a blockade so that Qatar would bail out Kushner’s family real estate business. This Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia in turn looks to have to have used Kushner to solicit U.S. intelligence information so he could turn on internal enemies, and get a deal signed to buy weapons from the United States so he could fight a horrific war against Yemen, a war of which the United States Senate is just now attempting to limit American involvement in.
Oh, and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, who became friends with a U.S. Senior Policy Advisor who was hired due to nepotism, orchestrated the cold blooded murder of a Washington Post columnist, a murder both Donald Trump and Jared Kushner have attempted to downplay.
As the Jared Kushner experience has shown, nepotism can have less than stellar results.