MINOT, N.D. — "This is the kind of corruption in power that we don't want in our leaders and I'm glad that it's being talked about and we should continue to dig into it and get the full truth," South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem once said about Hunter Biden's shady business dealings in Ukraine.

She wasn't wrong.

Hunter Biden's activities were, and still are, relevant because his father is the president of the United States. They'd be relevant if his father were just the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce president.

So it's irksome that when Noem is caught seemingly using the powers of her elected office to give her daughter's career a boost, she plays the victim.

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Noem's daughter, Kassidy Peters, then 26 years old, was up for a real estate appraiser's license. State realty agency employee Sherry Bren originally moved to deny the application. Days after that decision, she was summoned to a July 27, 2020, meeting with Noem, including Peters and other state officials.

Subsequently, Peters got her license, and Bren got sacked, though she also got a $200,000 payment from the South Dakota taxpayers to settle a wrongful termination complaint.

According to the Associated Press, part of the settlement included a gag order for Bren.

This story has everything conservatives are supposed to be against.


Abuse of government power.

Abuse of taxpayer dollars.

Noem could even be accused of the mollycoddling of children that conservatives, including Noem herself, are frequently critical of.

Yet Noem, rather than take responsibility for her actions and perhaps offer the public what explanations she can for her behavior, is, in keeping with her status as maybe the Trumpiest of Republican Governors in the Donald Trump era, going on offense against the "liberal media."

There's no question that the news media, at least collectively, is often guilty of groupthink, double standards, and a bias, in the aggregate, that leans decidedly left. That largely validated stories about Hunter Biden, and his infamous laptop were actively suppressed by the social media giants that stand astride American discourse these days is a troubling reality of the world we're living in.

Yet none of that, upsetting as it may be, is particularly relevant to Noem and her daughter.

The facts of Noem's actions on behalf of her daughter don't seem to be in dispute.


Suppose the "liberal media" were reporting these things about a prominent Democratic figure. In that case, I suspect many of Noem's supporters, not to mention Noem herself, might be somewhat more credulous about them.

Funny how that works.

Political figures such as Noem like to posture themselves as outsiders. Dutiful servants of the will of the people. They're all for accountability, as long as the spotlight of scrutiny is focused on their political enemies.

Focus it on them, and they go looking for a rock to crawl under.

If Noem had the integrity she expects from liberal Democrats like Joe Biden, she'd resign her office in disgrace.

Not so long ago, that's probably what would happen, but there is no shame in modern politics. Especially not from Trump acolytes like Noem.

Heck, if integrity is what American voters valued, they probably wouldn't have elected people like Trump, Biden or Noem in the first place.

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Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at rport@forumcomm.com.