After trying to hide her ever-evolving ethics scandals from South Dakota voters, Kristi Noem finally took to the debate stage last night. And finally, Noem had to answer to allegations that she has used state resources for her personal and political gain.

Pressed throughout the debate, Noem claimed that she “never once used the state airplane for personal use” and her nepotism complaint was “closed.” In reality, though, report after report has detailed that Noem misused the state’s taxpayer-funded plane to boost her political standing and take personal trips. And let’s not forget, Noem’s nepotism complaint was only closed after an ethics board found sufficient evidence that she engaged in misconduct to take action against her.

KELOLAND: State plane may have flown to Noem family wedding

“Following the release of five years of South Dakota state plane travel logs, we’re getting a better idea of when and where Governor Kristi Noem has flown during her time in office. In one instance, records appear to indicate that the state plane may have been used for a personal family function.”

KX News: South Dakota investigation weighs Noem’s use of state plane

“South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was returning from an official appearance in Rapid City in 2019 when she faced a decision: Overnight in the capital of Pierre, where another trip would start the next day, or head home and see her son attend his high school prom? The Republican governor chose the latter, a decision that eventually cost taxpayers some $3,700 when the state airplane dropped her off near her home and then returned the next day to pick her up.”

Politico: Ethics board: South Dakota Gov. Noem may have ‘engaged in misconduct’

“A South Dakota ethics board on Monday said it found sufficient information that Gov. Kristi Noem may have ‘engaged in misconduct’ when she intervened in her daughter’s application for a real estate appraiser license that it could take action against her.”

Argus Leader: Report: Kristi Noem’s daughter got preferential treatment in real estate appraiser program

“A daughter of Gov. Kristi Noem received preferential treatment as she progressed through a real estate appraiser licensing program administered by the state. That’s one of the takeaways from a five-page report adopted Wednesday with unanimous consent by a legislative panel that spent months vetting allegations of abuse of power against the Republican governor and bottlenecks in the South Dakota Department of Labor Appraiser Certification Program.”

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