A South Dakota legislator is calling for an inquiry into the Texas dental trip of Gov

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A Democratic legislator on Wednesday called for an inquiry into South Dakota Republican Gov.
Kristi Noem’s trip to Texas for dental work and a promotional video in which she praises the doctors for giving her “a smile I can be proud of and confident in.”State Sen. Reynold Nesiba said he initially found the nearly five-minute video to be simply odd.
Later he considered other questions and asked the Republican co-chairs of the Legislature’s Government Operations & Audit Committee to put the matter on the panel’s next meeting agenda in July for discussion and questions.
“I just thought it was a very strange video about how much she enjoyed having her teeth done at that particular place,” said Nesiba, a member of the audit committee.
Nesiba said he wonders whether Noem used a state airplane or public funds for the Texas trip and whether the governor paid for the dental procedure or if it was discounted because of her video.
Noem’s office did not respond to questions Wednesday about the promotional video posted Monday night to her personal account on X in which she praised the dentists and staff at Smile Texas, a cosmetic dental practice in the Houston area.
In the video, Noem complimented the dentists that recently “gave me a smile I can be proud of and confident in.” Noem, who is seen as a potential vice-presidential pick by former President Donald Trump, identifies herself as the governor of South Dakota and includes clips of her speaking at a Republican Party event with Trump signs in the background.
A woman who answered the phone at Smile Texas cited privacy under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in response to The Associated Press asking to speak with a member of the practice.
When asked if Smile Texas plans to use Noem’s video for promotion, the woman said, “No, she posted that,” then hung up when asked again.
South Dakota law bans gifts of over $100 from lobbyists to public officials and their immediate family.
A violation is a misdemeanor punishable up to a year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.
The state attorney general’s office declined to answer questions about whether the gift ban applies to people who are not registered lobbyists.
Noem’s video, in which the governor says she went to Smile because it was “the best,” comes at a time when South Dakota has spent $5 million on a workforce recruitment ad campaign in which she stars in TV spots portraying herself as a plumber, electrician, nurse and other high-demand workers.
In one ad, Noem portrays a dentist in blue scrubs, speaking over a patient with a dental instrument in her hand amid the sound of a drill.
Nesiba said the dental promotion “just undermines the millions of dollars that we have invested in her as being a spokesperson for South Dakota.”Paul Miskimins, a Republican former state legislator who practiced dentistry over 37 years in South Dakota, said he saw nothing wrong with Noem seeking care out of state, noting he had sought dental care from a friend in Canada.
Miskimins added that celebrities often give testimonials about dental work, and he didn’t see why a public official couldn’t do the same.
“I think that this is America, and we all have a right to choose where we receive our care,” Miskimins said.
Noem has previously faced ethics questions, including an investigation in 2019 about her use of a state plane to attend six events outside of South Dakota hosted by political organizations, including the Republican Governors Association, Republican Jewish Coalition, Turning Point USA and the National Rifle Association.
At the time, the governor’s office defended the trips as part of her work as the state’s “ambassador” to bolster the state’s economy.
Noem also was criticized for having family members join her on several trips.
But her office has said that was keeping in line with a precedent set by former governors.
Ultimately, South Dakota’s ethics board dismissed the complaint over Noem’s flights to the political events in 2022 because state law doesn’t clearly define what is meant by “state business.”But the state ethics board did say Noem may have “engaged in misconduct” when she intervened in her daughter’s application for a real estate appraiser license.
The governor intervened with a state agency after it had moved to deny her daughter’s application for an appraiser license in 2020.
Noem had called a meeting with her daughter, the labor secretary and the then-director of the appraiser certification program where a plan was discussed to give the governor’s daughter, Kassidy Peters, another chance to show she could meet federal standards in her appraiser work.
Noem has said she followed the law in handling her daughter’s licensure and that Peters received no special treatment.
Voters re-elected her in 2022 with 62% of the vote.
Michael Card, an emeritus political science professor at the University of South Dakota, said he has no ideas about the governor’s motivation for the video but found it puzzling.
“It just s

On Wednesday, a Democratic lawmaker demanded an investigation into South Dakota Republican Gov. Traveling to Texas for dental work and appearing in a promotional video where Kristi Noem says she has “a smile I can be proud of and confident in” thanks to the doctors. “.

State Sen. At first, Reynold Nesiba claimed he just thought the almost five-minute video was strange. After giving other questions some thought, he asked the Republican co-chairs of the Government Operations and Audit Committee of the Legislature to add the topic to the agenda for the panel’s July meeting so that it could be discussed and questions could be raised.

Nesiba, an audit committee member, stated, “I just thought it was a very strange video about how much she enjoyed having her teeth done at that particular place.”.

Nesiba expressed his curiosity about whether Noem traveled to Texas on a state aircraft or with public funds, and if the dental procedure was covered by the governor or if it was discounted as a result of her video.

Questions regarding the promotional video that Noem posted on Monday night to her personal account on X, in which she praised the dentists and staff at Smile Texas, a cosmetic dentistry practice in the Houston area, were not answered by her office on Wednesday.

Noem gave praise to the dentists in the video who had recently “given me a smile I can be proud of and confident in.”. Regarded by former President Donald Trump as a possible vice presidential candidate, Noem identifies herself as the governor of South Dakota and includes video of herself speaking at a Republican Party event with Trump signs in the background.

When The Associated Press asked to speak with a member of Smile Texas, the woman who answered the phone cited privacy under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. When questioned again, the woman said, “No, she posted that,” before hanging up when asked if Smile Texas intended to use Noem’s video for promotion.

Gifts from lobbyists to public officials and their immediate family that exceed $100 are prohibited by South Dakota law. A violation carries a misdemeanor penalty of up to a $2,000 fine and/or a year in jail. Regarding whether the gift ban extends to non-registered lobbyists, the state attorney general’s office declined to comment.

The governor appears in Noem’s video, saying she went to Smile because it was “the best,” at a time when South Dakota has invested $5 million in an ad campaign to attract workers. In the ads, the governor appears in TV spots where she plays in-demand professions like a nurse, plumber, and electrician. In one advertisement, Noem plays a dentist talking over a patient while wearing blue scrubs and making drill noises.

The dental promotion, according to Nesiba, “just undermines the millions of dollars that we have invested in her as a spokesperson for South Dakota.”. “.

Having spent 37 years as a dentist in South Dakota, Republican former state legislator Paul Miskimins said he saw nothing wrong with Noem seeking care outside of the state, pointing out that he had received dental care from a friend in Canada. Miskimins went on to say that he didn’t see why a public official couldn’t provide a testimonial regarding dental work, given that celebrities frequently do so.

“I believe that we all have the right to choose where we receive our care because this is America,” Miskimins stated.

A 2019 investigation into Noem’s use of a state aircraft to travel to six events outside of South Dakota organized by political groups such as the Republican Governors Association, Republican Jewish Coalition, Turning Point USA, and the National Rifle Association was one of the previous ethical issues that the actress had to deal with. In order to support the state’s economy, the governor’s office justified the trips at the time. They said that she was acting as the state’s “ambassador.”.

Noem received flak for bringing family members along on multiple trips as well. However, according to her office, that was in keeping with a previous governor’s precedent.

Because state law is ambiguous about what constitutes “state business,” the ethics board in South Dakota ultimately rejected the complaint regarding Noem’s travel to political events in 2022. “.

When Noem interfered with her daughter’s application for a real estate appraiser license, the state ethics board did note that she might have “engaged in misconduct.”.

In 2020, after her daughter’s application for a license to work as an appraiser was denied by a state agency, the governor took action with it. There was a plan discussed in the meeting that Noem had called with her daughter, the labor secretary, and the then-director of the appraiser certification program. The goal was to give Kassidy Peters, the daughter of the governor, another opportunity to demonstrate that she could perform appraiser work that upheld federal standards.

Noem claims that she handled her daughter’s license in accordance with the law and that Peters wasn’t given any preferential treatment.

In2022, she was re-elected by voters with 62 percent of the vote.

Although he is unsure of the governor’s motivation for the video, Michael Card, an emeritus professor of political science at the University of South Dakota, found it to be confusing.

He said, “It just seems unusual for an elected official to make an infomercial like that while they’re still in office.”

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