SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — From the early 2000s to January 2019, South Dakota news outlets received a weekly “heads-up” from the governor’s office about planned public events for state government agencies and public appearances on the governor’s schedule. 

The weekly notice was called “News Tips” and it started during Bill Janklow’s fourth term as governor and continued under two more Republican governor administrations. From 2003 to 2011, Mike Rounds continued to use “News Tips” and Dennis Daugaard used “News Tips” through his two terms which ended at the end of 2018.  

Governor Kristi Noem stopped “News Tips” and typically sends media advisories for public appearances one day or less in advance. In 2021, KELOLAND News was told through an attorney with the governor’s office “calendars, or logs of appointments of public officials, are not subject to South Dakota public records law.” 

Ahead of the 2022 election, KELOLAND News reached out to the three gubernatorial candidates about providing a public schedule while serving in office. 

Ian Fury, communications director for the Noem campaign, told KELOLAND News in an email “for security reasons” he could not answer whether Noem would support a public schedule for the governor’s office.  

Fury has moved from his position in the governor’s office.

Jamie Smith, a Sioux Falls lawmaker and Democratic nominee, told KELOLAND News he’d support releasing a public schedule if elected. 

“I think that it would only be good to be transparent to let South Dakotans know you’re working for them,” Smith said. “There’d be times that you couldn’t put everything in that document, because sometimes things are confidential until they can be released.”  

Tracey Quint, the Libertarian Party candidate, said she believes in more government transparency but wouldn’t support creating a new law to force the governor’s office to provide public schedules. 

“I do think that people have a little bit of right to know where their governor is,” Quint said. “I think just being open and honest with the people that you’re a governor for would help a lot in opening some of that transparency and rebuilding some of that trust for the governor’s office.” 

South Dakota’s three members in Congress often provide advisories on public appearances. This summer, both U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson and U.S. Senator John Thune have routinely put out advisories about their public schedules while in South Dakota. U.S. Senator Mike Rounds, who wasn’t up for election this year, has been more guarded.

Campaign schedules on candidate websites  

Smith’s campaign website links to an events page run by the South Dakota Democratic Party and shows upcoming appearances at Yankton Riverboat Days and the Brown County Fair on Aug. 20 and a Brookings picnic on Aug. 25. 

Quint has a page on the Libertarian Party of South Dakota website and has events posted on a campaign Facebook page.

Noem’s campaign website links to her book and a “Freedom shop” but does not list any upcoming events. 

“A governor being here in South Dakota matters,” Smith said. “Doing the job of the governor not worried about traveling around and promoting their own book for their own personal gain.” 

Quint encouraged people to learn more about her on websites and to look for her at bigger events like fairs and festivals.   

Noem’s travel highlighted in social media posts 

Noem’s travel and security costs have been issues lawmakers have previously discussed. 

In 2021, the fiscal officer for the governor’s office told the appropriations committee South Dakota has not had a governor travel in and out of the state so much. The governor’s office admitted there were increased costs for security, which is provided by South Dakota Highway Patrol. 

Those increased costs, which came from trips Noem took to at least seven different states in the Fall of 2020 campaigning for President Donald Trump, were never released. Public Safety Secretary Craig Price told lawmakers sharing a dollar amount regarding security after the fact would put the governor at risk. 

On Tuesday, Noem was in Mitchell for DakotaFest and in Sioux Falls at Silencer Central in photos posted by her accounts. Last week, social media posts not from Noem’s accounts showed her in Massachusetts, Alabama and Nevada