Gov. Noem headlines national conservative stage; says Florida trip not taxpayer funded

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When former President Donald Trump gives his first speech since leaving office this weekend, Governor Kristi Noem will be there.

Noem is also set to speak at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in Florida.

Governor Noem has top billing at the CPAC Convention in Orlando. She will speak on Saturday at 2:50 p.m. CST.

The CPAC Convention is host to many anti-maskers, including the former president himself. However, both Orange County Florida and the CPAC convention say they will enforce mask mandates for everyone. On Friday, the audience was told to wear masks.

Carly Conley / CPAC and Events Director: When you’re seated, you should still be wearing a mask. So if everybody can go ahead, work on that. I know, I know, it’s not the most fun.
Audience: Boos and shouts, “Freedom!
Dan Schneider / CPAC Executive Director: You have the right to set the own rules in your own house. And we’re borrowing somebody else’s House, so we need to comply with their rules.


In terms of what Noem has to say to the audience, she didn’t get into specifics at her news conference this week, but did say she would talk about her home state.

“Well, I’ll tell a little bit of South Dakota’s story. That’s what’s important to me; that people understand how special the state is and the people that live here and also about what this legislature is doing right now: making responsible decisions, not just for the people here and protecting their health, but also growing the economy and protecting it for future generations.”

Gov. Kristi Noem, on what she will talk about at CPAC.

Subjects of various talks at the CPAC include “The Left’s Assault on a Free People: How Government, Big Tech, and Media Are Colluding to Deprive Us of Our Humanity.”

Senator Ted Cruz will give a speech entitled, “Bill of Rights, Liberty and Cancel Culture.”

“I got to say, Orlando is awesome! It’s not as nice as Cancun, but it’s nice!” Cruz said.

There will also be several talks on protecting our elections, as well as one titled “Winning Back America.”

Noem says her speech will also focus on the country.

“America is a special place and so I’ll reflect back on our history and talk about how we can preserve this country and the example that it is for the rest of the world, far into the future,” Noem said on Thursday.

Despite Noem’s high-profile stature among conservatives, and several out-of-state fundraisers, she has denied that she plans to run for a national office in 2024.

KELOLAND News also asked the governor’s office who was paying for Noem’s trip to Orlando this weekend. Her office says the money is not from state funds and she is not using the state plane for this travel.

South Dakota has never seen a governor travel in and out of the state as much as Noem and you’ll no doubt remember that your tax dollars pay for Noem’s security detail wherever she goes.

Multiple attempts to make the cost of Noem’s security, by the South Dakota Highway Patrol, public, failed in this year’s legislative session.

On Thursday, lawmakers rejected a bill – supported by the Governor – that would have paid for a new state airplane.

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