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Noem denies using influence to help daughter: ‘I raised her to accomplish things on her own’

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Leftists had their long knives out for Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) this week, accusing her of using influence to help her daughter get her real estate appraiser certification, forcing her to issue a public denial via video.

Noem released the video on Friday while she faced scrutiny over allegedly forcing the retirement of the woman who was at the head of the state’s real estate appraiser certification program.

The state Department of Labor and Regulation contends that her daughter Kassidy Peters’ application was never denied and she was certified four months later after Noem reportedly spoke with the program head in July of 2020. According to the Associated Press, Peters was present during the meeting. In addition to aides from Noem’s office, South Dakota Labor Secretary Marcia Hultman and South Dakota Director of Labor and Management Amber Mulder attended the meeting.

“There’s a lot of speculation and innuendo in the media and I wanted to take a second to set the record straight. I never once asked for special treatment for Kassidy,” Noem proclaimed. “She is my daughter and I’m proud of her. I raised her to accomplish things on her own just like my parents raised me.”

(Video Credit: Governor Kristi Noem)

She contended that the meeting with the program head, Sherry Bren, was to discuss fixing the “broken” system, not to force her to retire in light of her daughter’s pending certification.

“Appraisers weren’t getting certified and South Dakotans were having to wait much longer to buy a home than in other states,” Noem stated. “This system had been broken for decades. It was designed to benefit those who were already certified and to keep others out.”

“The person in charge of the appraisal certification process had been in that role for 40 years,” the governor said. “There had been some efforts to streamline the process, but they were unsuccessful. I heard for years how difficult it is to become an appraiser in South Dakota. I had been working for years to fix it.”

“The Associated Press is disparaging the Governor’s daughter in order to attack the governor politically – no wonder Americans’ trust in the media is at an all-time low,” spokesman Ian Fury stated.

The accusation that Noem forced Bren to retire seems specious since she was 70-years-old. However, the elderly program head filed a discrimination complaint against Noem claiming that she was given six months to step down. She unsurprisingly withdrew her complaint in exchange for a $200,000 settlement and left her position.

Noem stated that her daughter “followed all the same steps as other appraisers.” She asserted that South Dakota has been working to streamline the process of certification and requirements for all applicants not just her daughter.

“We’ve been working for three years now to eliminate barriers to licensure,” she contended. “We want to roll out the red carpet and cut the red tape. Now those are the facts, but the media is ignoring those facts. They’d rather attack my daughter in order to score cheap political points against me.”

“While Peters was applying for the certification, Noem should have recused herself from discussions on the agency, especially any that would apply to her daughter’s application,” said Richard Painter, who is a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School and was the chief ethics lawyer for former President George W. Bush.

“It’s clearly a conflict of interest and an abuse of power for the benefit of a family member,” he claimed.

The attack over her daughter is not the only one that came Noem’s way this week. Accusations surfaced from the left that she had an affair with political aide Corey Lewandowski. Again, she denied the sordid allegations. But she reportedly cut ties with him a day later after a Trump donor accused him of sexual harassment.

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