ENDORSEMENT: Noem not perfect, but has done wellThis has become a nasty campaign, and honestly, we care very little about claims that Noem seemingly toys with her cellphone during committee meetings or that Varilek has hosted parties that revolve around corndogs and alcohol.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
Next week’s election to determine South Dakota’s member of the U.S. House of Representatives seems to hinge on a few basic issues:
Has the incumbent, Republican Kristi Noem, been working on behalf of South Dakota? Or has she been slacking at our expense, as her challenger, Democrat Matt Varilek, claims?
Has Noem been a voice for South Dakota’s agriculture community? Or has she failed to speak up about key farm issues and the farm bill itself during her two years in Washington, as Varilek contends?
And does Varilek too closely mirror the political ideals and policies of President Barack Obama, as Noem contends?
This has become a nasty campaign, and honestly, we care very little about claims that Noem seemingly toys with her cellphone during committee meetings or that Varilek has hosted parties that revolve around corndogs and alcohol.
We do not feel that Noem has made any significant mistakes during her first two years in Congress, and therefore we today give her our support.
She has the background we are seeking in our elected leaders — she is a lifelong rancher, came up through the ranks of the South Dakota Legislature and quickly rose to a leadership position in the U.S. House.
We do feel her attendance at committee meetings must improve, although we do not have any proof that she is truly the slacker that Varilek wants us to believe. Noem says she always attends meetings that involve South Dakota issues, and we have no reason to not believe her.
We appreciate her voting record, which is 99 percent in committee and 98 percent on the House floor. We also appreciate that, according to her records, she has attended some 800 meetings with constituents during her time in the U.S. House.
Varilek holds Noem — and other House members — responsible for Congress’ farm bill failure of 2012. We do not feel Noem has been a detriment to any farm bill discussions, nor do we feel sufficient proof has been submitted to suggest she has.
Despite the strong differences they show in their campaign advertisements and during debates, Varilek and Noem actually have many similar ideas and visions.
They both vow to stand up for the ag community. They both believe in preserving the United States Postal Service. They both say they are advocates of ethanol. They both agree the Keystone XL pipeline should be built.
This campaign isn’t about skipping committee meetings or corndog-and-beer parties. It’s about deciding who truly deserves to represent South Dakota in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Noem could be better, but certainly hasn’t done anything to be tossed aside after just a single term.
Noem possesses the dual experience of a business owner and, now, national lawmaker. Varilek has neither. We also feel many of his policies mirror those of the president. We’re not sure that’s what the country needs right now.
We give our support to Noem, but urge the congresswoman to tend to her post and to continue fighting for South Dakota.