(South Dakota Broadcasters Association) After public and private testimony this afternoon (Monday), the South Dakota Legislature’s Executive Board took no action on how Gov. Kristi Noem’s “Freedom Works in South Dakota” ad campaign came to be. The investigation was prompted, in part, by articles by Sioux Falls Live questioning the propriety of how the request for proposals was developed and how the contract was awarded to Go West.
However, Nate Welch, former marketing director for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, said officials wanted Go West—which had developed media for Gov. Noem’s re-election campaign—to get the workforce development project.
Welch said, however, that he did not make the final selection, but the GOED Commissioner did. Before and after Welch’s public testimony, current GOED Commissioner Chris Shilken said the ads featuring Gov.
Noem dressed in various much-needed professions had been successful, and the process of selecting GO West was proper. Republican Sen. Lee Schoenbeck from Watertown.
The board took no action and adjourned. The legislature convenes tomorrow (Tuesday) to start the 2024 session.