Both South Dakota Senators have voiced their opinions on the use of earmarks in Congress. Their difference displays their varying commitment to South Dakota. Earmarks in South Dakota are not some of the ridiculous projects that we hear about from across the Country. Earmarks in South Dakota are the result of our elected officials advocating on our behalf and ensuring we have the Lewis and Clark water system, projects for Ellsworth Air Force Base, the Sanford Underground Laboratory at Homestake and support for Head Start programs.
Completely eliminating them, as Thune and the Republicans suggest, is short sighted and a disservice to South Dakota. South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Erin McCarrick said, “Senator Thune is obviously speaking as the GOP’s Chief Deputy Whip and not as a Senator representing South Dakota. How does Thune expect to fund the projects vital to our cities, agriculture and military without this mechanism?”
Kristi Noem has not had a public comment on the matter but ran negative campaign ads against earmarks that weren’t even relevant to South Dakota. McCarrick said, “It’s contradictory to say that you want to be an “effective voice for South Dakota” (http://www.argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=201011180319) and not support the structure that enables our state to actually have a voice amongst 434 other voices.” She added, “Kristi needs to say what she’s going to do for South Dakota.”