Kristi Noem's animal cruelty is hurting the GOP financially

With Noem posing a threat to all walks of animal life, fundraising is taking a hit

Published May 5, 2024 1:32PM (EDT)

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem speaks at the Calvin Coolidge Foundation conference at the Library of Congress on February 17, 2023 in Washington, DC.  (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem speaks at the Calvin Coolidge Foundation conference at the Library of Congress on February 17, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

A May 4th Colorado GOP fundraiser, where Gov. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., was supposed to speak, was canceled due to threats sparked by her admission of killing her 14-month-old dog, Cricket.

Nancy Pallozzi, Jefferson County Republican Party Chair, said in a statement posted on social media that the group had initially thought the timing for the fundraiser was “perfect,” since the South Dakota governor’s book, "No Going Back," comes out soon. But attitudes have changed towards Noem, as examples of her cruelty towards animals continue to make headlines. 

“Numerous threats and/or death threats” have been made to the county organization, the Denver West Marriott where the fundraiser was being hosted, and to Noem herself, according to Pallozzi. 

“After a conversation with the Governor’s office late Wednesday, we mutually decided that safety was the most important concern for everyone involved,” Pallozzi wrote. 

Despite the threats to the Marriott, which received “alarming comments” worth “deep concern over the safety and security for those attending our event, other guests, and their staff,” Pallozi confirmed that the local GOP is “not taking a position on the public outcry on the governor’s book.”

However, she did add that the fundraiser had an adverse effect. “We lost money in this,” Pallozzi told NBC News. “This was meant to be a fundraiser, but now we’ve lost thousands of dollars.”

The consequences of what Noem describes in her book — which also details her murdering a “mean” and "smelly" goat — have impacted her political aspirations, no doubt.

After reports of her shooting her wirehaired pointer, whom she “hated” because the puppy didn’t take to her initial hunting training, the anecdote seems to have severely hurt her chances of being Trump’s running mate, as even he is giving her stink-eye over it. 

When Noem spoke at a Trump donor retreat at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday, she seemed less than apologetic about her actions, and far more concerned with how it would be yet another exercise to show her political contemporaries that she has what it takes to make it.

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"They’re just attacking me like crazy right now,” she said. "But listen, that’s a good thing. It’s a good thing because it makes you stronger, and it teaches you, really, what you’re up against. And it makes you recognize how much they lie. How much they will twist. How much they will manipulate. And you just have to be strong and be happy warriors.”

It seems as though Noem has even doubled down on her animal killing spree, and hints in her book that she’ll kill Biden’s dog, if an opportunity presents itself wherein she feels such an action would be necessary. 

In an interview with CBS, the interviewer confirms this: “At the end of the book, you say the very first thing you would do if you got to the White House, that was different from Biden, is you would make sure Biden's dog was nowhere on the grounds. 'Commander say hello to Cricket.' Are you trying to look tough?”

When asked if she still thinks she has a shot at being vice president, Noem, who has suddenly decided she is the equivalent to animal control, said, “Well, number one, Joe Biden’s dog has attacked 24 Secret Service people.” Staying on-brand, she ended with compliments to herself and her state of South Dakota being “happy and doing well.”

By Nandika Chatterjee

Nandika Chatterjee is a News Fellow at Salon. In 2022 she moved to New York after graduating from the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign where she pursued a B. A in Communication and a B.S. in Psychology. She is currently an M.A. in Journalism candidate at NYU, pursuing the Magazine and Digital Storytelling program, and was previously an Editorial Fellow at Adweek.

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Joe Biden Kristi Noem Nancy Pallozzi