Home > House of Reps, Rights, SD 2014 Ballot > Noem still doesn’t have a good answer for voting against the Amash NSA amendment

Noem still doesn’t have a good answer for voting against the Amash NSA amendment

August 16, 2013
US Representative from South Dakota Kristi Noem, at Brown County Fair

US Representative from South Dakota Kristi Noem, at Brown County Fair

About three weeks ago I posted that Representative Kristi Noem has to be replaced in the 2014 election for voting against civil liberties. This was in response to her vote of No to Representative Amash’s NSA Amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014. The amendment would not have de-funded the NSA (as many have stated). Rather it would have provided a means to stop the NSA from spying on all American citizens.

Yesterday Noem happened to be at the Brown County Fair in Aberdeen. I took this opportunity to speak with Representative Noem about her vote on the Amash Amendment. She mostly gave the answers I anticipated. Basically, she thinks the Amash amendment went too far. Instead of supporting the Amash amendment, she supports other bills (and amendments) that create specific restrictions upon NSA activities. She also was very careful to mention “content” as the target of restrictions; meaning that meta-data can be left open for open spying by the NSA (saying meta-data isn’t data is the NSA’s way to spy without saying it is spying).

A good part of the conversation revolved around the NSA briefings for Congress; which she obviously cannot talk about to level I would like. I let her know that as someone who spent two decades working in network security I believe the NSA is over-stating its case to Congress by at least 80% (it’s a reality I seen while working in the industry). She agreed with me that information is over-classified and they may in fact be over-stating their case. However she still feels the classified sessions with the NSA made it clear to her that the Amash amendment would have been bad for national security. On a high level I disagree with her. However since these ‘briefings’ are classified it is hard for me to know just what exactly she was told.

The last problem I had with Noem’s response is it came out very.. carefully. It is obvious she has a pre-canned response to questions about NSA spying on American citizens and her poor voting record. I can understand why she has these answers prepared, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. At the end of our conversation Noem did say she might potentially support such a measure in the future. But she said that would only happen if NSA abuses are found. Personally I think enough NSA abuses have come to light.

It is too little and too late for Representative Noem to say she will maybe vote for civil liberties in the future. As we come into the 2014 election I look forward to finding a replacement for Representative Noem. There are at least two non-Republican candidates I know about that are possibly planning to enter the House race. I have also heard whispers of a possible Republican candidate that is looking to primary against her. I think as a State we can agree that South Dakota needs better representation in US House.

  1. August 18, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Whispers of a GOP challenger? Ken, do tell! Mainstreamer? Libertarian insurgent like Kaiser? Who, who, who?

  2. October 18, 2013 at 8:02 pm

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  1. November 20, 2013 at 4:45 pm
  2. December 13, 2013 at 11:14 am
  3. June 21, 2014 at 1:38 pm
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