Kirsti Noem’s Push For Trump VP Takes A Hit With Latest Lawsuit

By Robert Cunningham, updated on March 15, 2024

Trump's VP aspirant faces a legal hurdle.

Daily Mail reported that Kirsti Noem’s aspirations to join a future Trump vice presidential ticket had encountered a significant obstacle following a recent lawsuit.

Legal Challenge Hits Governor Kristi Noem Amidst VP Speculation

Governor Kristi Noem's image as a straightforward, no-nonsense leader is under legal scrutiny. A consumer advocacy group has taken issue with her promotional activities. Travelers United has filed a lawsuit alleging Noem violated consumer protection laws.

The Washington D.C.-based lawsuit spotlights Noem's failure to disclose if she received financial gains from promoting a dental clinic. The video in question, nearly five minutes in length, was shared on her X account. It featured Noem's personal narrative of dental reconstruction following a biking accident.

Noem's office remains silent on whether the governor's dental services were compensated. The absence of disclosure raises questions about the integrity of her endorsement. This controversy arrives as Noem's political star is on the rise, with sights potentially set on higher office.

Questions of Transparency and Influence in the Digital Age

Travelers United equates Noem's actions to those of an undisclosed paid social media influencer. They argue that the governor's actions are not just questionable but also a breach of legal obligations. The advocacy group insists on transparency for the sake of consumer trust.

Lauren Wolfe from Travelers United emphasized the importance of transparency:

Travelers United is committed to transparency of travel influencers on social media... We believe consumers have a right to know when a post is an advertisement and when a post is an influencer's genuine thoughts. This is not just our belief, it is the law... if an influencer promotes medical tourism in exchange for free or reduced price services or if she is being paid to post an advertisement, that needs to be properly disclosed on social media.

The lawsuit highlights the blurred lines between personal testimonials and paid endorsements. Noem's enthusiastic praise for Smile Texas, where she exclaimed, "I love my new family at Smile Texas!" may be seen differently. It's a delicate balance for public figures in the era of social media.

Political Implications for Noem's Future Aspirations

In part, Noem's national prominence has risen due to her approach to governing during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also been a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, fueling speculation about her joining his ticket if he runs again. The legal controversy may complicate her trajectory.

In the video, Noem made no secret of her political role, appearing at a state event with visible Trump signage. Her endorsement of Trump at a South Dakota fundraiser was unequivocal. "I would in a heartbeat," said Noem, regarding the possibility of joining Trump's ticket.

Jessica Levinson, a Loyola Law School professor, expressed surprise at the governor's actions saying, "I'm honestly kind of baffled by it but one could say everything she's doing at the moment is an audition to be Trump's VP candidate."

Governor Noem is term-limited in 2026, with political observers pondering her next move. Her salary increase to $130,000 upon reelection reflects her increased responsibilities. But it's her future political moves that are drawing the most speculation.

Conclusion

Governor Kristi Noem's video promoting Smile Texas has landed her in legal hot water with Travelers United. The advocacy group claims Noem violated consumer protection laws by not disclosing potential financial benefits. This lawsuit comes when Noem's political star is ascending, with the governor expressing interest in potentially joining a Trump ticket. Noem's office has not clarified if the governor's dental work was paid for, raising questions about the transparency of her endorsement. The outcome of this legal dispute could have implications for Noem's political future as she contemplates her options beyond South Dakota's governorship.

About Robert Cunningham

With years of experience at the forefront of political commentary, Robert Cunningham brings a blend of sharp wit and deep insight to his analysis of American principles at the Capitalism Institute.

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