South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem reports thousands in credit card debtRep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., shows between $20,000 and $30,000 in credit card debt on the asset disclosure form she filed this month with the U.S. House of Representatives.
By: Denise Ross, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., shows between $20,000 and $30,000 in credit card debt on the asset disclosure form she filed this month with the U.S. House of Representatives.
Noem spokesman Josh Shields said the Noem family has “eliminated” all of the credit card debt reported on the form, which covers calendar year 2010. The debt has either been paid off or rolled into a small-business loan, he said.
“The family had recently purchased their insurance company, so like a lot of South Dakota small businesses and entrepreneurs, they incurred some small-business debt as they purchased that company and got it off the ground,” Shields said. “They put some of that debt on credit cards as a short-term means.”
Noem’s report also shows that Noem and her husband, Bryon, have between $500,000 and $1 million in loans for Noem Family Insurance Inc. in Bryant.
That business was formed in 2010 with the intent of purchasing Community Insurance LLC. The purchase was made and the name of the business was changed. Both of the Noems had planned on working at the insurance company, but those plans changed when Noem won election to Congress, Shields said.
Noem’s reported personal and business debt comes as she and many of her fellow House Republicans are making forceful arguments on Capitol Hill against the nation incurring debt. That debate is expected to re-ignite when Congress returns to session next month.
Shields said Noem considers her short-term business debt different from the nation’s borrowing.
“Like a lot of small businesses in South Dakota, you have to sometimes incur some upfront debt to get a business off the ground. She’s sure most South Dakotans wouldn’t think that kind of debt would tarnish her record on spending,” Shields said.
Noem and her husband are no longer involved in the family farm operation, Shields said. That has been taken over by Rep. Noem’s brothers.
“Her brothers are exclusively doing the farming at this point,” Shields said.
In addition, Noem’s report shows $6,000 in income from serving in the state Legislature, $1,000 in income from the insurance business and $8,833 in salary from her church, the Family Worship Center, where she worked part-time as director of children’s ministries. Noem resigned her job at the Family Worship Center when she won the June 2010 Republican primary, Shields said.
She also reports between $5,000 and $15,000 in income each from renting pasture land and from an investment in an ethanol plant in Minnesota.