South Dakota Governor Pulls Hoodie From Campaign Store for Minor Legal Offense
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem had to remove a sweatshirt from her reelection campaign store due to the fact that it broke the law.
The item, a zip-up hoodie with the state’s seal on the front, technically broke South Dakota law by using the state seal without “specific authorization from the secretary of state.” This, according to KOTA, “is a Class 1 misdemeanor.”
The sweatshirt’s designer was not aware of this law until the South Dakota Secretary of State’s office contacted them and told them to take it down unless they pay a necessary royalty fee to use it.
Gov. Noem is also facing some backlash on social media for another campaign item—a line of T-shirts that say “Less COVID, More Hunting.”
South Dakota currently has the second-highest COVID-19 infection rate in the U.S., which Gov. Noem chalked up to “increased testing” while using her merchandise to try to boost hunting tourism in the state, regardless of the spiking number of cases.
We all want to get back to normal. October’s in South Dakota are for hunting.
— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) October 17, 2020
We’re not sure what it is about South Dakota, but the state has had some questionable marketing campaigns recently. This is the same state that unveiled the “Meth. We’re On It” campaign to combat drug use in the state, which was widely mocked but still had a merchandise rollout.
But bad wording or seemingly tone deaf statements during crisis aren't illegal. Using the state’s seal without paying the fee and getting approval, as we now know, is—even if it's a harmless error.