Billionaire GOP donor funds South Dakota National Guard border deployment
“I believe in his state and in Texas,” he said, calling himself a “die-hard Republican.”
According to FEC records, he has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republicans in recent years, including Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Noem spokesman Ian Fury said the Willis and Reba Johnson Foundation was providing financial support to the troops, but declined to donate a dollar amount for security reasons.
When asked how a private citizen could pay for a National Guard mission, Fury said in a text message: âThe governor has the power, under SDCL 5-24-12, to accept a donation. if it determines that it is in the best interest of the state. The governor has additional authority to accept funds donated for emergency management under SDCL 34-48A-36.
Johnson appears to have enough money to send it to causes like securing the border. In 2010 he purchased a $ 28 million home from country music star Alan Jackson that includes an 18,600 square foot home, gym, and garage that can accommodate 20 cars. (In 2016, he Told The Tennessean: âI am really, really rich. “)
According to IRS 2018 of its foundation form, the association donated $ 1.15 million to a Baptist church in Tennessee; $ 10,000 to Hope Smiles, a Christian group that funds dental procedures for the needy; $ 509,000 to a non-profit organization working on congenital heart disease; as well as $ 25,000 to the National Rifle Association.
Noem said in a statement Tuesday that she was sending up to 50 National Guardsmen to Texas in response to that state’s Governor Greg Abbott, calling for help due to the number of migrant crossings. The guards will be there for a month to two months. Iowa, Georgia, Nebraska, and Florida are other states sending aid to Texas.
âThe Biden administration has failed in the most basic duty of the federal government: to ensure the safety of the American people,â Noem said in a statement. declaration. âThe border is a national security crisis that requires the kind of sustained response that only the National Guard can provide. We shouldn’t make our own communities less safe by sending in our police or highway patrol to solve a long-term problem that President Biden’s administration seems unable or unwilling to address. My message to Texas is this: Help is on the way. “
A White House spokesperson forwarded a request for comment to the Department of Homeland Security. A DHS spokesperson did not immediately comment.
Noem, who is running for re-election next year, is seen as a likely candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential election and last month launched a federal PAC called the Noem Victory Fund. She also drew attention in late May for having a Trump ally, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, fly to the Republican Governors Association in Nashville, Tenn., Where he was kicked out of the event.
The influx of migrants to the southern border has turned into political football, with Republicans blaming the administration for not declaring it a “crisis” and for delaying sending Vice President Kamala Harris to the border. Biden tasked Harris with trying to find a diplomatic solution to address the root causes of migration to the United States