In most states, sunshine laws give the public insight into the governor’s decisions. Since last year, governors across the country have provided thousands of pages of emails in response to requests filed by The Associated Press, revealing how some pushed economic interests ahead of public health guidance as they battled the pandemic.

But Noem and governors in five other states — Arkansas, California, Massachusetts, Michigan and New Jersey — have thwarted records requests by citing exemptions.

Her administration has refused to disclose how much it costs to send state troopers with her as she travels the country campaigning for former President Donald Trump and raising her own campaign cash. The governor’s office has cited state law exempting security details from records requests and argued that providing the information would “put lives in danger.”

Several GOP lawmakers pushed the governor's office to disclose its annual security costs to the Legislature. But Noem, a fellow Republican, pressured them to drop the matter.

Republican Rep. Taffy Howard said.

When the AP sought records detailing how businesses belonging to Noem's brothers received over $600,000 from a state pandemic grant program pushed by the governor, those too were denied under the state's exemptions for disclosure.

We'll try to keep an eye on the Carmilla of what was once known as the Sunshine State.

Photo: One side of the old South Dakota state flag, via Flag Pole Set. According to the official state site for fourth grade state history:

South Dakota has had three state flags. Ida Anding McNeil created the first one in 1909. It had the sun on the front. The state seal was on the back. A flag with two different sides was hard to make. In 1963, the sun and seal were put together on the front. Later [1990 law] the state’s motto changed to "The Mount Rushmore State." The flag we use today has this motto on it.

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