The Kristi Noem campaign has accused Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of being unduly influenced by her husband's lobbying income. Makes sense. Max Sandlin, the former congressman from Texas' 1st District, is now a partner in the lobbying firm, Mercury, LLC.
No problem so far. Max Sandlin is considered one of the top Democratic strategists. He was Chief Deputy Whip to Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer. He was a leadership representative on the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
As examples of Sandlin's power and the undesirable influence on his wife, Herseth Sandlin, Noem's campaign cites Herseth Sandlin's support for the Firearms Excise Tax Improvement Act of 2010 and the Local Radio Freedom Act. Sandlin was employed by proponents of both. Both pieces of legislation are arguably good for South Dakota.
The larger question of whether congressional relatives should be allowed to lobby Congress at all. Noem should have hit that message harder than she did. She should have hammered on Sandlin's long-time association with Pelosi. She didn't.
The Noem campaign misses the mark here.