The South Dakota governor has been attacked by law as “ cowardly ” for her partial veto of a bill banning transgender women from girls’ sports – a move that shocked supporters of the rising Republican star and dismayed many of its constituents.
Kristi Noem, the telegenic 49-year-old rodeo fan who is widely believed to have presidential ambitions, sent the bill back to state lawmakers on Friday.
The Women’s Fairness in Sports bill aims to ban biological men from participating in girls’ sports in public schools, and was defended by the governor earlier this month in commemoration of International Women’s Day.
However, she withdrew in the face of fierce lobbying from corporations and national sports organizations such as the NCAA, National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Kristi Noem appeared on Fox News Monday evening to explain her objections to the bill
Monday night, Tucker Carlson asked her why she hadn’t signed the bill, which was popular in her state.
Idaho passed a similar bill last year, while Republican Governor of Mississippi Tate Reeves signed a bill earlier this month. Last week, the Kansas senate passed a bill with the same provisions.
Noem insisted that the bill “ would actually prevent women from participating in collegiate sports. ”
Under pressure from Carlson, Noem said legal scientists had told her she would likely lose a lawsuit with the NCAA if she signed the bill, which takes the sport away from the state’s female competitors.
“We had to fight hard to get tournaments to South Dakota,” she said.
“If they were to take punitive action against us, we would have to sue, and lawyers with whom I have consulted for many, many months say I would most likely lose that litigation.”
The abrupt U-turn shocked her followers.
On March 8, she tweeted: ‘In South Dakota, we are celebrating #InternationalWomensDay by defending women’s sport! I am delighted to sign this bill very soon. ‘
Noem had previously expressed support for the bill, but quickly reversed course
Still, the bill was fiercely opposed by key business groups and figures within the local community, including the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce.
A member of the board of directors of First Premier Bank, who recently partnered with Noem to donate $ 100 million to a state scholarship donation, traveled to the Capitol, in Pierre, to testify against the bill.
If the NCAA canceled its tournaments, it would cost millions of dollars, putting up to 100 full- and part-time jobs at risk, warned board member David Zimbeck.
Others feared Amazon would cancel plans for a distribution facility in the state.
Carlson accused her of giving in to pressures from major corporate interests and rural sports groups.
So you say the NCAA threatened you – they said, ‘If you sign this, we won’t allow girls to play in South Dakota’ and you don’t think you can win in court – even if the public backs you up National Overwhelming – And So Caving You To The NCAA? ‘ he asked.
Noem said Carlson was “completely wrong” and reiterated her commitment to protecting women’s sports.
She insisted that the bill, as it stands, was a “litigation attorney” dream.
“Listen, I am sick and tired of the NCAA threatening states that are challenging and bullying us, so we are going to form a coalition of leaders, athletes and people who want to protect women’s sport,” she said.
‘I am not interested in a participation trophy. I’m not interested in picking a fight we can’t win.
“I’m a problem solver and I’ve been bullied by liberals for the past year, Tucker.
“I’m not going to let anyone from the NCAA, from any big company, I’m not even bullying me from conservatives on the right. I’m going to solve the problem.
“I’m going to make sure we build strength in numbers and we go after the NCAA and make sure we only let girls play in girls’ sports.”
On Monday (photo) revealed her own plan to ‘protect fairness in women’s sports’
But Noem’s decision – she dismissed Carlson’s description of it as a veto – has left conservatives unimpressed.
Her communications director, Ian Fury, said Noem was being ‘canceled’ by critics, who were eating ‘their own food’.
“Apparently uninformed cancellation culture is fine when the law eats its own,” he said Tuesday.
A less passionate overview of the facts tells a completely different story. Governor Noem has long stood for fairness in women’s sports. ‘
Her office said, ‘If conservative media would take it [five] seconds to read past the shocking headlines and really understand Governor Noem’s position, they would come to a completely different realization. ‘
Still, the attacks continued, with a conservative digital magazine The Federalist Mention mocking because she was upset by the criticism.
“To criticize cowardly politicians is not ‘abolishing culture,’ it is democracy,” wrote Jordan Davidson.
Rather than coming to terms with Noem’s conservative base outraged by her recent withdrawal and sudden lack of eagerness to sign the major bill, the governor’s office argues that the most “ strategic ” way to To deal with the law is to avoid losing battle with the NCAA.
Her attempts to pretend to resist “ tremendous pressure from both corporate bigwigs and the radical left to veto ” continue to fall short of providing further evidence that her inner circle strongly influenced her decision to end this cultural warfare. . ‘
Seen as a rising Republican star, Nam is pictured on the CPAC Feb. 27
Noem’s chief of staff, Tony Venhuizen, is a board member of the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce.
Another advisor, Matt McCaulley, is a lobbyist whose clients include the owners of the Sanford Sports Complex, which has reportedly attempted to host NCAA tournaments.
Mention does not run the risk of being ‘canceled’, she only experiences the consequences of having [an] Ideologically driven voters who know caving under pressure from the company make you a worthless flag bearer, ”Davidson wrote.
The worst part, however, is that Noem refuses to admit her mistake.
“She’s hiding behind bogus campaigns to promote fairness in women’s sports when she could just sign the bill that would accomplish just that.”