A Tale of Three Governors

A Tale of Three Governors

2021 | Week of April 12 | Radio Transcript #1407

Charles Dickens wrote a timeless work entitled A Tale of Two Cities. What follows is most likely not a timeless tale, but rather a very timely tale of two governors—with a sequel involving a third governor.

Last month, Governor Kristi Noem, a Republican governor from South Dakota, who became a darling of the conservatives because of her positions and policies regarding COVID in her state, suddenly became pretty unpopular in many circles. Governor Noem lost her Miss Popularity award when she vetoed a bill that she had earlier signaled she would sign. That bill would have prohibited biological males from competing in girls’ and women’s sports in South Dakota’s K-12 public schools, as well as in colleges and universities.

The legislature handily passed the bill and sent it to the governor, fully expecting she would sign it. Supporters were stunned when she suddenly announced she was vetoing the bill. Her conservative critics…accused her veto of being motivated by fear of ‘expensive lawsuits and potential boycotts.’”[1] By boycotts, of course, we’re talking primarily the NCAA and big corporations with a sizeable presence in South Dakota. The legislature failed  in its efforts to override her veto.

By the end of the month, after being pretty well hammered on by conservatives, Governor Noem issued a couple of executive orders that aim to do the same thing as the law would have done—kept biological males from participating in girls and women’s sports—but they don’t have an enforcement mechanism and can, of course, be undone by a new governor yielding a pen.

Our second tale is about Republican Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas. Governor Hutchinson vetoed a bill that banned medical providers from performing certain surgeries or prescribing certain drug therapies on minors—surgeries and therapies designed to supposedly “help” kids do the impossible, change their sex. Again, conservatives everywhere were stunned when Governor Hutchinson pretty quickly vetoed the bill saying it was government overreach, and he wasn’t going to be a party to it. Critics of the governor and his veto assert that he too was motivated by fear of lawsuits and boycotts. This story has a different ending than the Governor Noem story. Last week the Arkansas legislature overrode Governor Hutchinson’s veto, paving the way for the implementation of this new law.

The common thread in both of these stories is very obvious—the “T” in the LGBTQ+ acronym.  Even governors with histories of conservative policies in many areas run scared when faced with the ire and repercussions brought by those who are determined to have every knee bow in reverence to this agenda that robs girls and women of their rightful athletic opportunities and actually harms minors with irreversible surgeries and powerful therapies with unknown side effects.

In South Dakota, the outcome is still uncertain; in Arkansas, the law is ready to be implemented. Meanwhile, the story of the third governor is closer to home. Governor Evers may very likely find a bill on his desk this session that does basically what the South Dakota bill would have done.

Assembly Bill 196 has been introduced by a number of Republican senators and representatives. When the press conference was held in early March to let everyone know the bill was coming, what it would do and why it is necessary, the drumbeat began. It’s unfair. It’s transphobic. It’s discriminatory. It’s illegal. And on and on. The public hearings will be, well, brutal. But at the end of the day, I expect our state legislature will do right thing and pass this bill and give it to Governor Evers.

Just like Governors Noem and Hutchinson, Governor Evers will have the opportunity to do the right thing. If he does the right thing, then he shows he really does respect women and the long and hard work they have done to get a level, fair playing field in athletics. If Governor Evers chooses to veto the bill, he too will be bowing to the pressure of far-left activists who have convinced corporate America and the sports world to enter the so-called “culture wars.” His talk about respecting women will be just words. As for overriding any such veto, Wisconsin would look much more like South Dakota than Arkansas.

The tale of our governor is still being written. Concerned citizens still have opportunity to let their elected officials and the governor know how they want our tale to end. But I hasten to add, no matter what the governor does with this bill, the real ending of our governor’s story happens in November 2022 when “we the people” write either the next or the last chapter based on who we vote for to be our next governor.

For Wisconsin Family Council, this is Julaine Appling reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

[1] https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/kristi-noem-south-dakota-s-governor-issues-executive-orders-banning-transgender-athletes-from-women-s-sports/ar-BB1f8fiX


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