North Dakota Gov. Burgum vetoes transgender sports ban, following similar veto by South Dakota’s Noem


North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would ban transgender girls from playing in girls’ sports following a similar move earlier this year by South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem. 

The bill passed overwhelmingly in the North Dakota House, which could have the votes to override Burgum’s veto if it chooses, KX News reported. But the margin was much slimmer in the state Senate, meaning the measure is likely dead. Both houses would have to vote for a veto override for such an effort to be successful. 

Burgum, a Republican, said in a veto message reported by KX News that the state’s high school sports association should be the organization to decide how to keep a level playing field. He also said, “the bill would unnecessarily inject the state into a local issue by creating a ban with myriad unforeseen consequences.” 

“To date, there has not been a single recorded incident of a transgender girl attempting to play on a North Dakota girls team,” Burgum said in the veto message, KX News reported. “Further, NDHSAA already has regulations in place for participation in sex-separated interscholastic contests by transgender students. These regulations require transgender girls to undergo testosterone suppression treatment…for a full calendar year before they are eligible to compete.”

Republicans in the North Dakota legislature, however, said the bill would have ensured a level playing field for girls in sports. 

SOUTH DAKOTA LAWMAKERS REJECT TRANSGENDER SPORTS BILL CHANGES BY NOEM

“We need to keep women on an even playing field,” Rep. Kathy Skroch, a Republican, said during House debate on the bill. She noted differences between women and men in height, weight, heart size and even lung capacity. “There is a reason why there is separation of boys and girls sports.”

Opponents of the bill, however, lauded Burgum’s decision and slammed GOP legislators for advancing the bill. 

“It was obvious from the beginning that this discriminatory legislation was about creating solutions to problems that don’t exist and, in the process, harming some of the most vulnerable people in our state,” ACLU of North Dakota Campaigns Director Libby Skarin said Wednesday night. 

In this April 10, 2020, file photo, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speaks at the state Capitol in Bismarck, N.D. Burgum vetoed a bill that would have banned transgender girls from participating in K-12 sports. (Mike McCleary/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)

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“This is such beautiful news for trans kids across the state,” she added in a tweet. 

Noem, also a Republican, took harsh criticism from the right after she vetoed a similar bill passed by South Dakota’s Republican-controlled legislature. She later issued two executive orders aimed at keeping only biological females on girls’ sports teams in both high school and college.

Noem said this was necessary because the legislature failed “to accept my proposed revisions” to its initial bill. Noem also said she would aim to have legislators address the issue in a special session. 

The North Dakota bill that Burgum vetoed addressed K-12 sports specifically. 

Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson also was criticized for a veto of another transgender-related bill in his state. Hutchinson vetoed a bill that would have banned hormone treatment and other medical interventions for transgender youth. 

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“This is the first law in the nation that invokes the state between medical decisions, parents who consent to that and the decision of the patient. And so, this goes way too far. And in fact, it doesn’t even have a grandfather clause [for] those young people that are under hormonal treatment,” Hutchinson said on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

He said the bill was “overbroad” and “extreme.” 

Former President Trump attacked Hutchinson over the decision. 

“Asa Hutchinson, the lightweight RINO Governor of Arkansas, just vetoed a Bill that banned the CHEMICAL CASTRATION OF CHILDREN,” Trump said earlier this month. “Bye-bye Asa,’ that’s the end of him!”

The Arkansas legislature overrode Hutchinson’s veto, something that doesn’t appear likely in the case of Burgum’s veto. 

Burgum Wednesday also vetoed a bill that would have banned statewide mask mandates like the one he issued last year to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic, KX News reported. 

Fox News’ Evie Fordham contributed to this report. 



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Gov. Abbott Deploys Texas National Guard, State Troopers to Counter Biden’s ‘Open Border Policies’



Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the deployment of the state’s National Guard and State Troopers to respond to the growing border crisis.

Governor Abbott announced Operation Lone Star “to combat the smuggling of people and drugs into Texas” on Saturday. The operation will integrate the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) with the National Guard, Abbott said. He is ordering the deployment of air, ground, marine, and tactical border security assets to high threat areas.

“The crisis at our southern border continues to escalate because of Biden Administration policies that refuse to secure the border and invite illegal immigration,” the governor said in a written statement Saturday evening. “Texas supports legal immigration but will not be an accomplice to the open border policies that cause, rather than prevent, a humanitarian crisis in our state and endanger the lives of Texans. We will surge the resources and law enforcement personnel needed to confront this crisis.”

Abbott issued the deployment order following a meeting with Texas DPS Director Colonel Steve McCraw. The two discussed strategies to increase safety and security along the border.

The announcement follows a massive increase in illegal border crossings since President Joe Biden took office in January.

Earlier this week, Democrat Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX) announced that Border Patrol agents apprehended approximately 10,000 migrants in the Rio Grande Valley Sector during a seven-day period ending on Wednesday, Breitbart Texas reported.

“We are weeks, maybe even days, away from a crisis on the southern border. Inaction is simply not an option,” Congressman Cuellar said in a written statement. “Our country is currently unprepared to handle a surge in migrants in the middle of the pandemic.”

In Brownsville, Texas, city officials said that six percent of the migrants being released at the bus station to obtain transportation into the U.S. interior are testing positive for COVID-19, Breitbart Texas reported. The Brownsville official said they do not have the authority to prevent those who test positive from boarding buses to travel into the U.S. interior. A worker at the bus station told Fox News they cannot ask passengers for proof of coronavirus test results before transit. Cuellar added, “I urge the Biden Administration to listen and work with the communities on the southern border who are dealing with the surge of migrants.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s Sunday-morning talk show, What’s Your Point? Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, Parler @BobPrice, and Facebook.



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New York state Senate passes bill to limit Gov. Cuomo’s pandemic emergency powers


The bill is now being debated in the state Assembly.

The New York state Senate passed a bill to limit Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s emergency powers granted in the pandemic.

The Friday vote fell along party line with 43 Democrats voting in favor against 20 Republican votes.

The state Assembly started debating the measure Friday afternoon. Cuomo will have to sign off on it for it to take effect. If he doesn’t, state Democrats have a veto-proof majority in the Legislature to override his vote.

The bill, which was introduced Tuesday by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, seeks to repeal Cuomo’s executive powers granted in the early days of the coronavirus crisis.

He was granted the emergency powers in March 2020, which permitted the governor to issue by executive order any directive necessary to respond to the pandemic, such as mandating mask-wearing and quarantines.

Under the new bill, Cuomo would require legislative review in order to introduce new executive orders concerning the state’s virus response. If passed, he would also only be allowed to extend existing emergency directives related to the pandemic if they are “critical to public health.”

Cuomo’s emergency powers were set to expire April 30. The bill will allow standing directives related to the vaccination process and face coverings to remain in effect for an additional 30 days and they can be extended with Senate and Assembly review.

Republicans in the state Senate argued the bill doesn’t go far enough and doesn’t fully revoke those emergency powers.

“I think everyone understands where we were back in March and where we are now. The public deserves to have checks and balances,” Stewart-Cousins said in a statement. She said the bill “would create a system with increased input while at the same time ensuring New Yorkers continue to be protected.”

The move comes as Cuomo has been embroiled in two scandals.

He has been accused of inappropriate conduct by three women, including two who used to work with him.

The governor apologized for his actions in a press conference Wednesday.

“It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it and frankly I am embarrassed by it,” he said. But he maintained, “I never touched anyone inappropriately.”

His office is also under investigation for allegedly hiding the number of COVID-19 deaths in New York nursing homes.

A probe by the New York attorney general’s office released in late January found the number of state nursing home resident deaths from the virus may have been undercounted by as much as 50%. The report said many of those patients died after being moved to the hospital and were not counted as nursing home fatalities.

The Cuomo administration denied altering nursing home death data in a new statement shared with ABC News Friday afternoon. His office said instead, “a decision was made” not to put in numbers determined to be questionable. The Cuomo administration is cooperating with the investigation.

ABC News’ Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.

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Gov. Andy Beshear declares state of emergency


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Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s history with women: Wives, girlfriends, accusers


Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s love life has been rocky, and sometimes cringe-worthy, for years — since well before a second former aide accused him of sexual harassment on the job on Feb. 27.

Briefly the hearthrob of some swooning liberals — who called themselves “Cuomosexuals” at the height of the governor’s daily COVID-19 briefings last year — Cuomo, 63, has made no secret that he’s on the prowl after a very public breakup in 2019.

One of those Cuomosexuals was comedian Chelsea Handler.

But when the LA-based comic asked him out online, the gov ghosted her, she joked last October, a year after his breakup with 14-year girlfriend and celebrity chef Sandra Lee.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., is accompanied by his girlfriend Sandra Lee at the White House in Washington, Oct. 18, 2016. (Associated Press)

NY GOV. CUOMO, SO-CALLED ‘LOVE GOV,’ JOKED WITH CNN HOST BRO 2 MONTHS BEFORE 2ND ALLEGED SEX HARASSMENT

“I’m a big fan of Chelsea’s and she is great and we have fun but on my dating life, you know, I am only dating at this point in-state residents,” Cuomo said during an appearance in October on “The View,” presumably referring to the still-raging COVID-19 crisis.

(“I’m a big fan of Chelsea’s,” Cuomo said about comedian Chelsea Handler. (Getty Images/Associated Press))

“On a human level, on a social level,” he jokingly lamented to “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah, also in October, “nobody wants to have dinner with me.”

Cuomo was married to Kerry Kennedy, the seventh child of Robert F. Kennedy, from 1990 until 2005.

They share daughters Cara Ethel Kennedy-Cuomo, Mariah Matilda Kennedy-Cuomo and Michaela Kennedy-Cuomo.

Why the two split has never been made clear.

However, an excerpt from “The Contender,” a Cuomo biography that was published in Vanity Fair, says tension in their relationship arose early on, and Kennedy even insisted the couple seek marriage counseling — but Cuomo was too consumed with work.    

That same year his divorce was finalized, the governor began a relationship with Food Network host Lee, and the couple moved in together in 2011.

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However, the couple’s 14-year relationship officially ended in September 2019, and Cuomo has repeatedly intimated publicly since then that he was looking for love.

“Do you think you are an attractive person now because you’re single and ready to mingle?” the governor’s CNN host brother, Chris, teased him on his show, “Cuomo Prime Time”

“No,” the governor griped to WAMC radio host Alan Chartock, who asked him on air last summer whether he was dating anyone. “What happened to the women you are recommending?” he chided Chartock.

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan tweets photo after skin cancer removal: ‘No pain, no gain’


Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan isn’t letting his latest battle with cancer get him down.

“No pain, no gain. Play like a Raven,” Hogan tweeted Saturday following a procedure to remove cancerous cells from his face.

The tweet included a photo of himself with a bandage on one side of his face, giving a thumbs up while donning Baltimore Ravens gear ahead of the NFL team’s playoff game against the Buffalo Bills (which Buffalo won 17-3).

Hogan, who celebrated five years of being cancer-free last summer following a battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015, was recently diagnosed with early-stage skin cancer known as basal and squamos cell carcinoma, FOX 5 in Washington, D.C., reported.

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On Wednesday, the Republican governor called the outpatient procedure “minor” and said he likely wouldn’t need any more treatment, the Baltimore Sun reported.

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Hogan had some skin removed a few weeks ago and in 2018. He said his most recent procedures were “another pop-up of that stuff. But it’s nothing serious,” the Sun reported.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is seen in Annapolis, Md., Jan. 7, 2021. (Associated Press)

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Hogan has managed to take care of his duties as governor despite the medical procedure. On Friday he declared a state of emergency in Maryland, which borders D.C., amid heightened security measures ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday, according to FOX 5.

He previously called on President Trump to resign after the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. 

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer relieved at not being picked as Biden’s VP


Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she would have accepted an offer to serve as Joe Biden’s running mate — but admitted to relief at not being picked.

Whitmer became an early favorite to join the Democratic ticket after he vowed to select a woman as his vice-presidential partner.

“If Joe Biden had called and said ‘I need you to be my partner and be my running mate’ I would have said yes,” she told a FOX affiliate in Detroit. “This election was that important.”

But when asked about her reaction to Kamala Harris ultimately being tapped, Whitmer was candid.

“There might have been a sigh of relief over here at the governor’s residence,” Whitmer said. “I think everyone was pleased with the outcome.”

A co-chair of Biden’s campaign, she said he reached out to her at one point to explore a possible spot on the ticket.

“This is the God’s honest truth,” she said. “When he called and asked me to go through the vetting I was shocked.”

The Michigan pol has fully endorsed Biden’s selection of Harris and tweeted out her support at the time.

“I am extraordinarily proud to support @KamalaHarris and @JoeBiden! They will be a fierce team to Build America Back Better,” Whitmer posted.



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California Lt. Gov. Kounalakis praised student exchange that allowed Fang Fang into US


California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, a former U.S. ambassador to Hungary, traveled to an event the federal government boycotted in Beijing last year and praised student-exchange programs, like the one a suspected spy used to network with Rep. Eric Swalwell.

“Education is important to us in California – and countries around the world participate in our success by sending thousands of international students to our state to study side-by-side with our own American students,” Kounalakis, a Democrat, said at the One Belt One Road summit last April. “In fact, at this moment, 9 percent of the students studying in our University of California system are from China.”

She noted her own background as the daughter of immigrants and touted foreign exchange programs.

Then-Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis during a session in the context of the fourth annual Athens Democracy Forum, at the Athens Concert hall, Megaron, on September 15, 2016. (Photo by Panayiotis Tzamaros/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“This robust educational exchange fosters the sharing of culture and ideas – and builds personal relationships which go on to be the basis of mutual understanding, international cooperation and economic innovation,” she said.

17 HOUSE GOP MEMBERS SEND LETTER TO PELOSI URGING SWALWELL’S REMOVAL FROM INTEL COMMITTEE

Suspected spy Christine Fang, also known as Fang Fang, allegedly used her guise as a student at University of California, East Bay, to host extracurricular networking events. They allowed her to rub elbows with Swalwell, a Democrat, and other officials – including a pair of Midwestern mayors she allegedly slept with as she fed information back to China’s intelligence officials.

Suspected spy Christine Fang, also known as Fang Fang, allegedly used her guise as a student at University of California, East Bay, to host extracurricular networking events that allowed her to rub elbows with Swalwell and other officials.

Suspected spy Christine Fang, also known as Fang Fang, allegedly used her guise as a student at University of California, East Bay, to host extracurricular networking events that allowed her to rub elbows with Swalwell and other officials.

She became president of the now-defunct Chinese Student Association and won an award for school spirit.

Kounalakis’ speech resurfaced Wednesday when a Twitter user wrongfully accused California Gov. Gavin Newsom of signing the state up for China’s multitrillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative. The international infrastructure investment project has been painted by critics as a scheme for global economic dominance and debt-trap diplomacy.

INTELLIGENCE EXPERT WEIGHS IN ON WHAT A SPY COULD GATHER BY LURKING ON FACEBOOK FRIENDS LISTS

The tweet included a cropped headline that read “California Signs up for Belt & Road.”

But the original headline, in the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, reads: “California signs up for China’s Belt and Road Forum to help in fight against climate change.”

Heads of state from 37 countries appeared at the three-day conference in April 2019, according to the China Daily, a state-owned English-language newspaper. But the Trump administration chose not to take part amid a trade spat between the U.S. and China.

Kounalakis spoke at the forum, and her prepared remarks are posted on her official website.

“The reason I came to Beijing to participate in the One Belt, One Road conference is primarily to speak about climate change, and urge participants to prioritize this issue, and consider how the Belt and Road Initiative can drive positive action around this global threat,” she said.

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She later said the Belt and Road Initiative is an opportunity for China to commit to combating climate change and that she hoped it would be prioritized in all of the venture’s projects.

Kounalakis’ office did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.



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Moms Group Gives S.D. Gov. Kristi Noem Its ‘Mother of Influence’ Award


South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was in Washington, DC,  this past weekend with her husband, son, two daughters, and son-in-law, but the trip wasn’t related to politics or tourism. Noem was in town to accept Moms for America’s Mother of Influence award.

Kimberly Fletcher, founder and president of the non-profit, pro-family Christian organization cited Noem’s leadership in 2020 as the country faced the coronavirus pandemic.


South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was given the Moms of America’s Mothers of Influence award on Sunday in Washington, DC. (Penny Starr/Breitbart News)

“She speaks truth,” Fletcher said in her introduction of Noem. “She actually follows the science that they keep telling us we should follow and she institutes policies that are going to promote freedom and … to actually fix problems instead of creating them.”

“We need more people who will stand up for truth, for freedom, for family and be that common sense voice that we need,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher — and Noem — also praised Noem’s husband, Bryon, who has supported his wife’s political career in the South Dakota state legislature, the U.S. Congress, and as the first woman to head the state while raising two daughters, Kennedy and Kassidy, and a son, Booker.

“You know that man has to be awesome because she can’t do what she does without him,” Fletcher said. 

Noem also said her children — now 18, 23, and 26 — are a “testament” of her husband’s devotion to the family and that they are her greatest accomplishment.

“I tell people all the time — my legacy will be my children,” Noem said.

Fletcher said that her organization is dedicated to mothers such as Noem, who all across America have tremendous influence in shaping the future of the country. She cited Matthew Vassar, who founded the Vassar College for women in 1861.

“He said he did so because he realized that the mothers of the country molded citizens, determined its institutions, and shaped its destiny,” Fletcher said.

In her remarks, Noem said her “cowboy” father taught her a work ethic and to be a problem solver and her mother helped her overcome her insecurity as an overweight, shy teen by building her faith in God’s love for her.

Noem shared that her father died in an accident at 49 when she was only 22 and pregnant with her first child. She dropped out of college to help with the family’s farming operation and was inspired to get into politics when inheritance or death taxes threatened the grieving family’s security.

“It made me angry,” Noem said. “Because I could not believe that we would have a tragedy in our family and then all of a sudden the federal government would come forward with a policy that would threaten taking our family business away.”

Noem said she was raised and is raising her own children to be self-sufficient.

“I think right now in this country we are crippling our children,” Noem said. “We are crippling our children by giving them everything and doing everything for them.”

“And really what our job is as mothers is to prepare them for life,” Noem said. “And the way that we do that is by letting them go through some hard times. Making them figure things out a little bit by themselves. Encouraging them but also making sure we’re allowing them to become those problem solvers that we need.”

Noem said she was “honored” to get the award.

“This is probably the most special reward I’ve ever received,” Noem said. “Because I love my family. When I ran for governor it as on building strong families. It was about South Dakota could be an example to the nation and we could do that by focusing on strong families.”

“Because that really is the foundation of this country,” Noem said. “So the fact that you would honor me in this way today means the world to me.”

My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell was given the Moms of America’s courage award on Sunday in Washington, DC. (Penny Starr/Breitbart News)

Moms for America also honored Mike Lindell of “My Pillow” fame, who was given this year’s courage award for sticking to his support for President Donald Trump even when he was attacked for it.

Lindell talked openly about his struggle with addiction and how grateful he feels that his Christian faith is responsible for his overcoming it.

Aside from making pillows, Lindell also authored a book titled, What Are the Odds? From Crack Addict to CEO

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter or send news tips to pstarr@breitbart.com





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Orange County, Calif., sheriff says deputies won’t enforce Gov. Newsom’s lockdown order


The Orange County sheriff in California said Saturday his department would not be enforcing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new restrictive coronavirus lockdown order, which is set to take effect Sunday in the southern part of the state as well as the San Joaquin Valley, south of Sacramento. 

The governor warned last week that the order, which bans indoor dining at restaurants and closes bars and hair salons, would trigger regionally when any section of the state falls below 15% intensive care unit-capacity in hospitals.

“Compliance with health orders is a matter of personal responsibility and not a matter of law enforcement,” Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said in a statement posted on Twitter. “The Orange County Sheriff’s Department will remain consistent in our approach.”

LOS ANGELES COUNTY PROTEST OF DINING BAN TARGETS SUPERVISOR WHO VOTED FOR IT

Barnes’ statement said deputies will not respond solely to enforce mask-wearing, social distancing or social gathering restrictions. “Deputies will respond to calls for potential criminal behavior and for the protection of life and property.”

“To put the onus on law enforcement to enforce these orders against law-abiding citizens who are already struggling through difficult circumstances, while at the same time criticizing law enforcement and taking away our tools to do our jobs is both contradictory and disingenuous,” he wrote. 

SAN MATEO COUNTY BREAKS WITH NEWSOM, WON’T IMPOSE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER 

He said residents should follow health recommendations to keep from spreading the virus and policymakers shouldn’t “penalize residents for earning a livelihood, safeguarding their mental health, or enjoying our most cherished freedoms.”

The statement comes soon after San Mateo County near San Francisco said it would not immediately implement the stay-at-home order. 

San Mateo has not fallen below 15% capacity but could by the middle of the month.

The county said on Thursday that instead, it will work with the community and businesses to enforce the state’s strictest existing restrictions under its “purple tier” category, diverging from other Bay Area counties that decided to implement the order as a precaution. 

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“We know our residents have sacrificed and patience is growing thin, but we need you to know that you have the power to curb the spread and preserve hospital capacity for those who will need care in the coming weeks. We can get through this together if each of us takes action now to social distance, wear face coverings and avoid gatherings,” County Manager Michael Callagy said.



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