ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Port: Republican women rip Cara Mund for attacks on their party and colleague

"She and her supporters have characterized the Republican Party as one controlled by old, white men with no respect or place for women," a group of women in the NDGOP write. "To imply that women have no role — as Ms. Mund and her supporters have asserted — not only disparages our colleague Kelly Armstrong, it also ignores the contributions and achievements of our 110 combined years of public service to the people of North Dakota, as well as the contributions of the many women who came before us."

Armstrong-Mund debate.2
Independent challenger Cara Mund debates North Dakota US House Republican Incumbent Kelly Armstrong on Oct. 11 at Memorial Union on the NDSU campus.
Chris Flynn / The Forum
We are part of The Trust Project.

MINOT, N.D. — It has been peculiar to observe Cara Mund, a white Ivy Leaguer, a graduate of Brown University in Rhode Island, and Harvard Law School in Massachusetts, and a beauty queen celebrity affluent enough to run for Congress after college instead of finding a job as most recent graduates must, posture herself as some disadvantaged victim on the campaign trail.

Yet that's been Mund's schtick since entering North Dakota's U.S. House race.

The ostensible independent — in reality the de facto candidate of the Democratic-NPL party thanks to the machinations of party elites earlier this year who pushed a more moderate candidate chosen by rank-and-file party members out of the race — claims to be a spokesperson for women everywhere who are oppressed by the cruel patriarchy of old white Republican men.

That Mund has done this while also trying to claim, unbelievably, that she's a kinda-sort Republican who might caucus with the GOP in the House (despite not having bothered to ask the Republican citizens of North Dakota, at a convention or in the statewide primary, how they might feel about this) is more than a little insufferable.

Now a group of Republican women — elected leaders who run the ideological gamut from moderate to conservative — are speaking up about it .

ADVERTISEMENT

"She and her supporters have characterized the Republican Party as one controlled by old, white men with no respect or place for women," these women, who have brought their success and leadership to the NDGOP, write in a recent letter to the editor . "To imply that women have no role — as Ms. Mund and her supporters have asserted — not only disparages our colleague Kelly Armstrong, it also ignores the contributions and achievements of our 110 combined years of public service to the people of North Dakota, as well as the contributions of the many women who came before us."

"We are committee chairs, appropriators, and statewide office holders," they continue. "We have advanced countless pieces of legislation supporting education, human services, agriculture and energy. We are not victims but effective policy-makers and leaders in our state."

Here's the letter's signatories:

  • Sen. Nicole Poolman, R-Bismarck
  • Sen. Jessica Bell, R-Beulah
  • Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak, R-Mandan
  • Sen. Judy Lee, R-West Fargo
  • Sen. Karen Krebsbach, R-Minot
  • Rep. Michelle Strinden, R-Fargo
  • Rep. Emily O’Brien, R-Grand Forks
  • Rep. Karen Karls, R-Bismarck
  • Rep. Dori Hauck, R-Hebron

That is a list of some of our state's most consequential Republicans.

MORE FROM ROB PORT
"Do we want conservatism to be seen as a pragmatic set of principles for balancing our collective need for a government with the rights of individuals? Or the gospel of some fire-and-brimstone bible-thumper who has never met a conspiracy theory he didn't cotton to?"
Somehow, Trump-aligned "conservatives" went full circle, from prudent skeptics of authoritarianism to its footsoldiers, Rob Port writes.
Thanks to turmoil at FTX, a high-profile cryptocurrency exchange, that industry is in free fall. What does it mean for crypto-related data center projects here in North Dakota?

Sens. Krebsbach and Lee are two of the most influential members of the Legislature.

Sen. Bell was instrumental in saving our state's largest coal-fired power plant, and thousands of jobs in central North Dakota along with it.

Commissioner Fedorchak, whose agency was at the center of the brutal regulatory fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline, helped lead our state through that storm with competence and grace.

Rep. Emily O'Brien is a young and rising star in the NDGOP who dared to stand and speak against a colleague, disgraced former Rep. Luke Simons, who was kicked out of the Republican-controlled House for harassing her and others.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rep. Hauck is who Republicans in her western district chose to replace Simons when that rank misogynist was granted the ignominy of being the first lawmaker ever expelled from the state assembly.

I could go on extolling their accomplishments, but I'm inflating my word count, and I think you get the point.

Imagine being these women as Mund presumes to speak for them in shoddy political attacks on a Republican colleague they've worked with and respect.

The gall they clearly feel comes through in their letter, which also notes Mund's many endorsements of liberal Democratic policy initiatives.

Mund's "poor me" antics, replete with jeremiads against the supposed GOP patriarchy, might play well with the ubiquitously-online reactionaries from TikTok and Facebook, where she's doing most of her campaigning, but they don't gibe with reality, and they clearly don't reflect the experience of these women who are actual Republicans tasked with the real responsibilities of governing.

Here's an exit question for you to consider now that you've finished reading this column: If the GOP is so bad, so chock-full of mansplaining chauvinists, that Mund must spend a significant portion of her campaign time castigating it, then why in the world would she pretend as though she's maybe going to caucus with Republicans in Washington, D.C.?

It just doesn't make sense, does it?

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at rport@forumcomm.com. Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
What to read next
Columnist Roxane B. Salonen writes, "Only time can heal the great loss we feel when our loved ones die—and even that, imperfectly. But there is something deeper, and truer, than what we can hold in this world. It is love. And the love of a mother does not end at death."
Jenny Schlecht explains how a "where are you" call led to an evening of protecting barn cats and hunting raccoons.
Columnist Jim Shaw offers critical remarks after North Dakota Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer voted against the Respect for Marriage Act. "Hoeven and Cramer are using religion as a cover to justify bigotry and discrimination," Shaw writes. "History will not be on their side."
Columnist Scott Hennen takes time to be thankful for the local community's generosity.