Plain Talk: Rep. Brandy Pyle calls lawmaker's fundraising amid harassment claims a 'slap in the face'

"I sat down with him two Fridays ago to talk about some of his behavior in our caucus meetings," Pyle told me, saying that Simons has been, "shouting and screaming and calling everyone hypocrites."

2336858+0221 GOP--Luke Simons.jpg
Luke Simons speaks to a crowd during the GOP District 36 nominating convention Saturday at the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge.

Supporters of Rep. Luke Simons, an embattled Bastiat Caucus lawmaker from Dickinson who has been accused of harassing behavior by numerous women who work in and around the Legislature, have begun raising money for his legal defense .

Simons faces no criminal or civil charges, but House Majority Leader Chet Pollert and other Republican leaders have called on Simons to resign and have said they'll consider expelling him from the chamber if he doesn't.

It's not clear what role a lawyer would play in those proceedings.


How does one of the women who says she was harassed by Simons feel about the fundraising?

"It's a slap in the face of the people who went through this," Rep. Brandy Pyle, R-Casselton, said on this episode of Plain Talk.

Pyle detailed many "very uncomfortable comments" Simons has made to her, including asking her who was taking care of her children while she serves in the Legislature. Simons also told Pyle he had seen older pictures of her where she looked "like a schoolgirl." He told her she shouldn't wear her hair too long or she'd look "Indian" or "Chinese."

"It's hard," Pyle told me. "You work very hard to get there and get the job. To be constantly undermined as a woman ... it's frustrating."

"I sat down with him two Fridays ago to talk about some of his behavior in our caucus meetings," Pyle told me, saying that Simons has been "shouting and screaming and calling everyone hypocrites."

The subject of Simons' ire in the caucus meetings was the Legislature's mask mandate - Pyle said Simons would "threaten to be forcibly removed from the floor for refusing to wear a mask" - but the issue wasn't his objection to masks. Pyle said it was how he was conducting himself.

Both Simons and many of his supporters have suggested that the accusations are born of a political vendetta. Simons himself has blamed "liberals" for the scandals around him and has argued for "cleaning house" at Legislative Council where a number of the accusations against him have originated.

Pyle says that's just not true. "I used to go to Bastiat Caucus meetings," Pyle told me, noting she quit going when the organization began charging $300 in yearly dues.


To subscribe to Plain Talk, click here .

To comment on this article, visit

Rob Port, founder of, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at .

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 Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
What To Read Next
Get Local