DOWN to the Wyoming Republican Party for two actions at its Nov. 13 Central Committee meeting in Buffalo that both made no sense and once again brought negative national attention to the Equality State.
Let’s address the latter first and talk about the 31-29 vote to no longer recognize Rep. Liz Cheney as a member of their party. Hardline supporters of former President Donald Trump will dismiss our criticism of this vote, which wasn’t that unexpected, since several county committees had already taken similar action. They’ll no doubt say it’s no surprise that the media is objecting to the vote, and some will even wear it as a badge of honor.
But what they either don’t see or don’t care about is the influx of emails we get from out-of-state residents every time such an action is taken, wondering what Wyomingites, as a whole, are thinking. And although they will dismiss the chatter on national news broadcasts and the skit on “Saturday Night Live,” all of that negative attention just solidifies the decision made by many young people not to pick Wyoming as a place to live and raise a family.
Then there’s the action internal to Wyoming politics that was even more shameful than continuing to bash Rep. Cheney. Instead of voting to censure or rebuke Park County Precinct Committeeman Troy Bray for his highly offensive email to state Sen. Tara Nethercott, R-Cheyenne, they chose to criticize Sen. Larry Hicks, R-Baggs, for a strongly worded email that he thought was being sent to Bray in response, and Rep. Steve Harshman, R-Casper, for his inappropriate comments on Zoom about fellow Casper Republican Rep. Chuck Gray during the recent special session.
We don’t necessarily disagree that the latter two gentlemen deserved to be reprimanded for their actions. But to ignore the far more egregious action against a precinct committeeman who lines up perfectly with you on the issues and reprimand those you don’t always agree with is shameful.
Thankfully, we’re starting to hear rumblings that some moderate Wyoming Republicans have had enough. It’s time for those who agree to step up, run for party leadership positions, reclaim the GOP as the party of common sense, and restore dignity and honor among those who represent the vast majority of Wyoming voters.
UP to the BNSF Railway Foundation for sponsoring the All Kids Bike learn-to-ride program, including the purchase of 25 Strider 14X balance bicycles and helmets for two Cheyenne elementary schools.
All Kids Bike is a four-year-old program started by the South Dakota-based Strider Education Foundation. The Strider bike starts out without pedals, letting kids learn how to balance as they propel themselves across the gymnasium floor with their feet. Program developers say this is a better way to learn how to ride a bicycle than depending on training wheels and then removing them. It also helps reduce the stress for parents of having to teach a child how to ride safely.
Unfortunately, these bikes retail for $150 each, which is where BNSF comes in. Although the program has already been incorporated in schools in Casper, Cody, Gillette and on the Wind River Indian Reservation, Hobbs and Henderson will be the first two Cheyenne schools to participate.
We hope the attention brought to the program by Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon and Cheyenne Mayor Patrick Collins will encourage other nonprofits to make similar donations to expand it throughout Laramie County.
DOWN to U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., for once again speaking out against expansion of Medicaid in Wyoming, even though it’s estimated that doing so could provide health coverage for 13,000 to 24,000 of his low-income constituents.
The state’s senior senator acknowledges that a decision to accept Medicaid reimbursement expansion under the Affordable Care Act of 2014 is up to the Wyoming Legislature. But that didn’t stop him from telling a reporter in Lander recently that he thinks the federal government wastes money and “... we could do a much better job in Wyoming, doing it the Wyoming way ...”
But what the former Casper orthopedic surgeon fails to offer is any concrete suggestion for how those who can’t afford private health insurance are supposed to get the level of care that would be provided by Medicaid. Instead, all he says is he hopes people can “partner with whoever it is that’s providing care for you.” What, exactly is that supposed to mean? And if this is the best a Wyoming doctor-turned-politician can offer, why should we care what he thinks, anyway?
It’s time for Sen. Barrasso to offer specific solutions backed by the funds to make them happen or keep quiet about this issue.
UP to Arts Cheyenne for developing an ArtHaus mobile gallery, which is expected to bring artwork to people all over Cheyenne and Laramie County once it debuts sometime next year.
This innovative, 192-square-foot house on wheels is the brainchild of Arts Cheyenne vice president Steve Knox, who saw the need for an art center in the Capital City. The fact that it will be able to go to where people are makes it even more attractive.
We applaud the ingenuity that has gone into this community amenity, and we can’t wait to see the final result.