Guest column by Marti Halverson, Etna, Wy
(State Representative, 2013-2019)
The Cowgirl Run Fund was the bipartisan brain child of several Wyoming women. In principle, I support civic engagement in almost every form. But one of the founders is an elected officer of her county’s Republican Party, and, as such, a member of the Wyoming Republican Party’s Central Committee.
As a Republican, I find the funding of a Democrat woman over an incumbent Republican man by a Republican woman in party leadership offensive on many levels.
Also offensive is the funding by JoAnn True’s PAC of the House Minority Floor Leader Rep. Cathy Connolly of Laramie, who is unopposed in her race. So offensive, in fact, that True was censured by her colleagues on the WRP Central Committee on Sept. 12.
Cowgirl Run Fund makes the assumption that women can serve in the Legislature more ably than men can serve. This is inherently a sexist notion and is rejected by the Wyoming Republican Party, which promotes values over gender.
Having served in the Wyoming House for six years, I can attest that women are superbly represented. The men are husbands, sons and fathers of daughters, and they hear from the women in their lives frequently on the issues before the legislature. “Woman’s issues” are always well addressed.
Cowgirl Run Fund has succumbed to the gender-shaming heaped upon Wyoming by the mainstream media and progressive, so-called “woman” organizations that bemoan the small number of female legislators and other elected officials in this state. Knuckling under to outside gender pressures is neither good policy, nor does it necessarily result in the best elected officials.
True and her Natrona County partners on the State Central Committee were absent from the meeting where the decision was made to censure her, which was unfortunate. I would like to have heard a defense of her activities on behalf of Democrats and against Republicans.
Speaking only for myself, this woman has no place on the Central Committee of the Wyoming Republican Party and ought to step down immediately.
The Wyoming Republican Party is under attack from all sides, and from within, as mainstream Wyoming Republicans demand that the party become more principled on its return to its conservative roots.
In my role as Wyoming’s National Committeewoman, I spent eight years traveling the state. The complaint I heard consistently was about the party permitting Republicans-who-should-be-Democrats to ride on the Republican brand.
In 2016, the Wyoming Republican Party and the Republican National Committee both adopted the most conservative platforms that either entity had seen in decades. I am proud to have been part of both efforts. Many other states are following suit.
Subsequently, we have seen a revolt by actors and factions that want the GOP to be all things to all people, and by Republicans who want Democrats to like them.
Now that we are standing on the solid, timeless, conservative principles that have defined the GOP since its founding, the old guards like Mitt Romney, John Kasich and Jeff Flake find themselves more allied with actual Democrats and Progressives than with the Republican party they claim to have been serving all these years.
I am saddened that a member of the Wyoming Republican Party Central Committee, and a Republican leader in her own county, does not see fit to support incumbent Republican legislators, but rather to generously fund their Democrat opponents.
Her censure was appropriate.