Rod Miller: Cut the Apron Strings!

in Column/Rod Miller

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By Rod Miller, guest columnist

Apparently, ex-president Trump doesn’t like how we in the sovereign state of Wyoming conduct our elections. He recently took the state to task for not passing a runoff election bill favored by the Wyoming GOP intended to thwart Liz Cheney from winning next years U.S. House election.

Trump would like Wyoming to follow his model in our elections, a model that provided the vibrant leadership and economic success of such ventures as Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal, Trump University and Trump Steaks. Screw him.

Trump, in his rant against our election code, gave nods to Wyoming Senator Bo Biteman and Representative Chip Neiman for their efforts to bring about a runoff election statute pimped by Donald Trump Jr.

Why on God’s green earth would anyone from the Cowboy State pay attention to this drivel from east-coast elites? Why would anyone holding an election certificate from the great people of Wyoming stoop to being a puppet for a demagogue like Donald Trump?

It has everything to do with how the State of Wyoming roped itself into being administrative staff for our major political parties. It has to do with deciding what is best for Wyoming citizens versus what is best for a political party. And getting folks to realize that those are two distinctly different things.

The inter-connectedness of the business of the political parties in Wyoming and the statutes covering our public elections is dangerous. The very fact that it exists tempts political parties to use our laws as a means of consolidating internal partisan power. And its a temptation that they’ve proven they can’t resist.

I offer as evidence of that fact ex-president Trump’s public whine. And countless examples of Wyoming political parties whining about our laws.

One logical solution to this conundrum is to completely sever the apron strings that bind political parties to state government. Repeal every statute that gives state government any involvement whatsoever in partisan politics, or that gives political parties leverage over elected government.

With state government totally out of the business of telling political parties how to conduct their affairs, and political parties having no statutory excuse to tell the state how to conduct our elections, I predict life will become a lot simpler for Wyomingites.

And I have to believe that political parties would welcome this solution. Its like handing the car keys to your 16 year-old, telling them “You’re on your own now. Buy your own gas.”

I’m not sure what the original impetus was to so tightly interweave private political organizations with the government of our state. It must have seemed a good idea at the time, but that time is long gone.

If the government of the State of Wyoming wants to insulate itself from the often malign machinations of political parties, then the scissors are close to hand. Cut the apron strings. Its time we were honest enough with ourselves to admit this relationship just isn’t working.

If the major political parties in Wyoming are ready to assume their full stature as certified Pure-D cowboys, and stand up on their own hind legs, then I can’t think of a better time than now. Go Grasshoppers!

Go run your meetings as you want, and elect your officers as you wish. Do all the work of a truly independent political party free from government influence. Have straw polls, caucuses or spitting contests, but have your candidates name to the Secretary of State in time to print the ballots. And stop whining.

Lets get this foolishness behind us, and get on with the real work at hand.

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