Majority Whip Of Wyoming House Targeted By Anti-Semitic Fliers

Jared Olsen, a Christian, Republican legislator who celebrates his Jewish heritage, said he found antisemitic literature on his lawn Sunday, along with another 30 fliers on lawns of his supporters.   

Clair McFarland

October 03, 20225 min read

Collage Maker 03 Oct 2022 03 12 PM

A Christian, Republican legislator who celebrates his Jewish heritage found antisemitic literature on his lawn Sunday, along with another 30 fliers on lawns of his supporters.   

“This morning my family woke up to this antisemitic flier on our door step, attempting to spread hate and fear, among lies of course,” wrote Rep. Jared Olsen, R-Cheyenne, in a Sunday Facebook post.   

Olsen, who serves as the Majority Whip in the Wyoming State House, told Cowboy State Daily on Monday that he ordered a genealogy test about six years ago and discovered Ashkenazi Jewish heritage in his bloodline. He had always suspected that Jewish heritage was buried in his lineage.   

Ashkenazi Jews are of Eastern European or German descent, according to   

Olsen, who routinely posts on Facebook about celebrating Jewish customs and displays a mezuzah on the right side of his family doorpost, doesn’t think the flier landed in his yard by coincidence.   

“In our house we take pride in our ancestral roots and heritage,” he said. 

The family also is planning a trip to Europe to explore Olsen’s Jewish roots and to tour the Auschwitz concentration camp of the 20th century Jewish Holocaust.   

The Theories  

The folded antisemitic flier posits many theories, claiming that the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were a Jewish conspiracy and that American “mass immigration” policies are led by Jewish politicians.   

“EVERY ASPECT OF 911 WAS JEWISH,” reads the flier in all-caps. Another page says that the Anti-Defamation League, a non-governmental Jewish international organization, was established “to protect a Jewish child murdering pedophile Leo Frank.”   

Frank was convicted in 1913 of raping and murdering his 13-year-old employee Mary Phagan in Georgia, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s published origins story. When Frank’s death sentence was commuted in 1915, a group of men kidnapped him from prison and lynched him.    

Frank’s trial and conviction still are replete with doubt and controversy; the Anti-Defamation League said his trial was “defined by antisemitism.”   

‘Oh, How Nice’  

Whoever tossed the angry-worded antisemitic flier onto Olsen’s lawn does not want the literature to be perceived as a threat.   

“These fliers were distributed randomly without malicious intent,” the flier reads.   

“Oh, how nice of them to put a disclaimer,” said Olsen with sarcasm. “They absolutely are not random.”  

Olsen said he has looked at yards displaying his campaign signs and his opponent’s signs and has found the literature in yards with his campaign signs but not his opponent’s. He has collected about 30 fliers so far.   

“I apologize to those of you hosting my sign that have to deal with this,” Olsen told his supporters on Facebook. “Please stay safe. If you need to take down my sign, we understand that your safety is important.”  

Olsen said his wife Dani, who usually brings their children to campaign with him, decided to stay home that day.  

The Blight  

Rep. Andy Schwartz, D-Jackson, announced in February during the Wyoming legislative session that he is Jewish. He told Cowboy State Daily on Monday that he hasn’t experienced antisemitic backlash like Olsen endured this weekend.    

Schwartz said antisemitism is an age-old blight throughout the world but, to him, this event marks its noticeable arrival in Wyoming.   

“I’m appalled, I’m disappointed,” said Schwartz, who has lived in Wyoming for 45 years. “This kind of crap has been going on forever. But I’m just sad to see it in Wyoming.”   

Schwartz texted Olsen on Sunday expressing his concern and sadness, both men told Cowboy State Daily.   

Schwartz theorized that he hasn’t experienced overt antisemitism because “Teton County is different. I’m sure there are people like that (antisemitic) here, but it’s not the nature of the discourse here.”   

He said he hopes it’s not the start of a trend. 

“It didn’t used to be the nature of discourse in Wyoming – but obviously that’s changing,” he said. 

Schwartz called upon the Wyoming Republican Party leadership to condemn the act and antisemitism publicly.  

“I think it is incumbent upon the Wyoming Republican party and party leadership to disavow this,” he said.  

The Getaway  

One of Olsen’s constituents who found antisemitic literature near his campaign sign in their yard checked their home security camera for evidence.   

That person, whom Olsen chose not to identify, saw what looked like a white, four-door sedan slowing near the home at about 16 minutes after midnight shortly after Saturday night turned to Sunday morning.   

Olsen, who was a late riser Sunday morning, discovered his own flier at about 11 a.m.   

In January, a much larger paper blitzkrieg was reported with residents in Denver, San Francisco and Miami discovering literature blaming Jews for “the COVID agenda.” Like Olsen’s fliers, these also were placed in plastic bags and weighed down with small objects, such as pebbles.  

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter