State Rep. Chip Neiman, R-Hulett, told Cowboy State Daily on Monday evening that he will meet with House Speaker Rep. Albert Sommers, R-Pinedale, and Minority Floor Leader Rep. Mike Yin, D-Jackson, in Cheyenne on Tuesday to discuss a controversial meme Rep. Karlee Provenza, D-Laramie, posted on social media April 1.
The meme Provenza shared depicts an elderly woman holding a rifle with a scope and the words "Auntie Fa Says protect trans folks against fascists & bigots!"
Auntie Fa is a reference to the left wing anti-fascist group Antifa.
Neiman and Yin will provide recommendations to Sommers on how to proceed if an investigation is initiated against Provenza for alleged legislator misconduct. Neiman, the House majority floor leader, said he “won’t opine at all” on what he will recommend until he’s presented with all evidence.
“I’m going to listen with an open mind and see what all of the evidence says,” he said.
When contacted last week about the meme, Yin said he had no comment.
Sommers told Cowboy State Daily last week he also may bring the issue up with the House Management Council to determine if there’s cause for an investigation.
Provenza, the House minority whip, apologized for posting the meme.
In her apology, Provenza explained that she was expressing support for "arming and protecting the LGBTQ community, a group of people" she said "depend upon Second Amendment protection.”
Sommers said at the time that he doesn’t condone Provenza’s behavior, but said her apology "recognizes and apologizes for the potential negative impact of her post."
He also said she received death threats over the matter.
The post drew outrage from many Republicans in Wyoming. State GOP Chairman Frank Eathorne sent a letter to Sommers requesting that Provenza be removed from her two committee assignments.
Roxie Hensley, chairman of the Albany County Republican Party, also sent a letter to Sommers, saying that “at the very least” Provenza should be stripped of her committee assignments, and should also be asked to resign and/or be reprimanded.
“As a representative of the people, she has a responsibility to represent everyone in their constituency, not just those who share her views,” Hensley wrote.
The Albany County GOP also requests Provenza be subjected to an ethics review “to assess her suitability for the position she holds.”
Albany County is a Democratic leaning county. Provenza’s district is one of the most progressive in the county and state, largely made up by the University of Wyoming campus.
She ran unopposed for a second term in 2022.