Sheriff Says Honor Wyoming’s Out-Of-State Organizer Has Ties To Bundy Standoff

A Wyoming native and longtime sheriff of Spokane, Washington, says he’s very familiar with the lead organizer of the murky new political group Honor Wyoming, including that he has ties to the 2016 Bundy standoff in Oregon.

Leo Wolfson

May 25, 20248 min read

Ozzie Knezovich
Ozzie Knezovich (Courtesy Photo)

Sometimes in politics, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Last summer, Ozzie Knezovich was back in his hometown of Superior, Wyoming, enjoying retirement after serving as the Republican sheriff of Spokane County, Washington, for 16 years. That was, until he got an unexpected phone call that connected some of his old Washington state political foes to his present life in Wyoming, where he now lives.

The call was an invitation to attend a private gathering at a Jackson mansion kicking off the launch of a new political group called Honor Wyoming. There, Knezovich became reacquainted with a familiar name from Idaho political circles, a man named John Guido.

Guido has been named in multiple business filings as the lead organizer behind Honor Wyoming, a murky new political group that’s been flooding the state and Facebook with messages chiding some legislators as rodeo “clowns” and others as “top hands” based on their voting records.

Guido also is named on the Honor Wyoming website as a staffer.

“They tout cowboy values, which they wouldn’t know a cowboy value if it bit them in the ass,” Knezovich said of the behind-the-scenes movers and shakers for Honor Wyoming. “And they’re all from California.”

Knezovich said Guido is originally from California, where he’s been connected to fervently Libertarian billionaire tomato farmer Chris Rufer.

Rufer gave Guido’s Citizens Alliance of Idaho group a $100,000 donation in 2022, according to the Idaho Capital Sun. He owns a tomato-processing company called Morning Star Co. and is chairman of the board for Advocates for Self-Government, a Libertarian group that Guido has worked for.

The Honor Wyoming Plan

At the Jackson meeting, Knezovich said Guido unveiled his plans for Honor Wyoming to follow a familiar script to other conservative ranking sites, which often blast Republicans not seen as conservative enough as “Republican in name only” or “rinos.” This website would take a slightly different approach and rate lawmakers based on their “integrity.”

When Knezvoich asked Guido at the meeting if Honor Wyoming is made up of Republicans or Libertarians, he said the question was dismissed.

Guido has been tied to similar efforts to Honor in Wyoming in Idaho. When Knezovich heard Guido was going to be at the meeting in Jackson, he knew he had to be there.

Knezovich, a past president of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs and Homeland Security Intelligence Committee Co-Chair, frequently sparred with white nationalist groups and extremist militias in his state. He said he often lived under death threats from members of these groups for extended periods of time.

In 2020, he was invited to a Lincoln Day dinner in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to speak on the topic, where he heaped criticism on controversial farther right groups and militias the III Percenter movement, John Birch Society and the American Redoubt movement, which have links to some of the most conservative members of the Idaho Legislature.

“I don’t like these people. I think they are dangerous. I don’t want them in Wyoming,” Knezovich said. “I want to chase them out of Wyoming as rapidly as I can because I know the damage these people do.”

Honor Wyoming 5 24 24
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Bundy Connection

The keynote speaker at that inaugural 2023 meeting, Knezovich said, was Heather Scott, a state legislator from northern Idaho tied to various militia events. Clearly, Scott’s words resonated with the audience as Knezovich said he saw one man write out a $50,000 to the new group.

Most notably, Scott has ties to the 2016 armed standoff orchestrated by Ammon Bundy in Oregon, in which Bundy and his supporters seized the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Guido’s Citizens Alliance of Idaho has donated to Scott and other candidates who supported the Bundy standoff.

Bundy and his militia were seeking an opportunity to advance their view that the federal government is constitutionally required to turn over most of the federal public land they manage to the individual states.

A message left for a number listed to a John Guido in Meridian, Idaho, did not respond to a request for comment from Cowboy State Daily.

Online documents show that a man named John Guido worked for Libertarian groups The Advocates for Self Governing based in Sacramento, California, and Liberty Advocates based in Washington, D.C. He and his wife have also donated to the Atlas Network, a large, Koch brothers-funded organization, which has supported a number of Libertarian efforts in South America. In turn, the Atlas Network has donated to the farther right Idaho Freedom Foundation.


Scott was not immediately available to comment about the 2023 Honor Wyoming meeting.

She has been frequently associated with farther right, militia-type operations and armed protests on numerous occasions. Scott has also been closely linked to Washington state legislator Matt Shea, another controversial character Knezovich said he frequently sparred with that was eventually banned from the Republican caucus in his state legislature.

According to an Inlander story in 2020, a trove of leaked documents showed that Scott worked behind the scenes to assist the Bundy militia in their fight against the federal government.

She and two other Idaho state legislators tried convincing a local judge and county officials to make concessions to the militia, and on at least one occasion the group referred to the BLM as committing an act of terrorism. The judge was not persuaded.

One militant was killed while resisting arrest and reaching for a handgun during the event. Shortly after the standoff ended, Scott held a jubilant press conference, speaking positively about what took place.

In 2019, at the request of the Washington state House, an independent investigative team released a 108-page report examining whether Shea’s actions promoted political violence. The report concluded that Shea had planned domestic terrorism. Scott's name appeared in the report at least 20 times.

When investigators looked at the documents Shea prepared for a Scott-hosted rally for a local man who had his guns threatened to be taken away because he had a stroke, they concluded that the organizers were probably "preparing for a conflict that carried with it a significant risk of violence."

Scott is also co-chair of the Idaho Freedom Caucus, which falls under the same State Freedom Caucus Network that oversees the Wyoming Freedom Caucus. The Idaho Freedom Caucus launched at almost the same time in 2023 as when the Wyoming Freedom Caucus announced its affiliation with the Washington, D.C.-based group.

The Idaho branch employs similar tactics to the Wyoming chapter, frequently blasting other Republican lawmakers it doesn’t view as being conservative enough.

She’s also allegedly a member of the Oathkeepers, a militia group made up of mostly law enforcement and military veterans who've vowed to defy unconstitutional orders. The group counts Wyoming GOP Chair Frank Eathorne as a member.


What struck Knezovich as most telling about the 2023 meeting was how few of the 20-30 people in attendance were Wyoming residents, with only three or four raising their hands when he asked. The fact that the group planned to grade Wyoming lawmakers on their integrity, Knezovich said he found offensive and fraudulent.

“I’m like, ‘How are you talking about Wyoming values when you have no idea, no concept of what those values are?’” he asked. “I grew up with those values, I grew up with cowboy values.”

This lack of Wyoming connection has already been noticed by others. On Wednesday, state Rep. Mike Yin, D-Jackson, put out a press release where he pointed out that one of the people on the Honor Wyoming board of directors, Blair Maus, is listed in one of the group’s tax filings as working out of a Cheyenne residence. Maus is a Jackson resident who owns a winery with her husband in the Sonoma Valley of California.

“If Mrs. Maus votes in Teton County, but claims she lives in Cheyenne through this filing, either she is committing voter fraud or Honor Wyoming is again putting false information on their filing, which creates a pattern of false information across multiple filings,” Yin said.

Yin sent a letter to the Wyoming Secretary of State’s office May 1 pointing out that Honor Wyoming Foundation and Honor Wyoming Inc. had listed their principal office addresses as a mailbox in a UPS store in Cheyenne. This is illegal, as state law requires the principal address of a business to be where it’s doing its business activities.

In response, the secretary of state’s office sent a letter to Honor Wyoming the next day alerting the group it had to change its filing. By last week it had done so, changing the address to a property owned by political operative Kevin Lewis, where it was also claimed Maus could be found.

Yin said he finds these discrepancies highly ironic.

“For a group that claims to decide who has high integrity, yet with multiple interactions with the state, possibly putting up false information in conflict with state law, I would contend that they in fact are not honorable, and do not live up to Wyoming values that they accuse others of not following,” he said. “I hope that they will move forward in the future with more honesty in their interactions with the state of Wyoming and be more truthful in their interactions with citizens across our great state.”

Leo Wolfson can be reached at

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter