Category archive

Tom Lubnau

Tom Lubnau: Alright, Wyoming, Let’s Cut The Franchise Quarterback For Throwing One Interception

in Column/Tom Lubnau
8629

***For All Things Wyoming, Sign-Up For Our Daily Newsletter***

By Tom Lubnau, columnnist
Tom Lubnau, a Republican, is the former Speaker of the House in the Wyoming Legislature

Joe Biden has made it clear — he wants to destroy Wyoming businesses.   He is doing everything he can to stop the use of coal.  

Being the guy in charge of 75% of the minerals in our state, Biden has done everything in his power to shut down exploration for oil and gas.   Attacks on the agriculture industry will be next.

The effect of his actions is to deprive Wyoming of mineral royalties from those federal lands, which translates into reduced funding for the education of our children – reduced funding that amounts to tens of millions of dollars, not to mention the good jobs Wyoming’s people will lose. 

If Joe Biden has his way, Wyoming will be an empty park full of unemployed government dependents.  

Wyoming, being the least populated state, only has one United States Representative — out of four hundred thirty-five members.  

Once in a generation, we elect someone to represent us who has the experience, connections and fund-raising ability to rise to the level of leadership in the House.  

Currently, our representative, Liz Cheney, is the number 3 person in the Republican caucus.   She carries more influence and power than just being one of four hundred thirty-five. 

And for four years, she has made tens of thousands of decisions that have helped Wyoming.  She is our franchise quarterback.

I do not agree with her decision to support impeachment, and I don’t like how she handled it.   She made a mistake, and she deserves to hear from us.  

But, I urge my friends and neighbors to be slow to toss her to the sidelines.   Out of  tens of thousands of decisions, we don’t like one.   So, we want to throw her out?  What do we get in return?

Before we make the decision to toss her, we should evaluate the choices for her replacement.  

Fancy-pants hard line conservatives, who spout political rallying cries will not rise in leadership.   Those pettifoggers will serve as ineffective blabbermouths who spew out magical words of political incantation, but get nothing done.  

In a time of crisis in Wyoming, where the President wants to destroy our state and many of the people in it, we have to carefully evaluate who has the skills necessary to protect our interests.  

Is it the smooth talker who tells us what we want to hear, or the person who has to courage to stand on her convictions, we need?  Who can best represent our interests?  

In full disclosure, I did not support Liz Cheney when she first ran.   I worked hard for my friend Tim Stubson.  

In the four years she has been in D.C., she has risen to a position of influence to help stave off the attacks from our own government and earned my trust.  

Before we put our all-star on the sidelines, we should weigh the alternatives. (The football thing is a metaphor.  I am not encouraging any pro football teams to cut anyone for throwing one interception.) 

Do any of the blabbermouths, opportunists or other farraginous candidates who have announced for Rep. Cheney’s seat have the chutzpah to get the job done in a time of crisis for this state?  

Or, are we dumping or our franchise quarterback for one misstep teach Liz a lesson, while flushing our opportunity to have an effective voice in D.C. down the drain?

One also has to wonder why a fancy-pants legislator from Florida came to Wyoming to interfere in our election.  What are the real motives in wanting to remove a Wyoming representative from leadership? 

I suspect it has nothing to do with Wyoming or her people.   His three hours in Cheyenne hardly gave him a chance to really know anyone here. 

Before we hurt ourselves in the name of one bad decision, let’s evaluate whether anyone else can help our state the way she has in the Congress in this time of crisis.  

We’ll have to search long and hard before we find someone with the political influence to defend us from the attacks of the east-coast liberal big-city commander in chief, who has no idea about the west and the people who live there. 

***For All Things Wyoming, Sign-Up For Our Daily Newsletter***

Book Review: “Never Leaving Laramie, Travels in a Restless World” by John W. Haines

in Column/Tom Lubnau
6486

***For All Things Wyoming, Sign-Up For Our Daily Newsletter***

By Tom Lubnau II

John Haines does a great job of taking you with him to the oxygen deprived bicycle trip through Tibet, dodging hippos while being one of a handful of people to kayak the entire length of the Niger River, and serving as an election supervisor in Bosnia after the former Yugoslavia fractured from war.

Descriptive, insightful and sometime bittersweet,  Haines does more than paint a word picture of his adventures, he shares the emotional and philosophical musings of a traveler from Laramie who had lived his life to the fullest, and continues to do so.

“Never Leaving Laramie” is an inspirational tale of a Laramie boy’s Wyoming roots leading him to a life of adventure.

John, a fourth generation Wyomingite, grew up in Laramie, Wyoming, graduated from the University of Wyoming and began a life of adventures.   He attributes his spirit of adventure to being raised on the high plains of the Cowboy State.  

In Never Leaving Laramie, he details a few of his lifelong adventures.   His prose flows easily, describing his many trips.  One feels him shiver from the cold and his lungs ache from the altitude when he, and a friend from Laramie, bicycle to North Mt. Everest base camp. 

One feels the terror and helplessness when their kayak expedition encounters an enraged hippopotamus.  One feels the guilt and regret of a war-torn Serbian people, but their hope of a new future when Haines serves as an election supervisor for their first democratic elections.

But the book is more than a travel log.   Haines introduces us to his traveling companions – folks he met in Laramie — who share his yearning for adventure.  

John introduces us the Japanese film crew he met at the Everest Base Camp.    We feel the relief of the Japanese when they find out Haines and his traveling partner, Rick Smith, made it to base camp on bicycles.  

The Japanese were there to set a high-altitude record for motorcycles, and were concerned the American duo had beat them to the punch.   Haines introduces us to tribal leaders in Mali, who were willing to share their food with kayakers traveling downriver. 

We understand their confusion at why someone would want to leave their rivers at home, and come travel a river in West Africa.   His descriptions are more than caricatures.   We meet the folks, see through their eyes and feel their lust for life.   

We feel Haines’ pain and confusion, when he steps off a train in the Czech Republic , and wakes up a quadriplegic in a hospital.   Haines talks about his struggles adapting to his new reality.  

And then, Haines describes his post-accident work giving the poor a hand-up through his work through Mercy Corps.    All the while, we come to understand that Haines’ life well-lived was a natural consequence of his youth and ties to Laramie, Wyoming.  

Haines’ work is an inspiring, sometimes bittersweet tale of a life of adventure, and the consequences, good and bad, of his choices.  

I found myself wondering what-if I had Haines’ courage, what if I could cut off my golden handcuffs and truly experience life, what if I had the spirit of adventure to take those risks myself.  Haines details a lust for living every minute – a lust that ties back to a life in Laramie.

Never Leaving Laramie can be found at OSU Press http://osupress.oregonstate.edu/book/never-leaving-laramie , Amazon.com and at other major booksellers, or ordered from your local bookstore.

Tom Lubnau II is a recovering politician and former Speaker of the House who practices law in Gillette, Wyoming.

***For All Things Wyoming, Sign-Up For Our Daily Newsletter***

Tom Lubnau: Wyoming’s Savings Are Nearly Gone; Get Prepared For Serious Changes

in Column/Tom Lubnau
6002

***For All Things Wyoming, Sign-Up For Our Daily Newsletter***

By Tom Lubnau, guest columnist

I fought fire for the Campbell County Fire Department for 21 years.   While there, we developed a saying: “When perception meets reality, reality always wins.”  

Wyoming finds itself at those crossroads. 

For a generation, we have been the most conservative socialist state in the nation.  We have lived off of the tax dollars paid by other people.  We have developed Cadillac tastes while paying for a bicycle. 

According to the Wyoming Division of Economic analysis, on average, a family of 3 pays $3,180 in taxes while receiving $27,050 in government services. 

The rest of the government expenditures were paid by utility consumers from other states using Wyoming minerals. 

The market has shifted away from Wyoming minerals to other energy sources.  Whether those choices are wise or not does not matter.   Fewer folks are buying our minerals.  

As a result, we in Wyoming have a choice:  pay for the services we receive, or cut those services.   The potential amount of those cuts is staggering:  $1.5 billion dollars per biennium – or about $3,000 for every man, woman and child in the state. 

The governor has started to make cuts required by our Wyoming Constitution, because our income is far below our budget. 

Given our voters’ distaste for new taxes, be prepared for new cuts.  At this stage, dollars cut equal people cut.  

We should be prepared for unemployed contractors due to no new construction, cuts to education meaning educator layoffs, cuts to city and county budgets meaning cuts to law enforcement and emergency services, and cuts to maintenance budgets meaning less snow removal and more potholes.   

It also means less help for our elderly and our children. For six years, we have been balancing our budget with savings.   Our savings is nearly gone.  

We need to be prepared to change our Cadillac tastes to bicycle tastes, to tax ourselves some more or look to a combination of both.  

The reality is we are spending way beyond what we are now collecting in taxes.  No amount of magical thinking changes that reality.  

We need to be prepared to face the consequences of our choices.   Wherever our Legislature chooses to guide us, our lives will be vastly different.  

The Governor’s recent cuts are a minor scratch on the surface.  Be prepared for some serious changes.  The corollary to “when perception meets reality, reality always wins” is that when perception meets reality, it usually hurts.

Tom Lubnau II is a recovering politician and former Speaker of the House who practices law in Gillette, Wyoming.

***For All Things Wyoming, Sign-Up For Our Daily Newsletter***

Go to Top