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Letter to the Editor

Steve Duerr: Attention Legislators: It Is Time To Favor The Convention Of States Initiative

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Letter to the editor. By Steve Duerr

Dear fellow Wyoming Patriot & Member of the Legislature: Subject: Wyoming Legislature – 2021 – Convention of States Initiative

I hope to see you in Cheyenne during the 2021 legislative session in March. I will be calling you to discuss this email and to seek your support.

You may know that I have been a volunteer for the Convention of States initiative in Wyoming since 2014.

I’ve been a lawyer since 1980 working in NW Wyoming for about 36 years. I have traveled to Cheyenne to advocate for COS, in what will be my 4th legislative session: 2015, 17, 19 and now 2021.

I will not give up because I’m a grandpa and father of seven and I fear for my family.

I strongly believe that the remedy for Federal abuse our Founders created in Article V of the US Constitution, is the only remedy big enough to fix our current Constitutional Crisis.

The Presidential election, the Georgia Senate elections, the tragedy at the US Capitol, make it clear to me that We The People must use Article V to convene a convention of the states, for the purpose of considering amendments to the Constitution, that will increase self-governance and reclaim our Constitutional Republic. I summarize the current state of affairs for the national COS movement:

Presently, 15 of the required 34 states have, by a Resolution of the legislature, approved the uniform petition to Congress to call for a Convention of the States. COS Action was formed in 2014, based in Texas, Mark Meckler is the President (he was a founder of the Tea Party movement).

The COS uniform petition language for states to support by a Joint Resolution includes 3 issues:

1. Fiscal spending restraint

2. Reduce the size, power & jurisdiction of the federal government

3. Term limits for some federal officials

The COS petition and related state Resolution are perceived as conservative public policy. In that context, in 2017, the Wyoming Legislature did approve support for the balanced budget amendment initiative (BBA); conservative public policy.

Some WY legislators perceive that the COS petition issue 1, fiscal restraints, was accomplished by support for the BBA. But, the BBA does not go far enough to constrain the Federal Government.

In the Wyoming Legislature, in my opinion, the primary reason the petition has not succeeded is the fear of a so-called “runaway convention.”

There is no historic or legal precedent for a runaway convention. Each state shall have one vote at the COS, regardless of the population of the state. Attempts to discuss any matters outside the three described issues, shall be ruled inadmissible.

The most important safeguard is the extremely high bar for acceptance of any proposed amendments, in that ¾ or 38 states must ratify proposed amendments.

Therefore, it is virtually politically impossible for any amendments to be adopted that do not have overwhelming support of the American people.

As a practical matter, especially given that the vast majority of State power is in the Heartland Red States or the “fly-over states,” there are far more checks on a possible runaway convention, then presently in place, on our runaway Congress.

NOW, in these perilous political times, We the People have the power to take back our government and return power to the States.

It is critical to know that the Article V remedy was created by the Founders for precisely this time in our Nation’s history, when the Federal Government is the oppressor of the people. It’s time for action!

Full text of Article V of the US Constitution: “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter,            

Note: Steve Duerr, a COS Action volunteer since 2014, Attorney at Law, 307.699.4920, PO Box 11210   Jackson Hole, WY 83002                 

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Letter to The Editor: A Voice For Wyoming Wildlife

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By J. M. Hauptman. Laramie, Wyoming

Some favorite places around Laramie to access public lands have become, for a few, places of trauma and danger.  Since mid-November six dogs became entangled in neck snares or held in terror by foot-hold traps.  That is, six cases in an eight-week period.  If we broaden the time frame to include February of 2020, less than 12 months ago, we can add another. 

Except for one, all were on public land and at least half set illegally.  The one case on private land occurred early December 2020 and involved a foot-hold trap that lacked an identification tag, a trapping violation.  Immediately adjacent to the boundary of Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge a dog slipped under the fence onto private land where she was held by a foot-hold trap, howling in agony, while her owner ran for help.

In late December, a woman and her dog, accompanied by friends, went to ski the popular Chimney Park area on the Medicine Bow-Routt NF just west of Woods Landing.  Moments after arriving, her dog was in a foot-hold trap just steps from the trailhead.  Again, the panic and helplessness for dog and owner alike.

Closer to Laramie four equally unnerving cases, two off Vedauwoo Road along Middle Crow Creek, one on the popular state land bordering the National Forest accessed by North Buford Rd and the fourth just off Forest Service Rd 701.  These four cases occurred between the weeks of November 15 and January 18, 2021.

Broadening the time frame to February 2020, we tell of a man and his dog on BLM land in Rodger Canyon about 8 miles north of Laramie.  There a 10” Quick-Kill Conibear trap was baited with a feathered chicken.  The dog went for it, but the trap did not live up to its name, as often happens, and the 70-pound Old English Sheepdog escaped serious injury after the herculean and innovative action of his owner.

Why tell these stories and what does it all mean?  Education, advocacy, and reform.  Many people who use our public lands are unaware about trapping and its prevalence on public lands, even less know about the lax regulations. 

Yes, traps and snares can be set without limits adjacent to trails, year-round and without warning.  Yes, animals linger for days.  Yes, quick-kill traps fail at the job. Yes, game animals are trapped and ensnared, yet no poaching charges issued.  The violations go on.  The stories shared here involve beloved family pets whose owners speak out, but what about the wildlife?

A growing number of people around our state, some motivated by the death of a beloved pet, are advocating (adding a voice, adding a call) for wildlife and pets. 

Concerned citizens ask for mandatory trapper education, trap set-backs from trails, reporting and accounting for non-target species, trapper harvest reports, 24-hour check requirement, closure of high-use public lands to trapping of fur bearers and predators.  The list is long because the regulations are short.

Trapping is often promoted as a wildlife management tool, yet the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) does not conduct surveys to determine abundance of furbearers, let alone animals designated as “predatory” animals (coyote, jackrabbit, porcupine, raccoon, red fox, skunk, and stray cat).  How can the tool be used if unaware of which way is up?  Trapping and hunting of “predatory” animals continues without restriction to number, method, season and without requiring a permit. 

All resource agencies, like WGFD, are founded on the public trust doctrine.  The citizens have entrusted the care of all Wyoming wildlife, all 800 species, to the WGFD.  All citizens, all 800 species.  The exception, those whose legal status is “predator”. 

Calling for trapping rules and regulations is no more an infringement on the rights of an individual than is the prohibition of shooting from the road, using artificial light or leaving to rot in a field the edible portions of a big game animal.

Those who support trapping reform are characterized as “sentimentalist”.  Well, guilty as charged, I have feelings.  I believe if someone is going to kill an animal then it should be done quickly and effectively.  I believe that the pursuit of an animal with the intention of killing that animal ought to proceed in a manner whereby the animal is in full capacity to use her alertness, fitness, and specialized senses to detect danger and have ample room and opportunity to escape.

There are two non-profits in Wyoming working hard to share safety and awareness information.  If you want to find information on pet release workshops, recommended tools to carry while out, or if you want to learn about trapping incidents of dogs and wildlife throughout the state, then visit the websites of Wyoming Untrapped and WY Trap Free-mont County.

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Letter to the Editor: Is It Time for Barrasso & Cheney to Leave Congress?

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By Steven D. Kahne, Colonel, USAF, Retired, Pinedale

Let me begin by stating that I am a life-long conservative and Republican.  Unfortunately, the two don’t go together all the time today.

Over the past few months, I have written to both Senator Barrasso and Representative Cheney on email and/or snail mail.  I received an email response from the Senator’s office, and it was clearly written by a staffer.  As for the Representative, I have not received a single response from my letter and several emails even though I requested her to respond.

In my email to Senator Barrasso, I begged him to support the stand against the Electoral College vote as it favored Vice President Biden, but not because of that. 

The Electoral College vote was based on enormous amounts of fraud that cannot be denied by anyone unless they are deaf and blind.  I certainly am not disparaging anyone who is deaf or blind, but the fact remains that thousands of affidavits, scientists, statisticians, poll watchers, poll workers, and videos (such as that from Georgia) could not all be wrong. 

The Senator’s staffer’s response told me that the Electoral College had given Biden 306 votes, which put him well past the needed 270. 

The staffer went on to say that “I” (i.e., the Senator) believe every American’s vote is sacred.  I guess the additional 800,000 mail-in ballots that were counted in Pennsylvania that went beyond the 1.7 million they mailed out were also sacred. 

And the 200,000 votes that exceeded the number of registered voters in Pennsylvania were also sacred.  Even the Georgia ballots in the suitcases that were run through the Dominion voting machines three times each were all sacred.

A friend who has been part of the workings of the GOP in Wyoming for many years asked Senator Barrasso why he had voted for a particular bill that was damaging to the people of Wyoming. 

His response was stunning.  He said that he never has enough time to read all of the content of all the bills that come to the floor for a vote.  Therefore, he voted for the bill based on what he thought it was.  Really?  If you don’t know what the bill is about would it not be better to vote against it?  It can always be defeated and brought back later in another form.

Representative Cheney has taken every step to defame the President.  She stated publicly that the President just needed to show the evidence of election fraud or quit talking about it and concede. 

Maybe she was deaf and blind during all those weeks that evidence, or indicators of fraud that should have been investigated, were presented over and over in the news.  Or maybe she was only watching CNN, NBC, and the other media outlets that refuse to tell the truth.

Then the Representative stated that the President’s speech caused all the turmoil leading to the riot at the Capitol on January 6th.  Again, she opened her mouth before she knew the facts, showing that her only goal is to defame the President.  

If she had done just a few minutes of investigation, she would have known that the President’s remarks could not have been heard by the rioters of the Antifa and BLM thug variety since they were already at the Capitol starting their unrest, which lead to the hideous break in of the building and deaths. 

If she had waited for the facts, she would know that the people who started the riots were Antifa and BLM thugs who infiltrated the peaceful protest.  If she had waited, she would have seen photos of those who are known Antifa and BLM thugs who were in the crowd and the building. 

If she had waited, she would have seen videos of Trump supporters pulling Antifa and BLM thugs away from the windows and doors at the Capitol as the latter tried to vandalize the building to break in. 

If she had waited, she would have learned from law enforcement investigators that those who actually breached the building and caused the vandalism were Antifa and BLM thugs. 

But her hatred of the President drove her to speak out loudly and early…even though she was 100 percent wrong.

Then today [Wednesday], she followed through on her promise to vote for impeachment of the President.  Was her vote based on fact?  No.  It was all an emotional response because she has such incredible disdain for the President.

Both Senator Barrasso and Representative Cheney need to make a decision:  either step down so they can be replaced by someone who represents the values of Wyomingites or walk across the aisle to the Democrats where their decisions will make sense.

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Letter to the Editor: Rod Miller Defends Ogden Driskill From Attacks By WYGO

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To The editor:

An apparent big rift in Wyoming Republican politics just got wider this past weekend with dueling messages on Facebook.

State Sen. Anthony Bouchard (R-Cheyenne) and his l’il club WYGO (Wyoming Gun Owners) have taken a cheap shot at State Sen. Ogden Driskill (R-Devils Tower) and accused him of being soft on guns.  Furthermore, they have impugned the political integrity of one of Wyoming’s most stalwart Senators.  This behavior is unbelievable!!

First off, my old friend Ogden is a crusty, old-school senator from the upper east side of Wyoming – an area not at all known as a hotbed of Bolshevism.  His conservative Wyoming credentials are beyond reproach.  For a carpetbaggin’ bunch of opportunists like WYGO to call them into question is laughable.  

Beyond that, I have known Ogden most of my life.  We were brought up the same way.  Ogden and I can grump and growl at each other when we politically disagree, but then have a beer together and swap stories about snotty broncs.  That’s how we disagree in Wyoming.  Face-to-face.  And always with a fundamental respect for each other as Wyomingites.

WYGO loudly proclaims their “Wyoming Republican values”, but that’s just hot air my friends.  They behave like spoiled kids at the dinner table.  Make no mistake, the godfathers of the Wyoming Republican Party, the Hansens, the Hathaways, and the Simpsons would haul these brats by the ear out to the political woodshed. 

There, upstarts like Anthony Bouchard and WYGO’s Aaron Dorr would learn important lessons about not acting up that the table and not throwing food.

It’s a disturbing thought, but WYGO might just be a microcosm of what is happening within the Wyoming Republican Party. 

It’s certainly no secret that there is intra-party turmoil and a schism within the Wyoming GOP.  There is a tug-of-war between the hard, right wing zealots of the party and . . . well, everyone else.  

They call everyone else RINOs, or “Republican in Name Only,” and they have the temerity to try to apply that term to Ogden Driskill, and to a good share of our Wyoming Legislature. 

That WYGO is likely acting as attack dog for the lunatic fringe of the party goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway.  WYGO is acting as attack dog for the lunatic fringe of the Wyoming Republican Party.

And they have every right to act up and throw food at the political table.  As long as their paperwork with the IRS and the Secretary of State is in order (and I’m not saying it is, I’m not saying it ain’t).

Outside agitators like WYGO are free to cross our borders.  They are free to try to drive wedges between us, free to politic on a platform of fear, free to hawk their snake oil.  They are free to badmouth anyone they want.  

But they need to realize that this is Wyoming.  We’ve seen this crap before and we’ve dealt with it. 

Folks with that buckin’ horse on their license plate are notoriously immune to outsiders coming into Wyoming and trying to tell us what to do.  When they attack our friends and neighbors, regardless of the donnybrooks we may have had with that neighbor, we have our neighbor’s back.

If WYGO, that gun-totin’, whiny little bunch of newcomers who come in here trying to get us to fight each other, doesn’t realize that, they need to spend a little time contemplating the statue on the courthouse lawn in Buffalo.

Ogden Driskill not a conservative?  Don’t make me laugh!

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Letter to the Editor: Interstate 80 Should Have Been Closed

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Dear Mr. Sniffin;

First off I’d like to thank for your coverage of the tragic accident that took place on I-80, March 1, 2020. 

My name is John Conti. I’m originally from Western NY, but now live in Reno NV. I was one of the many people in the middle of that twisted metal. Thank goodness I did not hit anyone or anything. 

I have great concern of matters that lead up to that tragic day. I am still thinking about what happened, almost obsessed, and that’s why I’m reaching out to you. I have never seen such display of selfish, self centered people all in one place in my life. 

I am an experienced driver on snow covered roads. But what I witnessed was nothing short of stupidity on whomever  had the responsibility of shutting down the Interstate. 

I don’t care if it was the responsibility of the Sheriff’s Department or Wyoming State Police. That stretch of highway should have been shut down. I was watching idiot truck drivers and other stupid people driving like the weather was a perfect sunshiny day. 

All I wanted to do was get off the next exit and wait for the weather to improve. I was driving at 40 mph and watching trucks and more trucks and cars and SUV’s pass me like I was standing still. 

I was telling my partner who was sitting next to me, that these people are nuts! To come up to this seen has made me literally sick. I was trying to send an email to either the Sheriff himself or the Captain of Wyoming Highway Patrol, but cannot find an email. 

This is a poor excuse of these law enforcement agencies. They have no business being in command! 

How dare they allow this display of their authority to go to the wayside is beyond my anatomy. These agencies are around when they’re not needed but when they are needed to do their job they’re are no where to be found. This is disgusting!

In NY where weather changes quickly, the NY State Police will and have shut down the highways. And why would they shut down the interstate you may ask? For public safety!

As far as I am concerned charges should be brought to whoever was in charge to shut the roads down. Someone needs to be held accountable.  There should have been police presence in that area at the very least. 

I don’t care to hear excuses or that there were police in that area. I was there myself, and I can certainly testify that; “there was no police around”! 

I hope these “men” ask God to forgive them for the deaths of these people. And that God will show mercy to them, because they certainly did not show any compassion for the deaths of these people, or the people that got hurt. 

These people were someone’s mother, father, wife, husband, brother, sister, son, daughter, aunt, uncle, grandparent…….someone’s friend. I know I for one, as well as my employees will no longer drive thru this stretch of highway in the state of Wyoming. 

Thank you Sir and I do hope you in the very least will read my email. Hopefully I can get past this so I can have some peace in my mind and heart.


                                John Conti

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