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Enzi Delivers Farewell Speech To Senate

in News/politics

By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi on Wednesday thanked the residents of Wyoming for their continued support in his U.S. Senate career.

On Wednesday, Enzi delivered his farewell speech to the Senate, just a few weeks before his term is officially over and U.S. Sen.-elect Cynthia Lummis steps into the role, becoming Wyoming’s first woman senator in the process.

Enzi used the occasion to discuss his philosophies of governing and thank the Wyoming voters who kept him in the Senate for four terms.

“You have supported me more than anyone can truly comprehend,” he said. “In no uncertain terms, I couldn’t have done it without you. It has been more than 50 amazing years together, and I look forward to our next adventure together.”

Enzi has been in politics for nearly half a century, starting when he ran for mayor of Gillette in 1974 and going on to serve two terms in the office. He has risen up the political ranks since then, serving as a sate legislator before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the great people of Wyoming in this position for the last 24 years,” Enzi said. “I have really enjoyed being a senator. Not for the title, not for the recognition and certainly not for publicity. I love solving problems for folks in Wyoming and America.”

He credited former U.S. Sen. Al Simpson for inspiring him to go into politics, saying he met the Wyoming Republican during an event more than 50 years ago.

“After I gave my pitch on leadership training, and how important it was, Sen. Simpson took me aside and said, ‘I don’t even know what party you’re in, but it’s time you put your money where your mouth is on this leadership stuff and get into politics. That town you live in, Gillette, needs a mayor,'” Enzi said. “My wife Diana and I had moved to Gillette a few years earlier. The town was facing a crisis as the discovery of oil, gas and coal turned it into a boom town. The population started to skyrocket and city services were not keeping up.”

Enzi admitted that when he told his wife, Diana, that night he was considering running for mayor, she was so surprised she nearly drove off the road.

During his remarks, Enzi offered advice for finding common ground, citing his “80% tool” as an effective way of making change for the American people. The tool involves urging people with differing interests to spend time addressing the 80% of the items they can agree on rather than arguing about the 20% of the items they disagree on.

He also highlighted his office mission statement, which is guided by three principles: Doing what is right, doing our best, and treating others as they wish to be treated. 

Denver Mayor Advises Not to Travel on Thanksgiving; 30 Minutes Later He Boards Flight to Houston

in News/politics

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One of the reasons politicians have such a bad rap is some say one thing and do another.

Take the case of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

After telling Denverites to stay home for the Thanksgiving holiday, he got on a plane on Wednesday and flew to Houston to spend time with his family in Mississippi.

In fact, 30 minutes before boarding the flight to have an in-person dinner with his family — in direct opposition to what he advised — he tweeted:

“Host virtual gatherings instead of in-person dinners. Avoid travel if you can.”

The job of a press secretary can be a horrible one if you have a hypocrite for a boss.  And in this case, his deputy communications director had to answer to the press.

His statement? Another reason politicians have such a bad reputation. Instead of admitting a mistake was made, he tried to rationalize it.

“As he has shared, the mayor is not hosting his traditional large family this year, but instead traveling alone to join his wife and daughter where the three of them will celebrate Thanksgiving at her residence instead of having them travel back to Denver. Upon return he will follow all necessary health and safety guidance and quarantine,” Mike Strott said.

What makes this all worse?  Hancock’s press conference last week where he said he was just going to be having a Zoom call for Thanksgiving.

“We’re going to be doing a Zoom so that we can at least see each other on Thanksgiving. So please, I urge everyone, maybe get a small turkey this year and celebrate with just those you live with,” he said.

In other words, the mayor lied and went against everything he said not to do and his people are trying to cover for it. 

Hancock is not the first and certainly won’t be the last politician do this.

Earlier this week, New York Gov Andrew Cuomo advised citizens to stay at home for Thanksgiving but then announced his was traveling to spend Thanksgiving with his mother.  He quickly changed his mind.

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Two Republicans; Two Different Opinions on Trump Election Results

in News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

One Republican member of the Wyoming House of Representatives and one incoming Republican member of the Wyoming House of Representatives expressed two very different opinions about what is happening with the presidential election results.

Rep. Landon Brown of Cheyenne chastised President Donald Trump’s attempts to challenge election results in various key states, such as Georgia and Pennsylvania.

“It’s time to stop the show,” he wrote on Twitter. “Either we have evidence of fraud so widespread and convincing that it changed the election results or not.”

Brown called on Trump’s legal team to either prove the claims of election fraud or to accept that he lost to former Vice President Joe Biden.

He then shared the tweet to his Facebook page, elaborating on his message.

“It’s not healthy for America to not have a successful transfer of power. I had my doubts as well, but I’m starting to grow weary of these claims without evidence,” he wrote.

However, Rep.-Elect Chip Neiman (Sundance) didn’t agree with his future colleague, chastising comments from Wyoming officials such as U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, who echoed Brown’s sentiments, albeit on a much larger stage.

“Wyoming’s overwhelming support of President Trump must be reflected by our congressional delegation,” he wrote. “Thank God President Trump is fighting for free and fair elections.”

“With all we have seen and been through now is not the time to just accept and get on with business,” he said. “Even the early information that our votes could potentially be manipulated by foreign companies as we out source our counting of votes, is mind boggling. It sounds as though it has been going on for some time.”

He said that Trump needed the delegation’s full support, not hesitation.

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Enzi Joins Barrasso In Praising Benefits Of Early COVID Treatment

in Coronavirus/News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Outgoing U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi has joined his colleague Sen. John Barrasso in praising the newly announced rapid coronavirus test.

During a Senate Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Thursday, Enzi emphasized that the country is learning more about potential early treatment options for the virus.

The rapid test would give results within half an hour, allowing patients to have more time to contact anyone they’ve recently been around, as Barrasso pointed out during a Fox Business appearance this week.

“People aren’t looking for next year’s answer, they’re looking for this year’s answer,” Enzi said. “I see a real state of panic, mostly because they think until the vaccine comes out there is no answer.”

The committee also heard from panelist George Fareed, a medical director and family medicine specialist, who highlighted the benefit of treatment “cocktails” that can help when someone tests positive for the virus.

Fareed said cocktail options are “extremely well tolerated” and are available with a doctor’s prescription. He noted some countries are dispensing packets that patients can bring home off-the-shelf that can help with early treatment of the virus. 

Enzi said the hearing was the first time he had had heard explanations from health officials in the Senate about the critical nature of early treatments for the virus.

Dr. Peter McCullough, vice chief of internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center, said there is a treatment algorithm that has been peer-reviewed by a journal listed in the National Library of Medicine.

“This is the best available science,” McCullough said. 

McCullough said there is evidence to support each component of the treatment algorithm and added that it’s crucial for everyone to take this pandemic seriously to avoid mass mortality in the coming weeks.

“I appreciate all this information on early treatment,” Enzi said. “Some of it works, some of it doesn’t. That’s with everything that we know about when you get sick. But when people are thinking maybe they will die, they want some kind of solution.”

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Gordon Won’t Congratulate Biden, Trump Until Winner Officially Announced

in elections/Mark Gordon/News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Gov. Mark Gordon has become the first of Wyoming’s top elected officials to speak out regarding last week’s presidential election, but he didn’t offer any congratulations.

Instead, Gordon stated he wouldn’t congratulate either former Vice President Joe Biden or President Donald Trump until the Electoral College officially declared one of them the winner.

“Americans always want to be confident that their vote was counted and that the voting process was correct, accurate and conducted with care,” Gordon said in a tweet on Wednesday evening. “Our country should ensure every legal vote is counted properly. When a result is confirmed congratulations for the winner will be in order.”

Gordon congratulated both U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney and U.S. Senator-Elect Cynthia Lummis on their respective wins about 45 minutes after the polls closed on Nov. 3.

Neither Cheney nor Lummis have spoken about the election publicly. Nor have outgoing U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi or U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, who was recently re-elected as Senate Republican Conference chairman.

The Associated Press and other media outlets have called the election for Biden, but results won’t be official until either mid-December or early January. The AP has called every election since 1848, when President Zachary Taylor was elected.

However, it is the Electoral College that officially decides who will be president. Each state chooses electors, a number based on the size of each state’s population and how many representatives and senators it has in Congress (Wyoming has three total).

Those electors, who are sworn to vote for the candidate who received the most votes in the state, won’t vote until Dec. 14. The Senate president and an archivist will receive certificates recording the electoral vote, which must be in by Dec. 23.

The results of each state’s electoral votes are then sent to Congress, which will meet in a joint session on Jan. 6 to announce the results.

While media outlets have called the election for Biden, it is possible for outlets to be wrong, as seen in the 2000 election, when many news outlets declared former Vice President Al Gore the winner in his presidential race against George W. Bush.

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Former Laramie County GOP Chair Says Trump Could Still Win Election

in News/politics

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Although President Bush, a Republican, has acknowledged that Joe Biden won the presidency and Wyoming’s Republican congressional delegation and Republican governor haven’t said anything at all about the election that would suggest Biden did not win, one former Republican Party chair in Wyoming hasn’t given up hope on President Trump.

Darin Smith, an attorney and former chair of the Laramie County Republican Party, said because of “massive systemic cheating” that went on during the election, the president could still win a second term.

Stating that he is “connected politically” Smith cautioned his Facebook followers not to be “brainwashed by the media” to believe that Biden actually won the election.

“It’s not over until the Supreme Court says it’s over,” Smith said in a video he posted on Sunday.  “Don’t be fooled. This election is far from over.”

Smith said Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania are all still in play and could all go to President Trump.

Arizona:  Smith said it was still a possibility as the votes are “breaking his way” and the results should be known by Tuesday.

Georgia: He said there appeared to be “massive fraud” in Atlanta and the surrounding areas. When the state goes to a recount, he said, the vote will favor Trump because the military votes aren’t in yet.

Nevada:  The people who run the elections should potentially go to jail, Smith said, because of “massive contributory negligence”. He said thousands of people voted illegally and there are still 58,000 ballots to be counted.

Pennsylvania: The United States Supreme Court, he said, will likely have no choice but to invalidate any vote that came in after election day because it’s not allowed constitutionally.  As a result, Trump should win there too, he said.

Michigan:  He didn’t say that Michigan could end up going for Trump but he did say that he didn’t believe the explanation that 138,000 votes counted late in the process — all went to Biden.  

Although the conservative columnist who originally brought this up said he was satisfied with the explanation that there was a typo by the election analysis firm Decision Desk HQ, Smith said he didn’t buy it.

“We’re not stupid,” Smith said.  “We know that’s not what happened. You can’t have 138,000 votes in a row for Joe Biden. We know something happened there.”

The firm explained:  “It was a simple error from a file created by the state that we ingested. DDHQ does not correct / amend / adjust any state provided file. The state noticed the error and produced an updated count. This happens on election nights and we expect other vote tabulators in MI experienced this error and corrected in real-time as we did.”

Smith said this issue was going to court.

He also said that some voting machines in Michigan were made by a company that “are connected” to both Sen. Diane Feinstein and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“I believe and I know that the majority of the people in this country believe that Donald Trump is the rightful winner of this election,” he said.  “It’s not over until we hear from the Supreme Court.”

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Enzi Welcomes Lummis To Senate, Congratulates Cheney On Win

in elections/News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Outgoing U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi recently congratulated Senator-elect Cynthia Lummis on her successful campaign to take over his seat.

Lummis’ election and win are considered historic, as she will be the first woman to represent Wyoming in U.S. Senate. She beat out Democratic challenger Merav Ben-David, a University of Wyoming professor.

“Congratulations to Senator-elect Cynthia Lummis on being elected to fill the seat I have had the honor to hold for 24 years,’ Enzi said in a statement. “I know she will put Wyoming first and be a force to be reckoned with in Washington.

Enzi also congratulated U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney on her reelection to the House of Representatives. He felt that by having Lummis, Cheney and U.S. Sen. John Barrasso representing Wyoming in Congress, their work would be important and impactful.

The soon-to-be-retired senator also touched on the other elections that took place Tuesday, including the still to be determined presidential one. Enzi felt that although it was important to focus on “the top of the ballot,” the local elections were the ones that truly mattered.

“It’s important to remember that governing happens at the local level. Our county commissioners, city council, school board members – those are the people who shape our communities, and I applaud everyone who had the courage to put their name on a ballot this year,” he said.

He added that the best way to move forward after a particularly tense election season was to find common ground between the parties and work to solve those problems together.

“I only have a few weeks left as a U.S. Senator, but I remain a proud American citizen and I look forward to helping serve my country in other ways as I enter this new chapter of my life,” he said.

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Oakley Beats Back WyGo And Foe In Riverton By 30 Votes Tuesday

in News/politics

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RIVERTON – Republican Ember Oakley appeared to squeak to a 32-vote victory over Libertarian Bethany Baldes Tuesday in a highly-anticipated House race in Fremont County.

Unofficial results gave Oakley 2,058 votes to Baldes’ 2,026. 

The race saw Oakley, a former deputy prosecutor, aggressively attacked by the Wyoming Gun Owners organization, which successfully targeted several incumbent legislators across the state during the August primary.

The seat had been held for 19 years by Dave Miller of Riverton, who decided to retire.  He had narrowly defeated Baldes two years ago. And in a surprise move, Miller endorsed Baldes in this race. 

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Barrasso: This Election Is “Like A Knife Fight In A Phone Booth”

in News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Tuesday will mark the end of the election season, at least for a while, but U.S. Sen. John Barrasso said it could be an interesting watch, especially for many of his Senate colleagues.

Many of the races are going to be close, Barrasso said, and he compared some to “hand-to-hand combat” and “like a knife fight in a phone booth” during an appearance on Fox News on Friday.

“There is so much at stake here,” Barrasso told host Harris Faulkner. “The Republicans are fighting to grow the economy. The Democrats want to … grow the government. The Senate is the firewall.”

Faulkner asked Barrasso whether it was helpful or distracting when President Donald Trump made appearances in critical Senate election states, such as Colorado and Michigan.

The senator felt it was helpful for Trump to make appearances and stump for certain candidates, even while campaigning himself. This was especially important since the president and U.S. Senate are so closely linked, he said.

Barrasso then returned to a talking point he’s leaned on heavily in recent months: why former Vice President Joe Biden would be bad for the country if elected president.

“He’s willing to shut down the economy, he’s willing to eliminate millions of jobs,” the senator. “Item for item, Joe Biden is wrong.”

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Who is The Smartest Election Winner Picker in Wyoming?

in Bill Sniffin/Column/politics

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher Cowboy State Daily

When it comes to picking Wyoming election winners, I think I have a pretty good track record. But there are there are others who are uncanny with their abilities. Steve Peck of the Riverton Ranger comes to mind.

Thus, we are launching Cowboy State Daily’s 2020 election contest. Let’s see who really knows Wyoming and knows how to pick winners.

Besides bragging rights, I will send the winner one of my coffee table books.

The contest is simple. We have six races plus a tie breaker.

Election quiz for 2020: Please mark winners

National race
Donald Trump (R) _____
Joe Biden (D) ______

U.S. Senate (WY)
Cynthia Lummis (R) _____
Merav Ben-David (D) _____

U. S. House (WY)
Liz Cheney (R) _______
Lynnette Grey Bull (D)______

Cheyenne Senate District 6
Anthony Bouchard (R) ______
Britney Wallesch (D _______

Riverton House District 55
Ember Oakley (R) _______
Bethany Baldes (L) _______

Laramie House District 45
Roxie Hensley (R) ______
Karlee Provenza (D) _______

Tie breaker: How many votes will be unofficially cast for president in Wyoming in 2020: _________. (In 2016, the total was 248,945)

Note: If Trump-Biden goes to court, we will not count that presidential result as we want to know right away who wins this contest.

My name: __________________
My email address: ____________

Please fill this in and email it before noon on Tuesday, Nov 3, 2020.

Feel free to add comments:

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