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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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Barrasso, Enzi Praise Amy Coney Barrett, Agree They Will Confirm Her

in News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Mike Enzi are voicing support for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, saying she is the best choice to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg on the court.

The two Republicans joined their colleague U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney in praising Barrett’s judicial efforts, although Cheney, as a member of the U.S. House, can’t vote to confirm the judge.

Barrasso spoke on the U.S. Senate floor this week to say Republicans need to confirm Barrett to the court despite what he described as “false attacks and scare tactics” from Senate Democrats.

“I’ll tell you, she’s terrific, so impressive, so exceptionally well-qualified to take on this new responsibility,” Barrasso said. “The partisanship that she has faced from Democrats, it’s predictably backfired on them, certainly by the American people who say get her confirmed, put her on the Supreme Court.”

Barrasso drove his point home by saying Barrett’s confirmation was an important moment in history, and that she was ready to serve the nation and apply the law instead of using politics to make judicial decisions.

He criticized the questions for Barrett from Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, saying the hearing on Barrett’s confirmation turned into a “partisan infomercial on Obamacare,” then going on to critique the Affordable Care Act.

“Judge Barrett has been clear. She has no agenda, for any case. As a judge, she considers each case on the merits,” Barrasso said. “The Senate will vote, the Senate will confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court.”

Enzi was much more brief in his comments, issuing a statement this week on his thoughts on Barrett and her confirmation. Enzi voted to confirm Barrett to the District of Columbia Circuit Court in 2017.

“After meeting with Judge Barrett, I am confident that she is well qualified to be a member of the Supreme Court,” he said. “We had a great conversation that included issues important to Wyoming. She is a remarkable judge and legal scholar with impressive credentials, and I look forward to supporting her nomination.”

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Enzi, Barrasso Express Disappointment About Stimulus Package Being Voted Down (Again)

in Coronavirus/News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The two U.S. senators representing Wyoming expressed disappointment in the Senate’s defeat Wednesday of a second coronavirus stimulus package.

U.S. Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso were two of 44 senators who voted to pass the bill through the Senate on Wednesday. A majority of Republicans voted to pass the bill, while a majority of Democrats (51 total senators) who voted it down.

Five senators, including vice presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, chose not to vote on the bill.

The relief package would have reopened and re-funded the Paycheck Protection Program for certain small businesses, along with providing an additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits, more funding for vaccines and testing, coronavirus liability protection for schools and businesses, assistance for scholarship-granting organizations and funding to help childcare providers reopen and stay open.

It also included a provision intended to reduce America’s reliance on China and other nations for critical minerals, including rare earth minerals.

Barrasso blamed the defeat on U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

“Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi have made it clear that they will continue to block coronavirus relief,” Barrasso said. “They think it gives them a better chance of winning the election. This is a calculated political decision by Democrats in Congress. The American people deserve better from people who claim to represent them.”

Enzi was more reserved in his statement, expressing disappointment but also hope that the two parties could come together and pass a bill to help the American people.

“This package would have provided real relief for folks across the country, like providing more funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and supporting childcare providers,” Enzi said. “The American people are looking to us for help and all we are delivering is stagnation. I hope we can get to work to provide the assistance needed to weather this pandemic before our constituents and the economy suffer even more.” 

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Barrasso: Expansion of Supreme Court Very Real Threat Under Biden

in News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso on Tuesday warned American voters that if former Vice President Joe Biden is elected president, there’s a real likelihood that he would pack the Supreme Court.

Barrasso made the comment on FOX News when host Stuart Varney asked him about a New York Times poll which showed the majority of Americans do not favor expanding the number of seats on the Supreme Court.

“There’s a real threat to expanding the size of the Supreme Court if Joe Biden becomes president,” Barrasso said.

“The reason he’s not leveling with the American people is he knows the position of the far left — the people that control his party — is an unpopular position,” he said.

Barrasso told Varney that he believed Biden won’t reveal he’s in favor of expanding the Supreme Court is that he’s “afraid it would cost him the election.”

The senator did mention that Biden’s running mate, on the other hand, has been upfront about supporting the maneuver.

“Overwhelmingly, people say do not increase the size of the Supreme Court from 9 to 11,” he said. “But his vice presidential nominee, Kamala Harris, she said she is absolutely open to it.”

Barrasso said there have been nine people on the Supreme Court since 1869 and that’s the “right number.”

“That’s not me saying it,” Barrasso said. “It’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg saying it [too] and to expand it would be seen as political.”

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Barrasso: Fracking Is Number One Reason We Should Re-Elect Trump

in Energy/News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen John Barrasso has been relatively quiet this week, but came back in full force Friday to talk about Joe Biden’s fracking strategy on Fox Business.

Barrasso told host Maria Baritromo that Biden’s fracking policy, or lack thereof, is the top reason President Donald Trump should be re-elected.

“I don’t even know if [Biden] remembers what his policy is, but let’s be very clear: during the debates through the Democratic primaries, he was going to ban fracking and said it repeatedly,” Barrasso said.

Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, is the process of injecting liquid into the earth to help extract oil or gas.

The senator added that Biden even claimed he was going to ban all carbon-based fuels, which Barrasso believed would be something Biden’s “Green New Deal members” in the Senate and House of Representatives would hold him to.

“For America, that means the loss of over a million jobs, good-paying jobs,” the senator said. “It means people will pay double when they go to fill up their car with gas. It means electricity bills will likely triple.”

He added that Trump had managed to “unleash American energy” and eliminate America’s dependence on foreign countries, such as those in the Middle East, for its fuels.

Barrasso criticized Biden’s vice presidential pick, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, for her opposition to fracking, adding that she was also a Green New Deal member.

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Report: Wyoming Is One Of Nation’s Most Politically-Engaged States

in News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming is one of the United States’ most politically-engaged states, according to a recent report.

Personal finance website WalletHub compared the 50 states based on 11 key indicators of political engagement, ranging from the percentage of registered voters in the 2016 presidential election” to “total political contributions per adult population.”

Wyoming is the fifth most politically-engaged state, following behind Maine, Washington, Colorado and Maryland, respectively.

The state placed first when looking at the largest percentage change in the number of people who cast ballots in the elections of 2016 compared to 2012, 3.2%.

Wyoming, New York, Massachusetts and Virginia all tied for first place when it came to the highest total political contributions per adult.

WalletHub also shared information that said Wyoming came in 14th in the country for its percentage of registered voters who voted in the 2016 presidential election and 15th for electorates — all people who are eligible to vote — who voted in 2016.

Wyoming also came in first for civic education engagement and 16th for its voter accessibility policies.

Hawaii is ranked as the country’s least politically-engaged state.

Nationally, only 61.4% of the voting age population voted in the 2016 presidential election and 53.4% voted in the 2018 midterm, WalletHub reported.

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Barrasso: Pelosi Doesn’t Want Coronavirus Stimulus Package Deal

in News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

It’s been a rough few weeks in Congress, as discussions have gone back and forth about a second coronavirus stimulus package.

Part of the roadblock, said U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, stems from the fact House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not want a stimulus package, but instead wants to make President Donald Trump look bad.

“I don’t believe Nancy Pelosi actually wants a deal,” he said during a Wednesday appearance on CNN. “I wish she did. I think she views this as something that would give the president something of a victory prior to the election and she won’t do it.”

Barrasso has been regularly making media appearances to discuss the stimulus package and was a guest on CNN with John King on Wednesday.

Although President Donald Trump said earlier this week that he was halting talks about the stimulus package until after the presidential election next month, he tweeted early Wednesday that he would sign a bill for standalone stimulus checks for $1,200, tagging Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in a retweet of the message.

Barrasso said that he has read the Democrats’ proposed stimulus package and called it a “ransom note,” saying Pelosi wanted to send money to states that have been poorly run for years and provide tax breaks for “millionaires in New York and California.”

He reiterated his point, as he has said in multiple interviews, that the stimulus package should be focused on getting the American people back to work, getting children back in school and “getting the virus behind us.”

Barrasso also called the House version of the stimulus bill a “liberal wish list” in his discussion with King.

The senator also touched on Wednesday’s vice presidential debate featuring Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris.

While Barrasso said he personally likes Harris, her voting record was the “most liberal” in the U.S. Senate, even more so than U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“I mean, she applauds defunding the police, the things that she has supported in terms of the Green New Deal would be a terrible blow to our economy,” he said. “This is going to be the most consequential vice presidential debate since they started doing these in 1976.”

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Barrasso: If President Can Get Coronavirus, Any Of Us Can

in News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso used his medical training on Monday morning when he appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” to discuss President Donald Trump’s recent coronavirus diagnosis.

The senator noted that Trump was a “fighter” and that he expected the president to make a full recovery.

“But as a doctor, I can say that if the president of the United States can get coronavirus, any of us can,” he said.

“I know everyone wishes the president well and I bet he’s going to be back on the campaign trail as quickly as the doctors allow him to do it,” Barrasso added

Although virus testing has been on the rise over recent months, Barrasso said testing is not as important as practicing proper social distancing, wearing a face covering and washing hands regularly.

The next topic discussed was the proposed second stimulus package, which is still being debated in Congress.

The House of Representatives passed a $2.3 trillion aid package last week, something U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney was not thrilled with as she noted in a statement last week.

Barrasso said that 52 Republican senators have voted in the Senate on “something” that is targeted to help people get back to work, with payment protection and to allow children to attend school in safe environments.

However, Barrasso joined his colleague in criticizing the aid package of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and and the Congressional Democrats, particularly the proposal to bring back $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits.

“They call them ‘enhanced unemployment benefits,’ but I call them basically bonus checks on top of unemployment,” he said, adding that Congress shouldn’t pay people more to stay home than they would earn at a full-time job.

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Torrington PD: Stop Vandalizing, Stealing Political Signs

in Crime/News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Torrington Police Department has had to get involved in politics this week.

Over the last couple of weekends, the department has received several reports from community members who have had their political signs stolen or vandalized.

The department has also investigated multiple incidents of politically-motivated graffiti that has damaged public property in Torrington. Police believe these incidents have happened during the late evening and early morning hours.

“Just because our political candidates don’t get along, doesn’t mean we can’t take care of each other,” the department said in the post. “The constitutional freedoms that allow us to express ourselves and support political candidates of our choosing are important parts of our democracy.”

The post added that if the community and world at large wanted to continue enjoying those constitutional freedoms, people must maintain an environment that allows for health discussions, “rather than trying to drown out opinions that are different than our own.”

The department is asking for the community’s help in addressing the crimes, adding people should call 911 (if there is an emergency) or the non-emergency line to report information about the vandalizations.

“Thank you for helping us to keep Torrington a great place to live!” the post concluded.

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Barrasso: President, All Americans Should Condemn White Supremacy

in News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Joining other lawmakers, U.S. Sen. John Barrasso criticized President Donald Trump for not denouncing white supremacy and the Proud Boys far-right group during the Tuesday presidential debate.

The senator appeared on CNN with host Jim Sciutto on Thursday morning to talk about Trump’s decision to not condemn white supremacy this week.

The host asked Barrasso if he felt the president should have called out the Proud Boys and the senator responded by saying everyone should condemn racist behavior.

“I think we should hear [condemnation] from the president and from every American,” Barrasso said. “I certainly condemn what we’ve been seeing in terms of white supremacy, in terms of racism, in terms of anti-semitism.”

He added that he stood with U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, who both criticized Trump’s inaction.

Sciutto then pivoted to discussing the upcoming presidential election and comments made about possible voter fraud.

He pointed out that F.B.I. director Christopher Wray hasn’t seen any evidence of widespread fraud, contradicting comments that Trump has made regularly over recent months, including during the debate.

Sciutto asked Barrasso who he believed when it came to voter fraud: Wray or Trump. However, Barrasso refused to choose.

“I believe the American people want a fair election and I know it’s a state-by-state process,” he said. “I’m very happy with the way things are done in Wyoming. We have people vote by mail-in ballots, as well as those who vote early and in person.”

Barrasso did say he was concerned about laws being changed in other states or cases where ballots are being discarded, but noted that he also hadn’t seen evidence of widespread voter fraud.

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