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Cheney, Barrasso Say Biden Policies Leading to Surge Of Illegal Immigrants Crossing Border

in News/immigration/politics
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney have both been outspoken this week in expressing their feelings regarding President Joe Biden’s latest immigration policies.

On Thursday, Cheney joined many of her colleagues at a news conference to call on Biden to secure the U.S./Mexican border, since thousands of migrants have been attempting to cross into the U.S. over the last couple months, according to CNN.

“When the Biden Administration refuses to enforce our immigration laws, when they refuse to build the wall, when they pass legislation like the bill that we passed yesterday that includes money for illegal immigrants, this is what happens,” Cheney said, referring to the influx of people attempting to cross the border. “What happens and what’s going on right now at the border is foreseeable – it’s a foreseeable consequence of their statements, of their policies – they caused this, they are responsible.”

Cheney’s comments about money for undocumented immigrants stemmed from congressional approval of the latest coronavirus relief package. While congressional Republicans have said there is no language to prevent stimulus payments from going to undocumented immigrants, Democrats have argued that without Social Security numbers, undocumented immigrants simply cannot get the payments.

Cheney also said that with their efforts to open borders, congressional Democrats are attempting to overwhelm law enforcement officers across the country and are trying to infringe on gun rights, which combines to “form a very dangerous and toxic mix.”

“We’re calling on the Biden administration to take action immediately to secure the border, to stop what we’re seeing happen, to change the policies to make clear that the hundreds of thousands of people that we’ve seen now attempting to enter the country illegally will not be able to do so,” she said. “They need to reiterate and recommit to protecting and securing the nation and to protecting the American people.”

On Wednesday, Barrasso spoke on the Senate floor, condemning Biden’s approach to immigration since he has been in office.

“In just over one month in office, President Biden has already proven to be the most open border president in the United States history,” Barrasso said. “President Biden needs to listen to the American people. The American people don’t want a radical, extreme, dangerous, scary agenda. We want safe communities. We want laws obeyed. We want a secure border.”

He told his colleagues to stand up against Biden and the Democrats’ “radical agenda.”

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Wyoming Legislature Considers Bills Limiting Health Orders, Officers

in News/Coronavirus/Legislature/politics
Doctor showing patient image on laptop, ALT=Medicaid study bill nears last House vote
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Wyoming Legislature is considering multiple bills to limit public health orders in the state in a reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Legislature is considering at least five bills related to public health orders and the authority of state and county health officers in the wake of the pandemic.

SF80, which would have originally required at least 48 hours notice and a public comment period before a health order goes into effect, was approved in its third reading in the Senate on Wednesday morning by a vote of 21-9.

However, the bill was amended so public health officers could act immediately to issue health orders rather than waiting for the public notice or comment period.

“There’s not a delay of 48 hours, but it does put a requirement for the health officer or person putting in the mandate to seek public comments,” said Sen. Troy McKeown, R-Gillette, the amendment’s sponsor.

The amendment also would allow health orders to be implemented for 60 days, up from the 30-day period outlined in the original bill.

Finally, the bill will allow for the Legislature to call a special session in the event of a situation like the pandemic.

Sen. Drew Perkins, R-Casper, spoke in favor of the amendments in the bill.

“It incorporates the lessons we learned just a year ago and avoids some of the constitutional minefields and traps,” he said. “I think this bill strikes a pretty decent balance and has some very practical applications that seem reasonable to me.”

Sens. Fred Baldwin, R-Kemmerer, and Chris Rothfuss, D-Laramie, both supported the amendments, although the latter still had questions about implementing the legislation in the “real world.”

However, one senator was less enthusiastic about the bill.

“These amendments make a bad bill less bad, so I think we should probably go ahead and pass them,” Sen. Charles Scott, R-Casper, said.

Another of the bills on public health orders, HB127, which was approved by the House Corporations Committee on Tuesday, would limit the duration of local public health orders to 10 days, which could be extended with a majority vote from the city or county’s governing body.

For a statewide order, the state health officer could issue an order that would be in effect for 10 days, but all subsequent orders would have to be issued by the governor. The bill also requires that the state public health officer will be a doctor licensed in Wyoming and can be removed by either the governor or the Department of Health director.

This bill is slated for general file, its first full House floor debate, on Thursday, meaning it could be soon headed to the Wyoming Senate for consideration.

Three additional three health-related bills being discussed in legislative committees. They are:

  • HB98, which would limit the duration of public health orders to 10 days unless ratified by the Legislature. If the Legislature isn’t in session, the governor can extend the health order for seven days, but a special legislative session would have to be called for ratification. Local health orders would have to be ratified by a majority vote of the local governing board;
  • HB113, which would limit the duration of public health orders to 30 days unless ratified by the local government or an “applicable governing body,”
  • And HB56, which would limit the duration of public health orders forcing the closure of buildings or businesses to 15 days, unless the order is ratified by the Legislature. Ratified orders would go into effect for 15 days and have to be ratified again in order to be extended. Local health orders will also be in place for 15 days, unless ratified by the local governing body. Orders would have to be ratified every 15 days.

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Lummis Puts Hold On Interior Secretary Nominee Confirmation

in News/Cynthia Lummis/politics
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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis is part of an effort to delay the confirmation of U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland as the new secretary of the Interior Department until her nomination can be debated in the Senate.

Lummis and U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, put a “hold” on Haaland’s nomination, essentially blocking her confirmation until senators can debate the nomination.

Lummis said the “hold” is part of her effort to battle the policies of President Joe Biden that have halted oil and gas leasing on federal land.

“According to a University of Wyoming analysis, the Biden ban could cost my state nearly $13 billion in tax revenue, which would devastate Wyoming’s investments in education, healthcare and infrastructure,” Lummis said in a statement. “Congresswoman Deb Haaland will be a champion of this and even more radical policies, and I am committed to doing anything I can to fight the Biden and Haaland job-killing agenda.

“For Wyoming’s energy workers and producers who will bear the loss of jobs, and for our medical professionals and children who will bear the loss of revenue, I’m putting a hold on Deb Haaland’s nomination to serve as Secretary of the Interior,” she added.

Lummis and U.S. Sen. John Barrasso have both been critical of Haaland’s nomination, saying she will support Biden’s goal of ending energy production on federal land as a way to contribute to the end of global climate change.

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Taking Another Dig at Cheney, Donald Trump Jr. Supports Runoff Elections In Wyoming

in News/Liz Cheney/politics
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Donald Trump Jr. has voiced his support for a bill pending in the Wyoming Legislature that would create runoff elections in the state.

Trump framed his argument in support of the bill as opposition to U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, one of a handful of Republicans in the U.S. House to vote for the impeachment of former President Donald Trump.

“Any Republican in Wyoming who does Liz Cheney’s bidding and opposes SF145 is turning their back on my father and the entire America First movement,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

Senate File 145 would require a runoff election following a primary for specific offices when no candidate receives a majority of the votes. It would also change the date of primary elections.

Cheney handily won both the primary and general elections in 2020.

The bill was slated to be discussed during a meeting of the Senate Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee on Tuesday morning, but no action had been taken as of the early afternoon.

On Monday, Trump encouraged Wyoming voters to contact the committee members (including Sens. Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower and Tara Nethercott, R-Cheyenne) to request they approve the bill.

“The Wyoming Senate is voting on SF145 tomorrow. SF145 would enact a runoff system in WY, so candidates need over 50% to win a primary. Liz Cheney allies are working behind the scenes to kill the bill!” he wrote.

Trump has been on a social media campaign against Cheney for months, ever since she voted to impeach his father.

He said last month that he plans to make a trip to Wyoming to campaign against Cheney, but hasn’t given any indication of when that might occur.

“I hear it’s lovely during primary season,” he told Politico last month.

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Natrona County Rep. Chuck Gray Announces Run Against Cheney

in News/Liz Cheney/politics
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A Natrona County legislator has announced he will run against U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney in her re-election bid next year.

Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, announced his campaign for Congress on social media early Thursday.

“We’ve all had the conversations around the kitchen table, at the counter in the local diner, and at the pumps filling up our cars with gas . . . Wyoming deserves better representation in Washington, D.C. than we’re currently getting,” Gray wrote in a letter to voters on his new campaign website. “Many of you have even reached out to share this frustration with me. That is why I have decided to run for Congress.”

Gray is the second Wyoming legislator to announce a bid against Cheney during the 2022 primary. Cheyenne Rep. Anthony Bouchard announced in January he will run against Cheney, partially due to her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.

Cheney’s impeachment vote was also something Gray has vehemently opposed.

He noted that as a Christian, he values integrity above all else and gives back to his community by serving others before himself.

Gray got involved in politics by creating radio shows to “speak up for the voiceless,” and has been in the Wyoming Legislature since 2017.

“I’ve been a constant defender of liberty, economic freedom, limited government, and our shared, conservative values in this role,” Gray wrote. “Since the beginning, my number one priority has been Wyoming. After all, the role of a public servant is to serve those who they represent.”

Gray is also opposed to big government and tax increases and is pro-life.

“Wyoming is at a crossroads. To the left, we have the status quo — a career politician who looks at the job as a Member of Congress as her birthright that can be leveraged at her own discretion to further her own goals, values, and objectives,” Gray said. “To the right, we have the path towards prosperity.”

He added that he was a supporter of Trump’s “America First” policy, something Bouchard also said when he announced his congressional run.

“You have my word . . . this campaign will be about our shared values and the future of our Great State,” Gray said. “I look forward to spending more time with you over the coming months to discuss the issues that matter most to your family and plan our collective future together.”

Barrasso: COVID Relief Bill Is “Packed With Pork”

in News/Coronavirus/politics
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso said the coronavirus relief bill headed to the U.S. Senate this week gets a grade of “F” from him because it is “packed with pork.”

He criticized the bill in two different venues on Tuesday, on the Senate floor and during an appearance on Fox Business with Maria Baritromo.

“This whole coronavirus so-called relief bill is packed with pork,” Barrasso said on Fox. “This is a piece of legislation that is the wish list of liberal Democrats for a long, long time. This whole bill, in my opinion, gets an F grade.”

Barrasso was referring to certain provisions of the bill, including one raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 (something both he and U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis have been vocal in opposing), another providing money for “failing pension funds” and a third funding what he called “bailouts for blue states.”

Congressional Budget Office report estimated the legislation, if passed, would increase the cumulative budget deficit by $54 billion in the next decade. Prices for goods and services would also increase as a result of paying workers more, the report said.

But the report also estimated the minimum wage increase would pull 900,000 workers out of poverty and pump $333 billion back into the economy.

Barrasso said on the Senate floor that he opposed the billions of dollars being spent on issues unrelated to the virus.

He also mentioned that the bill would subsidize health insurance, allowing people who make significant amounts of money to still get government aid for health care which they do not need.

“Government aid is supposed to be for those who need it — people who can’t make it on their own. But that’s not been the focus of the Democrats with this legislation,” Barrasso said on the floor. “This legislation is not about coronavirus, not about coronavirus testing and vaccination. This new proposal with these additional subsides is just going to get us this much closer to one-size-fits-all, socialized medicine.”

He added that Republicans wanted to lower health care costs, but Democrats wanted to raise what the government pays and that the party was pressuring states to expand Medicaid, something Wyoming has declined to do during numerous legislative sessions.

“I think only one dollar out of 11 of this $1.9 trillion bill actually goes to help get people back to work, kids back to school, focuses on the health care components of the coronavirus,” he said. “Republicans are offering the American people a stronger economy and opening schools. That’s what we ought to be focusing on.”

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Lummis, Barrasso Criticize Proposed $15 Minimum Wage

in News/Cynthia Lummis/politics
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis criticized the proposed $15 minimum wage included in the latest coronavirus relief bill, calling it an inappropriate and irresponsible addition.

“The Biden Administration’s $15 minimum wage increase may work in New York and California but it does not work for states like Wyoming,” Lummis said in a statement. “Placing that one-size-fits-all standard on every state is irresponsible.”

On the Senate floor, Barrasso gave a more impassioned speech about the wage increase.

“The bill includes a mandate from Washington D.C. to double the minimum wage, nothing to do with coronavirus. In fact, it would actually make things worse,” Barrasso said.

Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25, which has been in place since 2009. The proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill includes not only a stimulus payment for residents, but a proposal to boost the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025.

Barrasso maintained federal studies showed the increase would do more harm than good.

“The Congressional Budget Office took a look at this and said what would the impact be on the economy? They say that 1.4 million people who have jobs right now would lose their jobs if the federal government came in with a mandate to double the minimum wage,” Barrasso said. “That’s not a stimulus.”

According to Business Insider, Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, two of the party’s most moderate politicians, have both said they are opposed to using budget reconciliation — a maneuver that allows the majority party to speed through high-priority fiscal legislation without support from the minority party — to pass the minimum wage hike.

Manchin, along with other moderates and most conservatives, said he is worried that the incremental wage increase could end up doing more harm than help. 

Manchin has said he would support something “responsible and reasonable” when it comes to raising the federal minimum wage and has proposed a smaller increase to $11 an hour. 

Congressional Budget Office report estimated the legislation, if passed, would increase the cumulative budget deficit by $54 billion in the next decade. Prices for goods and services would also increase as a result of paying workers more, the report said.

But the report also estimated the hike would pull 900,000 workers out of poverty and pump $333 billion back into the economy.

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Bouchard Unsurprised By Multiple Cheney Censures

in News/Liz Cheney/politics
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Cheyenne Sen. Anthony Bouchard isn’t surprised his congressional opponent has received multiple censures from Republican parties across the state for her vote on the impeachment of former President Donald Trump.

Bouchard, who has announced he will run against U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney in 2022, on Friday spoke out against her and talked about his views on immigration, guns and more during an interview with New Right Network.

Bouchard added that he has explained this viewpoint to potential voters across the state, campaigning against Cheney’s vote, something he and other Republicans consider as a “stab in the back.”

“That’s what happens, we have people who go back to Congress and don’t talk about what’s happening,” he explained to host Jason Roberge. “They just come here and electioneer and they don’t tell people what’s going on.”

Cheney voted to impeach former Trump last month on allegations he incited a riot at the U.S. Capitol in early January as Congress met to confirm the Electoral College’s votes in the presidential election, in which now-President Joe Biden beat Trump.

While the House, with Cheney’s vote, approved articles of impeachment, Trump was acquitted of the charges last weekend in his Senate trial. U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis both opposed the impeachment.

Cheney has now been censured by multiple Republican parties since her vote, most recently by the Laramie County Republican Party earlier this week.

Last month, Bouchard announced his run against Cheney for her House seat, which she has held since 2017. The primary elections will take place next year.

“Representing the people is the most important thing, that’s the integrity of the system,” Bouchard said in his interview. “We’re losing it when we have people who go back to Washington and work to play the swamp games.”

Bouchard added that Cheney wasn’t a “real” Wyoming resident and couldn’t properly represent its residents.

“I think she’s working for the people of Virginia more than the people of Wyoming,” he said.

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Barrasso Wants Republicans to Come Together to Take On Biden

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso this week called for unity in the Republican party in order to challenge President Joe Biden’s administration.

While talking with Fox Business host Stuart Varney on Wednesday, Barrasso lamented the fact that the party has become so divided in recent years, partially due to the polarizing personality of former President Donald Trump.

“We need to stick together because of what we see happening with the Biden administration,” the senator said. “Right now, they’re killing millions of great jobs here in America. The administration is spending trillions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars that we just can’t afford to spend.”

Barrasso was referring to the recent moratorium Biden placed on oil and natural gas leases on federal lands and a proposed coronavirus relief bill totaling $1.9 trillion.

He noted that as a doctor, he had a prescription for the nation to get back on the right track: the Republicans should stick together so they can dominate the 2022 elections.

“[We can stop] this runaway freight train, which is the far-left liberal agenda of the Biden administration,” Barrasso said.

Currently, in addition to the White House, the Democrats hold a majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

This isn’t the first time Barrasso has called for unity in his party, although the last time he did so, it was in reference to both the Republicans and Democrats coming together to pass the last coronavirus relief bill in December.

At the time, Barrasso accused Congressional Democrats of politicizing the pandemic, adding that House and Senate Republicans had tried “40 times” to get a bill accepted to “provide relief for the American public.”

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Barrasso Slams Biden’s Proposed Gun Reform

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso slammed President Joe Biden’s call for “commonsense” gun reforms on social media Tuesday, calling the Democrat’s ideas an assault on Second Amendment rights.

“I won’t let @JoeBiden threaten the right of people in Wyoming to keep & bear arms,” Barrasso said on his Twitter account early Tuesday afternoon, retweeting an article from political website The Hill about Biden’s reform.

Biden called for Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including a requirement for background checks on all gun sales, a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and the elimination of legal immunity for “gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.

Biden’s comments came in a statement on Sunday, the three-year anniversary of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, the deadliest in American history.

“The time to act is now,” Biden said.

While Barrasso agreed that the United States must find ways to control violent crime and keep guns out of the hands of criminals, Biden’s attack on the Second Amendment wasn’t the way to do so.

According to The Hill, gun sales have been on the rise across the nation in recent weeks, an increase attributed to concerns that Biden will act on gun control in his early days in office.

Biden regularly spoke on the campaign trail about his passion for gun law reform and regularly said he would implement some type of background check legislation.

The new administration hasn’t appointed a new head to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which is the department that enforces gun laws.

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Laramie County GOP to Discuss Cheney Censure on Tuesday

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Laramie County Republican Party could soon join the ranks of other Republican party groups across Wyoming that have censured U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney for her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.

According to an email sent from an address belonging to the Laramie County GOP, a resolution to censure Cheney was submitted for consideration during the party’s meeting Tuesday.

The unidentified party official who responded to questions from the Cowboy State Daily said he or she was not sure how the resolution would fare.

“While I normally have a good read on where the votes on resolutions will fall, this one is definitely going to have mixed votes and will likely be pretty split with whichever way it falls,” the email said.

When asked for a name, the person did not respond.

A censure is an expression of disapproval and has no binding effect on its subject.

Multiple Republican parties across Wyoming, including the Wyoming GOP itself, have censured Cheney over the last month in response to her impeachment vote.

Cheney voted to impeach the former president after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. She said at the time that her vote was based on the fact she believed Trump had incited the mob to action.

Five people died as a result of the attack.

Earlier this month, congressional Republicans voted overwhelmingly to keep Cheney in House leadership by a 145 – 61 margin.

“This is just an example that the Republican Party is a very big tent, everyone is invited in, and when you look at the last election, we continue to grow and in two years, we’ll be the majority,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.

The Wyoming Republican Party wasn’t as supportive, however.

“Representative Cheney has aligned herself with leftists who are screaming that what happened last Wednesday is the ‘worst thing ever in our history’ (or similar such claims). That is absurd and shows their lack of knowledge of history as well as their willingness to skew the facts to further their corrupt agenda,” the Wyoming GOP said in a statement.

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Barrasso: Democrats Aren’t Focusing on Real Issues

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso believes congressional Democrats aren’t focusing on the real issues the nation is facing and are instead focusing all of their attention on impeaching former President Donald Trump.

Barrasso shared these thoughts during an appearance on Fox News with Stuart Varney on Thursday, not long before Trump’s Senate impeachment trial resumed.

“They’re impeaching a former president,” Barrasso said. “They’re not focusing about the issues that I hear back home in Wyoming, which is getting back to work, getting kids back in school and getting this virus behind us.”

He again criticized President Joe Biden for the executive orders stopping production of the Keystone XL pipeline and the moratorium on oil and natural gas leases on federal lands, a move Barrasso and other Wyoming officials have spoken out against.

Varney also asked Barrasso’s medical opinion on the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention’s recent recommendation for people to wear two masks to prevent even further spread of the virus.

“The CDC is saying ‘Let’s do some things that we can protect ourselves with until everybody gets vaccinated,'” the senator said. “I think we ought to listen to the CDC.”

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Carbon County GOP Chairman on Cheney Censure: “The People Are Saying Something”

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The chairman of the Carbon County Republican Party believes U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney’s vote to impeach former President Donald Trump will have far-reaching implications, including Cheney’s possible loss in her next re-election bid.

This subject was one of a number addressed by Joey Correnti IV during a 45-minute interview with FYNTV, a Georgia-based media outlet, on Thursday morning.

“I understand people [think the censures against Cheney] doesn’t mean anything, that it’s a slap on the wrist,” Correnti said. “Well, that shows their own ignorance of when you get slapped on the wrist by the hand that feeds you. The people are saying something.”

The host of the program asked Correnti if he thought it was appropriate for Cheney to “vote her conscience” instead of voting for how she thought Wyomingites would want her vote.

“I don’t expect our representative to take a poll of the entire electorate of Wyoming every time they have a decision to make,” Correnti responded. “But she didn’t have to take a poll. Wyoming took a poll on November 3.”

The Carbon County GOP was the first of multiple Wyoming GOP organizations to criticize Cheney for her vote to impeach Trump following the attack on the U.S. Capitol in early January. The Wyoming Republican Party followed up with its own vote for her censure last weekend.

A censure is an expression of disapproval and has no binding effect on its subject.

Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach the president on allegations he helped incite the riot.

Correnti expressed disappointment and frustration that Cheney was quick to make a judgment about the riot and that she was not available for any form of contact the night of the riot, which saw Congress reconvene to confirm electoral college results giving President Joe Biden victory over Trump in November’s general election.

Cheney’s lack of availability was one of the major reasons the Carbon County GOP decided to censure her, Correnti said.

“I couldn’t get ahold of our representative, and the people do have a voice, we ended up putting together a resolution,” he said.

Trump’s Senate trial is taking place this week, but both U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis have indicated they will not vote to convict the former president.

Correnti added that there was no evidence that Trump helped incite the riot and that Cheney was only trying to further her own interests with her impeachment vote.

“She said she voted her conscience based on her constitutional duty,” he said. “That, to me, sounds like an accusation.”

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UW Researchers Find Major Impacts Due to Political Division

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The polarization between the two major political parties has far-reaching impacts on American life, University of Wyoming researchers have found.

A paper by researchers from UW and five other universities who looked into all the impacts of political polarization was published in January in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing of the American Marketing Association.

The study concluded the impacts go far further than most had expected, touching even on mental and physical health, said Dave Sprott, dean of the UW’s College of Business and one of the paper’s authors.

“I think we’re all aware of how political polarization has affected our elections and system of government, but the impacts go far beyond the political arena,” he said. “Ultimately, polarization harms mental and physical health, financial welfare, relationships and societal interests through its impact on psychology, marketing and public policy outcomes.”

The researchers referenced previous studies that suggested political polarization in the United States is more pronounced now than in the past, at least among members of the nation’s major political parties, with Democrats significantly more likely to identify as liberal and Republicans as conservative.

Additionally, those questioned for the studies indicated they believe the parties ideologies overlap less now than they did in previous years, and the portion of people who hold extreme political opinions is increasing.

Research also showed that political identities, such as Republican, Democrat, liberal or conservative, help determine people’s behavior, attitudes and perceptions.

Those identities can be reinforced by people selecting social groups with shared belief systems, consumption of media that only align with those beliefs and even creation of a “group-specific shared reality,” the researchers wrote.

From a public policy standpoint, political polarization makes it more difficult for elected officials to effectively govern, the paper asserted. This is due to a number of factors, including a lack of trust in scientists in policymakers and prevalence of misinformation.

“For instance, as society has become increasingly polarized, politicians’ objectives diverge and their animosity toward the opposition grows, thereby reducing opportunity for compromise,” the researchers wrote. “Partisan incivility is a major reason for failed dialogue: Uncivil exchanges result in disagreement and greater polarization regardless of the evidence presented.”

This political polarization is reflected in the marketplace, as consumers connect with brands that they perceive reflect their values and beliefs.

“In effect, activist consumers will increasingly expect brands to help spur social change, and will be more likely to respond to brand actions through a political lens,” the researchers wrote.

For example, they noted that the expressions of support for former President Donald Trump by the CEO of Goya Beans, a Latin food company, resulted in liberal consumers boycotting the company’s products and conservatives promoting them during 2020.

Similar situations arose for companies including My Pillow, Home Depot and Chick-fil-A when their corporate leaders expressed support for conservative causes.

Even when companies aim to be apolitical, the nation’s polarized environment increases the chances that they will be viewed as being political, the researchers said.

“As the population becomes more polarized, initiatives that were previously viewed through an apolitical lens may be viewed as favoring one political identity over another, as a polarized population is more likely to view corporate actions through a political lens,” the researchers wrote.

Ultimately, according to the researchers, consumer welfare suffers because of political polarization in these areas:

Finances: With political positions influencing decisions, people may sacrifice wages, lose out on jobs, make suboptimal purchases and disregard opportunities to save. For example, research has found that employees accept lower wages to work for politically like-minded entities, and people may select higher-priced products or ones that offer less-functional value.

Relationships: Polarization has the potential to prevent neighbors or colleagues of opposing parties from developing friendships. This ultimately deprives individuals of intellectual diversity, among other things.

Health: Obstruction of social relationships stemming from political polarization can cause both mental and physical harm. Additionally, “the politicization of coronavirus prevention techniques has seemingly slowed their adoption and obscured dissemination of scientific facts, thereby amplifying the spread of a deadly disease.”

Societal interests: For instance, beliefs relating to global warming, affirmative action, wealth inequality and gun control often tend to reflect individuals’ political affiliations rather than a deliberate processing of relevant information that results in evidence-based decision-making.

“In addition, the broader negative impacts of these policy areas on society as a whole have the potential to harm individual mental and physical health over the long term,” according to the researchers.

The researchers suggest a number of potential measures to limit the effects of polarization, including reducing the spread of misinformation, using messaging techniques to try to bridge the different values of liberals and conservatives and limiting the length of political campaigns.

At the same time, the researchers acknowledge that some level of conflict is good and natural for society, and that polarization has been shown to increase voting and political participation.

“Future research should consider the possibility that while political polarization can be harmful, there may be silver linings and reasons for hope,” the researchers concluded, suggesting inquiry into “what types and levels of societal conflict result in positive versus negative outcomes.”

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Barrasso: Impeachment of Trump Will Do Nothing

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso made his feelings about the Senate impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump clear with his vote to end the process on Tuesday.

“Democrats now control the White House and Congress, yet their top priority is an impeachment trial for a president who no longer holds office,” Barrasso said. “This partisan crusade will cost time and energy while doing nothing for jobs, for vaccines, or for getting kids safely in classrooms.”

The senator added that he swore an oath to the U.S. Constitution, which provides for impeachment to remove officials from their seats, not to be used as a weapon for members of Congress to punish political opponents.

“Consistent with my duty to the Constitution, I voted to certify the electoral votes sent by the states to Congress,” Barrasso said. “And consistent with my duty to the Constitution, I oppose the impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate of a private citizen and former president.”

Trump is facing an impeachment trial on allegations he incited the mob of people that stormed the U.S. Capitol in early January as Congress met to certify the results of the electoral college vote, which confirmed President Joe Biden as the victor in November’s presidential election.

Barrasso and U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis both voted against the impeachment trial, but U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the former president in the final days of his administration.

“This is an unconstitutional impeachment,” Lummis told the Casper Star-Tribune on Tuesday. “You can’t convict a private citizen, and that’s a constitutional provision.”

However, a majority of senators voted to rule the impeachment trial constitutional Tuesday, meaning that the proceedings could move forward.

“My focus remains on the needs of the people of Wyoming as I work to put the pandemic behind us and rebuild our economy,” Barrasso said.

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Donald Trump Jr. Plans Wyoming Trip to Campaign Against Cheney

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Former President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., intends to make a trip to Wyoming to campaign against U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney in the near future.

“I hear it’s lovely during primary season,” he told Politico over the weekend.

He didn’t indicate when he would visit the state, however, and the next primary election won’t occur until August 2022.

His statements followed Cheney’s interview on Fox News Sunday, when she said she wouldn’t resign her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives after being censured by the Wyoming Republican Party. The vote Saturday came in response to Cheney’s vote to impeach Trump.

“As I’ve explained, and will continue to explain to supporters all across the state and voters all across the state, the oath that I took to the Constitution compelled me to vote for impeachment, and it doesn’t bend to partisanship and it doesn’t bend to political pressure,” Cheney said.

Trump Jr. would be the second national Republican figure to visit the state to campaign against Cheney. U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz appeared in Cheyenne last month to criticize Cheney.

“Every day, I see the cost of the wars Liz Cheney has advocated for,” Gaetz said during a rally in January. “I see the tearful goodbyes in airports, the marriages destroyed, the parenting that’s interrupted, the drug abuse, the suicides, lost limbs, lost minds, lost lives, lost hope.”

The campaigns against Cheney follow her decision to vote to impeach the former president for allegedly making remarks that helped incite the attack on the U.S. Capitol in early January. Five people died in the ensuing chaos.

The representative has been censured by multiple county-level Republican parties, culminating in Saturday’s vote by the state Republican Party.

“We need to honor President Trump. All President Trump did was call for a peaceful assembly and protest for a fair and audited election,” Darin Smith said while explaining the censure vote. “The Republican Party needs to put her on notice.”

In response to Cheney’s impeachment vote last month, Cheyenne Sen. Anthony Bouchard announced his run against her in Congress.

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McConnell Praises Cheney’s Courage In Wake of Impeachment Vote

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has praised U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney for her courage in voting to impeach former President Donald Trump.

“Liz Cheney is a leader with deep convictions and the courage to act on them,” McConnell told CNN on Monday. “She is an important leader in our party and in our nation. I am grateful for her service and look forward to continuing to work with her on the crucial issues facing our nation.”

McConnell is one of many members of Congress who have backed Cheney following her impeachment vote, which has received a mix of praise and criticism from legislators and the public alike.

According to CNN, the McConnel hasn’t spoken to the former president since Dec. 15.

Cheney and nine other House Republicans voted to impeach Trump in mid-January following an attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Many congressional legislators felt Trump’s comments at a rally earlier in the day helped incite the riot.

“All of us have an obligation to the Constitution and obligation to do what what we believe is right, what our oath compels us to do that that is above politics and above partisanship,” Cheney previously said.

Last week, fellow U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, visited the Wyoming State Capitol in Cheyenne to voice numerous criticisms about Cheney to a crowd of hundreds.

“The establishment power brokers like Liz Cheney are climbing in a deeply corrupt game,” Gaetz said during the rally. “We do not have to be condemned to some grim fate.”

State Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, has announced he will run against Cheney for her House seat, largely because of her vote to impeach Trump.

After the articles of impeachment against Trump were approved by the House, they were sent to the Senate, where members must decide whether to hold a trial on the allegations.

All but five Senate Republicans (including Utah Sen. Mitt Romney) voted against an impeachment trial, which many political pundits believe is a sign that the former president will likely be acquitted, meaning he can run again for office, should he choose so.

U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis voted against the trial.

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Barrasso: Biden Drew Target on the Back of American Energy

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

President Joe Biden’s executive orders aimed at slowing climate change have unfairly targeted America’s energy sector, U.S. Sen John Barrasso said late last week.

“He picked up his pen and drew a target on the back of American energy,” Barrasso said during an appearance on Fox late last week. “Then he pulled the trigger and killed the Keystone XL pipeline and he’s killing energy jobs all around the country.”

On his first day in office, Biden halted oil and gas leases on federal land for 60 days.

Last week, he issued a second executive order on the subject, extending the moratorium for an unspecified amount of time to allow the Department of Interior to thoroughly review the federal leasing program and existing leases on federal lands.

Barrasso said during his Fox appearance that this moratorium and other executive orders issued by Biden could affect 30,000 jobs in Wyoming.

“The Democrats have gone back to a ‘blame America first’ approach,” the senator said. “The reason we want a strong energy economy in America is its jobs, its affordable energy and because of national security.”

Biden also rejoined the Paris Climate Accord, among other orders on his first day in office.

A University of Wyoming study commissioned by the Legislature has concluded that a moratorium on oil and gas leasing on federal land could reduce Wyoming’s production by $872 million per year, costing the state more than $300 million a year in tax revenue.

U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney have both introduced legislation that would require congressional approval for any executive branch effort to stop energy or mineral leasing and permitting on federal land.

Lummis’ bill, co-sponsored by Barrasso and 24 other members of the Senate, is called the “Protecting Our Wealth of Energy Resources Act” and would require congressional approval for mineral and energy leases on federal land.

Cheney actually introduced two bills, one dealing with oil and gas leases and the second with coal leases. Both would require a joint resolution from Congress to approve any moratorium on leasing on federal land.

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Barrasso: Biden Talks About Uniting Country, But I Haven’t Seen It

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

While President Joe Biden has called for unity in the country following the departure of former President Donald Trump, he has yet to act on his remarks, according to U.S. Sen. John Barrasso.

Barrasso, in his first television appearance in more than a month, criticized Biden for doing more to divide the country than unite it.

“He ran on a campaign for a year of uniting the country, bringing us all together and I thought he gave a great inaugural speech,” Barrasso told CNN’s John King. “But I’d like to see one thing he’s actually done to try to unite the country.”

Specifically, Barrasso condemned Biden’s halt of the Keystone XL pipeline, calling for a moratorium of oil and gas development on public lands and a call for a $15 minimum wage.

“The small business owners I’ve been talking to in Wyoming are saying if [the minimum wage hike] happens, I’m out of business,” he said.

The senator added that Senate Republicans want to find ways to work together with their Democratic counterparts, but Democrats don’t seem to want the same thing.

Barrasso also criticized Biden’s newly proposed coronavirus relief bill, a $1.9 trillion package that would include $1,400 stimulus checks, vaccine funding and also the minimum wage hike.

He told King that the Republicans weren’t just balking at the price tag of the bill, but also the provisions, mainly the minimum wage increase.

“We want to make sure people can get back to school and work and that they can get the vaccine,” Barrasso said. “Those are the critical issues we need to address.”

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Hundreds Gather for Matt Gaetz’ “Anti-Cheney” Rally at Wyoming Capitol Thursday

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Rep Liz Cheney is taking part in a “deeply corrupt game,” a colleague from Florida said during a rally at the state Capitol on Thursday.

“The establishment power brokers like Liz Cheney are climbing in a deeply corrupt game,” said U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who traveled to Cheyenne to criticize Cheney. “We do not have to be condemned to some grim fate.”

Speaking during the rally attended by several hundred people, Gaetz urged strong Republicans to run against Cheney in the 2022 election.

State Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, has announced he will run against Cheney, largely because of her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.

Gaetz has been very vocal in his opposition of votes by Cheney and nine other House Republicans to impeach Trump because of allegations he incited a riot that led to an invasion of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

However, during the rally, he also criticized Cheney’s support of military action abroad, saying she had blood on her hands.

“Every day, I see the cost of the wars Liz Cheney has advocated for,” he said. “I see the tearful goodbyes in airports, the marriages destroyed, the parenting that’s interrupted, the drug abuse, the suicides, lost limbs, lost minds, lost lives, lost hope.”

Gaetz was invited to the rally by Laramie Rep. Ocean Andrew, R-Laramie.

Gaetz had said before his Cheyenne appearance that his reason for coming to Wyoming was to protest Cheney’s impeachment vote and to talk about his vision for the Republican Party.

Gaetz told reporters earlier this week that he has never been a Cheney supporter, even prior to the impeachment vote.

“Let me be clear: Republicans really have no power in Washington, D.C., right now,” Gaetz previously said. “The principal job of the conference chair (Cheney) is to carry the message of their fellow Republicans. Most of the members of the Republican Conference don’t believe Liz Cheney speaks for them.”

The House Republican Conference is responsible for electing the House Republican leadership, approving GOP member committee assignments, managing leadership-driven floor debates and executing a communications strategy within the party.

The conference will meet next week to discuss the roles of the chair and whether or not Cheney should be removed from her position.

“[Cheney] calls herself a leader in Washington, but to me, being a leader does not mean winning an election amongst a bunch of politicians,” Gaetz said at the rally. “Being a leader doesn’t even mean that you’ve lived a flawless personal life. Opposition is consistent with Liz Cheney. How can you call yourself a representative when you don’t represent the will of the people?”

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Bouchard Campaign Ad Says Cheney “Betrayed” Wyoming

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, released a new radio campaign ad this week in which he condemns incumbent U.S. Rep Liz Cheney for an “America last” agenda.

“Wyoming was Donald Trump’s best state not once, but twice,” Bouchard said in the ad, noting that “Liz Cheney betrayed nearly 200,000 of us who voted to re-elect our president.”

Bouchard announced his 2022 campaign against Cheney for her seat in Congress last week, due largely to her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.

However, he said in his ad that the impeachment wasn’t the only reason for his congressional bid.

“President Trump made America great again with America first policies like bringing home our troops, building the wall and fighting illegal immigration – all policies Joe Biden, Liz Cheney and their fellow globalists oppose,” Bouchard said, adding he stands for “the Trump agenda of America first, not Liz Cheney’s globalist agenda of America last.”

Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans to vote in favor of impeachment following an assault on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month that she said Trump helped to incite.

Bouchard has raised almost $100,000 in donations during his first week of campaigning.

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More Than 170 Wyoming Republicans Changed Party Affiliation After Capitol Siege

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

More than 170 Wyoming Republican voters changed their party affiliation following the invasion of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.

Approximately 176 Republicans changed their party affiliation over the last month, according to a redacted change of party report provided to Cowboy State Daily by the Wyoming Secretary of State’s office.

Of the Republicans who changed their affiliation, 33 switched to the Democratic Party.

Most of the others changed their party affiliation to independent, although a few changed to either the Libertarian or Constitution parties.

Wyoming Republican Party Chair Frank Eathorne did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Just over 200 Wyoming voters in total have changed their party affiliations in the last three weeks.

As of December, Wyoming had a total of 303,049 registered voters: 209,347 Republicans, 51,268 Democrats and 38,731 unaffiliated.

About 3,500 registered voters were affiliated with either the Libertarian or Constitution parties.

The attack on the U.S. Capitol was conducted by thousands who have been identified as supporters of former President Donald Trump.

The attack occurred the same day that Congress met to certify the Electoral College election results confirming Democrat Joe Biden as president.

The incident led to something of a division in Wyoming’s Republican Party with the state’s lone represenative, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, voting for Trump’s impeachment on allegations he incited the riot.

U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, meanwhile, both voted against conducting an impeachment trial in the Senate.

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Lummis, Barrasso Oppose Trump Impeachment Trial

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis on Tuesday voted against an impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump, although a razor-thin majority vote by the Senate moved it forward.

All but five Senate Republicans (including Utah Sen. Mitt Romney) voted against the trial, which many political pundits believe is a sign that the former president will likely be acquitted, meaning he can run again for office, should he choose so.

Trump is being impeached on allegations he incited a riot that left five people dead at the U.S. Capitol building earlier this month.

Neither Wyoming senator had stated publicly whether or not they would vote for or against the trial, but Lummis has been an outspoken supporter of Trump since he was elected.

Barrasso has supported Trump, but not always as enthusiastically as his colleague. He quickly condemned many new moves made by President Joe Biden’s administration, but was mum on the impeachment.

Of Wyoming’s congressional delegates, only U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney voted to impeach the president, saying she was voting with her conscience and to protect the U.S. Constitution.

Cheney has been censured by three Wyoming county Republican Parties for her vote to impeach and she was condemned by the state Republican Party for her actions.

However, it should be noted that Cheney’s votes in the House of Representatives aligned with Trump more often than not, with her votes backing him 93% of the time.

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Lincoln County GOP Urges Lummis, Barrasso to Oppose Impeachment Trial

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Lincoln County Republican Party is urging U.S. Sens. Cynthia Lummis and John Barrasso to oppose former President Donald Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial.

Lincoln County GOP Chairman Michael Lundgren shared a resolution approved by the party over the weekend, asking Barrasso and Lummis to oppose the Senate trial, calling the impeachment a “travesty.”

“The impeachment of President Donald J. Trump in the House was a travesty without giving President Trump due process,” the resolution said. “Holding a Senate trial would tend to legitimize this impeachment travesty and set a dangerous Constitutional precedent.”

The resolution also said that impeachment is only pertinent for a sitting president, not a former president like Trump.

A number of congressional representatives, including U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, voted to impeach Trump following a mob attack on the U.S. Capitol building earlier this month. The articles of impeachment approved by the House have been sent to the Senate, where that body’s Democrat leaders have vowed Trump will be tried on the allegations he incited a riot and invasion of the U.S. Capitol.

The riot was in response to congressional leaders voting to certify the presidential election results, which confirmed President Joe Biden as the winner.

Barrasso hasn’t said publicly whether he will vote to impeach the president and has been largely out of the public eye over the last month, having last appeared on television on Dec. 20.

Last week, he broke his silence to condemn some of the first moves made by Biden, such as stopping construction of the Keystone pipeline.

Lummis also hasn’t said whether or not she will impeach the president, but as she even questioned some of the votes cast in the presidential election, it is likely she will oppose the trial or won’t vote for impeachment.

Cheney voted for the impeachment to “protect the Constitution.”

“All of us have an obligation to the Constitution and obligation to do what what we believe is right, what our oath compels us to do that that is above politics and above partisanship,” Cheney said on Fox News last week.

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Bouchard Calls Cheney’s Impeachment Vote a “Stab in the Back”

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

State Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, this week described the vote of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney to impeach former President Donald Trump as a “stab in the back.”

Bouchard’s comments came during an appearance on Fox with Laura Ingraham, his first televised appearance since announcing his campaign against Cheney in 2022 for her House seat, which she has held since 2017.

When Ingraham asked Bouchard why it was a problem for Cheney to vote her conscience to impeach Trump, Bouchard said it wasn’t her job to vote on her feelings.

“She’s there to vote for the people of Wyoming,” he said. “We’ve had a full-on attack on conservatives, it’s gone on and on and on. We had a man that was president that was fighting for us, and what he got was an ice pick in the back by 10 people.”

Cheney on Jan. 13 was one of 10 House Republicans to vote in favor of impeachment following an assault on the U.S. Capitol she believed Trump helped to incite.

Bouchard said he expected this kind of behavior from the “swamp” in Washington, D.C., but not from a representative from Wyoming.

“That’s why I’m running, I think we have to make a good fight against what’s going on,” he said. “If we have someone from Wyoming just going to Washington to make deals, what good is that going to do?”

Ingraham said she wished Cheney and other legislators like U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah were as tough on congressional Democrats as they were on Trump.

Conservative columnist Henry Olsen on Thursday said the Democratic Party is looking forward to intra-party battles like this.

“They know that the more Republicans fight each other, the likelier they won’t reunite to fight them,” Olsen said. “Democrats are surely drooling over the rumored prospect of Trump creating his own Patriot Party that would position itself to the GOP’s right on rhetoric and policy.

“In our first-past-the-post election system, in which a candidate does not need a majority of the vote to win, Democrats know that a split center-right can only help them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bouchard announced on his social media accounts Friday that he had raised more than $50,000 in donations within the first two days of announcing his congressional campaign.

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Bouchard Launches Congressional Campaign Website

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, is gearing up for his Congressional run against U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, launching his new political campaign website this week.

“A conservative state like Wyomingwhich gave Donald Trump the nation’s largest percentage of the vote both times—should be electing one of the most conservative members of Congress,” the website quoted Bouchard as saying. “It’s time to stand up for America, defend our freedoms, fight for our way of life and always put taxpayers first.  That’s why I’m running for Congress.”

His slogan is “Stand Up for America.”

Bouchard’s run against Cheney was announced on Wednesday when it was discovered the senator filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to challenge the representative in the 2022 primary.

In a statement, Bouchard criticized Cheney’s decision to vote for the impeachment of President Donald Trump last week on accusations of inciting a riot at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.

“Liz Cheney’s long-time opposition to President Trump and her most recent vote for Impeachment shows just how out-of-touch she is with Wyoming,” Bouchard said in a statement. “Wyoming taxpayers need a voice in Congress who will stand up to Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats, and not give them cover.  That’s why I’m running for Congress.”

On the website, little information is now provided regarding Bouchard’s stance on various political issues. The website does contain information about Bouchard’s background and how to volunteer or donate to his campaign.

The senator recently beat Democratic challenger Brittany Wallesch in the November general election in his bid for a second Senate term.

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Barrasso Criticizes New Biden Policies, Cabinet Nominees

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso criticized a number of new policies signed into law on Wednesday by newly sworn-in President Joe Biden.

Just hours after Biden was sworn in and signed a series of executive orders, Barrasso criticized various moves the new president made, including stopping the Keystone Pipeline and returning the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement.

“A return to the Paris climate agreement will raise Americans’ energy costs and won’t solve climate change,” the senator said. “Under the agreement, the Biden administration will set unworkable targets for the United States while China and Russia can continue with business as usual.”

President Donald Trump’s administration withdrew the United States from the climate agreement in 2017, a decision Barrasso then praised.

“The Paris climate agreement is based on the backward idea that the United States is a culprit here, when in reality the United States is the leading driver of climate solutions,” he said in his statement Wednesday. “It will result in spiking electricity bills and higher prices at the pump. These are additional burdens during a particularly tough time for Americans and for every small business. It hurts America’s competitiveness and gives a free pass to our adversaries.”

In a separate statement, Barrasso said that by stopping the Keystone Pipeline, Biden will rob both American and Canadian workers of good-paying jobs.

“Currently, one thousand union workers are busy constructing the Keystone XL pipeline,” Barrasso said. “When completed, the pipeline will ship oil from the Canadian and Bakken oil fields to American refineries along the Gulf Coast and across the Midwest. President Biden’s actions will not end our need for oil from our strongest ally, Canada. Instead, it will cost jobs, result in more shipments of oil by rail and make America even more vulnerable to OPEC and foreign adversaries, like Russia.”

Finally, Barrasso questioned Biden’s Secretary of State nominee, Tony Blinken, for what he referred to as “policy failures” during Blinken’s testimony in front of Congress.

Barrasso touched on topics such as China’s human rights abuses, the Keystone Pipeline and more when questioning Blinken.

“You admitted, ‘We failed in preventing a tragic loss of life as well as millions of people made into refugees or internally displaced, and that’s something that we will have to live with,'” Barrasso said. “You also went on to say, ‘In Syria, we rightly sought to avoid another Iraq by not doing too much, but we made the opposite error of doing too little.’”

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Wyoming GOP Denounces Violent Acts Before Biden’s Inauguration

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Wyoming Republican Party denounced violent protests and acts on Wednesday, two weeks after a mob of people stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The party, in a statement released Tuesday, vowed not to engage in violent activity anywhere, although the statement singled out Wednesday’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

“We denounce violent protests and acts in the strongest of terms, just like conservatives did during the riots that we have been witness to since last summer,” the statement said. “Neither the Wyoming Republican Party nor any of its members have any plans to engage in violent activity. Not on January 20th, and not ever. Not in Washington, D.C., nor elsewhere.”

There have been some concerns about a second round of violent acts in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, due to Biden taking office.

On Jan. 6, thousands of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol building as Congress prepared to certify the Electoral College results. Five people died during the riot.

The party’s statement said conservatives have no interest in taking part in such actions.

“Our Party has never been about achieving goals through violence,” the Wyoming Republican Party said. “The conservatives we know are too busy doing their jobs, running their businesses, and raising their families, to plan and engage in violence.”

The group added that the Democratic Party and the media refused to denounce violence that occurred last summer during demonstrations held to protest killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a police officer who kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The Wyoming GOP also questioned whether or not the “violent conservative” narrative is being pushed forward by “leftist groups encouraging them to engage in pre-planned violent acts so that the Republican Party can be blamed.”

The Wyoming GOP has previously said that the media rushed in its judgment to identify the Capitol rioters as Trump supporters.

“The Wyoming Republican Party will continue to live under the banner that ‘the pen is mightier than the sword,'” the group said. “Rights given by God cannot be taken from us by government. We will stand on our God-given freedom to PEACEABLY exercise free speech, as outlined in the U.S. Constitution, and advocate for a better tomorrow. We will continue to speak, even when some deem our positions unpopular, twist our words, and attempt to shame or intimidate us into silence.”

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Carbon County GOP Censures Cheney For Impeachment Vote

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Carbon County Republican Party has voted to formally censure U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney after she voted to impeach President Donald Trump last week.

“The Carbon County Republican Party has unanimously voted to formally censure U.S. Representative Liz Cheney,” party chairman Joey Correnti IV said in a statement.

A censure is an expression of disapproval and has no binding effect on its subject.

Cheney voted to impeach the president, who will leave office on Wednesday as President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated, after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Cheney said at the time that her vote was based on the fact she believed Trump had incited the mob to action.

In the censure, Correnti and the party said Cheney voted to impeach without any quantifiable evidence of high crimes or misdemeanors.

Many Congressional leaders have criticized Trump for his comments regarding his refusal to concede to Biden, saying he incited the riot at the Capitol. Five people died as a result of the attack.

“Additionally, we have called for her to appear before the members of the (Carbon County Republican Party) to explain her recent actions to the body, the State Republican Party membership and the entirety of the concerned Wyoming electorate,” Correnti said.

The party also accused Cheney of violating the trust of her voters and failing to faithfully represent a large majority of Wyoming voters, 70% of whom voted for Trump in the November election.

Correnti has been a controversial figure in Wyoming politics. Last year, he was involved in a fistfight at the Wyoming Republican Party convention.

According to published reports, Correnti got into an altercation with Michael Pearce, then chairman of the Albany County Republican Party. Pearce was accused of striking Correnti and witnesses said Correnti restrained Pearce until police could arrive.

Cheney has repeatedly said that her decision to impeach the president came from her conscience, not her political beliefs.

“There are times when those of us as elected officials are called on to act in a way that does not take politics into consideration,” she previously said. “Dealing with something as serious and as grave as the attack on the Capitol is one of those times.”

This isn’t the first group to openly criticize Cheney for her vote.

Last week, the Wyoming Gun Owners Association blasted both her and U.S. Sen. John Barrasso for their criticism of the president, although the latter hasn’t publicly said whether or not he will vote to impeach Trump when the Senate meets.

The Wyoming Republican Party also condemned her decision to impeach.

“Representative Cheney has aligned herself with leftists who are screaming that what happened last Wednesday is the ‘worst thing ever in our history’ (or similar such claims). That is absurd and shows their lack of knowledge of history as well as their willingness to skew the facts to further their corrupt agenda,” the Wyoming GOP said in a statement.

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Wyoming Legislator Calls on GOP Chair Eathorne To Resign After Secession Comments

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At least one Republican legislator isn’t happy with Wyoming GOP Chairman Frank Eathorne’s recent statement that he’s looking with interest at fringe efforts in Texas to secede from the nation.

Rep. Landon Brown (R-Cheyenne) on Tuesday called on Eathorne to resign for his comments about former Trump advisor Steve Bannon’s podcast regarding his interest in secession.

“Floating the idea of secession as a party plank or statement is contradictory to my stance as a Republican,” Brown tweeted. “This idea is pathetic and ill advised – I am appalled that our chairman thinks he has this authority.”

Eathorne has received national attention for last week’s comments on Bannon’s show.

“We are straight talking, focused on the global scene, but we’re also focused at home. Many of these Western states have the ability to be self-reliant, and we’re keeping eyes on Texas too, and their consideration of possible secession. They have a different state constitution than we do as far as wording, but it’s something we’re all paying attention to,” Eathorne said.

The idea of secession, however, was too extreme even for Bannon, who said he is  “absolutely, 1,000% against any even discussion of secession.”

Rep. Brown told Cowboy State Daily that Eathorne’s comments in this instance and others have been too divisive for Wyoming.

“Frank Eathorne has done nothing but ostracize Republicans who don’t agree with him,” Brown said. “He does not represent the values of the Reagan-era GOP and I think we need to support Republicans in the party, not fractionalize the way our chairman has done.”

Eathorne and the Wyoming Republican Party have been critical of Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney’s call for impeachment of President Trump.

“We are receiving the message loud and clear that what happened yesterday [Cheney’s vote for impeachment] is a true travesty for Wyoming and the country,” said a statement from the Wyoming Republican Party.

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Barrasso, Lummis Call For Stopping Loans to Planned Parenthood

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sens. Cynthia Lummis and John Barrasso have joined a number of thier colleagues in calling on federal Small Business Administration to stop giving loans to Planned Parenthood.

The senators sent a letter to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza asking her to specify that Planned Parenthood affiliates employ too many people to be eligible for loans under the Paycheck Protection Program.

“Planned Parenthood employs about 16,000 people nationwide,” the letter said. “The group’s national organization, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, jealously exercises control over local affiliates, subjecting them to uniform bylaws, accreditation, frequent reviews, and mandates about what services they must provide to remain part of the Federation, such as on-site abortion.

Planned Parenthood affiliates thus are ineligible to receive PPP loans, as part of an affiliated group that employs far more people than the number allowed for an initial or second-draw PPP loan.”

Co-signers of the letter, in addition to Barrasso and Lummis, include U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida and Jerry Moran of Kansas.

Senators sent a similar letter last year to the SBA, after Planned Parenthood organizations were awarded around $80 million. Each of Planned Parenthood’s state and local affiliates is a separate nonprofit, with its own leadership and funding organization, according to the Washington Post.

The SBA said in May that the local chapters are too closely affiliated with Planned Parenthood’s national organization to be considered independent entities. 

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Wyoming Gun Owners Criticize Cheney, Barrasso Over Trump Impeachment

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Wyoming Gun Owners Association has joined the chorus of organizations criticizing U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney for her vote this week to impeach President Donald Trump this week.

“Its (sic) a statewide embarrassment that our only voice in the House of Representatives, Liberal Liz, is included in this list of hyper moderates! What a joke….” the group wrote on its social media account this week, linking to a story from the New York Times that had a list of Congressional Republicans voting to impeach the president.

Cheney voted this week to impeach Trump on allegations that he incited a mob in Washington, D.C., to storm the Capitol. She has repeatedly said that her decision to impeach the president came from her conscience, not her political beliefs.

“There are times when those of us as elected officials are called on to act in a way that does not take politics into consideration,” she said. “Dealing with something as serious and as grave as the attack on the Capitol is one of those times.”

WYGO is also criticizing U.S. Sen. Barrasso, posting on its Facebook page a screenshot from Twitter that included a list of Republican senators leaning toward convicting Trump. The list included Barrasso and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

In the screenshot, someone has circled Barrasso’s name and added the acronym “WTH,” which means “What the hell.”

“Who does John Barrasso think he works for??? Has [sic] you or any other gun owners that you know of asked John to vote with Chuck Schumer and the hard left, to impeach President Trump??” WYGO wrote in the post.

It should be noted that Barrasso hasn’t publicly said whether or not he will help impeach Trump during a Senate trial.

WYGO has been known for attacking politicians and political candidates its members deem “RINOs,” or “Republicans in name only,” including making denigrating comments about former Wyoming legislators Michael von Flatern and Tyler Lindholm following their defeats in the primary election in August.

The organization is a conservative lobbying group headed by Aaron Dorr.

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Wyoming GOP Chair Says DC Rally Was Peaceful

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

The chairman of Wyoming’s Republican Party said although he attended a rally in support of President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, he did not see the storming of the Capitol that left four people dead.

Frank Eathorne, in a statement, said he saw only peaceful protesters during the rally held before Congress met to certify the results of the Electoral College vote that gave Democrat Joe Biden the victory in November’s presidential election.

“I attended the organized and peaceful rally near the White House on Jan. 6,” Eathorne said. “The lawn between the White House and the Washington Monument is a very large area and held an unknown number of peaceful demonstrators who came to listen to speakers including Rudy Giuliani and President Trump.”

Eathorne said as he left the rally, he saw no sign of the storming of the Capitol by thousands of protesters. He added he first learned of the incident while watching news reports later.

“No violence or property damage was observed during my time there including a brief stop in the vicinity of the Capitol building property,” the statement said. “I retired from the public gathering near mid-afternoon and watched the news of some reported events I personally had not witnessed.”

Eathorne endorsed Trump’s call for peace issued Wednesday evening.

“The president’s statement tonight urging peace and love is the right course of action,” his statement said.

According to officials, thousands of people identified as Trump supporters invaded the Capitol after the rally, forcing its evacuation as members of Congress discussed the certification of the Electoral College’s vote.

Congress reconvened Wednesday night and certified the Electoral College’s vote.

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Wyoming Democratic Party Condemns Attack on U.S. Capitol, Criticizes Lummis

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Wyoming Democratic Party on Wednesday condemned the attack on the U.S. Capitol building while also criticizing the state’s newest U.S. senator.

Wyoming Democratic Party Chair Joe Barbuto said in a statement that the attack, led by people described as supporters of President Donald Trump who don’t believe he lost November’s presidential election to former Vice President Joe Biden, was the culmination of the last four years of Trump’s presidency.

“These people are not protesters or patriots, they are domestic terrorists who were beckoned by the dog whistle of Trump,” Barbuto said. “The President of the United States is complicit in this violence, as are those who have enabled and defended his actions, conspiracy theories and words over the last four years.”

Barbuto included Wyoming’s congressional delegation as having enabled Trump, primarily newly sworn-in Sen. Cynthia Lummis, who has regularly praised Trump during his presidency, including supporting Trump‘s refusal to concede in the presidential election.

Lummis confirmed recently that she would contest the Electoral College vote confirming Biden as president-elect.

Barbuto criticized Lummis’ choice to contest the Electoral College vote, calling it “disturbing.”

“Her embrace of that rhetoric has only escalated the situation,” he said. “It is a disgrace to democracy, it is a disgrace to our nation and it is a disgrace to Wyoming. Sen. Lummis has no choice but to publicly withdraw her involvement in encouraging the rejection of election results and fulfill her sworn oath and constitutional duties in the peaceful transition of power.”

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Barrasso Calls For End to Storming Of U.S. Capitol

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso joined Wyoming colleague U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis on Wednesday in criticizing the crowds who invaded the U.S. Capitol as members of Congress prepared to certify the results of Electoral College votes from November’s election.

“This violence and destruction have no place in our republic,” Barrasso wrote in a Twitter post. “It must end now.”

Laura Menglekamp, Barrasso’s spokeswoman, said Barrasso and his staff were safe following the incident that forced the evacuation of the Capitol earlier in the day.

An undetermined number of protesters described as supporters of President Donald Trump breached the Capitol shortly after noon Wyoming time. The incident occurred shortly after Trump hosted a rally to encourage members of Congress to reject the Electoral College’s vote in favor of Democrat Joe Biden.

Barrasso and Lummis were on opposite sides of the Electoral College issue. Lummis joined 10 other Senate Republicans in announcing she would object to certification of the votes until an audit could be conducted of the elections in six states where Trump has alleged voter fraud occurred.

Barrasso, expressing opinions similar to those of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, said he would vote to certify the results because their rejection would mean Congress was selecting the next president rather than the voters.

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Trump Attacks Cheney, “Weak Congresspeople” During Wednesday Rally

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

President Donald Trump singled out U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney for scathing criticism during a rally appearance on Wednesday morning.

“The Liz Cheneys of the world. We have to get rid of them,” Trump said during his speech.

In recent days, Cheney has advised fellow Republican not to object to the outcome of the Electoral College vote that gave victory in November’s presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden.

The comments by Trump came during a rally that took place just hours before many of his supporters stormed the steps of the U.S. Capitol building, forcing evacuation of the building by the legislators inside. Members of Congress were preparing to decide on the certification of the Electoral College’s vote at the time.

During the rally, Trump also told his supporters to get rid of the “weak Congresspeople,” referring to those who didn’t agree with his belief that the presidential election was rigged or that Biden didn’t win fairly.

Trump also claimed that “big tech” rigged the election in Biden’s favor.

“We will never give up, we will never concede,” the president said during the rally. “It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.”

These comments come days after Cheney confirmed that she would vote to certify Biden’s win and also calling Trump’s recent phone call with the Georgia Secretary of State “disturbing.”

“Congress has an important role to play in supporting states as they address election fraud,” she previously said. “Congress does not, however, have the authority to overturn state presidential election results by refusing to count electors and thereby substituting our views for the votes of the people in the states. Doing so would be establishing a tyranny of Congress and stealing power from the states and the people in those states.”

Cheney’s position on certification of the Electoral College vote was shared by U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, who said he would vote in favor of certification during the joint session of Congress held Wednesday.

U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, however, joined 10 other Senate Republicans in saying she would object to to the Electoral College results until an audit of elections in states where Trump has suggested voter fraud occurred can be completed.

Lummis’ statements on the Electoral College vote won thanks from Trump during the rally.

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso confirmed Wednesday morning that he would also certify the Electoral College’s vote.

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Barrasso Votes to Certify Electoral College Decision

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

While expressing disappointment with the outcome of November’s presidential election, U.S. Sen. John Barrasso voted Wednesday to certify the results of the Electoral College vote that put former Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office.

Barrasso said he felt the Constitution outlines a process by which the states, not Congress, elect a president.

“Our founders entrusted the election of our president to the people, acting through the Electoral College, and not Congress,” Barrasso said in a statement. “The founding fathers wisely wanted each state, including low-population states like Wyoming, to have their voices heard and votes counted. The Constitution and federal law are clear that the power of Congress is limited to counting electoral votes submitted by the states.”

Barrasso said his vote to certify the Electoral College results follows what the Constitution dictates.

“In Wyoming, we pride ourselves on being guardians of the Constitution,” he said. “We must maintain that commitment as we protect and defend our Constitutional freedoms.”

The question of certification for Electoral College votes has led to a divide among members of Wyoming’s congressional delegation.

While Barrasso voted to certify the votes, U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis joined 10 colleagues in vowing to object to certification unless an emergency audit is conducted in states where questions have been raised about the legality of votes cast.

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney advised her fellow Republicans not to object to the Electoral College votes, voicing many of the same objections as Barrasso — primarily that if the objection stops certification of the votes, Congress will select the next president rather than the voters.

Barrasso said he has heard from people across Wyoming concerned about the outcome of the election and agreed that work needs to be done to fix improprieties in the election process.

“There is serious work that needs to be done to reform the election process and protect the integrity of ballots,” he said. “We should all be committed to that effort now.”

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Wyoming Republican Party Urges Delegation to Contest Electoral Vote

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Wyoming Republican Party and many of the state’s Republican legislators have sent a letter to the the state’s congressional delegates, urging them to object to certification of the Electoral College’s vote.

In a letter dated Saturday, Wyoming Republican Party Chairman W. Frank Eathorne asked U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, then Sen.-elect Cynthia Lummis and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney to contest the certification of the presidential election that pitted Presidential Donald Trump against former Vice President Joe Biden.

“Extensive evidence has surfaced that has led Wyoming Republicans to doubt the integrity of our presidential election in numerous states,” Eathorne wrote, referring to the multi-state lawsuit Gov. Mark Gordon refused to join that also questioned the validity of votes cast in the election.

Lummis and a number of other Republican senators have announced they plan to object to certification this week, until an audit can be completed of votes cast in states where questions about elections have surfaced.

Cheney, on the other hand, has questioned the wisdom of insisting on an audit of the votes, saying that would put the outcome of elections in the hands of Congress. Barrasso has been mum on the vote mostly, although he did recently admit to Fox News anchor Chris Wallace that Biden had been elected president.

“This is not about winning or losing. This is about being on the right side of history,” Eathorne wrote.

Seven currently-serving Wyoming senators (including Sens. Anthony Bouchard, Tom James and Bo Biteman) co-signed the letter, along with nine representatives (including outgoing Rep. Scott Clem and Rep. Clarence Styvar) and a number of incoming legislators, including Representatives-elect Ocean Andrew and Chip Neiman.

In a follow-up letter from Sunday, Reps. James Blackburn and Chuck Gray, as well as Senator-elect Tim French also signed on to join the letter.

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Four Thousand Sign Petition Calling for Barrasso to Object to Electoral Vote

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

More than 4,000 people have signed an online petition demanding that U.S. Sen. John Barrasso object to the certification of votes cast by the Electoral College.

The petition found on “standupforfairelections.com” was created by Rebecca Bextel, a Jackson business owner who said Barrasso and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney are not paying attention to the wishes of their constituents.

“It doesn’t seem like they’re even paying attention and I think that’s why the petition is so popular,” she told Cowboy State Daily. “People are saying they’re not even acknowledging their calls. Sen. Barrasso and Rep. Cheney are not representing the people of Wyoming.”

The votes cast by members of the Electoral College, which seem to point to a victory in the presidential election by former Vice President Joe Biden, are to be certified by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday.

U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis has joined 10 other Senate Republicans in saying she will object to that certification until an emergency audit of votes cast in states where allegations of election irregularities have been raised can be completed.

Cheney has said such action would improperly put the power to decide elections in the hands of Congress. Barrasso has said he would like to see an investigation into the irregularities that surfaced during the election, but he has also said he believes the Democrat Biden will be the next president.

Bextel’s petition, which had been signed by 4,028 people as of noon Tuesday, states that if Barrasso does not object to the certification, those who have signed will not vote for his re-election in 2024.

While Bextel has not launched a similar petition aimed at Cheney, she mentions the representative several times on her website.

“I didn’t make a petition for Cheney because I know she doesn’t care what we want,” she said.

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Wyoming GOP Applauds Legislators Contesting Electoral College Votes: “This Is The Time To Fight”

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Wyoming Republican Party is praising U.S. senators and representatives who are willing to contest the results of the Electoral College votes in the presidential election.

“We applaud those U.S. Senators and Representatives willing to stand against election fraud and object to certification of the ill-gotten swing States’ Electoral College votes on January 6th,” the organization wrote in a New Year’s post on their website.

The party, in its website, also linked to a story from The Epoch Times from Dec. 22 that discussed various Republican senators who stated their intention on Jan. 6 to contest the certification of the results of the election between President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden.

A request for comment from Wyoming Republican Party Chairman Frank Eathorne went unreturned as of Wednesday afternoon.

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, on stated his intention to contest the results on Tuesday. Sen. Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, has also confirmed he will contest the results.

“It is reasonable for the American people to expect that a majority of the U.S. Senate will refuse to certify the election, since Republicans control the Senate,” the Wyoming GOP wrote in its post. “This is no time to compromise with Democrats. Efforts to appease them will be for naught if Biden is sworn-in. If Biden does prevail, he should enter the White House with a well-earned stain of illegitimacy that a full Senate refusal to certify would ensure.”

The GOP also encouraged Wyoming residents to call on their congressional delegates, U.S. Sen.-elect Cynthia Lummis and U.S. Sen. John Barrasso and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, to request they also contest the vote.

“As Republicans, our Congressional delegation are all members of the Wyoming Republican Party so they should see no conflict in riding for the Republican brand and standing up for our most precious Constitutional right – the right to vote in free and fair elections,” the GOP wrote.

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Wyo State Rep. Clem Holding Rally to Protest “Tyranny” of Gov. Gordon

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Outgoing state Rep. Scott Clem of Gillette is making a statement as he leaves office by organizing a protest rally at the Wyoming State Capitol at noon on Jan. 4.

The “Free Wyoming Rally” will be a chance to “practice our constitutional rights to peaceably assemble and protest the tyranny of our Wyoming State Governor,” Clem wrote in a post on his legislative Facebook page.

Clem added that he scheduled the protest for Jan. 4 because it is the same week the statewide health orders, including the mask mandate, will expire and he wants citizens to “demand it stay that way.”

“The Governor and the Legislature have received thousands of emails from Wyomingites pleading for their rights to be upheld, to operate their businesses without gov’t infringement, to plead for their right to work and make a living, to see their loved ones who now suffer in a make-shift prison with a devalued quality of life, to reign in the power of the state health officer, to stand with Wyoming voters against election fraud in other states, and to stand with President Donald Trump,” Clem wrote.

All of the aforementioned requests have fallen on deaf ears, Clem claimed, adding that some of the people complaining have been ridiculed by government officials.

Clem also said that Wyomingites were being looked as subjects to be controlled by “Big Brother,” a reference to the tyrannical ruler in George Orwell’s novel “1984.”

He also claimed 70% of the state’s residents were “furious because our elected officials won’t stand for election integrity,” referring to Gov. Mark Gordon’s refusal to join a multi-state lawsuit questioning the validity of many votes cast in the presidential election.

“It’s time to take our unheard concerns to his front door at the Capitol,” Clem wrote. “It’s time to make them hear our voices. This is something to take off work for. This is something to assemble en masse for. It’s your turn to stand for the freedoms our fathers gave their lives for.”

A spokesperson for Gov. Mark Gordon told the Casper Star Tribune that the governor is supportive of anyone who carries out their First Amendment rights.

“As for the protests next week, the Governor has heard many criticisms from all sides and understands there are varying perspectives on how to handle this virus and its myriad impacts,” the spokesperson said.

A request for comment sent to the Wyoming Republican Party was not immediately returned as of Tuesday afternoon.

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Cheney: China Has Infiltrated Entertainment Industry

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney on Wednesday continued to question the congressional committee assignments of U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-California, who has been embroiled in controversy since it was revealed that one of his former fundraisers was apparently a Chinese spy.

Cheney told Fox and Friends on Wednesday morning that Swalwell represented a national security hazard.

“I think the real question is why Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi hasn’t taken action,” Cheney said. “We really need to make sure, across-the-board, we’re defending ourselves.”

News outlet Axios detailed an alleged political intelligence operation run by a civilian spy agency in China between 2011 and 2015. Swalwell is not suspected of any wrongdoing.

Pelosi appointed Swalwell to the House Intelligence Committee, which oversees a number of executive branch agencies and departments.

Cheney criticized Pelosi for pivoting the committee’s focus from potential international espionage to the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

“We as a nation cannot afford to have somebody as a Speaker of the House, who’s not serious about the most important national security threat we face,” Cheney said.

The representative also agreed with allegations by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, that many mainstream media outlets (such as The New York Times and the Washington Post) are affiliated with China, receiving money for promoting propaganda about the country.

She pointed as an example of the most recent example of Hollywood working with China to the live-action remake of “Mulan.”

It has been documented that the Chinese Communist Party is keeping Uighur Muslims in concentration camps in the Xinjiang Uighar Autonomous Region, and Cheney and a number of colleagues questioned the Walt Disney Company’s cooperation with China, since they are committing human rights violations.

“The Chinese government has managed to infiltrate the highest levels of our entertainment industry,” she said.

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Natrona County Legislator Says No More State Health Mandates

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A Natrona County legislator who opposes the new statewide mask mandate is working to prevent similar orders from being issued in the future.

Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, said he opposes all health mandates because he feels the decision to wearing masks should be left to each person, not required by an order from a government official.

“I’m working on a bill that will stop the state health officer and Governor from being able to issue these unconstitutional, out of control, and arbitrary orders. The legislature needs to go into session,” Gray wrote on his public Facebook account.

It is not clear when the 2021 Wyoming legislative session will be held or how lawmakers will meet, with the coronavirus pandemic continuing across the country.

More than 300 Wyomingites have died from the virus.

Gray was one of the more than 30 Wyoming legislators who signed a letter last week asking Gov. Mark Gordon to have Wyoming join a lawsuit contesting the validity of some votes cast in the presidential election between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump.

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Wyoming Legislators Defend Decision To Back Texas Lawsuit

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A number of the legislators who urged Wyoming to join a Texas lawsuit contesting the validity of votes cast in the presidential election have taken to social media to defend their decisions.

At least four legislators have made some sort of statement either explaining or defending their request for the state to support the lawsuit, which challenges whether or not former Vice President Joe Biden was the real winner of the presidential election.

More than 30 Wyoming representatives and senators asked Gov. Mark Gordon to have the state join a lawsuit filed against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that challenges the validity of millions of votes cast in those states.

The lawsuit alleges the four states made unconstitutional changes to their laws before the election that tainted the outcome.

Sen. Affie Ellis of Cheyenne said her call for Wyoming to join the challenge was based on concern that election laws were not followed in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Michigan.

“State legislators are constitutionally tasked with writing election laws to ensure integrity and public confidence,” she said. “Texas has filed a lawsuit to that effect and 17 other states have filed an amicus brief sharing Texas’ concerns. Our country depends on the integrity of fair elections. If the challenged states conducted their elections properly, they should have nothing to worry about.”

Rep. Landon Brown said his support for the Texas lawsuit does not reflect an unwillingness to accept an outcome of the presidential election. Rather, that the current president has the right to use the legal system to “see if it works.”

“This year we hear of potential issues with states violating their own constitution with isolated incidents,” he said. “Let me be clear, I do not believe that the amount of incidents would ultimately change the outcome of our elections, but the amicus brief states that we wish to have this hashed out and we have a vested interest in the outcome.”

Brown acknowledged Biden won the election more than once in his post, but still felt the lawsuit had validity and that Wyoming should still support it.

Rep. Scott Clem acknowledged he signed the letter in a post on Thursday, and also thanked U.S. Senator-elect Cynthia Lummis for her support of the legislators.

“Election integrity must be upheld,” he said.

Representative-elect Chip Neiman posted a statement to his Facebook page, urging Gordon to join the lawsuit.

“We must support Texas in their suit,” he said. “We should have a long time ago.”

Wyoming won’t join the lawsuit, as Gordon said as much in a statement on Thursday evening.

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Wyoming Legislators, GOP Ask Gordon To Join Texas Election Lawsuit

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

A group of Wyoming legislators and legislators-elect is asking Gov. Mark Gordon to have the state join a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas over the validity of votes cast in four states.

The group of 31 legislators, including nine senators- and representatives-elect, is asking that Wyoming join the lawsuit filed against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that challenges the validity of millions of votes cast in those states.

The lawsuit alleges the four states made unconstitutional changes to their laws before the election that tainted the outcome.

Eighteen other states have joined Texas in the lawsuit, which was filed directly with the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week and asks for an emergency order to block the certification of the electoral college vote and determine whether the four states allowed large numbers of “illegal” votes to be cast in the presidential election.

The letter to Gordon Wednesday repeats allegations that the four states exploited the coronavirus to “justify ignoring federal and state election laws and unlawfully enacting last-minute changes, thus skewing the 2020 General Election.”

Wyoming should join the lawsuit to help guarantee the integrity of the election process, the letter said.

“We, the undersigned … do hereby request Governor Mark Gordon to instruct the Attorney General of Wyoming to join the State of Texas in this lawsuit immediately in order to protect the sanctity of our election process and to ensure that Wyoming citizens’ vote will not be debased by the actions of the Defendant States,” it said.

The letter’s signers include Sen. Dan Dockstader, R-Afton, who was recently chosen as the president of the state Senate, and Sen. Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, who was recently selected Senate Majority Floor Leader.

Also urging Gordon to join the lawsuit is Wyoming’s Republican Party, which issued a statement on the issue on Tuesday urging action against what it called “rogue states” that unlawfully changed election laws.

“This is not a Donald Trump issue, this issue impacts all American states,” the statement said. “Texas shouldn’t be standing alone; too much is at stake. Governor Gordon values the Constitution. We stand with him and ask that he join forces with Governors and Attorneys General across the nation to defend the Constitution.”

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Enzi Delivers Farewell Speech To Senate

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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”

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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?

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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.
Email: poll@cowboystatedaily.com

Feel free to add comments:

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

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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)

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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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