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Lincoln County GOP Cancels Cheney; 8th County To Do So

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Lincoln County Republican Party has joined other county GOP parties in the state in rescinding its recognition of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney as a Republican.

The party overwhelmingly, but not unanimously, passed a resolution on Tuesday evening to rescind Cheney’s Republican status, county party Chairwoman Marti Halverson told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday.

“Most of the discussion centered on [the resolution saying] ‘Whereas, Representative Liz Cheney has attempted to legitimize her actions and personal political agenda by referring to the majority of Wyoming Republican Voters with terms such as “a misinformed mob, radical extremists, bigots, racists, promoters of the ‘big lie’, enemies of the state, conspiracy theorists, dangerous rot, & white supremacists,'” Halverson said.

She noted that the party also struck a line at the end of the resolution that quoted former President Donald Trump that said she was “fired.”

This is the eighth Republican Party in Wyoming to adopt such a resolution, following in the footsteps of parties in counties including Carbon, Park, Fremont and Uinta. Crook County rescinded its recognition of the representative as a Republican earlier this week.

Carbon County GOP chair Joey Correnti on Tuesday welcomed the Lincoln County Republican Party to the group.

“WELCOME LINCOLN COUNTY!!!” Correnti wrote on the party Facebook page. “Anyone who thought this was just going away, doesn’t understand the cyclic monthly county party meeting schedule. WE’RE DEFINITELY BACK IN ACTION!!!”

Cheney has been criticized by some Republicans in Wyoming for her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump on allegations he encouraged attendees at a rally to invade the U.S. Capitol.

When asked about Cheney’s reaction to these actions by the Uinta and Platte county organizations last month, the representative’s spokesman Jeremy Adler pointed Cowboy State Daily to an earlier statement.

“Liz will continue to fight for all the people of Wyoming. She knows that she and all elected officials are bound by their duty under the U.S. Constitution, not by blind loyalty to one man,” he told Cowboy State Daily in August.

Bouchard Defends Removed Facebook Post Wishing For Fauci To Be Executed

in News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Congressional candidate Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, has no regrets about a social media post he made last week suggesting the execution of White House medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, a spokeswoman told Cowboy State Daily on Monday.

Last week, Bouchard posted a meme to his campaign page about Fauci that alleged he lied about the COVID pandemic and suggesting he should be prosecuted.

“After prosecution, the chair, the gallows, or lethal injection?” Bouchard wrote in the post, which was accompanied by an image of Fauci superimposed and a hanging noose. The senator told WyoFile that he made the meme himself.

As of Monday, the post had been removed, and campaign spokeswoman April Poley was not sure why it had been taken down, she told Cowboy State Daily.

However, she did say that she didn’t believe the senator had any regrets about making the post.

“I think he is pretty clear with his thoughts on Fauci in that post,” she told Cowboy State Daily on Monday.

Fauci has been criticized for his handling of the pandemic, especially by Bouchard. The senator has expressed his displeasure at Fauci for not promoting the controversial coronavirus treatments of ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine, both of which Bouchard has touted in social media posts.

“Fauci lied. People died,” Poley said.

Bouchard has never been one to shy away from expressing his opinions, whether they be controversial or not, Poley said, adding he is not the type of person to check on what voters think about an issue before commenting.

“He doesn’t do voter opinion polling before he says what he thinks,” she said.

Bouchard is one of the candidates staying in the congressional race following Cheyenne attorney Harriet Hageman’s announcement last week that she would be seeking the Republican nomination for Wyoming’s lone House of Representatives seat. Former President Donald Trump endorsed Hageman just hours after she announced her run.

Bouchard said Wyoming voters shouldn’t trust Hageman because she “was a close friend of Cheney.”

“Harriet has never been elected,” Bouchard said. “She doesn’t have a voting record, and now the voters should trust a party operative that is a long time close friend of Cheney? Trump has once again surrounded himself with the wrong advisors and he’s endorsed the same candidate that Liz Cheney would endorse to replace her in her congressional seat.”

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Hageman Says She’s Running For Congress Because Cheney Betrayed Wyoming

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. House of Representatives candidate Harriet Hageman gave her first televised interview on Thursday night, telling Fox News host Laura Ingraham she was running for the lone House seat because incumbent U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney “betrayed” Wyoming.

Ingraham pointed out that Hageman has previously been a Cheney friend, supporter and donor and questioned what made her want to enter the House race.

“It’s very simple: Liz Cheney has betrayed Wyoming,” Hageman replied. “She betrayed all of us and she betrayed me. Had I known five years ago that Liz Cheney would align herself with [Speaker of the House Nancy] Pelosi and the radical Democrats in Washington, D.C., I probably wouldn’t have taken that first phone call.”

Hageman only announced her candidacy on Thursday, with an endorsement from former President Donald Trump following just hours later.

In that time, two House candidates have exited the race, Cheyenne attorney Darin Smith and Bryan Miller. However, candidates Sen. Anthony Bouchard and Denton Knapp will stay in the race.

Rep. Chuck Gray has not responded to requests for comment about whether or not he will drop out.

Hageman said some of the issues she took with Cheney was the congresswoman’s decision to impeach the former president earlier this year following the Capitol riot in January, as well as her serving on the Jan. 6 commission investigating the events of the riot.

“She is focusing on issues that are important to the Democrats in Washington, D.C. as they attempt to deflect attention from the absolute disaster that is the Biden administration,” she said. “She continues to bash President Trump, as well as the citizens of Wyoming.”

Hageman added that Wyoming’s voters sent her to Washington, D.C. to be Trump’s ally, as 70% of the state voted for him in the 2020 presidential election, and to pursue conservative values.

Ingraham pointed to Cheney’s response to Hageman’s congressional campaign announcement with a tweet saying “Bring it,” but the attorney was not intimidated by her opponent.

“I’m not sure that that projects a lot of confidence,” Hageman said. “She wants to spend her time fighting with President Trump rather than fighting Biden and Pelosi.”

During her interview, Hageman made a dig at Cheney’s lack of time spent in Wyoming, noting she is a Wyoming native whose family has lived in the state for generations.

“The state of Wyoming deserves to be represented by someone from Wyoming, by someone who was born and raised here, as I was, someone who has Wyoming’s best interests at heart,” she said.

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Carbon County GOP Chairman Correnti Asks House Candidates If They Will Drop Out

in News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The chairman of the Carbon County Republican Party asked Wyoming’s U.S. House candidates on Thursday if they will drop out of the race following former President Donald Trump’s endorsement of new candidate Harriet Hageman.

During a House candidate forum held earlier this year, many of the contenders indicated they would abandon their runs if Trump did not endorse them.

Correnti emailed the House candidates on Thursday morning and pointedly asked them about their plans.

“Based on your earlier statement when asked ‘Candidates, will you endorse the candidate that President Trump endorses…at the K.W. Miller Forum, [your] answer was ‘YES GOP NATIONAL AN GOP WYOMING,'” Correnti wrote.

“Based on your answer to that question, and the newly formed situation where President Trump has now officially endorsed Harriet Hageman…are you prepared to honor your word to the people and endorse Harriet…for Wyoming’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and step aside in this race?”

It wasn’t clear if any of the candidates to which he reached out responded.

Candidates Denton Knapp, Darin Smith and Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, did not immediately respond to Cowboy State Daily’s question about if they were going to drop it. Smith and Gray also met with the former president earlier in the summer.

Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, will stay in the race, campaign spokeswoman April Poley confirmed to Cowboy State Daily.

“He isn’t one of the five that promised to drop out,” she said.

Congresswoman Liz Cheney reacted to the endorsement by posting Trump’s statement on her Twitter account along with two words:  “Bring it.”

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Harriet Hageman Announces Her Run For Congress

in News/Liz Cheney/politics

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

Fresh off the reports that former gubernatorial candidate Harriet Hageman will receive a endorsement from former President Trump, Hageman on Thursday announced she is running for U.S. Congress.

Choosing to make the initial announcement digitally (on Facebook and on her website), Hageman said Cheney “doesn’t represent Wyoming” and that the state “deserves better.”

“I’m running for Congress because I am a Deep-Rooted Wyomingite who is sick of being misrepresented in Washington. We need a Tough Conservative to stand up against Nancy Pelosi, not help her divide Republicans,” Hageman said.

“Liz Cheney cast her lot with the Washington, D.C. elites and those who use their power to further their own agenda at our expense,” she said. “She doesn’t represent Wyoming and she doesn’t represent conservatives. We deserve better. We demand better. I am running to represent Wyomingites and take our state back from big government.”

It’s been a week full of announcements for Hageman. On Tuesday, she resigned as the state’s national Republican commiteewoman. On Wednesday, reports surfaced that former President Trump had selected Hageman as his choice to run against Cheney.

And today’s announcement will undoubtedly be followed by a formal press event announcing her bid.

Of the other candidates who are running against Cheney, only state Sen. Anthony Bouchard offered a response to Trump’s selection of Hageman.

“Harriet has never been elected,” he said. “She doesn’t have a voting record, and now the voters should trust a party operative that is a long time close friend of Cheney? Trump has once again surrounded himself with the wrong advisors and he’s endorsed the same candidate that Liz Cheney would endorse to replace her in her congressional seat.”

Cheyenne attorney Darin Smith and state Rep. Chuck Gray did not respond to requests from Cowboy State Daily for comment.

This story is ongoing and will be updated.

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Lummis Says Raising Debt Ceiling Would Just Be Kicking Can Down The Road

in News/Cynthia Lummis/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis took to social media on Wednesday to discuss the national debt ceiling, which she doesn’t feel should be raised, as it would just be akin to kicking the can down the road.

This week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that Democratic leadership should either raise or suspend the debt ceiling as soon as possible, as the nation is in trouble on defaulting on its debt, according to CNBC.

“I wasn’t in office last time we had this fight, but I would have voted no then too,” Lummis wrote on social media Wednesday morning, linking to a Politico article about the situation. “Raising the debt ceiling is just another attempt to kick the can down the road instead of fixing our spending problem.”

Congress raised the debt ceiling in 2017 under former President Donald Trump.

On Friday, Lummis also posted a link to an opinion piece by U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin in the Wall Street Journal, noting why he wouldn’t support spending another $3.5 trillion due to the nation’s rising debt.

“Joe Manchin is right, ‘An overheating economy has imposed a costly ‘inflation tax’ on every middle- and working-class American” and our national debt is the “biggest threat to national security,’” Lummis wrote.

Lawmakers have until some time in October to decide on raising or suspending the debt ceiling.

According to CNBC, the ceiling prevents the U.S. Treasury from issuing new bonds to fund government activities once a certain debt level, or date, is reached.

That level reached $22 trillion in August 2019 and was suspended until the end of July 2021. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in July that the new cap will likely come in just north of $28.5 trillion.

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Cheney Opponents Call Her “Traitor” and “Climbing Ranks of Dem Party” After Jan 6 Committee Appointment

in News/Liz Cheney/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Two of the candidates for Wyoming’s lone U.S. House seat criticized U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney after she was appointed vice chair of the Jan. 6 commission on Thursday, with both saying she is more supportive of the Democrat Party than the Republican.

Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, and Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday that Cheney was acting in a traitorous fashion by accepting the appointment.

“In her true form, Liz Cheney is climbing the ranks of the Democrat Party instead of working for the Republican voters in Wyoming that put her in office,” Bouchard said.

“Liz Cheney is a traitor to Wyoming and all Americans,” Gray said. “She hates our western values and people who question the government.  Cheney is Nancy Pelosi’s pet.”

The Casper representative also called the commission a “plain, simple attempt to scare anyone out of questioning the results of the fraudulent election.”

“With Liz Cheney’s being appointed Vice Chair to the committee, she again signals that she believes her only duty is to maintain her family’s power in DC and quash our movement,” Gray said. “That’s disgusting, despicable, and un-American. Liz Cheney has been and will always be a sell-out to the radical socialists. Cheney must be removed from the Republican conference and removed from all of her committee assignments.”

Bouchard and Gray are among at least eight Republicans seeking the GOP nomination for Congress in the 2022 primary election.

Cheyenne businessman Darin Smith, another candidate for the office did not immediately return Cowboy State Daily’s request for comment.

The appointment of Cheney, one of only two Republicans on the panel, was announced to the leadership post on Thursday morning by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, where he said her selection “underscores the bipartisan nature” of the committee.

Cheney confirmed the in a statement Thursday morning, when she said the committee is dedicated to “conducting a non-partisan, professional, and thorough investigation of all the relevant facts.”

Meanwhile, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus has asked GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to remove Cheney from the committee.

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Cheney: Biden Handed Afghanistan Over To Taliban, ISIS

in News/Liz Cheney/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw United States forces from Afghanistan after 20 years was ultimately the move that handed the country over to terrorist organizations, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney said Tuesday.

“If President Biden were serious about defending America from the threat of terror, he wouldn’t have surrendered to the terrorists and handed the Taliban, al Qaeda and ISIS an entire country from which they can plot and plan terror attacks against America,” she said on Twitter.

“You don’t end wars by surrendering,” she said. “You don’t secure America by leaving Americans behind enemy lines, betraying our allies, and empowering our enemies. This isn’t ending a war. It’s losing one.”

Addressing the nation on Tuesday, Biden said withdrawal from the country was the best available option and that it would have been just as messy if launched weeks earlier, according to the news agency Reuters. Earlier this month, the Taliban terrorist organization took control of the Afghan government.

Multiple people have been killed in the chaos in the country since the Taliban took control, including Wyoming Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, who was set to become a father in just a few weeks.

The war in Afghanistan saw more than 2,500 Americans and more than 240,000 Afghans killed in its two-decade duration. Many Afghans are fleeing to the United States, but Gov. Mark Gordon has stated he has no interest in accepting refugees into Wyoming.

Two Wyoming representatives publicly disagreed with the governor over the weekend, saying that Wyoming should have some type of refugee program to accept those displaced.

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Cheyenne Rep Drafts Bill Banning Workplace Vaccine Mandates

in News/Coronavirus/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A state representative has drafted a bill that would prohibit employers from adopting vaccine requirements for their employees.

The draft is sponsored by Rep. Sue Wilson, R-Cheyenne, but hasn’t yet been assigned a bill number. Wilson told Cowboy State Daily on Friday that she began working on the bill in April after she saw news stories about the potential of vaccine mandates becoming a problem.

“I have received quite a few emails from other legislators and citizens (particularly those in healthcare jobs) who agree with the bill’s approach and do not want to see vaccine mandates,” she said.

She brought the bill to the House Labor Committee in June so the legislators could consider sponsoring it, as she and many of the other lawmakers believed they would have a special session in July to appropriate American Rescue Plan funds.

The committee voted 13-1 to sponsor the bill, but since there was no special session this summer, the legislature will consider the bill during the next session in February.

“The bill uses existing terminology and requirements from labor law and court decisions,” Wilson said. “The bill would require an employer to make reasonable accommodation for employees who do not wish to be vaccinated, unless the accommodation would create an undue hardship or pose a direct threat to health. Courts and HR offices have been threading this needle for several decades, so I felt this language was the best way to find a middle path between rights of an employee and rights of an employer.”

She added that she believed vaccine mandates are more intrusive and on a different level than a mask mandate, which the legislature has authorized to be made locally.

The bill proposes a ban workplace vaccine mandates, calling them discriminatory and an unfair employment practice.

It would also require health care facilities, governmental entities and essential service providers to offer reasonable accommodations for people unable or unwilling to provide sufficient proof of immunization.

Finally, it would create a personal exemption to mandatory vaccinations for school children.

Wyoming’s Legislature opens its budget session on Feb. 14.

No Wyoming-owned businesses or government entities have implemented a vaccine requirement. However, some companies, such as Banner Health, which operates a number of health care facilities in the state, including the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, have done so.

Active members of the U.S. military will also have to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

Gov. Mark Gordon has refused to implement any new health mandates, masks or otherwise. Instead, he is allowing Wyoming cities, counties and school districts decide for themselves on whether or not a mask mandate is appropriate.

Only Montana has passed a law now banning workplace vaccine mandates.

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South Dakota Gov. Noem Promises To Fight Any Possible Federal Vaccine Mandate

in News/Coronavirus/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Despite the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine on Monday, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem will not stand for any vaccine mandates in her state.

Noem took to social media on Monday afternoon to reassure her state’s residents there would be no mandates coming out of her office and she would fight President Joe Biden if he decided to impose a national vaccine mande.

“If President Biden illegally mandates vaccines, I will take every action available under the law to protect South Dakotans from the federal government,” Noem said on her social media account on Monday afternoon.

Earlier this year, Noem also banned “vaccine passports” in South Dakota in action similar to that taken by many of her Republican counterparts.

Michael Pearlman, spokesman for Gov. Mark Gordon, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment for the Wyoming governor’s thoughts on a potential federal mandate.

However, state health officer Dr. Alexia Harrist reaffirmed in a statement on Monday that there would be no vaccine mandates for Wyoming students returning to school, something Gordon told news reporters last week during a call.

“While there will be no state vaccine mandate in Wyoming, we know promoting vaccination among eligible students, school staff, family members and throughout our communities can help schools stay open and vibrant as well as help keep students and their teachers in the classroom,” Harrist said. “An additional benefit to COVID-19 vaccination is that individuals who are fully vaccinated and identified as close contacts do not need to quarantine, which can be helpful in the school setting.”

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