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Cale Case

Cale Case: Big-Tent Republicans, We Need You

in Cale Case/Column

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By Cale Case, guest columnist
Cale Case is a Wyoming State Senator representing Senate District 25

I recently received a fund-raising appeal, that says, “Dear Friend, The Liberal elites, the Fake News Media and the Marxist Democrats hate America — and they hate you.”

I am tired of the politics of hate and disparagement.   I look forward to the primary election as an opportunity to reset the direction of the nation and the Wyoming Republican Party.  

I am with those who are concerned that Wyoming’s Republican Party leadership is narrowly focused on a small set of strong views that do not represent Republican values and growth of the Party. 

Increasingly, Party officials and events and our government meetings are characterized by hate, threats, and even violence.  Yet I am convinced that most Wyoming Republicans trend more towards the real issues and value civility and collaboration in service to the state.

At every turn, the Republican State Party leadership gives voice to a minority viewpoint that will not tolerate disagreement.  Tactics include censure and RINO-labeling of any dissenting viewpoint.  This party’s central committee proposed to require citizens to choose and maintain a party affiliation aligned with an extreme platform before candidates even begin filing for office. 

To keep this narrow focus alive – made narrower by the exodus of the Reagan Republicans from the Party’s confrontational politics – numerous vacancies have been filled by hand-picked appointments of likeminded people.   And in at least one instance, now the focus of a lawsuit, a county party has stacked its leadership with unelected members. 

Party leadership is making moves to block duly elected precinct committee and selected delegates from the more moderate Natrona and Laramie counties from participating in the state convention echo chamber where the party platform will be decided. 

The party of Lincoln and Ronald Reagan’s Big Tent has become the party of exclusion.  Reagan’s 11th commandment about not speaking ill of fellow Republicans has become a relic of the past.

We must keep the door open offering our party as the only practical answer for those who, overall, are individualists. And because this is the great common denominator this dedication to the belief in mans aspirations as an individual we cannot offer them a narrow sectarian party in which all must swear allegiance to prescribed commandments. (Sic)” Ronald Reagan

I write to encourage those who believe in the Big Tent to either become or get back involved in party politics.  It matters now more than ever.  Help us make it the party of ideas and not intimidation. 

I urge you to run as precinct committeeman and committeewoman and run for public office, to support pragmatic Republican candidates, to restore civility, and to help contribute to finding meaningful solutions for Wyoming’s challenges, including making our economy relevant in a carbon-concerned world.

August 16th might be the most important election in Wyoming’s recent history. With the national focus on our Congressional race, the 2022 primary also represents a litmus test for the haters and excluders here and across the nation.  I urge your attention, your engagement – your candidacy for precinct committeeperson, and ask that you work to make our party more, not less.

Cale Case, PhD

Wyoming Senate, Lander

This column benefited from the input and criticism of some old guard republicans, newly energized republicans, galvanized republicans and democrat or two – every one a lover of Wyoming.

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Fremont County Sen. Cale Case Urges Colleagues Not To Have Special Session

in News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Longtime Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, sent out a document over the weekend to his fellow legislators explaining why he believes the Legislature’s upcoming special session is a bad idea.

Case sent his colleagues a “white paper,” an informational document detailing the philosophy and guidance of a complex issue. The document was initially written by Equality State Policy Center executive director Chris Merrill in December, but he and Case revised it to apply to the session.

In the paper, Case explains why he believes it is a bad idea for the House and Senate to consider the same bills at the same time in a “mirror” arrangement. Usually, a bill is reviewed by one chamber and, if approved, sent to the other for review.

“We have two houses for a reason,” Case wrote. “Mirror bills and expedited scheduling defeats bicameralism at least in part because the reviews are not independent as they are both at the same time or in the same ‘passion.'”

The Legislature is to begin a three-day special session on Tuesday to formulate the state’s response to President Joe Biden’s mandate that federal workers, health care employees and employees at companies employing more than 100 people receive the coronavirus vaccine or be tested regularly for the illness.

The Biden administration has not yet issued the rules that will be required to put the mandate into effect.

In his email to his fellow legislators on Saturday, Cale noted that he has served as the Senate chairman of the Select Committee on Legislative Process for a number of years and in that role, he and the committee have worked hard to improve transparency and public access to the legislative process.

“The rules proposed for the Special Session are a step backward,” Case wrote in the email. “I encourage you to vote no on the proposed rules and conduct all our work with maximum transparency and opportunity for public education and participation.”

Should a majority of the legislators vote “no” on the proposed rules, the special session will be adjourned on Tuesday or lawmakers will have to abide by the rules for a regular legislative session.

Thirty-five Wyoming representatives and 17 senators voted in favor of holding a special session, while 12 representatives and seven senators voted against holding one. Case was one of the senators who voted against the session.

In the document, Case and Merill detail how the traditional legislative process upholds the spirit and intent of the Wyoming Constitution and fulfills the vision of the Founding Fathers.

“The ‘mirror bill’ process—even in the best of circumstances and with the best of intentions—does not,” Case and Merill wrote. “It is a deeply flawed, inferior approach to lawmaking that undermines the wisdom and intent of a bicameral legislature. It compresses the timeline for deliberations, eliminates the one-chamber-at-a-time principle, eliminates the key ‘crossover’ moment (which allows for a fresh infusion of public input and new information), and severely limits—even eliminates at key points—public input and involvement.”

Case told Cowboy State Daily last week that he felt the special session was a bad idea.

“I don’t agree with the federal mandates on employers and I want to be clear about that,” Case said. “But I don’t see a legislative path to fix that.”

An op-ed published Monday and penned by various non-partisan officials from across the state also objected to the session.

“This is not about whether or not you support mandates,” the opinion piece said. “Regardless of your position on vaccinations or masks, fast-tracking legislation undermines the deliberative process that is the hallmark of good lawmaking.”

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Legislator on Wyoming’s Economy: “Even Optimistic Outlook Has Terrible Impacts”

in News/Coronavirus/Economy

By Ike Fredregill, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s savings and federal relief funding combined might not be enough to save the state from economic damage left in the wake of COVID-19, state legislators said.

fiscal analysis sent to legislators on April 10 by the Legislative Service Office (LSO), the agency tasked with providing administrative services for the Legislature, predicted the novel coronavirus would take a heavy toll on state revenue.

“It is showing really huge impacts,” said Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander. “Even the optimistic outlook has terrible impacts.”

The analysis offered three scenarios — optimistic, intermediate and pessimistic — in which the state’s revenue could fall from current projections by $555.8 million to almost $2.8 billion by the end of fiscal 2022.

Case, an economist and Senate Revenue Committee chairman, said the decline is driven by the pandemic, but an “oil war” between Russia and Saudi Arabia also caused significant damage to revenue projections.

“When we had forecasts late last fall, the saving grace in those predictions was oil offsetting the loss of revenue,” Case said. “This new analysis is saying this could be worse than our worst year since 1980.”

In the case of the analysis’ pessimistic outlook, Wyoming’s rainy day fund, the Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account, of $1.6 billion wouldn’t keep the state afloat for more than six months, Case said.

“At the very basic level, we don’t have enough revenues to run state government,” he added. “We don’t even have enough revenues to run state government even if we cut it by a lot, and I mean a lot.”

While the analysis admits the projections are “informed guesses,” Case and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. Eli Bebout, R-Riverton, said they felt it was accurate.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence in our LSO staff,” Bebout said. “I think the three scenarios (the LSO) laid out are fairly realistic.”

The optimistic viewpoint indicates Wyoming might only lose about $555.8 million in revenue if businesses reopen immediately and sales return to normal, but Bebout said the intermediate outlook — a loss of about $1.76 billion over the next three years — was far more likely

“I don’t think we’ll ever have business as usual quite like it was before this happened,” he explained. “I think we’ll see some long-term effects, but we’re going to figure it out.”
Part of the solution could be $1.25 billion in federal aid as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Bebout said Wyoming started receiving Friday.

But, the relief cannot be spent as a direct replacement of state revenue.
“There’s all sorts of strings tied to that money,” Bebout said. “We don’t know what they are for sure yet.”

A special session could be needed to determine how the money could be used and would be the first step of Bebout’s three-pronged approach to the pandemic’s economic impacts. 

His second step would be to look at the budget Wyoming Legislature approved a few weeks ago to determine if the state’s proposed spending is still feasible in a post-pandemic economy.

“Lastly, we need to try get business back to normal as best we can, continuing our conservative fiscal responsibility and try not to get in debt,” Bebout said. “We can’t cut our way into this issue, but we sure as heck can’t spend our way into it, either.”

Following a Wyoming Management Council meeting Thursday, Case said legislative special sessions could be on the horizon in the next couple months.

“(The council) approved the interim topics that still need to be addressed and were important to Wyoming even before COVID-19 hit,” he said. “And they also agreed to work on some preliminary bills for introduction in a special session, regarding COVID-19.”

Bebout said the council meeting reinforced the need to not only address the pandemic challenges, but also the issues at hand prior to COVID-19.

“We’re going to continue with our normal work load — that’s really important.,” he explained. 

“Second of all is a willingness by the Management Council to work with the governor to deal with these issues that are top of the list and do it together.”

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