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Chuck Gray

Casper Rep Praises Failure Of Film Incentive Bill; C. J. Box Not As Happy

in News/Legislature

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

There’s a difference of opinion between two Chucks over the Wyoming Legislature’s decision not to introduce a bill this week that would have provided incentives for film and TV productions.

House Bill 93 would have provided rebates to film production companies through the state’s tourism board as incentive for film production in Wyoming.

However, it failed to win introduction, nearly splitting the House of Representatives, with 32 representatives voting to send it on for further consideration and 28 voting not to do so.

As a non-budget bill considered during a budget session, two-thirds of House members would have had to vote for its introduction to move it forward in the legislative process.

Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, one of the legislators who voted against the bill, praised his colleagues for keeping it from being introduced.

“This bill was wrong for our state and it’s good news that it failed introduction,” Gray told Cowboy State Daily. “The bill would have wrongly used $3 million of state funds every two years to pay the invoices of film studios. That is an inappropriate use of state funds.”

Other legislators who voted “nay” on the bill included Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne, Rep. Chip Neiman, R-Hulett and Rep. John Bear, R-Gillette.

But best-selling author C.J. “Chuck” Box said he was disappointed the bill did not gain any traction this legislative session. Box has regularly testified to legislative committees in favor of such an incentive program, saying it would benefit the state.

“Our Wyoming Legislature has shown, once again, that they have very little interest in creating new industries and new employment in the state,” Box told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday. “We can only hope that they’ll reconsider this in the future.”

Box has noted before that while he has pushed to have the adaptations of his novels “Joe Pickett” and “Big Sky” filmed in Wyoming, the production companies have chosen other states or even Canada to film due to production incentives and cheaper costs.

The 32 representatives that voted to introduce the bill included Rep. Karlee Provenza, D-Laramie, Rep. Steve Harshman, R-Casper and Rep. Mike Yin, D-Jackson.

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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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Bouchard, Gray Call For NPR, Public Media to Be Defunded

in News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Two of Wyoming’s legislators and current congressional candidates are calling for an end to federal funding for National Public Radio and other public media.

Both Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, and Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, called for defunding NPR on Monday.

“Public Media needs to be defunded! #DefundNPR #DefundTheLeft” Bouchard wrote on social media.

He added that Wyoming Republicans didn’t listen to the “liberal blather” on NPR.

Bouchard campaign spokeswoman April Poley told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday that the senator made the post after being sent an article by state Rep. Bob Wharff, R-Evanston, from NPR quoting an author who maintains the Second Amendment is based in racist principles.

The article in question was a June 2 interview with historian Carol Anderson about her book “The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America,” which traces the roots of the Second Amendment and potential racist ties.

“One of the things that I argue throughout this book is that it is just being Black that is the threat. And so when you mix that being Black as the threat with bearing arms, it’s an exponential fear,” Anderson said in the interview. “This isn’t an anti-gun or a pro-gun book. This is a book about African Americans’ rights.”

Anderson was inspired to write the book after the 2016 shooting of Philando Castile, a Black man who had a license to carry a concealed weapon but was killed by police during a traffic stop. Castile’s girlfriend posted the aftermath of the shooting on social media, causing a frenzy online.

Poley pointed out that Gray posted a similar message about defunding NPR about four hours after Bouchard’s post.

#DefundNPR,” Gray wrote on Twitter Monday morning.

Gray told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday afternoon that he saw an article from Fox News that claimed NPR described the Declaration of Independence as a document with “flaws and deeply ingrained hypocrisies.”

“The radical left-wing NPR does not hold our values and should be immediately defunded,” the representative said.

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Cheney Challengers Criticize Congresswoman’s Jan 6 Committee Assignment

in News/Liz Cheney

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

It was a political heyday for at least three candidates who are running against Rep. Liz Cheney for Wyoming’s sole congressional seat.

The appointment by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Cheney to the Select House Committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol was an opportunity for challengers of the seat to turn the incumbent into a piñata. And they took many swings.

The three candidates had different strategies. Two opponents demanded that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy remove Cheney from her other committee assignments.

“I now call on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to immediately strip Liz Cheney of her committee assignments and replace her with a trustworthy conservative who will represent the Wyoming values that Liz Cheney has abandoned,” Cheyenne lawyer Darin Smith said.

Wyoming State Rep. Chuck Gray upped the ante by calling for her removal from the House Republican Caucus as well. 

“She should immediately be removed from her committee assignments by the Republican Caucus and also be removed from the Republican Caucus itself,” Gray said.

Gray also said Cheney was a “sell-out to the radical socialists” and called her vote in favor of creating the select committee “disgusting, despicable, and un-American.”

Smith’s language, on the other hand, wasn’t as colorful, as he simply said the congresswoman “was not up to the task” of fighting and taking America back.

State Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, didn’t demand Cheney be removed from anything but did summarize Cheney’s appointment to his Twitter and Facebook followers in his descriptive way: “Did you miss the news today? Liz Cheney KISSED Pelosi’s ring and licked her shoes. #YUK.”

Bouchard also called himself a “Conservative Pitbull” who “will put America first.”

“Send me to the swamp, and I’ll take a chunk out of their leg,” he said.

Both Gray and Smith brought up the 2020 presidential election. Gray was more bold calling the election “illegitimate” and “fraudulent.” While Smith didn’t take a position on the validity of the election , he said there were “legitimate concerns with an election that appeared deeply flawed to millions of people.”

Smith also said the events surrounding the melee on January 6 had been mischaracterized.

“Contrary to popular belief, most people who attended the January 6th protest were peaceful and law-abiding citizens who were expressing their Constitutional right to speak, assemble, and protest,” he said.

“I know this because I was there. I’m proud to have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands of my fellow citizens to express support for President Donald J. Trump and raise legitimate concerns with an election that appeared deeply flawed to millions of Americans,” Smith said. “Unfortunately, a small-mix of co-opters and/or poorly trained protesters crossed lines that should never have been crossed.”

Meanwhile, Cheney expressed appreciation for being named to the committee.

“I’m honored to have been named to serve on the January 6th select committee,” she said in a statement. “Congress is obligated to conduct a full investigation of the most serious attack on our Capitol since 1814.”

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