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Matt Gaetz

Cheney Detractor Matt Gaetz Sees Troubles Continue

in News/politics
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A Florida congressman known for his criticisms of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney is seeing major troubles in his life after it was announced last week he was being investigated for sex trafficking.

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican, is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice into allegations he had sex with an underage girl and other women who were provided drugs and money in violation of sex trafficking and prostitution laws.

Gaetz has denied all the allegations, but the hits seem to keep coming for the Florida representative.

On Thursday, an Illinois congressman called on Gaetz to resign, something he has refused to do since news of the investigation broke last week.

“Matt Gaetz needs to resign,” U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger tweeted Thursday night, linking to a Daily Beast article about allegations against Gaetz that included information about his Venmo transactions with an accused sex trafficker.

Gaetz has also been accused of using his cell phone while on the floor of Congress to show nude photos of women to other members of Congress, according to CNN.

Two of his staffers, his legislative director and communications director, have also resigned from their positions since the allegations have gone public, according to Forbes.

According to the Associated Press, Gaetz has hired prominent New York attorneys amid the probe.

“Matt has always been a fighter. A fighter for his constituents, a fighter for the country, and a fighter for the Constitution. He’s going to fight back against the unfounded allegations against him,” Gaetz’s office said in a statement Friday, adding that his lawyers “will take the fight to those trying to smear his name with falsehoods.”

Gaetz has been in some type of political office since 2010, serving for six years in the Florida House of Representatives. He was elected to Congress in 2016 and has been known for his vehement support of former President Donald Trump.

In fact, Gaetz traveled to Wyoming earlier this year to speak out against Cheney for her impeachment vote against the former president for allegedly inciting a riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

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

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 Rep. Ocean Andrew, R-Laramie.

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Rod Miller: The Matt Gaetz Political Death-Spiral

in News/politics
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By Rod Miller, columnist

Matt Gaetz’ political death-spiral is obviously highly entertaining to some, but its also instructive. When you are finished either laughing or crying over this soap opera, take a bit of time to really think about what happened.

Gaetz was, just a short while ago, the corn-fed, rosy-cheeked favorite son of the Trump wing of the Republican Party, and poster boy of 21st Century conservative values. Today, he is one more living example of H.L. Mencken’s truism that, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.”

The Wyoming Republican Party was so frantic to shame Rep. Liz Cheney for her vote supporting Trump’s impeachment, that they brought Gaetz to a rally in Cheyenne, and turned him loose to support any candidate challenging Cheney in the GOP primary.

Gaetz was showered with love and attention by Trump’s Wyoming base. Selfies with “the true voice of conservative thought today” were snapped by the hundreds., He was all but canonized in comments on social media about his love for Wyoming.

Today, those same folks’ lips are zipped while Gaetz is accused of being a sexual predator who traffics in underage girls across state lines. This elegant moment of political irony was brought to you by Ocean Andrew, Anthony Bouchard and the “Cancel Cheney” movement in the Cowboy State.

Here’s the lesson in this very public meltdown of a once-powerful politician, and its a lesson t hat transcends party lines. Don’t worship idols! Not only is that Levitical Law, its also sound political advice.

Any politician whom you might idolize for whatever reason is only one tell-all article by an angry intern, one inebriated night in the wrong club, one grainy photograph or one perp walk away from that inexorable circling of the drain in which Gaetz now finds himself. This truth is nonpartisan.

Political idols, as in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream described by the prophet Daniel, have heads, arms, bodies and legs of precious metal. They are shiny and bright, and people are attracted to that glitter. But they have feet of clay – all of them – and they cannot stand. They never do.

Idolizing politicians, no matter how closely they express our own personal political views, is a waste of intellectual energy. Its a crutch that we use so we don’t have to stand on our own two feet. It is listening to talk radio alone, and shouting “That’s what I’m talkin’ about!”.

At the very least, we will be bitterly disappointed if we engage in political idolatry.. At the worst, we will invite Matt Gaetz to speak for us.

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Laramie Man Charged With Threatening to Kill Lummis, Barrasso, Bouchard, Gaetz

in News/Crime
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A Laramie man faces multiple charges after allegedly threatening to kill several state and national political figures.

Christopher Kent Podlesnik, 51, was charged last week in U.S. District Court with seven counts of transmitting threats in interstate commerce.

A federal grand jury charged Podlesnik with leaving voicemail messages on the phones of several elected officials on Jan. 28, including U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, in which he threatened to them with violence.

According to the indictment, Podlesnik left three voicemails for Lummis on different contact numbers, threatening to shoot her in the head.

“I will [expletive] kill you. I will,” he said in one voicemail.

He left two voicemails on phones connected to U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, threatening him in regards to a recent to Wyoming visit by U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who was in the state to criticize U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney’s impeachment vote against former President Donald Trump.

“You let Gaetz step into the state of Wyoming, not only is he going to be dead…you’re going to be dead,” Podlesnik told Barrasso, according to the indictment.

He left Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, two voicemails, calling the state senator a traitor and saying that he would take Bouchard down.

Finally, the indictment said, Podlesnik left a voicemail with a contact number for Gaetz, saying he would put two bullets in the congressman’s head.

“As Americans, we cherish the freedoms secured by our Bill of Rights, including our freedom of speech,” Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Murray said. “However, true threats of violence are not protected by the Constitution. Working with the FBI and other partners, the United States Attorney’s Office will continue to investigate such threats and seek charges in appropriate cases.”

“The FBI remains committed to protecting the civil liberties of all Americans to include First Amendment protected speech. We are equally committed to investigating violations of federal law when speech threatens violence and physical harm to others,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider.

A person convicted of one charge of transmitting threats in interstate commerce faces a sentence of up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release. If convicted, Podlesnik could face that punishment for each of the seven counts against him.

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

in News/politics
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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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Florida Rep. Gaetz to Appear in Cheyenne This Week for Anti-Cheney Campaign

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

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, will appear at the Wyoming State Capitol in Cheyenne this week to speak out against his colleague U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, he said Monday.

During a phone call with reporters, Gaetz announced he will be at the Capitol in Cheyenne at 1 p.m. Thursday to criticize Cheney for her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.

Also during the call, the representative called for Cheney’s removal as the House Republican Conference chair, a position she has held since 2019. However, he reiterated to reporters that he didn’t want her job as the conference chair.

“Let me be clear: Republicans really have no power in Washington, D.C., right now,” Gaetz said. “The principal job of the conference chair 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.

Gaetz, who won election to his third term in November, said he was already opposed to Cheney’s positions, but her vote to impeach President Donald Trump was the catalyst for this visit to Wyoming.

The representative backed the former president during the call on Monday, saying the Republican Party should embrace Trump’s spirit and style.

“I believe we ought to have an America-first policy agenda,” Gaetz said. “There are corporatist and establishment members of our party who want to go backwards, they want to go back to the days of the Bushes, the Cheneys and the Powells.”

Cheney wasn’t the only target in Gaetz’s sight, as he added he plans on traveling frequently this year to campaign against the other nine Republicans who voted to impeach Trump.

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