Once again, it is the Matt Mead cabal who must be held responsible for this iron-fisted abuse of the convention delegates, whose participation in the event should constitute the ultimate exercise of self-government at the level closest to “the people.” Had he any real respect or regard for the citizens of Wyoming, and had he acted honorably during the past fifteen months, Governor Mead would have no need to stifle a censure vote, for no such vote would have been forthcoming.
While the rest of America recoils in horror at the atrocities committed against it by the Obama Administration and liberal Democrats on Capitol Hill, the people of Wyoming increasingly suffer the ravages of liberalism inflicted on them by a state government in which “Republicans” hold an overwhelmingly majority. From Matt Mead, the RINO Governor, to Tom Lubnau, the “Republican” House Speaker who has collaborated with Mead in trampling the Wyoming Constitution, to all of their enabling minions in the legislature of this reddest of red states, Wyomingites are dismayed to find themselves in the hands of an ethically bankrupt and thoroughly self-serving political machine that could rival the worst of Chicago and Washington politics.
In response, the good people of Wyoming (who are overwhelmingly conservative) have begun to organize and push back. But they face a system that intends to maintain its dominance, regardless of how low it must sink in the process. Last week’s Republican State Convention proved to be a showcase of the courage and determination of the conservative grassroots, contrasted against the chicanery and manipulative schemes of the state GOP “Establishment.” Yet the brazenness of party insiders and their ugly tactics may be a blessing in disguise, since it further reminds the people on “Main Street” of the diseased nature of their state’s government, and why it is in need of a thorough house cleaning if they are to have any hope of restoring a government “of the people.”
Ever since the Legislature and Governor enacted the infamous and unconstitutional Senate File 104, by which the office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction was usurped and its duties reassigned to a lapdog of the Governor, Wyoming’s grassroots has reacted in outrage, eventually coalescing into a formidable political force. Prevailing against enormous odds, the opponents of SF 104 actually succeeded in bringing to the convention floor a resolution to censure the Governor. This unprecedented act highlighted the degree of anger among the common citizenry, and threatened to affirm the precept that those in power must be bound by the Constitution and the law, and will be held accountable to it if they abuse their positions. So of course the GOP insiders could not allow it to stand.
Several underhanded tactics were attempted during the debate with hopes of preventing an up or down vote on the resolution, including a move for premature adjournment, but all were defeated. Finally, the back-room cabal landed on a simple scheme of intimidation, demanding a roll-call vote requiring convention delegates go to a microphone and voice support or opposition to the measure. In the end, the effort to censure Mead narrowly failed with a final tally of 132 supporting, and 145 opposed.
Nevertheless, Governor Mead can hardly hold his head high or claim vindication from this outcome. Clearly, the effort was made by the party “Establishment” to circle the wagons around him and thus protect him from a day of reckoning for his many unscrupulous official actions. Yet their strong-arm tactics merely revealed more of the same corruption and dirty dealings that have become a grim hallmark of Wyoming politicking among the state’s “Republican” insiders.
Americans who have observed the degenerating political and electoral processes across this country during the past six years can well recall the despicable effort by “New Black Panthers” in Philadelphia to intimidate white voters and thus prevent them from entering the polling place on Election Day 2008. Can the roll-call vote, and the looming threat of retribution from Mead and his cronies--a brazen effort at intimidating delegates--be honestly characterized as anything less than another Chicago style political maneuver designed to suppress real expression of delegate sentiments? And does anyone familiar with the dealings of the Mead administration doubt that he would exact revenge on those who might dare to cross him? When pondering the question of whether delegates had reason to fear repercussions from the Governor and his lackeys, it is worth recalling his unwavering demand that Cindy Hill, the current Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction be denied legal counsel for herself and her office.
Once again, it is the Matt Mead cabal who must be held responsible for this iron-fisted abuse of the convention delegates, whose participation in the event should constitute the ultimate exercise of self-government at the level closest to “the people.” Had he any real respect or regard for the citizens of Wyoming, and had he acted honorably during the past fifteen months, Governor Mead would have no need to stifle a censure vote, for no such vote would have been forthcoming. But with his sordid track record of governing excesses and abuses of power becoming common knowledge, he dared not risk allowing the people openly display their anger.
In a disturbing addendum to the sorry events at the Wyoming Republican Convention, it has since been announced that a “Special Legislative Investigative Committee” will be convened on May 19, chaired by “Republican” House Speaker Tom Lubnau. The stated business of the committee is to “review the draft report of the investigation conducted by the Select Investigative Committee, and discuss further activities of the Committee.” The reality of this transparent euphemism is to once again contrive grounds on which to eliminate Cindy Hill’s primary challenge to Matt Mead in this year’s governor’s race. Clearly, the momentum she and her supporters exhibited at the convention has the party “good ‘ol boys” worried.
After several years of relentless ploys designed to undermine Hill through numerous “investigations” and audits (all of which she passed with flying colors), Lubnau is going to try once again to concoct some grounds on which to call for her impeachment, thus removing her from the political field as a means of ensuring Mead’s second term. Can we all once again say “Chicago politics”? Absent from this disgraceful plot is any consideration for the needs and interests of Wyoming citizens.
In short, the actions of the Wyoming Republican insiders have degenerated from ACORN style scheming at the convention to political warfare worthy of a banana republic. Of course Lubnau’s interestingly timed meeting will take place behind closed doors. Nor will Hill or her staff be allowed any access to the proceedings, or any opportunity to respond to accusations or innuendo. Rather, Lubnau and his cohorts are attempting to conduct the most despicable of politically motivated witch hunts, while desperately trying to prevent it from looking like a politically motivated witch hunt.
The corruption of the political process need not continue. But mere indignation over these affronts to decency and principle will accomplish nothing, if the people are willing to settle for more of the same old platitudes from career politicians. On the other hand, during the upcoming primary and general elections, Wyomingites have a golden opportunity to return the government into their own hands, rendering those who are elected back to their rightful roles as true servants of the people. 2014 could be the year of a new beginning for a citizenry that has finally had its fill of “business as usual,” and intends to allow no more of it.
Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming and has been involved in state and local politics for many years. He writes for several prominent conservative websites, as has written for regional and national magazines. His contact information and article archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com, and he can be followed on Twitter @CGAdamo.