Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Gubment-hating righties invade Wyoming

The takeover of Wyoming by right-wing zealots has begun.

It may seem that Wyoming was lost to the rising tide of extremism a long time ago.

But you ain't seen nothing yet.

Republicans handily outnumber Democrats in both chambers of the state legislature. We got a new batch of right-wing crazies in the most recent election, notably Harlan Edmonds in HD 12 who defeated incumbent Democrat Lee Filer. Filer had been a staunch advocate for his constituency and had shown how to get things done even though outnumbered. But voters in his district, the ones who showed up, punched that "R" button, letting Red State partisan politics rise above their own best interests. Edmonds is a gubment-hating state employee. His wife is on the board of the Wyoming Liberty Group, a right-wing lobbying group funded by Susan Gore and backed by the Koch brothers. Its goals include destroying the state's pension system. Its ultimate goal is to turn Wyoming into the poster child for a philosophy that starves state government to make it small enough to drown in a bathtub, as Tea Party favorite Grover Norquist once famously said. Wyoming can then become the ultimate refuge for the new oligarch class -- energy billionaires, Dick Cheney and family, Susan Gore, Wal-Mart heirs, Wall Street rip-off artists and all of their fellow travelers. Wyofile's Gregory Nickerson has done several articles on the impact of outside forces on Wyoming politics. On Dec. 9, he wrote about a conservative think tank the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Naples, Florida, conducting a push poll in Wyoming. The results, of course, showed that 70 percent of Wyoming residents oppose Medicaid expansion in Wyoming.
They spent $742,000 on the Uncover Obamacare project in 2013. The Wyoming effort is part of that campaign for year 2014.
One of FGA’s principal funders is Donors Capital Fund, an Arlington, Va., donor-aggregator group that raised $60 million in 2013. It granted $213,500 to the Foundation for Government Accountability in 2012. 
Donors Capital Fund also gave $240,000 to the Wyoming Liberty Group in 2009, $230,000 in 2010, and $15,000 in 2011.
Word on the street says that funneled more than $1 million into Wyoming last year. The Wyoming Liberty Group had nine attorney-lobbyists on their staff during the last legislative session and are certain to have more in 2015. As Wyoming blogger Rodger McDaniel stated in a Dec. 13 op-ed in the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, Rep. Cale Case (R-Lander) is on the board of directors of the Liberty Group. One wonders why a state legislator would be on the board of a group hell-bent on destroying the state employee retirement system. Rep. Case used to be a moderate. We wonder when that changed.

See more at http://wyofile.com/gregory_nickerson/florida-group-takes-aim-wyoming-medicaid-expansion/

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