Monday, October 31, 2016

Orange you glad the Wyoming Republicans are on the job?

I ran into my friend Pat at the grocery store. She sported an "I Voted" sticker, said that she stood in a long line in the Laramie County Building Atrium. Last count had 8,000 people in the county voting early. Pretty good numbers.

Only 8 days until the election, if you count today. We all eagerly await Nov. 8 not only because, on Nov. 9, Donald Trump will no longer be the lead on the nightly news. Or maybe he will, as we've grown accustomed to his face and his banter filling the airwaves.

Our local elections could yield some nasty surprises. They already have. The Wyoming Republican Party has sent out flyers denouncing Minority Leader Mary Throne, a Democrat. Mary, you see, wants to take away your guns -- she only gets a C rating from the NRA. Her A-rated opponent, Jared Olsen, is shown on the flyer with a rifle and a steely gaze, as if he were looking off into the canebrake for a trophy elk.

I was shown the flyer and asked, "What's wrong with the picture?"
I said: "Jared Olsen is in it?"
"No," the inquisitor replied. "He's wearing red."
"So he's a commie?"
"Maybe. But that's not the point. As any hunter knows, you wear orange out in the field. It's called hunter's orange for a reason."
"Oh," I said. "I'm not a hunter. I may be the only unarmed male-type person in the state."
"I wouldn't advertise that fact."

Linda Burt is running in my district (No. 8) to unseat incumbent Bob Nicholas. If all of the registered Dems in the district showed up to vote, and disgruntled Republicans stayed home because of The Donald, Linda could win. We need more Dems in the legislature. We need more women. Linda Burt would be a terrific rep. This district has been represented by a Dem woman before, in the person of Lori Millin, who was terrific. She followed up with a run for the Senate and lost. We've had Nicholas ever since. He often votes with the Republican crackpot bloc. His district includes many state employees and retirees, such as me. This is something he should keep in mind, whatever happens in the election. I will vote for Linda Burt on Nov. 8.

Speaking of Nov. 8... The Donald's camp has mumbled about showing up to the polls to intimidate voters, mainly those of color. That kind of thing happens often in tinpot dictatorships struggling to establish democracy. This is why the U.N. sends in election monitors. Our elections haven't seen intimidation like this since the 1960s in the Jim Crow South, when angry whites tried to keep blacks from the polls. I've served as a volunteer pollwatcher at my precinct. Part of my job is to make sure . rules are followed and some shitkicker with a rifle and a grudge doesn't try to keep Hispanics and African-Americans and East Indians from voting. What do you do if you see voter intimidation? That's a good question. You could call Democratic Party HQ. But you may not get an answer. The County Clerk? Secretary of State's office? The police? I'm going to find out and get back to you in time for the election.

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