By Bradley Harrington
“If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.” — Abraham Lincoln, “Lyceum Address,” 1838 —
As we all know, 2018 is an election year — and there’s not a single local race running, from a liberty standpoint, that’s more important than who’s going to run the State of Wyoming for the next four years.
So let’s take a look, from that liberty standpoint, at who we’ve got to pick from:
On the Democrat side, we have Kenneth Casner, Michael Green, Mary Throne and Rex Wilde; and, on the Republican side, we have Bill Dahlin, Foster Friess, Sam Galeotos, Mark Gordon, Harriet Hageman and Taylor Haynes.
Well, as I’ve discussed before, I NEVER recommend voting for a Democrat, under any circumstances, as their pro-government, anti-property-rights agendas are simply too highly destructive to our freedoms. So: Sorry, Mr. Castner, Mr. Green, Ms. Throne and Mr. Wilde, but you’re all off the Liberty List.
Now, then, let’s take a look at the Republicans, and find out whether or not any of them live up to THEIR names. Understand that these points are not to detract from any positive aspects to these individuals, and they all have more than a few.
From the standpoint of advocating a maximum of individual liberty and the absolutism of private property rights, however, I consider all the following points as complete killers:
Bill Dahlin: According to his website at www.dahlinforgovernor.com, Dahlin supports Medicare and Social Security, has no interest in freeing up federally-“owned” lands in Wyoming and also believes that government should “protect our energy and mineral sectors at times” — i.e., non-market protectionism and statist interventionism.
Foster Friess: Recently, Friess was interviewed by Glenn Woods on KGAB 650 AM, and I about dropped my teeth when I heard him say that the federal government should just “write a check to the Governor of Wyoming” for its Medicaid expansion — and that, worse still, this is a “10th Amendment” issue. (!!) (“Foster Friess, Candidate for Wyoming Governor,” KGAB 650AM radio, www.kgab.com).
Sorry, Mr. Friess, but that’s not what the 10th Amendment says at all … And, in case you haven’t noticed, the Feds are now $133 trillion in the hole. Next?
Sam Galeotos: Here we have an allegedly “conservative” businessman who’s flooding the media with his “business” credentials, but who spent nearly a year (July, 2017 – March, 2018) as President of the Board of Directors of Cheyenne’s Downtown Development Authority, wasting both time and taxpayer money doing all the anti-business things the DDA is famous for — hardly anything I’d be bragging about, but that’s just me.
Nor does his work experience speak well of his “conservatism” either, as he’s currently the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Greenhouse Data here in Cheyenne … And Greenhouse Data, through the Laramie County Commission, has been slurping at the public trough to the tune of: $413,131 (2011); $534,294 (2012); $552,565 (2013); $661,289 (2014); $838,711 (2015); and $750,000 (2016). Galeotos has been on Greenhouse Data’s board since 2014 and was promoted to Chairman in 2016.
Mark Gordon: Favored considerably in this race, Gordon qualifies as the “Establishment” candidate, and is doing his best to convince Wyoming voters of his “conservative” credentials as well.
According to the FEC’s website, however, Gordon has donated to Democrat causes and elections: $1,000 to Democrat Kathy Karpan, $1,000 to the Sierra Club and $200 to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) (all 1996); $2,500 to the DNC, $1,000 to Democrat Ted Ladd and $2,000 to Democrat John Kerry (all 2004); and $1,000 to Democrat Gary Trauner (2006). Total: $8,700.
Not to mention that, according to the Environmental Working Group’s website at www.ewg.com, Gordon’s Merlin Ranch (in both its “Merlin Ranch” and “Merlin Ranch Ucross Land Division” iterations) has received a total of $464,349 in USDA farm subsidies ($259,360 for “Merlin Ranch,” 1995-2015, inclusive, and $204,989 for “Ucross Land Division,” 2000-2007, inclusive). More slopping at the public trough.
Harriet Hageman: Hageman probably comes closer than nearly all of the candidates to actually being an advocate of properly-limited government in several respects. Her solution to funding Wyoming’s infrastructure needs, however, by means of “federal block grants” (“Gubernatorial candidates talk economic diversification,” WTE, June 12), wipes all of that out, and then some. Again, Ms. Hageman: The Feds are BROKE, and have been for decades.
So … Sorry, gang, but not a one of you managed to make it to the Liberty List.
Which leaves Taylor Haynes. And that man, Dear Readers, deserves a column all by himself. Which you can expect next week!
Bradley Harrington is a computer technician and a writer who lives in Cheyenne. Email: email@example.com.
NOTE: This column was originally published in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle on July 8, 2018. Here is this column’s original downloadable PDF file.