Wyoming Governor’s Race – an objective look at the main candidates. (LAST ARTICLE OF FOUR)
This article is last of four, my attempt to look at each of the main candidates as objectively as I can. As I said in the first email, my wife and I are dedicated supporters of Harriet Hageman. Our personal regard for her does not enter into our evaluation of her opponents’ candidacies or hers. We look at record and policy, leaving out personal feelings.
After looking fairly, we conclude that there is no choice other than Harriet.
Please read on if you have the time. And please feel free to forward if you wish.
I’ve written three previous articles this week, explaining the deficiencies I see in the other main candidates.
Harriet’s Hageman’s candidacy is the opposite. I see nothing but encouragement and positives across the board at the thought of her in the governor’s office.
For years, Wyoming has suffered from inferior, self-serving and self-interested political leadership in Cheyenne. We need a new direction that can only come from a governor unattached to the old loyalties and practices which brought our state to the troubled state of affairs we face today.
Until recently, did most Wyoming voters know our state government was taking us down the wrong path? I think not. One of our most serious challenges to reform is that media coverage of state government is horribly biased or nearly non-existent. I have my own theories about the reasons for this bad situation, but they don’t matter. Stories about incompetence, self-dealing, overspending, waste and unsavory practices in state government are not written or are reported so superficially as to be misleading. What did any of us read in state news outlets four years ago about an impending budget crisis that conservative legislators had identified and were trying to head off? Nothing. As Governor Mead and his allies tried to persuade us three times with false arguments about how much Wyoming would save from Medicaid expansion, what did we read about massive underestimates of enrollees and cost explosions taking place concurrently in other states that took the Medicaid expansion bait? Nothing. Prior to lawsuits brought by brave private citizens at their own expense, what did we read in the press about no-bid contracting or the catastrophic cost overruns from the capitol renovation? Nothing. Did we get fair reporting about bills under consideration which would deprive us of our rights to freedom of religion, free association and conscience by awarding special rights to other citizens? No we did not.
Without the amplifier of a fair media (there is none and will not be), the number of Wyoming voters who truly grasp the severity of our problems will remain limited. The abuses and outrages will go on, the “good ole boy” network will continue to thrive in the shadows.
A strong, smart governor can change this sorry situation. A governor who will bypass the biased, lazy press and take issues directly to “we the people”. A governor who will talk to us in plain language with absolute candor. A governor who won’t bend to a Cheyenne special interests, but who will instead follow through with pledges no matter the pressure.
This election is finally our chance to deliver the help our state needs. Harriet Hageman is the only candidate who can bring that us help.
Harriet was born and raised in Wyoming, and has made her career and home here. Without question, she is an outsider. But she has decades of experience to know how the “inside” works. She sees the need for reform, and she has the determination to bring it about. As governor, she will openly call out cronyism and inside dealings, defying the “good ole boy” network head on and overcoming the power of entrenched opposition. She will stop contracting abuses, open state records to public view, bring discipline to spending and staffing, and expose and remove incompetent bureaucrats. She will refuse to sign fraudulent budgets balanced by cleaning out cash from accounts across state agencies. She will lead the effort on spending reform. She will oppose new taxation, and mean it. She will not kick difficult problems down the road to land in the lap of the next legislature or governor.
Harriet has an innate understanding of our biggest challenges. She will listen to advisers, but unlike other candidates, not depend on them. The informed decisions will be hers. Her personal history demonstrates independence in judgment and a record of unbending courage and effectiveness. These qualities will define her decision-making.
Instead of the usual empty candidates’ pledges we know will never be fulfilled and are usually betrayed, she will deliver on her promises to us.
We can count on this: Harriet will work honestly and openly on behalf of every citizen, bringing about genuine reform and rejecting the allure to ally with favored interests and hand out subsidies and special deals to them.
Last spring, Harriet was described in a national political column as a new “conservative superstar…..with a million watt smile”. The author declared “I heard Harriet [speak]….and came away excited that the Republican Party was about to get another spine implant from a political outsider.” To confirm the bulls-eye accuracy of that assessment, take a look (if you haven’t already) at her policy proposals (website link immediately below). Posted last March, these cover every subject area in state policy, in detail: taxes, spending, education, legacy industries like fossil fuels and ranching, land management, economic development, regulation, protection of property and water rights, protection of the unborn, Second Amendment rights and much more. Eighteen tabs, each containing its own long list of specifics. No empty declarations. It’s all here, including innovative ideas I have not seen from any political candidate in any state or national campaign. Harriet knows what she believes in, and wants you to know too.
Should you have any doubt about Harriet’s experience, capabilities and determination, consider her career. In her 25+ years of litigation, she has represented every industry and business sector in Wyoming. Farming, ranching, hunting, outfitting, irrigation districts, utilities, mining companies, oil, natural gas and coal companies, and more. To prevail in court, an attorney must know every aspect of the client’s business and every facet of the associated industry. She knows these businesses, industries and organizations. She wins.
She has defended private property rights, fought regulatory agency abuses, taken on mismanagement and high-handed government bureaucracies from state level to the EPA and Forest Service. She is renowned in the Rocky Mountain states for her expertise and her record of success. She wins.
Harriet will fiercely defend our native energy industry. She has never taken the side of the destructive environmentalists or the arrogant, unaccountable federal government. To the contrary, she has consistently opposed them. As you probably know, litigation against federal agencies is usually undertaken by large law firms with armies of highly-paid attorneys. But Harriet, working from her small law firm, has taken these difficult cases. She wins.
In her charity legal work, she has represented hundreds of deserving clients without charge, including landowners under siege from tyrannical regulators and families defending parents’ and children’s basic rights.
Outside of her law practice, Harriet has served on boards, commissions and councils wrestling with countless Wyoming issues. Too many times to count, she has testified as an expert to the legislature and other governmental bodies. Never asking for compensation, she has provided timely, invaluable help to conservative legislators working to draft and evaluate statutory language. She has advised them advice on constitutional questions involving basic rights like freedoms of speech, religion, free association and the Second Amendment. With her comprehensive knowledge of the state budget, she has worked with conservatives to reform state spending.
I don’t think the question is even debatable: Harriet is the most qualified candidate who unquestionably knows Wyoming far better than ANY opponent.
She has never sold out to special interests, appeased environmentalist bullies, or cowered to federal agencies and regulators. She never will.
Wyoming’s problems are serious, but with a principled governor in Cheyenne, they can be fixed. Our choice in this election is to turn to novice candidates who don’t know Wyoming but spend millions to blanket the airwaves with promises. Or to equally wealthy candidates who claim conservative credentials in their endless ads but whose history proves them to be chameleons.
Or we can turn to the one candidate, Harriet Hageman, who will represent us all, with the same principle and courage that has distinguished her entire career.
There is no other choice for governor other than Harriet. Please join us in voting for her.
“I am not running because it’s my turn.
I am running because it’s your turn to be put first”.
Harriet Hageman, candidate for governor
~ Dan Brophy