Wyoming’s Upcoming General Election: A Snapshot

9/15/2016 – Wyoming’s General election occurs on Tuesday, November 8th. Things are getting interesting.

Nationally, we’ve got a race for Wyoming’s one House seat; Dick Cheney’s daughter, Liz, running for the second time, and Ryan Greene, a Democrat with little or no name recognition.

Closer to home, we’ve got a tight race for the State Legislature; House District 11, between incumbent Democrat Mary Throne and Chairman of the Laramie County Republican Central Committee, Jared Olsen.

What I find so interesting about this race is their Pre-Primary Report – 2016, filed just a few days before the Primary in August, with the Wyoming Election Division. Throne’s report states that she has raised a total of $14,310.78 from donations and loans. But, hey, she loaned herself $5,000, carried $2,365.78 over from last year and almost all the rest, except for $500, came from these out-of-state and a few in-state PACS.

You read THAT right. out-of-state and in-state PACS. Will someone kindly tell me what the Motorola Solutions, Inc. PAC of Washington, D.C. the Oneok Employees PAC, The Chesapeake Energy Corp. Federal PAC, the Tesoro PAC of Salt Lake City, UT, the United Transportation Union PAC of North Olmstead, OH and the BP North American Employee PAC from Houston, TX are doing contributing to the campaign of the Democrat Party House leader, who happens to be running from House District 11 in Cheyenne, Wyoming? Could it be that legislation may come before the Wyoming lawmakers affecting these entities, and they expect some consideration from the minority Party leader? Is this part of a “pay to play” scheme, Wyoming style?

According to her Report, Throne received donations from five Wyoming individuals, who contributed a total of $500. But the rest are Wyoming PACS; the WY Realtors PAC, the Wyoming Hospital Association PAC, and the Wyoming Rural Electric Assn. PAC, to name four of six. Of course, it could not be that they expect some sort of quid pro quo from Ms. Throne, in exchange for their money.

The contrast is stark. Jared Olsen’s Pre-Primary Report – 2016 shows that he has raised $5,345.00 from twenty-seven donors, of which twenty-five are Wyoming individuals. Of the other two, one came from a family member. The other, from a candidate who ran against Throne in the previous election. No donations came from any out-of-state individuals, corporations or PACS.

Looks like, if he wins the House seat, Olsen will not be in the hip pocket of any interests, and will be free to represent the interests of the constituents in his District and in the State of Wyoming.

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