Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cheney For Senate?

Let me start by saying that I am not from Wyoming, though I do go there once in a while during family visits to neighboring Montana. If you add up the number of days I have spent in Wyoming as an adult, you might get to 60. This total would most certainly NOT qualify me for a resident fishing license. According to Wyoming Fish and Game regulations, a person must live in the state for a year to qualify for the lower-cost resident license.

Surprisingly (to her), Liz Cheney also did not qualify for a resident fishing license in Wyoming. When she applied for permission to fish in Wyoming’s trout-filled steams and rivers, she said she had lived in the state for a decade. (Actually, she had only lived in the state for 72 days.) Cheney says the clerk who took her application must have made a mistake. Whoever made the mistake, it was a costly one to Cheney. She ended up posting a $220.00 bond for the high misdemeanor of swearing a false oath. 

It may be the most expensive $220.00 fine ever paid. It may cost Liz Cheney a Senate seat.

Like Montanans, Wyomingites do not cotton to liars. Or carpetbaggers. And Ms. Cheney certainly seems to be both. She and her husband bought a house in Jackson Hole in 2012 and shortly after, she announced that she would run in the Republican Senate primary in 2014. This has struck many observers as an interesting choice. Wyoming already has a Republican Senator in that seat. His name is Mike Enzi. I can certainly understand why Tea Party-types are “primary-ing” Mitch McConnell in Kentucky. They think he is not pure enough in his conservatism. Same for Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, Susan Collins in Maine, Orrin Hatch in Utah, Lindsay Graham In South Carolina, and Lamar Alexander in Tennessee—all of whom voted to re-open the government after 16 days of self-inflicted economic damage had been done to the country.

But Mike Enzi did not vote to reopen the government, even though Wyoming is home to several amazingly beautiful national parks that had to shut down. In fact, Mike Enzi voted to continue the shutdown, even in the face of looming economic disaster. In his three terms as Republican Senator from Wyoming, Mike Enzi has earned the following ratings and scores from various interest groups:

Rated A+ by NRA
Rated 100% by National Right to Life Committee
Rated 0% by the American Public Health Association
Rated 100% by US Border Control—a private anti-immigration group
Rated 0% by Citizens for Tax Justice

In addition to these ratings, Senator Enzi has shown where he stands by voting no on limiting farm subsidies to those making under $750,000 a year, voting no on extending unemployment benefits from 39 weeks to 59 weeks, voting with the Republican Party well over 90% of the time, and voting no on increasing the tax rate on those earning over $1 million. 

Why on Earth does Liz Cheney feel the need to run against this man? Does she feel the voters of Wyoming need someone more in line with their values? Is Mike Enzi too liberal for Wyoming? I can think of only two reasons why Liz Cheney would move to Wyoming and try to unseat Mike Enzi: ego and love of power. 

The voters of Wyoming are smart enough to see right through Ms. Cheney. By now, she may have earned her resident fishing license, but she surely has not earned the votes of the people of Wyoming.

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