Monday, October 31, 2016

Dark Money

The Casper Star Tribune is running a series on "dark money", that being money of organizations that they can spend on political campaigns and which isn't attributed to a candidate.

It's well worth reading.

One legislature complained to me a couple of sessions ago about how organizations, and he had in mind one, were ruining or had in fact ruined Wyoming's politics by flooding the system with money.  The Tribune makes the point that this can cause legislators to be representing interests other than their constituents. 

Today's article addresses the Wyoming Liberty Group, an organization that is sometimes described as conservative but which also clearly has some libertarian views.  They've been a major player in the state the past few years.  They also have a voice outside their own blog locally in that Chuck Gray, a local Republican candidate who has been rather brash in his hard right views, has a radio show on his father's station (Gray is only in his mid 20s and would be an unlikely public figure but for that) features their people frequently.  According to the Tribune the founder of the group is retiring and its being taken over by a "mainstream" Republican, but given the disintegration of the GOP over the past year, in part because of the rise of extreme positions such as those held by the WLG, what that even means in the modern context must be open for question. Anyhow, it's ending, apparently, some of its more controversial actions.

This year it is asking for legislators to pledge they won't raise taxes, which most are refusing to sign on to.  Perhaps legislators are regaining some independence of thought.  Certainly with the national example of what can happen, they'd be wise to do so.

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