Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Blog Mirror. The influx of money and Wyoming politics.

Wealthy funders backed anti-establishment Republicans in the primary

National tactics nose into Wy. legislative races on both sides

All told, it’s a long way from the days, as former Speaker of the House Tom Lubnau told WyoFile, when policy was hashed out in the bar at the Hitching Post Inn, a Cheyenne landmark and longtime second home for legislators.
Lubnau served nine years in the House and has been both majority leader and Speaker of the House. He was Speaker in the 2014 general session.
He remembered his first campaign, in 2006: “We all just went out and knocked on doors and met our friends and neighbors and it took two weeks and then we were done. I don’t think I spent hardly anything,” he said.
From the second article.

The question here, we'd note, isn't "is this going to have an impact on Wyoming's politics", but rather "how much of an impact has it had?"

Quite a lot.

The past few years have witnessed a civil war in the state within the GOP. Wyoming's GOP, like the now nearly defunct Democratic party, tended to be a Wyoming party with Wyoming views. But over the last few years a radical libertarian faction has struggled for power with the mainstream GOP.  It has clearly had an impact in that Wyoming has passed on money that it would have taken in earlier times on ideological grounds, and a few of the state's politicians came from this wing, or adopted its views.  It's been bad for the GOP, and bad for the state.

Now, apparently, big Democratic money is flowing in.  And indeed I note, perhaps coincidentally, that I live in a district that has a competitive Democrat and I'm receiving a flood of his mailers.  The other day, however, I received one from some organization that was backing him but quickly adopted a pretty left leaning set of points, which leads me to believe that it was prepared by the clueless as it would tend to put the bullet in the campaign with right leaning undecideds.

Money has always been there in politics.  But in a small state, this is not a good development.  Getting it addressed, however, will not be easy.

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