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Mel and Bryce

Current Issues Facing our State

How the Establishment Uni-Party Sold Out Wyoming (literally)

By now, it’s clear that the establishment uni-party, which includes both of the current legislative leadership in the House and the Senate and our current governor, would like very much for Wyoming to move on from the last legislative session and hope that it fades into everyone’s memory- especially before this election coming up on August 20th. I for one intend to keep it burned in my mind, and I hope you do as well. Here’s why.

The last legislative session saw the uni-party pass the largest spending package in Wyoming’s history---$11.5 billion! That is a 23% increase over the last 3 years and an 86% increase in the last 18! Based upon the last census, we are now spending nearly $20,000 for every man, woman and child in Wyoming. Depending on where other states end up setting their budgets, we will very likely be #1 or #2 in spending per capita of all the states. That IS NOT something to be proud of!

Also, consider this. This is just the regular budget that was passed this past winter. By our Constitution, every other year is a budget session, with the “off year” supposedly taken up with all the other business that the legislature is charged with. However… is now accepted convention that in that off year, a “supplemental” budget is brought loaded with pork that the tax and spend democrats and uni-party didn’t get put into the regular budget. If recent history is any indication, next year’s “supplemental” budget will be between $1-$2 billion of additional spending, pushing our biennium total to over $13 BILLION!

Bloated, over-inflated governmental budgets are not good for the citizens who live within their jurisdiction. They take money out of the private sector, money that can be used to build businesses and add jobs. They also lead to programs that are not what I believe to be the responsibility of government. They lead to services or programs that residents have come to expect and, in some cases, are led to depend upon but shouldn’t be funded by the government (i.e.: business councils, multi-million dollar high school football fields, golf courses and ski areas.) Over-inflated budgets breed governmental agencies and bureaucrats that become less and less responsive to the citizens paying the bills and more and more authoritative and dictatorial in their attitude and actions towards the people they are supposed to serve. They also take away opportunity and resources from the private sector, which is the engine that drives our economy.

Recently I posted on our campaign Facebook page a news report about something happening right here in Natrona County. Our own school district is proposing to spend $1.2 million on a new driver training “range.” This is essentially a paved parking lot to teach young people how to drive. Let that sink in for a minute. $1.2 MILLION FOR A PARKING LOT FOR NO OTHER PURPOSE THAN TEACHING KIDS TO DRIVE!! This coming at a time when the school districts are suing the state claiming the state (that’s us, folks: yes, the schools are suing us) is not providing them with enough funding to educate our kids. Last I checked, drivers’ education is not in the “basket of goods” that schools are required to provide, so they are wanting to spend over $1 million on an “elective.” Clearly this school district has too much of the taxpayer’s money (oh, by the way, NCSD, FYI there is a virtually empty mall in our town that has a gigantic, virtually empty, parking lot.)

This is the type of arrogance, attitude and lack of respect that comes from giving governmental entities so much money that they lose perspective and respect for the people who are lining their theoretical pockets (Don’t get me started on the Wyoming Department of Health spending taxpayer money sponsoring drag shows!). I’ve become convinced that the only way to stop this sort of behavior is to simply reduce the amount of money we take from the taxpayers and limit the amount available to government.

My opponent in this race was in the thick of this legislative budgetary debacle and spending spree. He sits on the Appropriations Committee, and he helped author, support, and is now defending this fiasco. If he is sent back to Cheyenne, he can be expected to continue to do more of the same---spend, spend, spend. His record shows this. The only way to stop this is to elect more conservatives, like me, to rein this in.

As Jim Hageman (yes, our beloved Harriet’s father) was quick to point out, the best government (in terms of efficiency, responsiveness to citizens and appreciation for the taxpayers) was when state government didn’t have enough money to fund every “gee gaw” and “thing-a-ma-bob” and was forced to prioritize to fund only needed and necessary services and programs. It’s time to bring back that sort of government.

What losing the fossil fuels industry means to Wyoming

Recently the Buffalo office of the Bureau of Land Management released its Environmental Impact Statement detailing the Biden administration’s plans to end coal production in Wyoming. This followed an earlier proclamation from the Biden EPA which is designed to stop all fossil fuel powering of electrical generation plants. Taken together, along with other actions from Biden, it is clear the radical east and left coast elitist liberals who currently hold sway over our country plan to destroy the fossil fuel industry in the United States.

While this is not shocking to any of us who live in Wyoming (72% of us saw this coming in 2020 when we overwhelmingly voted for President Trump), it is particularly appalling to me that some Wyoming groups leapt for joy over these announcements and rushed to embrace them. These allegedly Wyoming-based groups appear to have no clear understanding of what losing our legacy energy industries would do to our economy and to us as citizens.

Consider this: In 2022, the extractive industries in Wyoming paid (conservatively) $3.3 billion in property and severance taxes. This number does not take into account the billions of dollars these industries, and those businesses associated with them, pay in wages, sales taxes, fuel taxes etc.


If that $3.3 billion dollar contribution alone were to disappear, every man, woman, and child In Wyoming would have to cough up $5,676 annually in order to maintain the utopian spending of $11.5 billion that the 2024 establishment-controlled legislature authorized. In other words, every family of four in Wyoming would have to pay ~$23,000 annually, likely through a state income tax, just to maintain what is apparently the new status quo in state spending!

This is why the upcoming election is critical on both the national and state level. If the nation continues allowing the liberals to set and dictate policy, and we in Wyoming don’t move more conservatives into our state House and Senate, the writing on the wall is clear, and it isn’t pretty!

Wyoming’s Natural Resources

I believe Wyoming, more than any other state, was perfectly created by God for our benefit. With our abundant reserves of coal, oil and gas, uranium, trona and rare earth minerals, Wyoming can, and does, provide much of our country’s and our world’s needs for these crucial and necessary resources.

Our fertile plains and mountain valleys provide nutritious grasses and forbs on which some of the world’s best livestock flourish. In many areas, Wyoming’s rich soils grow abundant and superior crops that rival many others. Wyoming is the headwater state for some of the nation’s mightiest rivers with pure snow, spring, and glacier-fed water. We have some of the cleanest, freshest air of any state. These same resources provide for wildlife populations that are the envy of the world and which we all take pride in and respect deeply.

With this bountiful blessing comes great responsibility, and Wyoming and her citizens have risen to the task of caring for, developing, and utilizing these God-given resources. Wyoming citizens are the stewards of our state, and we take that responsibility seriously. No one cares more for our state than the people who have chosen to call her home and no one does it better.

Increasingly, powers and entities from outside Wyoming seek to control the care, management and development of OUR resources. It is incumbent upon those elected to any office in Wyoming to push back every time these forces seek to control us and our destiny. I pledge to not only do this, but also to lead the effort to make sure that those who come from outside Wyoming to control and dictate to us see resistance at every level. Wyoming belongs to us, not to east or west coast politicians or unelected bureaucrats who are unable to find it on a map or have never stepped foot here.

Mark Gordon’s “Carbon Neutral” Proclamation

Taking a page from the radical Biden Administration’s “War on Fossil Fuels,” Mark Gordon played right into the hands of the leftists and extreme green movement when he, during a speech at Harvard University, unilaterally and empirically declared that “Wyoming will be the first carbon-neutral state in the country.”

I adamantly disagree with him on this waving-of-the-white-flag capitulation to the east and west coast elitist liberals with whom he is apparently currying favor.

Wyoming is a carbon-POSITIVE state and should do all in its power to remain so. Despite Gordon’s and the left’s utopian desire to eliminate fossil fuels, if even if that were an attainable outcome, it would destroy our economy and throw millions of people into abject poverty! Fossil fuels, along with nuclear energy, provide the cheapest and most reliable dispatchable energy upon which our country can depend. Wyoming is the breadbasket for these sources of dependable and economically sustainable energy, and we should be doing everything in our power to push back on the extremist elitist who would sacrifice our economy and our citizens in the name of “clean energy” and “climate change.”

When elected, I will stand against any and all who would sacrifice our energy industries in their desire to be “politically correct” or in some disingenuous and misguided attempt to ingratiate themselves with the radical left. Number 9 of the Code of the West is “Remember that some things are not for sale.” Perhaps someone should remind Mark Gordon of that.



There’s an old adage in Wyoming: “Whiskey’s for drinking, and water’s for fighting.” This statement describes the sentiment which results from living in an arid state. Water is Wyoming’s lifeblood. It is also the driver for most of our economy and our way of life. As such, it must be protected and enhanced.

Wyoming is a headwaters state and serves as the initial source for four major river basins: the Missouri-Mississippi, Green-Colorado, Snake-Columbia, and Great Salt Lake. Wyoming is a signator to several interstate compacts which determine the amount of water a state is allocated when water travels through more than one state before it reaches its final destination. 85% of all the water produced annually in Wyoming flows out of state, leaving only 15% consumptively used here.

Increasingly downstream states, as well as the federal government, have attempted to encroach on Wyoming’s rights to our water. Protecting these rights is one of the most important duties a state legislator has. In my opinion, one of the best ways we have as a state to protect these rights is to store and utilize our water here in Wyoming. I have been disappointed that Governor Mead’s water initiative was never fully brought to fruition or expanded. It appears that much of our state’s leadership is reluctant or hesitant to “think big and boldly” in terms of water development and advancement.

When elected, increasing and enhancing Wyoming’s water resources will be a priority for me. Whether it be the development of new water storage projects or the refurbishment and restoration of existing projects and infrastructure, we can never plan, build or spend enough on developing, increasing or supplementing our water resource. Doing anything less squanders and limits our state’s future.

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