Updated: May 9
We recently attended the Wyoming Republican Party State Central Committee Meeting held in Jackson. This was the meeting where officer elections are held. There was much concern going into this meeting because the current office holders, who came up from the grassroots, were being challenged by the crony establishment.
Normally, having elections with multiple candidates would not be a concern. It is healthy to have opposing viewpoints and a choice for the voters. However, the slate of Chair and Vice-Chair that ran against the incumbents harkened back to the days when the State Republican Party was a top-down organization, dominated by the wealthy crony establishment.
Seven years ago, the party chair was a charismatic lawyer named Matt Micheli, who also had not been involved in the party before his election. Mr. Micheli bragged that he spent more money supporting candidates for election than ever before. He sure did, and he bankrupted the state party in the process. Mr. Micheli also failed to comply with FEC guidelines and the party got slapped with a $52,000 fine. A "great" legacy. We’d like to note that Frank Moore, who was running for Chair this time was supported at the meeting by Matt’s father, Ron Micheli, also an attorney, who is active in suing the former Uinta County executive team because blue-dot Jon Conrad didn't get his way. Until this weekend we hadn’t seen a Micheli at a state party meeting in six years.
Since the disastrous era of Micheli mismanagement, with the help of Sheridan’s Ryan Mulholland and then Frank Eathorne, the state party concentrated on the grassroots and rebuilding. The Party became a bottom-up organization dominated by the people you elected rather than a top-down organization dominated by the connected wealthy few.
Much of what has happened in the past six years is a rebuilding of the party. Throughout that time, we had to deal with the CCP virus, the resulting video meetings, and expensive lawfare waged against the party by the crony establishment who were angry with their loss of power. (See Ron Micheli above or Natrona County.) This taxed the party financially and tended to make the state meetings contentious, but the party survived and is poised to thrive.
What happened in Jackson was amazing. The crony establishment came to the elections loaded to take the party back over with more state committee sheep than ever before. They ran a sheep farmer for chair, Frank Moore, who had not been involved in the party and had little clue how it operated aside from what he had read in the Casper Red Star and WyoFile. "Other Frank," as we called him to differentiate from Frank Eathorne (aka Real Frank), ran on a platform of raising money from wealthy donors and bringing unity. Shades of the old establishment top-down era. When folks talk about unity and compromise, run away. (See FJ Biden as a reference.)
It became obvious during the candidate presentations that Mr. Moore didn’t really understand the current party or most of the county representatives. He also changed his story depending upon who he was addressing. Maybe sheep farmers don’t actually ride for the brand like cowboys. His vice-chair candidate, Elizabeth Bingham, from Sweetwater County, sounded like she was running for Secretary of the Junior League of Green River, and said that her job was to “support the chairman.” Funny, we thought the job was to support the people and fill-in for the chairman. Unlike David Holland, we couldn’t imagine inviting her to speak at any of our events in Sheridan; you all would chew her up and spit out the bones. Mr. Moore’s presentation was “all about the money.” He would do away with the bottom-up fundraising that is currently in place and focus solely on wealthy donors with big bucks. Welcome to the 1980s!
Fortunately, by a vote of 49 to 25, Frank Eathorne and David Holland were reelected as Chair and Vice-Chair respectively. Even with a larger herd of sheep, the grassroots remain healthy.
This is a good thing. As mentioned earlier, the party is poised to thrive. Keeping the current, effective grassroots leadership allows for continuity and smooth operation.
Much has been said about a “divided Republican party,” often by the crony establishment, scared of losing their power, and amplified by a media that hates Republicans. A funny thing happened in Jackson, this was the most civilized meeting that we’ve attended in the past six years. As normal, everyone was allowed to speak their opinion if they wanted, but there were no fireworks and everyone was very respectful. We hope this is the new normal.
We’d like to thank the team in Teton County for providing a great venue. They hosted a relaxing dinner the night before the meeting which allowed everyone to get reacquainted and to meet the new members of the state central committee. As always, the beauty of the Tetons was a lovely background and Jackson continues to be a wonderland of shiny new [and expensive] things.
Let’s talk about the grassroots for a moment. The Republican Party is strongest and most successful when YOU are involved. If you are a fan of limited government, individual responsibility, and freedom, you should be involved. We need to combat the over-reaching administrative state at the local, state, and federal levels.
Some of the meeting attendees stopped at the National Museum of Military Vehicles (NMMV) in Dubois on the way home. This is a world-class, professionally executed museum honoring our military and America’s industrial innovation and strength. Plus, they have good ice cream in the Canteen. If you haven’t been, we highly recommend a trip.
On display at the NMMV is the musket that fired the first shot at Bunker Hill. This is a hugely important historical piece for several reasons: First, that while the Revolution didn’t begin at Bunker Hill, the battle was the first time a massed army of Americans took on the might of the British Army. Second, and most important, is that the musket belonged to a volunteer member of the New Hampshire Militia. Yes, an American bearing his personally owned, military firearm (or, for the members of the media and Democrats in general, an ASSAULT RIFLE). The firearm on display is a Dutch manufactured military musket, complete with a matching bayonet. This is what our country is about. This is what the Second Amendment was intended to protect. It is up to the citizens of Wyoming, the grassroots, to determine their own destiny, not the government, not the wealthy elitists, not the crony establishment, and certainly not the King of Dementia, his loyal subjects, and his lapdog media.
It's all about the grassroots. Get involved and stay involved.