Our previous blog post, Over-roasted Western Coffee, touched a sensitive nerve with Cyrus Western. Reposted in a private Facebook group, the post got ol’ Cyrus’ undies in a bunch. Can we say that phrase here? Ken Pendergraft, always a good source of colloquialisms, got reprimanded on the house floor for saying that exact thing. You might note that, although having said and done worse things while in the legislature, Cyrus didn’t come to Ken’s defense. But we digress.
Cyrus erroneously believes that this blog is written by Bryan Miller because Bryan is mad and vindictive about losing the last primary election to Cyrus. If Cyrus actually participated in the Sheridan County Republican Party, he would know that this isn’t true. But that’s not the way things work. Using the tried and true Clinton method, Cyrus makes up a lie, presents it as fact, and keeps doubling down on it. This blog is from an editorial committee. Bryan Miller, or any Miller for that matter, is not involved. Our opinions here are based upon fact and reflect what the grassroots Republican voters in the county are thinking and saying. If we present anything that isn’t factual, please let us know and we’ll correct it.
Back to the Clinton method so ably employed by Cyrus. He continues to claim he is a “conservative” and challenges you to check his voting record on wyoleg.gov. Digging through all the bills is hard, but there is an easier way. The RWSC Legislative Action Committee has already done this work for you. Identifying 70 bills that they felt were important, they tracked the votes by each representative. Cyrus scored a 45%. To be fair, using this metric, Cyrus supports the Republican Platform 45% of the time, so he’s not completely fibbing, just mostly. To cover all bases, Cyrus gets a 20% ranking from WyoRino, and is ranked 28 out of 62 by both EvidenceBasedWyoming and WyoVote, garnering him a “moderate” label from the former and a “liberal” label from the latter. To quote Ken Pendergraft again, “I don’t think he knows what that word means.”
Not to be outdone, our local, self-appointed expert on all things political, Gail Symons, had to jump into the fray. Although ignored by Cyrus, Gail decided to tackle the Election Code Violation complaint. This is a subject near and dear to her because she too was a recipient of a complaint. Gail sent out some green postcards that claimed to be from “Your Republican Party” and had a list of precinct people to vote for. Although Gail knew better, she failed to identify who sent the cards and then claimed that they were “paid for by candidates.” The county party got lots of phone calls complaining that it was “taking sides” in the precinct races, something that is not legal per Title 22. We filed a complaint. The return address on the card was traced to a PO Box owned by the Frontier Republican PAC, Diemer True, president, Gail Symons, treasurer. Once this came out, Gail did a noble job of falling on her sword to deflect any blame from Diemer True. She also hurriedly created a County PAC and filed a financial report. Amusingly, the PAC was created well after the postcards were mailed and the complaint was filed. All of the listed contributions were received after the fact too. Gail should be commended for excelling at covering her a$$.
Gail claims that the complaint is a non-issue because the County Attorney declined prosecution. What Gail and the CA, Diana Bennett, have created is a highly amusing Catch-22 situation. The CA’s office declined prosecution because they determined that “precinct people aren’t elected officials,” hence Title 22 doesn’t apply to them. This is interesting because precinct positions are mentioned multiple times in Title 22 and precinct candidates are officially elected in a public election. The Catch-22 is this: If Title 22 doesn’t apply to precinct people, then the Republican Party can support candidates for those offices during the Primary. If precinct people really are elected officials, then Gail must be prosecuted under Title 22. So, which is it?
Why have Title 22 anyway? Clearly no one is ever prosecuted or even reprimanded for disobeying the statute. The State of Wyoming has never prosecuted an election code violation. Title 22 is no different than the gun control laws the Democrats love: It makes life difficult for the law-abiding and the criminals just ignore it.
Gail also rose to Cyrus’ defense on his violation. Consider this: Cyrus and Wrong Way Novotny created a fictious PAC based out of 30 N Gould St (Wyoming Corporate Office), had a mailer printed by a company in Utah, and paid for it via Cyrus’ campaign account with a Cashier’s Cheque that Novotny personally drove (without incident, we may add) to a Gillette bank to get. It required several search warrants for the SC Sheriff’s Office to uncover all this secretive information to connect the dots. If Cyrus is so bloody innocent, as Gail claims, why did he go to all this effort to hide his actions?
To set the record straight, we only criticize Cyrus Western because he is not being straight with you. He runs as a Republican and claims he is a Conservative, but he doesn’t support the Republican platform even half the time. He has aligned himself with the most liberal members of the Republican Party. He maligned four, respected Sheridan County citizens with a campaign mailer and has never owned up to it or apologized to them. Perhaps being impolite and unethical is how you make it as a politician, but it’s not the Cowboy Way, and Cyrus should know that.
Time to grow up, Cyrus.