Posted by: Scott | Saturday, June 16, 2007

Questioning Simpson and French

The Park County (WY) Republican Committee held a public forum in the Governor’s Room at the Irma Hotel in Cody this afternoon. The meeting was to allow for questioning of some of the candidates to succeed the late Sen. Craig Thomas (R-WY). Candidates present were State Rep. and House Speaker Colin Simpson (R, HD 24, Cody) and Larry French of Powell.

Both candidates had copies of their applications for those in attendance. It was good to be able to read over these before the session began.

Larry French laid out in his cover letter where he stands on the issues. In my previous post, I noted the quote from his application about being a true conservative. As I read his application and as the forum unfolded, I was pleased to see a candidate that I could support. Not that I have a vote in this go-around, but, I do in 2008 ;-). Mr. French is an excellent conservative socially and fiscally. His positions from abortion to not subjecting the U.S. to the U.N. mold a true conservative.

Rep. Simpson has traveled over 1700 miles in the past week and he hears much about the Immigration issue, the war, taxes, and public lands issues. I have to admit that it was tough looking over his information and trying to be honestly evaluating, given bits of troubling history that I’ve disclosed in other posts on this blog and others.

Honestly the application gave me very little to disagree with. The Q & A would be the opportunity to find out if the things that concerned me about Rep. Simpson (weak stance on social conservative issues) were true.

Good questions were raised by the audience, some were just seeking clarifications, others were seeking what was not known. Following is an overview of the questions/issues raised. Answers are summaries and may not be the exact wording given by the candidates.

  • Where’s the weak link in the Republican Party leadership
    French: We had a majority and acted like the minority. There is a lack of “Reaganism” in the party and a surplus of the Democrat notion of “bipartisanship.”
    Simpson : There is a complexity in the procedures. Democrats are treating the Republicans in the minority the way the Republicans as a majority treated the Democrats in minority.
  • Re: Securing the Boarder
    Simpson: We have a failure at law enforcement. The INS needs to be staffed to do their jobs and we need secure documentation. Without these, the best fence in the world will be ineffective.
    French: A fence needs to be built; people need to be employed to guard the fence; documentation needs to be verifiable and secure. Security is the first step to take in the process and then we can work on the deportations.
  • Re: Iran and N. Korea
    French: National security is at the heart of dealing with Iran and North Korea. The military option must be kept on the table in order to beat the attack and protect the citizens of this country.
    Simpson: We can’t afford “having an Iraq” all over the world. Diplomacy must be pursued, but with a big hammer
  • Do we need more immigration laws?
    Simpson: Some things do need changed, but amnesty needs to be left out of the picture.
    French: We need to enforce what we have on the books. If we need to tweak some things here or there to make a law better, we can. Bad behavior (illegal presence in the country) should not be rewarded.
  • Clarification on Rep. Simpson’s abortion views: It’s a personal decision; a vital one when rape, incest, or the life of the mother is at stake. Adoption should be pursued first. Abortion should not be federally funded.
  • What about the Committees and Sub-Committees held by Sen. Thomas?
    Simpson: Those are traditionally inherited, though the seniority level does drop.
    French: Would hope to be able to serve. Will have a reliance on the staff that is there.
  • What about staff and campaigning?
    French: Yes, the campaign trail will have to be hit early for ’08, but getting situated in the Senate position would be first.
    Simpson: 2008 is going to be a unique year for Wyoming; the Democrats are sure to be flooding the state with money. Doing the job as Senator is a huge portion of campaigning.
  • Rep. Simpson, how do you reconcile your “strict Constitutionalist” viewpoint with the belief that Roe v. Wade does not need to be overturned?
    Simpson: It’s a personal decision; would never advocate an abortion. The Constitution doesn’t require an overturn.
    French: Abortion is a long-term solution to a short-term problem. Roe v. Wade should be overturned.
  • Re: President Bush’s tax cuts
    Simpson and French both want to see these extended
  • Will you be your own man and not cave when your view or Wyoming’s view is not popular?
    French: Yes
    Simpson: Yes, but legislating does require some bargaining.
  • What about Defense of Marriage and Embryonic Stem Cells?
    French: Against the embryonic stem cell research. Cord blood and adult stem cell lines are shown to be effective. As far as marriage, one man, one woman.
    Simpson: Voted (in committee) for the Wyoming DOMA which states a marriage is between one man and one woman. We do need to pull away from the embryonic stem cell research with all the other research there is.

Well, there you have it. Larry French is supportable by the conservative wing. Rep. Simpson has a ways to go in gaining support from the conservatives.



  1. Wow, thanks for posting that, Scott! Simpson sounds like a RINO and French sounds great. đŸ™‚ Hopefully I’ll have a post up sometime tomorrow afternoon after the forum with information on more of the candidates.

  2. Look forward to seeing what happens. As understand it, the event is three hours and will be live on Wyoming Public Radio and then tape-delayed broadcast on Wyoming Public TV starting at 7 PM.

  3. The WyoPTV site only has the program at a live 2 hour broadcast and a repeated Monday night two hour broadcast, so better check at both times.

  4. Broadcast is live….

  5. […] Glenn Ross, in 2006 on the Ray Hunkins and Barbara Cubin campaigns. I met another committeewoman shortly before John Barrasso’s appointment to the U.S. Senate. Both of these fine people were present at the convention. Also present was my […]

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