Posted by: Scott | Thursday, June 21, 2007

Deciphering the Gov’s Letter

Wyoming’s Governor has received the list of names submitted by the WYGOP Central Committee. In return, he has written to the three nominees and released his letter the press:

June 20, 2007



Contact: Press Secretary Cara Eastwood
Office: (307) 777-7437
Cell: (307) 421-0197


CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Gov. Dave Freudenthal sent the following letter today to the three nominees for Wyoming’s vacant U.S. Senate seat.

The letter was addressed individually to the three candidates: John Barrasso, Cynthia Lummis and Tom Sansonetti.

I have been notified of your selection as one of three individuals eligible for appointment to serve as a Wyoming Senator pending a special election in 2008.

The statutory scheme does not require you to participate in a conversation with me prior to my appointment of a Senator within five days. However, I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with each of you prior to making the appointment. Given the partisan marathon you have just completed, I can understand a lack of enthusiasm about one more discussion of your thoughts and plans should you become a Senator for Wyoming. In order to make the conversation more useful, I am attaching a partial list of issues/matters (in no particular order) which relate to your potential role as Senator. I am not sure which of these or other items we will discuss, but these are some of the items we see in our office and in Wyoming. I am available Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon in Cheyenne.

While not on the list, federal fiscal and monetary policy has always been of interest to me and perhaps we can have an illuminating discussion.

If you wish to meet before I make my selection, please let me know. Please contact Barb Warburton at 777.7435. I would also appreciate receiving a copy of any materials you may have submitted to the central committee members. Given the public interest in this process, I am releasing this correspondence contemporaneous with its transmittal to you.

Best regards,
Dave Freudenthal

After reading the letter, I have deciphered what the Gov is really saying. Fact is, that the letter is not to the three nominees, but rather to WYGOP Chairman Fred Parady and the 71 members of the central committee:

I am terribly bitter about the list of nominees that you have submitted to me to fill the vacant Senate seat. We all know that I would rather choose Colin Simpson, Clark Stith, or Cale Case. The list that you have submitted is a thoroughly conservative politically divisive one.

Even Randall Luthi would have been acceptable. My work as U.S. Attorney in bringing wolves into Wyoming has hardly been remembered. His lack of work as Deputy U.S. Fish and Wildlife official on delisting the wolf (one of my semi-priorities to stay popular in the state) has gone just as unnoticed.

Even if I were to pick Cynthia Lummis (whom I don’t necessarily get along with very well) just to get her out of the state, it would be a round about way of her past service to the state being rewarded or recognized. On top of that, I might be forced into even more conversations with her.

If we have to go through this process again in the next few years, I please consider your choices more carefully.

Flustered in Cheyenne




  1. Haha, nice translation, Scott. It isn’t just me, is it? I mean, I really thought his entire letter just had the smell of bitterness and a pouty attitude.

  2. Lol! Nice Scott — Hope the gov reads it!

  3. I don’t see Freudenthal as being bitter at all. He recognizes that the partisan “beauty contest” has caused the candidates to be dishonest and adopt postures in which they themselves do not necessary truly believe. He seems to hope that at least one of them, in a frank and open conversation, will reveal that he or she is actually reasonable and does not embrace the Republican Party’s most extreme and irrational views. However, his best course of action is not to risk it but to appoint someone completely different.

  4. Man from Laramie –

    So, let me get this straight. You’re saying that people who share the values of the Republican Party do not have the right to be represented within Congress, but people who share values with the Democrats and Gov. Freudenthal are somehow more worthy of representation? That gives Freudenthal the right to bypass citizen-approved laws and appoint whoever he wants? Boy, that’s democratic.

  5. The citizens did not approve the law. It was rammed through by a political party in an attempt to grab power.

    The party bosses represent a national party with its own agenda, not the people of Wyoming. To have the unelected insiders of a party appoint a representative of tbat party to Congress is simply wrong. An election would be best and would be well worth the cost. However, if Freudenthal makes an appointment we are at least closer to democracy, because we elected him as Governor.But when the bosses of an power-seeking organization from out of state makes the choice (or narrows it so there essentially is no choice), it is the antithesis of democracy. This is true no matter which party it is.

  6. Let’s see, 70% of us chose a man that is very strictly conservative. the WYGOP chose three candidates that very closely resemble that choice and the Governor has chosen one.

    Have you written your state legislators about this? How about the Governor himself? You seem very concerned about a political party being involved in politics.

    You mentioned in another post (as well as here) that the nominees have had to posture themselves in positions they disagree with to earn merit with the 71.

    I saw a lot of that in Rep. Simpson with his “I don’t advocate abortion” comments. There were many that didn’t posture themselves at all for lack of being informed on an issue. Others that made statements about something, for the most part, were genuine in what they said.

    Many of the candidates depart from the national party on the immigration reform issue. You may recall the President Bush likes the idea of making 12-20 million illegals legal at the signing of a line. The answers I heard from our candidates were secure the boarder first; if anyone here illegally wants to be legal, they get to go back to where they came from first.

    Yes, I would have loved to participate in a special election, though, in the particular time if year that it is, I’m unsure what the turnout would be with family vacations or family businesses being in full swing. If you like the direct-governor appointment process, I hear South Dakota, among other states, does that.

    The US Constitution does not ban a state party from being involved in the process. It just says that the Governor gets to make the pick or call a special election. If the appointment process stopped at the state party office, yea, that would be cause for great concern. However, the governor (who in this case is a Democrat) gets the final say. I believe WYGOP did a great job in their role and I’m happy with being able to call Sen. John Barrasso my new U.S. Senator.

  7. You’re showing your partisan colors here. You disapprove of a direct appointment by the Governor strictly because he happens to be a Democrat.

    By the way, I just got wind of the fact that Freudenthal has appointed John Barrasso. Not the result I would have wanted. In fact, I am disappointed with the Governor’s lack of backbone; he should have challenged the law. But it is at least the shrewdest move he could have made if he decided to pick one of the names presented to him. Barrasso is an extremist. He has even gone as far as to try to legislate mandatory school prayer. Wyoming voters, who lean libertarian, will not like that when the 2008 election rolls around.

  8. Showing my partisan colors? Your right, I shouldn’t be so open about what I believe. The quote on my blog only implies that I’m writing down what my thoughts are. 😀

    At any rate, I don’t disapprove of direct appointment because our Governor is a Democrat. However, I don’t oppose our state law saying that the state party of the vacated seat having the initial role in weeding through potential successors. If our Democrat Governor got to directly appoint in this situation, that would suit me fine because that would have been what the law mandated. I might be a little more leery of his choice, but I would be supportive of the process. If we had a Senator with a D behind his/her name, I would not be opposed to the Wyo. Democrat Party seeking out three people to put on a list for our Governor (in whatever party) to choose one for appointment.

    As far as Wyomingites tending to be Liberaltarian, how you do you explain that Dr. Barrasso lost (yes lost) the Republican primary election to Mike Enzi for U.S. Senate in 1996? Back then, Dr. Barrasso was openly pro-abortion, and not all that different from the departing Sen. Al Simpson. But, Mike Enzi, the conservative, won.

  9. You’re claiming that abortion was the only issue, and also that one most oppose abortion to be conservative. Neither is correct.

    And Enzi is about as corrupt as they come. His office is a revolving door for the large finance and insurance companies, but citizens never get a hearing.

    By the way, that’s “Democratic party.” It’s interesting how partisans are so eager to slur even the names of their opponents. I guess that some people have a primitive urge to reduce every issue or controversy in life to “Ugh — They tribe versus our tribe.”

  10. You can call it the Democratic party — but it really doesn’t make for a very accurate description. Before long, it won’t even be a point of issue, they’ll just start calling themselves what they are:

    The Communist Party.

  11. Man From Laramie,

    Are you showing your political colors??? Republicans seldom if ever get bent out of shape when they hear or read the word Democrat. Now, if you call a Democratic (yes, I’m being politically correct now, calling those that I used to call Democrats Democratics, because they are in the Democratic party) a Democrat (no “ic”) then Democratics get all defensive and stuff. Heretofore, all previously called Democrats shall be referred to as Democratics.

    If Democratics are so “for the people,’ then why is that they are the ones seeking to enlarge government at every corner, increasing taxes (which takes more of the peoples’ money), limiting liberties of the people, etc???

    To be a TRUE conservative, yes, opposition to abortion is one of the fundamentals. Some Democratics are what can be called fiscal conservatives because they go against the grain of their national party and favor lower taxes and less spending, but they still have abortion in the “personal choice” category, thus they are socially liberal, and often thrown into the inclusive group called moderates.

    Maybe abortion wasn’t the only issue in ’96. I don’t really know since I wasn’t able to vote at that point in time. However, three are plenty of media reports from today that are focusing on that as the major issue back then. And even if it wasn’t the only issue, it certainly was one of the big differences.

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