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Volume II

The Campbell County Observer

August 3, 2012

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August 3 - 10, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

Questions and Answers from U.S. Senator/Representative Candidates Do you support the patriot act? If you do, why, and if not what do you plan to do about it? Thomas Blemming: I do not support the Patriot Act. The so-called “Patriot” Act is anything but patriotic. In reality this law is a declaration of war against the citizens of this country. My opponent has voted to re- authorize the Patriot Act. If I am elected to the US Senate I will vote AGAINST reauthorization of this draconian and unconstitutional legislation. Joel Otto: I do not support any provisions of the poorly named Patriot Act, which weakens basic rights and extends authority for detention and for secret surveillance of citizens.The protections enumerated in the Bill of Rights are necessary for a free society. The right to be secure in our houses, the right to a fair and speedy trial by jury, and the right to face our accusers, among other rights, should not have been casually negated by Congress. As a US Senator, I would actively push for repeal of the Patriot Act. For a legislator who has sworn to uphold the US Constitution to have voted in favor of its passage, or its renewal, is unconscionable. The defense of this country requires good intelligence, which can be obtained through legal warrants rather than universal surveillance. The apprehension and prosecution of criminals can be done through due process of law. Senator Barrasso: I support providing our law enforcement and intelligence officials with the tools and resources they need to detect, prevent and prosecute terrorist threats. I have voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act that includes sunsets on three key provisions: roving wiretaps; investing suspicious business records; and surveillance of foreign lone wolf terrorists under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. These provisions, which must

legislative compromise that adds the sales tax while leaving the others in place. Just look at Europe. The Fair Tax would strengthen central federal control. We need to restore individual rights and responsibilities, not broaden federal dependency. The Fair Tax proponents say it would be used to fund Social Security, which would sever the last link between income and retirement that Social Security was founded on. It is a tax on labor as well as goods. If labor is taxed with an income tax, or it is taxed with a sales tax, the cost is still born by the laborer. This tax is “fair” like the Patriot Act is “patriotic.” Senator Barrasso: Wyoming families deserve a tax system that is simple, fair, uniform and consistent. Most importantly, they deserve a system that is based on what is in their best interests and not the best interest of the government. It is clear that serious tax reform is warranted. I believe lowering taxes, simplifying the tax code, and reducing the burden of the federal government will ultimately result in more economic activity and growth. Getting our tax system in order will also force the federal government to spend tax dollars more responsibly. Before any major reform can be made, the future consequences of the reform must be thoroughly analyzed and fully debated. The full impact of any change to the tax code must be known prior to enactment. In addition, debate on implementing the Fair Tax must also include a debate on repealing the 16th Amendment to the Constitution that established the income tax. American taxpayers cannot afford both. Thomas Blemming: More information on this is needed before I can comment, however I do support a tax cut for the working people and middle-class

be approved by a federal judge, will expire June 1, 2015. Do you believe in the Fair Tax? Why or why not, and if yes, will you push for it? – Question by Glenn Woods (Campbell County Observer Political Columnist and Radio Talk Show Host on 1270 KIML Gillette). Joel Otto: The fair tax is a plan to replace the federal income and payroll taxes with a 23% national sales tax on the purchase of goods and services. It is claimed to be revenue neutral, in that it will raise the same amount of revenue as the current system. I do not support this tax for several reasons. First, the Fair Tax is too high. The problem with tax levels is more that they are too high than that they are unfair. Taxation is theft. There is no way to make it fair. I support reducing the federal government down to the size of a free trade agreement coupled with a defense alliance with sovereign state governments. This should require little to no federal taxation. Sales taxes are regressive. Sales taxes hit the poor harder than the rich, costing the poor a greater percentage of their income. The Fair Tax proposal has a band-aid fix for this with a monthly “advance refund” that is supposed to fix this inherent problem. It requires aggressive administration, reporting and verification of family size, and subjects all citizens to central registration. The payment checks encourage dependency on the federal government. The Fair Tax would encourage evasion. The higher a tax, the greater the incentive to avoid it. Our Wyoming sales tax is 4%, already encouraging tax-free cash transaction and barter. At 23% evasion would be rampant, creating a new class of criminals out of citizens who do not care to participate. The Fair Tax would require granting new taxing authority for the federal government, not currently permitted in the Constitution. Allowing a sales tax will not magically make the federal income tax and the shower of other federal taxes go away. Allowing a new tax could easily lead to a

Describe one bill you plan on introducing in your next/first term. Senator Barrasso: As you and I both know, Campbell County plays a critical role in the future success of Wyoming and our country. As it has done for many, many years. I believe our state and our country need an “all of the above” energy strategy. The current administration has instead pursued an “only above the ground” energy strategy. These new regulations and policies are taking away state regulation of mining activities and shifting it to the EPA. The negative impacts of these new regulations are not just felt in coal country by the loss of good paying jobs and state revenue. The new rules the Obama administration is forcing through will mean the retirement of a number of coal plants. The regulatory assault on coal has already forced 57 coal-fired power plants in 20 states to shut down. That will raise electricity costs for all of us. That is why I fight every day against all efforts by Washington bureaucrats to regulate coal out of existence. It is not just a matter of energy security; it is a matter of national security. Joel Otto: I think the key to a better country is better education. I would work first and foremost to end all federal involvement in education, and free the states, parents, and students to pursue sound educational policy. Thomas Blemming: I plan to submit a bill to permit licensed firearms holders in one state, to be permitted to carry in all 50 states.

Continued on Page 3


Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

August 3 - 10, 2012

U.S. Senator/Representative Candidates... Continued from Page 2 Wyoming, with its minimal representatives in Washington D.C., has a hard time getting policies better for our state passed. How do you plan to help the State of Wyoming in this struggle? Thomas Blemming: The problem is that my opponent is too busy giving interviews on F0X TV, rather then use his time on the Senate. Wyomingites need a fighter, one who will bring onto the Senate floor, the issues which affect each and everyone of us who live in the Cowboy state. My opponent is only interested in running for reelection. The people of Wyoming will have someone who will truly represent them, should I get elected to the US Senate.

Joel Otto: Any single state, Wyoming included, has a weak minority representation in Congress. Wyoming is not special in this regard. What is strong are ideas, especially the idea of freedom. A smaller federal government, and more freedom, is not just the best thing for Wyoming, it is the best thing for all honorable and productive people. All too often we see legislators grubbing to bring home perks and pork to their district. On a national level this has lead to the leviathan federal government we now suffer under. I think it is possible for legislators to agree to return freedom to their districts. Rather than fighting over a piece of the federal pie, I think we can let the pie be baked at home.

Senator Barrasso: Despite our small population, Wyoming has always had a prominent and influential role in shaping the course of our nation’s history. We have a rich and storied legacy of conservative leaders who have successfully fought to bring Wyoming common sense to Washington. Building on the successes of those who preceded me, I have been able to pass legislation to enhance our multiple-use of the

land, give relief to ranchers who lose livestock to wolves, and keep driver’s licenses out of the hands of illegal immigrants. Sometimes, it’s not about the legislation we pass so much as it is about the legislation and bad ideas that we stop. Bad decisions in Washington directly impact the health of our state – our freedoms, our land, and our jobs. Our future is simply too important to be left unprotected, or worse, left for Washington to decide. That is why I will always vote to limit Washington without ever limiting America.

“Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.” - Lord Acton


August 3 - 10, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

Questions and Answers from State Senator/Representative Candidates Since energy prices are dropping, how do you propose to balance the state budget? – Question by Glenn Woods (Campbell County Observer Political Columnist and Radio Talk Show Host on 1270 KIML Gillette). Douglas Gerard: To start we need to implement an across the board cut of 8%, as the Governor has suggested. This is justified in my mind due to the rather excessive growth of the state budget over the last eight to ten years. When something grows quickly it usually has a fair bit of bloat that you don’t see until you start cutting. From there we need to fix any and all long term liability problems. From there it will be about prioritizing state expenditures, in my view the top five state priorities ought to be: · Fully fund state obligations to police, fire and EMS services. · Infrastructure (roads and bridges) · K-12 Education · Medicaid · Courts/Prisons Wyoming must be more aggressive in dealing with federal agencies that have dramatic sway over Wyoming’s minerals. When these federal agencies fail to do their duty Wyoming has the responsibility to stand up to the federal government as the federal agencies cost Wyoming jobs and tax revenue. Additionally, Wyoming must find ways to limit the harm caused by obstructionist groups that impede mineral development and cost Wyoming jobs and tax revenues. Eric Barlow: When revenues are down the state must do the same thing responsible households do, make choices about the priorities of their spending. In Wyoming, the Governor prepares a budget reflecting their view of the government’s responsibilities and the Legislature reviews and adjusts it with guidance from citizens. The result should be a state budget that is prudent in matching policy to fiscal conditions. In Wyoming, previous legislatures have set aside monies in rainy day accounts to

ease the severity of cutbacks. However, exercising this option would only be prudent after a throughout examination of our priorities has been completed, and a sincere realignment reflective of those priorities has taken place. Merle McClure: I think Governor Mead has gotten a good start on it with his straight across the board budget cuts. Then after that, we would have to re-evaluate the rest of the budget and cut where ever possible until we get a balanced budget, without pulling money out of the rainy-day fund. That fund is intended for a flood not a light rain. Sue Wallis: The Wyoming Legislature, and the Appropriations Committee on which I currently serve, has been fully engaged in this process along with the Governor and the Executive branch since our Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) projections began indicating what the impact of falling prices was going to be on the state’s budget, and the fact that the longterm outlook shows that revenues will likely be level at best, and could easily be declining for the next five or six years. I have just wrapped up two days of interim joint committee meetings in Cheyenne where Appropriations started reviewing the agency’s plans for 8% cuts. In the last Budget Session we cut over $1 Billion dollars out of the state budget as compared to the immediately previous years. Each agency has been asked to approach this not as a straight across the board cut, but to take a very thorough and comprehensive look at the programs they are in charge of, as compared to their mission, and to prioritize carefully to make sure that essential services are impacted as little as possible, but anything that is less needed, or not completely within their mission, or redundant with some other agency or program would be cut completely. The important thing is that we set priorities, make the hard decisions, and ensure the long-term health and sustainability of our state finances. Of course, this year in particular we are also juggling many uncertainties stemming

from the federal government, and how we are going to deal with the inevitable severe decline in federal payments into state budgets. In my view, this is ultimately a positive, because although we may need to go through some short-term pain as we adjust to these changes, in the long run Wyoming will be on much more solid ground financially, and we will regain at least some control over our own destiny, and be able to establish our own priorities without federal interference. Simply put, we need to pay our own bills. Tom Lubnau: The primary budget officer in the state is the Governor. An individual legislator can make suggestions as to changes in the budget, but it takes 31 votes in the house, 16 votes in the Senate and the signature of the governor before a legislator suggestion can become law. I have been, and am working very closely with the Governor and the appropriations committee to cut spending. The bulk of the state’s budget is consumed by education spending and expenditures through

the Department of Health. We need to closely examine the Department of Health expenditures and determine if there are entitlement expenses, grant programs and others services which can be offered more efficiently. The legislature has asked each department to present 2, 4 and 8 percent budget cuts. The Governor is to present those cuts in his budget this fall. The Wyoming legislature successfully cut $1 billion dollars in spending in the last two sessions. Through a carefully considered process, we can continue the process of shrinking government. Norine Kasperik: I support the move by Governor Mead and Joint Appropriations Committee to ask state agencies to prepare for 8% budget cuts. These cuts should not be made ‘across the board’ but where it makes sense for Wyoming. Looking carefully at our budget should occur in all years, not just lean years to insure that we are always right-sized. Continued on Page 5 & 6

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Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

August 3 - 10, 2012

State Senator/Representative Candidates... Continued from page 4 Describe one bill you plan on introducing in your next/first term. Eric Barlow: There are three private property rights cases which will be heard by the courts over the next several months which could have profoundly negative impacts on all private property rights in Wyoming. Depending on the outcome of these cases, I will be prepared to introduce legislation to fortify the Constitutional requirements that private property shall not be taken or damaged without just compensation, due compensation and due process of law. Merle McClure: I would like to re-introduce term limits for all State elected officials, leaving the three federal level elected representatives with no term limits. This should get newer and better ideas in the State level positions to put a halt to unnecessary spending. Sue Wallis: I plan to introduce a “Wyoming Regulatory Review and Rescission Act” with the purpose of instituting a system allowing state lawmakers to examine the efficacy of regulations before implementation, reviewing costs, benefits, and potential impacts on employment. In addition, this legislation would provide a system of retrospective review of regulations three years after they take effect. Finally, the legislation would grant to the Governor the power to rescind regulations after the retrospective review. Currently, once the Legislature enacts legislation that is signed by the Governor and becomes law, the various agencies are responsible for promulgating rules and regulations that detail how they will carry out whatever is the charge of the law. But there is no requirement for those rules and regulations to go through any kind of cost benefit analysis, or consideration of how they are likely to effect businesses and individuals. They do have to go through the administrative procedures process of pub-

lic notice, public hearings if requested, and so forth...but no retrospective look to see whether the rule did what it was supposed to do, or if the effect was commensurate with the risk of having no rule. Nearly everyone agrees that our entire economy is now deeply impacted by the plethora of rules and regulations that increase costs, raise barriers to the American entrepreneurial spirit, and are often completely contrary to the best interests of the state, or our constitutional rights as individuals. This is one practical approach that could make a real difference in Wyoming. Norine Kasperik: I am currently working with constituents to address revisions to several statutes. In addition, I currently serve on the Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee and will continue to support legislation that promotes energy exploration and development. Tom Lubnau: Last week, I wrote in this interview about a bill protect privacy rights by requiring a search warrant approved by a judge before the government can use a drone to conduct surveillance of private citizens. Please allow me to expand that explanation. The bill is important, because the federal government is allowing the proliferation of drones for law enforcement and according to Janet Napalitano, “public safety” purposes. While there are legitimate law enforcement uses for drones, whole scale surveillance of the public, without probable cause is an overstep of government, and shifts too much power to the government. The balancing comes with having to obtain a search warrant to use the drone. Unless law enforcement can show probable cause for a reason to spy on people, they shouldn’t spy on people from the sky. Douglas Gerard: Being a freshman representative would be a great honor, and there is much I would have to learn and would be judicious in my first year. With this in mind there is only one particular is-

sue I feel I must take the lead on and that is only due to my involvement with the issue of health care freedom since 2008. The one bill I am considering depends on the voters of Wyoming. The Wyoming Health Care Freedom Amendment is on the ballot this November. Every Wyoming voter should vote for this important amendment, and I expect it to win approval. We must make sure the courts don’t twist the intent of the amendment into something Wyoming does not intend. I would like to be a sponsor of the bill that limits the court’s interpretation of the Health Care Freedom Amendment. What do you plan to do to further improve the education standards in Wyoming?-Question by Cathy Raney Merle McClure: We have to reform our public school system, reevaluate charter schools, endorse private schools which have made great progress in other states, make sure home schooling has the same academic standards which are in line with State standards, pay teachers on merit instead of seniority, up our overall standards and abandon “No Child Left Behind” policy, and make sure the gifted children are not held back and allowed to advance to their greatest academic ability. Sue Wallis: As recent national studies have highlighted, and as the Legislature has been deeply concerned about, Wyoming spends more money per student than practically any other state in the Nation, and yet our student achievement can be described as mediocre at best, and far lower than states like Utah who achieve at the highest levels in the country, and yet spend at near the bottom. So, obviously, throwing more money at a dysfunctional state monopoly is not the answer. I believe that the most practical thing we can do that would both preserve our prized public education for every student, at the same time as we drive innovation and excellence is to tie


state spending irretrievably to individual students, and give parents real choice in terms of selecting what public school they want their child attends, or a publicly funded charter school, or if they child is not being well served by those public institutions, allowing them to take the funding provided for their child’s education and enroll them in a private or parochial school that does. We should be funding students, not the system. As experience in other states has clearly proven, when competition and real choice is provided both the public schools and the alternative providers benefit and student achievement increases across the board. Norine Kasperik: We need to continue working on Education Accountability that was started in 2011. We spend almost $16,000/student in Wyoming and only see modest improvements in results. Education needs to be meaningful and relevant for our kids and prepare them to be college-ready or work-ready. College readiness needs to have a strong focus on career-oriented careers. It is projected that the educational needs from now to 2018 include: • Bachelor’s degree or higher 33% •Some college or an Associate’s Degree 30% • High School or Less 36% People are successful when they choose the right direction for themselves. We need to make sure that they have the best K-12 education to assist them in choosing and achieving that right direction. Tom Lubnau: The issue is not standards. The issue is accountability. The State of Wyoming has set very high education standards. The key in improving the educational process is to measure performance and hold people accountable. For those administrators and educators who are high performers, the State of Wyoming should take advantage of their professional expertise, and share that expertise with Contined on Page 6

August 3 - 10, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

State Senator/Representative Candidates... Continued from pages 4 & 5 those educators who are not performing well. For two years, the legislature has been working on a comprehensive educational accountability model, which holds students, teachers and administrators accountable for their successes and their failures. We need to create a situation where the testing administered provides real-time statistically valid data, such as a MAP model, and use that data at a local level to make management decisions. We need to measure our educators as well as our students, and we need to capture the successful methodologies and share those methodologies with those teacher who are not having the same success. The next thing the State of Wyoming needs to do is to refocus on local control of education. Standards set from Washington, D.C. or Cheyenne do not take into consideration local concerns. Douglas Gerard: I think there is a big difference between standards and achievement. The standard for reading and math don’t really need changing, rather we need to find way to improve our success in graduating students that can read, do math and functional life skills (balancing a check book for example). We know what our kids need to know, we just don’t do as well as we might in getting the job done. One of the things that is a big factor in schooling success is parental involvement. Of course you can’t legislate parental involvement, but you can give parents more options in helping shape the education their kids receive. This is why I am in favor of Wyoming becoming the first school choice state in the country. I believe we can do this and save the state money as well. Wyoming has a constitutional responsibility to educate each child. We should do this by empowering parents to choose the education they think best for their child. Eric Barlow: Many dedicated folks have and continue to work towards improving educational opportunities in Wyoming. Their work is appreciated. I believe the best result of an education is the ability to

consider information and make good decisions, to solve problems. This is what individuals, families and communities all need to be successful. I also will follow the money. It is paramount that the greatest majority of our educational investments make it to the classroom. The legislature should consider establishing guidance in this area. Finally, as a home school family, we have accepted much of the responsibility of ensuring our children’s educational success. I will support ways to better engage families and communities in the success of Wyoming’s children’s education.

is working in a positive direction to ensure our state government meets the needs of Wyoming without growing uncontrollably. Tom Lubnau: The State of Wyoming has too much bureaucracy. When one conducts a root cause analysis of what created the bureaucracy, one find that Federal Government intrusion, over-reaching and over-regulation is at the root cause of much of the bureaucracy. The key is to work with sister states to eliminate the overreach of the federal government. Insidious federal standards, that have crept into every facet of government, from healthcare to highways, from minerals to education seem to be at the root of much of our bureaucracy. The federal government has an interesting way of making all types of regulations, and then placing the burden on state and local government to enforce those regulations. The Wyoming legislature has been focusing on push-back on the overreach of federal regulations with a focus on the energy arena, since it is our primary lifeblood. We are working with legislators from likeminded states in an effort to push-back on the federal legislation. I have been the chairman of that effort for two years. At home, we have to be ever vigilant and supervise our government agencies to make sure they don’t attempt to expand their powers through government regulation. If an agency is overstepping its bounds, then legislation is in order to stop the overstep. In the next legislative session, if Rep. Wallis is reelected, she will offer legislation to deregulate raw milk and family bake sales. As always, I support her in those efforts. Douglas Gerard: By and large Wyoming is a well-run state. Most of our problems however are with federal agencies. With such a large percentage of Wyoming being owned by the federal government, the federal government and its rules, regulation and multitude of agencies are more often in the way. The time delays, costly legal challenges from outside obstructionist groups and other slowdowns are all enabled by the bureau-

Do you think the State of Wyoming has too much bureaucracy? Why or why not? If so, what steps do you plan on taking to reduce it? Sue Wallis: Yes, I do. Beyond the Regulatory Review Act described above, I think that a great deal of the growth of bureaucracy is directly due to the inordinate amount of federal interference in our state. For instance, a great deal of growth in the bureaucracy of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on the state level is driven by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, similarly the growth in the Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of Agriculture and most of the rest is being driven from the federal end. The more we can reassert Wyoming primacy over our every area, the more we can regain control, and can rein in the inordinate and counter productive growth of bureaucracy. Norine Kasperik: Our state government has grown. It is prudent to have smaller government and to make sure that there is no overlap of services and that processes are always efficient and meet the needs of Wyoming citizens. We have begun the process of identifying excesses in the Department of Health where costs continue to rise. We need to continue this work. We have also seen the merger of the Department of Employment and the Department of Workforce Services. This


cratic rules of agencies such as the EPA and the BLM. This costs Wyoming jobs and hurts Wyoming families. Wyoming needs to become more proactive in issues such as endangered species listings and delistings, critical habitat, NEPA, etc. The Wyoming legislature and the Wyoming Attorney General’s office has and will continue to play a key role in these problems. Eric Barlow: Yes. There are numerous examples in Wyoming where the process is cumbersome and unnecessarily increases cost, or disenfranchises citizens. The current Department of Agriculture rulemaking process provides a perfect example. Wyoming has an agency undertaking activities which are unwarranted. Then, when it becomes aware that many citizens have grave reservations about its actions, it doesn’t reconsider, but forges ahead. This disregard means that citizens must spend their valuable time responding to a proposal which is unproductive. This needs to stop. Another example is the repetition and duplication mineral industries contend with in the permitting process. In this day and age, a one stop online shop could surely be developed to more efficiently and effectively provide them the authorities they seek. It would save time and money, both precious resources in their own right. There are many opportunities to simplify government and I welcome your suggestions. Merle McClure: All States and the Federal Government have way too much bureaucracy. I don’t know what exactly can be done about it, but a good start would be to re-evaluate everybody that is in an appointed position, and if they are not preforming to specs, preforming a current need, or abusing their position for their own gain, they need to be terminated and a new person re-appointed if the position is actually necessary. (With Wyoming’s revenues going down, we need to trim all State government where ever we can, and I believe this would eliminate some of our bureaucracy.)

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

August 3 - 10, 2012

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Eric Barlow running for House of Representatives District 3 Eric Barlow is a Republican Candidate running for the Wyoming House of Representatives, House District 3. Eric is a 4th generation Campbell County resident. Born and raised on a ranch in Gillette, WY in 1966 to Bill and Bernadette Barlow, his family has had oil and gas activity on their land for over 50 years, 15 of which Eric Barlow was personally involved with. Eric believes that Energy is the bread winner of our state and that we have incredible resources. He stated that as an industry, coal provides a remarkable example and is to be commended. Eric Barlow is the Livestock Board Representative for Campbell County, Sheridan County and Johnson County. He says, “My job is to listen, learn and do the best I can. I want to do the best I can for Wyoming

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and for the folks of the area.” Eric Barlow started a military career by joining the Marine Corps. He served stateside from 1984-1988 during the Cold War. After leaving the Corps. He went to college and earned his degree as a veterinarian. He moved around for a few years performing veterinarian work in Macedonia and even working in Australia for a year. His supportive family includes his wife Kelly, a retired Special Education teacher who has homeschooled their 2 children. The oldest, Kate, is enrolled in the Sheridan College in the criminal Justice Program but is currently in South Korea for 2 months in an exchange program. Their son, Graham, who is starting his Senior Year in the fall here in Gillette.

Opinions expressed in these four special editions of the Campbell County Observer 2012 Election Guide are not the opinions of the Campbell County Observer or it’s staff. We have decided to do our election guide different than other newspapers this year. First, you will only see the answers and interviews from the candidates that paid the money to get in our Election Guide. We did this for two reasons. First, most newspapers charge outrageous prices for candidates advertising and give them minimal coverage throughout. We have found a way to pay for the printing of our special section, save the candidates money, and give them the exposure they deserve while also giving the voters more information to cast a proper vote. The Campbell County Observer or our staff will not endorse any candidate. We believe that providing the voter of Campbell County with the information they need would be the best effort we can do during the election. We apologize for any candidate that did not pay in to answer the questions and therefor will not be in our guide. Many of these have full time jobs while running for office, and may not have the financing to do so. All candidates may still pay in and enter in the remaining issues. Public Questions to the Candidates will be accepted. Please email your questions to


August 3 - 10, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

Questions and Answers from County Commissioner Candidates With the lower prices of Coal and Gas, Campbell County could be facing a lower budget. How do you plan on compensating for that income loss? – Campbell County Observer Staff Chris Knapp: As a member of the current Commission, I have been a supporter of designated depreciation and long term maintenance accounts so that interest can be used in the future for fleet, major repairs, roads, maintenance, and capital replacement. We have also kept hiring at a minimum with every position being scrutinized in budget. I supported the consolidation of financial, maintenance, and custodial services in the last four years in the County to do more with less. The Commissioners have also taken advantage of revenues to repair or replace current infrastructure and buildings. We have worked on roads, culverts, maintenance, and buildings to prepare Campbell County for the next 30 years. With this current budget, Campbell County is debt free and is continuing to build up capital and long term maintenance reserves. I would continue to make this a priority. It is because we have set ourselves up for the future, that the loss of income will not affect the quality of services for our citizens. Campbell County is financially prepared for the future. Steve Hughes: The highest priority in next years budget will be to continue to adequately fund the operating budgets or county offices, departments, and boards in order to provide the public with those services required by state law. The asset valuation of the county will be down but still adequate to fund the budgets. Garry Becker: Because of the generous tax receipts and generous budgets of the past few years the county is in good shape financially. The northern drive project has already been

budgeted. We need to prioritize capital construction carefully and may have to “tighten the belt”. There may come a time when the county may not be able to give wage increases yearly as was the situation in Natrona County this year. In the private sector some people have been thankful just for the ability to keep their jobs. Mark Christensen: As I have noted a number of times, there are both political and market forces that are affecting Campbell County’s future. In recent decades, the one resource that has remained steady and contributed most to the County’s revenues has been coal. We have always had a presence in agriculture, oil, most recently methane gas, and we are seeing large increases in uranium production now. However, the mainstay in the budget has been PRB coal. Unfortunately, the current Washington leadership has made it their goal to eliminate the use of coal and fossil fuels. This trend has also caught hold with many of the American people who do not understand how their power is generated, thegreat lengths that our mines go to for the environment/reclamation, and thetechnology that has allowed electric producers to burn coal cleaner. They also do not realize that coal is the most cost-effective way for generating base load power. This coupled with unusually low natural gas prices as a result of fracking to open up huge deposits of natural gas has created an environment where companies are replacing their existing coal-fired power plants with natural gas. Natural gas prices will go back up. I’m afraid, however, that the green movementis likely here to stay. We can do a lot to educate the American people on the great things about coal and the ways that we produce it in Campbell County. However, I still think we need to focus on the real possibility of declining budgets. When you are faced with declining revenues, the only reasonable solution is to decrease spending. Our County has always been responsible in building as we can afford it, instead of creating debt obligations for future generations. I think that the first and easiest cuts should be made to capi-

tal spending – specifically capital facilities. We need to first take care of what we have before we go out and create additional obligations for funding support in the future. The Commission in the past has done a great job of contributing funds to maintenance and reserve accounts for the benefit of County facilities, vehicles, and operations in the future, and this trend should continue. Even if we do start to see a transition away from coal-fired power plants, it is going to take some time for that to happen and we have time to put in place policies and funds for the County’s future use. Do you believe that the current 1% penny tax is distributed correctly? Why or why not? Mark Christensen: There will always be people who disagree with the way that tax dollars are spent – myself included. However, I think the Commission does a pretty good job of spending their share of the 1% dollars effectively (remember those funds are split between all of the entities – not just the County). A major recipient of 1% dollars from the County are non-profits and service agencies. These groups provide services that in many counties, cities, or states would be provided by government. I think this is a great approach to handling a number of the community needs provided by our service agencies. As a general rule, non-profits and service agencies do a better job with less money. As we all know, when government takes over the result is inefficiency, bureaucracy, and high cost. These service agencies are also better at encouraging and using volunteers – another great way to limit costs. With regard to the 1% sales tax, I am a strong supporter. We have a number of people who work for Campbell County employers at Campbell County locations who commute from surrounding counties. Those people take monies earned in Campbell County out of our economy and put them to use in their home counties and towns. They do not own property here and therefore do not pay property taxes. They usually don’t license their vehicles in Campbell County either. The 1% sales tax


is the only opportunity we have to make these people pay their share towards Campbell County operations. Garry Becker: The “penny” tax is one of the few taxes that local citizens have any say in how it is spent. The many taxes that we sent to the Federal Government seem to disappear. As in the past, local government gets citizen input as to how it is spent. The funds from this tax and the lodging tax has the benefit of being spent locally. However, these two taxes are only taxes on which the citizens can vote. Chris Knapp: The current 1% sales tax follows the State formula for distribution. There are different formulas and distributions for all revenues coming in from the State. There is only one pie and the Governor has appreciation for the services local governments provide. I would advocate for additional funds for all Cities, Towns and Counties from the State of Wyoming. The County 1% penny tax helps our social service agencies, senior citizens, our fire and law enforcement, the Gillette College and countless other services for the community as a whole. I believe the County receives adequate resources from the optional penny to provide these services. Steve Hughes: The 1% sales tax is distributed according to State Statue. Continued on Page 9

“Most of the energy of political work is devoted to correcting the effects of mismanagement of government.” - Milton Friedman

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

August 3 - 10, 2012

County Commissioner Candidates... Continued from Page 8 Describe one ordinance you will introduce in your next/first term. Garry Becker: None! My goal is to cut down on rules and regulations, not to add to them. Would it not be a pleasant change if governments would have to rescind a law before they could pass a new one? Chris Knapp: While the County does not have ordinances as a tool for regulating, we do have planning, zoning and building regulations. I believe that our objective should be to reduce regulations, not add to them. An example of this is the lot line adjustment. The Commissioners focused on the extensive process to change a lot line and determined it had to be made more simple and easy to do. After working with a committee made up of community and staff, the requirements were reduced to save months of time by the applicant. While regulations should promote safety, the County has chosen to limit overuse of them and continues to provide customer service to educate the public. I would continue to promote that culture. Mark Christensen: At this time, I do not plan to introduce any new ordinances. I would like to make sure County government is efficient and easy to work with for community members and businesses, and I will make myself available for questions and comments. If the people tell me there is an ordinance which needs changed or something new needs to be done, we can make that happen at that time. Steve Hughes: I have no plans to add any ordinances.

The city of Wright feels left out of much of the County’s benefits because of the attention given to the City of Gillette. Do you think this is accurate? Why or why not? – Question by Jane Williamson Steve Hughes: The County Commissioners represent all the citizens of Campbell County. The County has partnered with the City of Wright and The City of Gillette in many worthwhile projects and will continue to do so in the future. Chris Knapp: There are times when the citizens of Wright may feel the City of Gillette receives more attention. The City of Gillette is the County seat. It is more populated and it receives it’s own revenues locally and from State distributions that allow it to provide services to those within City limits. However the County treats citizens as Campbell County residents, not City or Town. The services we provide are centrally located and can sometimes require branches in the southern end of the County such as the Library and Recreation Center. I believe these facilities, show a commitment by the County to provide services to all County residents. The County Commissioners have an excellent relationship with Wight Town Council and Mayor Tim Albin. On a recent tour of Wright, the Mayor pointed out the cooperation it took to build what he felt were the cornerstones of the community. The County Commissioners have helped in adding the Wright Library, the Wright Fire Station, and the upcoming Wright Recreation Center. I am proud of the relationships we have forged with previous and current Wright Town Councils and Mayors. We have both personal and professional relationships that continue to be productive and positive. We have worked to communicate and build relationships with the State, the School District, Campbell County Memorial Hospital, the City of Gillette, and the Town of Wright to provide the best ser-

vices to ALL citizens of Campbell County. Revenues to each may come from different sources but we pull together to ensure we maximize those funds. In the words of Mayor Albin, “We believe the Town of Wright is the best place to live.” I believe it is the same for all of Campbell County. When we work together the Town of Wright and Campbell County are just that, the best place to live. Mark Christensen: I think this sentiment comes from a long line of decisions over many decades. In terms of distributing County funds, it makes the most sense to distribute them according to population and the City of Gillette has the most Campbell County citizens. However, you also have to recognize that with larger numbers of people come greater efficiencies of scale. For that reason, some adjustment beyond population needs to be made when budgeting funds for use in Wright. I just yesterday returned from a tour of Wright. There are a lot of great things happening there. Many of them are the result of partnership (the new fire station completed a couple of years ago, the Wright Branch Library, and the new Wright rec-

reation center under construction now). There are also many things happening in Wright because of the leadership within that town. I do believe that there are additional opportunities for partnership between the Town of Wright and Campbell County. Those opportunities will have to be evaluated as they come up, but I am definitely aware of our neighbors to the south and do want to ensure they are fairly represented on the Commission. Garry Becker: There may have been some validity to this at one time but I think the county and Gillette have been “fair” recently. There have been many capital construction projects recently such as the new recreation center, fire station and a decade ago the modern clinic. The elected officials of Gillette, Wright and the county have shown remarkable skill in cooperating in dividing the funds in as equitable manner as possible. Some facilities are reasonable only in a larger community and the citizens of Wright can utilize them in Gillette which is closer than Casper; but within reason I think is prudent for Wright to continue to get as many amenities as possible.

Joke of the week Submitted by George Arnold

Newspaper Headlines in the Year 2035 Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh largest country in the world, California. Spotted Owl plague threatens northwestern United States crops & livestock. George Z. Bush says he will run for President in 2036. 35 year government study: diet and exercise is the key to weight loss. Average height of NBA players now nine feet, seven inches. Microsoft announces it has perfected its newest version of Windows so it crashes BEFORE installation is completed. New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screw-drivers and baseball bats must be registered by January 2036.


August 3 - 10, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

Questions and Answers from City Council Candidates Do you believe that the City-Wide Smoking ban that the substance abuse advisory council plans to introduce in early 2013 is unconstitutional? Why or Why not? – Question by Glenn Woods (Campbell County Observer Political Columnist and Radio Talk Show Host on 1270 KIML Gillette). John Wayne: I am not in favor of a City-Wide smoking ban. Current City Policy : For health and safety considerations, the City prohibits smoking in all City Facilities, including City owned buildings, property, vehicles, offices or other facilities rented or leased by the City – other than areas designated for smoking. Though I do not personally smoke, I would not support a proclamation, ordinance, or policy change for public buildings which might impede a smokers (citizens) right to smoke in a designated area. It is a fundamental right for a business owner to determine their establishments smoking policy, for example Perkins Restaurant has a smoking and nonsmoking area or Mingles which recently decided to go nonsmoking. Either way it was a decision which the business made. Folks in the great state of Wyoming should continue to have the freedom to make choices such as; where to work (smoking or nonsmoking w/ designated areas) , where to eat (smoking or nonsmoking), and where to spend their money (smoking or nonsmoking). Again I would not support a proclamation or ordinance which would impede on a business owners or citizens right of choice. Scott Clem: There is a war in America on our civil liberties. All accross the nation local, state, and even the federal government want to nanny over people’s lives. I don’t believe, nor want a nanny state. What happens when people in government try to reign in civil liberties? Just take a good look at New York City. Their city council has imposed a ban on smoking, a ban on certain kinds of fats in food, and now attempts to limit salt and the amount of so-

da-pop one can drink. “It’s a public health problem,” they say. No, it’s a government gone wild problem. The problem with any kind of government is that it wants to grow. Unless deliberate actions are taken to reign in government, government will reign over us. Is a city-wide ban on smoking unconstitutional? I’m not a legal expert, and there is a bitter fued between whether a policy like this is unconstitutional or not. Given what we know about second hand smoke, my personal view is that it would be unconstitutional for the Federal and State governments to impose such a ban. But in the case of a local municipality, I believe, under the the 10th ammendment, that people could impose such a ban if they wanted to. However, I do believe its a really bad policy. I’m not against the government passing laws that protect public safety. For instance I am a supporter of our laws against illicit drugs including marijuana, but a fine line has to be drawn. What about the hazards of second-hand smoke? We know the long term affects of continuous exposure to second-hand smoke are not good, but unless the limited exposure of second-hand smoke from going to a restaurant is determined to cause such a significant hazard to the majority of people’s health, I see no reason for government to get involved. Folks say, “It’s a nuisance and shouldn’t be allowed.” I don’t like secondhand smoke. I don’t like people who are loud and obnoxious in resaurants either, but I respect the fact that people have the personal liberty to do those things, whether I like them or not. If I don’t like it, I can give someone else my business. Let the free market solve this problem. Describe one ordinance you will introduce in your next/first term. Scott Clem: Why do we have ordinance and regulations? To protect people and their rights, and provide a peaceful and safe place to live.. We have laws that do that. It is against the law to steal, it is against the law to drive drunk, it is against the law to batter or assault someone, it is against the law to be overtly

loud at 3:00 in the morning. I think it’s important to review existing ordinances and regulations to make sure their intended purpose is being fulfilled, and that we are not over-regulating people’s lives and their liberties. I’m for limited government. Let’s have the ordinances that are needful, but no more. I’m not in the business of controlling people’s lives. I may disagree with some choices people make, and I’ll let them know about it, but I don’t think its the government’s role to force people to make certain decisions on how they live their lives. What ordinance would I introduce? Gosh, I really don’t know. If I could help it, I don’t think I would introduce any ordinance, unless I felt it was interfering with people’s liberty or public safety. One thing that has garnered some attention is the animal ordinance. While I am not in favor of having barn yard animals in the city, like chickens, cows and pot-belly pigs. However, I see no reason why a person couldn’t have a tea-cup pig for a pet. That’s what they’re bred for. I think a little common sense tells us that barn yard animals don’t belong in the city, they belong in the county. But if you want an exotic pet, like a tea-cup pig, who am I to tell you what to do? Go and get yourself a big huge python, terantula, and tea-cup pig. Just don’t invite me over to your house :) John Wayne: I have none.

What do you see the population of Gillette being in 10 years? Why? If up or down, how should the City Council prepare for income/expense? – Question by Bill Fortner John Wayne: I am hopeful that Gillette continues to grow by another 10,000 citizens in the next ten years. Fiscally responsible budgeting depends on City revenues and reserves I believe in a holistic approach to budgeting which means if revenues are pro-


jected to be down five percent you cut all departments five percent with the possible exception of departments responsible for public safety such as police and fire. If revenues are up you could consider an extra infusion in reserves for a rainy day or the reduction of fees to apply for city permits or a budget increase which would be fair to all the departments involved which all serve the community. Scott Clem: Anyone who has lived in Gillette for a good amount have time has learned that we have been a boom and bust town. While I still think this is true, I also believe Gillette is beginning to experience a steady amount of growth and will continue to do so. Our energy industry is under attack by the so called green movement. Nevertheless, there are other countries who still desire and want what we have in our ground. Will there be slowdowns in the energy indrustry? Yes, but I don’t think the energy industry will ever come to a complete standstill. Gillette has changed over the years. Our town is becoming more beautiful and desirable to families. Outside of jobs and schools, its been reported that families looking to settle down focus on parks and recreation. While we may not be a top tourist hotspot, we live right in the middle between the big horns and the black hills. Our higher education in Gillette continues to improve and expand. Out town has become more diversified in business and will continue to do so. People seem to enjoy the standard of living they experience in Gillette. We have a lot to offer. It would not suprise me if the population continued to grow and was 37,000 to 40,000 in the next 10 years. Whether our population stays the same, increases, or decreases, we have to live within our means. I am passionate about the city not having any debt. Those debts that we have must be paid off, if possible. Those municipalities around our country that have claimed bankruptsy all have one thing in common: they took on debt when things were looking good. I don’t want Gillette to ever operate that way. Continued on Page 11

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

August 3 - 10, 2012

City Council Candidates... Continued from Page 10 Do you believe that the Field of Dreams should have been a special election by the people? Why or why not? Scott Clem: The answer is no, and the reasons for this are as follows: Gillette has built good parks in the past without special election. Just look at Bicentennial Park or Dalbey Memorial Park. So what is different about this park that would be cause for special election? I believe what has garnered the most attention is the sticker shock. Millions and millions of dollars, but why, when and for how long? What the city failed to emphasize is that this was the total price 20 years later after completion, and that this was a concervative number, unlike what we got

from the new Recreation Center and the Wyoming Center. This price tag can and should be trimmed. Also, the master plan for the field of dreams is only a guide. If you’re going to plan something, you’re going to do it right. This is what the planners did. It is what the park could be, not what the park will be. Another difference is the partnerships involved with this particular park. I like the idea of partnering with private companies. I don’t think we need to have a public referendum to allow our city government to partner with private business. Now this doesn’t mean that the city will be footing the bill for their projects. They must supply their own funds for their own programs. For instance the Boy’s and Girl’s Club will need to provide their own money for their project. These entities needs to get some skin in the game. The uniqueness

of this park is that it has the potential to have many different entities all inside one general area. Some have asked, “Do we really need a new park?” I think the answer is yes. Our city is currenlty enhancing some of our city parks. The Parks and Pathways Master Plan, along with the Field of Dreams Master Plan, has examined all of our city parks and gave them a “health inspection” so to speak. It identifed areas that could be improved, expanded, more accessible for the general public, ect. The fact of the matter is that Baseball and Softball programs are needing more room. They approached the council at least a couple years ago to address this topic. Where are we going to put these fields? I think the best answer is to start a new park that will accomidate the room they need, and that will be able to grow with the community. This doesn’t


mean we have to go hog wild with this park. The council needs to work diligently to aquire more partnerships for this park, and the council needs to be in tune with the public and think cautiously with the 1% tax money that will go into this project. John Wayne: The Field of Dreams could have handled by special election such as the Madison Waterline Project yet it was brought through the city council. If a group has an idea for a project involving tax payer funds there is always more than one way to approach it. On its current path and at this point I believe the council needs to take a step back and review the need, funding, and the design plan upon its completion before taking one more step forward.

August 3 - 10, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

Questions/Answers from last week

Candidates Eric Barlow, Scott Clem, John Wayne, and Norine Kasperik did not have the opportunity to respond to the questions before press time last week. Here is their responses to the questions.

State Senator/Representative Do you agree with the Affordable Care Act? Why or Why not? If you are against it, what do you plan on doing to keep Wyoming sovereign from the Act? Eric Barlow: No. However, the United States Supreme Court has made its determinations on the ACA and until Congress reconsiders it, or the Court rules differently, it is the law of the land. As a Wyoming legislator, my task will be to better understand the implications of the law and help Wyoming best address them. This is what Governor Mead and the current Legislature has undertaken in preparation for the next legislative session. I will work to understand the complexities of the issue and promote solutions for individuals and Wyoming. As someone who writes a $1600 check each month for my family’s health insurance, I understand the significant cost of health care. I strongly believe the primary responsibilities and choices for my health care should be mine. Norine Kasperik: I do not support the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Healthcare decisions need to be made by individuals in consultation with their health care provider. I supported the Healthcare Freedom Amendment to the Wyoming constitution which voters will decide in the November election. In 2011, I was one of four legislators appointed to the Health Benefit Exchange Steering Team. A Health Benefit Exchange is one of the first state mandates in ACA and states a plan for an Exchange needs to be in place by January 1, 2013. This team has studied the feasibility of establishing a Wyoming Exchange. What we

found is with Wyoming’s low population base, the costs are unaffordable. I support waiting for the outcome of the November election and the repeal of ACA. Health care reform needs to be approached in a measured and organized way to deal with the issues of insurance reform, tort reform and accessibility. Do you believe that the position that you are running for should have term limits? Why or Why not? Norine Kasperik: I believe that term limits take place at the ballot box. If I or any elected official is not doing the job that they were elected to do, they should be voted out. Without a balance of experienced leadership and fresh ideas, too much power could switch to an unelected bureaucracy. This is happening in states like California and is not good and responsible representative government. Eric Barlow: I believe we need an election system where specified terms limits are unneeded, because the process gives voters optimal options at the ballot box. However, if House District 3’s and Wyoming’s citizens are interested in considering a Constitutional amendment specifying term limits, I will abide by their wishes.

Do you plan on introducing legislation that would nullify current law? If so, which law and why? Norine Kasperik: I have no specific plans for nullification of a specific bill. I believe that as an elected legislator, it is important to study all laws and take action as necessary to ensure laws make sense and work for the citizens of Wyoming. I have supported laws and resolutions in the past two years to support state sovereignty and to minimize federal intrusion into states’ rights.

Eric Barlow: Current Wyoming law provides many opportunities for improvements. As a freshman legislator, my focus will be on understanding the process and contributing to sound legislation, both to improve current law and remove dead weight. My overall goal will always be to enhance our personal freedoms and hold government accountable. Thus, while I do not have a personal axe list, I will be attentive to the interests of House District 3 and any suggestions they put forth.

The Wyoming Department of Agriculture is trying to instate a ban on cow sharing. Are you for or against this rule, and why? Eric Barlow: I am against both the rule and the process that provided it. The Legislature needs to reexamine the basis by which an agency can arbitrarily limit a citizen’s ability to enjoy the full potential of their private property, and why the rulemaking process is not more responsive to the interests of Wyoming citizens. Norine Kasperik: I am against the rule to ban cow sharing. Individuals have the right to contract.

City Council Do you support a city wide gun ban? Why or why not? – Question by Glenn Woods (Campbell County Observer Political Columnist and Radio Talk Show Host on 1270 KIML Gillette). Scott Clem: No, I do not support a city wide gun ban. In fact, I think this is a crazy idea. Those who introduce such ideas usually swing on the liberal side of poli-


tics. They are mis-informed on the nature of gun laws, and the intents of our founding fathers. Gun bans don’t protect people. Gun bans, inadvertedly, hurt law abiding citizens. They create a trouble-free world for criminals against innocent civilians. Case and point: the recent shootings in Colorado. I’m not trying to politicize the horrific mass murders that took place. I pray for healing to those who were affected, and I pray the shooter finds swift justice. But the question must be asked, would the outcome have been different if a gun-trained civilian, like an off-duty cop or military personel, had been in the building? If you were in that theater, would you feel better and/or safer if someone else had a concealed fire-arm? In Aurora, Colorado, it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon. What about other municipalities who have enacted city wide gun bans, does crime decrease? The city of Chicago has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation. It also boasts some of the highest violent crime rates in America, including more Chicago police officers killed by gunfire than almost any other city in America. Do these gun laws stop criminals? No, it only disarms those who could have otherwise protected themselves. Will stricter gun laws bring an end to criminals having guns? No, but what will decrease violent crime and protect innocent civilians? The right to bear arms. Our founders had this right. Not only does this deter other countries from attacking the US, but it also helps to keep our own government in check and protects individuals and their families. I’m all for law enforcement, but the average response time after calling for help is 8 minutes. Just one quick glance of a hand gun can diffuse a situation, or hold a criminal off until help arrives. A city wide gun ban is irresponsible, and unconstitutional. John Wayne: I would not support a city wide gun ban. The second amendment clearly states: A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. Continued on Page 13

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

August 3 - 10, 2012

Questions/Answers from last week...

Do you plan on attempting to nullify current code or ordinance? If so, which one and why. Scott Clem: At this point I am not aware of any particular ordinance or code that I have such a qualm with to pursue overturning it. Much talk has recently taken place regarding our animal ordinances. While I do not agree with allowing owning chickens within the city limits, I do agree with allowing tea-cup pigs. This is an exotic pets, and we do permit other exotic pets. I side with the home owners on this particular issue. I’m careful no to make drastic changes. I believe the role of government it to protect the rights of citizen’s, not to run their lives or legislate morality. I believe in limited government, holding that individuals make better choices for themselves than the governement. I’m not a drinker. I don’t agree with it, but I know most feel differently than I do. I won’t violate my principles regarding alcohol, but I won’t push my morality upon others either. In cases regarding alcohol, I would abstain from voting, or vote no if I felt it was in the public’s interest. Such could be said about many issues. The same truth’s hold true for me: I vote based upon my principles, not my feelings or what is politically expedient. John Wayne: I do not plan on nullify any current code or ordinance at this time.

Do you believe that the position that you are running for should have term limits? Why or why not? John Wayne: I believe a two term limit should be applied across the board for any political office. The same principle applies to our president, our governor, and should apply city councilmen.

Scott Clem: I do not have a strong opinion, either way, on term limits. I am not opposed to term limits for city councilmen, but I think those limits should come from the people itself, in a public vote. I see advantages and disadvatages for both points of view. Advantages for term limits include limiting abuse of power. There is always danger in compromising in political office with the promise of some kind gain. Power corrupts. Term limits help to limit corruption. On the other hand you may have a good, honest man/woman in office and you may want that person to keep representing you, despite how long they have been in office. I believe this is one reason the founding fathers let the states decide what was good for them. If a state wanted to impose term limits for political office, who was the federal gov’t to tell them what to do. Or vice versa. If a state wanted to elect a man to office repeadetly, like Senator Enzi, who was the federal gov’t to tell them what to do? I respect those who make promises and keep them, like Councilman Boss. He promised not to run after two terms and followed through with his promise. I want to run with honestly and integrity. I don’t want to say things just because they sound good or are politically expedient. I am not sure I could make such a promise, to not run after two terms, and keep it.

the case if you wanted to install some AC. Regarding this and other situations that I may not be entirely aware of, I think the first responsible thing is to gather all the information as to make the best possible decision. I believe regulations can help keep folks safe and protect against law suits. They are meant to give a framework that allows folks to do things decently and in order. At the same time, I recognize the rights of property owners. This sounds like one of those cases where someone throws out the baby with the bathwater. Whatever happened to a little common sense, and letting individuals make decisions without over regulation? In this particular case, the regulations seem downright excessive. What’s the answer? I don’t know the reasoning behind wanting two permits. I would first want to know the reasoning behind this and see if there is some way get rid of one of them, or bring the two together. Whatever the case, I’m a simple man and will fight for simple solutions. We

Do you think it is over the top that 2 building permits is needed to install an air conditioner in my house? If so, what do you plan to do about the overall City of Gillette’s overbearing rules on personal property and the construction industry .- Tracy Norris-Farmers Insurance in Gillette. Scot Clem: Yes, I do think it is over the top that two building permits are needed if all your wanting to do is install an air conditioner in your house. I was actually a little taken back by the question. I didn’t realize this was


Continued from Page 12

can’t throw out all the regulations we don’t like, but we can promote individual liberty and common sense! John Wayne: I believe in a common sense approach to government and surprised that it took two building permits to install an air conditioner in your house. I assume that you have bought this issue to the city and the hopefully it is getting resolved.

Trivia Question Which Vice President cast the most tie-breaking votes in history? Find the answer on Page 15


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August 3 - 10, 2012

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Senator Barrasso seeking re-election as US Senator

Currently sitting as one of Wyoming’s U.S. Senators is Senator Barrasso. When most people think of a U.S. Senator, they think of someone distant and out of reach. Fortunately for Wyoming citizens, that is not the case with most of our elected officials, and John Barrasso is one of them. Born in Pennsylvania, John grew up working hard all the way through college, where he graduated from Georgetown University. “My father would have me work with him every summer, all the way through the years until I became a doctor.” This hard work of “having me pushing wheel barrows of wet/heavy cement,” has stuck with Mr. Barrasso throughout his life. “He did that because he always wanted me to remember what it’s like to work hard.” John’s dad was a cement finisher who raised three boys with that work ethic. He cherished education, and always wanted for his sons what he never had because he was forced to quit school in 9th grade because of the great depression. John’s dad was also part of the “Greatest Generation,” being a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge. “From when I was a little kid, he would tell me ‘John, you need to thank God every day you live in America. You don’t know how fortunate you are.’” John

heard his dad say this every day, and that is now a message that he passes along to his children. But John’s dad was not the only influence in his life. His mother also told him a phrase every day that stuck with him. “This is the most important day/year of your life,” she would say. Senator Barrasso has implemented this statement when talking to students, as he has seen many injuries that resulted from a bad decision. “I tell them, this is the most important day of your life. The decisions you make today, affect you and everyone around you tomorrow.” John’s mother was a stay-at-home mom and would repeat this phrase about everything. “First, it was the most important year because I went to school a half of a day in kindergarten. Then, I went to school for the full day. In fifth grade, my class was up the stairs. But the message never changed, that it was the most important day/year of my life. This day and this year.” Why did Dr. Barrasso become an orthopedic surgeon? “I really liked cement, working for my father all those years, so it fit…putting on casts and cementing joints together.”

Continued on Page 15

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Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

August 3 - 10, 2012

Senator Barrasso... Continued from Page 14

Dr. Barrasso opened up his practice with three other colleges in Casper in the summer of 1983. “I opened it up with other doctors, because of some of the complicated surgeries like joint replacements. It’s better to have two people working together on a complicated surgery like that.” Although Senator Barrasso does not have much time to himself, he does have a couple hobbies he currently enjoys. “I love traveling around Wyoming; it is such a beautiful State!” He also enjoys reading, mostly in the subjects of American and Western History. He talked to us at length about author David McCullough, and about visiting with him. “He is a remarkable speaker. I heard him talking about education one time telling me that ‘one of the problems with education today is that people aren’t educated in subjects, just education,’ and that stuck with me. He has done some tremendous works.” When asked what he wants to tell the readers of the Observer, he stated “Campbell County is a remarkable county. The 4th of July is a great example, you have the pancake feed put on by the fire department, the hotdog feed (6,000 hotdogs in 45 min.), live music in the park, and an absolutely

wonderful parade. Campbell County is a community that has really made itself great from the time that Senator Enzi was mayor early on. At the time they could see the boom coming, so they did great planning and achieved great things.” “But,” he said, “It’s the people that make it happen. There are many volunteers around Campbell County that really make the community great.” Why is Senator Barrasso running for re-election? “I really want to make a positive difference in the lives of the people of Wyoming, improve the quality of life, and make a positive difference in the direction of our State.” Senator Barrasso was a State Senator for 5 years before being elected to the U.S. Senate, and believes that “I have made a positive difference at the state level and I believe I can make a positive difference at the Federal level.” But he does not consider his position or this election any kind of reward system, but a job application. “That is why I continue to go around the state, listening to people, answering their questions, and essentially interviewing for this job so that hopefully they will hire me again in November.”

Trivia Answer

Which Vice President cast the most tie-breaking votes in history?

John Adams

As president of the Senate, Adams cast twenty-nine tiebreaking votes—a record that no successor has ever threatened. His votes protected the president’s sole authority over the removal of appointees, influenced the location of the national capital, and prevented war with Great Britain. On at least one occasion he persuaded senators to vote against legislation that he opposed, and he frequently lectured the Senate on procedural and policy matters.


August 3 - 10, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

Online Voting Polls

Our Political Roots

Polls are not scientific. Based on number of votes who voted on the Observer website. To vote, go to City Council Ward 1 (Republican Primaries)

Kevin McGrath Don Elder None of the above

47.3% 41.9% 10.8%

City Council Ward 2 (Republican Primaries)

Damon Hart Bill Montgomery Forrest Rothleutner None of the above

38.7% 31.4% 41.9% 12%

City Council Ward 3 (Republican Primaries)

Ted Jerred (incumbent) Scott Clem John Wayne Robert Kothe None of the above

29.3% 28.1% 30.5% 11.6% 0.5%

State Representative District 52 (Republican Primaries) Sue Wallis (incumbent) Merle McClure John Robertson None of the above

41.6% 32.2% 14.9% 11.3%

State Representative District 03 (Republican Primaries) Eric Barlow Douglas Gerard None of the above

46.9% 45.4% 7.7%

County Commishioner (Republican Primaries)

Steve Hughes (incumbent) Chris Knapp (incumbent) Garry Becker Mark Christensen Robin Kuntz None of the above

19.4% 19.6% 18.7$ 20.2% 15.9% 5.2%

U.S. Senate (Republican Primaries)

John Barrasso (incumbent) 78.4% Thomas Blemming 9.6 % Emmett Mavy 8.2% None of the above 3.8%

On May 27th 1813, former President Thomas Jefferson wrote to former President John Adams to let him know that their mutual friend, Dr. Benjamin Rush, has died. Rush’s passing caused Jefferson to meditate upon the departure of the Revolutionary generation. He wrote, We too must go; and that ere long. I believe we are under half a dozen at present; I mean the signers of the Declaration. Although Jefferson and Adams were bitter political enemies by the time of the presidential election of 1800, in which Jefferson narrowly defeated Adams, the two leading intellectuals and politicians of Virginia and Massachusetts had been allies and confidants during the heady, revolutionary

days of the late 1770s. Following 12 years of bitter silence caused by their disagreement over the role of the new federal government, the two old friends managed to reestablish the discourse of their younger years spent in Philadelphia, where they both served in the Continental Congress, and Paris, where they served together as ambassadors to France. In 1812, Benjamin Rush, a Patriot and physician from Philadelphia, initiated a renewed correspondence and reconciliation between his two friends and ex-presidents. The correspondence continued until Adams and Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence that all three friends had signed in 1776.

(Joel Otto is running as a third party candidate and will be available for polls after the primary)

U.S. Senate (Democrat Primaries)

William Bryl Tim Chestnut Al Hamburg None of the above

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11.6% 9.4% 18.2% 60.8%

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Election Guide-week 2