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Volume IV

The Campbell County Observer

August 17, 2012

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August 17 - 24, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

Questions and Answers from State Senator/Representative Candidates Do you think the State of Wyoming should be able to regulate citizens food choices? If so, how much oversight should the State allow? – Question by Glenn Woods (Campbell County Observer Political Columnist and Radio Talk Show Host on 1270 KIML Gillette). Tom Lubnau: The State of Wyoming has a legitimate interest in protecting the health and safety of its people. I’ve had the opportunity to visit places in the world where food safety does not receive the regard it receives in the US. Sickness and death are a fact of live there. It is good to return to the United States and its ubiquitously safe food supply. There are simple basic items the state should be interested in protecting. Some of the things we take for granted. Folks going to the grocery store should not buy food that is adulterated with poisons, including toxic or cancer-causing chemicals. If someone goes to the store and buys flour, it should not be sawdust – that is the food should be what the label says the food is, and no adulterated with fillers or chemicals. Food should be free of disease. That being said, what goes into a person’s mouth is the choice of THAT PERSON, or that person’s parents if a child. No government should tell a citizen what to eat. I helped pass the Wyoming Common Sense Consumption Act, in 2005, which prohibits any type of lawsuit from any consumer, against any manufacturer for weight gain, obesity or health condition related to long-term consumption of certain food products. A person is entitled to their own choices, and must bear the consequences of those choices. Merle McClure: No, it’s everybody’s right to eat as they please. This is still a free country and not a dictatorship where the government can order citizens to do as the government pleases.

Eric Barlow: What people consume in their homes should be their choice alone. The State does have a role in ensuring a reasonable degree of safety when food is provided or served to the public. Sue Wallis: There is a proper role for food safety regulation, but that role should be limited to those businesses that are processing or preparing food for the public...for example meat processing, food processing and packing, and restaurants. This is because the public needs some assurance that these kinds of establishments are meeting minimum standards in terms of cleanliness, lack of vermin, and are using proper procedures to minimize the likelihood of foodborne illness. That being said, when we have regulators shutting down legitimate and clean businesses like a mobile coffee unit for no other reason than that the owner has her baby in arms with her, changes diapers in the front seat of the cab, and then carefully washes her hands before handling anything in the kitchen... as has happened right here in Gillette... that is a major problem and an overstep of authority that should not be allowed to stand. Government should never have any jurisdiction whatsoever over the private transactions between two willing individuals of any product that it is legal to have in the first place. To address these problems I am working on several pieces of legislation that are in development with a state-wide coalition of concerned citizens that would guarantee citizens the right to sell and to directly purchase any food product they choose from any other private individual. I am also preparing legislation that would require the regular review of all state agency rules and regulations in an audit process that would study whether the rule was effective, what the cost versus the benefit analysis is, whether the rule is addressing any legitimate risk that is likely to occur in Wyoming, what the total cost of implementation is, whether there is any impact on private

sector jobs, and so forth. Wyoming is one of only three states that does not currently have any kind of rule review process, and it is desperately needed in all areas of state government regulation. Norine Kasperik: No. I believe, the State of Wyoming should not be able to regulate citizens’ food choices. However, the State has an obligation to protect the health and safety of its citizens. The Legislature needs to ensure the state does not overstep its responsibility over its citizen’s right to choose what is healthy for them. Douglas Gerard: Absolutely not! It’s basically the definition of personal freedom to be able to choose the size soft drink I want to drink. Likewise, it should be my choice to purchase raw milk as part of a cow sharing arrangement if I so choose. Campbell County and the surrounding areas benefit tremendously from positive economic impacts from energy development, however our oil, gas and coal industries are under attack from actions taken by environmental interest groups and overregulation. Explain how you plan to be an active advocate for the energy industry that is so important to our local economy and how you intend to promote growth of jobs in the energy sector in this current environment if elected to the State Legislature. Feel free to comment on shortfalls you believe your opponents have in this area. – Question by Tim Barber-Environmental/Federal Regulatory Supervisor-Yates Petroleum Tom Lubnau: I have spent most of my legislative career working to assist and enhance the energy industry. No one issue is more important this legislative session than protecting our jobs and our economy from being regulated out


of existence by folks who do not have a full understanding of what drives our economy. Federal Preemption – Some folks back east developed a plan to appropriate Wyoming underground aquifers. They were going to take the aquifers from landowners in the name of environmental protection. Since the deep aquifers were not being used, they argued, they had no value. By authoring legislation which gave ownership of the aquifers to the owner of the surface of the earth, Wyoming prevented the largest asset grab in the history of the state. It has been true since statehood, whoever controls the water, controls the state. By anticipating federal government action and taking steps to prevent that action, we insure regulatory stability. That type of anticipation and preemption has been a hallmark of my career. Education – I believe that reasonable and rational people, given the same information, make the same decision. For a generation, now, we have not been teaching our friends, our citizens or our media energy literacy. Energy is one of the key drivers of the US economy. High natural gas prices were one of the key factors in driving our manufacturing overseas. Every time I speak, I try to educate my audience, whether it is in Wyoming, Harvard (where I have been invited to speak twice), Duke University, or testifying in front of the US Senate. When I speak, I talk about the importance of Campbell County Energy to the world economy. Federalism – I am the chairman of the Energy Producing States Coalition, comprised of legislators and others from Utah, Alaska, Wyoming and North Dakota. We are working on a unified strategy to push back on federal intrusion into state affairs. Regulatory Stability – Rules should be rules. They should not change in the middle of a project. I have worked with the State of Wyoming, the legislature, and federal officials to insure that rules are rules are rules. The BACT (Best Available Control Technology) rule changes the game with every technological development, and creates a climate of economic uncertainty. We need to create an environment where the rules are the rules. As a result, I have opposed multiple new laws on the basis Continued on Pages 3, 4, 5 & 6

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

August 17 - 24, 2012

State Senator/Representative Candidates... Continued from Page 2 that the laws we have on the books are just fine to handle the situation. Advocacy – Wyoming, and particularly the Powder River Basin needs an advocate who can communicate on the issues regarding the energy business for the energy folks clearly and accurately. To be effective, one must be informed. I spend 2 to 3 hours per day researching, studying and communicating on energy issues. I have created a rolodex (okay, a computer database) of the leading experts in the energy field, and when an issue arises, I call upon those trusted experts for advice. I also have contacts in many states and in Washington, D.C. When an issue arise, I work on many levels to get the issue resolved. Merle McClure: I have made a living in the oil and gas fields and ranching in Campbell County all my life. I will do everything physically possible to weaken the EPA rules and regulations inside the Wyoming boarders. Our DEQ is more equipped to handle Wyoming economic and environmental oversight than a Washington, DC based organization. Also, there are a few State regulations that need to be eased to entice business growth. I believe that I’m more qualified to represent Campbell County since I’ve always lived and worked here my entire adult life in energy, operating the same business since 1979, instead of floating in and out of Campbell County and the State as my opponent has. Sue Wallis: Of the three candidates who are currently running for this office I am the only one who has had extensive and personal experience in the coal industry, and in the oil and gas industry, both as a worker in the industry, and as a landowner and royalty owner. This gives me a unique perspective found in very few legislators. In addition, since I was first elected in 2006 I have been appointed to serve on the Agriculture and Energy Committee of the National Conference of State Legislators, where I have served as a vice chairman for the past four years. From this position of nationwide leadership I have been able to join with our

fellow energy producing states, as well as our many energy customer states, to ensure that the energy industry is well represented on Capitol Hill. Unfortunately, this current Administration has conducted an assault on all of our fossil fuel industries and has continually erected obstacles and barriers to responsible development such as delaying permits. While this is primarily a federal issue, there are still many things that a state can do. We can make sure that state regulation is reasonable and fair, we can keep taxes low, and the business environment for entrepreneurs healthy, we can provide protection from out-of-state special interest groups seeking to obstruct development through unnecessary, and uncalled for litigation, we can protect property rights, and we can ensure the rule of law. I have been, and will continue to be a strong supporter of any and all legislation that returns Wyoming primacy over our air, land, water, endangered species, and resources. In essence I am pro-energy, pro-jobs, pro-development all of the time. I know that our resources will be developed responsibly as they have been, and that our state will continue to be the rich agricultural and environmentally pristine state that it always has been...what we need is the ability to produce and benefit from the rich resources that God gave us. We can join together with other energy producing states to build coalitions that can drive change at the federal level. Eric Barlow: Our area is blessed with an abundance of energy resources which have provided richly for our community and Wyoming. As your legislator, I will fully support all forms of responsible energy development which continue to balance development with protection of Wyoming’s other valuable resources. We have the energy. Others need it. Let’s work together to produce it and deliver it responsibly. Norine Kasperik: During this past term as a State Representative, I have served on the Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee. There is an agenda against coal, oil

and gas production within our current Federal Administration. I supported legislation: • for Wyoming to stand with other energy-producing states to address issues related to the energy industry • that pushes back on Federal intrusion on state rights in the areas of Wyoming’s right to regulate its own air quality I am a member and Wyoming’s State Legislative Co-Chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). I am also a member of their Energy & Environmental Subcommittee and work with legislators and business leaders from across the country to identify issues and address model legislation that may be considered by states in addressing issues related to the energy industry. Not to be discounted, I’ve spent my married life with a mining engineer and manager. Together, we have lived through almost 40 years of impacts and changes related to the energy industry. I have a good understanding of the issues the energy industry currently faces. Douglas Gerard: We need to protect the energy jobs that so many Wyoming families rely on. I will work towards promoting growth by getting the state to take up the cause of Wyoming families. To do that we must make sure we continue to have good jobs, so Wyoming must: • promote and help secure the rail access and coal ports necessary to export coal to China. • challenge federal excessive environmental regulations such as the CO2 and mercury emission levels on coal fired power plants. • challenge federal agencies that do not follow their own rules. Regulatory delays cost Wyoming companies time, money and more importantly jobs that could be employing Wyoming citizens. • Work with federal agencies to stream line the regulatory process to reduce overhead and delays and increase cooperation between state and federal agencies • find ways to curb the interference of obstructionist organizations • establish “loser pays” rules for appeals of energy development cases when the appeal includes a third party that has no


fiscal interest in the case in question and allow recovery of economic damages when appeals are lost. • hold energy companies to Wyoming’s high ethical and environmental standards and protect surface owner’s rights. • explore opportunities to expand energy delivery in state (LNG terminal, additional power plants etc.) I don’t feel it is appropriate to comment on my opponents views. I can say that I have never and will never align myself with any group, environmental or otherwise, that has stated it is opposed to energy generated from coal, oil and gas. I believe campaigns are like job interviews. That being said, please name your three most significant strengths and weaknesses. -Question by Carol Flouring Sue Wallis: Strengths 1. An undying devotion to the state of Wyoming and its citizens and a desire to serve. 2. Strong principles that I base every decision upon -- the preservation of individual liberty, limited government, and free markets. 3. The ability to articulately communicate with, connect with, and work with all kinds of people from all walks of life, and to form coalitions that can drive needed change. Weaknesses 1. An innate inability to give up, some say that I am tenacious to a fault. 2. I tend to be rather focused, so I can sometimes ignore or lose track of important, but peripheral details. 3. Because I believe so strongly in individual rights, I also believe in individual responsibility...I do not suffer fools and slackards gladly. Eric Barlow: I am confident. I trust the vision of our forefathers for this Republic and the capacity of citizens to accomplish it. Therefore, I may become impatient when the unengaged or uninContinued on Pages 4, 5 & 6

August 17 - 24, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

State Senator/Representative Candidates... Continued from Pages 2 & 3 formed disparage and undermine our inheritance and our future. I am optimistic. Our community, Wyoming and America have the necessary ingredients to provide all measures of prosperity. Therefore, I can become disappointed when pundits and deceivers flail about singular ideologies. I am willing to do the work. There is much to attend to, and I will continue to do my part. Therefore, I am less than receptive to those who sit on the sidelines and complain. Norine Kasperik: My strengths are: • My long-term involvement and leadership in our community that includes work on the Campbell County Health Care Foundation, the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce Board, the Campbell County Public Health Board, the Campbell County Higher Education Foundation, as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society and as a leader in the Republican Party as County Chair, State Committee Woman, President of Campbell County Republican Women and as the Wyoming State President for Republican Women • Career experience in Nursing and Nursing education which help me to understand and address the health care issues facing Wyoming • My ability to listen and make decisions with input from constituents My opportunities to improve include: • Gaining experience in the Wyoming Legislature to be more effective in supporting the Gillette & Campbell County and the State of Wyoming • Increasing my understanding of issues outside of my life experiences • Balancing time between serving in the Legislature and commitment to family, community and friends. Douglas Gerard: Strengths: • Principled: I stand up for what I believe, and will tell you what that is. Just in case you missed it, in the House District 3 race, I’m the only lifelong conservative, lifelong Republican, pro-jobs, pro-energy, pro-gun (with

understand the issue and the ramifications of the issue. I spend a great deal of time studying on issues, and I work to understand the depth and nuances of the issue. I’m not afraid to pick up the telephone and call experts and other political leaders and discuss the issues of the day with those leaders. I don’t quit until the job is done. I have good communication skills. I write well, I speak well, and I work to create concise messages that address the issue. I communicate with factual support, based on good science. I try to respond to every one of my e-mails and letters. I am available by phone or on Facebook. I try to remain accessible, and to respond to folks as soon as I possibly can. I have an innate ability to get the job done. I find this question the most interesting of all of the questions I’ve been asked through all of the campaigns. It is easy to state a position on issues, and a candidate may have the right position on 100% of the issues, but if the candidate does not have the ability to get the job done, the vote for that candidate is just a vote for hot air and opinions. I have a track records of team building and legislative success going back many years. I am the first person since 1973 to serve in Wyoming House Leadership since Cliff Davis (although Sen. John Hines has served in every Senate leadership office). I have written and passed many bills, most at the request of my constituents. My weaknesses are that I say exactly what I think, I do not tolerate laziness, and I will not tolerate bullies. I will generally tell a person exactly what I think about a particular issue, and I will tell them why. In a time when it is easier to avoid public scrutiny, and to remain silent on issues, I will answer the question directly and to the best of my ability. When I see a poorly drafted or worded bill, even if it is on a popular topic, I will do the right thing and speak against the poorly worded bill, because poorly worded laws are a threat to our rights. My direct communication style offends the “politically correct” crowds on both the far left and the far right. I will not temper my comments because the thought police on both sides of an issue will not like my words. My next weakness is that I do not tolerate laziness, intellectually or in the workplace. I expect those around me to work

the NRA endorsement), pro-family, and pro-life candidate. • Background/Experience: I’m a successful entrepreneur and have turned business around and created new ones. I’m also an inventor, sharing several patents. Politically I’ve worked to preserve personal freedom via the Wyoming Health Care Freedom Amendment. • Dedication/Service: I serve our community in many roles; the Gillette Rotary, the Knights of Columbus, and the Campbell County Planning commission. My community service has always been about serving the community, never my business or personal interests. I’ve dedicated to improving my community service through the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce’s GALI program and by graduating from the prestigious Leadership Wyoming program. Weaknesses: • Outspoken: I bluntly say what I think. Sometimes this isn’t the best approach. • Public speaking: Like most folks, I need to improve my public speaking skills. • Stubborn: My wife tells me once I make my mind up it is difficult to get me to change it. I say she just hasn’t made a convincing enough argument. Merle McClure: I am a staunch conservative and believe in the United States Constitution and Wyoming State Rights. I am pro-life and pro-family values. I have operated the same successful business since 1979 right here in Campbell County. I will fight for maintaining current tax levels and lowering them if possible. I am not a career politician and won’t become one. I believe in term limits for state elected officials. I will always vote for Wyoming values and not political correctness, like my opponent has in the past. Tom Lubnau: My three most significant strengths are the hard work, communication and the ability to get the job done. Anyone who knows me knows I am not afraid of hard work. I am not afraid to dig in on an issue, and research the issue until I fully


hard enough to get the job done, and I’m direct in that expectation. Finally, I do not tolerate bullies. In this age of lobbyist and special interest groups, there are those who perceive themselves to be zealous advocates, when in fact, they use tactics of intimidation, misrepresentation and outright lies to raise funds for their cause, intimidate legislators and threaten the process. Whether the lobbyist is on the right, on the left or in the middle, whether I agree with their political position or not, I do not tolerate bullies, and I will reward abusive conduct with my time. As a result, the organizations who have been called on the carpet for bullying tend to attack me as a person, and distort my legislative record to their own ends. What is your opinion of the state of Wyoming incarceration spastics including incarceration citizens per ca pita, prison conditions, and taxpayer cost? -Question by Gerald PowellEric Barlow: I am interested in reducing the need for incarceration. Preventing crime starts with providing guidance and opportunity in our homes and communities. Prison conditions should be reasonable, not excessive, and the costs must be scrutinized. Norine Kasperik: Based on the annual report from the Department of Corrections: • The average daily population for Wyoming department of Correction inmates in Fiscal Year 2011 was 2,115. Approximately 220 of those inmates were housed in in non-department facilities, including adult community correction centers, county jails, as well as a 100-bed secure treatment facility in Casper. • The average daily population for offenders currently under the Department of Correction’s supervision for probation and parole for fiscal year 2011 is 6,318. Based on an annual budget for 2011 of $128,932,807, we pay $227/Wyoming Continued on Pages 5 & 6

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

August 17 - 24, 2012

State Senator/Representative Candidates... Continued from Pages 2, 3 & 4

resident for each inmate and parolee in Wyoming. The funds for the Department of Correction come from Wyoming’s general funds ($122,311,325), Federal funds ($357,482) and other funds ($6,264,000). Based on Wyoming’s population of 568,158, 0.4% of Wyoming’s populations are inmates. I have not yet visited a Wyoming prison so I cannot speak to the conditions of our prisons. The state spends a significant amount of funds on the Department of Corrections. As with all state spending the Legislature needs to ensure we are appropriating funds in a costeffective manner. Douglas Gerard: Wyoming is blessed to have some of the lowest crime rates in the country, about 17% lower crime rate than the national average with roughly 50% less violent crime than the rest of the country. That being said we spend about 35% more per prisoner while incarcerating 4% fewer criminals per 100,000 citizens annually than other states, averaging a little more than 2,100 inmates and 6,300 probationers per year. Outside of a tour of the local country jail before it opened, I have no firsthand experience of Wyoming prisons, and can’t comment on their quality. However an ACLU report quantifying complaints listed only 218 complains mostly concerning a lack of or poor medical care. From that report it would seem most jails and prisons run by Wyoming are modestly well run. With regard to the higher costs of running Wyoming prisons, we are a small state and the costs of operating any venture in a small state will always cost more. While we should always be looking to reduce costs to save taxpayers money, we have to ensure a basic humane prison that is safe for the prisoners and the Department of Corrections staff. Tom Lubnau: We have too many people in prison. That is because we have too many people breaking the law, and as opposed to other states, we punish the people who break our law. In order to have a society free of crime, we

need to prosecute criminals, and once they are prosecuted, they should serve their full sentence. The cost of incarcerating criminals is a cost which should be borne by a free society. Merle McClure: To be honest, I have not researched incarceration statists as of yet, so I do not feel I can truthfully answer this question at this time. I have always been focused on the business and energy industries and their wellbeing. If I am elected, I will definitely look into this matter. Sue Wallis: I assume that “spastics” is a typo and that what you are really asking for is my opinion of the statistics. In terms of other states, Wyoming is about in the middle of the road ranking 28th in terms of our incarceration rates per capita. That being said, the United States as a whole has a less than stellar picture in that we only have 5% of the world’s population, but we have 23% of the world’s incarcerated people. The taxpayer costs are enormous. The average costs of incarceration per year in Wyoming, including medical and programming costs, range from $35,500 to $53,750 per year per inmate. Some would say that as a society we need to make a clear distinction between those we are just mad at because we don’t like their lifestyle or the decisions they have made in their own life (drugs), and those we are scared of, like dangerous and violent criminals. I tend to agree. Where there are other, less costly alternatives that still protect public health and safety, I think we should consider them. As for prison conditions, so far as I know they are reasonable in this state. I am proud of supporting and securing funds to renovate an existing building at the Women’s Prison so that it can be remodeled into a nursery for incarcerated women who give birth, or who have little ones. Currently any woman giving birth had their baby taken from them immediately. Studies nationwide have shown that when women are allowed to nurse and bond with their babies, even in a prison environment, and to be able to care for little ones under three years old

in a controlled environment where they learn parenting skills and responsibility, that behavior problems in prison are drastically reduced, the recidivism rate is far lower, and most beautiful of all, the chances of the children themselves growing up and winding up in the same vicious cycle of incarceration is greatly reduced. All of this results in a much better deal for society as a whole, and especially for those who are able to escape or avoid entirely the despair of incarceration. Continued on Page 6

Joke of the week Submitted by Anne Brooking A man went in for a brain transplant operation and was offered a choice of two brains by the surgeon. He could choose either the Architect’s brain which would cost him $10,000 or the Politician’s which was $100,000. “Does that mean that the politician’s brain is much better than the Architect’s?” exclaimed the clearly puzzled man. “not exactly” replied the surgeon, “the politician’s has never been used.”

Official Disclosure from the Campbell County Observer

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 17 - 24, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

State Senator/Representative Candidates... Continued from Pages 2, 3, 4 & 5 Do you agree with the State of Wyoming taking money from the federal government for education and highways? -Question by Jacob MillisonNorine Kasperik: As long as Wyoming citizens pay Federal Income Tax, we have a right and responsibility to take some of that money back. This being said, we need to balance this with the conditions and requirements that are attached to the funds offered. Douglas Gerard: In principle both education and highways should be state issues with no federal involvement. Unfortunately this isn’t the case as the US Department of Education is one of the largest wastes of money in Washington. Additionally, we are required to adhere to federal standards when maintaining federally designated roads. That being said the federal government takes a large amount of money out of Wyoming. Until such time as we get Washington’s house in order it makes no sense to stand on principle unless such a stand is vital to the function of the state. To do so would needlessly place Wyoming at a significant disadvantage. As an example, Wyoming shouldn’t take part in the Obamacare Medicaid expansion as it will ultimately add significant costs to the state Medicaid budget. Sue Wallis: Personally I think the State of Wyoming would be a lot better off if we reduced or eliminated all dependence on the federal government and pay our own bills. That being said, however, there are some serious consequences that have to be considered when making a statement like this. For instance, if we stopped accepting the $295 Million per year we currently are getting from the federal government for roads, we would have to make that up by increasing taxes on Wyoming citizens, or letting our roads go to hell which would deeply impact the ability of our industries to do business, our citizens to travel, and would likely result in a huge

outcry. Remember that all of us are paying federal taxes, we don’t have the option of opting out, so in that case every Wyoming citizen would be paying taxes with no benefit returning to them. Pretty much the same can be said for the $115 Million that our Wyoming schools are currently using of federal dollars to educate our students. Now, should we, or could we cut spending to make up for those federal dollars? I believe that both are true and that we can. Through my terms in office I have rightfully garnered a reputation as being a fiscal conservative, I proudly stand on my voting record, and look forward to the opportunity to continue the good work of representing the hard-working, taxpaying citizens of Wyoming, cutting spending wisely and reducing the size of government is very important. Because of my proven experience and effectiveness, undying dedication, and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty to represent Campbell County fairly and well...I believe that I am the best candidate for the job, and I humbly ask for the votes of the people of District 52 for the opportunity to continue to be your state representative for another two years. Merle McClure: All federal money seems to come with strings, but the federal government should be responsible for all federal roads and interstates. As far as education money, we should accept anything that has no strings attached, and refuse anything that has unlivable restrictions and conditions attached. It is my opinion that federal government regulations are one of the major factors in our children’s test scores going down even with more money thrown at the problem. Eric Barlow: I am concerned with Wyoming receiving federal monies for any purpose for several reasons. First, the funds often come with strings that may not be in the best interests of Wyoming, and I am not confident we are adequately examining this issue. Next, we are contributing to the growing national debt. Balancing Wyoming’s budget on the backs of America’s future generations needs to be reassessed. Finally, the budget reductions

Wyoming is now considering will make us proportionately even more dependent on federal monies. Are we ready for this? Tom Lubnau: Wyoming receives $233,939,721 from the Federal Funds to support Wyoming education. By foregoing federal funds, the 89,000 Wyoming school children would be forced to have $2628.53 per student, suddenly removed from the education model. At a time when

education on how to compete in the world market is critical, such a funding shortfall will be a penalty to our children, or a huge increased tax burden to our citizens. Currently, Wyoming receives, per capita, more than it pays into the education system. There are better solutions to the federal overreach rather than penalizing our children’s educational opportunities. I support local control of education. A more rational approach is to work politically to simply to end the federal intrusion on what is essentially a state and local matter.

“The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.” - His Excellency President George Washington

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Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

August 17 - 24, 2012

Commissioner Steve Hughes seeking re-election Commissioner Hughes has been involved in the Campbell County Community for a long time. He grew up in Gillette, graduated from Campbell County, and further graduated from Gillette College. He was not born here, but his parents moved to Gillette when he was only 2 years old. “I’m from Pittsburg, California. But don’t hold that against me,” he says with a laugh. So, living in Gillette for over 64 years, Mr. Hughes has a history. If you look in the high school archives, you will find that he was the varsity quarterback for the Camels. What many do not know, is even today Steve and his business, Landmark, donate quite a bit to the youth sports programs in the area today. He is embedded into this community in more ways than just being a Camel quarterback. Working for the Ostlund family during high school he graduated from Campbell County High School and went right to work for Ostlunds full time (the name of Landmark in the 50’s and 60’s). While starting as a ditch digger, he attended Gillette College at night to later earn his associates degree. But Steve had other ambitions that drove him to take a semester off from Gillette. That semester he went to Chadron State Teachers College because “I always wanted to be a coach. At the time, you had to be a teacher for the district to be a coach, so I became a substitute.” It paid off. As soon as he received his associate’s degree, he became the coach of the 7th grade class B girls basketball program winning 2 “B” championships. “We went on to play the top ‘A’ schools, but never won against them,” he said. “But our girls were good!” Next, he coached the high school boy’s soccer team. During this time, Steve was also working his way up in Ostlunds, getting out of the ditch digging and moving up to parts manager then sales associate. Eventually, the owners of Ostlunds wanted to get out of the business and Mr. Hughes with some partners bought the business we know today as

Landmark. “It is all locally owned, all of my partners live right here in Gillette.” Commissioner Hughes has been involved politically in the community for years. He has served on many boards including the Recreation Board. Eventually, he was appointed to a City Council seat when Duane Evenson was Mayor. Then about 3.5 years ago, a County Commissioner retired and Steve Hughes ran for the open spot. He finished second in the primary and then first in the general election to win the seat. Why is he running for re-election? “We have started some reserve accounts in county to help pay for infrastructure, fleets, and buildings. We are putting money aside to cover depreciation for our Children and grandchildren, for their financial future in this community. I believe we need to keep striving to do so.” With 7 children and his 12th grandchild on the way, it is a wonder how Mr. Hughes handles it all. “Well, I’ve been married to my very understanding wife for 42 years now, she has stuck with me…not sure why,” he says with a laugh. “Lots of people call her a saint, and I can understand that.” Steve is a member of the Catholic Church and loves sports with a passion. Looking around his office, you will see baseball memorabilia that only a fan can enjoy to go along with his porcelain models of president’s homes, and small memorials of Iwo Jima and the Twin Towers. “I also like gag/goofy stuff. Down there you will see L.A. smog in a can and jackalope milk.” Commissioner Hughes has only one thing to tell Campbell County, and that is to vote. “August 21st is the primary election, and November 06th is the general election. Every vote counts, and don’t think that it doesn’t. I won my first election by 5 votes, that’s it.” “It’s one of your rights,” he goes on to say. “You should take advantage of all your rights. In my mind, if I vote I have the right to complain. I’m not saying you can’t complain without voting, but that is the right way to do it.” His message to you? Get out and vote!


August 17 - 24, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

Questions and Answers from County Commissioner Candidates Campbell County enjoys the privilege of a large operating budget (as compared to similar or larger populated counties in the area), with a much healthier job market than similar areas outside of our county. Explain what you would do, if elected as a County Commissioner, to insure an environment where the Job market remains strong and the County fiscal matters are handled conservatively with an eye on the inevitable rainy day. Feel free to comment on shortfalls you believe your opponents have in this area. – Question by Tim Barber-Environmental/Federal Regulatory Supervisor-Yates Petroleum Garry Becker: Use lodging tax money to promote Campbell County energy. Coordinate with the Wyoming Tourism agency to promote Campbell County energy. By being proactive we can attempt to educate citizens in other states that their concerns about coal are not based on facts. Education reference the safety and benefits of our energy industry. I would work with our elected representatives in Cheyenne and Washington DC. to inform them of the impact that their legislation could have on our industry. Encourage research on additional uses for coal. Be frugal with the country’s reserves and attempt to limit large projects until we have more clarity about the future. Because I am retired, I may have fewer time restraints than my opponents allowing me more time to attend to the ideas listed above. Chris Knapp: The Campbell County Commissioners have been a partner with industry in maintaining an environment for job growth and sustainability in two distinct ways. The first is to live within our means. The County has the capability under State Statute to tax up to 12 mills in property tax but have lived within just over 11 mills. This commitment is a symbolic gesture to all Campbell County industry, that we will do our part for them to stay competitive and that we will control

the growth of government to reduce their tax burden. The Commissioners have also increasingly set up reserve depreciation accounts. Our Capital reserve account remains strong and we have additionally set up maintenance reserves for fleet, roads, buildings and other capital totaling over $114 million. The County has no debt after this budget year and all construction projects will be fully paid for with no carry over into the next budget year. I will stay committed to this plan. We need to fund these depreciation accounts fully to ensure we have the funds available for quality services to our citizens into the future without further burden to our industries. Steve Hughes: It is important for Commissioners to realize the importance of the energy industry. During my time as a commissioner we have lowered the mill levy to 11 and promised the industry not to raise it. We also need to be pro-active in promoting all the energy resources found in Campbell County. Mark Christensen: This question is good because it brings together a number of issues currently influencing Campbell County. As I have often said, we are now being affected by Washington politics (and the current administration’s push against coal and fossil fuels) and low natural gas prices from the opening of new gas deposits through fracking and directional drilling. The reason Campbell County has had a good, stable, and amenity rich budget and community is the production of PRB coal. Over the last 30+ years, coal production has steadily risen year after year. Additionally, coal prices were relatively consistent over the period. For the first time, we are faced with the real possibility of declining production and a decrease in demand for PRB coal. Natural gas prices will go back up, but there is still no clear direction from Washington on green house gas legislation and many producers of electricity are retiring aging coal plants and replacing them with natural gas.

A push back showcasing the benefits of coal for electrical production would be a good start. The coal industry needs to take the offensive on coal benefits instead of continuing to defend coal use. I think that the County can support this cause, but I believe that the actual “marketing” of the cause should be done by industry. The GE partnership with the University of Wyoming for development and testing of gasification for PRB coal was a good project. Unfortunately, that project fell through. Campbell County and the State of Wyoming need to look for additional partners to come up with alternatives for using Campbell County coal in new ways. If a new partnership with GE or another company could be put together, I think that the County should push hard to locate the facility in Campbell County – we do in fact generate all of the coal that any of those facilities would be developing options for. I also think it’s ok for County commitments of land or infrastructure money for a project of this type – the catch being that these be one time only capital expenses with someone else assuming responsibility for operations (e.g. University of Wyoming and their business partner). Another option is economic development and diversification. However, what we have done in the past doesn’t work and shouldn’t be continued in the future. In the past, economic development activities have focused on chasing the current trend of the moment. At one time, it was callcenters (ask about the initial use for the business park where the college is locat-

ed), then it was data-centers, then it was something else. The problem with those proposals is that they didn’t make sense for our county and our people. Call-centers have notoriously low wages – could you imagine raising a family in Campbell County on a call-center wage? With datacenters you can say “yes we have cheap power”. However, we don’t have a huge data-center workforce and we don’t have redundant fiber to multiple locations. Instead of chasing a trend, we need to focus on soliciting businesses which have products of use in the PRB. A good example would be a plant for converting coal to ammonium nitrate for mine explosives. You have the raw products necessary for the production and you also have major local demand. Another good example would be a micro-steel mill. There are major pipeline projects in Campbell County and we also have a lot of heavy equipment – perfect uses for steel. Jobs of this type or with similarities would also be able to sustain a Campbell County family. Responsible County spending also contributes to economic development. Businesses want to locate in areas with low taxes, good infrastructure, and no longterm debt obligations. Campbell County has all of these. What we do need to continue to focus on is the funding of the reserve and sinking fund accounts established by the current Commission and responsible spending which limits long-term spending obligations. Continued on Pages 9, 10 & 11

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Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

August 17 - 24, 2012

County Commissioner Candidates... Continued from Page 8 Campbell County receives many different grants from both the State of Wyoming and the Federal Government. Some believe that a big part of the national debt problem partly stems from the individual government entities not being willing to budget around their own funds. Do you believe that it is right to keep accepting this money? -Question by Connie BakerSteve Hughes: All Federal money comes with strings attached. We need to find private and State grants that do not have these strings. We need to get every Federal dollor for the citizens of Campbell County but be careful of the strings.. Chris Knapp: Federal funding is a double edged sword. While it helps the State and County to implement programs or pay for employees, the funding is often unreliable and comes with many strings attached. I believe the County has an obligation to look at every federal grant and decide, is this a program we would fund if federal funding went away. If every County across the United States had the use it or lose it mentality, we would continue to enable the federal government to spend beyond its means. If we are not willing to spend our own tax dollars for a program, we should not spend taxpayer money from the Federal Government either. However, with the funds that our industries have paid to the federal government we do expect some tax dollars to return to Campbell County for capital items or infrastructure dealing with that growth. If the Federal Government is to get to a balanced budget the entire country must refrain from having a hand out, both local governments and individuals. Mark Christensen: The federal government spends too much. I also think that elected officials with no term limits who are concerned with reelection are too scared to fix the problem. There

are now too manyAmericans just living off of the system and they don’t pay their fair share (and no, I’m not talking about millionaires who pay huge amounts of taxes). The only way to fix the federal government’s deficit problems is with reforms to entitlement programs and by cutting spending. The reality is that grant programs to states, counties, and cities will likely need to be cut back. However, until such time as the federal government fixes the problem with the national deficit and proposes cuts to these programs for all states, counties, and cities, I think we should get our fair share in Campbell County. Campbell County citizens and businesses make huge payments to the federal government and if these funds are being distributed to others, regardless of whether or not we agree with thespending of those funds, Campbell County should get its piece. In regards to grants that come with strings attached, I believe it is the job of the County Commission to decide if those funds should be accepted with the conditions imposed upon them. Garry Becker: My personal opinion is that the federal grant program should be abolished until the federal government does not need to borrow funds. But, I do not think it is proper to allow my personal standards to deprive the citizens of my country these funds because if we do not take them some other entity certainly will.

aside for the future. I have lived by these principles to guide me through life and through governing. Judge me my decisions and the results. We have replaced infrastructure of aged buildings and roads while maintaining a 11 mill property tax versus the 12 mills allowed. The County has no debt with over $114 Million in depreciation and maintenance accounts. • Experience: I have served on over 21 boards and have three terms as commissioner. We have two new commissioners from the last election and I feel it is important to have experienced members on the board in a time of uncertainty. I also have experience managing people. I have been in business for over 10 years and managed another 10 years prior with a large corporation. • Duty and Service: I serve in office because I believe it is the right thing to do. I have no agenda other than to ensure the financial stability of our County for the future. Weaknesses: • Impatience for politics: I like to solve problems and am impatient when it comes to people caring about who gets the credit or where cooperation is lacking • Communication: I have found I tend to speak in sentence fragments or run on sentences which can make it difficult to get a point across! • Shyness: I feel uncomfortable with large groups of people, dinners, mixers and socializing in general. I have picked a strange way to serve as it challenges me every day. Luckily there are five of us so we can cover for each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Mark Christensen: My background provides me with many of the “requirements” for the job of County Commissioner. 1.) I have a finance degree from the University of Wyoming and I understand how money, interest, sinking funds, reserve accounts, etc. work. 2.) I have been on the Campbell County Public Land Board since 2006 as Treasurer, Vice-Chairman, and Chairman. I have gone through the County budget process on this board a number of times. I am also the Treasurer of the Campbell

I believe campaigns are like job interviews. That being said, please name your three most significant strengths and weaknesses. -Question by Carol FlouringChris Knapp: Strengths: • Principles: Budget should be approached the same way through years of high revenue to years of lower revenue. Live within your means, replace and repair infrastructure when revenues allow and set


County Healthcare Foundation so I am familiar with the needs of non-profits. 3.) I am involved with a number of volunteer boards and have worked with a number of County departments through my help with the Campbell County Fair. I am also a lifelong Campbell County resident and I am not a career politician. I am not moving from the City Council or running for multiple terms. With regard to weaknesses, I feel I work hard to overcome them. I get involved in the things I participate in at a very in-depth level. Sometimes my wife and family think I spend too much time with my volunteer commitments and they do at times compete for the attention of my family and my career. I do sometimes worry about burnout, but I enjoy the rewards of seeing a job well done. Garry Becker: My strengths include a lifelong profession in which it was necessary to quickly assess large amounts of data and choose from the best of several different courses of action. I am the only candidate who is retired; and I do not have any business interests that could potentially involve conflicts of interest. My weakness (some might say a strength) is that I have not ran for public office previously. Steve Hughes: Strengths: a. Experience-I have been a County Commissioner for the last 3.5 years. b. Conservative Spending-We need to fund the needs of the people not the wants of government. During the last 3.5 years we have funded reserve accounts for infrastructure, buildings, building maintenance, and fleet so we are not spending the money of our grandchildren’s future. c. Availability-I work 2 blocks from the courthouse and can be available at any time. I also have a land line at my office and home with the numbers published so Continued on Pages 10 & 11

August 17 - 24, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

County Commissioner Candidates... Continued from Pages 8 & 9 any citizen can call me at any time. Weaknesses: a. Sometimes I get too emotional to children and senior needs and wants. b. Take things too personal c. I allow too much spending by the elected officials on vendors out of County instead of pushing to keep the work here. The 1% sales tax for the City of Gillette Madison Pipeline project paid for by the entire County (even districts where the people already pay for their own water system) will automatically go away when the pipeline is paid off. This tax only paid for the pipeline, and does not compensate for (when you double water intake) expansion of storage, treatment, waste, distribution, and disposal. How do you think whole situation was handled, and how will you ask your citizens to vote when the inevitable 1% comes back on the ballot to pay for the rest of what is needed? Also, should Campbell County Citizens have to pay for the consciously given lack of foresight by the people that knowingly created the direct lying politics to get the project passed in this manner? - Question by Rick BrooksMark Christensen: I do not claim to be an expert on the Madison PipelineProject and if elected need more background on all of the individual pieces of the project. Even though I live in Gillette, when the tax was proposed I did say that I thought it was a hard sell to the people who live in the County to pass a sales tax that benefits the City of Gillette and its residents. Though I did vote in favor of the 1% tax for the Madison Pipeline Project, it was not without a lot of back and forth. The City Council will tell you the project is a regional water system and that neighborhoods and subdivisions can connect. Money was also set aside in the tax for improvements in Wright. This did help to level the playing field. Given that the majority of the citizens live in the City of Gillette, city citizens do have an unfair advantage to bond the entire county to a proposed tax. Given that

the tax was likely to move forward with just City support, I am glad the County Commission and Town of Wright did include some benefits for County subdivisions as well. It’s not a perfect solution, but it is likely the best that could have been accomplished. With regard to any other expenses you have referenced, I think that those are strictly the responsibility of the City of Gillette. Garry Becker: From other comments I have heard it appears that the project could have been handled in a less heavyhanded approach. I am not aware of any other proposed projects reference the water system that would require another sales tax. Steve Hughes: The City of Gillette will be the operating agency for the regional water system. Rates changed to the residents of Gillette and the outside districts will pay for the operating maintenance and the repair to the system. The City of Gillette will set those rates but they must be approved by the special committee set up by all who use the system. Only those who use the system will pay. Chris Knapp: The County does not provide water as a service. Our role in the Madison Project was to represent the districts in several ways. The first way was to make sure that everyone on the system pays the same wholesale rate for water. The Districts will be charged the same rate for water as the City of Gillette. The Districts do have the capability to raise that price to include infrastructure or reserve needs. The second objective was to ensure the Districts were included in the request to the State that would help to pay for the connections to the District. Millions of dollars are allocated through the State grant to the City to help upgrade Districts to receive Madison water. The Wyoming Water Commission will also allow for Districts to

request separate grant funding from the State for storage and internal lines to the storage. Campbell County has anticipated using our District Support Grant Funding to help leverage County dollars in this effort. We also recognize the need to put additional dollars into the District Support Grants and to rewrite the rules to set the criteria and the goals for the grants. Those were the County goals in participating with the City. The Districts will simply become customers of the line but will continue to exist. The City had not planned for capital needs in its water rates previously but has since begun to adjust those rates to reflect future infrastructure needs. I know that the tax will end and cannot speak for the City on what they may request for the future. Priorities are important in any budget and while the County does not deal with water, we feel our role was instrumental in de-


fending the Districts’ interests. It is unfortunate, but just as city residents paid taxes for roads, bridges, schools, and culverts throughout Campbell County, sometimes county citizens outside the incorporated city are taxed for needs of the whole as well. The State wasn’t allowing new wells in the Fort Union Aquifer which left little choice for Districts in the County.

Continued on Page 11

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Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

August 17 - 24, 2012

County Commissioner Candidates... Continued from Pages 8, 9 & 10 2-3 years ago, the Campbell County Commissioners approved a 33% pay raise to the top County officials ($75,000-$100,000 per year). How did you vote on this (or how would you have if you were in office at the time) and why? -Question by Brook MaywettSteve Hughes: The salaries of the elected county officials - Assessor, County Clerk, Clerk of District Court, Sheriff, Coroner, County Attorney, and Treasurer are set by the State Statute. When those people came before the County Commission at the budget hearing they asked for the increase allowed by the State. All commissioners approved this increase because the elected had not had an increase in several years and all other employees had enjoyed a cost of living raises. Chris Knapp: The County Commissioners are part time employees and do not receive this amount. Full time elected positions (Clerk, Sheriff, Coroner, Clerk of District Court, Attorney, and Treasurer) were reset to these salary levels following the next election. In other words the Commissioners cannot adjust a salary for a sitting elected official, it is for the next officials who will be taking office after the next election. Each elected official was required to submit their level of responsibility for the positions, the number of employees they supervised, and the hours they were working. These elected would be comparable to high level management or corporate directors. The Commissioners felt the need to draw experienced and professional candidates to these offices. No elected official received the increase unless they had run in the

Joke of the week Submitted by Gale Jennings If con is the opposite of pro, then what is the opposite of progress?

next election and returned to that position. The elected full time positions had not had increased salaries for 8 years prior to this adjustment. That means for them, they watched employees working for them receive both COLA and merit adjustments for 8 years without one adjustment to their own salary. 33% in one year would seem like a lot, but over 8 years is 2.75% per year. The Commissioners can adjust the salary by Statute only every four years and the maximums are set by the State Legislature. I believe even though those officials are elected, they do the job of high level managers and are deserving of COLA adjustments like every other employee. Inflation does hit those elected officials too. Sometimes people get the idea that no elected official should receive any pay much less raises. I consider them like any other management position only with a heck of a lot harder job application. Their time is worth compensation, their experience is worth compensation and their skills and education are important to the County and its services they provide. People can always disagree on what another person does or what they should be paid. After seeing what these folks do, and the responsibility they have I believe they have earned it and that job application is open to everyone. Mark Christensen: The simple, and politically correct answer, would be to say that I would have voted “no” against the raises. However, with the exception of a few jobs which were raised an even greater percentage, which I would not have supported, I would have voted for the raise to the top elected officials. These elected officials serve in executive rolls and should be compensated appropriately. For executive positions, $100,000 per year is a fair and reasonable salary. These elected officials are full-time positions and we want to ensure we have qualified applicants for those spots. Garry Becker: I would have voted against this because 33% pay raises rarely, if ever, occur in the private business or industry

Last week, all of the Commissioner candidates said that they were a proponent for Second Amendment Rights, but also talked about possible bans in such places as county Property, public property, some private property, and government property. I would like to get a long and detailed answer on your exact opinion in multiple situations on your official stance on gun rights. -Question by Vince GralomGarry Becker: As a county commissioner, the only “public property” on which we have any athority is county property. Although I am opposed to gun control there may be some places where some restriction may be necessary such as the children’s center, the recreation center, and library. Because I an an ardent supporter of private property I would not like any controls on what an individual does on their own property as long as it does not pose a risk to others. Mark Christensen: This question is difficult to answer in written format and would be a much better option for a debate because of the many moving pieces. I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and believe that the right to bear arms is critical to our nation’s history and future. When people lose the right to bear arms, they also lose the ability to stand up for their rights. With that said, I do not believe guns should be allowed in schools or courtrooms. With regard to other government facilities, I believe it depends upon the individual facility and cannot provide a good answer unless I know every facility you are asking about. In my opinion, one of the reasons we have less break-ins in Wyoming than in other states is because the majority of Wyoming households have a gun. If you’re a criminal and you enter a Wyoming home there is a good chance you will find a homeowner with a gun. This discourages criminals and encourages good behavior. The same is true for the right to bear arms. When you take away guns from good people, the bad still seem to find them. At that point, all you have done is setup the good


to lose. Guns help to level the playing field and gun rights were so important to the founding fathers thatthey wrote those beliefs into the Bill of Rights. Chris Knapp: It is my belief that the Second Amendment provided the citizens of the United States the right to keep and bear arms with no exceptions period. The State however regulates the sale and use of firearms for Wyoming. I am pleased that reciprocity has finally been worked out between most of the western states because you typically want a gun with you when you travel out of Wyoming. I believe in our rights as citizens to be prepared to defend ourselves as provided by the Constitution of the United States of America. Steve Hughes: I believe this question would be better answered by the State Legislatures. I do not believe second amendment rights are ignored when we ask the guns to be left in your vehicle when you enter a County Courthouse, jail, detention center, recreation center, library, museum, city hall, or any schools to name a few.

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August 17 - 24, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

Mark Christensen - Candidate for Campbell County Commissioner

Born and raised on a ranch south of Gillette near the Pumpkin Buttes, Mark Christensen has been in Campbell County for 29 years. His great-grandfather homesteaded the family ranch in 1907, before Campbell County was created from a portion of Crook County. The son of Bob and Marilyn Christensen, Mark has three sisters and one brother to help him carry on their traditional Campbell County family name. Behind every great man is a great woman, and Mark has found his in Erika, also of Gillette. Though you see Mark’s face in the newspaper, Mark knows he is blessed to have a partner in Erika in both life, work, and this campaign. Mark and his wife, the 2011 Mrs. Wyoming International, have a German Shepherd named Vrodo. The two were married in January of 2011. As his wife, Erika has supported his loving of Scooby Doo and James Bond. They both enjoy traveling, though Mark travels “mainly for the food.” A 2001 graduate of Campbell County High School, Mark started his education at 4-J Elementary on Hwy. 50. After high school, Mark earned his B.S. in Finance and Management Information Systems from the University of Wyoming. He went on to receive his Masters degree in Real Estate and Construction Management from the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business (one of the best real estate schools in the country and ranked as one of the highest for ethical standards in the world). Mr. Christensen has served on the Campbell County Public Land Board, which oversees CAM-PLEX, since 2006 as Treasurer and Vice-Chairman, and is in his second term as Board Chairman. He has also been on the Campbell County Healthcare Foundation since 2007, serving as Treasurer for most of his tenure with the board. As a member

of the Foundation Board, Mark worked to help a committee oversee construction of the facility and was instrumental in developing the initial budgets and operating policies for Close to Home. Mr. Christensen’s company, The MC Family of Companies, LLC, develops real estate in Gillette and surrounding cities with a focus on quality, design, landscaping, and longterm sustainable value. According to Christensen, “It’s not enough that our projects benefit those within the neighborhood or subdivision, projects should benefit an entire community.” Mr. Christensen first entered politics when running for the County Commission in 2010. Because he was only a few hundred votes short, he is anxious for this year’s election. Mark is very thankful for the help from his family and his wife with this year’s campaign. “Many people are focused on the General Election, but lose sight of the importance of the Primary. In Campbell County, and Wyoming, most of the local races will likely be decided in the Primary. If you want to support me, or any other candidate, your vote in the Primary Election is very important,” says Christensen.


Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

August 17 - 24, 2012

Representative Norine Kasperik-State Representative Representative Norine Kasperik-State Representative Norine and her husband Nick met as children in the small town of Blairsville, Pennsylvania. They grew up together playing neighborhood games and attending the local schools. In their early teenage years they began seriously noticing each other and started to officially date in high school. They continued their relationship while Nick attended college at the University of Pittsburgh and Norine attended nursing school at Shadyside School of Nursing. After they graduated , it wasn’t long before they were married in 1973. They have one son Jason who makes his home in Gillette with wife Allison and daughter Macy. Norine followed her husband’s mining career from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois and finally to Wyoming in 1983. Along the way, Norine worked in nursing and continued her education. She achieved a Masters in Nursing in 2007. Norine has been very active in the Gillette community. Her experience in working on boards & foundations has given her a wide breadth of knowledge about the community and its citizens. She has served for many years on the Campbell County Healthcare Foundation, Campbell County Public Health Board and the Chamber of Commerce Board. Norine’s experience in nursing and nursing education has allowed her to give back to our community as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society, as a nurse at CCMH and as a Nurse Educator at Gillette College. Norine took an interest in politics in Wyoming in the late 1980’s. Once involved, her dedication and leadership skills led her to key roles in the Republican Party. Norine served as Campbell County Party Chairman, State Committee Women and County and State Republican Women President. It was a natural step for Norine, when she retired from her Nursing education position at Gillette College in 2010, that she run for State House Representative. Norine

won her election and is currently running for her second term. “Serving the citizens of Campbell County in the State Legislature is a humbling experience. She says, “I have learned a lot in a very short time. The legislative process is complicated and moves very quickly through the committees and back to the House floor. Sorting through sometimes 50 bills a day can be daunting and requires attention to detail and asking the right questions about the impact of a bill. I’ve learned to read and sort; ask questions and listen carefully to the debate that occurs on the floor.” Representative Kasperik serves on two legislative committees, the Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee and the Health Care Exchange Committee. What does Norine do in her spare time? Her two favorite hobbies are cooking and reading. “I love to throw parties, and really get into the recipes” She says. Sitting next to her at this interview was her husband Nick. He promised not to chime in, but at the thought of his wife’s cooking, he couldn’t hold his tongue and started bragging about how lucky he is that she loves cooking and that he is always blessed with great food. Norine’s other hobby reading provides her with a means of relaxation at the end of a long day. She left this interview with a book written by our own columnist Glenn Woods called “Essence,” with the promise to swap out when she is done with the letters from John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Norine Kasperik is very open to public input and spends a great deal of time talking with her constituents. You will find her at most community and Campbell County Republican events, and even hosting a few of them. But if you want to get to know Representative Kasperik, I would see if you can get to do it over a meal…especially if she will cook. It is worth doing the dishes yourself after!


August 17 - 24, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

Questions and Answers from U.S. Senator/Representative Candidates How do you plan to insure that the Washington and Oregon Ports open up to Powder River Coal? – Question by Glenn Woods (Campbell County Observer Political Columnist and Radio Talk Show Host on 1270 KIML Gillette). Joel Otto: Coal is a valuable commodity throughout the world. Producers are always seeking better markets. Because coal is a bulky fuel, transportation costs can become significant as distances increase. Powder River coal companies and railroads are looking at moving Wyoming coal to ports in Washington and Oregon, for shipment to Asian markets. Whether this will be cost effective given transportation costs, price swings, and the vast distances remains to be seen. I am aware of three port possibilities, Port of Saint Helens and Port of Coos Bay in Oregon, and Port of Grays harbor in Washington. Some environmentalist opposition can be counted on for any industry. Since there are several competing ports, and industry brings jobs, I expect a deal can be reached if the economics work. The role of US Senator is like that of an ambassador representing Wyoming in trade negotiations. As a Senator, I would work to remove barriers to trade within and between the states. The ultimate decision may not rest with the US Senate, but with producers, shippers, and port authorities. Do you believe that the Government has the ability to create jobs? Why or Why not? -Question by Jason KillebrewJoel Otto: I believe the government has the ability to create jobs, but not without destroying other jobs. Every dollar the government spends is taken from the productive side of the economy. Every regulation is a burden on producers. When hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans, it created a need for new construction jobs. Unfortunately, it caused the

loss of millions of dollars of houses and belongings. If Katrina had not come through, the owners would not have lost their houses, and would have had that much more wealth. Government job creation is like Katrina. In a voluntary exchange, both parties are better off afterward. I buy a burger because I would rather have a burger than the money. You sell it because you would rather have the money. We both gain. The right price is the one we both agree on. The only way we both benefit is if we both agree. The only way to know the right price is to let us work it out. Government job creation presumes that a bureaucrat can set prices and direct our lives batter than we can do so ourselves. When only one party agrees to a transaction there is one winner and one loser. Value is lost. The less interference, the less value lost. Thomas Blemming: Governments do create jobs for the private sector. Examples are road construction (interstate highways).

The Bureau of Land Management in Buffalo Wyoming has been guilty of failing to approve drilling permits on a timely basis for years , limiting the potential of oil and gas development in the Powder River Basin. Explain what you see as the problem, what you specifically have done to address the problem in the past and what specific plans you have to address the issue should you be elected. Feel free to comment on shortfalls you believe your opponents have in this area. – Question by Tim Barber-Environmental/Federal Regulatory Supervisor-Yates Petroleum Joel Otto: This problem is causing a lot of finger pointing. Industry figures indicate that average permitting time in Wyoming has almost doubled in the past decade, to 5.8 years. The BLM says the increase is

due mostly to new regulations and standards in the Environmental Impact Statement process. The increase in permitting time defers revenues to the state as well as slowing job creation and the accompanying benefits to communities. Drilling resources may be redirected to projects in other states, while Wyoming loses out. That’s the problem. Currently, the BLM has no overall time requirement for processing a permit application. This seems unreasonable. To their credit, they say there are emerging technologies of environmental prediction and monitoring that should speed the process. Predictability is a hallmark of the rule of law. I would support legislation that sets specific deadlines for response to a permit application, and clear standards for compliance. I have not been in a position to address this problem in the past. As a US Senator, I see the long term solution as placing all public lands within the state under state control, and implementing and maintaining the rule of law in land management. I believe campaigns are like job interviews. That being said, please name your three most significant strengths and weaknesses. -Question by Carol FlouringJoe Otto: Meeting my commitments is very important to me. If I say I will do something, I am strongly compelled to carry through. This is a strength. The flip side is that I tend to not make too many commitments. I am good at learning and understanding new things and gathering information. This strength will help counteract my relative inexperience in public policy. I always operate out of principle. I will not cut deals that sidestep constitutional requirements in the hope that the Supreme court will catch it later. I see this as a strength. Unfortunately, I have to work hard to remember names.


Do you support the U.N. Arms Treaty? Why or why not? If not, how do you exactly plan on fighting it? -Question by Mathew KlassonThomas Blemming: No, I do NOT support the UN Small Arms Treaty, nor do I support any efforts within our own government that would go against the Second Amendment. As your US Senator I will always vote against any UN Treaty that deals with small arms. I am 100 percent in support for gun rights. Joel Otto: I do not support the UN Arms Trade Treaty, which targets civilian sales of small arms worldwide. The treaty is supposed to keep small arms out of the hands of terrorists and rogue regimes. I question that it would be effective at its stated goal. It would place undue burdens on law abiding gun owners. Fortunately, this treaty has been dropped at the UN level after member states failed to reach an agreement in July. Should it be brought forward at a later date, I would strongly oppose it. Senator Barrasso could not answer the questions this week due to prior obligations. He is very sorry for the inconvenience.

Joke of the week Submitted by Brian Corcier “Daddy,” a little girl asked her father, “do all fairy tales begin with ‘Once upon a time’? “ “No, sweetheart,” he answered. “Some begin with ‘If I am elected.”

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

August 17 - 24, 2012

Chris Knapp County Commissioner

I was born and raised in Campbell County as a sixth generation resident. Growing up here gives me perspective on where we have come from and the quality of life we enjoy in Campbell County today. I graduated from Campbell County High School and went on to college in Gillette and then to the University of Wyoming. I have taken part in several diplomatic missions sponsored by The United States Department of State to South Korea and Japan and received an honorary degree in Korean Affairs from the International Strategic Institute for Korean Studies. I am the Director of Operations for Rocky Mountain Business Equipment LLC and the President of VISTA Leasing Company Inc. Owning small businesses provides me the financial, team work and management experience needed to do the job of a County Commissioner. My short time overseas has made me realize many other countries still model themselves after the United States. Many of them still search for a way to bring government closer to the people. Local government is rewarding to me because you can find solutions or provide services and see the results come quickly and effectively. I believe in principled leadership. I am a fiscal conservative and believe in the freedoms afforded to us by the Constitution of the United States. I have served three terms as a County Commissioner and I believe it is a duty and a service to

our County. My motivation comes from my oldest brother, Col. Denton Knapp, who graduated from West Point and after more than 25 years in the Army. He is now a full Colonel and is deployed in Afghanistan after serving in three previous tours in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. I have always honored his service and he in turn is proud of mine. I have always told him as long as he is serving our Country, I will be serving it too. I have dedicated most of my adult life to volunteering or serving in government. Since the age of 21, I have served or been liaison to over 20 different boards. It is a fine balance as my wife Tia and I raise two girls, Myranda and Mariah. I also have the two business ventures to run so it is a fine balance of time with family, time with business, and time for the Commission. I have learned a lot about the County government, the community and people in the process. I have the experience and the knowledge that is needed for the job. I believe it is important to continue to project conservative values into government. The County has been blessed with County Commissioners who value savings for future needs while at the same time provide us with quality of life to enjoy the community in which we live. With this year’s budget, we are debt free, have over $114 million into capital depreciation reserves and maintenance accounts, and continue to fund those accounts for the financial stability of the County’s future.


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August 17 - 24, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

Tom Lubnau-Candidate for State Representative District 31 Representative Tom Lubnau has served in the Wyoming legislature for eight years, but his legislative career is only part of a full life. Lubnau has lived in Gillette for as long as he can remember (although he was born in Laramie), attended Gillette schools (he was a swimmer on Gillette’s very first swim team, and shares the first state record in a relay set by a Gillette team). Then, he was off to the University of Wyoming and UW College of law. “I guess I didn’t wander too far from home,” Lubnau smiled. After college, Tom got a job offer at a bank “only making $13,500.00 per year. At the time my buddies back in Gillette were making $50,000.00 per year at the mines. When I told the bank manager, he said that was more than he made and that he might get a job at the mines. So, I went to law school.” During summer break from law school, Lubnau worked in the accounting department at Black Thunder Mine, inventorying equipment and writing inventory and budgeting software.

Lubnau returned to Gillette and joined his father’s law practice in 1984. His father, who was an attorney, was a great influence. Tom considers himself lucky that he had “a father to give me an opportunity for a good quality life. It was rewarding.” His father built a family practice, as Tom’s mother worked for the practice, and now Tom owns it. Family is central to Lubnau’s life. Lubnau, and his wife Rita, have two children: Rachel Gligoria, an occupational therapist, who lives with her husband Gene in Oregon City, Oregon and a 13 year old son (Thomas Lubnau III) who is going into seventh grade. “Rachel is an amazing success. Thomas is a great kid. I’m very proud of them both.” Being a State Representative is just a logical step in a lifetime of service. Lubnau started his professional service as an active member of the Gillette Jaycees. Lubnau says, “Back in those days, the Jaycees served as a farm club for future

Continued on Page 17


Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

August 17 - 24, 2012

Tom Lubnau... civic leaders. We learned the skills necessary to run projects, manage people and serve the community.” The ranks of current Campbell County civic leaders are filled with former Gillette Jaycees, including Sen. Mike Enzi, Mayor Tom Murphy, former Mayor Duane Evenson, Rep. Gregg Blikre and many others. “Being able to learn and fail in a safe environment in the Jaycees gave us great opportunities to learn and develop as leaders,” Lubnau commented, “We had the chance to make small mistakes. Nothing fails like success, because you don’t learn anything from it.” Lubnau describes his life as “full”. He is a former president of the Wyoming State Bar, Chairman of the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, President of the Wyoming Jaycees, and Chancellor of the Jackrabbit Bar. His awards include

Citizen of the Year, Firefighter of the Year, Kentucky Colonel, Businessman of the Year, and Henry Toll Fellow (a select group of 50 leaders from the nation each year). Mr. Lubnau does not have much time to spare owning his own business, being a State Representative, supporting his son in traveling hockey and other sports, and oh…he is also a volunteer firefighter here in Campbell County. As a matter of fact 3 weeks ago you wouldn’t have been able to get ahold of him much because he was fighting the Wildcat fire throughout the weekend. “Well, being a representative all takes a lot of time. To do a good job, being a State Representative takes up at least four solid months out of your year, plus a couple hours every morning year round. We get paid $150 per day while we are in session.

Continued from Page 16

No one does this job for the money. I do to give back, the same reason as volunteer firefighting. It is for the community and the State that you live in.” He actually sleeps in a friend’s basement when he is in Cheyenne during session. Lubnau is modest about his legislative successes, although his peers would describe his legislative career as “very successful”. He has risen to the second highest position in the Wyoming House, Majority Floor Leader. If reelected, he intends to seek the top office of Speaker of the House. Lubnau is quick to give credit to a team of people for his successes. “They key to success in the legislative process is to build consensus, and to do that, one must listen and understand.” Other legislators describe him as a quick study who is not afraid of long hours.


When he does have (what time) for hobbies, Tom likes to fly his plane and write. He has written two novels, but “they will never be published. Why? Because they are not very good,” he says with a grin. But he partnered with Randy Okray to publish a firefighter safety text book that is widely used in the international firefighting community today. Both Tom and Randy received an award for that book called the International Fire Service Instructor of the Year. “When Charlestown lost 8 or 9 firefighters in a fire…eight or nine too many, they adopted the policies and training from this book. What advice does Representative Lubnau have to give the community? “Through hard work, you advance. The only thing stopping you from moving up is you.” Sound advice from a proven man.

August 17 - 24, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

Questions and Answers from City Council Candidates I believe campaigns are like job interviews. That being said, please name your three most significant strengths and weaknesses. -Question by Carol FlouringScott Clem: My Strengths: 1. I’m principle driven. My conservative principles and convictions allow me to make consistent decisions, not based upon feelings or what is politically expedient. 2. I’m logical and well thought out. I am generally not hasty in making decisions and tend not to make snap judgments. I like to research and process all information before coming to conclusions. I examine all options and consider how my decisions will affect others. I use common sense, and make sure my principles and convictions are not being compromised. 3. I try to listen more than talk, and I work very well with others. As a city councilman, its imperative to hear what others are saying, whether that be concerned citizens, business owners, contractors, or public health officials. I try hard to allow people to talk, without interupting them, and listen to their points of view. While I stand firm on my principles and convictions, I enjoy working along with people and have had much success in collaborating with others. My Weaknesses: 1. I like to give, sometimes too much. If I’m charged with a task, I like to give myself whole heartedly to it. I give my time, my strength, my effort, my money, etc. What I often have to remind myself of is the other priorities I have in my life. Thankfully, I have a wife who helps me to balance this in my life. 2. Change. I’m not big on change. I’m not against improvement, but if something is working well and efficiently, why change it? 3. Perfection. I was brought up that if you were going to do something, you do it right and you pour your heart into it. This perfectionist attitude has sometimes put more stress on me than there ought to be. While I don’t hold others to the same level of scrutiny, I often scrutinize myself in making sure I have given my absolute best.

The City of Gillette has begun, in recent years, to participate in efforts aimed at marketing and advocating for the energy industries operating in the area. Explain your past involvement in these efforts and /or plans you would implement for the continuance of these efforts should you be elected. Feel free to comment on shortfalls you believe your opponents have in this area. – Question by Tim Barber-Environmental/ Federal Regulatory Supervisor-Yates Petroleum Scott Clem: I’m against government over regulating or unnecessarily interfering with business. I’m against the government picking winners and losers in the economy. However, I am in favor of government advocating on behalf of industry, in a general sense. This last summer, our state sent a delegation over to China concerning our mutual interest in the coal and energy industries. That delegation included state and local representatives. To my understanding, China’s culture holds in very high esteem the mayors of local municipalities. The question that came before our city council was should we send our mayor on the tax payer’s dime? My answer is no, unlike the current incumbant in ward 3. He voted yes. I was not against the mayor going to China. In fact, I think it was a positive good-will gesture and underscored the seriousness of our interest in the energy industries. However, I cannot justifiy using tax payer money as a proper role of government in this instance. If the council were to show partiality to the energy industry, where would this end? Should tax money be used to send the mayor or a council member to a restaurant expo to promote the food industry? We need to remember the proper role of government. I think government can partner with industries as a way to open up lines of communication, like the China trip, but industry must take the initiaitive. I don’t want to hinder business, but if promoting business means more jobs and revenue in our area, I think it behoves government to be a “cheerleader” for entrepenuer and industry success. In regards to the Mayor going to China, I think the best possible outcome

occurred. The council voted down using tax payer money to send him to China, but a private entity with interests in the energy industry stepped up and paid Mayor Murphy’s way. If we can assist industries in this way, and bring more jobs back to Gillette, you can count me in. Do you believe that Campbell County Citizens should have had to pay for the City of Gillette’s Madison Pipeline project even when they also pay for their own water and water infrastructure? -Question by Rick BrooksScott Clem: We addressed this question the best possible way when it went to the voters for a ballot initiative. Gillette is the county seat, and it also contains the majority of all county residents. Being that the size of Gillette is so large for our county, we must concider that the majority of businesses in Campbell County are either located or headquartered in Gillette. So even if you do live in the county, chances are you make your living in Gillette, and the Madison Pipeling project indirectly affects you. Because of the scope of the project, and the massive effect it has directy or indirectly on county residents, I think it is best paid for by all citizens. The City of Gillette receives many different grants from both the State of Wyoming and the Federal Government. Some believe that a big part of the national debt problem partly stems from the individual government entities not being willing to budget around their own funds. Do you believe that it is right to keep accepting this money? -Question by Connie BakerScott Clem: Great question. I’ve struggled with this. We are now around 16 trillion dollars in national debt. Taking grant money from the federal government certainly doesn’t feel like we are helping the problem. On one hand, I would rather see our tax


dollars at work here at home versus seeing the money given to some oversees abortion provider. On the other hand, it actually feels like we are contributing to our debt problem by taking this money. Looking at our budget, we’ve received anywhere from $500,000 to over $1,000,000 in federal grants. Along with getting out of debt and building our reserves, I would love to work toward taking a stand against using any more federal monies. Who knows, maybe we can work together with our congresswoman and two senators and Gillette can be a national example that we are serious about reducing our debt and deficit! Regarding taking state grant funds, I feel differently. Our state has had a practice of fiscal responsibility and I would like to see our tax dollars put back to work right here in Gillette. Currently, the Mayor has a vote in all proposals brought before the City Council. Do you believe that he has too much power in doing so? Also, should he only be a tie breaker vote, and simply run the meetings all other times? -Question by Jackie FurgersonScott Clem: I believe things should remain as they are, allowing the mayor a vote on all proposals. The citizens did not elect the mayor to be silent or to be a glorified moderator. While the citizens of Gillette can only vote for two representatives in their respective ward, the mayor is an at-large vote and represents the entire city. Just like I want to represent the voters of ward 3 without restriction, the mayor should represent the entire city without unneccessary restriction. Continued on Page 19

Joke of the week Submitted by Aaron Shilinger If You Can Dream It, We Can Tax It-New motto of government!

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

August 17 - 24, 2012

City Council Candidates... Continued from Page 18

Do you believe that many of the City ordinances hurt private locally owned businesses? If so, what do you plan to do about it. – Question by Glenn Woods (Campbell County Observer Political Columnist and Radio Talk Show Host on 1270 KIML Gillette). Scott Clem: I don’t believe in being law-less. I don’t believe in over regulation either. I’m a great believer in capitalism. The government has no place in picking winners and losers, which is what tends to happen with over regulation. The free-market, by it’s nature, picks winners and losers, and it develops ingenuity and creativity. It is part of the reason why our American economy has been so successful since the birth of our country. No matter who sits on the city council, they are going to be charged with the task of maintaining and sustaining civility and the standard of living that we have come to enjoy. They will review laws, and may propose new ones. The question that voters,

including myself, have to ask ourselves is this, “Will that man/woman want to control my life and dictate how they think I should live, or will they let me live my life the way I see fit?” As a conservative who believes in smaller government, I hold firm to the principle that people generally make better decisions for themselves versus governement making decisions for the people. Some would contend, “Government knows best.” I counter that statement: People know best. If elected, I will be tasked with the challenge of keeping the size of government small, and as much as possible, reducing and limiting ordinances that interfere in the lives of others. My principles, not my feelings, is what will help guide the decisions I make.

Call for your free estimate! 307-696-7465

Candidate for City Council Ward 3 John Wayne could not submit his answers this week because of unforeseen events.

Joke of the week Submitted by June Daye

Rules of Washington If it’s worth fighting for, it’s worth fighting dirty for. Don’t lie, cheat or steal...unnecessarily. There is always one more idiot than you counted on. An honest answer can get you into a lot of trouble. The facts, although interesting, are irrelevant. Chicken Little only has to be right once. “NO” is only an interim response. You can’t kill a bad idea. If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you ever tried. The truth is a variable. You can agree with any concept or notional future option, in principle, but fight implementation every step of the way. A promise is not a guarantee. If you can’t counter the argument, change the subject or leave the meeting.

We've Got You Covered! 19

August 17 - 24, 2012

Campbell County Observer • 2012 Election Guide/Paid Candidate Advertising

Online Voting Polls Polls are not scientific. Based on number of votes who voted on the Observer website. To vote, go to U.S. Senate Republican Primaries

Senator John Barrasso Thomas Blemming None of the above

84.6% 14.0% 1.4%

U.S. Senate Democrat Primaries

William Bryl Tim Chesnut Al Hamburg None of the above

9.2% 15.6% 7.1% 68.1%

State House of Representatives District 52 Merle McClure Sue Wallis John Robertson None of the above

24.4% 38.1% 30.4% 7.1%

State House of Representatives District 03 Eric Barlow 48.8% Douglas Gerard 48.7% None of the above 2.5%

Campbell County County Commissioners

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

20.1% 21.9% 20.9% 21.6% 11.4% 0.9%

City Council of Gillette Ward 1 Kevin McGrath 44.7% Don Elder 46.5% None of the above 8.8%


City Council of Gillette Ward 2 Don Hart Bill Mntgomery Forest Rothleutner None of the Above

40.4% 16.2 % 34.7% 8.7%

City of Gillette Ward 3 Ted Jerrad Scott Clem John Wayne Robert Kothe

29.9% 31.8% 35.2% 3.1%

2012 Election Guide Volume 4  

2012 Election Guide

2012 Election Guide Volume 4  

2012 Election Guide