In a race primed to break all campaign finance records in Wyoming, supporters of Sen. Mike Enzi have created the first super political action committee for a candidate in the state’s 2014 Republican primary.

The PAC’s name is Wyoming’s Own — an ostensible poke at Senate candidate Liz Cheney’s residency status. It was founded by Casper accountant and political strategist Bill Cubin and Dick Bratton, former co-chairman of the Wyoming Business Council and manager of Jona Inc.

Wyoming generally doesn’t feature races that require donors with deep pockets, unlike many congressional districts where tens of millions are spent on primary and general elections. Enzi spent $1.6 million on his 2007-08 campaign.

But campaigning against Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, will be different. She has access to something

neither of Enzi’s past opponents had: Dick Cheney’s powerful establishment of donors.

“Liz Cheney can raise a lot of money, and she can raise enough to make this race competitive,” Cubin said. “The purpose of our PAC is to prevent that.”

Wyoming’s Own will be rolling out its campaign toolbox once its network of donors starts filling its coffers. There will be newspaper, TV, radio, mail and online ads. The purpose, Cubin said, is to remind Wyomingites why “they like Enzi.”

Cheney declined to comment on this story.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that corporations were entitled to free speech and unlimited campaign spending. As a result, last year’s presidential and congressional races became even more encumbered by nonstop advertising, finger-pointing and political jockeying. Wyoming’s Own will try to stay away from that, Cubin said.

“Our purpose isn’t to throw muck,” he said. “Enzi is a humble, soft-spoken, hard-working public servant for Wyoming. He along with Sen. (John) Barrasso and Rep. (Cynthia) Lummis are really one of the strongest delegations in Congress. We want to protect that delegation.”

Early polls suggest Enzi has a lead over Cheney. However, at events around the state, an increasing number of voters have shown interest in Cheney. Along with a widespread group of die-hard Cheney fans who have supported the family since the former vice president was a Wyoming legislator, she’s appealed to tea party activists and others who express strong frustration with Washington.

Both campaigns have hit private fundraising events on the East Coast and received cash from groups throughout the country.

Political followers throughout the state are eagerly waiting to see what both candidates have raised since the primary race took off with Cheney’s announcement on July 17. The FEC will release third-quarter congressional campaign finance reports on Oct. 15. It will be the first finance report for Cheney’s congressional campaign.

“I believe we’re doing extremely well, especially this early in the campaign,” Cheney campaign finance Chairwoman Margaret Parry said. “I think we’re doing much better than we expected coming out of the gate.”

Fundraisers in Jackson, Casper, Cheyenne, Cody and smaller towns have been successful, she said. Without a Cheney super PAC available to collect unlimited amounts of election cash, numerous donors have given Cheney’s campaign the $5,200 maximum limit to a candidate, Parry said.

“I’ve had a lot of people come to me and say, ‘I want to support her big time,’” she said.

Companies and their PACs were going to bat for Enzi before Cheney announced her run for election. Enzi’s second-quarter campaign finance report showed that PACs for Koch Industries, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Time Warner Cable, Pfizer and the National Retail Federation donated to his campaign. Enzi had $488,150 cash on hand when the reports were released.

(21) comments

Postman61
Postman61

Interesting. I do hope that this election ends up being about substance -- specifically whether our delegation has been succeeding in improving the federal government and solving Wyoming's many problems with federal regulators and bureaucrats.

I do wonder however why in the world Mike Enzi would be needing to raise money from such non-Wyoming sources as Boeing,Lockheed Martin, Time Warner Cable, Pfizer and the National Retail Federation. I guess the National Retail Federation is donating to Enzi because the Senator has proposed to raise our internet taxes. But isn't it HIGHLY ironic that this SuperPac called "Wyoming's Own" is being formed specifically to take big donations from non-Wyoming corporations? Seems kind of hypocritical.

rigrat
rigrat

Let them put the gloves on see who can come out a winner...then vote for none of the above.

Dough teen
Dough teen

Good point, Postman. They intend to get many big donations from Washington lobbyists and other corporations from out of state, so maybe they should change the name from "Wyoming's Own" to "Wyoming's Owned".

Kool Kat
Kool Kat

I'm like many who have expressed their interest in "knowing why" Enzi supported a "new internet tax bill" that died in the US Congress for a lack of interest? After all, it was endorsed by a President who wants to start a war with Syria, in which we "as a nation" have no interest in.
Perhaps Enzi can answer why many voiced opposition to to his internet tax bill and Enzi would not communicate with Wyoming tax payers and voters? Now he wants our trust to go back and do the same?
I agree with the below commentators, as to where this money is coming from in a "super pac" as this story reads. Is it crony money - perhaps some from Obama "friendly supporters"? Its times like now, that I'm not sure Wyoming has a second US Senator that represents Wyoming.

wyskippy
wyskippy

Not sure why Enzi supporters are raising money to defeat someone who has no chance whatsoever. She is raising all of her $$ from out of state interests, he might as well capture some of that also. Mike's done a great job for Wyoming, nose to the grindstone with few accolades just works hard and gets things done. Looking forward to re-election of a good man instead of a talking head.

ARMY RANGER
ARMY RANGER

An incumbent who can't run and win on his or her record alone needs to be replaced! What has Enzi done for Wyoming or the country? Not that Cheney will do any better but Enzi had his chance and has proven he can’t deliver.

strool35
strool35

I will not vote for Enzi again, he has become to much of a Washington fixture. When you send him a question it does not get answered or you get a canned BS response. I don't know much about Cheney but I will vote for her just to get a change.

Pops
Pops

Drop them both out of an aircraft @ 30,000 ft. Vote for the one who survives the fall.

CheyenneGuy
CheyenneGuy

Kool Kat and other low information voters are on here every day distorting Senator Enzi's record for Wyoming. He has NEVER promoted or pushed a "new" internet tax. The bill which the Senator has championed allows local municipalities to collect already existing local sales taxes? Taxes which you are already legally obligated to pay. If you are against local sales taxes then come out and say it. At the same time you should also get rid of local police, fire, EMT, parks and trash pick up amongst other services paid for by local sales taxes. The lies and distortions seem to fit right in with Ms. Cheney's approach to campaigning.

Kool Kat
Kool Kat

Ummm, let me get this straight!
Right now, there is no internet tax in Wyoming when purchasing online whether with a local business or out of state. If I'm wrong please show me where the State of Wyoming has been collecting taxes taxes from someone's purchase, whether instate purchase of out of state purchase?
Last I checked, the businesses online in Wyoming were not assessing an "Obama supported" sales tax through the internet, sponsored by Enzi. Now the way I read your response to me is, "collect already existing local sales" in your second sentence. Now unless your distorting what Enzi is saying as a "whimpy attempt" to Wyoming voters?
Please show me the tax as to which the State of Wyoming is legal to enforce by Wyoming law that has not been there before? I'm wiling to learn of any undisclosed "Wyoming Legislature Law signed by Gov Mead" that is suppose to assess against Wyomingites through the internet.

Sir, I don't believe I've distorted anything, but I am one of the many Wyoming tax paying voters that called Enzi's office to get a brush-off by his interns, instead of an answer. I do know Obama supports this legislation as does Enzi but does not want to show account for his "ill advised" actions as this.
In Wyoming, the legislature provided no "internet tax" for Wyomingites to pay,. So where is this supposed "internet tax' you are referring to at? And since Mr Enzi is/was not willing to talk to me directly as with others, perhaps you can answer a question Sen Enzi seems to avoid? Not the illegible nonsense (that does add up) on his website but how he sees Wal Mart needing the playing field leveled against small businesses.

Will Sen Enzi now openly speak to the rest of us in Wyoming - not just small towns? But where the electorate that sent him to DC in then first place - and hear their legitimate concerns as constituents?

Greyb Embl
Greyb Embl

And by the way, it is quite revealing that you attack people personally for disagreeing with your candidate on a policy issue. It's intemperate and insulting and reveals the weakness of your position.

stickalose
stickalose


Is Wyoming Statute 39-15-103, taxable event, correct?

Conservative voter 41
Conservative voter 41

That's for sales in the state, not sales over the internet from a different state. Read Ted Cruz's comment above, and search for the public statements of many other conservatives who adamantly oppose our Senator Enzi's new tax.

stickalose
stickalose

Dunno.... see Wyoming Dept of Revenue Form 44.

Conservative voter 41
Conservative voter 41

And by the way, Gallup polled repbulicans nationwide on Enzi's bill, and they opposed it
63-34. Sum and substance: a democrat liberal bill. http://www.gallup.com/poll/163184/americans-especially-young-oppose-internet-sales-tax.aspx

Greyb Embl
Greyb Embl

I'm sorry CheyenneGuy, but what you say is, to be polite, a load of malarkey.

There's a darn good reason Enzi's new internet tax is opposed by most every conservative repbulican in the Senate, and a large majority of all republicans in the House. It's a new tax that has never previously been applied. If it was already something we pay, you wouldn't need new legislation.

If the Senator's bill passes (which it may not because most real conservatives hate it), then Wyoming residents will be paying taxes they've never paid before -- in connection with internet purchases -- to California, New York and other state governments. It mystifies me why our Senator would support this. Sure, the National Retail Federation (apparently a PAC donor for Enzi) likes the new tax - and probably retail shoe stores like it- but most other people don't.

And for gosh sakes, if you want to help retailers, lower their tax burden. Don't raise taxes on the rest of us. That's an Obama liberal idea and should never ever have come from anyone from Wyoming, much less our own Senator.

Conservative voter 41
Conservative voter 41

To your point, here is what noted conservative Senator Ted Cruz has said about Enzi's bill:

"Every single Republican under the age of 50 voted against this bill in the U.S. Senate, and I think it has a great deal to do with being part of the internet age. There is a lot of discussion about social media… and you look at the younger elected officials, who this isn’t, you know I remember a former elected official who referred to the internet as the ‘internets.’ You know, there is a breakdown of those who appreciate the incredible freedom, the entrepreneurial oasis that the internet represents and I think we need to give a special solicitude – we should not be messing with the internet. The idea that a bunch of politicians, Democrats and some Republicans, would jump in bed with a bunch of corporate lobbyists in Washington and all get together to put new taxes new burdens on the internet and shut down small businesses I think is absolutely crazy."

Jaywild
Jaywild

I am not supporting Cheney in this race. But can anyone tell what Enzi has done for Wyoming? The only time I think of him is when I see a worn out campaign sign along the road. The rest of the delegate of Wyoming is not much better.

World Traveler
World Traveler

I announced back in mid-May that i intend to run for the US Senate and I ask those of you who are planning on voting in the upcoming Republican primary election to vote and support me as your choice for the US Senate. I am NOT taking any corporate contributions. My campaign shall only accept donations from individuals.
I have a campaign page on Facebook "Thomas Bleming for the US senate in 2014' and ask that all of you "Like" it.
Read over my posts, comments, as well as my info page.
You can contact me @ (307) 334-2507.

Jaywild
Jaywild

Mr. Bleming,
Although your views are radical at times.... you would be an interesting addition to the senate.

CaliographN
CaliographN

I believe the first fundraiser for "Wyoming's Own" -- and for the Enzi campagin -- will be next week in Washington DC, and will feature an all-star team of registered Washington lobbyists each contributing on their own behalf and/or on behalf of their affiliated PACs.

Here's a question both for "Wyoming's Own" and the Senator's Campaign staff--

Can you please make public the list of these contributors next week with a cross-reference to the website link to their federal lobbying reports? That way we can quickly discern whether these lobbyists and corporate entities have business before the Committees on which Senator Enzi serves, and whether they are from out of state etc.

Thanks very much for your consideration of this request.

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