Republicans say the no-censure vote may bring party some closure

2014-05-03T19:35:00Z 2014-05-05T17:15:06Z Republicans say the no-censure vote may bring party some closureBy LAURA HANCOCK Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online

EVANSTON – Republicans who voted Saturday against censuring Gov. Matt Mead said the results are a good indication of how the Wyoming GOP primary will turn out.

Republicans who wanted to censure Mead said the narrow margin by which the censure measure failed should be a lesson.

Saturday’s highly emotional process resulted in 132 delegates voting for censure and 145 voting against. The vote was at the end of the Wyoming Republican Party 2014 State Convention.

The vote was a 30-minute roll call in which delegates stated their names, their counties and their votes. A Casper Star-Tribune reporter took notes on how delegates voted but couldn’t hear some people’s names.

Bonnie Foster, of the Wyoming GOP, said she will probably release a list of yes votes and a list of no votes on Monday.

The censure measure criticized Mead for his support of the Common Core educational standards and Senate File 104, a 2013 bill that removed Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill from control over the Wyoming Department of Education.

Earlier this year, the Wyoming Supreme Court struck down the law as unconstitutional. Hill is challenging Mead in the Republican Primary, as is Dr. Taylor Haynes.

Political observers had previously told the Star-Tribune that a censure wouldn’t have any immediate effects on Mead but that it could prop up his Republican opponents.

Park County delegates Geri Hockhalter and Terry Hinkle, both of whom voted no, believe the vote on Saturday is a good indication of the primary gubernatorial vote.

“It means the sensible people of Wyoming prevailed,” she said. “Matt Mead is a wonderful governor.”

She believes the vote will bring some closure among Republicans.

“I think the governor will win 60 percent of the primary vote,” Hinkle said.

Hill and Haynes will split the conservative Republican vote, he said.

Hinkle believes conservative Republicans may have been over-represented at the convention because he believes tea partiers have taken over the party. Tea partiers have told the Star-Tribune they take offense at that allegation, and they say they have the right to participate.

Hockhalter said many of the delegates were new.

“They got to see history today,” she said.

Weston County delegate William Curley voted yes on censure. Only seven votes would have tipped the scales, he said.

“What strikes me is this is a room full of Republicans,” he said. “The governor’s done well, but he ought to take the message.”

Attempts to censure him are over, Curley said. But some candidates have been spurred to enter races because of their displeasure over SF104, he added.

“The voters will get to have the last word,” he said.

Park County delegate Bob Berry, who voted yes, said the narrow margin shows how divided Republicans are.

“It’s sent a message because it was close,” he said. “Had it been 60-40? Probably not.”

Lincoln County delegate Larry Lawton voted against censure but he also opposed SF104.

“I would hope the governor and a number of legislators will reassess their position,” he said.

Lawton isn’t looking for any mea culpas over SF104.

“Just have an awareness the folks in Wyoming are more conservative than they may have thought,” he said.

Hill was not present during the vote. She did not have a comment, said her husband, Drake Hill. During a speech to delegates earlier in the day, she said she is principled. She said the public’s vote for her was taken away with SF104.

Haynes watched the vote. He had previously said he was not going to use a censure as a tactic in the campaign.

“I really don’t have a reaction since everything has been resolved, and the superintendent is back in office,” he said. “The motion is kind of moot.”

Mead wasn’t at the vote. He left the convention shortly after a campaign speech to celebrate his daughter’s birthday.

He said he appreciated the 145 people who voted against censure. The statement emphasized his successes while in office – low poverty, a low homeowner foreclosure rate, budget cuts and cuts in the number of state government employees.

“That’s what I’ll be talking about,” he said. “We’ll see in August what Republicans across the state deem important.”

Reach state reporter Laura Hancock at 307-266-0581 or at Follow her on Twitter: @laurahancock.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(19) Comments

  1. jackel
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    jackel - May 05, 2014 7:58 am
    I guess that he fits the shoe is correct and governor Mead does wear it. However have you ever been in a pair of shoes that at first felt great then just went south. Governor Mead does not deserve our vote just because he holds the office. He has proven to us all that he'd strip our rights, and I'm not a tea party member just an average American. Like the majority of people in this country, we're voting back what is stripping our civil rights away in the name of no change, and why is that, when our shoes don't fit, we purchase new. Therefore; Matt Mead I did vote for, but today he does not fit this Wyoming resident. If he wins the primary he will not get it in the general election, my vote. Sorry to say he did live up to what I voted for and that is WWyoming.
  2. thehousemouse
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    thehousemouse - May 05, 2014 6:54 am

    Taylor Haynes for Governor

    12 mins ·

    There was an article in the Saratoga Sun regarding whether or not I would support appointing the Superintendent of Public Instruction if I were Governor. The context of the article was discussing how the Legislature could make SF104 lawful. The answer is, only as a Constitutional Amendment, voted on by the people of Wyoming.
    I do not support "appointing" the Director of Education. I would, however, support electing the State Board of education instead of appointing them.
  3. thehousemouse
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    thehousemouse - May 05, 2014 6:36 am

    Wyoming saw the biggest decline in overall freedom over the last decade. In terms of its relative freedom ranking, the Equality State ranks 36th, down from 31st just two years ago. Wyoming’s steep decline is largely due to falling personal income since the 2007 recession, which has a particularly negative impact on the state’s fiscal policy score. This may be, to a considerable extent, an artifact of Wyoming’s unusual, energy-dependent economy.

    Nonetheless, in economic matters, Wyoming would be wise to emulate its neighbors South Dakota, Idaho, and Utah. It has the highest taxes as a percentage of personal income in the region. Wyoming also spends too much. Its spending is nearly 2.5 standard deviations above the mean! Government payrolls are much too large, closing in on three standard deviations above the national average. At least Wyoming is fiscally decentralized and has not allowed its spending to elevate debt levels. The state is blessed with the lowest government debt ratio in the United States (at more than two standard deviations from the mean). Its citizens are fortunate that severance taxes provide a large part of the state’s revenue.

    Wyoming performs better on regulatory policy than fiscal policy. It is in the top five states in terms of health insurance freedom and occupational freedom. Health insurance regulations are among the least intrusive in the country; health coverage mandates are nearly a standard deviation below average. Wyoming also performs well on occupational freedom. Labor laws are generally market-friendly—and Wyoming is a right-to-work state—though Wyoming requires employers to contribute to a state monopoly fund for workers’ compensation. Its liability system and land-use regulations are better than average, and some eminent domain reform has occurred. Telecom and cable require deregulation.

    Wyoming is close to the median state for personal freedom. However, it ranks as one of the worst in the country in terms of victimless crimes arrests and crime rate—adjusted incarceration rates. Just bringing these rates to the national mean level would have made Wyoming one of the freest states in terms of personal freedom and improved its overall ranking by three. On the plus side, Wyoming has very little gun control and ranks among the best states in this category. It is mediocre on alcohol freedom, with restrictive keg laws and state control of wholesale distribution of some wine and spirits. However, beer taxes remain the lowest in the country, while spirits taxes are also very low. Motorist freedoms are broad and drivers do not face sobriety checkpoints. Cigarette taxes are low, and smoking bans have exceptions. However, Wyoming’s drug enforcement rate is average. Private schools are somewhat regulated while home schools are not, except for strict notification requirements. Wyoming has the worst type of asset forfeiture regime in the country
  4. Wyoite
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    Wyoite - May 05, 2014 12:02 am
    Oh, so you are saying roll call votes at state convention are the "norm"? I didn't know that- I thought Mead and his brownshirts wanted a roll call so they had a list of their political opponents.

    My mistake, I thought a roll call vote at state convention was not so common.
  5. Ajax
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    Ajax - May 04, 2014 11:19 pm
    Private ballots are for elections and the citizens. The issue of censure was over SF104. When the legislature voted they did so openly, and their votes along with their names are recorded and public because they represent their districts and are held accountable by the constituents. Mead singed the bill publicly because he is accountable to the citizens he represents. The courts issued their decisions publicly and signed their names to their particular "opinion". Hill and the proponents took this proposed censure public, and were video taping and photographing those opposed to the censure. They scream for due process and transparency, but when it comes to this they don't give Mead due process, aren't transparent, and want secret ballots.

    The fact of the matter is, as delegates to the state convention you are elected at your county convention to be the representative of your county to the state convention. Your vote should be known and tallied so that you can be held accountable by the county you were elected to represent. Your vote was not personal to you; you were voting as a representative. So stop hiding and be held accountable to your constituents. Just like the upcoming elections, maybe your vote will result in you never being elected to represent your county to the state convention again (or maybe it will).
  6. Put your Faith in Science
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    Put your Faith in Science - May 04, 2014 8:21 pm
    "His attempt to overthrow the Wyoming constitution". I do not believe that was his intent, and I do believe that there is good reason to believe that Cindy Hills' character and management style as Superintendent of Public Instruction should be held under question. The investigation against Cindy Hill is still ongoing to my knowledge, and I have heard no further news or information on that subject. Takebackwyoming, just what is it about Tea Party conservatives that makes you think that they aren't biased. The problem with people who rip on others for being "biased", is that they themselves are biased. Why else would they be attacking other people or news organizations by claiming that they are biased? The answer is because those people have their own biases, and they hate to think that news organizations such as the Casper Star Tribune might be giving people with views different from their own a chance to express themselves. Not everyone believes what you do takebackwyoming, after all, this is America.
  7. Put your Faith in Science
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    Put your Faith in Science - May 04, 2014 8:08 pm
    Kudos to those voted 145 who voted against censuring governor Mead. The sensible people really did prevail in the end. They stood on principle, and voted on what they believed to be right as much as those 132 who voted for censuring Matt Mead. It takes courage to stand up to Tea Partiers, because they will use negative propaganda and intimidation in a smear campaign to keep people afraid of taking sides against them. If Tea Partiers win, then anyone who supported Matt Mead will lose their job, and I don't believe that it is right that someone could lose their job because of their political orientation. Firing people for backing the wrong side, is just another step in the path to tyranny. Out of all the candidates who are running for the upcoming election, Matt Mead still seems to be the best choice. People shouldn't forget, that we still have no answers as to the ongoing investigations that are supposedly going on against Cindy Hill. Hopefully, the Tea Partiers haven't managed to sweep the results of those investigations under the rug.
  8. Put your Faith in Science
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    Put your Faith in Science - May 04, 2014 7:53 pm
    Matt Mead would get my vote over Cindy Hill. Tea Party values are not what is best for this state our country.
  9. Put your Faith in Science
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    Put your Faith in Science - May 04, 2014 7:52 pm
    Why don't both sides just let the matter drop, and decide who gets to stay and who gets to go in the coming election.
  10. DK
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    DK - May 04, 2014 6:21 pm
    He's a lawyer, what do you expect? To bad Taylor isn't an independent or Conservative Democrat!
  11. LVHS77
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    LVHS77 - May 04, 2014 2:15 pm
    Mead should be disbarred as should his AG. if one single person who voted for censure is targeted for retribution.
  12. GOPRealist
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    GOPRealist - May 04, 2014 10:57 am
    Intimidation tactic? Heck no!

    No one was "intimidated" there, I assure you. There are 132 reasons why I say that. What? Do you honestly believe people were intimidated when 132 others weren't? Do you really thing people were afraid the Governor and Attorney General would really target so many?

    I'm tired of the fear of the "boogeyman."

    If you're so scared you can't tell the Governor what you really think like those other 132 people did, well perhaps you need to buy a dog.

    I voted "No" on the resolution but kudos to those 132 who had the courage to stand up for what they believed.
  13. Morning Joe
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    Morning Joe - May 04, 2014 10:09 am
    Sadly, his opponent's don't have that many shining qualities, and will only get a small amount of the vote. Even though the shoe doesn't fit any more, Mead is a shoe in, and he knows it.
  14. jackel
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    jackel - May 04, 2014 8:35 am
    This primary is the follow up to a convention of people not all together. Sorry 13 vote spread does not bring it together. I believe Matt is in the red come election day, for people will decide and right now the people have the upper hand.
    As to a split vote it works both ways and Mead could face the same outcome. He failed to listen to his people and chose his power circle. This was showen by the vote, so he can talk all the good he's done, but he cannot cloak what he did.
  15. Wyoite
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    Wyoite - May 04, 2014 8:09 am
    A roll call vote? Wow. The only reason for one is so that a sitting governor and his AG will have a list of political opponents to go after. A pure intimidation tactic.

    There is a reason Americans vote on a private ballot, it's so the govt can't intimidate the voters. The closure on this issue was brought about by the Supreme Court, as to whether Mead will lose in a private ballot vote this August? We're going to find out.
  16. Morning Joe
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    Morning Joe - May 04, 2014 8:07 am
    The fact that almost 50% of the Republican's voted for censure is a real eye opener in Wyoming political circles. I knew many folks are growing more disenchanted with Mead every day, but I never would have thought the vote would have been this close. I'm curious if (and where) the full text of the resolution can be found. If someone knows, please post a link. The media is reporting the vote this way, and includes a quote from the resolution:

    The language of the resolution was blistering in its condemnation of Mead. “Only in times of egregious betrayal is it necessary to publicly censure one of our leaders,” it stated. “Today, we are faced with such a betrayal.”

  17. just knows
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    just knows - May 04, 2014 7:26 am
    I don't think this vote brought "closure " to anything. The people are angry. This governor is doing what he wants against the people and even his party. His party did not want common core, he rushed to get it anyway. Not only was the people's constitutional vote ignored, his parties wishes were ignored. How can we support this man. We certainly can't trust what he is promising for the future, judging from his past actions.
  18. takebackwyoming
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    takebackwyoming - May 04, 2014 7:17 am

    There were 132 of us voting for censure but you couldn't find a single one to interview? Typically biased reporting by the CST, only interview the people that match your preconceived notions. How is that responsible journalism? It is not, it is simply the CST continuing to be Mead's mouthpiece.

    A vote of 145-132 on censure to a standing republican governor in right wing Wyoming is one for the history books. It will be remembered historically far longer than Mead's gas tax, his attempt to bring in refugees for cash, his silent slipping in of common core and possibly, but not likely, his attempt at overthrowing the Wyoming constitution.

    Of course Mead called the vote a win, what else can he say when he's beaten up by his own party openly.

    Remember to always lead each story with "Cindy HIll" She won't give your ad department a dime or talk to any of your biased reporters but you're doing a great service for her campaign by keeping innuendo, anonymous comments and references to mythical events in the focus of the people.

    Thanks for that at least.
  19. Sassy
    Report Abuse
    Sassy - May 04, 2014 6:37 am
    So typical..when the rubber meets the road, all the air comes out of the tires....sad....
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