CHEYENNE — Dave Ferrari, who was elected to two terms as Wyoming’s state auditor as a Republican, has written a book that is not likely to gladden the hearts of his fellow GOP members who elected Donald Trump president by such a large margin.
Entitled “Trumped Up and Dumbed Down in the U.S.A,” and subtitled “American at Risk,” the book lays out a structured case against Trump and his administration.
It is separated into categories such as fake news, Trump promises and the threat to democracy and freedom of the press.
Ferrari, a native of Torrington, served as state auditor for two terms, from 1991 to 1999.
He also had been director of budget and finance for the Department of Education, state budget director for Gov. Stan Hathaway, and deputy director for State Auditor Jim Griffith between 1975 and 1986.
During his years as state auditor, he pushed for rules on ethics and conflict of interest and championed transparency.
He also found ways to save the state money at a time when resources were running low.
After he left office he became a consultant and also ran a business in Cheyenne.
Gov. Mike Sullivan commissioned him to develop a sweeping plan for the reorganization of state government. That reduced the number of state agencies and modernized the structure that had been in place since statehood.
In his new book, Ferrari follows the same framework he used for his 1990 studies of state government agencies, including a number of tables and lists of recommendations.
One table shows how much the net worth four of Russia’s richest oligarchs gained since Trumps’ election —more than $6 billion from the rising value of Russian stocks in oil and petrochemicals.
Another table shows the net worth of Trump’s cabinet members.
In a brief interview last week, I asked Ferrari if he were still a member of the GOP.
“I am still a Republican but I’m absolutely terrified of what is going on in this country,” he said.
When Donald Trump was elected president, he said he was stunned because of the reality-tv star’s tactics during his decidedly non-traditional campaign.
He said none of the governors he worked with, Republican or Democrat or officials like Jim Griffith, would ever have behaved like the nation’s new chief executive.
He decided to look into Trump’s record in an effort to find out why people voted for the businessman.
What he found is detailed at length in the 380-odd page book.
Ferrari is a very good writer. The subject is timely.
While the campaign and its outcome was unprecedented, so are the consequences, he wrote.
“Few people thought that the national debt might be at risk of being pushed even further into stratosphere. Most didn’t realize that the economy which had only recently recovered was at risk of slowing and even reversing course.
“Many nearing retirement ages didn’t know their retirement funds were at risk due to uncertain or dangerous economic policies or executive actions.”
Summing up the current state of affairs in the U.S., he lists “Turbulence, Turmoil, Trauma and Risks.”
As a journalist I appreciated his defense and commendation of the media trying to cover this administration and particularly the White House corps for their “strength and perseverance.”
Americans, he warns, are facing a crisis in their democracy which is becoming more troublesome each day.
“They are being lied to by their government and by those in the media who support deception and manipulation.”
“This strategic approach to governing would have been unacceptable to all but the most partisan and ignorant the citizenry not many years ago. It is now engrained in society.”
This is a troubling book as it was meant to be.
Ferrari ends by citing 17 lessons learned and steps to be taken. These include respect for the press and U.S. elections; support for legislation specifically prohibiting conflict of interest of the president of the U.S.; for stronger anti-nepotism laws; for a requirement that all candidates for president report their federal income taxes for previous years, and finally, for a law to clearly define collision with a foreign power as an act of treason.
The book is available online at Amazon.com, for one source and will be available locally at Barnes and Noble later.