Wyoming Liberty Group
Boyd Wiggam and Gary Freeman discussed the Housing Development Toolkit recently published by the White House with a special emphasis on the suggested deregulatory reforms the Toolkit contained that would allow the marketplace, and not regulators, determine housing supply and prices in Wyoming communities with high housing costs.
Free political speech is a fundamental individual liberty and American constitutional right. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court said in Eu v. San Francisco County Democratic Cent. Committee, “The First Amendment has its fullest and must urgent application to speech uttered during a campaign for political office.” In other words, the constitution’s free speech guarantee exists in order to protect the individual right to speak out about candidates who are actively running for political office. No other type of speech is more important to maintaining a government that is beholden to the people. Political signs in residential areas are an essential tool of political communication. The U.S. Supreme Court also said that there is no practical substitute or alternative to political yard or window signs.
In the real world, people vote with their feet. Charles Tiebout, an academic, wrote about this basic principle over a half-century ago in 1956 and it still holds true today. Unfortunately, Wyoming law still tries to stop people who wish to opt out of oppressive city regulation by moving just beyond the city limits through archaic statutes which extend the power of the city beyond the actual city limits.The Wyoming legislature has granted cities and towns something called Extraterritorial Jurisdiction. Extraterritorial Jurisdiction is the authority cities and towns have to pass laws that apply to people and property located outside of the city limits or town limits.
The Cheyenne City Council wisely chose to reject a deal that would have denied them the opportunity to look at multiple offers for the old police station property at 2020 Capitol Avenue. Had they instead chosen to move forward with the administrations proposed no-bid deal, it would have done a disservice to residents, taxpayers, and even the potential purchaser of the building. It would have deprived residents of the transparency they deserve but have often been denied when the city disposes of city-owned prime commercial real estate. It also would have contradicted city council candidates’ promises to work hard to make downtown Cheyenne the best it can be. Finally, city council members would not have been good stewards of publicly-owned property if they had refused to ensure that the city is getting the best deal it possibly can to maximize revenue, both on the sale of the property and in the future by expanding the city’s property tax base.
When Cheyenne voters rejected the city administrator proposal last fall, they reaffirmed their commitment to vote responsibly and placed a special emphasis on this year’s mayoral elections. Those same voters must now examine each candidate and vote for who is best-equipped to do the day-to-day job of managing the city. It is never an easy job, and the fact that ten people filed applications for mayor makes vetting the candidates even more difficult.
Boyd Wiggam and Doug Randall discussed placing leaflets on car windows, political yard signs and constitutional free speech protection on KGAB. Cheyenne, like many governments, has a history of trying regulation speech. Boyd Wiggam and Doug Randall the recent history of censorship in Cheyenne, the recent discussion about the right of individuals to put flyers or leaflets on car windows, and ongoing complaints about unpopular political yard signs.