Wyoming Liberty Group
On November 10th in a Special Election Cheyenne’s voters will decide whether to transfer executive power from their elected mayor to an administrator working for the City Council. Beyond the details of the proposal, Cheyenne voters must answer a bigger question: Do voters believe that elections work?
This question is about whether the American experiment of representative government, fought so hard for by America’s founding generation, has worked. Cheyenne’s voters are asked to revisit the foundational questions of how to organize governmental power, of which Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, and Madison wrestled with so thoroughly in the early years of our republic.
In a rare example of decision making, the Capitol Oversight Committee voted unanimously to approve a new design option for the Herschler building, one without an executive building. This will likely be the first of many reductions in the scope of the over-budget Capitol Square project. It’s too bad it takes a fiscal crisis for our governing class to be more efficient about space and tax dollars.
And let’s hope this is not just an attempt to free up cash to continue building a Taj Mahal next door.
A favorite corporate welfare scheme in Wyoming uses tax dollars to attract private companies to the state. One headline-grabbing scheme involves tax breaks and grants for data center attraction. When spinning the benefits of these subsidies, politicians make effusive claims to taxpayers, raving on about diversifying the economy, creating jobs, boosting the construction industry, increasing economic activity during slumps, generating tax dollars in the state, and/or increase productivity. For some reason, the flag, apple pie and for the children are left off this list.
It is not a wonder the state is chugging towards the fiscal cliff with $300 million boondoggles like the Capitol renovation project riding the runaway train. With the final design still not approved and wild accusations flying around the committee room, this done deal is a good example of monument building destined to leave a legacy of debt and higher taxes for our children and grandchildren.
Last week I wrote about why state lawmakers should enact real school choice measures in Wyoming sooner than later.
While I included in my blog all of the many studies seen in the school choice movement over the past decade that show real educational successes when parents are given choices for their children’s education, my main conclusion was this:
“…the reality of why school choice is needed is simple; public education continues to plot a failing course towards complete government centralization from the top down, and complete learning uniformity nationwide. This course is out of step with what parents want and what is best for children — and with what is best for America.”
Two news stories about elections and voting rights emerged in the press over the Thanksgiving weekend. One story is about the future of direct elections right here in Wyoming. The other story came from Hong Kong, where pro-democracy demonstrators have been protesting for the right to directly elect the Chief Executive by universal suffrage since September 2014. This demand for free leadership elections sounds familiar to all Americans, whose founding fathers also wisely included protections against the tyranny of the majority in the republic they established. It is also instructive for Wyoming residents who may be asked to surrender the right to vote for the chief state education executive.