Wyoming Liberty Group
Halloween has passed, but it seems zombie bills come back again. One example is Representative Byrd’s Abandoned Buildings bill from the Wyoming Legislature’s 2015 General Session. The abandoned buildings bill was a direct attack on owners of historic buildings in downtown Cheyenne who have struggled for years to find profitable tenants to fill their buildings. The House Corporations Committee rightly killed the bill last session, but like all good zombies, it came back again.
Boyd Wiggam discussed his testimony against the Abandoned Buildings bill and for private property rights before the Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Interim Committee, with Chuck Gray on KVOC. November 19, 2015
James Madison warned us in Federalist #10 of the violence “a number citizens who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens” can do to liberty. 3,368 voters in Casper just illustrated his point by neglecting to perform their civic duty to stand up for the rights of a vulnerable minority during the City of Casper’s Smoking Referendum Special Election on November 3.
Core property rights principles can help resolve Casper’s ongoing debate about smoking in bars better than some one-size-fits-all regulatory regime. The right to exclude others can empower individual bar owners to sort out how much or little smoking occurs in bars across Casper. Therefore, Casper does not need a citywide ban on smoking in bars to ensure smoke-free facilities are available—so long as the City is willing stand with the individual bar owners who want to prohibit smoking in their own bars. The City of Casper can help ensure the market meets the needs of all bar customers and owners by protecting private property rights instead of banning smoking citywide.
Boyd Wiggam spoke with Chuck Gray on KVOC about the contrast between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision not to list sage grouse as an endangered species because it is relatively abundant, and the environmental groups’ push to list sage grouse as endangered and its campaign against further fossil fuel development. September 23, 2015
Boyd Wiggam spoke with Gary Freeman on KGAB about the upcoming Mayor vs. City Administrator election in Cheyenne and the Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority’s tax increment financing. September 11, 2015
Article 6 of the Cheyenne Unified Development Code imposes aesthetic design regulations on developers. One of the basic goals of the UDC’s design regulations is to make new buildings look pretty according to the standard of attractiveness defined in the UDC. As usual, the government-imposed rules for what buildings are pretty enough ignore the cost of the required decorations. This cost is how the Cheyenne UDC actually harms the people who live and work in Cheyenne. One current housing development project working its way through the regulatory approval process shows exactly how the high cost of pretty buildings hurts individuals and their families.