Sandy Newsome voted AGAINST the proposed HB151 which would have strengthened our Homeland Security programs in the state of Wyoming and would have prohibited Sanctuary Cities. She is promoting illegals taking over certain Wyoming cities and towns and not subject to deportation. This is NOT backed by the majority of the Wyoming people. Her vote also weakened our state security by allowing local law enforcement officials to tell ICE to step down in regard to arresting illegals.
Sandy Newsome voted AGAINST the proposed HB192 which prohibited voting at Wyoming polling place without a photo identification. Newsome’s vote would have allowed illegals or other non-U.S. citizens to vote. Without showing an ID, a person could vote multiple times in several polling places. A Wyoming state photo ID can be processed for $10. Surveys of Cody citizens indicate they are overwhelmingly for an ID and do not wish for voter fraud to occur. Wyoming citizens want safe and secure elections.
Sandy Newsome’s votes would have allowed illegals to live and work and vote in Wyoming without accountability. Park County residents do NOT back Sandy Newsome’s votes – they want to put in safeguards BEFORE it becomes a problem in Wyoming.
A priority for Nina Webber is secure elections. A priority for Nina Webber is to insure that ICE and other federal agents can enter any city in Wyoming and enforce immigration laws.
1. What do you see as being the No. 1 issue in the district you could work to improve in the legislature?
I have sent out many surveys in Cody and talked with a lot of people in the last four months. The number one issue is the assurance that if elected I will not introduce any new taxes. The COVID-19 pandemic has burdened people with job loss, income reduction and business closures. I have signed the Pledge for American Tax Reform, stating that I will not support any new taxes. I have assured the Park County citizens that I will fight against any tax increases. I worked in the oil and gas industry – had my own well service company. I know that if I am over-taxed, I cannot grow my business. Some lawmakers feel that the only way to get more revenue is to tax more – they will get an intense fight from me. I’ve been there and seen firsthand how more taxes retard growth of business and commerce.
2. What in your past has prepared you for this?
I’m a Wyoming native and I have lived in several places in this state. I’ve paid attention to the needs of the people from those involved in agriculture to oil/gas to health care to factories to main street business owners. I served for five years as a county clerk and every person in that county – all visited my office for everything from titles to elections. I graduated from the University of Wyoming with a BS in Marketing and have an MBA from the University of Mary. I worked as a “land man” for an established oil/gas company and as an independent consultant out of Cheyenne and owned my own well service company in the Basin. I worked for seven years as a retirement home administrator. No one loves this state more than I do and I can represent the citizens of Park County the best.
3. What would be your initial focus if you get the position?
My initial focus will be on using existing revenue to provide for the upcoming budget, curtailing excessive spending and implementing the results of the 2017 and 2019 Alverez & Marsal efficiency study. Wyoming taxpayers have paid for this study and now it is time for action! Initially I want to see an assessment of all reserve funds that are being held by public schools, municipalities, counties and the state “Rainy Day Fund”. I would work with the legislative body to ensure that a large percentage of these reserve funds are immediately utilized as that is their purpose. Our Governor has indicated he wants a 20% spending cut across state programs, and I would insure that was followed. Part of the $1.6 billion “Rainy Day Fund” will be utilized for those most essential of services – schools, prisons, roads. Again, I will stand by my pledge not to introduce nor raise taxes.
4. The legislature will have to address a tough financial situation in January. Why are you best suited to represent the district in Cheyenne during this time?
I know the importance of the extractive industries not only on our state revenue but also on our local economy by providing jobs. Through my work in the oil and gas industry, I have received a great insight in this industry. We can not tax ourselves into prosperity. The hard-working citizens in Wyoming cannot afford more taxes due to COVID-19 when we all have had to reduce spending in our own households. Wyoming state government will need to reduce spending while maintaining our essential services. Whenever I am out campaigning, I listen to the concerns and needs of the residents and to understand their issues but address them in such a manner that it will help them. A vast majority of HD 24 citizens are in support of reducing the size of Government. I run on a strong conservative platform and believe that politicians serve the people.
As a native Wyomingite I’ve always taken as a great responsibility the effort to learn the state issues, learn about every candidate and vote every election. With a critical budget shortfall looming we have a unique opportunity to trim and restructure our state government while maintaining essential programs. Together we can change Cheyenne and the time is now!
This is why I’ve decided to run for House District 24. My name is Nina Webber and I’m running in the August 18 Republican Primary.
As I look back during the last two years of our legislature and to the upcoming election cycle, I see that we need strong, principled people to represent us in our upcoming efforts to restore Wyoming’s economy and to fight increased taxation and reduce restrictions on businesses.
n this campaign I know it is my responsibility to let you know where I stand on the issues and my background as it prepares me to be a good communicator and legislator. You can learn much about me by doing the following:
1. Visit my extensive website at: www.ninawebber.com. Here I talk about the issues, my background, education and work experience in oil/gas, health care and government as well as how I support the Republican Party platforms.
2. I will be doing a series of speeches as well as living room talks in the various neighborhoods of Cody, the North Fork, the South Fork and Mammoth Hot Springs.
3. I will be knocking on doors Monday – Saturday and I will be glad to visit about the issues and will give you some of my materials.
There’s no doubt that the people of Wyoming value the liberty to live as each sees best with minimal government interference and low taxes. We value the freedom of privacy in our own homes as well as protecting the bedrock of this nation – our family and loved ones. We value the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.
But RIGHT NOW in Cheyenne during the legislative sessions we are faced with lawmakers that CLAIM to be conservatives BUT who constantly advocate for multiple new taxes, OPPOSE Wyoming’s oil/gas/coal industries and try to pick away at our Second Amendment rights.
Unfortunately, my incumbent opponent has too often let us down on these critical issues and has consistently voted for increases in programs and taxes.
My incumbent opponent has voted for proposed “Sanctuary Cities”(HB151) here in Wyoming, voted for keeping dangerous “gun free zones”(HB183), voted out a wonderful Cody air ambulance membership business (AirMedCare) (HB0194), voted against proposed voter ID’s (HB192) at the polls and voted for a Lodging Tax (HB134) that makes it more expensive for our school parents, business people and those making long over-night journeys across Wyoming for health care, voted for the proposed Corporate Tax (HB220), voted in favor of allowing University of Wyoming health insurance to cover student elective abortions (HB1) and voted against a Medicaid work requirement (SF144).
A vote for me means that I will vote for PRO-Business, NO new taxes, NO infringement of the Second Amendment, PRO-Life and PRO-oil/gas/coal. I am a conservative Republican and I will vote also for fiscal responsibility and accountability, using our reserves, and making cuts when our revenues are short in the upcoming legislative sessions and keeping essential programs.
We can do MUCH better with our Park County representation in Cheyenne and I am the person to do it with my five years of elected experience serving this state.
I would appreciate your vote.
"Hi I’m Cheyanne Lasseter. I’m junior campaign manager for my best friend Nina Webber who is running for House District 24. Every day we load up campaign materials and signs and go out to meet with the coolest people. We drive up and down the North Fork and South Fork and go inside and talk to voters. Their houses are huge and fun to see! We walk through town and we knock on doors and talk to people about everything from the background of Nina Webber to the voting records of her opponents.
"It’s fun! And I REALLY want Nina Webber to win!"
Sandy Newsome has NEVER met a tax she didn’t love! Her solution to every issue is MORE TAXES. Have a look at all of the taxes your HD24 rep voted for in just two legislative sessions down in Cheyenne. These taxes will greatly lessen your household earnings and damage your business net.
Gas Tax (HB0063): Sandy Newsome voted to raise the gasoline tax from 24 cents a gallon to 27 cents and diesel from 23 cents to 26 cents.
Lodging Tax (HB134): Sandy Newsome lobbied for and voted in the 5% Lodging Tax that goes on top of the existing Lodging Tax.
Corporate Tax (HB220): She voted for a tax on businesses that would discourage business development and businesses coming into Wyoming.
Air Ambulance Tax (HB194): Sandy Newsome voted to not only kill membership air ambulance companies, but to tax any that choose to become insurance companies.
Five Penny Sales Tax (HB47): She voted to make any county’s Five-Penny Tax permanent.
Six-Penny Sales Tax (HB25): She voted to make the Six-Penny Tax eligible for uses other than infrastructure and establish a “County Reserve Account”.
Do you see the pattern here? Sandy Newsome will vote for these and other taxes if she is re-elected. Next is state income tax and property tax! Look out! Watch who you are voting for!
Wyoming prides itself on LOW TAXES – Sandy Newsome is going against that tradition and the citizens of Wyoming.
Nina Webber has pledged NO NEW TAXES. Big difference!
The present Wyoming House District 24 Representative Sandy Newsome is a registered Republican. She ran her campaign back in 2018 naming herself as a Republican (after being defeated as an Independent earlier). Being a Republican means that you adhere to the Park County Republican platforms. After looking at her voting record during her two-year term of 2019 and 2020 in Cheyenne she is anything but a Republican. In fact Sandy Newsome does NOT represent the vast majority of the good people of Park County. Read on.
Let’s have a look at her voting record during the 2019 and 2020 legislative sessions. Despite a large quantity of voters who wrote and called her to NOT vote the way she did, she insisted on voting with the far left members of the legislature.
Further, conservative websites rate her votes in the 2019 Wyoming Legislation as being only 10% in keeping with conservative views. In the 2020 Wyoming Legislation session she earned only a 20% in keeping with conservative views. These are failing marks. Sandy Newsome also had failing marks on the NRA survey with a “D”. In 2018 the NRA rated her at 30% in keeping with protections in regard to firearms.
It is troubling to note that in TWO YEARS of being in the Wyoming State Legislative sessions, she sponsored only two (2) bills with her name solely on them – one a mandatory reporting knife/gun wounds with a penalty if not reported and the other bill was that she wanted to strike the state-wide requirement requiring county accessors to own land within the county. Both failed immediately without interest…
Here’s only a look at the top ten of the many votes that Sandy Newsome cast that are NOT in keeping with the values and needs of the good people of House District 24:
1. Sandy Newsome voted AGAINST the proposed HB151 which would have strengthened our Homeland Security programs in the state of Wyoming and would have prohibited Sanctuary Cities. She is promoting illegals taking over certain Wyoming cities and towns and not subject to deportation. This is NOT backed by the majority of the Wyoming people. Her vote also weakened our state security.
2. Sandy Newsome voted FOR HB194 requiring the Wyoming medical helicopter and fixed-wing plane company – AirMedCare to become a “disability insurance company” instead of the current membership company. AirMedCare quickly quit offering memberships to Wyoming citizens effectively stopping medical evacuations without HUGE costs of $18,000 to $30,000+ on each pickup. Many outdoorsmen/hunters will no longer be able to go into the back country without the former $65 a year that provided full coverage and pick-up. Thousands of Park County citizens were affected by Sandy Newsome’s incorrect vote.
3. Sandy Newsome voted AGAINST the proposed HB192 which prohibited voting at Wyoming polling place without a photo identification. Newsome’s vote would have allowed illegals or other non-U.S. citizens to vote. Without showing an ID, a person could vote multiple times in several polling places.
4. Sandy Newsome voted FOR the proposed HB220 – Corporate Tax. This would discourage new businesses from coming into Wyoming and put a burden on Wyoming’s corporations that are trying to recover due to the complications of COVID-19.
5. Sandy Newsome voted FOR HB134 – the Lodging Tax. She lobbied for this bill before and during the legislative sessions for over two years before it finally passed. While she touted the Lodging Tax “as the tax you don’t pay”, we most certainly DO because Wyoming citizens, businessmen, school parents and those seeking health care travel across the state and stay in hotels. This places a NEW 5% on top of many hotels that already have big lodging taxes/county taxes/use taxes already on their hotel invoices.
6. Sandy Newsome voted in FAVOR of HB1 which allowed University of Wyoming health insurance to cover student elective abortions. She is NOT PRO-LIFE by any means.
7. Sandy Newsome voted AGAINST SF144 – a proposed Medicaid work requirement. Those able-bodied persons who receive free medical care through Medicaid would have to work or volunteer to obtain the benefit (20 hours a week). You receive free benefits, YOU MUST WORK. A very poor vote that is NOT in Wyoming’s best interest and promotes those who are scamming the system.
8. Sandy Newsome voted NO to abolish dangerous “gun free zones” in the proposed HB183. This is a vote against the Second Amendment (“keep and bear arms”). Clearly mass killings have occurred in these deadly “gun free zones” in the past due to the absence of law-abiding citizens being prohibited from carrying protection for all. A very out of touch vote given that Cody has five firearm manufacturers, the world’s largest gun collection and a HUGE private firearm ownership. Many Cody citizens carry concealed firearms every day (74%+ of Cody’s citizens voted to arm school personnel and do away with the Cody schools’ “Gun Free Zone”). This vote is an affront to them.
9. Sandy Newsome voted for the Fuel Tax (HB0063) in the 2020 legislative session. This tax bill would have raised gasoline for motor vehicles from 24 cents a gallon to 27 cents a gallon. Sandy Newsome also voted to raise diesel fuel for vehicles from 23 cents to 26 cents. This bill she voted for would have increased household and business expenses for everyone in Wyoming. She has never met a tax she didn’t love! A real tax pattern…
10. Sandy Newsome voted YES on the proposed HB47 that would make the 5-penny permanent tax on Wyoming counties and a proposed HB25 “County Reserve Account” that would allow a 6-penny tax to NOT be restricted in its use. So the Wyoming counties can put on a 6-penny tax and there is no accountability for it – that encourages more spending and more taxes. Sandy Newsome has not met a tax she doesn’t love. As do all liberals, she feels more taxes will “make things right”.
House District 24 incumbent Sandy Newsome is not only NOT following the Park County Republican platforms of her chosen party, but she is NOT following the wants of Park County citizens.
In Park County there are less than 8% of liberal Democrats, yet Sandy Newsome continues to represent them in key votes and ignore the 92% of good Republicans. Sandy Newsome’s votes are far leftist. Her votes are anti-gun, anti-business, PRO new taxes, PRO more state programs, not PRO-LIFE, pro-illegals, etc.
Nina Webber is a Wyoming native, has five years of elected experience and is a conservative Republican. She would have voted the opposite on this small sample of key votes of Sandy Newsome’s.
Need a cool yard sign? Refer to our "Contacts" for how to reach Nina.
I’m with my favorite elected official EVER – Vice President Dick Cheney who lives in Jackson. He and I are Wyoming Natives and darn proud of our state! That’s WY!
I BELIEVE the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person’s dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored.
I BELIEVE in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.
I BELIEVE free enterprise and encouraging individual initiative have brought this nation opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.
I BELIEVE government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn.
I BELIEVE the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical function that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations and that the best government is that which governs least.
I BELIEVE the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people.
I BELIEVE Americans must retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new and innovative ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.
I BELIEVE Americans value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.
FINALLY, I believe the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government.
WE believe there are Timeless Truths that will always inform and direct our party and our country regardless of current events and circumstances, changing strategies, goals, and leadership. These Truths, put into action, maintain, protect, and defend our unalienable rights to Life, Liberty, Property and the Pursuit of Happiness.
1. All individuals are endowed by their Creator from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death with the rights to Life, Liberty, Property, and the Pursuit of Happiness. The only purpose of government is to protect these rights for all.
2. Every citizen is equal before, equally protected by, and equally subject to, the law.
3. The right of individuals to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. Individuals must never be prevented from defending life, liberty or property.
4. The pursuit by an individual to rightfully acquire, keep and enjoy his own property is foundational. Every individual has the right to develop his own potential, to use and enjoy his own property, tangible or intellectual, and pursue his own interests, free from the restrictions of arbitrary force. Individuals are always presumed to be the best stewards of their property.
5. The freedom to practice one’s faith is a fundamental right secured by our Constitution. The First Amendment does not require the expulsion of religion from public life. We must keep in mind the Judeo-Christian principles of the Founding Fathers when they wrote it; the practice of faith under this tradition encourages good moral behavior and the development of character that helps secure the other fundamental bases of our national citizenship. Freedom of religion includes the right to abstain from actions contrary to one’s religious beliefs.
6. The traditional family, based on the foundation of marriage between one man and one woman, is the best institution and is the authority on how to provide children with the education and training to develop their potential and prepare them to participate in society and in our government.
7. Liberty is indivisible from economic freedom. The free market economy, is the economic system most compatible with the requirements of personal freedom and constitutional government. Government’s undue interference in the market, as well as the fiscal irresponsibility of government, results in economic inequity. There exists no fundamental right to the fruits of another person’s labor.
8. The citizens of the United States are the ultimate authority. Governments possess powers derived only from the consent of the governed.
9. Our constitutional representative republic remains the best political system, derived from history and knowledge of human nature, to prohibit tyranny, assure equality, and protect our individual rights.
10. The Constitution of the United States establishes a more perfect union of sovereign states, not a group of subordinate subsidiaries. Neither the judiciary nor the executive may effectively change the document via decisions or executive actions. The Constitution of the United States may only be altered by the processes of amendment provided within. The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land. Under the Tenth Amendment, powers not enumerated in it are reserved to the States and the People. The most effective, responsible, and responsive government is government that is closest to the People. Government that governs least governs best.
11. The United States must maintain its national sovereignty free from foreign influence that would infringe on the rights of the American People guaranteed by the Constitution. Foreign policy must serve the just interests of the United States.
12. It is incumbent on the federal government to maintain a strong military for the protection of our people, our interests, and our way of life. Those who serve our country honorably deserve our deepest gratitude, highest respect and unwavering support.
13. All taxes collected must be used for the constitutional purposes of government. It is irresponsible to run up debts that are passed on to our children and grandchildren. Taxes should never be more than necessary.
14. The Wyoming Republican Party believes that the definition of marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
15. The Wyoming Republican Party supports the teaching of the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Wyoming, the Declaration of Independence, and other United States founding documents as well as the factual history and heritage of the United States in Wyoming schools and the historical evidence of the role of faith and biblical principles in the founding of our nation.
16. The Wyoming Republican Party believes in state’s primacy over their water, wildlife, minerals and natural resources; supports any actions which assures Wyoming’s primacy over its water; ie the doctrine of prior appropriations.
17. The Wyoming Republican Party supports the protection of private property from the use of eminent domain, civil asset forfeiture, amortization or the inverse condemnation.
18. The Wyoming Republican Party opposes the unionization of public employees and supports the Right to Work Law.
19. Our liberty and the continued success of our republican form of federal government demands continuous vigilance by “We the People.” Finally, having thus set forth our distinctive principles and views, we invite the co-operation of all citizens, however differing on other questions, who substantially agree with us, to offer their affirmation and support.
After the Governor’s Press Conference I talked with Doug Miyamoto who spoke at the press conference and is Director of Wyoming Department of Agriculture. He said that there is grant money for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for farmers and producers in Wyoming and they are taking applications now. He said to go to: farmers.gov There are Marketing Assistance Loans and Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) Programs and more.
Doug applauded the First Lady Jennie Gordon’s “Hunger Initiative” that has helped feed Wyoming’s needy children during this virus period. Part of that program utilized a traveling meat processing unit that went from hunt area to hunt area as they opened and processed donated wild meat.
I asked Doug what the biggest problem facing Wyoming agriculture is and he said “the sheep industry is struggling”. Sheep that are selling now are selling at a very low profit or no profit.
I asked Doug why the Department of Agriculture isn’t supporting the junior college programs of meat cutting and butchering and he seemed surprised at that one.
We also talked about all of the persons who are just buying steers and hogs and having them butchered by processors or themselves. He said that the USDA does not regulate that type of private butchering, but said they cannot then sell that meat, rather it’s for private consumption only.
My next stop was the Secretary of State’s office where I met with my friend Karen Wheeler who is the Wyoming Deputy Secretary of State. She said all 23 counties now have new election equipment and it’s up and running and personnel has been trained. Triple-checked.
Karen said that some counties are having trouble getting enough election judges because the average age of them is 65 and they are the most “at risk” during these times.
I asked Karen what the biggest concern was for the 2020 elections and she said that Wyoming citizens do NOT want or support “mail out ballots”. She feels the people want to “get out and see who’s voting” as it is a “social thing”. And they want the security of knowing that if something does go wrong they can do a recount of the ballots.
It’s a long way to Cheyenne and back in ONE DAY…. We got in at 1:30 am….
The six rodeo principals right before the Governor’s Press conference. Cody Stampede Board President Mike Darby on right.
I left REALLY early this morning to attend the 3 pm Governor’s Press Conference where new health orders were going to be issued and the status of big summer rodeos would be announced. Once I got to the Capitol Building and up to the Press Room, all six of the rodeo heads – all dressed in their respective rodeo shirts and hats and boots – formed a U behind Governor Gordon at the podium.
Days before I had heard they had all conferenced and decided that the larger rodeos might not continue for the summer of 2020 due to Covid-19. A video was put together with each of the six rodeo principals speaking, a rodeo doctor speaking, etc. and this played during the press conference. They mentioned that the present state health ruling is a maximum of 250 people at an outside event which quickly discounted big rodeos like our Cody Stampede and of course Cheyenne Frontier Days.
Governor Gordon – visibly quite shaken – made the announcement that all of the six major rodeos – Cody Stampede, Cheyenne Frontier Days, Sheridan, Thermopolis, Laramie and Casper were cancelled.
Governor Gordon also said carnivals, parades, night shows, flea markets, etc. that would exceed 250 people would not be allowed.
I was able to talk with him after the conference and said I stood by him and his decisions. He was very happy to learn that I was running for HD 24!
Now we learn that the Cody Stampede Board has now filed a second variance asking that the Cody Nite Rodeo and the July Stampede Rodeo final can proceed. Stay tuned for the state’s decision.
My campaign billboards with the “No WYO RINO” theme are up on Big Horn Avenue across from Roger’s Sports Center and on the North Fork Highway just west of Gibbs Bridge. Have a look and get a chuckle on these! One of the biggest issues facing the Wyoming legislators in Cheyenne are RINOS (Republicans In Name Only) – moderate Republicans, Democrats and Liberals – who masquerade as Conservatives, but are anything but! To be sure of this, look at the voting records of some of the RINOS – they are for new taxes and are anti-business. RINOS sure don’t follow the Republican platforms!
We had some guests up at the Finca and we shot and shot and shot! Great fun! My friend has an AR-15 made right here in Cody by Wyoming Arms and it shot beautifully. The scope was super high quality, so it was easy to hit those gongs we have out to 300 yards or more! Cody has five firearms manufacturers: Wyoming Arms who make wonderful AR-15’s – their rifles have been bought by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ted Nugent, Governor Mead, Governor Gordon, etc., Wyoming Armory who make a fantastic Winchester 1885 Single Shot as well as outstanding case-coloring and antique firearm restoration, Big Horn Armory who make the incredible Model 89 in .500 magnum (we had one of those at this party too!), Gunwerks who make high level hunting rifles and Best of the West who have a very unique turret scope they put on their custom hunting rifles. And you can’t forget that Cody has the world’s largest gun collection in the world! If elected, I will surely be promoting this great Cody firearms industry to all!
AirMedCare – the Wyoming medical helicopter service – was a wonderful business that provided Park County residents with emergency transport from mountainous areas to local hospitals for a mere $65 a year. Hikers, campers, guides, outfitters, hunters, fishermen and others who recreated in remote places came to rely on AirMedCare’s choppers for emergencies.
Since 2017, 872 outdoor people called these choppers into the mountains for transport. As a member, these persons requiring medical transport incurred no more out of pocket expenses than the $65 yearly membership. AirMedCare provided not only peace of mind, but was the deal of the century!
But in March of 2019 at the Wyoming Legislative Session this all changed. Short-sided legislators not acting in the best interest of the Wyoming people they were sworn to represent, voted in a state statute (HB194) that required medical air emergency companies to become licensed disability insurers as of April 1, 2020. In response, AirMedCare on April 1, 2020 ceased selling these wonderful memberships to Wyoming citizens.
When I contacted AirMedCare, they seemed stunned by being qualified in such a manner and had in fact never engaged in such activities that some legislators did not like - for instance “balanced billing”.
When I contacted the Wyoming Insurance Department and spoke with Commissioner Jeff Rude, he said the WID’s main concern was if AirMedCare had kept its current designation that they might, for instance, go out of business and not honor extended memberships contracts such as a three-year. When I asked AirMedCare about this, they thought that to be absurd given that they OWN all of their aircraft and have had provided constant service since coming to Wyoming. AirMedCare said as proof of that is they will still honor the remaining years on any Wyoming citizen’s existing membership.
It has long been the intent of Wyoming legislators to not only preserve current business in Wyoming, but to also attract new diversified business and now a very fine company has been legislated out of business. This could not have come at a worse time as Wyoming will be rebuilding its economy in the next few months.
Additionally, many outdoors people will no longer be able to take trips into the interior of Wyoming without the assurance of a chopper service due to their pre-existing health concerns that could flair-up during the stress of a long hike or hunt.
With this changing legislation I no longer could have transported for the simple cost of my $65 membership. Now, if I call in a medical helicopter while hunting, my out of pocket expenses would be $11,250 and 50% of the remaining balance (average of $25,000 - $30,000 depending on what hospital you are med vac’d to)! Wow! What a change!
How did this happen you say? You can chastize our Park County HD 24 rep Sandy Newsome for voting away AirMedCare. You can thank Park County HD 25 rep Dan Laursen for voting for keeping AirMedCare.
I received a letter from AirMedCare a week ago stating that they had been forced out of business in the state of Wyoming by Wyoming Statute 26-5-103 (a) (ii) and that April 1, 2020 was the last day their air ambulances would be able to serve Wyoming!
I am beyond furious over this and so are the vast majority of AirMedCare membership holders! For a mere $65 an individual could be airlifted out of any mountain or water emergency and HAVE NO MORE OUT OF POCKET EXPENSES! Without this membership the minimum expense to be flown would be $18,000 - $30,000!
Of course I wanted to immediately know which legislators voted to kill this wonderful company. I pulled up the legislative history and voting record and was not pleased to see my opponent Sandy Newsome had voted AGAINST this company! Her vote stopped this wonderful business! Unbelievable!
Since AirMedCare started flying their medical helicopters they had rescued 872 persons from remote areas and transported them rapidly to hospitals. Our family had come to totally rely on AirMedCare when we were hunting, fishing and hiking in the mountains. Hunters from the east who came to hunt with us were easy to add for a week or two and many of our friends had health problems. AirMedCare eased those concerns.
I immediately called AirMedCare and talked with one of their officials about this. They said they had a lobbyist at the 2019 legislative session who fought this bill. He said that the Statute 26-5 forced AirMedCare to become an INSURANCE COMPANY. They do NOT want to be an insurance company, rather they operate as a MEMBERSHIP COMPANY.
One of the reasons these misguided legislators who voted out AirMedCare was this absurd statement: “We were protecting our consumers in case the company went of business and left the members without coverage.” What? That doesn’t even make any sense…. ANY company could go out of business!
When I ran that line by AirMedCare officials they laughed! They SAID THEY OWN ALL OF THEIR AIRCRAFT! They are a solid company with LOTS of memberships in many states. Very solid company based out of West Plains, MO. They operate in many other states with no problems!
So my next call was to the Wyoming Insurance Commission. They readily admitted they wanted AirMedCare to convert from a membership company to an insurance company. And they cited the same fact that if they are an insurance company, then they must accept Medicaid as payment. But AirMedCare already accepted Medicaid as a legitimate payment! And the WIC official also cited “customer protection”, but that is a non-argument as AirMedCare own their own aircraft and are a solid company.
I wish to thank State Representative Dan Laursen for voting NO on this statute that ruined AirMedCare.
Here in Wyoming we are very medically underserved by our communities’ access to medical air flights.
This is an example of RINOS not towing the party line and I am furious over this! One of the big responsibilities of the Republican party is to KEEP business in this state and promote MORE business to come into Wyoming and here we are running out a great business! Unbelievable...
I’ve talked to lots of Cody people who have memberships and now they no longer have the peace of mind that AirMedCare gave them.
I received this letter from AirMedCare in late March saying that the Wyoming Legislation had voted their business out of Wyoming by a majority of YES votes on State Statute 26-5-103 (a) (ii). This is highly disturbing! For $65 a year I could be transported during an emergency medical event by their helicopters to a hospital. Now that this bill passed AirMedCare has been forced from Wyoming. Our very own House District 24 State Representative Sandy Newsome voted YES to eliminate this wonderful company!
From AirMedCare Network, P.O. Box 948, West Plains, MO 65775:
As a valued member and supporter of the AirMedCar Network, we are writing you to let you know about the recent passage of Wyoming Statute 26-5-103 (a) (ii), which goes into effect April 1, 2020. The aim of the statute is to prevent you and other residents of Wyoming from being able to participate in air ambulance membership programs like AirMedCare Network.
Although we feel strongly that the actions of the Wyoming Insurance Commission violate federal law and puts the residents of Wyoming at risk, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily cease selling memberships in Wyoming for air ambulance transport services in Wyoming. AirMedCare Network will continue to honor your current membership through its expiration date.
As you know, an AirMedCare Network membership is a valuable product that provides its members peace of mind. This is especially true for residents of Wyoming where air ambulances play a crucial role in providing residents of medically underserved communities’ access to emergency lifesaving medical treatment. AirMedCare Network members are guaranteed no out-of-pocket expenses if flown by an AirMedCare Network provider. By cutting you off from the ability to purchase a membership, residents of Wyoming will now be responsible for co-pays, deductibles and balance bills if flown by an AirMedCare Network provider in Wyoming.
We do not agree with the position taken by the Wyoming Insurance Commission and are disappointed that it has stripped you of a valuable and cost saving option.
We encourage our members to contact their state representatives and the WID and let them know that eliminating your ability to purchase a membership has no benefit to you the resident. To the contrary, it only increases the risk of you having to incur out-of-pocket costs that would not exist if you could continue membership. Our goal is to protect you from the financial burden of an air ambulance transport. We hope the Wyoming Department of Insurance will see that it eliminated a valuable product for the residents of Wyoming and reconsider its decision.
Keith Hovey, AirMedCare Network
After three years of consideration, the Wyoming Lodging Tax (Wyoming Tourism Account Funding) was passed in the last session of the Wyoming Senate. Unfortunately this 5% tax on hotel rooms failed to take in consideration a very important aspect: The Wyoming People.
While the Wyoming Lodging Tax was lobbied to the legislators as “A tax you don’t pay”, in fact Wyomingites who travel the state – especially the parents of athletes and business people will pay this tax and they will pay it many times over.
At least some of our Park County legislators “got it”: Laursen, Agar and Winter voted no. Unfortunately Coe, Newsome, Northrup and Kost threw our school parents under the bus (no pun intended).
There are 48 school districts in Wyoming and all of these travel thousands of miles each year to school districts for competition – some clear across the state. Going with them are scores of parents and other supporters. They stay in hotel rooms. 5% adds quite a bit of expense to these overnight trips.
The new 5% tax on hotel rooms is bad enough, but many towns already have in place multiple room taxes. For instance, in Jackson the room tax will now go to 17%.
Of the 5% tax generated by Wyoming hotel rooms, only 2% actually comes back to the towns that generate the tax. 3% goes out to promote all of Wyoming.
Some counties like Teton and some people in Park County question the value of added bed taxes to further promote the Park and Jackson which are currently loved to death.
The new Wyoming Lodging Tax can also be viewed as a “gateway tax” and there is danger in that given the fact that periodically new taxes for the Wyoming people have been discussed under the labels “Wyoming Corporate Tax”, higher “Property Tax” and “Wyoming Personal State Tax”. In some legislators’ minds the rails for these taxes have been “greased” by the Wyoming Lodging Tax.
This tax hurts Wyoming citizens and promotes a tourist industry that has been adequately promoted from previous funds.
We all met in another meeting room at the Capitol and Wyoming State Auditor Kristi Racines came in and spoke to us and brought us up to date on the larger issues.
She too spoke of the consideration for the state of Wyoming to buy up some of the offered gas and oil leases being offered. Her office was investigating the actual costs and like Governor Gordon worried if the land would have full access for our citizens. She wanted it to remain free with lots of access for hunting, hiking and other outdoor activities. This did not come about.
After the state auditor spoke we had a board meeting affirming board positions, new officers and other business of the organization.
What a trip!
A state official took all of us from the Wyoming Federation of Republican Women on an inside and outside tour of the State Capitol and we took in the entire wonderful renovation that was recently completed. Wow! What a job! It costs millions of dollars, but it was worth it!
We all strung out across the House gallery up top and the House paused and gave us a standing ovation! That was uplifting! We waved down to David Northrup and Dan Laursen – two of our favorites working away.
Then we went to the Senate chambers and they too gave us a standing ovation! Made all of our hard work worth it!
Outside on the grounds were lots of geese and they came right up close to us.
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon came in and stood while Jennie finished. When it was his turn, he thanked WFRW for all we do in helping our Republican legislators and his office serve the Wyoming people. That was great to hear!
And he thanked us for what we do at election time in getting out the good Republican messages! He thanked us for many emails WFRW sends out to voters and legislators as well.
At this time there was a huge issue of some oil companies that had a plan to sell back to the state a multitude of oil/gas leases and there was great concern about that in terms of land use. Would the land be “locked-up” for hunting or hiking or other uses? Governor Gordon was concerned about that and he was huddling with his advisors and asking legislators if their constituents would be good with it. (The purchase did not happen).
Then the Governor got a big grin on his face and glanced at Jennie and she rolled her eyes and looked down.
He said he had a funny story on Jennie and he wanted to relate it to us. Up on their cow-calf operation outside of Buffalo she gathered a vet and some of her cowboys to herd the cattle around and vaccinate and check the progress of the cows getting ready to calf.
So Jennie looked at one of the biggest cows and said, “I’d like to see how many calves this one is carrying.”
The vet said fine and helped her glove up. One of the cowboys lifted its tail out of the way and Jennie felt inside it
Jennie said, “I can’t believe it. There’s not even one calf in this one!”
The vet came over and stood by Jennie and said, “Ugh, Jennie…. You’re too high!”
The cowboys and the vet broke up laughing! And then of course she had to call down to Cheyenne and tell Mark her first experience at calf investigation…. Ha!
After the laughter died down, the Governor said he was immensely proud of Jennie for not only keeping the cow-calf operation running well, but how well the Wyoming Hunger Initiative was helping Wyoming children and how great she has been in supporting him during his term.
U.S. Senator Mike Enzi came in and thanked us for all we do and told us the stay the course as we head to some very crucial elections this fall.
U.S. Congresswoman Liz Cheney came in and gave us a good report from Washington and said there are some very positive messages coming to her from Wyoming.
About this time who shows up at the door and peers in but Foster Fries who at this time was trying to drum up enthusiasm with the Wyoming people to give him the go ahead to run for U.S. Senate – Senator Enzi’s seat. Pretty funny and I got the photo (see above).
Never a dull moment during the legislative sessions!
The next stop for WFRW was to meet with Wyoming’s First Lady Jennie Gordon. We’re good friends and it’s always great to see her! When she’s not in the Capitol helping her husband and running her state programs, she’s up on their cow-calf operation outside of Buffalo.
Jennie talked about her project – “Wyoming Hunger Initiative” – which feeds children all over the state.
One of the unique operations of Wyoming Hunger Initiative is a program that utilizes the processing of wild game to provide children much needed protein. WHI has a mobile wild game processing unit that travels from hunt area to hunt areas as they open. Hunters can donate some meat or all of the meat from their antelope, deer or elk to the mobile unit and the donated meat cut/ground/packaged right in that county and the meat goes right to the distribution team. Isn’t that great?
It was great to see the enthusiasm of the First Lady! She is very positive and connected to some mighty fine Wyomingites as she works her various projects to help the state’s folks.
We returned to the Capitol Building and it was really busy in the hallways! Lobbyists talking on phones and scurrying about, other tours of Wyoming residents and high school students, students from UW and sometimes we glimpsed a U.S. senator or Liz Cheney moving through the crowds and pausing to speak with people.
All of our members of the Wyoming Federation of Republican Women were ushered into a conference room with big tables and we met with Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Buchanan. Ed was an attorney from Goshen County and was Speaker of the House. I know him and his wife Amber quite well and we spent time at the UW Fieldhouse down in Laramie having some beers and listening to a local band while we caught up with them before the UW Homecoming game in October.
Secretary of State Buchanan said some of the most exciting news of his state department is that soon new modern election equipment will be delivered to those counties that had old equipment. The bidding for the equipment was from Dominion Corp. and Election Services & Software (ES&S) and Secretary of State Buchanan said ES&S won the bid.
Secretary of State Buchanan talked of how he lobbied state legislators to “clean up” some of the election language in some of the state statutes and told of the bills he wanted to pass in this session.
Afterwards I got to visit with Ed’s wife Amber. We are planning some hunting trips this fall together and hope to shoot in the One Shot Antelope Hunt for women this fall as well. She’s a great gal!
State officials took all of us from the Wyoming Federation of Republican Women on a tour of the Old Governor’s Mansion which is now a historically preserved building and it’s beautiful! All of the vintage furniture has been preserved – the sitting rooms, the dining room, kitchen and sitting rooms.
The fireplaces are there and the old wall paper has been recreated and hung. It’s magnificent!
On one big wall are the portraits of all of Wyoming’s governors going back to 1890. On other walls are all of the First Ladies’ portraits. And of course Mark and Jennie’s photos are there at the end of the lines!
This is really a wonderful Wyoming landmark building with so much history! It’s like taking a step back to 1890!
Hats off to all who had a hand in the total restoration of this Governor’s Mansion!
Last night I got into Cheyenne and got a room at StayBridge Hotel. That’s one long trip to the Capitol from Cody! Wow! The legislative session was in full swing. There are people racing around in the hallways and the House and Senate are busy in their chambers.
I came with 30+ members of the Wyoming Federation of Republican Women (WFRW). I am First Vice President of WFRW. Our goals are to elect and support good conservative Republican lawmakers.
I drove down to the Capitol building and met with all the members of WFRW and our first stop was a meeting with Wyoming Department of Education Chief of Staff Dicky Shanor. The Wyoming State Superintendent Jillian Balow – a good friend of mine – was in DC getting an award, so Dicky brought us up to speed on Wyoming educational topics (this was just before Covid-19).
Dicky Shanor said that one of the most challenging issues was that in the bigger cities like Sheridan, Casper and Cheyenne school busses leaving the bus garages and in some cases the very routes themselves are clogging traffic near areas around hospitals and key business areas.
I noted that this was somewhat of a problem for some citizens in Cody as the present Park 6 bus garage is in a residential area with narrow streets. I related to Dicky that this was being solved by a new multi-million dollar bus garage at the eastern edge of Cody with wide road access in and out.
Dicky went over several key bills the Department of Education would like to see pass.