How To Use This Site

How To Use This Site

This blog was updated on a daily basis for about two years, with those daily entries ceasing on December 31, 2013. The blog is still active, however, and we hope that people stopping in, who find something lacking, will add to the daily entries.

The blog still receives new posts as well, but now it receives them on items of Wyoming history. That has always been a feature of the blog, but Wyoming's history is rich and there are many items that are not fully covered here, if covered at all. Over time, we hope to remedy that.

You can obtain an entire month's listings by hitting on the appropriate month below, or an individual day by hitting on that calendar date.

We hope you enjoy this site.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lex Anteinternet: The law gets larger over time.

Lex Anteinternet: The law gets larger over time.: Wyoming Statutes, the 1910 and 1920 volumes.  All the state's statutes, in one volume. The 1945 statutes, five volumes. T...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wyoming History In The Making: The 2014 Wyoming General Election

After one of the most unusual election seasons in recent Wyoming history, the voters returned results that were actually fairly typical for Wyoming, going back over the last couple of decades.

Republican Governor Matt Mead easily defeated all of his opponents, including Democratic, Libertarian and independent challengers.  A late Tea Party effort revived for Dr. Taylor Haynes fell flat.

The Secretary of State's office went to Cheyenne businessman Ed Murray who likewise easily defeated all of his challengers, which did not include a Democratic challenger.  The inability of the Democrats to field a challenger to the office is perhaps emblematic of their basic collapse, as the office was occupied by a Democrat not all that many years ago.

The Secretary of Education slot went to Jillian Balow in a race that turned out to be surprisingly lopsided, as her Democratic challenger Ceballos was widely regarded as the best Democratic candidate for any office this year and he seemed to have a good deal of support.  Still, he also managed to run a serious campaign and secure over 60,000 votes in a year when the Democrats failed to field candidates for State Auditor, State Treasurer and Secretary of State.

Senator Enzi and Congresswoman Lumis easily defeated their opponents.

In what was perhaps the most surprising news, voters overwhelmingly rejected a proposed amendment to the State constitution which sought to allow for two trustees for the University of Wyoming to be picked from out of state residents.

In Casper, voters approved both the lodging tax and the renewal of the option 1 Cent sales tax.

Overall, this year would seem to take the recent trend of the complete collapse of the Democratic Party in the state out even further than prior election cycles.  The Democrats were able to field only a single candidate for office who was regarded as being a serious contender, and in the end he did not do as well as anticipated.  They didn't field candidates at all for three of the significant state offices, and none of the candidates for Congress were serious contenders. If the history of prior years hold, the Democrats will continue to fail to pick up the signals from the results, which clearly show that in the last 20 years the state's voters no longer trust the Democratic Party and the majority of active Wyoming Democrats of former years have grown inactive or quit the party entirely, leaving it in the hands of those who seemingly can't read the signs.  To some extent, libertarian third parties did better in performance this year than the Democrats did.

On the other hand, an election cycle that started off with a Tea Party insurgency inside of the GOP saw the voters completely reject that element twice.  Tea Party candidates within the GOP were defeated in the Primary, and Tea Party type elements outside of the GOP did badly in the general election.  Tea Party platforms locally, which seemed to have perhaps defeated the NSCD No. 1 bond earlier in the year, failed to make an impact on the optional 1 Cent tax and the Lodging Tax.  A Constitution Party candidate on the ballot for the Natrona County Commissioners received the least votes of any of the candidates, even when a long term County Commissioner (a Democrat) failed to receive enough votes for reelection.

Friday, October 24, 2014

October 24, 2014. Judge Clarence Brimmer Dies

Long time Wyoming Federal Judge Clarence Brimmer passed away.

Judge Brimmer was a Rawlins native who went on to law school following World War Two, during which he had entered the Army Air Corps late war.  He served as the Attorney General for the State of Wyoming in the early 1970s and then was briefly U.S. Attorney for Wyoming before being appointed to the Federal bench in 1975 by Gerald Ford..

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Lex Anteinternet: Today In Wyoming's History: Judge Skavdahl rules o...

Lex Anteinternet: Today In Wyoming's History: Judge Skavdahl rules o...: A few days ago I wrote a post here about the history of marriage . Last Friday, one of the three Federal judges in Wyoming struck down Wyomi...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Governor, State Supt. Public Instruction 2014 General Election Debates

Sec of State 2014 General Election Debate

Judge Skavdahl rules on same gender marriage case.

Judge Scott Skavdahl issued his written ruling apparently striking down Wyoming's law on marriage, which of course speaks in terms of male and female (it was written in the 1890s) as unconstitutional.  The ruling came only one day after the oral arguments and in advance of his declaration that the ruling would be issued on Monday.  The apparent impact of the ruling (I haven't read the decision) is to hold that Wyoming must recognize same gender marriages and issue marriage licenses accordingly, although given the text of the Wyoming statute, a reasonable question could be raised if the door wouldn't be slightly open to argue that the decision might actually invalidate any new marriages until such time as a new law was drafted, although nobody seems to be arguing that this is the implicit result.  The decision goes into effect on Thursday of this week, as time was built in to allow the state to appeal. The state has indicated that it will not appeal.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Oral Arguments in Same Gender Marriage Cases held in Federal Court. October 16, 2014

Oral arguments were heard in two consolidated same gender marriage cases in the Federal District Courthouse in Casper.

In spite of what some laymen apparently expected, the Court of course did not rule from the bench. The Court did indicate it would rule Monday, however, which is frankly an unwise decision.  While this decision will be important, it is not the type of legal proceeding that really requires an expedited ruling, nor for that matter an expedited hearing, which is apparently what it received. At least on the appellate level the Courts have been pleased to stay the impact of their rulings from time to time indicating a general willingness to let the course of these matters proceed at the typical pace. An expedited ruling would suggest other matters are put aside, which for the most part generally isn't warranted.  Indeed, in this are, given the speed at which these cases are proceeding to the appellate level, waiting for a resolution from higher courts in general might be a better approach, although that might require a split in the circuits which has so far not occurred.

At any rate, the decision will be an important one with impacts to be yet unseen, and with a result that will be socially divisive no matter what the ruling may be.

Lex Anteinternet: Video: Cowboys of the Sky | Watch Main Street Wyom...

Lex Anteinternet: Video: Cowboys of the Sky | Watch Main Street Wyom...: Video: Cowboys of the Sky | Watch Main Street Wyoming Online | WYOPTV Video Wyoming PBS takes a look at airmail.  Interesting topic.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 15: Lois Layton, bird conservationist, dies.

Lois Layton, a well known Wyoming bird conservationist, passed away on October 15 at the age of 92.

Layton grew up on a ranch in Oklahoma and took a strong interest in nature. After moving to Casper in the 1950s, originally just a stop on her way to Alaska, she ultimately married and founded an institution dedicated to restoring injured birds, often raptors, to the wild.

U.S. Senate - 2014 General Election Debates

U.S. House of Representatives - 2014 General Election Debates

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Lex Anteinternet: The Jurisdictional Agony of the D. C. Circuit. Wo...

Lex Anteinternet: The Jurisdictional Agony of the D. C. Circuit. Wo...: I'm really sick of the  Federal District of Columbia judicial circuit. What brings this comment about is the decision by Judge ...

50th Anniversary of the Oil Bowl

I was remiss in timely noting it, but October 3 saw the 50th anniversary of the Oil Bowl. This Oil Bowl.(it's not the only one nationwide) is the cross town football match between rivals Natrona County High School and Kelly Walsh High School, both of which are undergoing massive renovation at the present time.

In this context, it's a very odd thing to realize that the last time I saw an Oil Bowl is while I was a student at NCHS, which would have been the 16th Oil Bowl.  I would have been a student there when the 17th Oil Bowl was held as well, but I didn't see that one.

 Photo from 16th Oil Bowl.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Friday, September 5, 2014

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Today In Wyoming's History: History in the Making: The 2014 Primary Election

Following on this item posted this morning:

Today In Wyoming's History: History in the Making: The 2014 Primary Election: The 2014 Wyoming Primary occurred yesterday. The election was one of the most remarkable in recent history in that it featured the near co...
and noting the statewide results just linked in, there are a couple of remarkable items in the results.

One is that Tea Party candidates for state office did remarkably poorly nearly everywhere.  This would suggest that the Tea Party elements that appeared to be gaining a great deal of ground prior the Primary, and which had come to dominate some county organizations, are not nearly as popular as would have been previously thought.  Indeed, it would appear that their strength at the county level is probably due to their enthusiastic members rather than numbers, and when it comes to voting, the base isn't there.

Additionally, it's interesting how poorly Cindy Hill did everywhere.  Hill was the center of the controversy which gave rise to Tea Party activism this primary but she seems to have had very little support amongst actual GOP voters.  Indeed, Tea Party voters went for Taylor Haynes in much greater numbers.

That's interesting too in that while Haynes did not achieve anywhere near the votes he would have needed in order to topple Governor Mead, he himself is fairly well liked.  This says a lot for Wyoming voters and suggests that the old Wyoming GOP may still be there for the most part.  Haynes is from Laramie County, which is generally unpopular in general elections, he isn't actually originally from here, and he's black.  Voters shouldn't have weighed any of that in their considerations, and they appear to have not done so, to their credit.  Native Hill was proved to be unpopular and Haynes did much better.  As Haynes may not actually hold views as extreme as he stated during this election, it'll be interesting to see if he has a future in Wyoming GOP politics.



History in the Making: The 2014 Primary Election

The 2014 Wyoming Primary occurred yesterday.

The election was one of the most remarkable in recent history in that it featured the near complete collapse of the state's Democratic Party combined with a very real split in the GOP. In effect, therefore, this was the actual election for many offices.

The demise of the Democratic Party was fairly apparent in the election, although it's been the case for at least one prior election cycle.  The Democrats could not field candidates for every state office, although they did field serious candidates for some, and filled others with candidates who are so poorly known they have no realistic chance of success.  Probably the Democrat that has the best chance of election in November is Mike Cellabos who is running for Secretary of Education, although his chances probably decreased last night with the victory of Jillian Balow for that position in the GOP.

Balow's victory is emblematic of what occurred yesterday, as she handily defeated a slate of other candidates including one that associated herself with Tea Party Gubernatorial candidate, Cindy Hill, the present Secretary of Education. For a year the GOP has been in absolute turmoil in the state as Tea Party elements took on the GOP establishment and essentially created two parties within the one. The Primary was a struggle for which side would prevail within the GOP.  Tea Party elements ran candidates for every position, including two candidates for the Governor's seat against the incumbent Governor, Matt Mead, who had drawn their ire for signing SF104 into law. That bill had greatly reduced the responsibilities of the Secretary of Education and was seen as an attack on Hill, who later fared poorly in a Legislative review of her actions in that position. The law was found to be unconstitutional by the Wyoming Supreme Court but not before the controversial Cindy Hill, who is the present occupant of the office, declared for the Governorship herself.  In local elections Tea Party adherents ran against other incumbants, including two such efforts locally here in Natrona County.

This caused the election to be rather peculiar to long term Wyoming residents and featured such oddities as threats to arrest Federal officers within Wyoming and threats to "take back" the Federal Domain.  In the end it turned out that the GOP rank and file that turned out for the election (the turnout was somewhat low) was much more mainstream than the Tea Party branch and Tea Party candidates went down in defeat.  Mead fared well in the primary and his victory in the general election against Democrat Pete Gosar is nearly assured.  Hanynes, who gathered some attention with his first run four years ago, in a campaign that was less extreme, and Hill, both went down in defeat with their combined totals amounting to less than 50% of the vote. As noted, Balow handily defeated the candidate who campaigned on her association with Hill.  In two local races, while they were surprisingly close, incumbents turned back Tea Party challengers.

It'll be interesting to see how this develops long term.  Effectively the Wyoming 2014 election is practically over, save for a few local races and, as noted, the race for Secretary of Education.  Tea Party elements have effectively been given a rebuke by the GOP rank and file.  Candidates who would have attracted the more conservative, but less Tea Party like, elements of the GOP, like Gubernatorial candidate Taylor Haynes and Secretary of State candidate Buchanan might take this election as a lesson that they can appeal to the true conservative elements of the party but should not campaign on extreme positions which are not likely to appeal to the general electorate and obviously do not appeal to the GOP rank and file.

The lesson for Democrats, of course, is a repeat of the one they received some years ago that they need to find a Wyoming center and campaign on it.  The complete collapse of the Democrats under former Democratic governor Dave Freudenthal, who was not responsible for it, but who somewhat is symbolic of it in that he had to distance himself from the party from time to time, should have taught them that.  Now the party struggles to even find candidates and has what amounts to only two serious ones, Gosar and Cellabos, with only Cellabos having any realistic chance of a victory.  Those candidates aren't tainted with the national party, but the local Democratic Party has steadfastly refused to learn that, and continues to back positions that are all but fatal for anyone with a "D" behind their name.