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, August 20, 2013

August 20

1804  Sergeant Charles Floyd of the Corps of Discovery died.  He was the only member of the Corps of Discovery to die during the existance of the Corps, which was of course formed and existed for the special purpose of crossing the newly acquired territory of Louisiana.

1870  Camp Stambaugh, near South Pass, established. Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1877  Elements of the 1st and 2nd Cavalry unsuccessfully engage the Nez Perce at Camas Creek, Idaho. The battle is regarded as a Nez Perce victory.

1908  Cheyenne electric railway commenced operations.

1910.  Disastrous fires strike in Montana.  3,000,000 acres of land burned in two days.  Taft, DeBorgia, Henderson and Haugan Montana were destroyed and over 80 people died.

1913  Only pool hall in county closed in Torrington.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1945  The War Production Board ceases most of its activities.

1946  Restrictions on American truck production, started during World War Two, come to an end.

1988  "Black Saturday" of the Yellowstone fire, in which more than 150,000 acres were burned in a firestorm.  Attribution:  On This Day.

2014   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.

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