GOSHEN COUNTY – Constituents of Goshen County convened at The Bucking Horse Grill south of Torrington for a Town Hall Meeting Saturday, Jan. 23. In attendance at the meeting were approximately 65-70 people and four local government representatives: Wyoming State Sen. Cheri Steinmetz, Wyoming House Reps. Shelly Duncan and Hans Hunt and Goshen County Commissioner John Ellis.
Goshen County Republican Chairman Kirk Haas opened the meeting with Wyoming State Committeeman Corey Steinmetz’s delivering an invocation followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Haas said the Goshen County Republican Party had organized the event to allow open conversation between elected officials and their constituents.
Haas began the conversation with the topic of Liz Cheney. Cheney has faced criticism from many Republican voters after she voted in favor of impeaching President Trump in mid-January.
“If you could recall her, who would like to recall Liz Cheney?” Haas asked.
Nearly every hand in the room went up, except a few people who opposed the idea. However, Cheney cannot be recalled from her position. As it stands, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives can end their service to the legislature by resignation, death or expulsion. An expulsion would require a formal vote on a resolution that is agreed upon by two-thirds of the members of the House.
Meeting participants said they would like to have Cheney removed from office but were concerned about who they would turn to when it came time to replace Cheney. One participant said recalling Cheney was a “knee-jerk reaction.”
Stemming from the discussion of Cheney was an exchange of ideas about term limits and the process for vetting candidates. Some present felt term limits should be put in place while others felt it was best to leave it as it is.
“Wyoming has power in seniority,” one participant stated.
Another participant said she had served as a staffer in the Wyoming legislature for many years. She expressed a dissenting opinion for term limits as establishing term limits would likely give the staffers more power as they would likely be the only people with a vast knowledge of the happenings within the legislature.
Another participant said they felt as though state-level politicians were elected to office and forgotten. Others agreed there needed to be a higher degree of accountability in the actions of the
Sen. Steinmetz and Rep. Duncan addressed concerns of accountability for public officials and provided information to aid voters in becoming more aware of what was going on with elected officials.
“When you read these bills, you become empowered,” said Steinmetz.
Steinmetz encouraged voters to read the bills, view the votes and to speak directly with elected officials. Duncan told the crowd she uses her social media platforms and website to post information about how she has voted on bills and what information is contained in some of the bills.
Steinmetz, Duncan and Hunt concurred voters should be holding these representatives accountable.
In another discussion, participants addressed concerns over voter fraud. Corey Steinmetz told the group Wyoming had discarded the infamous Dominion Voting System servers in 2018 to protect the integrity of Wyoming’s elections.
“Elections in Wyoming are safer than ever,” Corey said.
Adding to the topic of elections, was conversation about absentee voting and party registration on the day of the election. One participant said absentee voting should be restricted to military personnel only. Another participant said registering on the day of the election should not be permitted as this would help prevent issues of crossover voting.
Meeting attendees also addressed their perspectives on the legislative session not occurring in-person.
“If kids can sit with masks and plexiglass, so can I,” Duncan said.
Duncan’s comment brought to light differing opinions about the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My job is not to work for the government, I work for the people,” Cheri Steinmetz said. “The Constitution says you are in charge of your healthcare decisions.”
Several of the people present stated their belief that masks and vaccines are both medical devices which should not be mandated by the government.
Goshen County Commissioner John Ellis told the group the bureaucracy of public health in Cheyenne needed to be stopped. Ellis reported the Goshen County Commission had appointed a new health officer who he hopes will move forward with addressing the mask mandate.
“I don’t wear a mask and I got in considerable trouble with both the sheriff and county attorney,” Ellis said. Ellis would not elaborate further about this statement as he concluded the statement with, “I’ll leave it there.”
Stay tuned to the Torrington Telegram for information about future meetings.