Was trawling FEC filings and found a new PAC that formed earlier this month called "Protecting Wyoming Values."

"Interesting," I think to myself. "Wonder who's behind it."

So I tried to find out. Thread. 🧵
We have no local officers, no local addresses, but we do have a treasurer: Mr. Charles Gantt, a GOP consultant who runs a firm with ties to the Trump campaign and numerous other conservative orgs around the country.
Interesting enough to check out. So I call the number on the site, a Jackson number. Get an anonymous Google voicemail box. Weird. So I left a message. I'll let you know if I get a call back.
In the meantime, I decide to do a little digging into their IP address. It's hosted on a Google server, no identifying geographic information. But what's this?

Looks like a bunch of other websites claim this same IP address, which is unique to the domain host.
I checked out a few of them. These include Kristi Noem's website, and websites for Christian Ziegler -- a controversial GOP figure in Florida and a friend of Corey Lewandowski. Among the registered sites is Ziegler's consulting firm, Microtargeted Media.
This type of astroturfing isn't a new thing in Wyoming. Think back to the Wyoming Friends of Coal debacle in the 2018 governor's race. trib.com/news/state-and…

But whoever these guys are, they've been busy. Same players popped up in the Dakotas recently. dakotafreepress.com/2021/04/10/gue…
One of the sites listed on this server is also the website for the RNC's election integrity commission, which Wyoming GOP Chairman Frank Eathorne sits on.

This is likely an anti-Cheney thing. One of Gantt's PACs, Citizens for a United New Mexico, is backed by a number of billionaires, and took out ads accusing candidates of being insufficiently supportive of Trump. currentargus.com/story/news/loc…
Perhaps their FB page with 13 likes offers some indication who this might be supporting... they look to be big fans of @ChuckForWyoming

Gray also began a text message campaign this week. And KW Miller, Florida resident and Make America Great Political Committee founder who moderated a recent forum in Casper, told me yesterday he is really high on Gray, saying "He is clearly the top Congressional Candidate."
(Clarification: the text campaigns came from Protect Wyoming Values, not the candidate.)

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More from @IAmNickReynolds

26 May
The Joint Agriculture Committee just voted to bring back the Second Amendment Preservation Act from last session on a split-second, unannounced vote earlier this afternoon.

"Don't throw something at me before we adjourn," said Sen. RJ Kost

Rep. Robert Wharff, an Evanston Republican and a former guns rights lobbyist, introduced a motion to bring it up in a special session specifically meant to address new COVID relief funds.

He said they ran up against the clock during the regular session, and it would have passed.
Lots of procedural concerns from co-chairman Brian Boner, who questioned repeatedly why the bill wasn't introduced as an individual bill. Said added caused undue controversy to the process, and should reconsider if he wanted it to pass should it fail to pass muster.
Read 10 tweets
11 May
We're talking Medicaid expansion this morning. (Again.)

Watch live here.
Rep. Gray says that the current Biden Administration policy to expand Medicaid to red states is "coercive." Asking if there are any legal challenges pending, but DOH staff say that most of the legal issues out there have "been resolved."
This is how our current environment as a non-expansion state compares to states that have expanded. Note the populations carved out here.
Read 113 tweets
10 May
An official for the University of Wyoming's Center for Business and Economic Analysis walking through their version of the tax capacity study, with estimated from the minimum rate to if we went "full socialist" and maxed everything out.

Quite a bit.
Based off median income, we have room to raise taxes.
Here's us compared to states with no income tax... we could earn $2.3 billion if we adopted the median of their tax policies.

However, Texas and Washington have major metros. We don't. S. Dakota is the best match, which would net us about $1.1b extra per year.
Read 17 tweets
10 May
Knapp, who now lives in California but is moving back to Gillette, said he’s wanted to go into public service since high school and that “now is a good time to do it.”

According to his LinkedIn, he works in Orange County and has been heavily involved in the O&G industry.
Did anyone else get a heads-up he was running? Nobody contacted me about him running until about 6 a.m. today and though I heard rumors someone was announcing in Campbell County last week, nobody knew who it was.
With more than a year until the Republican primaries, we now have seven challengers, including

1. Bouchard
2. Gray
3. Keller
4. Selvig
5. Knapp
6. Smith
7. Belinskey

Several possibles, including Bryan Miller, Ed Buchanan, William Perry Pendley.
Read 9 tweets
10 May
The Legislature's Revenue Committee discussing the state's tax structure this morning.

Revenue Director Dan Noble says the state's tax structure is a regressive one: "Our tax structure is unstable. We base... more than half of our economy on price of commodities."
We also have the "second lowest" tax burden for a family of four in the United States, he said, and that our current tax structure could actually hinder the state's growth, due to the high cost of services and a thin tax base.

Watch live here:
Notes state and county officials are limited in their taxing authority. And tax administration is confusing.

"We spend probably more time than anything else appearing before the State Board of Equalization and the Supreme Court associated with mineral issues."
Read 26 tweets
7 May
Getting a lot of questions on what this actually does! So a quick thread...
Lawmakers are allowed to participate remotely and won't be docked pay for it.

Lawmakers can only hold meetings at sites able to facilitate full remote meetings.
Much better than the policy they originally proposed.
The drawback is that we won't have meetings in rural areas that occasionally require field visits. If you look at the list, all the sites are places like Laramie, Rawlins, Jackson, Rock Springs, Casper, Cheyenne...
Read 5 tweets

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