Nick Reynolds Profile picture
Politics and policy @WyoFile. Secretary @SPJWyo. Alum @BrockportJrb. Tips and story ideas to nick@wyofile.com. Donate: https://t.co/XDc6oIvkYI…
16 Sep
There's a handful of medical professionals testifying before Joint Labor/Health this morning opposing vaccine mandates at Banner Health. Says it's created an environment of "tension and hostility."

Group includes an anesthesiologist, an ICU nurse, and a children's dentist.
Said professionals say mandates and ensuing climate are causing "serious psychological and emotional distress" among unvaccinated staff. Could exacerbate staffing crisis.

"Why would we exclude highly qualified individuals from the workforce?"

Live:

Sen. Lynn Hutchings said she would do whatever she could to help their cause. Rep. Bob Wharff, who has downplayed COVID and called it a "man-made" virus on social media, told them to "call their bluff."
Read 30 tweets
14 Sep
Wyo lawmakers just approved an amendment to draft legislation that would create something similar to a hate crime bill in the state.

We currently lack one. This would create a felony offense, but no penalties in excess of what's on the books otherwise. wyoleg.gov/InterimCommitt…
Right now @itsmikeyin is running an amendment to the language to add gender, sexual orientation and gender identity into the amendment, bringing Wyoming's language in-line with federal language.
@itsmikeyin And... that motion failed.
Read 7 tweets
14 Sep
Looks like Chuck is done.

Strange this somehow hasn't made it into my inbox yet... 🤔
Interesting campaign for Gray. In addition to the WY House Freedom Caucus, endorsements also included right wing politicians like Paul Gosar, conspiracy theorists like Lin Wood.

Also, his father, who spent more than $100k in support of his campaign. wyofile.com/pac-backing-ch…
He also failed to get much momentum with fundraisers. Here's my story from Q2. wyofile.com/cheney-sets-fu…

Protecting Wyoming Values is his father's PAC, by the way.

We won't know if his campaign saw any improvement until Oct. 15, when the Q3 reports are due. Image
Read 4 tweets
2 Sep
In Sheridan this morning for a meeting on various election reform proposals. Very packed house.

A few GOP officials here, including some from as far as Uinta County. The @SheridanWYDems have worked to turn people out too.
If you couldn't make it, the livestream is here:
We're working through several draft changes to Wyoming's elections this morning.

An open primary: wyoleg.gov/InterimCommitt…
Ranked choice voting: wyoleg.gov/InterimCommitt…

And two runoff proposals. One bill draft, and one resolution to put runoff elections to voters.
Read 92 tweets
31 Aug
Gov. Mark Gordon speaking in Jackson this morning.

Live stream here:

jhcenterforthearts.org/calendar/event…
Local reporters in attendance:

@WillWalkey
@sightsonwheels

They'll have highlights too.
Big things I've heard so far:

1) Masks are important, wear them.
2) Wyoming's special places are changing, need to find ways for tourism to benefit the whole state.
3) Workforce development, ensuring Wyoming has the strongest education system in the country.
Read 31 tweets
16 Aug
.@GovernorGordon is holding availability with Wyoming media this afternoon. I just hopped on the call, where he is paying tribute to Sen. Mike Enzi and a brief recap of his visit with DOI's Deb Haaland last week.

Highlights here:
Focusing now on urging the DOI to lift its oil and gas leasing pause on federal lands, particularly given actions oversee.

Says it's having bad economic impacts while not helping climate change, and that we shouldn't judge by rigs running. (Which are up) wyofile.com/wyo-drilling-r…
Adds he discussed his skepticism of the 30x30 plan, which he said is "not for Wyoming."

Said it takes those lands out of the equation for economic benefit. "We will fight it every step of the way."

Said he hopes the trip will lead to a better dialogue with D.C.
Read 10 tweets
16 Aug
Good morning everyone! Here this morning at Casper College, where we're talking the nuts and bolts of our redistricting process for the first time.

The census released county-level counts last week, allowing us to see what places grew and which contracted.

Watch this space!
If you'll recall from last week, the state's rural counties largely contracted in population over the last decade, while urban counties grew.

Laramie County (the capital and the current locus of power in the Legislature) grew the most.
In redistricting, the Legislature needs to do its best to keep "like" communities together, allocating a prescribed average of residents to each district.

We can move off that number by up to 10% in trickier communities, but that's no guarantee the district will be approved.
Read 16 tweets
4 Aug
Interesting development from the usually mundane Management Audit Committee...

@ChuckForWyoming made a motion to draft a bill to give the #WYLeg the ability to audit elections.

It failed with just two in-favor, but I couldn't see who.

Debate here:
The proposal was this:

Right now, the Wyoming Department of Audit handles financial and performance audits, mostly. But they are under the executive branch.

Gray wanted to bring it into the Legislative branch and give it the ability to audit elections, citing AZ.
Counties already audit their own elections and, to-date, we have had just a handful of fraud cases in the last several decades.

But Gray has made "election integrity" a centerpiece of his Congressional campaign, building off his successful voter ID bill last year.
Read 5 tweets
3 Aug
New York is really going full New York today.
Remembering when my friend @Swij2 grilled Cuomo about his own behavior toward women as governor.

Under fire, Cuomo ended the press conference. Had the Ithaca Times office rolling. One of the best interviews I've ever seen in-person. blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archiv…
I really don't know how I'm going to get anything done today, this is NUTS.
Read 5 tweets
3 Aug
Catharine O'Neill -- rumored to be meeting with Trump in NJ last week as a potential challenger to Liz Cheney -- has popped up in one of Wyoming's largest conservative FB groups.

I haven't gotten a response to several inquiries, so this is the most I've seen.
She got a shout-out in Politico's Playbook last week, which is pretty much peak rumor mill. politico.com/newsletters/pl…
For all intents and purposes, I have been told by quite a few people she is serious about the ag business stuff, which was the prime focus of the coalition behind last week's fundraiser with Kristi Noem and Mark Gordon.

wyofile.com/gordon-lummis-…
Read 5 tweets
2 Aug
Former WH Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is headlining a fundraiser for the House Freedom Fund in Jackson Hole this Thursday with Jim Jordan and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The House Freedom Caucus has been working to get Cheney stripped of all of her committees in recent weeks. Image
Don't know much about several of the organizers, but Dan and Carleen Brophy are major players in Wyoming politics.

Both are known for funding hardline conservative, anti-establishment Republicans in close primary races. trib.com/news/state-and…
Thanks to a Jackson resident in my DMs: The Kemmerers were high-profile guests at a Trump fundraiser in Jackson a few years ago, and have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Trump campaign. jhnewsandguide.com/news/election/…
Read 4 tweets
28 Jul
As candidates are expected to head to New Jersey to meet with former President Trump this week, @ChuckForWyoming's campaign has released top-line numbers from a poll showing him as the primary bet to beat @Liz_Cheney in next year's primaries.

Some takeaways... Image
First, the pollster, John Mclaughlin, was previously enlisted to conduct a poll on behalf of Trump's super PAC. He has a fairly low lifetime rating of C/D, per FiveThirtyEight. That one previously found @AnthonyBouchard to be the favorite. trib.com/news/state-and…
Times have changed however. We have a lot of new candidates in the race. And lots of speculation about new challengers.

This one polled Ed Buchanan, who was being recruited by Club for Growth. wyofile.com/national-group…

It also polled @bobiteman, who is new to the rumor mill.
Read 18 tweets
27 Jul
The spike returns. (Barrasso currently discussing BLM nominee Tracy Stone-Manning on the Senate floor.)

Live stream: senate.gov/legislative/fl…
Barrasso is a trendsetter on this one it seems.
Read 5 tweets
22 Jul
.@GovernorGordon, @CynthiaMLummis are fundraising for Kristi Noem at an event in Cheyenne next week.

An eyebrow raiser on the list: @cathponeill, who has been the subject of open speculation as a potential challenger to Liz Cheney.
It's an expensive fundraiser... read what you want. But attendee list is interesting. One -- Leah Juarez -- was a promising statehouse candidate in Casper last cycle.

She split half the vote in a three-way race to clear the way for the establishment pick. trib.com/news/state-and…
But O'Neill is interesting. She was relatively unknown in Wyoming during her time in the Trump admin. Was spotted working the camera at the Matt Gaetz anti-Cheney event this winter. Recently bought property in the state, and has been meeting with people who know a thing or two.
Read 4 tweets
20 Jul
The Campbell County Commission met today for the first time since that July 7 meeting that was dominated by homophobic comments about the library.

It was involved, to say the least...
It was much more balanced than the last meeting, with a number of people arriving to speak in solidarity with the LGBTQ community.

Some citizens were dismayed by another example of bigotry in their community, that it reflected poorly on them at a national level.
Others, no.

"If we get a black eye while protecting our children from being sexually exploited and indoctrinated, then I say that's a badge of honor," said Kevin Bennett, a leader of the protestors.
Read 9 tweets
15 Jul
Today is the Q2 FEC filing deadline.

I'll thread some quick takeaways from the top-line numbers for Wyoming's at-large U.S. House race here as the numbers come in, with a longer analysis coming later at WyoFile.com.

🧵
First, Anthony Bouchard -- the race's top fundraiser to-date not named Liz Cheney.

Despite an early scandal many thought would end his campaign, the Wyoming State Sen. managed to raise nearly $213k this quarter -- well-below the quarter million he earned in Q1.
Bouchard also spent way more this quarter -- $255k -- than he took in, leaving him just over $100k in cash on-hand.

Most went to consultants, fundraising and advertising. Expected: He was first-in, and needed to capitalize to build a sustained operation. docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/…
Read 11 tweets
13 Jul
Wyoming has waded into the national debate about CRT and American exceptionalism.

But critics say social studies here "is a cacophony of vagaries." No one has wanted to change it. And in this environment, it could be much harder.

Latest:

wyofile.com/lack-of-standa…
My piece is sort of a 1000 foot view of the issue. I'd refer you to @m0rgan_hughes' excellent breakdown of the standards and how they compare to other states.

We're not alone -- 20 other states failed. And Balow said a revision of standards are imminent. trib.com/news/state-and…
I'd also recommend this fact check she wrote after some inaccurate statements about CRT in Wyoming schools were made by an NCSD Board member. trib.com/news/local/edu…
Read 4 tweets
22 Jun
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.
Read 11 tweets
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