CASPER, Wyo. — The Natrona County Republican Party held a fundraiser on Thursday, Sept. 14 meant to call out the anonymous group or individual in charge of the website WyoRINO.com.
The website labels legislators as RINOs, or “Republicans in Name Only,” if their views do not align perfectly with the site’s criteria on every issue, according to a news release by the Natrona County Republican Party.
“We’re here tonight to celebrate that marvelous American political tradition of divergence of opinion in our political life,” Emcee Rod Miller proclaimed when he took the podium.
WyoRINO’s Absence Noted
Miller addressed the absent WyoRINO.com entity, urging the anonymous group or individual to come out and debate. Echoing his calls for the anonymous entity throughout the evening, he joked, “I guess our date has stood us up.”
With the absence of the guest of honor, the event shifted focus to advocating for transparency and civil political debate.
The fundraiser was attended by two Republican state senators and a state representative from Natrona County.
Senator Bill Landen: Pushing for Transparent Politics
Sen. Bill Landen, District 27, reflected on his tenure, emphasizing his commitment to transparency in government.
“We passed a couple of pieces of legislation … that threw the books open at our state level,” he stated, lamenting how efforts seemed to stall thereafter. He revealed upcoming legislation to require corporations to be more transparent about their donations to candidates, noting, “It was interesting to see who didn’t want that legislation.”
Landen also discussed challenges with the power grid and Rocky Mountain Power, announcing a special session in Cheyenne this month to address the issues. He expressed concerns about the division within the state’s Republican Party and emphasized the importance of taking care of state infrastructure.
Jerry Obermeuller: Representing the Voters
Rep. Jerry Obermeuller, District 56, emphasized his loyalty to voters over loyalty to the state Republican Party, drawing a clear distinction from the operation of political parties in other countries like Russia.
“This is the distinction between us and the way the Communist Party operates in Russia. On election day, the party is in charge, the day after, the party is still in charge. You do what the party says. In America the difference for us is that on election day, the people are heard,” he said, affirming his role in representing his constituents rather than any particular party.
Obermeuller also called on fellow representatives to pay attention to the details of bills and not merely follow party lines.
Senator Jim Anderson: A Call for Representation
Sen. Jim Anderson, District 28, underscored the importance of representing everyone in a district, regardless of their political leanings.
“We don’t go down there to represent one particular party. … We go down there to represent our district,” he declared.
Anderson also touched upon the often-misunderstood nature of bill voting, stating that many often only read headlines or initial lines, missing the broader implications of the legislation.
Conclusion: A Unified Call for Transparency
The overarching theme of the night was clear: the need for transparency in government and a return to civil debate. The sentiment was echoed in the remarks of each speaker, emphasizing the importance of honest, transparent politics and a dedication to serving the interests of the people, not just political affiliations.