No Wyomingite should be forced to subsidize a political party to which they are opposed. This should be one of the few things we can all agree on, even in our current political …
No Wyomingite should be forced to subsidize a political party to which they are opposed. This should be one of the few things we can all agree on, even in our current political climate. In practice this means that public funds — taxpayer funds and citizens’ fees to government entities — should not be used to fund partisan political activity, political action committees, candidates for public office, politically biased sources of information or ideologically based organizations. Unfortunately, this simple rule, universally accepted and essential for a functioning republic and for the existence of robust public debate, has been blatantly violated by Wyoming’s only publicly funded university (receiving over $300 million worth of taxpayer funds through the Legislature this year).
In addition to being publicly funded, the University of Wyoming was also the largest donor to the Albany County, Wyoming, Democratic Party in the 2020 election cycle. So, you, the taxpayers and students of Wyoming, are major donors to the Albany County Democrats, whether you like it or not. Democrats and others opposed to the Republican Party need not worry, the Republicans didn’t receive a dime.
This obscene violation of the public trust and the university’s obligations of neutrality must be flatly condemned. This is not a partisan issue. Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and independents should all be disappointed at the university’s misuse of the financial resources they’ve been entrusted with. We urge the Democratic Party to return the improperly allocated public funds. And we call on the university to stop tilting the scales in favor of any political party.
Rep. Rachel Rodriguez-Williams, R-Cody
Rep. Ocean Andrew, R-Laramie
Rep. John Bear, R-Gillette
Rep. Bill Fortner, R-Gillette
Rep. Scott Heiner, R-Green River
Rep. Jeremy Haroldson, R-Wheatland
Rep. Mark Jennings, R-Sheridan
Rep. Dan Laursen, R-Powell
(Editor’s note: The University of Wyoming says the money paid to the Albany County Democratic Party was not a donation, but payments for work that the party did in cleaning up the university’s athletic stadiums. UW says it hires multiple civic organizations to do the work. Each organization is paid the same.)